The Book Warehouse on Southampton row has a table with clearance items outside it. While walking to work the other day I had a browse of it and found an absolute gem of a little book. Barbershops by Tally Abecassis and Claudine Sauvé. Reduced from £16.99 down to £3.99 I didn't expect it to be great, but was rather pleasantly surprised because the book is a design masterpiece. I snapped it up immediately
The book as you can guess, documents the disappearing world of barbershops, using a beautifully arranged collection of photographs, mixed in with retro graphics and quotes from the subjects. The book is full of beautiful environmental portraits of the barbers and their clients, detail shots of their hands, tools and brick-a-brack.
Whilst I loved the many portraits and detail shots, what really impressed me was the way that they took shots that were unpromising in their own right, such as signage and arranged them in a collage to create something that was greater than the sum of the parts. There must have been an element of pre-planning in this because there were collections of similar photos from each shop. They must have gone in with a shooting list. Get a photo of the back of everyone's head, get a picture of scissors etc. Its something worth remembering as a photographer if you don't do it already.
The words in the book show that they really built a rapport with the subjects, despite being two women in a male refuge. The collection of quotes and anecdotes along with the way that they were presented, complimented the photography beautifully.
I'm very lucky to have found this copy at such a great price. Its highly recommended. Take a look at Claudine Sauvé's portfolio. She takes exceedingly good photos.