National student Barber competition 2012

The Training Station portraits

National Barbering competition

In late February, Fab Collective were contacted by The Training Station, a hairdressing and barbering college in Prescot. The college wanted to enter a group of trainee barbers into a national competition. They needed top quality headshots to showcase the work.

We arrived at 11am and the college was already a hive of activity – models, supportive family members and a host of young barbers wielding clippers. The smell of lacquer hung in the air. We set up our lights and had a wander around. Each barber had their own model and were restyling their models to highlight individual skills.

The three competition categories were:


National Barbering competition

Classic Barbering

National Barbering competition

Avant Garde

National Barbering competition

A queue quickly formed of nicely coiffured gents, many of whom hadn’t modelled before. They were great. The Grahams (Peers and Lloyd) sat in the hot seat and shot each head, ensuring two consistent sets for the college to choose entries from. The rest of us got stuck into taking candids of the barbers at work. They soon got used to us and we got to catch them engaged in their work.

It took a little over three and half hours to shoot all the models with their various styles and finishes. Afterward we grabbed a well deserved post-shoot pint and reviewed the days shots.

A couple of days later, after we’d forwarded the shots to the college; we received an e-mail from barbering tutor Mandy:

My day in college today. First day all students have been together since the photo shoot. We had a discussion about the day so we could all get some feedback on it. And the result: they LOVED IT! Can't tell you how great it was. All enjoyed the day, felt they had really achieved something, and were still buzzing. Big, big thanks to the Fab Collective. All the students were so impressed with the professionalism, and set up and how really nice everyone was!

The pics are just great too. Seriously made up!

The portraiture shots are just what we needed and beautifully done, and the documentary shots are wonderful. I am going to send some of those in as well with the submission.

Thanks again for helping with this. You were all just great. I hope we can all work together again sometime xxxx

And now some thanks from us. Firstly thanks to uber cool barbering tutor Mandy for inviting us along. Kate from The Training Station for making us feel so welcome, and for keeping us fed, watered and entertained - lovely people who really care. Thanks are also due to the super cool blokes who gave up their Sunday to act as models for the students. They were shaved, styled, sprayed clipped and waxed and then put under our hot lights. Many had never modelled before and they were amazing. Some great faces. Well done.

Finally, thank you to all of the students. They were there early on a Sunday morning working hard. They looked on nervously as we shot their models then hurried them away to re-style them. Our Fab photographers even managed to talk all the trainees into having their pictures taken too. They were, without exception, professional and organised and a pleasure to work with. We wish them the very best of luck in the competition and for all they do in the future.