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Based between London and Berlin, photographer Chloe Orefice regularly shoots for platforms including Hunger and SHOWstudio. Originally dreaming of becoming a make-up artist, Orefice only discovered photography after enrolling on a make-up course that happened to include a compulsory photography module. “That was my first exposure to fashion photography,” she says, “I just became hooked”. She later assisted Nick Knight for several years before striking out on her own in 2013.

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Ann Demeulemeester AW18, Hair by Anthony Turner

During Fashion Week, Orefice can be found backstage capturing the many, many looks that accompany each new season. Often focusing in on the little details which others might miss in the pre-show frenzy, her images reveal the subtle craft and intricacies of hairstyles which, in their accompanying role to the fashion, are often overlooked. Here, she shares some of her recent hair-focused imagery and discusses what makes for the perfect hair image.

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Yang Li AW18, Hair by Anthony Turner

How would you define your photographic style? It’s forever evolving!

What is your approach to shooting hair details, as shown in these images? It’s just about looking and having the confidence to know that by cropping out someone’s face you have a stronger hair shot, or that by showing barely any hair at all you still have a hair shot. I’m not from a hair background so I’m approaching it from a purely visual point of view, treating it as I would any 3D object. For me, it’s about making hair look interesting even to people who know nothing about it.

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Phoebe English SS18, Hair by Cyndia Harvey
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Rick Owens SS18, Hair by Duffy
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Rick Owens AW18, Hair by Duffy

What are some of the challenges of shooting hair backstage? Honestly – everything! Other than poor lighting I think the biggest challenge is simply making sure you’re capturing the final look. Clips are left in until just before the show starts so I’m usually just waiting around until then, but even when the clips are out I’m dodging around hair assistants doing finals touches, or in some cases – changing the hair look completely. There’s a very short window of time in which to shoot – you wait around for hours and then all the action happens in three minutes. That’s probably the most stressful aspect, but it can give you the best results because you don’t have time (or space) to overthink – you just get creative, everything becomes spontaneous.

Shooting the back of the hair can be tricky too, I’m competing against a load of other photographers who are often only interested in the clothes or make-up, so as I’m asking the models to turn around so I can shoot the back, there’s five other photographers asking them to turn back around so they can shoot the front! It’s a pressure cooker environment but most of the time we all get what we want.

In your opinion, what makes for a ‘good’ hair image? This is a tough one! I don’t actually know anything about hair (I can’t even centre my parting) so although I can appreciate the skill, that’s not really what I’m looking at. It’s more about the feel, form, texture, detail, colour… the image as a whole. Would I want to hang this up in my house? I think that should be the marker of any good image.

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Liam Hodges AW18, Hair by Tina Outen
“Clips are left in until just before the show starts so I’m usually just waiting around until then, but even when the clips are out I'm dodging around hair assistants doing finals touches, or in some cases - changing the hair look completely.”
Chloe Orefice
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Jeremy Scott AW18, Hair by Eugene Souleiman
Credits

Photography Chloe Orefice
Interview Emma de Clercq

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