Yesterday I had the pleasure to collaborate with an awesome team to create a series of editorial fashion images. Despite not being meticulously planned, all of the elements of the shoot came together and we were able to pull off some portfolio-worthy images that I'm really proud of. Keep reading to find out how it all came together.
First off, this project was a collaboration between myself, hair and makeup artist Dana Means-Wheeler, and model Mika Collins. I've been wanting to do a shoot with Mika for a while now — we even had a test planned out a few weeks ago but scheduling conflicts caused it to fall through. When I first contacted Montana-based modeling agency Rocky Mountain Entertainment Agency (RMEA) and requested a few models to work with for test shoots, they put me in touch with Mika. Although most of her portfolio is quite different from my style of photography, I knew that she'd make a great subject.
Hair and makeup were provided by Dana Means-Wheeler, owner of Shear Art Salon located in Missoula. I first met Dana at a meeting with RMEA during their modeling training workshop in Missoula, and after seeing my work she's been excited about a collaboration ever since. She offered to provide hair and makeup, and even offered to let us shoot in her salon in order to save on the cost of renting a studio. While the space wasn't ideal as as studio space due to fairly low ceilings, it was good to have a challenging space to work in, as I think I need to develop more skill working in tight spaces.
The model, Mika, was in charge of providing her own wardrobe for the shoot, and I simply asked her to bring as much as she could so I'd have options to choose from on the day-of. Luckily she pulled through and showed up with a ton of options from which I was able to choose my favorite looks that I thought matched the mood of my lighting, backdrop, and Dana's hair. When I saw what we were working with in terms of wardrobe, I gave Dana the direction for hair and makeup: up and loose. She followed through with her own interpretation on that, and did an amazing job with Mika.
Having recently painted my latest addition to my canvas backdrop collection, it was too tempting not to put it to the test in a full-blown photoshoot. While Dana and Mika were busy with hair and makeup, I got to work setting up lights and the backdrop.
We shot for a little over three hours with a variety of wardrobe changes, but only minor lighting changes — all on the same backdrop. While I typically love shooting a large variety of different looks in a single shoot, I think an area that I could improve on is creating a set of different images with a cohesive look and feel. This is essential for multi-page editorial pieces where a variety of shots are necessary, but all of the images need to have a continuous look so the story doesn't look like a random collection of images. With this shoot, by sticking with similar lighting and the same backdrop I was able to achieve a cohesive look throughout the whole shoot, and kept a consistent editing style in post-production.
All said and done, this shoot was a blast and I enjoyed working with a fun team to create some images. Mika was gorgeous, super cooperative, and a natural in front of the camera. Dana did a fantastic job with hair and makeup, and we were able to put together a decent wardrobe from what was available. I hope you like the images.
And speaking of post-production, enjoy a quick time-lapse video of the retouching process for one of the images.
And now, some behind the scenes images: