No longer a stranger - 1 - Frank  by quietpurplehaze

No longer a stranger - 1 - Frank

On the morning walk yesterday with Ray and Jinks, I got to thinking, when we met one or two folk and passed the time of day with them, that it was a shame that they, obviously, could not feature in my strangers' portrait project. And then I got to thinking about an alternative project taking shots of people I already know.

What to call it? Non-strangers? No-strangers?

I decided to think about a name again later and, as I had an appointment later that morning, to ask Frank, my hairdresser, to be No.1.

He was happy to agree and also suggested the name I am using, on the basis that everyone is a stranger to everybody else the first time they meet. (It seems strange to think of Ray being a stranger to me nearly 50 years ago....)

Usually I take the photos first but we talked as Frank cut my hair.

I asked him if he remembered me telling him, a short while after I started going to Bridge Cuts, that I was glad to have a male hairdresser as he wouldn't get pregnant and give up work. He did remember, and also remembered saying:

"If I do, you can write my story."

Pause for hilarity............

I was slightly surprised next to find out that Frank thinks that I am brave asking strangers for portraits and that he couldn't do it.

He told me that when he worked at Selfridges in London, part of his job was to go out into the street to offer free cut or colour to passers-by so that trainees could practise their hairdressing skills. He did not relish this aspect of the work and people tended to refuse. The worst and most embarrassing experience was when one lady told him that she had just had her hair done.

Frank next worked as part of the artistic team at Regis, doing demos and in-house training. His area covered from Tunbridge Wells to St Austell and he finally became tired of living out of a suitcase and moved to work and manage salons in Southampton.

The next career move was as a mobile hairdresser and on to the salon at Shawford where he has been for 16 years and where I had the good fortune to meet him. I have never before known a hairdresser who dissuaded me from having my hair coloured, telling me that it looked really good its natural colour. I liked that.

Chat and trim both finished, we went outside to take the photos. I always prefer natural light and although the day was bright and sunny, the front of the salon was in the shade. I took 4 photos with Frank standing in front of the entrance door.

We both really liked one photo.

"It's not quite straight," I commented.

"I know that feeling," said Frank.

Pause for hilarity............

Easy to straighten up the shot, I thought - but when I got it on the computer screen, Frank had part of the no.3 on the door sprouting from one side of his head. (Note to self.........)

So this is the shot I chose. Thank you to Frank for participating - and I hope that my friends and acquaintances who follow my posts do not now start avoiding me.
Wonderful pic
March 26th, 2017  
What a great narrative Hazel! and a new project as well! I agree with the tale of pregnant hairdressers.....I've lost a few that way! The one I have now has grown up children..........:-)
March 26th, 2017  
Fabulous to be following you with this series!!!
March 26th, 2017  
Lovely portrait and great story
March 26th, 2017  
Awesome portrait and I agree - I think it is quite brave, asking strangers for a capture!
March 26th, 2017  
A great idea and a lovely shot Hazel.
March 26th, 2017  
Great portrait shot and story :)
March 26th, 2017  
A super portrait and title !
March 26th, 2017  
bep
A great idea for a new project, Hazel.
March 26th, 2017  
Great portrait and narrative - look forward to all your no-longer-a-stranger images.
March 26th, 2017  
Great title
March 26th, 2017  
Terrific - looking forward to this series.
March 26th, 2017  
Lovely portrait with nice colour, detail and composition, great idea for a project and interesting story Hazel, just remember every friend you have ever known was a stranger to you once:)
March 26th, 2017  
Nice casual portrait and interesting background. I'm with a Frank in thinking you are braves to ask strangers if you can take their picture. I very much enjoy your project but don't think I'd be able to do it...who knows, maybe I'll work up to it someday.
March 26th, 2017  
Great pic. of this handsome looking man.
March 26th, 2017  
"Not quite straight" - great sense of humour! Love it.
March 26th, 2017  
Lovely portrait and interesting narrative. Looking forward to more of this project
March 26th, 2017  
@laroque

Tim, I don't only go to the hairdressing salon for a trim!
March 26th, 2017  
@pcoulson

This could last the rest of my life then?!
March 26th, 2017  
That is a lovely shot and I did enjoy reading your story.
I loved your strangers photos and I think I agree with Frank about finding it difficult to do..............and living in a small village I know lots of people!
But my photo yesterday of our fishman Mike was good and he was so willing to have his photo taken I may feel more confident to ask others! We have a lovely new Head Teacher at our school.............but perhaps not yet!!!!
March 26th, 2017  
Awesome portrait.
March 26th, 2017  
You are very brave...I agree with Frank...and you have developed a wonderful skill for portraits (ok, we'll forget about the nasty 3 out of his head)...the catch-light, the reflection, the lighting that is soft enough to be gentle on skin tones....I admire these tremendously.
March 27th, 2017  
Ahhh so your post 100 strangers has morphed into a new project. Excellent haze.
Glad you have continued with a portrait theme.
Cracking write up. Your friendship shines through.
Keyboard issues resolved ...sort of...so back posting tonight 😀
March 28th, 2017  
@phil_howcroft

Glad your keyboard is sort of behaving. I shall still continue with my strangers project but thought this would give me a slightly different take on portraits. I do love this genre. I really discovered it thanks to you but looking back found I had always enjoyed taking people shots, almost exclusively family and friends.
March 28th, 2017  
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