I’ve noticed that the seemingly small act of putting on a hat very often brings about a rather large change in attitude and expression in the subjects I photograph. More confident and self-assured? Perhaps a hat offers protection from more than just the environmental elements of sun, wind and precipitation? Does it offer the freedom to indulge in a sense of role play, and if so, is the character brought to life actually a more honest representation of the subject? To me, the very best acting performances are those in which the actor has reached so deeply within himself to play the part that fragments of his own true essence are brought forth and seamlessly fused with the character portrayed.
Regardless, I find the whole hat thing curious, and as much as I’m a photographer who chooses to avoid props and prefers a more pared down and simple style, I like observing the changes in demeanor based on what people wear or place on their heads.