Last October I collaborated on a little project with some very talented local artists and it was an amazing experience. As a photographer, I stepped out of my comfort zone behind the camera and stepped in front of it. I modelled for a styled shoot to feel what a client does and learn.
You might recall my post then with a little preview?
I love being a photographer and never want to stop learning. Being able to pose and make clients comfortable is a must have skill. Kids are fun and playful and easy for me to work with but often it's more difficult to put an adult at ease as we are self conscious and have so many inhibitions.
As Father's Day and wedding season is quickly approaching I thought it was a perfect time to share the experience. A little boudoir/glamour shoot peek book is a great gift for a loved one and having beautiful images done of yourself is a present every woman should give themselves at least once in their lifetime.
Amanda Huston from the Huston Spot was the lead of this project...it was her vision. She picked my look...my hair, my makeup, and outfits. She also did all the shooting and editing and was amazing to work with. To see her work visit the Huston Spot button on my left sidebar to get to her site. Right away she said she wanted to shoot me in an Old Hollywood style. As most of the images we took needed to be something I was willing to share publicly here we went more glam than boudoir in terms of outfits and posing.
The day of the shoot we started early and everyone was full of chatter and ideas. I was so nervous and not used to being the subject of attention. Coffee and baileys and Mimosas helped with that a lot.
Courtnie LaFontaine from square1one Salon did my hair which is no easy task as it doesn't hold curl well. She has been my stylist for a few years an I adore her...she gives me cuts and highlights that last for at least four months as I am a horrible procrastinator. We are currently working on her social media launch so for now I have a sponsor button for her services on my left sidebar, or you can like her new facebook page. She works from the salon downtown or on location.
Amy Gervais, the artist behind Alustria Makeup Artistry did my makeup. She works quickly with precision and a soft touch and went with an Old Hollywood look for me that I could wear comfortably. I knew I would not have been able to pull off the red lips and black eyeliner look, she respected that and worked with Amanda to pick a pink alternative. Both of these artists skillfully primped me into what Amanda imagined and then we were ready to shoot.
I am by no means a model and not very photogenic so I sort of thought of the whole thing as playing dress up and tried to focus on Amanda's fun but effective coaching to help me relax and look somewhat normal. Don't even ask how many times she had to say "part your lips a bit" "look here" "relax" etc. It also was kinda hilarious walking around my house and yard in lingerie and super high heels so we had lots of laughs while she patiently took hundreds of images. By the end I was getting pretty comfortable. When I saw the final proofs I can definitely pick out the images where I was relaxed vs the ones where I felt awkward in what I was wearing or how I was standing etc. A good photographer Iike Amanda is able to find your best side, your best smile, your best look and shoot to accent your features.
So, keep in mind she did take hundreds of images and I do have three sons I don't want to embarrass so I had to be selective about the photos I am sharing publicly. Glamour and boudoir photography is not at all about being vain or thinking you are hot stuff. Ask any woman who has had the experience...it is about being pampered and honoring yourself as a woman. It is about having special images you feel good about to share with your loved ones and to have later in life and look at with fond memories.
For me this day and this styled shoot was an amazing growing opportunity as a photographer, a treat as a busy Mom and a special memento, as most of the images my boys will have later in life will be of me in complete Mom mode taken on a lousy phone. The appropriate images from this shoot will maybe be something to show them what I was like as a person in general. I don't know, I hope so. I plan on picking a nice fully clothed one and printing three small copies to put in their memory boxes so they can show their Grandkids one day. So that being said here are some of the final images Amanda presented me from the styled shoot she envisioned and we made finally made happen...
A million thanks to Yuriko Lawson from Vintage Origami in Kelowna for picking the props like the chair and fur wrap and crates of other perfect finds to create what Amanda planned. She has an a huge selections of props and furniture and vintage treasures to rent for shoots and weddings or other big events.
I got to pull out my riding gear from when I was fourteen years old for one location which was amazing till the wild horses started being really agressive. I love horses and don't fear them but when they start pushing me and snapping at my clothing I can run and jump a fence rather quickly.
Lastly she did a variety of colour and black and white images and each has quite a different look.
So there you have it folks...that is all I am sharing.
Just a smattering, but enough to document the experience and talent of the team of amazing artists that took me, just an ordinary forty one year old Mom, and gave me a day of pampering, learning and self esteem boosting fun.
Photography is a luxury item but really should be a necessity. The days pass slowly but the years pass quickly... especially as you get older. Find time and budget to have special images created of your loved ones and you because one day you will look back and smile and be so glad you did.
Thank-you from the bottom of my heart to Amanda, Courtnie, Amy and Yuriko for your creative energy and dedication to this project...I feel blessed to have such artistic souls to call my friends.