Raw power

Gen Itoh, creative director at TIGI’s Bed Head Hair Space in London’s Shoreditch, explains why he likes to keep his shoots real and raw

“Over the past three years, we have developed a passion for expressing our ideas through street casting shoots. Initially it started with the idea of taking pictures of the many interesting clients who came into the Bed Head Hair Space, using our iPhones and posting the images on our own Instagram pages. It was just a simple idea.

“We’re located in Box Park in Shoreditch and have a very mixed clientele, covering many different trends, cultures and nationalities. As soon as we opened the salon, I was fascinated with how people express themselves. It reminded me of how London inspired me back in the ‘90s when I first arrived from Japan. People in East London tend to be freer than most in their self-expression and there are significant numbers of young people who prefer to look different. It seemed a total waste not to capture their individual looks and show what the real London is right now, sharing our work with hairdressers around the globe. There are too many beautiful people out there, even though they aren’t models!

“We minimised the budget on purpose to increase our creativity, to capture raw images and the reality of London trends. Snap shots were used to capture the real personality of the ‘models’ to show their expressions and movements.  The aim was to let the hair and the models move to capture ‘real’ people. I didn’t want to retouch the imagery as I think it kills that rawness. It’s not about making it perfect; it’s about capturing the real beauty, the trends and the talents. I wanted to let them be who they are and expose the real people who come to Bed Head Hair Space.

“Shooting in this way is such a great opportunity for us to express our creativity without any limits! One thing I’ve learnt though… we needed to go out there and find the people, because they won’t all come and find you!”

Photography: Alex Barron-Hough     Wardrobe:  by the models!