Now I’d made the first 3 prototype dresses I thought it was time to do the first photoshoot with the new range of dresses. If you’ve ever wondered, here’s what happens before the day and on the day to make a photo shoot a reality. This was a small shoot. Some of the big shoots that I’ve done that have involved lots of props or sets, florists, cake designers, venues, set designers, lots of models, or shooting more than one look in a day, have taken way more planning. Here’s how this one came to be.
For this shoot, I just had my first 3 prototype dresses and I knew that I needed images to use at my Griffin Accelerator pitch, so this shoot had to be planned and done very quickly. I wanted the dresses to be the focus of the pictures so kept props and accessories to a minimum. I also knew that I’d need to have promotional images of myself as well as the dresses on hand, so I decided that I should be one of the models. As Sarah had been to see me as the fit model for the size 14 champagne sequin dress and I knew it looked sensational on her, I asked her if she’d like to wear it in the shoot and she agreed. Sarah walked for me at Fashfest last year and she rocks. I asked Kimi if she’d like to come on board as our makeup artist for the day and she agreed which I was very excited about – I love Kimi’s makeup work. She does bold glam so well and totally gets my love of sparkle. You can check out her work on her YouTube channel – What Would Blair Do? Kimi isn’t just a talented makeup artist, she’s also drop dead gorgeous, so I asked her if she’d be my 3rd model. She’d worn the black lace and cream prototype of the Rosalie dress for my video and it looked so good on her. She agreed to be my 3rd model.
Shannon Brown from The Click Brown Fox was our photographer. He’d already kindly helped me with editing my words for my first pitch and my video, and for my Griffin Accelerator application and he’d mentioned that he’d be happy to help if I needed some photos done. He’s such a creative person – both his photography and writing skills are fantastic – so I jumped at the chance to have him as the photographer for the shoot. We got together and came up with a plan for the shoot. We decided to shoot outside in natural light, rather than going for a studio setting. We made a list of the shots we needed to get, such as ones that would work as a square for my Facebook page profile and ones that would work for the Facebook banner. We knew that we wanted to shoot all the dresses individually as well as together and that I needed a picture that would work as a ‘head shot’. It’s so much easier on the day of a shoot if you have a plan in place. It’s easy to forget to take a particular image or angle if you don’t.
Above, Kimi giving us super glam makeup early on a Sunday morning and Julie working her magic on our hair
The last person I needed for the shoot was a hairdresser. I contacted the super talented Julie Okely from Dilkara Hair and Dilkara Essence of Australia and she agreed to do hair for us. Julie and I have worked on lots of shoots together and Julie’s done hair at Fashfest and Sweet Chari-tea. Julie was also one of the first people who I told about my plans for this new range and she has supported me and encouraged me to follow this dream and to dream big! Julie was one of the teams who went through the Griffin Accelerator in 2015 and has been a huge help to me with all sorts of advice and support in the run up to me putting in my application this year and was there to offer her support the day of my pitch. Go and check out her amazing hair products. I know you will love them. Julie has BIG things happening for her business right now and I’m so excited to see what the future holds for her.
I sent hair and makeup inspiration pictures, pictures of the models and pictures of the dresses to Kimi and Julie so that they could plan the looks that they were going to do on the day of the shoot. Again, preparation is the key to the shoot going well on the day. I decided that I wanted to go with a dramatic, glittery eye and a rose pink lip for the makeup, and curls for the hair. Beyond that, I let Julie and Kimi plan what they wanted to do as I trust them both to take my ideas and make them awesome.
With a team and a plan in place, we headed to Julie’s hair salon early one Sunday morning. Julie set our hair and Kimi did our make up. Julie finished our hair and gave us hair spray to take with us. She couldn’t join us on the shoot, so made sure we were prepared in case we needed touch ups.
We thought we’d got lucky with the weather – it was a glorious sunny day – but then the wind started and it was relentless! We went to our first planned location and the wind was so strong that our hair and dresses we blowing around like crazy and we couldn’t shoot there. Sometimes, despite all the planning, you have to come up with a plan b. We still wanted to shoot in natural light, but we needed somewhere sheltered from the wind, so we headed for an underpass. It had recently been painted and was fairly light and bright, but most importantly, it gave us some shelter from the wild wind.
Above, my hair and makeup, including a silver glitter parting to hide the fact that I hadn’t had time to dye my roots!
Now we had a location, we could get on with shooting. It didn’t take long to get the shots we needed, we just had to stop a few times for people walking through the underpass.
Selfies while we wait for people walking through the underpass
After we finished the location shoot, we said to goodbye to Sarah, and Kimi, Shannon and I headed back to my studio. I had to film another video, this time as part of a grant application, so I thought that this was the perfect time to do it as I already had my hair and make up done. Somehow my hair had survived all the wind – a testament to Julie’s awesome hair skills and the power of hairspray!
We assembled the set and lighting for the video shoot and Kimi touched up my makeup. Shannon used the set for the video as a background for my head shot. I’d used the iridescent sequin fabric as a backdrop, and with me in one of the dresses and the other 2 on mannequins it made for the perfect backdrop to showing me and my frocks for my head shot pictures.
Shannon taking my head shots
Thank you to everyone who was involved in this shoot. You all came together and pulled out all the stops so that I could get these photos done in time for my Griffin Pitch and I really appreciate it. I am so lucky to count so many creative, supportive and knowledgeable people among my friends. Thank you to everyone who’s helped me so far on this journey. Thank you for believing in my crazy creativity and wild ideas, for encouraging me to follow my dream and for giving up your time and your skills to help me out when I need you. I couldn’t do it without you all. I see champagne in the future. Lots of champagne! Love you guys.
For now, I’m just going to share this peek of the image above. This is the one that I used when I pitched to Griffin. I’ll be sharing the rest soon, when I hopefully have a big announcement to make.