35mm Mirror Selfie, Haircut at Paul Mitchell The School Salon, 2007

35mm Mirror Selfie, Haircut at Paul Mitchell The School Salon, 2007

Paul Mitchell The School Costa Mesa
$ Cosmetology Schools, Hair Salons
3309 Hyland Ave
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

I have seen the best minds of my generation graduate from Paul Mitchell. None of whom currently style hair at a salon per se but all of whom have interesting life stories to share involving rock ‘n’ roll, Brooklyn, turntables, Basquiat, Polynesia, nipple rings, and first marriages.

Twenty novice scissors have cut my hair throughout the years. I wore a long mullet, a faux hawk and variations of mop-top and shoulder-length hair. None of my haircuts were ever horrible but that’s possible because I’m not very attached to hair. I quote one stylist-in-training: “as they say the difference between a good and a bad haircut is two weeks.” It’s also difficult to butcher a textured haircut. I tell my stylists to go wild and if anything, they shy away from the point cutting. Some take me up on it.

Phase one or novice level is $10 and phase two is $15. Hair dyeing is $25 or more depending on how much dye is needed. Tipping is also nice. If you want purposefully uneven hair with a razor or point cut, reconsider the extra five dollars on phase two as it is almost impossible to mess up hair that’s supposed to look wild with texture. Phase two is good if you want your hair done in about an hour as phase one can stretch beyond an hour-and-a-half. By the way, phase two stylists simultaneously work at the phase one section too. So you can get a more advanced student cutting your hair for cheaper.

The only problem I’ve ever had was not from the students but from one arrogant teacher. Long story. She nearly kicked me out with dye on my head after I told her to go away.

Useful:Funny:Cool: 5


Posted by Chris Girard in Selfies
Other Humans: Strange Documentary Photos

Other Humans: Strange Documentary Photos

Even as an introvert, it was easy to meet people.

I am very attracted to people who lead strange and interesting lives. My friends didn’t have regular jobs at the time. I didn’t have a regular job. I have only ever been invited to weird weddings. I have connected well with people through social networking. I have met many others through music venues, like Koo’s Cafe, in the early 2000s. There are people everywhere. But I can only photograph people that I connect with. I failed a photojournalism class because I couldn’t connect with people. (Here’s to you for keeping your high ratio of graduating professional photojournalists intact, Ken Kobre.) 

Now, I’m a videographer.

I have been a videographer at the Echoplex since a darkwave New Years Eve night for Part Time Punks fated me to figure out how to do it. So now I work more with video and film than with photography. Los Angeles is a film city. I work as a videographer at The Echo and The Echoplex in Los Angeles and film many iconic musical groups under the umbrella of Live Nation. 

Clan of Xymox plays at The Echoplex on March 8th, four days before its closure. You can see the faithful ATEM control panel and video screens beside the band.
City Morgue had a very heavy show two days before The Echoplex shut down. I couldn't ask for a better last show to record. There was a massive amount of stage diving and dancing; more than any other show I've recorded in a while.

I filmed and recorded Clan of Xymox on March 8th, 2020 and City Morgue on March 10th, 2020 – days before COVID-19 stopped everything on March 12th, 2020. Each of the bands featured from these shows have been recorded, live streamed on at least eleven Samsung Smart TVs throughout the venue and the video recordings are saved on the video’s external hard drive at the Echoplex. 

I’m at least happy to witness two amazing and very different bands, one well-established goth rock/dark wave group and one powerful up-and-coming hip hop group, play at our venue on the last days before everything came to a halt. These last few days at the Echoplex sum up what I love about this venue – it offers an incredible and wide range of shows that come each week.

I sadly would have been the person live streaming and filming the Anti-Flag show at the Echoplex on Saturday, May 16th. Maybe one day it will happen.

Sister Nancy at The Echoplex
This is a picture of renowned Reggae singer Sister Nancy performing behind my massive multi-camera video displays using ATEM in 2019.
This is Jimmy of Jimmy Eat World at Emo Nite LA at the Echoplex in 2019.
Posted by Chris Girard in Documentary, Photo, Projects
MySpace Era: 2000s Selfies

MySpace Era: 2000s Selfies



Lots of Tattoos: The Present

Chris Girard - Spanish Citizenship I look like an artistic-leaning tattooed gay hipster now. This photo is a retouched selfie taken by me and done by Isaiah Garnica in the not-so-recent past of 2018. I was 35 years old. I was wearing a lace Gianni Versace shirt that I dyed black. It was turned into the identification photo for my Spanish citizenship.

I am presenting the pretentious selfie as a not-so-pretentious documentary of my past. These selfies began in the early 2000s on MakeOutClub. As a boy in his teens and very early 20s, I had a magical enigmatic presence on the camera that young people seem to carry and lose by their mid-20s.



2000-2003: The First Selfies

What makes a selfie a selfie is that it’s a photo taken of oneself for social media. Many photos of mine were taken on the bed of my San Francisco State dorm around the time when I first got my tripod in 2004 and then on my parents’ old air mattress that I slept on in my Dolores Street apartment in San Francisco. My presence on social media like MySpace made me feel like I had closer friends in New York City than in San Francisco. Before a selfie, this type of self-photography like that of Cindy Sherman had an artistic, poetic, and self-reflective purpose. They’re presented in my photo classes in the early 2000s. I owned a boxy Kodak digital camera (2001 to 2003), then a Canon Rebel Film Camera (2003-2007), then a Canon Rebel Digital Camera (2004 – 2010), then a Canon 7D Camera (2010-2017) and now a Canon 77D (2017 – Present). I developed a lot of 35mm black and white film of myself at the San Francisco State darkroom in my photo classes from Dale Kistemaker. Most of these early photos were seen on MakeOutClub (2000-2003), Friendster (2003-2004), MySpace (2004-2008), and then Facebook (2004 – 2011). I stopped using all social media after that.



Early Social Media

I was interviewed in early 2017 by Karen Lembke, someone who was an internet friend back in the day. She got me interested in thinking about early Social Media. It was about my experience using Makeoutclub. She showed me a screengrab from Page 6 of www.archive.org. She was trying to paint a picture of that early form of social media through people she used to talk to on the internet. Her broader scope was not to find me. But to find another guy she used to communicate with from MOC through me.

The text and picture boxes were the first of many social networking websites that I would become acquainted with on the internet. It was 2001. I was on Page 6 of the ‘boys’ section. It was a major social taboo to have your picture on such a website in high school in the early 2000s. This moment of submitting a webcam photo I had taken and had it displayed for all the internet to see completely changed my life and the years to come.

I discovered the power of having my profile on such a website. It was a relatively fast awareness. The attention I got made me very infamous in high school, and well-liked on the internet.

I wrote abstract poems and posted blurry images. It was enough to be attractive to people. Jeffree Star and I met on Melodramatic.com otherwise known as Melo in 2003. This is a photo of us at a former high school cheerleader roommate’s house on Melrose in Hollywood in 2004.

The focus on both fronts was a compelling enough reason to continue doing it. There was an eminence about it that I relished. I was still in high school and it was the first time I have ever felt like I was the center of attention. People would talk about me behind my back. Ex-friends would go out of their way to tell people that I was on an emo website. But go further to print and distribute it to others while commenting on my sexuality. It was not one or two people, it was a clique of 20 or 30 teenagers who told the entire school about my gay self and my gay profile!

I felt honored. For the first time, I was not overlooked. People wouldn’t ignore me at parties or think I was a bore whose foolish kindness was masked in social awkwardness. I wasn’t kind. I wanted to be the center of attention all the time. I did not want to be the quiet and moralizing bore who stops his teenage friends from having a fun time of throwing bleach onto strangers’ front lawns, as one of my ex-friends described his character named after me for his creative writing assignment.

I became popular in high school. I was invited to a lot of parties, made new friends, and watched pornography in a packed hummer limo with my new friends, and had the high school prom party at my parents’ house. I fell asleep on the floor while watching the music video to Missy Elliott’s Get Ur Freak On. Everyone else was either asleep like me or skinny dipping in the hot tub outside. I actually went to another prom the very next day in the same black eyeliner, pomade in my bleached hair and purple tie with a girl I met on Makeoutclub.




The selfie represents and misrepresents me. I discovered what I perceived to be myself through the internet because of the selfie. I think it was a window of the way I was feeling at the moment that was reflected by other people. The photos have changed a countless number of times over the years. I felt like a contortionist and have always updated a picture of myself posted somewhere on a social networking website or a blog as the years continued. These pictures have constantly broadcasted my identity to show who or what I have become. Over the past ten years, my social networking and blog pictures have piled up into a myriad of sprawls, facial expressions, different hairstyles, and clothing to demonstrate the changes in my identity and these pictures tell that story.



Christop: The Book of Selfies


Check out Christop (Blurb, 2011) for all of my boyish pictures from ages 20 to 24.

Posted by Chris Girard in Photo, Projects
2000s Hardcore Documentary: Strength Through Song

2000s Hardcore Documentary: Strength Through Song

Strength Through Song is a hardcore documentary produced in 2006 of straight edge and vegan band members. They are members of hardcore and metal bands Grey Skull and Owen Hart touring the San Francisco Bay Area in the city of Oakland.


Strength Through Song is also available from Vimeo here.


Touring Hardcore and Metal Bands…

Strength Through Song is a three minute hardcore documentary. It showcases two touring anarcho-punk and hardcore bands, Greyskull and Owen Hart. The two bands, at the time when this was photographed and recorded in late 2005, were composed of vegan and straight edge anarcho-punks from Washington.

The bands, which toured an Oakland home that hosted clusters of political bands from around the country on a makeshift stage inside a murky basement. Greyskull and Owen Hart are two touring metallic hardcore bands composed primarily of younger generation musicians who are spreading their personal yet powerful lyrics.

The radical lyrics from both bands are confrontational. The bands discuss animal rights, class, racism and sexuality but stimulate these general topics in punk by tying in their own personal experiences and struggles.

Back Story…

I graduated with a Journalism degree in 2006. I found my interest in collage by writing news articles. There is a process of collaging quotes and information to make an article. Since I did a major that had a relatively oppressive view on writing, I decided to pursue digital media. I worked on photo-documentaries with audio clips and photography to complement the writing instead.

I created multimedia documentaries with a large boxy Marantz digital audio recorder in 2005. It was considered state of the art at the time. I also used a Canon Rebel SLR digital camera. This was one of the earlier works that I am particularly proud of. It won no “best of the week” awards or accolade. It showed a transitive moment and no story arc.

Posted by Chris Girard in Projects, Video