I had really wanted to create a collection that would showcase my braiding skills. I remember I wanted simplicity for styling with a strong visual neck piece. I also wanted to work with models that possessed the texture of hair ideal for the collection I wanted to bring to life
This collection was 1 of 5 shoots executed in the winter of 2016 for NAHA 2017. Although it was not nominated, I submitted the collection for publication and was honored to have it grace the pages of American Salon Magazine.
In the past few years I worked with photographer, Clay Cook (whom I was nominated for a mens award in 2014). I had booked make up artist, Isidro Valencia and designer\stylist Genna Yussman Greene. Everyone was on board and loved the concept.
For booking the models, I had couple in mind that I had recently worked with on other shoots. I was so happy when they all agreed and were available on the day I had set up with the team.
Practice was imperative and I chose mannequins that had hair similar to the models I had booked. I spent a few weeks practicing different looks on them. I would at some point finish the look somewhat satisfied and wood return the following day to see if I was still feeling the hairstyle. If I didn't speak to me, I would redo the stylet. If it did then I sought to enhance the overall look.
I practiced the styles for several hours over a couple of weeks on Pivot Point Mannequins. I would send text images of my mannequins to Clay and Isidro so they would have an idea of where I was taking the hair.
The Day of the shoot was on a Sunday at Clay's studio. I made sure to have lots of food and drink on set for the models. The shoot lasted for a total of 7 hours with at least 2 hours prep for each model. Wardrobe was easy as all models would be adorned with the large necklace. I remember being exhausted with tired hands after the shoot but I was happy because I knew we had made something amazing.
I tend to always overpack for photoshoots so I had plenty of hair extensions, irons and products at hand. The fun part is always creating the mess but not so much the clean up.
I invited Derek Hibben on set to take bts images and he did an fantastic job. The looks were inspired by Asian and African hairstyles and from my own imagination.
Having a team is so crucial, I love working with Isidro he is able to balance the hair with the appropriate make up. Genna always have amazing ideas and always has really unique fashions and accessories. Working with Clay is always a pleasure, he has a great eye for balance and brings his creative touch to every project.
On model Centria I flat-straighten her long hair using Redken's Iron Shape 11. I deftly cornrowed her hair with Braid Aid 03 on scalp then transition the braids off scalp. I secured a high bun on top with elastic cord and adorned it with some of the smaller braids securing each layer with Fashion Works 12. I finished the look with Control Addict 28 and lots of Shine Flash 02.
On model, Tyrah I diffused her natural texture and used clips and the heat of the hair dry to create and sustain the separation (space) in her rounded hairstyle. I then applied Hardward Gel 16 styling gel to create the braided veil. I did tiny brides around her hairline then forged them together at certain points with black rubber bands. I finished the look with Control Addict 28 and Shine Flash 02.
For model, Myah I did a directional blow dry the cornrowed her hair with Braid Aid 02. I added several wefted hair extensions that were micro crimped using the Sam Villa Texur Iron and formed into a disheveled, textured bun. I used Fashion Works 12 to separate the style and finished with Control Addict 28 and Shine Flash 02.
For make up I gave Isidro free range. I had sent him only a couple inspirational images. I only request a strong lip of which we choose a bright tangerine for contrast. He created a beautiful arched brow and soft smoky eye. Post shoot Clay asked if I would be open to Black and White and I agreed as it would give a strong effect.
Model Tyrah with close up of make up and braided hair veil
I submitted the images to Amy Dodds of American Salon Magazine. She loved the images and asked for them exclusively for print in the August 2017 issue. I was thrilled as was the entire team. Seeing our work in print is an amazing experience I am so thankful to Amy and the team.
Hair | Matthew Tyldesley @hairbymatt
Photography | Clay Cook @claycookphoto www.claycookphoto.com
Make up | Isidro Valencia @valencia0612
Styling | Genna Yussmane Greene @gennayussman
Assistants | Hunter Zieske @hunterzieske
| Louis Tinsley @louistinsley
Retouch | Jordan Hartley @jordanhartleyretouch
Models | Centria Kapris @cen_tria
| Tyrah Burton (Heyman Talent Agency) @tyrah_burton
| Myah Danielle Winbush @myahdanielle
I am so grateful for everyone involved in this project.
Below is the bts making of video of "Twisted Roots"