First point of contact is always a photographer. Someone who will capture, bring to life, and add their style to an idea that you have. Someone who will understand your vibe, confidently direct models, photo the garments in their best light and edit to perfection. Someone… who also happens to be my best friend! Sorted.
The vibe. I was set on a girl gang sparkle vibe to kick off the start of an exciting festival season in the UK. I also wanted to compliment the traditional English summer countryside with the vibrance of AUS, sequins and holographic fabrics. You would have thought it being summer time, and previously really hot in the UK it would be fairly straight forward to find a location? Location is always one of the hardest elements to source. Unless you already have somewhere in mind, to find a location that Is perfect, is difficult. It got to the point where I was changing location almost every day in the week before the shoot and driving round like a crazy person trying to find. .. the field or the woodland. 2 days before I found it. It was only then, that I checked the weather. Rain! The one day out of the whole month of clear sunny skies, it was going to rain! SOS. Another brainstorm was needed ASAP. It was then that Tula had the brilliant idea to use her families caravan – it’s waterproof and definitely has the vibe. Sorted.
Other elements that are so important for a photoshoot to work are the models and make-up artists. I’m always on the look out for models (this is also a part of my late-night Bellisa X social media stalk/research) so I generally have an idea of who would most suit the look I’m going for, but also like to open the opportunity to everyone who may be interested. I love diversity – to show that the clothes are for everyone. Alongside Cara, models Bonnie and Phoebe totally complimented the clothing and each other in their own unique ways. And didn’t they look fabulous!
For some reason, I always leave make-up to the last minute to organise and then completely panic that I haven’t sorted it sooner. In a fluster, I sent an email to BAMM (Bath Academy of Media Make-up) in search for last minute make-up artists (2 days last minute) and to my delight I had very swift replies. AND I AM SO GRATEFUL for how amazing these 2 made the models look, on such short notice, a very brief brief and how also professional they worked.
The photoshoot. So with a build up at least 6 months to this time, the day was here. (I’m sure I’m not the only one who can never sleep before a shoot – due to 50% nervousness – like is this gunna work ? have I forgotten something ? but also 50% excitement! ) I’d arranged for make-up artists and models to meet at my house to set up and get ready. Shortly after, Ariane arrived and myself, her and everyone else met for the first time! The kitchen was soon transformed into a hub of glitter, cups of tea and chatter. With beautifying in action, there was a very important part that had still not been figured out – styling, So Ariane and myself headed to the studio with her huuuuuge suitcase to work out outfit combos. We spent a good hour mix and matching items , working out garments that would go best , what outfits would compliment each other and to include a variation of colour, fabrics and sense of each of our brands.
Set up. As time is always a key factor in the organisation of photoshoots, we split into 2 groups. I headed off to the location to set up ready to start for when hair and makeup was finished. My car was literally full to the brim with clothes, props and of course people. Tula had spent the morning at another photoshoot and also clearing out the caravan. So that when we got there we set about getting artsy and crafty with décor to revamp the caravan into a cosy boho festival crib. And it looked pretty cute, don’t you think?
Shoot time. On the arrival of everyone else we quickly cracked on, dressed models in their first outfits, got them feeling comfortable in front of the camera and then snapped away. Working with a team of 2 designers, 3 models, 2 make-up artists and 1 photographer into a small caravan proved somewhat challenging at times. But we successfully battled through the hot ( body heat and portable heater) the cold ( outside and rain) all whilst running back and forth between the caravan and barn to swap and change outfits. All part of the fun!
The extra bits. To bring all the main elements together are the accessories and finer details and Ariane was great with this. She had come stocked with jazzy earrings to be styled alongside our Pompoms For Dayz and Shine Shack Gems- so that we could really create a complete look. Shoes are always tricky to source, so half the time I’m more than happy for models go barefoot and this fitted well with the festival hippy theme. BUT we did also use some snazzy authentic embroidered/pompom shoes of mine given to me by my cousin from her travels in Morocco! ( Thanks!) As mentioned, Ariane’s attention to the finer detail was impeccable – making sure that everything was always in place and clothing looked their best. When you’ve spent so long brainstorming, organising, sourcing, sewing, coordinating everyone involved it’s so important to make sure that on the day- the small details are there to make everything just perfect.
And that’s a wrap. Photos done, we quickly packed up and headed back to base camp and parted our separate ways. Everyone was exhausted. And I for one, slept the whole evening through to the morning. From then it was just a waiting game to get the final edits back. If you haven’t had the chance to look at the photos , then please head over to lookbook and have a browse. They are brilliant.
I am so pleased with how the photoshoot turned out after all the effort everyone had put in to make it so successful. So, thank you all! And also so appreciative of the warm responses to this collaboration from everyone on social media. And because we didn’t want to leave this magical meet up just as photos, Ariane came up with the great idea to hold a competition after. A competition is the perfect way to invite you guys to be involved with this unique collaboration. So if you haven’t already entered, then head over to Bellisa X Instagram to see what’s up for grabs! Competition ends 23.06.18 19.00 GMT. Good luck!