TWIN MAGAZINE // by sophie green

Twin Magazine have published a series of images from my project ‘Wefts & Tracks’ - a celebration of afro-hair salons in Peckham, London in their latest issue. Out now. With write up by journalist, Lynda Cowell -

‘Peckham, south-east London. There are over 20 black hair salons in this part of town, each one as invisible as the next to the oblivious passer-by, but to the owners and clientele, these places are life. It’s where hairdos happen and weaves come true but more than that, they’re community comfort zones for women, young and old, from all parts of the diaspora. Behind the braids, relaxes, and dog-eared magazines, the black salon is a home from home.

The first black hairdressers in Britain is thought to be Carmen Maingot’s hair-straightening salon in South Kensington. It flourished when opened in 1955 but Winifred Atwell’s salon, opened in 1957, soon upstaged it. Atwell was Britain’s first black, female chart-topper and all-round piano genius. A Queen Mother favourite whose hands were insured for £40,00 she was never off the stage or British television. With a career demanding 24-hour glamour, the distinct lack of black hair salons forced her to open her own on Railton Road in Brixton. Aimed at the growing West Indian population, it was a much-needed slice of luxury. ‘In those days,’ said one former client, ‘there were no black salons for black women in this country, black women styled their hair in their kitchens.’

Fast-forward through the sleek 1950s, afroed 1970s and Jheri-curled perms of the 1980s to the present day and not much has changed. Even the fact that black women spend six times more on haircare, change styles more often and spend far more time in hair salons has had little impact on the wider industry. A history of reluctance to welcome black custom in white hair salons and the age-old fear of afros has played a big part in keeping the black hair salon alive.

If you’ve ever been to such a place, Sophie Green’s photography project, ‘Wefts & Tracks’ will feel so familiar, you can almost smell the braid sheen, catch the jokes and hear the TV in the background. To the uninitiated, like Sophie, it’s a glimpse into a different world.  

Sophie says it was one of the most difficult projects she’s ever done. Gaining access to the salons was sometimes difficult and persuading people that she wanted to seriously document something usually overlooked was hard. ‘It was absolutely my intention to capture a positive reflection of the community to honour the people I encountered and represent them truthfully and respectfully,’ she says.

As someone who’d never even stepped foot into a black hair salon, what first struck Sophie was the absolute spirit of community.  ‘In Peckham, the afro-hair salons stand out as hubs of life – the vibrant energy of Blenheim Grove is palpable,’ she says. ‘People infiltrate these salons as much for the social life as the services. I felt moved to capture the spirit of these salon environments.’

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THE GUARDIAN // by sophie green

I photographed Lucinda Chambers, the longtime fashion director of British Vogue, where she held the position for 25 years, at home for The Guardian.

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CARHARTT T SHIRT // by sophie green

Myself alongside some other artists have donated images to feature on t-shirts in collaboration with Compos Mentis a non-profit t-shirt project raising money for MQ Mental Health, a research charity expanding our understanding of mental health issues and how they are treated. All tees are available to buy online and at the launch event on October 5th. All proceeds go to MQ Mental Health Charity. This project is kindly supported by Carhartt. Please feel free to support.

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MODERN WEEKLY // by sophie green

Cowboy Country is a documentation of the subculture of western riders in the UK for Modern Weekly Magazine. A world away from the Great Plains of Texas and Wyoming is a whole community of British cowboys and cowgirls, cantering across the countryside in Devon, Kent and beyond. British western riders are – like their American counterparts – stetson and spur-sporting horse enthusiasts opting for a livelier alternative to conventional, demure English riding and are watched by raucous crowds at competition arenas around the country. Riders love to dress up and win marks for good presentation at competitions. There are staples in western fashion - fringed chaps, bright sequined shirts, high-waisted jeans, chunky jewel encrusted belts - but from season to season the desirable colours, patterns and styles morph. The sport is not only much more gender inclusive, drawing in lots of young women, but it also allows the horses to show off spectacular tricks and carries with it a deep-rooted sense of togetherness and community. Cowboy Country was created in collaboration with stylist Adam Winder and journalist Ellie Harrison. Out now.

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TAYLOR WESSING PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAIT PRIZE 2018 // by sophie green

Super excited to announce my portrait of 'Joshua' from my up and coming book titled 'Congregation', has been selected as part of this years Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2018 exhibition held at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The show opens October.

'Joshua' - A portrait of 9 year old Joshua, who sits in the chair after service ends. Joshua spontaneously styled the pink comb in his hair, perhaps asserting his individuality. The randomness of the positioned comb is an interesting contrast to the formality of his garments and provides an injection of colour into the predominantly white surroundings.

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TOM ODELL ALBUM ARTWORK // by sophie green

I photographed Tom Odell's album artwork, commissioned for Sony.

REVUE MAGAZINE // by sophie green

New work out now - 'An Iron Hand In A Velvet Glove' - a documentation of the arm wrestling sport and its competitors, shot in the UK and Romania with stylist Stuart Williamson for Revue Magazine. See here on my website; http://www.sophiegreenphotography.com/revue/

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Cover of David Green for Bloomberg Businessweek // by sophie green

New European Cover for Bloomberg Businessweek: Britain's white-collar cops are getting too good at their job. In the era of Brexit, not everyone wants the Serious Fraud Office to chase rich wrongdoers out of the country. Article by Franz Wild.

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GOOGLE CAMPAIGN // by sophie green

I was commissioned to create a campaign for the Google Pixel 2 phone. Focusing on a variety of everyday concepts, the campaign captures the ordinary in a new light – with a new found beauty and was shot entirely on the Google Pixel 2 phone. The 'saltshaker' concept presented here is one part of the global campaign.

BBC CAMPAIGN // by sophie green

I was commissioned by BBC Three to shoot their latest campaign. BBC Three celebrates life, with no filter, the campaign captures a mix of individuals who have featured in stories, documentaries and comedies across the channel.

CONGREGATION WORKSHOP // by sophie green

My most recent project – collaborating with the church congregation for the last year and a half – has been particularly special. Alongside the shoots, I have been doing some photography workshops, which generally culminate in a variety of unrelated activities including dance offs, climbing tractors or doing gymnastics on the street. Here are some behind the scenes snaps...