Behind-the-Scenes at a Photoshoot
I look forward every year to Red Salon’s Holiday party during the December Artwalk here in Anacortes. Kelsey Ekstrom has made a name for herself with her “Concept Shows”….and like all great ideas, it has outdone itself each year and has inspired others….so what happens then?
A true artist is always driven to push themself – to explore , to play, to reimagine….and although I’ve had the fun privilege of shooting her yearly creations, this year she decided to pull in complimentary talents under the idea of letting people see what actually goes into a fully styled shoot. So she called me and Christy Rainchild (a fabulous stylist) and ran the idea past us. The three of us have worked together quite a bit as a team both with clients and with personal work, and it is just one of those rare combinations where we communicate so well, and understand what it means to have all of our efforts speak to the concept. I mean, as artists we tend to each have a million ideas, and then another million ideas that spring from each of those, and it’s all too common when working with other creatives to have the whole thing kind of disintegrate as everyone goes off in their own direction. It’s so important to have a clear, stated vision of what the story is, and then to have all of the ideas speak to that. There is that absolute magic of the process of evolution as each creative plays with that core concept – it is seriously the best high ever.
So – back to the story….during our first meeting, when Kelsey was sharing her idea of 5 different looks, and doing the whole show as a “behind the scenes” kind of thing so people could see what goes on when we do these kind of shoots, Christy chimed in with the “kaleidoscope” idea of having the looks be something that the average person could imagine themselves as…..and then she came up with Bohemian Girl, Girl Next Door, Glamour Girl, Retro Girl, and then a 5th one that would be Concept Girl, which ended up being Winter Solstice Girl (because you just can’t keep Kelsey away from glitter!). The idea being, that you can have this kind of experience, and come away with these kinds of images.
Then, as if it wasn’t awesome enough, Christy pulled in Paloma Mayo Designs to design the jewelry and accessories (let me just say here how amazing this girl is!!). I really can’t stress enough how inspiring it is to watch these ideas come to life – to experience the kind of communication and playing off of ideas while remaining true to the “story”….what you saw the other night, and will see in the images over the next week, is the result of what seems at times like utter chaos behind the scenes – I should do a collage of all of the calls/texts/takes/retakes/sewing/altering/sourcing/etc that goes on. It is a lot to pull together. It was a challenge for me to shoot in a record small space (about 4’x10′), and while I wasn’t able to realize many of my ideas in that space and with the ambient light, it was also really fun to create something within that kind of energetic, active little spot.
We call ourselves the “Dream Team”…tongue in cheek, but then again we really do feel that way about each other – that whenever we get together on something we know we can trust each other completely to do what we each do best, and that it is going to push each of us a little further each time, and that it is going to be what inspires us in our daily life – in the end it brings us back to that original, magical source of why we love what we do, and that ends up informing our work for our clients. The attention to detail at every stage, and the talents of concept and styling are what separates an average image from a polished, professional one. The details – you may not be able to put your finger on it, but you know it when you see it. I offer hair and makeup with all of my Boudoir Packages, and styling in my premium packages for just this reason. To get the look I want, I know I can’t do it alone.
And now, a HUGE thank you to:
Our 5 models – Eva and Delia (my daughter and step-daughter – yes I have to brag), Gemma, Jennifer, and Maddy. They took time out of their busy schedules, endured fittings, and stood on boxes for hours!
To Boudoir Bed & Bath, and Pearl Buttons for lending me items as props (both of these stores are so awesome….and they have beautiful, fun, and unique items in every price range).
And now, The Girl Next Door!