This blog post has been a long time coming! Seriously, my hair grew faster than my publishing of this entry… sorry.
When we are in Newfoundland in June, I continued my photo series trading barber cuts for portraits. After getting a great cut at Gaffan’s in Kingsville in May, I was in need of some local flavour & a little clean up.
I found this new place in downtown St. John’s and decided that I’d offer them up a trade. Fogtown was recently opened by Chris Evans & his girlfriend, Mac in Dec of 2011 at 134 Water street. Chris is a young guy taking on the tradition of barbering and adding his own twist. He started giving his friends punk rock haircuts in his parents backyard and bathroom when he was only 14 years old. Chris formalized he training at Wordford’s Training center, brushing up his backyard talents before opening Fogtown.
Fogtown is firmly grounded in the DIY punk scene based on passion before profit valuing craft over commodity. In fact, the name “Fogtown” came from old punk lyrics and t-shirt design long before it was on the front of Chris’ barbershop. You can still see the strong community in this photo. I told Chris to bring a few of his friends by for the photoshoot and I show up to this:
Chris set me up with my up with my own private appointment (including the above audience) on a Sunday… a day that he is usually closed. This gave the shoot a bit of a different feel than the last one. I love hearing the banter and conversations that go on in a barber shop, however, this gave me a little more space and time to myself to focus on the task at hand.
The shop was pretty cool. Small, intimate, you know, a lighting nightmare, but a great environment. I worked to figure out where and how to shot this scene for a little while. I settled on trying to shoot both rooms at once, however that held another set of problems. I couldn’t really get the light and the stand out of the photo in the back room. So I took a shot with all the gear and our ‘model’, then I removed the gear. The foreground light was out of the frame and fine where it was. So, the final photo is actually a composite of two shots.
It was a great afternoon meeting new people, getting a slick new cut. I would recommend them to anyone in the St.John’s area or anyone travelling there. Chris and the gang are super thoughtful guys. They set me up with a little care kit including a comb, some Layrite, a few samples of Baxter shaving product, a Fogtown hat, a Raised by Wolves tank top and last but not least, a cassette tape of Lew Murphy, legendary Canadian Folk Baritone
It was hard to sum up everything we talked about so I gave Chris and email and asked up who he looked up to and what his inspiration was. This is a great way to end the post.
“I look up to all the “old guy” barbers in St. John’s who have been running their businesses for decades, and serving their loyal clientele day-in day-out and keeping the “old school” men’s barbershop concept alive for us new guys. Ted Doyle from The Family Barber Shop passed on the torch to me in my neck of the woods. I loved his shop and cherish his old Belmont barber chair which has been in use in downtown St. John’s since the 60s; it is the prized possession of Fogtown.
Huge shout-out to the Fogtown Crew from day one, Matt Barnable and Pete Ball. ” Chris Evans
Thanks again guys! Until next time, long may your big jib draw and all fish kissing stuff.