Here at JSC we thought we would shed a little light into the creative process' behind our latest shoot. I am a firm believer in making shoots fun and creative as everyone there, is there to grow, gain confidence and most of all leave feeling amazing all round.
The buzz is incredible, from first gaining inspiration right the way through to meeting the models and photographers to getting the final edits through. Although whilst writing this that seems a fairly simple process but the leg work behind the scenes can be interesting - if you're into that kind of thing. So if you are, here goes.....
Our most recent shoot was done with Megan Rowdon, a gorgeous young lady who has done modelling for me previously. We have grown to become good friends and an added bonus is that she lives less than 10 miles away, so it is a lot easier logistically to do an impromptu shoot - which I am always a fan of. Megan has an ileostomy and a PEG tube due to Crohn's Disease.
Creatively, I start with a mind map to determine what look I would like to achieve from the shoot. I did this by asking "What springs to mind when you think of a wedding?" Obviously my instant thoughts were typically; bride, wedding dress, ivory, classic look and flowers. So from this I then began to search different images, sometimes look at different brands for inspiration which helps me to broaden my search into different location settings, style of make-up & hair, which props to use props etc.
So the final mood board ended up like this:
Next, I then look for locations - this can be a lengthly process and honestly the variance in prices never ceases to amaze me! If a location costs a little more than anticipated I usually step in and become the make-up artist. This has gone well thus far but depending on the size of the shoot, I do sometimes get people in so I can focus on the styling and directing of the shoot! I usually wing it, professional right?
After hair and make-up is done, it is down to the fun stuff. Beyoncé on, camera & lighting set up, phone at the ready and were off.... the warm up shots are great at getting the model into the swing of it - as quite frankly it is DAUNTING getting your kit off and just be expected to be natural at shaking it in front of the camera. Trust me, I have been there - some people take to it like duck to water when others, like me require a little foreplay (probably could have used a slightly less sexual word there, but hey! You get where I am coming from).
Most of my models have been through a lot, they've battled in one way or another having to contend with a type of surgery, a chronic illness and possibly have a stoma or scars. So, when I do get someone to model..... I'm not asking for much right?
I love to see the transformation and the surge of confidence which slowly trickles out. Getting pictures of the products is not the only to the aim of the shoot but to actually SHOW that you can be you & that's okay! When I first met Megan, she was shaking before she modelled. She lacked confidence in herself and was extremely poorly at the time and continues to struggle but as time went on, pictures were shared and you could see the surge. She realised she was gorgeous, sexy and beautiful despite adversity and not fitting into societies norm.
So I say hell to the norm - what makes us unique makes us damn special & show it.
With thanks to Georgia Pangai who was an incredible photographer <3