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Vintage Hair Lounge Rolls Into Brum

June 25, 2013

Pretty ladies? Cool vintage hair dos? Some studio work, with a bit of reportage thrown in?

It’s not everyday I land a job that seems tailored made for me, but a recent assignment with the prestigious Vintage Hair Lounge was right up my street.

And just down the road.

Vintage Hair lounge showcase by Leamington Spa photographer Rachel Spivey

Hair: Chelsea Phipps / Model: Sophie Kane

Moving in the circles I do, I’d been aware of the Vintage Hair Lounge for sometime and always admired how they came across as a proper outfit. There have been lots of vintage hair ‘specialists’ pop up over the last few years, but these gals really have the professional backgrounds to live up to that claim.

So when my sometime creative collaborator, Cassie Leedham, mentioned my name to them, I was rightly chuffed.

Vintage Hair Lounge workshop

Curl Power – how to achieve the retro look the Vintage Hair Lounge way

Based on the south coast, they were looking to bring their popular ‘Vintage Hairstyling for Camera’ workshop to the Midlands and, having secured Aston & Fincher’s training academy in Birmingham as a venue, asked me to be their course photographer.

The intensive two-day course is aimed at freelance and salon hairdressers and covers the history of various styles and the techniques to achieve them. Throwing a professional photographer into the mix allows the students to art direct their final styles in a simulated studio and see how they hold up under the scrutiny of the camera, as well as providing them with a ready-made portfolio of their work.

Vintage Hair Lounge portfolio shot from the Vintage Hair for Camera Course

Hair: Salma Patel / Model: Shazila Fazal

Rachel Spivey's pop-up studio for The Vintage Hair Lounge

Behind the scenes of my little pop-up studio

The Lounge is helmed by the fabulous Mum and Daughter team of Sharon and Gloria Holloway. They’re a real energetic pair who clearly love what they do, and have a great attitude to life. It makes such a difference to my job to work alongside like-minded creative people and, while all our communications had been on email up until the shoot, they really made me feel part of the team on the day.

Sharon Holloway, Owner of The Vintage Hair Lounge by Warwickshire photographer Rachel Spivey

It’s all about the updo

Vintage hair tips shared on a course at Aston & Fincher

Gloria sharing tips

And completing the team was vintage make-up expert, Alison McMath from Kitty Wink Vintage, who had travelled down from Chorley for the event. She was lovely and her work was truly transforming.

Hair and make up

Shooting around all the mirrors made for an interesting triptych

The students had the opportunity to try out what they had learned on a mix of professional and non-professional models in preparation for their photo shoots. It was nice to capture the whole ‘before and after’ process, obviously I can’t show all of it here, but these are a few of my favourites.

Raven Brookes model

Alt model Raven Brookes is prepped by Salma

Alternative model Raven Brookes

Hair: Salma Patel / Model: Raven Brookes

Feedback from the shots has been great and I hope that they have given the hairdressers who attended something that they can all go on and produce as evidence of their new skills.

Vintage hairdressing training course

Some of the students with their models

I really had a great time on this job. It was lovely to meet some cool new people, but also to catch up with Violet Leys, who was one of the very first alternative models I shot back in days when I put big watermarks on everything and the whole vintage scene was still pretty niche.

I have a real soft spot for that shoot at the Malmaison and the pics are still online here.

Violet Ecstacy

Hair: Odette Gander / Model Violet Leys

I’m all set to be at the next course in Birmingham and looking forward to hooking up with Sharon and Gloria again at Goodwood in September.

Sharon Holloway and Alison McMath

Sharon and Alison online

If you like your look distinctly retro but your communications decidedly 21st century, you can keep up to date with this dynamic little business on Facebook or Twitter.

But I’ll be sure to share more vintage in the future.

RS x

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