NAHA Awards // Recap!

This past weekend was one of the proudest moment in my career thus far! I traveled to Las Vegas for the 2010 NAHA Awards! For those of you who don't know, this is basically the Grammy's of hair, which I a shoot I did for Metro Magazine was nominated for the Editorial Hairstylist of the Year!

It's very hard to explain this award and I, myself, didn't realize how big of a deal it was to be nominated. Hundreds of thousands of hairstylists submit images to NAHA each year and only the best of the best are nominated! And when I say the best of the best, I mean the MOST fabulous, hardworking, innovative and talented stylists are in this group. During the awards ceremony, the founder of Aveda was giving a speech and he said this, "You can have the greatest hair in the world, but without great makeup, a great stylist, model and photographer, the world will not understand the utter talent of your work." I found this to be amazingly true, because in the world of fashion, you are only as good as the talent you are working with. I've said it once and I will say it again, COLLABORATION in this industry is key to produce an amazing shoot. It is imperative to set a big standard and only work with great people, or your work might not reach the level you want it to.

When this shoot was being dreamed up, I tried for YEARS to get a magazine to pick it up and let me shoot something BIG! Why didn't I just do it as a test shoot on my own? 1) I wanted it published for everyone to see 2) I wanted to spread the love of fashion to Minnesota and the Midwest 3) I wanted to get paid for it 4) I wanted to be able to work with the BEST in the industry and by having a magazine behind me, I knew my chances were much greater! Grant Whittaker did an AMAZING job with the styling. He is a person that tops my list of people I wanted to work with, so I was ecstatic when he signed on! I knew that we would have some fabulous choices of attire and when he walked on set with over $150,000 worth of clothes, I knew this was going to be GREAT! Faatemah built all of the hair and wigs for the shoot and I was amazed at her talent on the day of the shoot. I mean, this girl can do HAIR! She not only understands what quality is, but she is all about pushing the limits and being innovative with the hair she creates. I was taking a HUGE risk with this shoot. Minneapolis had never seen an editorial spread like this, so people were either going to love it or hate it...

Let me tell you, taking this risk was the best thing I ever did. When it all comes down to it, this idea I dreamed up, this goal I had set for myself, these people I worked with, this magazine I convinced to support me, it ALL came together. As I was sitting there in the VIP section of the NAHA Awards and my images were flashing up on the big screen, I looked around at the PURE talent that I was surrounded by. I was a part of this. I was with ALL of these amazing, driven and talented people. I had pushed for an idea, so WE...the entire team...created something that was THIS BIG. I have never been more proud in my entire career!!

The winner in our category went to a stylist named Steve Elias, who is an amazing dude! Of course, it always sucks a wee tad to go all of that way and not take home the big prize, but absolutely none of that mattered or matters to me. I am so, so proud of everything this shoot has accomplished and all of the recognition it has received. It's opened my eyes to an entirely new world of fashion and reminded me not to settle for anything less than greatness.

Below are some images from the 2010 NAHA Awards! Faatemah and her crew opened the night with a runway show, followed by a few people you might just recognize...