Set up is done. Meaning, pre-production is done. I have finally carried my last piece of clothing and prop into what will be our location, and base camp. That finalizes the prep stage- and tomorrow we are shooting and in full production. Fun!
I just got debriefed on a new exciting assignment!
We will shoot 3 days (two images one day, one the day after and one fall back day) for an upscale resort’s real estate team. Every images tells a story, and there are 3 images in total:
1. A woman is just arriving to her second home. As she arrives the stressful world is left behind and she lays down on the couch in total peace knowing that for the next month, nothing will disturb or stress her.
2. A man is sitting with his son in his lap, looking out over the ocean. The boy is peacefully reading a book, and dad is completely relaxed. It is time to spend time together. Have the time for one another.
3. A dinner party has just ended. 3 couples are laughing and relaxing at the table, keeping on sipping their wine, sharing stories. The waiter has come up from the resort, cleaning up the dinner and are preparing dessert in the background. For the couples, there is no time for dishes or cleaning when you live here…
As soon as I got the image direction and FPO, I scanned them and realized two things that stood out as challenges more than other. For one, I need to have a thorough casting for the first shot, that woman needs to carry herself and her expression is making that image. The direction showed Amber Herd. I have reached out to BRAND and NEXT modeling agencies and will follow up with our finalized selection and have auditions next week.
The dress Amber is wearing as from Alexander McQueen and costs over $6,000. I will find a similar strapless dress and might go through rent the runway where I can get access to phenomenal designer dresses for less than the studio fee!! (check them out, totally worth the money if you are going to a gala or even just being a little extra nice for a dinner with friends, bridal shower etc).
The biggest cost here is the hard sided Louis Vuitton suitcase along with the hatbox. After exhausting all options (even searching for illegal fake bags, I found them but the sites are so unreliable and it isn’t a business i would want to support, so I opted out of that option). I finally located them at a prop house in LA, the price for hire is $700. One of my friends has a good collection of LV purses, so I have a great back-up!
Here is the image direction, leaning nicely on my desk to indicate that this will be my world for the next 3 weeks…
Here are the two bags that I need
And here is my back-up. It is nice to have great friends!
After running around town like a chicken without a head (is that a Swedish expression?) I have now finalized the props for the family. Had to take into consideration that nothing takes over, nothing can be too ethnic, but yet appropriate for the age group to look “real” and will all of that I still needed to incorporate the color blue….
When I wrote earlier regarding seasonal wardrobe etc, I learned something important. And that is to always have back-ups. Things happen, and even during low budget shoots when I ask talent to bring their own wardrobe, colors might not match with each other, with the background, or with the feeling of the shoot.
Also, department stores like TJMAXX or Marshall’s offers a wider selection of brands than other department stores, and also carry out of season items. So I always grab a few things. I can return what has not been worn, or worn just for the shoot as long as the tag is on. Better safe than sorry.
Here is the result of the ad (sorry for bad resolution – blaming the camera on my iPad 2)
Having some challenges right now as I went from slow fall to 5 shoots in less than 3 weeks, with all seasonal wardrobe and props. Meaning finding summer dresses and patio furniture in November…
The department stores have things available on their websites but it is harder to ship, you don’t get shipping fees returned (which can be a lot on a table and 8 chairs!) you can’t really see and feel (especially clothes!) and sometimes it can’t be shipped fast, and I can’t run the risk of not having it here…
I have also been location scouting for a Sycamore tree, something that was a must for client- but we realized that they are all brown and the leaves are falling, so we are under time pressure. And then there is the weather…, not equally frustrating as June gloom, but the forecast is showing that rain is coming, which means no go for us….
Busy, busy back soon!
I got more pictures from the Islay shoot. Some of me, which is always fun, but also hard to see. You are always your own worst critic…
The one I’m really proud over is the one where my 2 year old, 170 lbs English Mastiff Vinnie got to be a model. He is such a pretty boy!! It is funny to look at it, aside from being the dog’s owner, this picture really works because of him!
Not only is Jody Carlson-Astrom absolutely gorgeous and has been a model for years, she is also working as a fit model where big denim brands like Calvin Klein fly her all over because they want her body and shape. She has an enormous talent for fabric and style, something that she puts to use in here own fashion line Islay. Islay started as an undergarment line with cute tops that could stick up under a deep plunging V-necks, or be seen on the side of the body as a tank was cut low. She says that she started it because she saw a need for it, and designed a couple of pieces for herself. Now, when Islay is up and running – she has a full line of everything from thongs to dresses. I have a couple of pieces I can’t get enough of – they are durable, wearable, changeable and low maintenance. And most of all – extremely cute.
Not only is Islay the perfect brand for fashion, it us designed without under-wire, so it is perfect for women who wants sexy and comfy without going grand-ma. The cancer society has linked under-wire bras to breast cancer (!!!) and women after surgery are not allowed to wear wire, so it is a perfect alternative for them – which means that EVERY woman wearing a bra should go wire-less!
Jody asked to use our house as location for her photo shoot, which obviously was ok, and came her with a model, make-up and hair, photographer, her husband – and enough sustainable organic sandwiches to feed us all. Once the website is up and running I will post the address here, but for now – here is an exclusive sneak peek of what the brand has to offer…
As I started this blog I mentioned a huge styling/producing job I had for client. As you get a task like that, all kinds of images, colors and styles are entering my head, first in a blur, but the longer time passes the clearer it gets. It is a hard balance working as a stylist when it is important that the clothes never get attention away from the client. The focus can never be the fashion, it has to melt in and look normal, but still appropriate for season, economic status of target buyer and reflect ethnicity. This weekend I saw some of the ads running in a magazine (one became the cover!) and it is a great feeling of accomplishment to have the campaign behind me with a happy client. Mission completed!
Alright, so we are up and rolling… Just talked through the photo shoot for the building developer with the team. There are three images in total, all united by the same “feel”. And that is where I have to tap into wardrobe and props, together with the photographers sense of light and location.
The first image is a single girl and I have to find a Japanese parasol for her, and a classy dress with spaghetti straps.
The second image is a family around an outside dinner table – 3 generations, grandparents, mom and dad and little girl. Here the clothing need to be monochromatic, not just together but with the surrounding. There are also a lot of props to take into consideration with this set-up – table cloth, chairs, silverware, flowers etc…
The third is two little girls, sisters, walking hand in hand away from the camera in a lush environment. This will be the easiest shoot to prepare for, once talent is finalized, as the image direction show them dressed in white little dresses and shoes.
I got two ad campaigns to get inspired from, both are gorgeous: