Is this a commercial shot? A portrait? Both? Here we’ll look at this image of a barber trimming a man’s hair and see what makes it an interesting image.
Models / Subjects
Our main subject, the guy in the chair, has such an interesting face. It’s really nice to see an older man being highlighted like this. What’s even better is that his entire body and neck are covered, so we’re forced to concentrate on his face.
By contrast, the barber is young and relatively clean shaven. We can see some other people in the background. This is two-fold for me, in one sense it’s interesting to see part of the bigger story of the scene and to know it’s not staged (the guy is covered in hair!) but then also it’s a little distracting. It does bookend the piece nicely though with the reflection.
The colours in this photo are really limited and the tones quite neutral. This gives the image a classier feel, which is probably what the barbershop is going for; a stylish, ‘hipster’ vibe.
The copper tones of the lights, wood frames and barber’s hair help keep the whole image warm and balance those cooler blues and whites.
The lighting is lovely; the photographer has made good use of the existing lights. It’s hard to tell for sure if they’ve used extra lights but I’d say probably; they’re almost spot lit, albeit subtly. It works to keep the focus on the subjects and not the busy wall or table.
Reading a Photograph
We’d love to hear your take on this photograph, and if you’re not sure where to begin, then How to Read a Photograph will get you started with how to analyse photography. Mostly, it’s just saying what you see and how you feel about an image!