Sidewalk for Hope Street Magazine

Now that I've shared the experience of making Sidewalk, I have to take a minute to share part of the editing process.  Retouching is a reality of all the work that I do, and most of the time it comes down to knowing when to stop.  It's about knowing what to change to fix the clothes or imperfections in skin or hair without ruining the image by making the model something fake and plastic rather than a dynamic, living, breathing human being

Since the idea behind the shoot was to explore the 70's inspired designs, toning the images as though I was using vintage film was a part of my mind from the beginning: enter VSCO film packs.  I have long been a huge fan of VSCO Cam. I was first introduced to the app a couple years ago and have never looked back. It had all the tones, life, and intricacies of film without the kitchie foolishness of other apps that only distracts from the images. And so, like I said, I was hooked.  The more I used it, the more I loved it, and it swiftly became an integral part of my social media workflow.  When I started to hear about the film packs for desktop I was intregued, but at that point I couldn't see how to include it in my work.  As a fashion photographer, much of the work I was doing at the time was highly technical and was not the right venue for the film packs.  But here seemed to be the perfect opportunity to see what these products could do and if they could be as strong an asset to my workflow as the mobile app has with social.  In working wth the presets the most challenging part of the editing of this shoot turned out to be choosing which presets to use and how to manipulate them to bring out just the right mood (the selection is pretty impressive).   

And so without further ado, here is the full story from Hope Street Magazine as well as some of my favorite images that I had to share with you as well.

Making of Sidewalk for Hope Street Magazine

Over this past summer I started pitching editorial ideas based on the trends shown at the fall shows (being relevant makes editors love you more), and one movement that caught my eye was the fashion world’s rediscovered love of all things 70’s from boho femininity to all the glamour of classic Halston (and it doesn’t show any signs of stopping anytime soon).  As I was reviewing the collections, the imagery that was running through my mind wasn’t the gloss of modern editorials (not that I don't love it), but classic movie scenes and Diana Vreeland Vogue spreads, with all the glorious color and depth of classic films.  So from the very beginning I started pitching the story of a girl exploring the West Village (which ended up being the meatpacking district) with the plan of trying to mimic the effects of those iconic films.

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The first publication to get back to me was Hope Street.  I initially discovered them via their instagram and the more research I did the more impressed I was with their print and digital platforms, the more motivated I was to work with them.  So needless to say, receiving the email from their digital editor about their interest in the story absolutely made my day.  

Acceptance letter in hand I went looking for a crew that would work for the story as well as push me as I photographer to deliver something a bit outside my comfort zone.  The first call was for a wardrobe stylist, and after yet some more research, I reached out to Jenny Haapala.  Jenny's work is strong, direct, and unapologetic, she creates bold memorable looks which made perfect sense once I met her in real life.  The next challenge was finding the right model for the shoot, I reached out to agencies across the city and couldn't quite fine the right fit.  So I called Marilyn for the first time and after a few lovely emails with different members of the New York team, I found Maud LeFort.  Nikki Fontaine rounded out the team as our stellar hair and makeup artist.  We worked together on a shoot for Dapifer Magazine earlier in the summer and I was thrilled to be able to add her to the team for this project.

The afternoon before the shoot Jenny invited me over to the studio to look though the wardrobe.  She was concerned that the clothes that she was able to pull didn't exactly match the story that I had in my head.  The clothes weren't quite as soft and classically romantic as we had originally planned.  Instead she had pulled an incredible collection of styles that were stronger, more structured, almost like the cooler older sister of the character that I had initially imagined in my mind.  So I left her studio and went for one last location scouting mission of the West Village and Meat Packing to plan out shots with the clothes fresh in my mind.  This was the first time I've ever had this opportunity and it might be my new favorite way to work.  It allowed me to work through my anxiety and story development in the comfort of my own head without detracting from the shoot day itself. 

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Early the next morning walking to set (and after grabbing a couple cases of water) my biggest worry was that the team might melt.  We were shooting wool in 95 degree summer New York City humidity.  Maud, if you're reading this, I'm still really sorry.  Thank you for hanging in there.  Continue to scroll through for a peek behind the scenes at this project.

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Ivy and Aster Bridesmaids

Looking back October really was the month of bridal extravaganza with Ivy and Aster.  Starting with New York Bridal Week, the bridal lookbook shoot and presentation, (and editing, retouching, and deliveries) and finally the bridesmaids collection.  So it only made sense that we get the team  - Ananda Khan of Big Leo and Bloom Brides and Ren Kelly of APM Models - back together for this last project.  

Working with one team (with hardly any crew changes) on multiple back to back projects is always an interesting  experience.  Most of the time the I will work with the same group of hair and makeup artists and stylists, but the models change almost every shoot, so you are forging a (potentially very intimate) working relationship with a total stranger in minutes that can last only hours.  Having the time to develop familiarity over multiple days of shooting is a rare treat and always makes the shoots much more comfortable and feel less like work. 

I hope you enjoy this peek behind the scenes and scroll down to see some of my favorite images from this shoot.

Ivy and Aster Bridal Presentation

I know that I've been writing quite about about Ivy and Aster and mainly about the proceedings of New York Bridal Market weekend.  Well it was an eventful weekend.  Friday we shot the bridal lookbook, Saturday I edited, and Sunday was the presentation.  Since Jessica and the team decided to rent out Darling (a women's clothing and accessories shop in the West Village) for the weekend, the lookbook, all the showroom and editor appointments, and the garden party presentation were all held on location.  

Ananda Khan,co-owner/creator/principle artist of Bloom Brides and agency represented artist, was the presentation's key hair and makeup artist.  She was responsible for designing the hair and makeup looks (featuring Julep products and hairpieces by Hearts of Gold Designs) and coordinating her team of talented artists to craft the looks on the diverse cast of models.  I've worked with Ananda for for years on editorial and commercial projects and one of the many reasons that she continues to be one of my first calls is because whatever beauty idea I come up with she always takes further, finesses, and comes up with something amazing and more than I would have known how to request (and generally requiring minimal retouching, which I always appreciate).  She is also excellent at adapting to time pressures and adjusting on the fly.  So naturally she killed it on presentation day.

Please continue to scroll through for a taste of the behind the scenes action and the stunning finished product of the hard work of so many talented people.

Ivy and Aster Bridal Lookbook

On Monday I shared a glimpse behind the scenes of my lookbook shoot for the Ivy and Aster Spring 2016 collection.  As promised here are some of my favorite images from this project.  Our model is the very sweet, and extremely talented Ren Kelly of APM.  Ananda Khan, agency represented hair and makeup artist with Big Leo and co-founder of Bloom Brides, rounded out our creative team.

But the work doesn't just end with the shoot once the images are retouched and the edits are delivered to the whole team, the work begins for the lovely ladies at Skirt PR, Ivy and Aster's Chicago based public relations firm..  Between the minds at Skirt and the in house team, and the years of brilliant design, branding, and promotion the buzz around this season's collection and the editor's responses were fantastic and included features on The Knot, Inside Weddings (twice), Weddings Unveiled, Style Me Pretty, Bridal Guide, and (my personal favorite) the Cut.

I hope you enjoy... till next time.