Editors Blog: The Responsibilities of a Storyteller

Kelsey Murray here, the new digital editor at American Salon magazine. This is my first job in the professional beauty industry, so follow along as I navigate my way through beauty shows, brand events, photo shoots and interviews. This blog is a behind-the-scenes look at my first year in the industry.

A big part of my first year at American Salon is learning to find content to share socially, particularly on Facebook and Instagram. I’m constantly looking for beautiful photographs, so I’ve become hyper-aware of certain bloggers, beauty photographers, and up-and-coming hairstylists and educators.

Not long ago I came across Daryna Barykina, a Florida-based, internationally published photographer who regularly shoots advertising campaigns, editorial features and hair collections. She had worked with Cameron LeSiege, a haircolor specialist and Paul Mitchell educator, and found they share a passion for art. They met two years ago, and since then they’ve worked on a series of projects together. It was Cameron’s hair collection that I had come across, which Daryna photographed, so I went to her feed and pressed, “Follow.” She followed me back.


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Since then I often reach out to Daryna to talk about her collaborations and photographs. Being photo-obsessed myself, I like to make sure that the ones I feature flow well with each other and constantly look beautiful on our feed. What I wondered was how does a photographer, who has a certain eye and aesthetic, work cohesively with an artist/hairstylist who has a specific vision? How does she tell a visual story when she herself is not a hairstylist?

Daryna told me that when she works for a client she respects their art and tries to fulfill their needs and ideas, but always gives herself a chance to try out her own ideas, too.

“On my team we all are aware of what each of us is capable of,” Daryna says,  “and we try to push each other to the creativity limits. That is why, when a stylist or a makeup artist has an idea, I always, always encourage expressing and trying it out.”

She went on to tell me that first and foremost, she loves sharing ideas. She and her team brainstorm and share inspiration, because in those moments the bravest ideas tend to come to life.

I found her answers refreshing. As a digital storyteller I want to feature a hairstylist the best I can, never wanting to inhibit their creativity. I learned through our conversation that you must let the artist showcase his or her talent in every way possible so that you can accurately communicate their message to an audience.

About: Kelsey Murray is Digital Editor of American Salon. She holds a B.A. in English and Film Studies from Salve Regina University in Boston and an M.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University. Prior to joining American Salon, Kelsey worked as lead fashion stylist and digital media coordinator at Kyle Alexandra Wardrobe & Style Consulting. She currently creates content for her own fashion and lifestyle blog Tickle Me Pink (ticklemepinkstyle.blogspot.com).