Hair Wars Heads To The Farm
by Dana Redd
I recently had the opportunity to talk with Hair Wars producer David “Hump The Grinder” Humphries at his office/photo studio on the west side of Detroit and asked him about how the Pandemic affected him and what are his future plans after his string of 34 consecutive years of producing Hair Wars abruptly ended.
Dana Redd (DR): Tell me how you felt the day your 2020 Hair Wars show was cancelled because of Covid-19.
Hump: I was stunned. It happened about a month before our scheduled show, “Hair Stars & Hot Cars,” and I was trying to figure out if this virus thing was for real. Then I realized this thing was for real. Tickets were selling very well, the hair entertainers had been rehearsing and spending money on their presentations, the hot rods and car clubs were all in place, hotel rooms were reserved and flights were booked. It was like a bad dream. More like a nightmare.
DR: Let’s fast forward to early 2021. What did you think was going to happen with Hair Wars?
Hump: I still wasn’t sure if we would have a show in 2021. I definitely wasn’t ready to be around lots of people yet. So I turned part of my office into a photo studio and started promoting photo sessions, of course with the Covid-19 protocols in place. Some people knew I was a photographer but I was too busy to shoot at my own events. I’ve been shooting pictures long before Hair Wars began, but I never had my own studio. For years, I’ve hired several photographers, and some of them were nice enough to assist me in getting my new studio together. I named it Grinder Photos 313.
DR: So where did your photo clientele come from? I see through social media you are pretty busy with the camera.
Hump: Well, I joined a couple of groups on Facebook and started posting my photos there and on Instagram, and the flood gates opened. The people who responded were coming from all over Michigan and parts of Ohio. And to my surprise, it was about 90 percent white women, and they were mostly from rural areas. They liked my work and had no problem coming down to my studio in Detroit for photo shoots.
DR: How did your Hair Wars clientele of over 30 years react to your new business venture?
Hump: Most people were happy for me because they knew I was going to find a new niche, but there’s always a few who have negative things to say, like “What are you doing shooting all these white girls?” I’ve never been one to look at color. I just put it out there and wait for the results.
DR: How did you end up hosting a photo shoot at a farm?
Hump: I laid out a map of Michigan – yes, a map – I’m old school, and I put stick pins on all the cities, towns and villages these new models were coming from, and with the summer approaching, I knew I had to go to them if I wanted this new developing business to grow fast. Then, all of a sudden, while I was cruising the internet, this post about a ‘farm venue’ called Riverside Farms was advertising its property as a new destination for photo shoots, music videos, commercials and events. It just fell in my lap at the right time. It’s about one hour north of Detroit (St. Clair, Michigan, just south of Port Huron) and within close range of a lot of models I had been shooting. Even without visiting, I took a chance and did a shoot a few weeks later. I fell in love with the place. It’s crazy how things happen – you always have to be prepared to adjust your sails.
DR: Should we expect more photo shoots at the farm?
Hump: Most definitely. I already booked a few more shoots at the farm this summer. Riverside Farms owner, Carla Fitzpatrick, has been very supportive and innovative. She did her research on Hair Wars and she wants to do business with me, not only with photo shoots, but with the Hair Wars shows as well. She has connected me with several models, and I talked with some fantasy hair stylists from the Hair Wars camp in Detroit, and they are excited to put their fantasy hair pieces on the country girls. And the country girls are excited to wear them. Urban hair has made it to the farm after all these years.
DR: It sounds like Riverside Farms may be your new hot spot.
Hump: Yes, I’m excited about the opportunity. I’m not abandoning my base in Detroit. I plan on combining the two so everyone has more opportunities. I’m beginning to promote the models the same way I’ve promoted the hair stylists. We’re about to help make these models “stars,” and that’s the same vision that Riverside Farms has. They want to launch careers.
I’m also a part of the group organizing the “Save The Barn” fundraiser at Riverside Farms (Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021) and I’m also a member of its board of directors. All I have to do is get a cowboy hat and a little country gear. I might even pick up one of those off-terrain vehicles to cut through the hills and woods. I’ll still keep my city attire though, because I’m a Detroiter at heart. But I enjoy connecting with the country.
Hair Stylist Keith Matthews / Model: Kellz23
“Fantasy on the Farm” will be happening Sunday ~ June 27, 2021, featuring Detroit fantasy hair artist Keith Matthews and a few beautiful ‘country’ models at Riverside Farms. At the same time, the farm is hosting a picnic (rain or shine) with a number of models (in addition to the ones who are shooting) on site to mingle with media that’s been invited.
For Media Credentials, contact David Humphries / Hair Wars at firstname.lastname@example.org / 248.470.5183
For more info on Hair Wars, go to: www.hairwarsustour.com / email@example.com
Riverside Farms: www.riversidefarms-photo-op.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Dana Redd ~ email@example.com