I had my first styled photo shoot in 2012 (I wish I had the pictures to share). I styled 4 models out of their closets and mine, and took the pics on my phone. I printed them out at Walgreens to submit into my first fashion show competition at my university. I remember feeling so scared and intimidated after seeing other’s submitted photos, they had full on professional photoshoots and print outs. This was my first time ever doing anything fashion related, no idea that was the route I should have taken being that it was a competition. I didn’t have a camera and definitely didn’t have money to hire someone. Long story short, I ended up winning 1st place! The next year, I stepped it up a bit and had my model’s photographer boyfriend to take pics of my 4 models around my apartment complex. Printed and submitted those, I won 1st place again! If you know my story, you know this is what embarked my fashion journey. Fast forward to present day, photo shoots are one of the highlights of styling for me. I love the creativity that they require, as well as seeing a vision that was once in my head come to fruition! I’ll share my semi step by step process of what the world of photo shoots entails for me!
I usually start with location. The location of the shoot sets the tone for how I plan to style the client. Sometimes I pick the location, or the photographer that I am working with can tell me what they had in mind. If you’ve kept up with me over the years, you know that I am a person that loves finding inspiration in locations. I drive around until things pop out at me, or I may look for inspo and find something similar to use. In this case, the photographer told me that he wanted to use a laundry mat as the location. I had always wanted to do a laundry mat inspired photo shoot so I was all in. The next step was to look for inspo. I chose to style my model based on the pics below!
I was careful to play into the inspiration pics, but still make it my own buy choosing a completely different color palette. But I loved the ideas of the magazines, so I had to add those. This added a fun and trendy play on the look.
For this look, I wanted her to still exemplify some summer aesthetics, but also represent a transition into pre-fall based on the colors and print I chose. Mustard yellow and gingham coordinate so well to me. And what’s a complete look without a graphic tee these days, they’re the perfect final touch to pull the look together. I added these yellow glasses that coordinated perfectly with the jacket and tee, but also played off of the clear heels. Both the glasses and heels gave the summer vibes that I wanted within this look. You want to be sure that your look of choice is cohesive with your setting and props. You just want it all to flow, if you know what I mean.
I loved working with this gorgeous doll of a model as well, she perfected my vision in this look! Sometimes I will curate the poses based on the inspiration for the shoot, or even just what I want to see. Sometimes the photographer is great at directing as well, and I might not have to direct at all. However, I’ve found that I actually do enjoy creative directing in addition to styling. In fact, if I am styling a photoshoot for someone else’s brand or vision, they often look for me to creative direct as well. I’ll say it is much easier doing a photo shoot with a model that has experience in front of the camera and a photographer with a vision as clear as yours. If the 3 of you are all on the same page, you can create magic!
Overall I was pretty pleased with how the look and vibe came together based on the inspiration pics that I chose. I’m beyond excited for my next photo shoot and can’t wait to share it with you guys! Thanks to an amazing reminder from a friend, I realized how I spoke something into existence less than a year ago and it will be taking place next week in the form of a photo shoot. I’m truly elated, but oh so thankful and grateful to God for the opportunity in itself. I pray that my visions continue to grow, thrive and evolve with time as I continue to perfect my craft and love for styling. If this was at all helpful or inspiring to you, please share that with me in the comments! Happy Friday Jr y’all, my favorite day of the work week!