“I certainly learned the art of hairdressing from amazing mentors, but some of my greatest lessons came at the hands of famous photographers, including David Bailey, Sarah Moon and Helmut Newton, who were at the top of their game when I did hair for their photo shoots.
One of my most careerdefining takeaway lessons: Only timeless images will look as good in 40 years as they do today. That lesson continues to resonate with who I am as a person and as an artist.”
Ban the Baubles
Sometimes it’s hard to resist adding a flashy piece of jewelry to a photo shoot, but if your goal is to create a timeless photo, Kearns recommends that it’s better to keep it clean. “I also avoid nail polish, hair accessories (unless I’ve made them), shoes, and handbags for the same reason,” says Kearns.
“The only exception to my “no accessories” rule is when I’m doing a retro shoot. I actually enjoy searching for vintage pieces to dress up my models; it’s such a refreshing change for me as an art director and editorial stylist!”
Find Your Inner Artist
“When you see a model with a huge head of curls like Bette Midler wore in the ’70s, you immediately know the age of the image,” Kearns continues. “The same is true of the bouffant, shag or Rachel cut. My observation: When you create trendy styles for photography, they’ll surely go from looking hot to dated and, in some cases, downright silly in short order. If you have any doubt, take a trip down memory lane by looking at your family photo albums.”
Choose Art Over Fashion
Kearns also recommends using oneofakind clothing, gorgeous, rare fabrics or nothing at all.
“I shoot nude models quite often and use a lot of clothing that speaks more about the designer than any trend,” he says. “I also choose colors that will enhance my overall concept, as opposed to what’s hot on the runways for a particular season.”
Pose for Posterity
“Even faddish gestures and poses like the “hang loose” hand sign, models sticking out their tongues or having them slouch and look lifeless for the camera, will rapidly age your work,” says Kearns. “So much so, in fact, that you might as well ask the photographer to put a date and time stamp on your images.”
About Jason Kearns
Now living in Ontario, Canada, Jason Kearns owns Kearns and Co., a posh salon on Yonge Street in downtown Toronto.