If you’re like me, then you’ve probably spent countless hours flipping through Vogue, blissfully enchanted by the photos of all kinds of fashion that sing to you from behind the glossy page. Ah, yes, the photos. Why else do we buy the magazine?
When it came time for me to start organizing some photo shoots of my own (pinch me!) I learned very quickly the amount of blood-sweat-and-tears that goes into each and every photograph. I learned just how long it takes from start to finish to get that show-stopping shot. And most of all, I learned the tremendous amount of talent, hard work, and collaboration that makes a photo shoot truly special.
I am currently in the middle of the whirling, glittery hurricane that is photo shoots right now, so I thought I’d share a little of my own personal Photo Shoot 101 with you this week.
It all starts with the fabrics. Whether I’m choosing from the overwhelming-yet-thrilling selection of fabrics from Mood or New York Fashion Center or collaborating on a custom design with Benton Art and Design, I’m always cognizant of how the patterns and textures will translate in photos. Fabric shopping and collaboration is definitely one of my favorite parts of the process, and I like to invite my fabric designers to all of my shoots. It’s fun for them to see the end product and I want them to be a part of the experience!
You know that scene in Cinderella when the Fairy Godmother shows up and magically spins her a dress in less than 30 seconds? Well, now you have an idea of who my garment makers are. I like to call them my Fairy Garment Makers. I don’t know where I would be without my kickass team of garment makers. They know all the ins and outs of fabrics – how to cut them, lay them, cinch them, alter them. My sample garment guys are always pulling late hours and magical turnarounds for me – they’ve really become like family to me!
Then we have the models, who I usually find through Mazza Models in Austin. I try to select gals who are kind, intelligent, and down-to-earth who are easy and fun to work with. During fittings I like for them to get a good feel for and understanding of the clothes so that by the time we shoot, they’re really comfortable in each piece.
For hair and makeup, I always use the amazing Kendra Stanton of Citizens of Beauty. She does great work and is a totally glam maven. Check out her instagram!
Your photographer is really going to make or break a good photo shoot, and luckily I get to work with the wonderfully gifted Todd White. Todd is a total boss – which is really what you want during a photo shoot – he really commands attention behind the camera and pairs his extensive knowledge with a unique flair and great communication. Todd always has the scoop on the best spots, and I totally trust him to put my pieces in the settings and lighting that really brings out the best in them.
For the final step, I rely on my web guru, Mariah Mercier, to bring my photo shoots to life online through my website and social media. She helps me sort through the best shots, organize and direct videos and sneak peeks, and lays everything out. She’s great to work with and does a nice job designing my web stuff cleanly and simply so that nothing takes away from the fashion itself.
It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of steps. It’s a lot of sleepless nights and moving pieces and scheduling and rescheduling and pouring my heart into this crazy wild thing that is fashion. But hey – there’s always coffee to get me through, and I drink a lot of coffee with all the amazing people that I collaborate with along the way to make this magic happen.