Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tangles and Locks

Tangles and Locks barbershop, at 2025 N. Lake Avenue, has been an Altadena business for over 23 years. I've been meaning to stop by for a long time--not 23 years but a while, nonetheless--because I wanted to take a picture of the suit of armor standing in the back corner.

Yesterday I was in the neighborhood, I had the time and I had my camera. So I stepped inside and asked.

The owner introduced himself as D.L. He said, sure, I could take a picture. He even moved a few things out of the way of the suit of armor, and I took some pictures of it. But I quickly realized what I really wanted was pictures of the people and the shop.

I'm uncomfortable asking, but it helped that one of the guys there was a photographer. We got to talking and he showed me some of his photos via his flickr page on his iPhone. The shots were outstanding, and many were of people. I asked if he was comfortable asking people to pose. He said you basically get back what you put out there. In other words, if you're comfortable and friendly about it, people will react that way to you.

So I asked the men in the shop if I could take pictures while business went on as usual. I don't know why I find it so hard to ask. Everyone was fine with it.

D.L. also owns one of those gorgeous red cars you often see parked at the vintage gas station across the street. I'll show you those tomorrow.

My pictures of the suit of armor turned out fine. The shop has a medieval armor motif, and D.L. told me he created many of the decorative pieces himself. But despite its technical imperfections, this is my favorite shot of the day. That's D.L. on the left.

29 comments:

dive said...

What a superb portrait, Petrea.
I know it's hairdressing but there seems to be a definite "warrior" vibe going on here. From the middle-eastern war helmet and the cross evoking the Crusades, to DL's dreadlocks, the cut-throat razor and the profile of the guy in the chair. He looks like he's come fresh off the beach in the Iliad.
Beautiful composition and colours, too.

Dina said...

Oi, what a picture, I love it!!

You should hang out in barber shops more often, brave Petrea.

Speedway said...

That is a wonderful shot, Petrea. It has the air of a centuries-long ritual along with trust that the man with the razor won't nick his client.

Like you, I have a hard time asking people to pose for my camera. But I am finding that, if I smile and introduce myself nicely, they're happy to oblige. Most of the time. :-)

jb said...

And He flies all the way from Washington DC to have his hair cut in Pasadena? Wow!

Leif Hagen said...

A wonderful portrait of the barber in action! Sounds like you had a fun, friendly visit!

Petrea Burchard said...

Maybe that's it, Dive--the ancient ritual evoked in a warrior vibe. Although there was one other woman there, it was definitely a masculine place.

I need to practice working with indoor light, Dina, so why not in barber shops?

Speedway, I hope you haven't had any bad episodes.

JB, I'm afraid the exigencies of office have aged our president, and while I still take him for as handsome a man as this one I no longer mistake him for a young one.

Thanks, Leif! I enjoyed myself.

Virginia said...

HOw many times to I have to tell ya, "The worst thing that can happen is they say no. Then you thank 'em kindly and move on!" Now you have this under your belt I will expect more street portraits. I "did" a barbershop once myself. I was a titch intimidated, not sure if girls are allowed. They said they were. The rest is history.

Love this portrait, and love your tale! :)
V

John Sandel said...

Dive saw it: the warrior's tonsure. Patroclus has nothing on these guys.

altadenahiker said...

I think the resemblance is uncanny. And with all the hysteria after yesterday's jobs report (the sky is falling! the sky is falling!), I don't blame him for seeking out a little me time.

Petrea Burchard said...

You're so right, V. And a barbershop is such a masculine atmosphere. I guess I dived right in.

I should have asked the gentleman his name but I didn't think to do it, I was just happy no one minded me taking pictures. I need to find him, though, to ask if he went out and slew any Vandals in the afternoon, or perhaps created more jobs for Altadena workers.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I want his dredlocks

Margaret said...

That's a great portrait. It seems to tell a whole story.

Julie said...

I like the image, especially the angle of the man in the chair!

I also like the tale. I agree that asking permission is tough, but necessary. The main problem is ensuring that people don't pose for your camera. Nothing worse.

Petrea Burchard said...

Interesting about these two guys, PA: such different hair choices, each of them perfect for the man. Just my opinion.

Glad you like it, Margaret.

Yeah, I don't really want a pose unless we do the "say cheese" thing. They were aware I was shooting, but if it changed the way they did things I couldn't tell.

Kim said...

Very nicely composed shot of these two handsome gentlemen. I loved reading of your adventure in asking permission. I think most of us feel this way. Your coach was right, I think. You do get out of it what you bring to it. Why are none of us surprised that you ended up having such a great experience ;^). You bring your sweet self to everything you do, Petrea.
-Kim

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Fabulous portraits... of both men! I do practice a lot of stealth photography but in a small place, a private business like this, there is only to ask.

The man in the chair has wonderful bone structure, chisled and handsome.

Bises,
Genie

bfarr said...

Thanks for visiting CVDP. I was out of town or would have responded sooner. I appreciate your comments.

Petrea Burchard said...

If you think these guys are good looking, wait 'til you see tomorrow's cars.

Thanks, bfarr!

Bob Crowe said...

Oh. Wow. The light, the composition and personality knock me out. It would be interesting to see this cropped to hands, head and black sheet.

John Sandel said...

I like Bob's idea. Have you ever taken request from your followers?

Petrea Burchard said...

Bob, thank you very much. And yes, J, I couldn't resist trying what Bob suggested. Unfortunately the photo's already cropped and the original is too blurry for a further crop to work.

Ms M said...

This is a splendid photo! I'm glad you asked, and they consented. :)

Gina said...

I would have a hard time asking too, but I am glad you did.

It's definitely a picture that is worth a 1000 words - it just looks like a story.

Petrea Burchard said...

A few people have mentioned "story." I know what I think the story is behind this photo, but I won't tell you because that's the beauty of art; the story happens somewhere between viewer and artwork, so the experience is individual.

But I will say I love pictures with a story quality, so thank you.

TheChieftess said...

This is an absolute classic shot Petrea! And very handsome subjects!!!

You're ahead of me on the asking part...I've gotten a couple of shots that way, but still a big chicken!!!!

Petrea Burchard said...

Chieftess, this seems to me an area in which you would excel. You've got a great personality and you're always positive. I'd say give it a try!

Susan Campisi said...

Oh, yes, I love this photo.

TheChieftess said...

You flatterer you!!!

Irina said...

Great photo. It can inspire a story about each character.
And great lesson I get here about photos of people, the most interesting subject ever. Thank you for both.