We pulled off our first stateside Fashion Shoot Experience!
When Matthew first suggested taking our event to New York I was highly sceptical at the scale of such a task! But with the experience of a year of London Shoot Experiences, the prospect became decreasingly daunting. Once we had the right location nailed for such an event (which took months to find) we sold out the places quite quickly, and with demand had to add a third day. We then spent several weeks putting the creative team into place, the most work needed to pinpoint the right stylist and costumes, and we were off!
The event took place at a glorious brownstone Brooklyn mansion which we hired for 5 nights; 3 of those being Shoot Experience days. The days were a sell-out, with some photographers joining to shoot on a double day. We followed the typical structure of our London events: 5 models, full styling team of stylist, 2 x MUA and 2 x hairstylists, with 10 photographer slots, all split into pairs to work with each model for an hour in a different room of the house. Stylist Jay Johnson pulled in designer dresses from Jovani, Tony Bowls and Faviana. Hairstylist Yasutake made hair pieces for the models to offer a diversity of wilder looks amongst the more classical ball gown looks.
The lighting set-ups were flash (TritonFlashes, from Photoflex our sponsor), and we also had some LED constant lights available at times from the videographer, which added a diversity to the range. However, we were also blessed with beautiful natural light in a lot of the rooms most of the time. The spots around the house included a sunlit front lounge which looked like it was straight from the pages of Vanity Fair; a dark saloon area for moodier shots with flash; a beautiful bedroom archetypal of an interiors magazine, and a quirkier bedroom – the ’swoon room’, vibrant in blue decor and its own inhabitant, mannequin ‘Lola’.
We had a superb videographer shooting footage of the whole event, Josh Beadle shooting on RED, who also shot stills in a photographer slot. We’re much looking forward to what comes from the stunning creative footage we saw him creating of the models. Amongst the other photographers there was a great range of technology at hand, from your typical Canon and Nikon; compact Leicas through to Phase One IQ180s. Below is a superb image from Brent MCCombs shooting on Phase One.
Helpfully, the styling room was designated in the lower basement area, which kept numbers round the house low as needed, and so we could have some assistants on hand. These included some of the photographers who had joined the shoot – Ian Mears who came over with us from the UK, Diana Lemieux (whom I ‘met’ through Flickr, and was great to finally meet for real!) with her husband Rick, who all stayed at the house with us.
The mansion itself was the perfect location for us, as the core team, to shoot and stay in. Luckily we had the owner as excited as we were, and even though so much goes on in this house (shoots, weddings, performances), she was particularly interested to see what we were creating, with the diversity involved. The food made for us by the house was delicious and it was a bonus to spend some social time with them in the evenings (well, just down the road in Clinton Hill – as far as we got in the whole trip, with being so exhausted!).
Here’s a group shot from each day:
I shot as a participant on the first and third days, but on the second, I nipped over the road with a couple of dresses to shoot with a 6th model Kate, who we recruited for the afternoon for a special shoot in a lady’s prop-laden house, full of peculiar and fascinating objects – like numerous mini museums brought together. It was a great little bonus to an already frantically-busy trip. Pictures from that, and the mansion shooting itself, will come later from me. I’ve been editing both Surreal Fashion but also enjoying putting together collections of completely different, ‘untouched’ images.
After the success of our first international Fashion Shoot Experience, we’re already planning the next two for this year – Italy in September and California in October, the latter which will coincide with an opportunity I will reveal later. More on all that to come. Meanwhile if you want to be sure to hear the dates first, email us at email@example.com or join the big mailing list.
We’ve also got our London events for April, May and June lined up, which includes a brand new Thameside location (see all London details on the website:
NB: B/w pictures in this post are by Simon Ghahary, taken on a Leica D-Lux 5, a camera I fell in love with during the trip…