The Big Hair Story

Jacqui Palumbo

  Once a month, beauty and fashion photographer Caesar Lima assembles a team of talented stylists and models for a new creative test shoot. He calls the test shoots his “lab work;” they serve as studies and explore his personal concepts, separate from assignments or commissioned projects.

Lima’s latest test shoot, “Cheveux” is based off of 18th century hairstyles reimagined for a modern look. Inspired by hairstyles modeled over cages, frames, and horsehair pads, the photographer worked with stylist Daven Mayeda to bring the same “big hair” look to his shoot. Lima notes that some 18th century hairstyles were so immensely tall, it took hours to create and were heavily starched and powdered to keep in place. His and Mayeda’s looks are full and theatrical, yet the hair still remains soft for a more feminine, “cloud-like” look. “Hair is such a big element of female beauty,” explains Lima. “We can say it is the picture frame of the face and here we explore the possibilities in an exaggerated manner. Big hair becomes a prop and an accessory for beauty.”

Lima shot the “Cheveux” project with a Canon 5D with an 85 mm lens. He kept his lighting simple with a Speedotron beauty dish and flash along with diffusers and reflectors, creating a mood to amplify the drama of the hair and the dark palette from makeup artist Leibi Carias.

For both his test shoots and his assignments, Lima finds his inspiration everywhere. He is influenced by street art, graphic design, fashion, movies, news and whatever else he happens to be around. “My mind doesn’t stop,” he says. “I’m like a sponge.” Lima also spends a couple of hours a day researching around 50 blogs, web sites and magazines that he regularly keeps up with. He keeps his own blog, “Pixel Pasta,” with his findings of each day. His blog functions as both an active step in his creative process as well as a tool for marketing, just one of the many social media sites that he utilizes.

One of the next personal projects on the horizon for Lima is a book on drag queens. The book with show the before and after of each model, creating compelling beauty imagery for the viewers.

To see more of Caesar Lima’s work, visit his Web site.


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