Shoot the Hairdresser 2014 finalist: Paul Pennell

This photograph of Savannah is one of the finalists in the Shoot the Hairdresser photographic competition, raising awareness of mental health. Picture: PAUL PENNELL

This photograph of Savannah is one of the finalists in the Shoot the Hairdresser photographic competition, raising awareness of mental health. Picture: PAUL PENNELL

Photographers were asked to collaborate with an Illawarra hairdresser to create a photo which paid tribute to the hairdressing industry.

Name of photograph: Simply Savannah

Photographer name: Paul Pennell

Salon name: The Fox and the Hair

Model: Savannah

Make-up and hair: Mia and Tash from the Fox and the Hair.

Today's finalist sponsored by: Wollongong Central GPT.

Hairdresser's comments:

We entered the competition as we believe it is important to recognise mental health and to let people know and be aware of this cause.

Mental health is so important, even more so these days. We have to make people aware that we are all different as many people are too quick to judge others at times. Bringing awareness on the subject of mental health is paramount.

We came up with an idea for the competition that was light, fun and not too serious.

Working with a photographer was great as we are both extremely creative people.

Photographer's comments:

I attempted to put in an element of fun and a play on the idea of the classic bowl cut.

I entered the competition to support the cause of mental health but I also thought the idea of the competition seemed like a lot of fun - which it turned out to be.

Salon owner Mia de Vries came up with the idea for the photo at a meeting where we discussed several concepts. Once we took this first shot we just knew this would be the one, in fact it was the first shot that I ended up using.

Taking the photo was quite challenging as it was very important to get the correct angle of the hand, scissors and hair all in the right position.

I believe there is a huge amount of respect that goes along with the hairdressing trade - it's not just sitting your client in a chair and cutting hair - there is time and thought that goes into a style.

This competition is a great way to support mental health as it makes you think about the issues and also get involved in a fun and active way.

I used a Canon 5D camera, 50mm, f/8 @ 1/80th. Two speed-lights and window light then Lightroom room to edit and finish off in Adobe Photoshop.

About Shoot the Hairdresser:

The competition, sponsored by the Illawarra Mercury, is part of the Light and Hope fund-raising campaign to keep open the doors of the Light and Hope Mental Health Clubhouse in Burelli Street, Wollongong.

Photographers are vying for more than $4000 in prizes with the finalists featured at a corporate evening at the Novotel Northbeach on September 30 and at a pop-up gallery in Wollongong Central during the first week of October.

Judges of this year's competition are Wollongong City Gallery program director John Monteleone, Mercury pictorial editor Kirk Gilmour, award-winning hairdresser Peter Thomsen, Novotel Northbeach general manager Walter Immoos, photographer Steen Barnes and Access lawyer Graham Lancaster.

The 15 finalists will be featured in Good Life during September.

Highlights for Hope 2014 finalist: Alex Sturman

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