February 13, 2014
Words by Joshua Kissi
Photography by Travis Gumbs
Edited by Tam Vo
Rog and Bianca Walker, better known as Rog and Bee, are the inimitable New York City-based photographers who have built a brand and following based on their unique photo editorial work. In addition to working closely together as well as solo, they will be celebrating their second wedding anniversary later this year.
Rog has been a long-time ally of Street Etiquette, shooting our latest short film editorial “SLUMFLOWER.” As proud residents of the Bronx, Rog and Bee combined their talents for the limited-edition photography book Visual Insights: Outer Borough, which pays tribute to the gritty beauty and history of the lesser-known and forgotten parts of New York City.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we visited their gorgeous loft and shot the stylish couple in their element while getting to know them better. Whether you’re single or coupled up, their love story and creative partnership will definitely inspire you. They’re a true meeting of the hearts and minds.
Bevel Code: Walk us through an average day of your grooming routine.
Rog Walker: My routine is pretty basic and most of my time is spent combing and brushing my beard. I have a mini comb and brush that I use once I get out of the shower when my hair is still wet.
BC: What’s the first memory you have of barbershops when you were younger?
Rog: I remember getting all sorts of designs in my hair. I used to have a really high fade and would get things like my initials and even the Nike swoosh logo shaved into the back of my head. When I got a bit older, it was all about getting the right part in the front.
BC: How do your art and creativity influence your look as a couple and as individuals?
Rog: I’m pretty loose when it comes to my creative process. Although I like to have a well-thought-out concept when I’m shooting and developing, I allow the production of my ideas to take place pretty fluidly. I don’t think too much from a detailed standpoint but insead let the day take its course. It’s the same when I’m dressing myself. I have a steady thread throughout but I’m not that focused on how things end up. With work, I just start taking the photos. With clothes, I just start getting dressed.
Bee Walker: I can get a little obsessive about presentation. About a year ago, I decided to wear all black everyday. It’s basically an exercise in making choices based on silhouette and tone, rather than color or pattern. In my photos, though, I work mainly with color and light.
BC: Do you guys ever suggest hairstyles or grooming tips to each other?
Rog: Bee will let me know how she likes my hair or beard to be. I definitely don’t give her tips, though. Her hair looks amazing when she has it up and when she blows and brushes it out. I just let her know how much I like it. [Editor’s note: Ding, ding, ding! This is so true, gentlemen. Compliment a lady in the right way by emphasizing what makes her unique, not just what she’s wearing. For example, “You look so beautiful with your hair that way” is way better than something like “Cool hair accessory, babe.”]
She actually wanted to cut it at one point and at that point I had to fight for the fro.
Bee: I’ll let Rog know that I like his hair low or his facial hair trimmed in certain ways, but he’s the one who needs to feel like himself when he goes out.
BC: Do you prefer clean-shaven, a beard or goatee, and why?
Rog: Definitely a beard. I was joking with my mother the other day about how men should embrace their facial hair because it’s one of the things that makes them men. I guess I also like the fact that my beard grows much longer than my dad’s does. From the beginning though, I stopped shaving because I would get annoying bumps. Now I think I just look weird without the hair. I cut it the other day and I can’t wait until it grows back. Huge mistake.
BC: We know the Afro gets a lot of attention, Bee…what is the most outrageous statement that someone has made to you about your hair?
Bee: Ha! Luckily, no one has been super outrageous! Mostly, everyone is just super excited about it, which is cool. I get a lot of positive energy from people. One time, though, I was talking to a hair stylist who wanted to touch my hair. Usually if I’m already talking to someone and they’re cool about it I’ll let them, but this person got all in-depth and started restyling my fro with their hands—too much and so awkward!
BC: If you both could switch genders what hairstyles would you wear? [Laughs]
Rog: Definitely a short cut. Not as short as a Caesar but definitely a boy’s cut. I wouldn’t want to have to think about doing my hair on a consistent basis.
BC: Last but not least—how are you guys planning to spend this Valentine’s Day?
Bee: Going to let Rog take the lead on this one. I’ve been working a lot, so spending time together will be super fun.
Rog: I won’t get into specifics, but we’ll definitely spend time enjoying each other. I think one of the things you take for granted when you’ve been with someone for a while is intentional time spent [together]. I just want to be with her outside of the day-to-day. I want her to be a priority and not just a passenger within my day.Words and photography by Street Etiquette