April 26th, 2010 Here's one that I was actively working on for quite some time. It started about 5 months ago with the idea to do a shoot at one of the really interesting locations here in our own backyard, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory Very Large Array (VLA) near Socorro, NM. Finding the outfits was one of the hardest things, but after a couple of months I was able to stumble upon some designs that I thought best fit the idea I had in my head of bright, flowing vibrant colors against muted desert tones. The array itself provides a unique environment that isn't over-saturated with photography (aside from the numerous movie appearances it's had), and lends itself to a story-line of exploring what a fashion model would be doing out there in the first place.
For our model, we selected new-comer Megan from Albuquerque. At 5'9", she's got every requisite a designer would want showing of their latest work on the runway. For me, I cast her previously for the Project New Day ad shoot (see previous post) and saw then someone who really wanted take direction and do the best job they could. I can tell you that I made no mistake casting her this time either, as she again blew us away with shot after shot of usable frames. For me in particular, I enjoy working with someone who actually has a vested interest in the modeling/fashion industry and is a goal-driven individual who works hard at everything, yet is humble and like a sponge at learning. We've gone over just about every bit of advice I can give a new model, and I'm always happy to share all I can. I don't know everything there is to know about being a highly-paid model in the fashion world, but the information I do know is good information. How to look professional and be impressive on camera is one of those things, and it makes a long day go so much better when there is a constant positive-energy on set and your subject is being such a professional. Megan's got a future in anything she wants to do- mark my words.
Her folks not only came along on the shoot, but brought their RV to provide a place to do hair/makeup, a place to change and just get out of the wind and dust. Really nice people that you don't meet everyday. Very helpful with providing anything, and Megs' mom even provided lunch by making delicious croissant sandwiches for all of us. This was a very different shoot for me- not my usual situation, nor my usual modus operand of always being the one providing the hospitality, refreshments and food. But I was welcoming every bit of it. In fact, maybe I should ask more models if their parents can come to the set and bring some sandwiches or something. Might help the expense reports numbers at the end of the year. All kidding aside, it was really a breath of fresh air to have such good people and positive supporters for their daughter along to see how this all comes together and how to capture a compelling, energetic shot in expensive dresses- not something anyone can just walk up and do- trust me. If anyone wants to know the fundamentals to being good at modeling, it starts with always being on time, dedication, and keeping a positive energy and willingness to understand that it's not about having your picture taken, but rather, bringing the photographer's vision to life. That's how professional models get the large checks.
Here's the behind-the-scenes, and I do apologize for the quality, but I did not have my usual behind-the-scenes shooters with me (unavailable) so we were stuck with iPhone cameras and pocket cameras. We just enjoyed the day, hung out and got some great stuff. The results can be seen on my main website, in the fashion gallery. Oh and I totally faked my logo on the side of the RV, I just had to see how cool that would really look. :) Mouse over the thumbnail image to see the photo captions.
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