Remember when I said that I wouldn't do posts about any of my photo gigs? It was mainly because I felt it wouldn't make good business sense. Well I had to break the rule in this instance. This was my first Hair Show so there was no way I could not describe the experience to all of you. Still, I will try to keep it to just the show itself as opposed to what it was like to actually shoot it. That's one way to make sure I avoid any potential conflict.
Coming into this, the only exposure I had to a hair show was the kind that was portrayed on Chris Rock's documentary "Good Hair". That's a huge event that takes place in the ATL where ther's probably about 5 times the Black population. Of course it would be on a much broader scale. Especially given the fact they've been doing it for years longer than the folks here have been. Therefore, I really didn't expect a whole lot going in.
As soon as I walked in and saw the stage I knew that they were trying to take things to the next level. It was more than just the standard tables with cloth over it like you tend to see at college stepshows. It looked like a first class set up made to highlight professional performances. Complete with a complex sound system, light show and everything. As a matter of fact, some of the competitors even had smoke shooting up to coincide with their presentations. I'm surprised someone didn't bust out with pyrotechnics. I would be lying if I told you that I wasn't a little impressed.
Honestly, I'm not a fan of the whole big hair thing. Especially when the folks go over the top with it by putting in designs and props so that it looks purposely unnatural. However, I can appreciate that it's being done at the hair shows for the purpose of art. It does take some skill to craft a hairpiece so elaborate and sturdy that it can support a fish tank with live fish in it. Yes, that happened. I would certainly hope that no one would go out in public with those type of designs though.
I still don't understand the criteria that is used to judge the styling. It was looking like the stylists were chopping away at the models' hair as fast as they could to come up with a quick design. But the final product didn't look a whole lot different than before they started. Maybe it was just me. It could be that they are being judged on the presentation of their performance and its originality? If that's the case then the stylist who had the "Lion King" theme (Tina Turner was her name) deserved the win. Her whole set was so off the chain that I wanted to stop taking pics and just sit back and enjoy.
Folks do realize that when you have a competition there will be winners AND losers right? Apparently not some of those stylists. The way that some of them were unable to graciously accept defeat was unbelievable. But I will have to admit that it was quite funny. In a sad way, of course. I should have gotten a picture of that one cat ripping up the carpet because he was so upset about not being one of the top two finalists.
I initially thought I had taken around 800 pictures. I knew I had went thru one full memory card and then thought I did part of another. I was way off. I had filled up 2+ memory cards. That meant I shot over 1300 photos. Needless to say it's going to take a minute to get thru all of those and get them edited. Unfortunately, that means I don't have a photo album to coincide with this post yet. Until then, you'll have to make do with this shot from that "Lion King" set. And take note that after this experience, I will definitely be attending next year as well.