Behind The Scenes At The Barber

Behind The Scenes At The Barber.

My friend Cy Leow said the barber didn’t look very happy in the earlier post. I think the poor barber was overwhelmed by the presence of cameras and continuous clicking sounds. I was holding an Olympus OM-D EM5 while Sharon Teo was armed with the smaller. lighter and newer OM-D EM-10.

We turned a haircut into an event and this candid summed up the moment succinctly.

#barber #jb #johor #candid #mirrors #omd #em #olympus #documentaryphotography

Stylo Mylo Prebet Trevor

Trainee soldier Trevor checking his phone after a hair cut, presumably. Stylo is the famous and long time Indian barber shop at the corner of Chinatown, KL I have seen the iconic 80 year old barber shop featured in tourism guide books, brochures. coffee table photo books and such.

Its visual attraction is the old school facade that is quite quintessential of the remaining and surviving old shops in Kuala Lumpur. I can read the name Trevor off his name tag. Possibly someone from East Malaysia.

Although I have seen the shop for many years, this is the first time I am photographing it as there was a fresh customer standing outside today. I remember the shop had a classic barber’s pole with spiraling red and white stripes at one time. It also had the typical “air conditioned” crowd puller emblazoned on the glass.

Funnily enough, there was a ball of hair below his feet, on the kerb. It looked like drifting tumbleweed similar to those seen in a cowboy movie ghost town. I cropped it out as I wanted the human figure to be tighter, composition wise.

Soldier recruits undergoing training are required to be smartly attired, even when they are painting the town red.

Panasonic Lumix GM-1, ISO 200, f5.6, 1/250 sec

#barber #sylo #chinatown #hairdresser #saloon #haircut #streetphotography #urbanscape #soldier

The Barber

Much of my time on the journey, so far, was spent engaging the locals. Usually the conversations can get quite interesting and long. Some will even invite me into their homes or to a coffee shop for a drink.

As for shopkeepers, I try to keep the conversations shorter as I know they need to tend to business and customers. But there is one businessman who can (and have the skills to) hold a long conversation.

The guy whose career began at the top; the barber.

The ideal place and time to join in a conversation is at where a conversation is already going on. I stepped into the Hibiscus Indian Barbershop in Tanjung Malim town.

Kumar the cheerful barber was originally from Tamil Nadu in India. He has been here for eight years and can speak fluent Malay. His customer, Deen from Kelantan, works in Tanjung Malim.

Apart from the two seen here, he has six other kids and that prompted a good-natured chat about traditional aphrodisiacs and birth control (or lack of). Heh.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 500, f4, 1/60 sec.