The world of photography, at least to me, is still something that is greatly undervalued in the world. Many of us think that we are our own true photog nowadays with all the filters and nonsense out there, but the art and craftsmanship of a true photographer is something that should be appreciated regardless of how advanced our technology gets in society.
Randy Addison is one of those photographers who recently caught my eye when I noticed he did a couple of shots that featured a good friend of mine. Sure, the Atlanta local is fun to look at, but he backs up his rugged handsomeness with his incredible talent behind the lens that show each subject he shoots in an unbelievably beautiful light.
Not only is he an expert photographer, but Randy is also the owner of a salon based company called Helmet Hairworx, which has several different locations scattered across the Georgia capital. Always good to see gay men who go after what they want and work their butts off while doing it with much success throughout.
I spoke with Randy over the weekend about his burgeoning photography business, why he might pass out if he's ever around Henry Cavill and what's next for this talented individual.
What got you into the world of photography and did you have any inspirations behind it?
Even though I've had a life filled with art, photography is a more recent interest of mine and a direct result of trying to document one of my other artistic passions … hair.
The collections of men you feature are broken down into the following categories: strength and experimental. Can you explain what goes into both?
Right now, it's almost an arbitrary division, but my Strength collection is more about portraits of strong men and my Experimental collection is an exploration of fantasy in my images, employing more digital art techniques to create a mood or composition.
How do you go about your process when shooting someone?
I try to get to know them and get them comfortable with me. I think once they see I'm a goofy guy with my own vulnerabilities and awkwardness (crawling around on the floor with a camera at 52 …. not always graceful), they are more at ease. Then we just do some random shots to test whatever lighting scenario I've set up. I try to capture an image and show them something right away that will put them at ease. They usually say something like, "wow, that DOES look good," and you can literally see them relax and feel more confident. Then I start directing and moving them around so that the light starts to tell a story.
Is there a celebrity or famous person you are dying to work with?
Henry Cavill. But I might pass out.
You are a jack of many trades, in that you are also president of Helmet Hairworx. Can you explain a little more about that as well?
I was brought up to be a sort of modern Renaissance man, and I think my life experiences reflect that. After getting a BA in English at Furman University and an MFA in Illustration from SCAD, I put those degrees to work in different ways. I was even an artist for a mannequin company for a few years and did some non-profit work for the Episcopal Church. At 34, I decided to become a barber because I could literally sculpt something AND change someone's self-perception at the same time. That led to one of the greatest honors of my life … being surrounded by wonderful artists and teammates and clients who eventually trusted me and helped me grow a strong company of hair stylists in Atlanta, Ga, called Helmet Hairworx. We have a diverse team of thoughtful, talented people working together, and we do it with our mantra of "sincere effort, skillful execution, and high intention." Makes me proud every single day.
Which avenue do you prefer: photography or the world of hair?
They are so related in my mind, I can't separate them. The love of both springs from the same love of art and opportunity to influence someone's self-perception.
Any big projects coming up in 2018 and beyond?
For my photography, I'm finally starting to sell prints on my website and will be releasing some calendars. I'll be exploring more of the experimental side of photography and, of course, learning every single day.
What is your biggest career goal moving forward?
Other than strengthening my style and artistic voice as an artist … balance. I want a career of artistic opportunity, wherever that might take me, and a life of gratitude for the gift of being able to pursue it. The biggest lesson I've learned so far … allow. Just allow the universe to show you, and it will.
For more information on Randy Addison, please check out his official page.