PEOPLE: Malorie Shmyr’s macro shots reveal the intricacies of catwalk hair
Photography: Malorie Shmyr
Hair: Paul Hanlon, Syd Hayes, Sam McKnight, Eugene Souleiman
Interview: Emma de Clercq
Over the past four Fashion Week seasons, photographer Malorie Shmyr has documented the work of renowned make-up artist Val Garland, capturing the creation of her looks backstage at each show. With a focus on the tiny hair and make-up details which could easily be overlooked in the pre-show frenzy, Shmyr’s use of a macro lens allows her to showcase the artistry of each look in exquisite detail. Below, we speak to the Canadian photographer about her experience of shooting hair backstage, and take a look at some of her recent shots.
How would you define your photography style? I love shooting macro and I’m all about colour! Shooting with a macro lens allows me to capture the intricacies that an artist creates with hair or make-up. I get so engulfed in the macro world that I often have to remind myself to step back and get more of the subject. I’ll often try to keep the most unique colour of the image as the focus, and if the subject doesn’t have much colour in the look I will try to be sure there is colour in the background or the lighting. I rarely stay in the same spot when shooting – I’m constantly searching for an unpredictable vantage point through my lens. On my own photoshoots, subject matter that is outlandish or has unexpected combinations is when my heart feels happiest.
“Shooting with a macro lens allows me to capture the intricacies that an artist creates with hair or make-up”
What’s your favourite subject to shoot? I get ‘excitement butterflies’ when I see something outlandishly colourful in front of me. I love it when people push the boundaries with make-up and hair looks, so if the look is out of ‘the norm’ I get super excited.
What is your approach to shooting hair details backstage? I tend to ask myself questions constantly… not in a self doubting way, but so I can push myself to try to take the best photo I can. I’ll ask myself, ‘what is the most special part of this hairstyle?’ and then keeping that as my focus.
I’ll ask more questions – ‘how can the background colour and shapes frame the hair the best? From what perspective can I look at the hair, that the viewer watching this show online or in the audience wouldn’t have the opportunity view it from? Am I honouring the texture or silhouette of this hair?’
What is your favourite type of hair look to shoot? My favourite is when the hair is interacting with the face and make-up in some way. I love how a hair look can extend the lines of make-up (or visa-versa), or even stick to the make-up. I get so excited when the hair creates beautiful negative spaces of skin on the face, or obscures the face so much that it creates a curtain of mystery.
In your opinion, what makes for a ‘good’ hair image? If the texture and/or the silhouette is honoured, then I think it’s a super good image.