On a walk through Florence during fall of 2021, I stumbled across Daniela’s salon. I found it to be quite cute and instantly recognized just how she incorporated her own identity into her small business through its style and her relationship with her clients. I began to spend time with her and her clients, shooting photos of what I experienced with them. Her openness and warmheartedness allows her long-term clients to feel comfortable and confident in getting their hair done while also having a genuine personal experience with a friend. This body of work explores the power of one’s identity and the impact that their relationship with clients has on their business, and in turn what effect that has on their career overall.
These photos were shot naturally, because not only was I there capturing these moments, but I was very much a part of the moments. I had the pleasure of getting to know Daniela and meeting a handful of her close-knit clients as well. I could see the connection she had with everyone, and how she made me feel just as welcomed to be there, too.
The series includes a combination of portraits, candid photos, and setting imagery to show sincere moments between everyone in the salon, while also getting a feel for the familiar environment around them. With Daniela as the main subject, the viewer can tell by her expressions and poses just how warm and welcoming she is. One of my main influences for this body of work was the role that my own hairdresser played throughout my life. Since he is also my mother’s hairdresser, I have gone to him since a young age and he has watched me grow up in a way that not many people have. The bond you can have with people you connect during this intimate practice is surely unique and the comfort they give you is what makes it such a nice experience. The photo that represents this feeling the most is oDaniela’s client, B rigetta, looking at her lovingly. This image really shows just how special this role is, and how Daniela plays an important role in her life through this relationship that is more than just business .
Throughout the series of photos, it can be seen that powerful small business owners can achieve not only success within their business, but fulfillment from their career when being themselves, valuing the relationships they have, and making their clientele feel highly cared for.
Artist Bio: Born in Massachusetts in 1998, Taylor Samuels is a photographer shooting mostly digital fashion and documentary-style bodies of work. She is now graduating with a BA in Digital Media from Florence University of the Arts. Her art explores themes such as identity, genuinity, and personal style. She strives to capture fashion-esque outlooks of individuals through a documentary approach. The artist’s series “Daniela”, following a local Florentine hair stylist, will be exhibited at the Ganzo School Restaurant throughout May, 2022.