Guido on Channeling Authenticity Through Photography
Guido is a masterful photographer and provocateur. After many years of creating beautiful hair at the highest level in the TV and fashion industries, his focus shifted to creating art in the form of digital photography. His art is the product of one simple rule: make iconic imagery of cool people, places, and things. In this interview, we dive into the philosophy behind his photography, his past as a hairdresser, and his path to becoming an absolute crypto icon. Please note, this conversation has been edited for brevity and clarity.
Q: What was your earliest memory of wanting to be a photographer?
GUIDO: Growing up in the ’80s, I was always exposed to those glossy fashion magazines. I grew up with two older sisters. My oldest sister kind of raised me, my parents were always working, so I would spend hours and hours just flipping through these magazines. I remember being eight or nine years old and just ripping the photographs out of these models and taping them to the wall. At the time, I just thought they were pretty pictures. But I think that obviously that was a sign that I was sort of gravitating towards the photography itself.
Q: Do you still do that now when you look through magazines?
GUIDO: Yes. I was a collage artist as well, and so it’s kind of interesting because the two obviously overlap quite a bit. My collages were made with pieces of imagery that I would get from fashion magazines, or cool images that I would find in vintage magazines, and then I would put them all together in my vision. So yeah, to this day, I still flip through magazines, rip pages out, put them in a little folder, and keep them as reference.
Light is the source of truth. Light strips away all imperfection and everything that's hidden and brings everything that's true to the forefront.
Q: You have one of the most recognizable photographhy styles. How would you describe that style, and was there an evolution to getting there?
GUIDO: Yeah, there’s absolutely been an evolution. The style that I’m most known for is this full frontal flash where everything is illuminated. One of the philosophies behind that and one of the reasons I shoot that way is, I believe, and this is just my own personal belief with photography and with nature, is that light is a life-giver. Light is the source of truth. Light strips away all imperfection and everything that’s hidden and brings everything that’s true to the forefront. That’s what light does. That’s what the sun does. When the sun goes down, in the darkness there are things you don’t see, and secrets and things that are hidden. But when the light comes out, everything is out there for people to see.
I use the strong full frontal flash because I’m exposing everything within that frame–the person, their personality, the message, what I’m trying to create, and ultimately the finished product. It’s all there for people to see, and there’s nothing that’s hidden, and there’s nothing that’s left to the imagination. That’s probably the best way I can describe it, candid and uninhibited youth and beauty.
Q: What was your initial journey into the world of crypto like?
GUIDO: I lost my job because of COVID, right? I was a hairdresser, and salons had shut down here for so long. I was broke. I had no money, but I had this old hockey and baseball card collection, and I was thinking, you know what? I should see if these cards are worth anything, and try selling them. I started researching the best way to liquidate my collectibles, and came upon an article about NFTs. I was like, “What the fuck is an NFT?” So I started reading about it, and here I am. I was like, maybe I could do it with my photography. I guess the rest is history.
Q: Is that experience what pushed you down the NFT rabbit hole?
GUIDO: Yeah. I just fell into it. I knew about crypto. To be honest with you, I wanted to buy Bitcoin when it was pennies and I had like $7,000 and I wanted to pour it all into Bitcoin, and my mom and dad talked me out of it. They were like, “You’re crazy. You’re crazy.” I was interested in crypto the moment I read about it. To me, it made total sense, but I had never invested in it until obviously, I got into NFTs. We’re pioneers of a new system.
Q: Can you tell me more about your past as a hairdresser?
GUIDO: Absolutely. Yeah. I started doing hair when I was 18, and so it was 1998, I started cutting hair. I was doing a lot of hair for editorial shoots and fashion shows and that kind of thing, so I was exposed to a lot of photography as well. When I was doing the hair for these editorials or for these fashion shows, and seeing the photographers snap pictures, I remember always thinking to myself, not in an arrogant way, I just remember looking at the photos afterwards and thinking, “Oh, I feel like I could have done that, or I could have done something different or made it more impactful or more interesting.” My career choice and what I did for a living has always kind of corresponded to the visual element of photography, or at least visual arts in and of itself. I think that doing hair obviously helped me form relationship building techniques, because it’s a pretty intense and intimate experience to have your hair done by someone, especially when you establish a relationship with them over years.
It's the element of being able to build that rapport and get something out of the model which you can capture in an instant.
Q: Hair is extremely personal, and I think that is reflected in your photography too, which is so personal. Has your work as a hairdresser changed the way you interact with the people you photograph?
GUIDO: Yeah. It’s an art in and of itself. There’s loads of talented photographers. Many people can take a good picture, but then there’s something else, that element to a photograph, which has nothing to do with the technical aspect or the photography itself. It’s the element of being able to build that rapport and get something out of the model which you can capture in an instant. And then it’s there in the photograph.
Q: What do you think has been the impact of NFTs on your career?
GUIDO: In terms of monetizing my photography, it’s been everything. My photography was meant to be art from the get-go. That was the way it was born, and so, in terms of actually being able to monetize it, NFTs are what made me any money at all, frankly. I wouldn’t have been able to live off of my photography career before NFTs in any way, shape or form. Without NFTs, I wouldn’t be here.