I absolutely live for photo shoots. They are the most exhilarating — but exhausting — part of what I do as a vintage stylist and curator. But still, nothing is more satisfying that finding beautiful models to wear beautiful clothes and take beautiful pictures. Sure, that seems simple, but aren’t the most simple things in life always the most pleasurable?
For my photo shoot in Lancaster, I wanted the preparation to be as much fun as the pictures themselves. No one wants to be a model/photographer/assistant/makeup artist in an environment that’s more cold than colorful. And we all know how much I love my color — whether it’s in the clothes themselves, or the personality that’s infused in the pictures and behind-the-scenes action.
Last week, I blogged about the pictures [round 1 — still waiting on Ashley to release round 2!] themselves. I also told you about my inspiration for the shoot [hometown love!] and what substance was behind the model’s styles [they’re super cool girls, that’s what]. Now, you can see the visuals of just what has to go down in order for a photo shoot to successfully happen. From prepping the clothes [steaming, organizing, sorting!] to getting the makeup done [we recruited Lynn, a rep for the all-natural beauty company Arbonne] to just getting the models and props on location in a timely fashion [we used Lancaster’s Rock Ford Mansion and the city’s downtown business center] — organizing a photo shoot is a particularly daunting task but a particularly satisfying one when all said-and-done, too.
Thankfully, the exhaustion is gone but the excitement remains! Many of these photos will be used in upcoming promotional materials for SDV [think: new logo!] and also to launch my collection on a few e-commerce sites [yes, you will be able to buy SDV online shortly!]
So without further ado, scroll on down to see photographer Ashley Therese Poisella’s vibrant visuals of what just has to go down for a photo shoot to be ready for action!
I brought from “home” in NYC to “home” in Lancaster a carload of SDV inventory to use for the shoot. You never know what’s going to inspire you at any given moment — or what will really end up looking best on the models, because you can only judge that in person — so instead of choosing outfits beforehand and bringing only those, I chose my favorite styles for the shoot location and loaded up the Camry with a huge selection!
The honest truth: I struggled finding a makeup artist for this shoot. Maybe it was because I started making calls with only five days ahead of me … or maybe it was because [and I hate saying it, but it’s true] I was in rural Lancaster, PA where models and makeup artists and fashion photographers are few and far between.
So, Mama Karen [that’s my mom, for your reference] came to the rescue and suggested a representative from Arbonne, an all-natural beauty company she had recently purchased products from. At first, I was hesitant. Why would I hire a rep from a makeup company to do my models’ makeup when I could find a professional makeup artist? But with the final hour fast approaching, and my heart telling me that all–natural makeup was the right investment for the makeup of a shoot representative of real fashion & beauty — I called up Lynn and requested her for help.
Lynn was so fantastic to volunteer her makeup artistry and products for two days in a row! Most makeup artists charge with that kind of time commitment. When I tried giving her some reimbursement, she refused. Positive karma? I hope it’s coming back to Lynn 10-fold!
My dog — “Snoop Dog” — chillin’ like the villain that he is. He’s a 10-year-old labradoodle with a personality all of his own. One of his favorite things to do? Take over the couch. And that’s exactly what he did with 6+ women running around organizing the shoot!
Styling Danielle, one of the models. Throughout the course of the 3-4 hour long shoot per day [it was a loonnnggg day!], I would yell “CUT!” so that I could adjust someone’s collar/hair/belt/whatever-it-was-I-noticed-looking-off. Sometimes you just have to let go of the little things and let the shoot roll, though — especially when you’re talking about a SDV fashion shoot, where I will reiterate … it was more about fun than perfection!
Getting set up for the photo shoot is almost more challenging than taking the pictures. And for this shoot, Ashley and I used furniture and hanging light fixtures to add elements of an “outdoor living room in nature.” In order to create this aesthetic, Ashley brought some props to Lancaster from Connecticut [yup, a long trek!] and I ransacked my mother’s house for wicker furniture, white tables, old books and old candles. Thankfully, she didn’t mind!
Clowning around with the models and celebrating a successful shoot, day 1! As you can see, I’m wearing my signature flower in my hair, paired with an easy-breezy thrifted dress [and oldie by The Limited circa early 2000s] and my much-loved New Balance sneaks. When you are on set for a shoot, style can take a backseat for the sake of sanity! ;-)