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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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Behind the Scenes of Ivy and Aster Bridal Lookbook

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I'e spent most of the last month devoting a significant amount of my time to working with one of my favorite clients, Ivy and Aster.  Ivy and Aster, for those of you not already familiar with their work, is a bridal line for brides looking to add a touch of wanderlust and whimsy to their wedding day.  This and the next few posts will give you an idea of what we've been up to together.

This year for the New York Bridal Market Jessica Brown, the line's designer and creative director, decided that rather than showing at Pier 94 with so many other lines, she would opt for a more personal experience by renting out Darling.  In this tiny women's apparel and accessories shop in the West Village, she and her team created an intimate space that completely represented the brand to the parade of buyers and editors lining up to chat with the talented team and explore the new collection.  

Friday morning of the first weekend in October, a day before the official opening of market, we loaded into the space to shoot the lookbook.  While the Ivy and Aster team unloaded boxes and my assistant and I helped with the delivery of gold mannequin body parts, Ananda Khan got to work on the hair and makeup for Ren Kelly (APM), the star of the lookbook and one of the showroom and presentation models.  Ananda, a talented hair and makeup artist represented by Big Leo, worked on last year's bridal campaign and bridesmaids lookbook, and so when I heard about the plan to move downtown, it only made sense to reconnect these two for this expanded project.  Ananda and Jessica had been discussing their plans for the hair and makeup and by shooting early in the weekend it gave them both one more opportunity to refine and adapt their approach of what would work for the showroom appointments and the full presentation (but more on that later).

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While the ladies continued to work downstairs, my assistant and longtime friend, Bob Kidd and I got to work pulling the set and lights together, while anxiously watching the skies for rain.  Luckily, there was only one instance of frantically pulling all the lighting gear inside because of sprinkles that never materialized, and the afternoon's downpour was polite enough to wait until well after we had wrapped the shoot.  The shoot itself went smoothly and we spent the majority of the day joking and oohing and ahhing over the highlights of the new collection (the cashmere column dresses and the tulle skirt are currently my favorites).  And if you're thinking that you've seen those headpieces before you'd be correct.  Heart of Gold Designs partnered with Ivy and Aster for this collection, and supplied all the hairpieces. 

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Another notable partnership that was an integral part of this whole project was Julep.  Julep came on board as the makeup sponsor and sent Ananda several boxes of product from their entire range including nail polishes and lipsticks.  Enough to craft and create the looks, supply the models and artists for the lookbook, showroom appointments and the presentation, as well as share with the guests.  I would like to mention that a couple of the lipsticks did make it into my makeup bag at the end of the weekend, and for those of you out there who appreciate matte red lip, I am now hooked on the Plush Pout Lip Crayon in Cardinal Red Creme and the Light on Your Lips Lipstick in Lady in Red.  But I digress.

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Continue to scroll through for more behind the scenes goodness and check back soon for highlights from the bridal lookbook.

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Chantelle Fraser for Panache Magazine

Mia Tucker Williams is a talented stylist who I've been working with for years, so when one Friday evening she called me in a mild panic because they somehow lost their photographer for a portrait shoot with Chantelle Fraser the next morning, it didn't take much convincing to get me on board.  Chantelle's publicist had reached out to Mia about an ongoing collaboration in the Spring and when they were contacted by Panache Magazine in Jamaica about running a feature on Chantelle, she called Mia, who then called me (the production phone tree at work).  Chantelle Fraser is the CEO of Flawless NYC, a vegan beauty and lifestyle blogger, and one of the stars of Bravo's hit reality show, Blood, Sweat, and Heels.  I didn't really have anything else going on so it seemed like a nice way to spend a Saturday morning in June.  

We met at Chantelle's house the next day and shot the story in her backyard.  Working with Chantelle was a very lovely experience.  The London native and CEO was a gracious host and willing model (as was Milkshake, her west highland terrier).  Here are some of my favorite images from the shoot, and don't forget to check out the article in Panache Magazine.  

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