Foreword 006: Mitch Geiser
"Be still, and know that I am God" -- Psalm 46:10
I know Mitch from our high school days. Two things come to mind when I think of Mitch at that time: 1) He was a stylish guy, which was in stark contrast to myself since I wore sweatpants like 90% of the time, and 2) He always seemed at least as disinterested as I was with sitting in a classroom. Now, he's one of Columbus' finest barbers working out of the longest running barbershop in the city -- I told you he was stylish, now he gets paid to make other people look good -- and is starting to make a name for himself as a photographer.
Mitch: We're finally out in the world, the biggest classroom of all, so best of luck and thanks for taking the time to answer some questions!
Your photos have a moody and contemplative quality to them. What is your philosophy and approach as a photographer?
It’s fun for me to create photos that make you think. I try to take shots that take you beyond natural beauty and make you think about why the world is the way it is. Not all of my work is pretty but to be fair the world we live in isn't always pretty either. I've found it important to express that reality in my photography.
What's your favorite photo you've ever taken?
Man it is hard to pick a favorite but if I had to pick it would probably have to be this photo of my wife (Above). It was a simple shot I took of her in the afternoon on the beach in North Carolina. I didn't have a vision when I first took the photo (which I rarely have a vision before taking a shot) but as I started to edit it some direction came to me. Something about the photo feels otherworldly, of something out of a dream state. I really like the feel that formed as I got into editing it.
You're a barber, which I find fascinating -- can you tell me about that?
I was completely directionless in college. I knew that I wanted to do something in the business world but had no plan. Then my parents had suggested opening my own barbershop. I had been cutting my own hair for years and had even begun to regularly cut roommates’ hair. I made my decision a couple weeks after my parents suggestion to completely change direction and get into barber school. Barbering started out as my platform to own my own business but as time has gone on my passion is fully in cutting hair. I feel like I've lucked out and landed on a dream job.
Has your experience as a barber taught you anything?
Barbering has taught me so much. One of the biggest is that every person has a story. When you really get to talking to someone your eyes can be opened to how complex people can truly be. There is an excitement that comes as I get into a person's head and really understand why they are passionate about the things they are. I have learned so much from those who on the outside look so different than me and have begun to understand that we all are far more similar than we ever would of thought.
Is there anything that you know you can do to make your wife smile?
She told me once that it was sexy seeing me clean the house haha. So I've learned the value it brings to her to play my part around our place.