It still amazes me how quickly an idea can come together when collaborating with someone who has similar interests. While working with BlackAxePhoto on some studio lighting techniques, I met Sydney (the model for my first in house studio attempts). We chatted back and forth while I was shooting with her, and immediately started making plans of when we could work together again before our first shoot was even complete. It just so happened that she was taking a photography class, and needed a model for her project, so a few days later, I modeled for her. During that shoot, we were able to talk more about our personal interests and styles, as well as our love of Pinterest, and began sharing Pinterest boards as well as photoshoot ideas we wanted to try in the future. It was at that point we came up with the concept for this shoot:
A genderbent take on Hades, and "her" lover Persephone.
With that idea driving us, we spent a full two days sending ideas back and forth with tone, style, wardrobe, etc, as we made a list of what we needed to create our characters.
The day before our shoot, we planned to get together and visit some stores for crafting materials after work, but because the world isn't perfect, our plans got pushed back two hours due to traffic (because crazy car-jackers are crazy), so we were on a time crunch by the time we were able to get to the store. And in that moment, the characters started coming together, and Sydney decided to make individual skirts for each of us, BlackAxePhoto would make us crowns, and I...would wear both (I'll admit, I felt pretty low on the contribution line...).
Of course, nothing will ever go according to plan, and I found out the next morning that my comrades had to make a midnight run for a sewing machine and other craft materials due to the sewing machine only working backwards.
So 3 out of 4 participants at this shoot were running off of under 5 hours of sleep total. And yet, even with all the hiccups, Sydney managed to create unique outfits for both of us, which were completed by individualized crowns BlackAxePhoto made. We met up with Zachary Stone Photography at a stunning location, the ruins of a stone castle in Massachusetts. Side note: the hill to get up to the castle is brutal - especially when you decide to bring 6 bags of random stuff with you (I like to be prepared for anything) and are running on limited sleep/no food.
It wasn't until we were mid shoot that I realized how cold it was for a supposed Spring day, or that my outfit was essentially just white lingerie (with an added scarf at certain points, lace skirt accent, and heels). This was when I was thankful for the obnoxious amount of bags I brought, because one contained my long wool winter coat, which I threw on between takes, or any time we moved our shooting spot. It was also during this point that I realized the castle is a public tourist attraction, as we watched an entire family (Grandmother and dog included), with three children under the age of 8 enter our line of site. They also noticed us...or more specifically, my crown, as my heart stopped upon hearing the eldest of the group say to her grandchildren, "Oh look kids! A princess! She's having her picture taken - let's watch!". I pulled my coat closer and whispered to my comrades, "Ya, the underwear princess..." and pretended not to notice the children suddenly staring my way.
Fortunately, once we went back to shooting, they didn't stick around for long (I wonder if they didn't like my princess gown), but unfortunately, by this point both Sydney and myself were starting to feel the cold on top of our exhaustion and sudden hunger.
On that note, people assume that models don't eat, or don't like to eat.
It's a common misconception. Most models (and all the models I know) love food. We also have a crazy ability to eat more than anyone thinks we can, and more often too (It's for your own safety really - do you honestly want to work with a hangry model?). I've contemplated making a "Feed the model" shirt to wear before and after photoshoots, just in case anyone I collaborate with needs a subtle hint.
Those who knows me are very aware of the fact that I will always have at least one snack if not more (or a full meal for that matter) stashed in my purse no matter how long or short the shoot may be. But because we were all in a rush to try and get the best light for our time frame, I did not manage to pack any sustenance, or eat anything before I left for the day.
The quickest way to motivate me is by mentioning food. The second someone mentioned grabbing a bite to eat after we finished packing up, I banged out my best Persephone poses before changing into street clothes over/under my photoshoot wardrobe, and threw random items into my multiple bags as I headed for the car.
We wrapped up our shoot and chatted over breakfast food at a cute restaurant in southern NH before heading our separate ways for the evening. There is something about ending a shoot with a meal that I find so satisfying. It gives you a chance to relax a bit and get to know the people you're working with just a little more. Personalizes the entire collaboration if you ask me.
I absolutely loved the concept of this shoot. A few days later while going over some shots with BlackAxePhoto we discussed more shot ideas and creations that could be made using the basis of our genderbent characters. I hope we get to revisit those ideas in the near future - I'd love to share the strong imagery we have planned for those adventures.
An enormous thank you to Zachary Stone for finding such a great location and letting me crash your shoot; thank you to BlackAxePhoto for not only spending your night making crowns for us, but carting us (and my many random bags) around and making sure we stayed warm; and last but not least, Sydney, for working so diligently to create unique outfits for us both that you fell asleep mid-stitch attempting to pull an all-nighter, and still being able to function and make beautiful work the next morning. And thanks to all three of you wonderful people for listening to my crazy concept and going with it so I could fulfill my "Greek goddess" desires for a day...until my next crazy idea that is...