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. 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 gender-bent 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, organized a time to 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. And in that moment, the characters started coming together, and Sydney decided to make individual skirts for each of us, BlackAxePhoto would make our crowns, and I…would wear both.
Not so according to plan
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 backward.
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 was 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 and are running on limited sleep/no food.
By mid-shoot I realized just how cold it was for a supposed Spring day. And the fact that my outfit was essentially lingerie. I was thankful for my long wool winter coat, which I threw on between takes or anytime we moved locations.
Enter “the family”
It was at this point that I realized the castle is a public tourist attraction. Qe watched as an entire family, with three children under the age of 8 entered our line of site. They also noticed us…or more specifically, my crown. I felt my heart stop upon hearing the eldest of the group say to her grandchildren, “Oh look kids, a princess is 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 staring in my direction.
Fortunately, once we went back to shooting, they didn’t stick around for long. Unfortunately, by this point both Sydney and I were starting to feel the cold on top of our exhaustion and sudden hunger.
Background info about models
People assume that models don’t eat, or don’t like to eat.
It’s a common misconception. Most models love food. We also have a crazy ability to eat more than anyone thinks we can, and more often too. I’ve contemplated making a “Feed the model” shirt to wear before and after photo shoots. Just in case anyone I collaborate with needs a subtle hint…
Those who know me are very aware of the fact that I will always have at least one snack if not more 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, I banged out my best Persephone poses. Followed immediately by changing into street clothes over/under my photo shoot wardrobe. In moments, I threw random items into my multiple bags as I jogged for the car.
We wrapped up our shoot and chatted over breakfast food at a small restaurant before heading our separate ways. There is something about ending a shoot with a meal that I find so satisfying. Personalizes the entire collaboration if you ask me.
I absolutely loved the concept of this shoot. I hope we get to revisit those ideas in the near future!
An enormous thank you to Zachary Stone for finding such a great location and letting me crash your shoot. Thank you to BlackAxePhoto for spending your night making crowns, carting us around and making sure we stayed warm. 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! Finally, thanks to all three of you wonderful people for listening to my crazy “goddess for a day” concept.