Ben Weldon Photography Blog »

Masthead header

Philadelphia Environmental Portrait: Will Brown of Francis the Duke Barber Company

Barber shops are an odd institution. The concept of a man walking into a barber shop in order to kick back, relax, pontificate about sports or some other innocuous topic while getting a haircut or a shave, seems like something borrowed from a simpler time in America. A time when things moved slower and there were less phones, ipods, or other devices distracting us from the basic pleasure of a good conversation. Being a barber of course requires skill with a pair of scissors, but similar to a photographer, a barber needs to possess the ability to quickly judge a person’s interests and establish a natural rapport while they work. Not to mention, as a barber, you have to have to gain a man’s trust quickly if you’re going to propose holding a straight razor to his neck.

I recently worked on a shoot which featured Will Brown, the lead barber at his shop, Francis the Duke Barber Co. at Philadelphia. As you might expect, Will was quick with a smile and friendly banter for everyone and anyone who walked through the door. My plan was to shoot Will as he worked, of course, I hoped for some glamour, perhaps a troupe manscaped football athletes would come in and get some work done, but in this case he was giving a straight razor shave to a customer. I thoroughly enjoy shooting folks who work with their hands. So much so in fact, that I started a series called “Hand-made” which you can view on my portfolio website: that features folks doing exactly that: working with their hands. There is something so simple but inspiring about capturing someone as they masterfully shape, cut, build, or bend with their hands. I love the expressions of calm concentration or casual laughter on Will’s face in these images as he does his thing and I can say after having seen him work, that he does a fantastic job. Francis the Duke is located in the Piazza in Northern Liberties and if you are in need of a shave or a hair cut, definitely stop in and see Will-you won’t be disappointed.

If you or anyone you know would be interested in being incorporated in my hand-made series, please contact me. These images ran in a recent issue of Philadelphia Style Magazine. Enjoy!editorial photographer ben weldon

Philadelphia work photographer Ben WeldonPhiladelphia editorial photographer Ben WeldonPhiladelphia industrial photographer Ben Weldonportrait photographer philadelphia Ben Weldonindustrial photographer philadelphiawork photographer philadelphia ben weldonindustrial photography philadelphia ben weldonsmall business photography philadelphia ben weldonsmall business photographer philadelphia ben weldonsmall business photography philadelphia ben weldonportrait photographer philadelphiaphiladelphia barber shopwill brown of francis the duke by photographer ben weldonfrancis the duke barber will brown by photographer ben weldon


  • G January - I love the Blog and I am so proud of my son. The pictures are exceptional.February 29, 2012 – 9:23 pm

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *