Luminous-Lint - for collectors and connoisseurs of fine photography
HOME  BACK>>> Subscriptions <<< | Testimonials | Login |

HomeContentsOnline exhibitions > Doug Dubois: Barbershop

Title • Introduction • First image • Lightbox • Checklist • PhV 


Doug Dubois

In the mid 1990’s, I spent much of my summer photographing in Avella, a vanishing Pennsylvania coal town located at the edge of the West Virginia panhandle. There are no restaurants in Avella, only a few mean looking bars that I wasn’t ready to enter. To get out of the heat, my only choice was the barbershop.
The pictures I made of the customers took three summers to get right. The first set suffered from an uneven light that left their feet dark and out of focus. The second summer had better lighting but the back door was sometimes open, sometimes closed.
By the third summer, the barber, Dominic, took control. After each haircut he would announce my intentions: This fellow wants to take your picture. He teaches college out in New Mexico. He‘s doing a project on Avella. His Grandparents came from here.
Without waiting for a response he would turn the chair to a profile, shut the back door and tell me to hurry up and take the damn picture.
What I garnished from those three summers was more than the skills required to photograph in a barbershop. During the haircuts, I listened carefully to the stories and conversations. Some of the talk centered on their ageing bodies – hemorrhoids being an almost universal complaint. But in essence, the barbershop was the place for male gossip: a lively mix of politics and nostalgia with a more than a few dirty jokes on the side. It was my entrée into the life of the town and my first successful attempt at making portraits in a series.
Doug Dubois
Sept 1, 2008 



Getting around


HOME  BACK>>> Subscriptions <<< | Testimonials | Login |
 Facebook LuminousLint 
 Twitter @LuminousLint