On January 20, 2009 President Barack Obama was sworn into office in Washington DC. All around the country, Aurora photographers were engaged in a collective effort to capture the state and spirit of America on this historic day.
For my part, I visited the “Images of Us” barber shop in East Atlanta Village. The shop,
moved from its original downtown location during the recent economic
downturn, is known, as most neighborhood barber shops are, as a place
not only to get a cut, but to hang out, connect with friends, and
sometimes, talk politics. The owner was giving cut discounts, viewing the Inauguration on a screen in the shop,
along with with home-cooked chili, donuts and coffee.
My assistants Sharif Hassan and John Kelso and I were immediately welcomed into the shop when we described our plans to take portraits in the shop during the day. “When you come in here, you’re like family,” told us one stylist. Drawing
inspiration from the color and posing of the viral “Hope” Obama image
by graphic artist Shepard Fairey, we set up a barber chair in the corner
of the shop and invited freshly-cut patrons to sit for a portrait and
short interview about their thoughts on the Inauguration.
There was a lot of emotion in the shop as the president was sworn in. The chili and cornbread was awesome. Sharif will be going back for a razor cut, and maybe a bald fade if he doesn’t chicken out.
You can check out photos of the day from other Aurora photographers here: