Today we’d like to introduce you to Angela McCormick.
Angela, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started my training as a hairstylist at 14, and at 20 I moved to Boston and apprenticed with one of the best hairdressers in the country, Jeffrey Dauksevich, who was a photographer as well. Under this mentorship, not only did we study hair, but we discussed art, culture and fashion. It was here I learned how to train my eye.
I was always was looking to learn more skills in my industry and ways to enhance my business. A different salon owner I knew was having amazing success shooting his own images. Through these images, he was able to define a personal brand. I told him I was interested in doing the same, and he directed me to my first camera.
At this time, I was living in New York. After I started taking some photos of clients, I began trying to enhance the image, moving them around, experimenting with settings, and changing their outfits. It wasn’t long until I was scheduling full photoshoots with models, designers, and props.
My boyfriend, John Coulter, is also a professional artist. When I showed him my earliest photos of clients and friends, he further talked to me about composition and helped me refine my eye to understand what makes a great photo. He encouraged me to get a new computer, learn how to edit my own photos with software, and assisted me on all of my shoots. With his guidance, I was able to take my photos to the next level.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road has not been smooth. The major obstacle when taking on new projects is that to be good at something takes time. You have to be investigative in your work — keep learning, keep practicing. The learning process is full of obstacles and with each discovery leads to more questions; thus the road can become a maze. But each challenge is also what also makes learning fun. This applies to both hairstyling and photography.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am a hairstylist first, but I also curate my own photoshoots with a panache for beauty and rebelliousness. I often use a motorcycle in my shoots because I love to ride and it epitomizes freedom, danger, and counterculture. Despite this, my clientele tends to be reserved with conservative jobs. I have worked with scientists, CEOs, lawyers, and doctors as well as creative, artistic types. My photos are my way of inviting them into that world.
I have learned many different cutting, coloring, and styling techniques and different disciplines from different hair artists. It’s about making the right choices, for the right person, in the right moment in time. Hair, like photography, tells a story. It is a non-verbal way of communicating to the world who you are. There is nothing more dangerous than being an individual and nothing more rebellious than being yourself.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Clients, co-workers, and friends have been particularly encouraging and I’ve been fortunate enough to have several mentors throughout my career. As aforementioned, Jeffery was one of the major mentors. He essentially laid the groundwork for to how I approach hairdressing that has stayed with for my entire career. He can often be elusive in his teaching which can sometimes have a boomerang effect. I may not have understood his words completely in that moment but may have come back to hit me years later with greater effect.
John Coulter has been my greatest advocate. He has showed unrelenting support through assisting me with my photoshoots and being available to me anyway that he can. He takes the time to teach me concepts and theories to deepen my understanding of art and the science that it is. It has been the ultimate luxury to have such a fountain of knowledge available to me. What I have learned from him has shaped much of what I do including hair.
- Website: angelakmccormick.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @angelakmccormick
Hair and Photography by Angela K McCormick