Hairdressing Photography

The Silverstein Dream: Photographer Sloan Laurits

April 10, 2015

I was born April 12th, 1980.  I grew up in Western Mass, a small rural town outside of a derelict city called Springfield.  I knew from an early age that I wanted to see more, so I left home at 16 and began traveling around the USA with my skateboard.  By the time I was 19, I had most of the wanderlust out of me and I decided it was time to go back to school.  I moved to New York City and enrolled at Hunter College.  I began taking some film courses at The New School on weekends and that was when I found what I thought might be my future.  After working on a few music videos and small film projects I started having second thoughts.  That’s when I met Matthew Avedon while Skating Midtown Manhattan one night well past midnight.  He had just begun modeling and through him I discovered this magical thing called “fashion photography”.  From there I made it a point to meet some photographers and start getting work as a photo assistant.  That’s pretty much the story so far. 

Who or what has most influenced you as a photographer? 

Working for Paul Rowland from 2008 – 2012 without a doubt. His ideas about beauty, talking to him about what he finds interesting.  Getting to spend so much time helping him achieve his vision.  It felt like being an apprentice to a great artist.  The guy is without a doubt the most impressive person I have met in my life.

Rumor has it you have somewhat of an obsession with hair.  Is this true? What fascinates you so much about it?

You know how every mom has that story about when their kid tried to cut their own hair?  Well, my Mom has at least 6 of those story’s.  Actually, I just had to shave my head this Christmas after attempting a self fade in my bathroom, so I guess I’ve never learned.  I have always been interested in hair, I’m just not skilled enough to do the cutting myself.

In your experience, has assisting other photographers made you a better photographer?

Absolutely.  I’ve been lucky enough to get onto the sets of some of the great contemporary Photographers working today.  And I’ve picked up things from all of them.  I’ve picked up important things from terrible photographers too!  Every moment in life is either a celebration or a test.  If you have the opportunity, stop and take the moment in.  If you haven’t learned something, well you’re doing it wrong.

What was the inspiration behind this shoot?

The inspiration for this shoot for me was this Shel Silverstein poem:

I wanted to try something that had a touch of the supernatural, something that would incorporate a heavy amount of post production.  I remembered the picture from my childhood reading “Where The Sidewalk Ends”. I hadn’t seen it in years, but I could remember some of the pictures so vividly. The illustrations are simple clean line cartoons, so minimal that you can really build from them without feeling like a plagiarist.  His whole book is great inspiration for fashion images in that sense. 

Photography: Sloan Laurits (

Hair: Sirsa Ponciano 

Makeup: Samantha Lau

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