One of my favorite people to work with is my friend Dan Minicucci. It's unfortunate that we don't get to see each other more often, but with our differing schedules, it can be months before we have an opportunity to work together again.
This past week was one of those moments where our schedules aligned (yaaaay)! Of course, that doesn't mean our original plans worked out, but I've learned that if you want to work creatively, you have to learn to be flexible. While our goal of shooting some European inspired street fashion remained intact, our original location in North Boston quickly flew off the table when we learned that the Boston Marathon was taking place the same day, along with a Red Sox game (2 strikes and we were out of that game - finding a place to park was the last thing I wanted to worry about). Lucky for me, I remembered an area in Zachary Stone had shown me last summer when we went up to shoot in Portsmouth for the day, and we opted for a more modern location (with just a hint of Parisian styling to our looks).
I think this may have been the first shoot I've had with Dan where all of the outfits we shot were from my own closet! Typically we do a combination of things I bring, and things he brings, but my styling must have been just right for our theme (my personal style is finally on point as I head toward the "wrong" side of 25!), because everything flowed together really well. On that note, I do have to thank my mother for providing me with some fun purses to use as bags are not one of the items I have more than one of (thanks mom!).
We had ideal weather for our shoot as well, even when shooting at a less than ideal time (oh hey there high-noon...love your piercing sunlight when I'm trying to remain elegant and appear unphased by your blinding ability), and even with a breeze I wasn't too cold to wear any of the outfits I brought. After we shot the wardrobe I brought, we had a chance to grab a bite to eat at a small bakery/cafe and catch up for a while before heading our separate ways.
But no experience is without it's lessons, and I learned quite a few that day...
Lesson 1) Flexibility is your best friend when it comes to posing (and changing locations on the fly), especially when experimenting with interesting angles for a shot - I got a serious work out at one point when trying to show off my heels on a metal boot scraper while leaning back and twisting my torso to create a dynamic shape (I gotta start doing more squats so my legs don't burn so much).
Lesson 2) Running back and forth in traffic (well technically I was in a crosswalk so it was all legal running) to get a shot that appears to be just casually gliding/strolling across the street while swinging a purse, and in actuality trying to do a jump/walk/purse-swing in 4 inch heels with no hint of "oh God I'm gonna break my ankle, fall flat on my face, or let go of my purse and watch it hit another pedestrian" in your expression, is much harder than I thought it would be. Hats off to all you neutral faced models elegantly jumping in your photos with no fear in your eyes!
Lesson 3) If you're doing a photoshoot on location, especially somewhere with high volume of people, expect more people to take photos of you than just your photographer. I watched three separate people pull out their phones to snap a shot of us working (two of them were driving while they did this - one of those drivers actually went around the block and came back with his phone out because the first time he was stopped in the middle of the road for too long and the guy behind him honked). Two other people came up and asked what we were doing (obviously we're baking cookies, what does it look like?), and numerous just stopped to watch.
Lesson 4) This was more a lesson about myself, and how I've changed personally.
When the occasional cat-caller made an idiot of himself while I've been at previous shoots, I did my best to ignore the situation and pretend like it wasn't happening.
Recently however, I've decided I'm tired of pretending like nothing is happening, because A) It's rude to speak to anyone in such a way, and B) You deserve to know my feelings for you if you're going to take the time to express to a stranger your fleeting feelings for them.
To set the scene, we were shooting on the sidewalk in front of a stone church next to a rather busy intersection on one side, and a small one way road on the other. I was wearing a sleeveless button up shirt, and a floor length skirt, but simply because I am of the female variety in my species, the male of our species assumes it gives him reason to express an explanation of his desired mating ritual.
This began with the shit-mobile they called their vehicle pulling up about 10 feet away from us on the one-way road, and stopping it suddenly while they leaned out the window to get my attention.
"HEY! HEY YOU'RE GORGEOUS!" - I am currently posing with small clutch purse held in both hands over my head as I lean against a steel fence, and am pretending I don't hear them as I continue modeling for the camera... "You want to go for a ride??....ON MY DICK! BAHAHWAHWAHAHAA!!!" -They elbow each other between guffas as they look back at me expectantly. I look in their direction, adjust my feet for a slightly different pose, shift my purse to one hand, elegantly raise my arm away from my head, and extend my middle finger as we lock eyes and I stare them down. Their smiles fade as they make disapproving noises and speed off down the one-way street. I adjust my gaze back to the camera, lower my finger, and give a sweet smile to my companion who asks "Did you just flip those guys of?", looks back through the shots he just took and laughs as he states "Oh ya, look at that! You did flip them off!", and we continue working.
It may not have been the most professional response, but if you're going to interrupt my work, you're lucky that's all you're getting off with. Needless to say, it made me feel like I stated my opinion on the matter without letting it distract me from the task at hand.
Aside from that moment of annoyance, we had a great shoot, and I'm so pleased to have had a chance both catch up and work with one of the people I've known since I decided to first enter into the modeling industry.
I've already seen some of the amazing shots taken, and I'm excited to share them in my gallery.
The end of April has turned into quite a busy month, so I'll hopefully have a few more behind the scenes posts to share over the next few weeks. Meanwhile, I'll be out enjoying the wonderful Spring weather while we have it!