Barbering photographer Liam Oakes’ was the man who shot the first ever cover edition for BarberNV.
His work has been published worldwide in a variety of publications and his images can regularly be seen gracing the front covers of the UK’s leading barbering magazines.
Alongside his photography work he also creates engaging video content for fashion brands, barber shops and local businesses.
BNV: How did you carve out your barbering photography career?
LO: I originally started working with men’s grooming brand Apothecary 87 and BarberNV used one of our images for the very first front cover.
I was on a retainer doing a couple of shoots every month and as the business grew they took me on as a full-time photographer.
I ended up being their lead photographer and social media manager for two or three years altogether.
I ended up making up all my contacts through the barbering industry within that brand.
Doing hair portraits is something I’ve found I’ve really enjoyed.
BNV: What’s the best part of your job?
LO: There’s a lot more freedom working for myself now—apart from looking after my little boy.
Any jobs that come in I just go and photograph them and I’ll do editing for a few days.
It’s mostly working from home.
BNV: What would you consider your biggest achievements so far?
LO: It would probably be shooting the 100 years of Wahl campaign which was this year.
Wahl have been around for 100 years and they asked me to come down and do a two-day shoot for them.
It’s such an iconic brand so to be asked to shoot the 100 year campaign is pretty big.
BNV: What are your top tips for aspiring barber photographers out there?
LO: Just keep practicing really. Photograph as much as you can photograph.
Look online for tutorials and tips and photograph things that you enjoy photographing—don’t go chasing the money.
BNV: Where do you get your inspiration from for shoots?
LO: I usually ask the barber what sort of feel they want to go for.
Then I build my lighting around the look that they want.
BNV: Which photograph of yours makes you most proud?
LO: I think it’s honestly the first front cover I ever shot for BarberNV magazine.
I can’t say it’s a lucky image, but it worked amazing and to see my first front cover in print was quite good.
BNV: Plans for the future?
LO: I’d like to expand into the hairdressing side of things because I think there’s a lot more to be explored.
I also want to do some more video work.
I can’t imagine doing anything different.