Get Stuff We Love
What started as a silly idea has turned into a very funny collaborative book of portraits showing incredibly awkward hairstyles.
Photographer and adjunct professor Gordon Stettinius modeled each and every one, without ever using a wig, weaves, prosthetics or Photoshop.
The project began in 2008, when Stettinius had the idea to get professional portraits taken for an end-of-semester portfolio project for his photography students.
"I had had long hair for several years and decided I was ready to get rid of it," he told TODAY.com.
"So rather than jump into the darkroom at the end of the semester to knock out 15 8-by-10-inch prints of a recent image for the portfolio, I decided instead to go to a hairstylist to get my hair permed and I then headed to a commercial portrait studio to get a studio portrait made," he added.
"My thinking was that I would take the portrait and sign it, megalomaniac that I am, as though I am a celebrity of some kind, somebody worthwhile, like Channing Tatum or Stockard Channing. So I have this kind of bizarre collection of portraits that I signed to each student, something like … 'For Amelia, Our time together was awesome!' and I am still not sure why I thought this was a good idea. But people seemed to enjoy it."
Over the course of a few weeks, Stettinius got tired of the perm and decided to have his hair chemically straightened and styled into a beehive. He returned to the same photographer, Terry Brown, whom he calls an "amazing and a thoroughly entertaining person," to photograph his new look. It became a "beautifully disturbing" portrait.
The photos spawned a brainstorm on other new hairstyles. He explained, "I had a lot of hair and was willing to chop it off for the sake of a photo or two. I thought we could get some good images out of it maybe. So then followed a few more hairstyles … the mullet, the skullet, the combover, the shaved head … and that is how the project began." The portraits have since been made into the very funny book “Mangini Studio.”
Stettinius concludes, "I realize, now, that this sounds a little ridiculous, but we decided that we wouldn't be in a hurry with this. We edited out a few looks that were too subtle and there were probably a few ideas that we left out there, but this has already been a long study in personal awkwardness and I am pretty happy to move on to another project."
Check out some of the other hairdos - and don'ts.
High and tight
The bowl cut
Long and straight
Follow Mish Whalen on Twitter