Meet Caleigh one of my former high school seniors who returned in front of the lens for a creative shoot. She and I recently collaborated with my hair and makeup team from Lasata Salon and Day Spa on a photo shoot. Read all about Caleigh's experience as part of the creative team! Special Thank you to Makeup Artist, Elena and Hair Stylist, Jodi Lynn
KMP: Who would you say is your number one fashion inspiration?
I wouldn’t say there is any one person in particular that serves as my fashion inspiration. I usually am constantly paying attention to what people around me are wearing and when I see a look or piece that I like or interest me then I try and find something similar that works in my own wardrobe.
KMP: What is your favorite fashion magazine?
It really depends; I find that I read Vogue, Marie Claire, and Glamour. The three offer a good mix of couture, contemporary and trendy fashion that I get to see the full spectrum. In looking at all three its interesting to see the different takes there are for what “fashion” is at the same time in the world.
KMP: When you dress up and go out, what are your favorite "go to" pieces in your closet?
I have a large collection of black tank tops, the range from plain and simple to different fabrics and appliques, so on a given night out I would say that a black tank and jeans are usually a go to outfit with some jewelry and maybe a jacket if its colder out.
KMP: What thematic ideas were you initially looking at for your photo shoot?
There were several ideas that came to mind when planning out the shoot. One was a 20’s inspired photo shoot, another was Hollywood glam or possibly and Audrey Hepburn or Jackie O inspired shoot. However after looking at all aspects involved in the photo-shoot the ethereal came out as the direction we choose to go in. How did you narrow it down to the ethereal look? I think one of the big reasons for the photo-shoot was to play with angles and lighting, and the ethereal look offered the most room to play with that. We saw the potential to manipulate lighting to make some interesting and unique shots happen as well as take and artsy approach to portraits, which I think we achieved in some of the final shots.
The first dress was a beautiful mint green. We loved how it photographed in black and white!
KMP: Tell us about your hair and makeup experience?
The hair and makeup was something that was actually pretty familiar to me going into the photo shoot. As a former competitive figure skater I am used to some non-traditional hair and makeup looks so this was really no different. Although it was different to not know what the outcome would be going in and just watch it unfold, and while I was not totally aware of where the look was going it turned out to work really well in the shoot.
KMP: Tell us about the shoot? What is it like to model for the afternoon?
While I thought I had an idea of what it would be like going in I realized I was not as prepared as I thought. Having done senior photos not that long ago I figured it would be similar but really it was a totally new experience. Posing for artistic shots are a whole other animal, there needs to be so much more creativity present in order to get cool shots and just another level of physical ability to hold poses and positions for long periods of time. And while it fun it’s also so much more work than you realize. By the end of the day and two outfit changes I realized just how tired I was. And once I got home, I was beat, but eager to see if the work had paid off.
KMP: What surprised you about the experience?
TIME. We had so many ideas and plans going into the shoot and time just flew by. We were not able to go to several of the locations we planned and the session went to the very last available minute, even though we had ideas to fill up many more hours. It was crazy to see just how quickly several hours could go by,
KMP NOTE: The second dress we shot (pictured below) was actually an old prom dress that Caleigh gave new life. She added a pair of long opera gloves, attached some black tulle and draped some chiffon fabric to cover the flashy sequined top. A terrific no sew/low sew option! Add a crown and we had a completely new look-almost medieval. This old and cracked plaster wall was everything to the look and feel of the second half of the shoot.
KMP: What would you do differently if you had the opportunity to do the shoot again?
I think breaking up the session into two parts would have been helpful. It was a super hot day and right during midday so being in the sun that long did take its toll. If we had planned ahead of time to do a couple hours in one dress, then take a break and get some food and just hang out for maybe thirty minutes and do a couple more hours in the next outfit it may have produced some images we lost out on due to time and fatigue.
What is your favorite image from the shoot?
"I really like the lighting on this photo that was done in editing, this makes the vibe of the shoot really come through, I would make this the album cover photo!”
Any advice for someone who wants to plan a shoot like this?
DO IT! Although it may seem like a daunting challenge its really not. Kathleen is a great creative partner and helps to make the vision some alive, but also makes sure you are totally involved and your opinion is heard. If its something that interests you, then I would take the plunge. You will get one of a kind images that are one of a kind and will be glad when its done because the experience is almost as fun as the photos.
Come along on a 1940's Inspired Photo Shoot!
Erin's mom booked a high school senior shoot with me early last spring. Her mom and I discussed what her daughter was hoping for in a shoot and we reserved a day and time in August. Erin is in drama at school and hasa keen interest in period clothing, so I asked if Erin would be willing to do a special 1940's inspired photo-shoot after we completed her senior photos. Erin agreed and she and her mom began to assemble wardrobe items for the shoot.
A few weeks later, we met at La Sata Salon and Day Spa for Erin's hair and makeup Jodi Lynn did her hair in soft waves and Elena did Erin's makeup with the historical accuracy of the 1940's, complete with the orange-red lip!
Hair and Makeup at Lasata Salon and Spa 2014 Second St. SW
Elena, an esthetician and an Aveda Freelance Advisor, is a talented artist and generous collaborator. She takes time to research each era being photographed and makes sure the application of the makeup is accurate for the time frame. Elena has a gentle way of working with clients that makes them feel special.
Jodi Lynn skillfully and artfully designs a hair style that is not only reflective of the time period, but that it also one that compliments the model. Jodi Lynn has years of experience with creative hair design and researches hairstyles to make sure they are reflective of what the era/time frame. Jodi Lynn is a great conversationalist and puts clients at ease.
Once hair makeup and wardrobe were complete we headed over to the Porch Restaurant, (thank you Lee Ann Zubay!) for a few shots with her vintage suitcases; then we headed over to the Mayo campus. Once on the Mayo Campus we took some shots near the medical school building and the Plummer building, all known for their amazing architectural details that would easily lend itself to 1940's spirit. Erin was kind enough to write a few thoughts about her experience. Enjoy her reflective responses and gorgeous pictures. She truly embodies the elegance and class of the 1940's!
What was the experience like getting your hair and makeup done? Were you surprised by the look?
The experience of getting my hair and makeup done was really cool! I’d wanted to try getting my hair and makeup done professionally for a while, so I was really excited about this opportunity. Jodi Lynn and Elena were lovely and both did fantastic jobs! I kept my hair and makeup done for hours after the photoshoot because I didn’t want to stop looking the way I did. The look wasn’t what I had been thinking about, so it surprised me, but it was wonderful! I especially loved the eyeshadow and how great my brows looked! I kept thinking about Marilyn Monroe and Bette Davis when I looked at it. I felt like a movie star all day!
Tell us about your clothing choices...Where did you find your clothes? What tips would you share about picking out a wardrobe to inspire a specific era? Was there something you wanted to wear but didn't get a chance to? Tell about each ensemble.
My mom was really helpful in helping me pick out all the clothes. We both made Pinterest Boards of forties clothes and forties themed photoshoots that we liked (which I recommend to anyone doing a photoshoot, themed or not), and then we went through my closet trying to find pieces that resembled those in the pictures. I happened to have quite a few pieces that worked, so we didn’t have to go shopping. The mustard dress and blue coat, an ensemble we called “Mustard” both came from Savers. The blue shoes were also from Savers. My dad got me that red hat as a Christmas present from a hat store in San Francisco. It wasn’t originally supposed to go with this outfit, but when my mom and I tried the combination I fell in love with the primary color palette!
The polka dot dress came from Kismet—my mom and I actually bought it for my eighth grade graduation. We pulled it out of the back of my closet for the first time since then just for this shoot. I was very happy to find that it still fits! The red shoes were a lucky find at Kismet. We called that outfit “Minnie Mouse”.
There was one other outfit we put together that didn’t get shot that my mom and I called “French Resistance.” That was a polka dot shirt and skirt, with a belted brown blazer and a red beret. I would have liked to have had it shot, but I don’t think the wartime spy theme would have really worked with all the sunshine and fun art deco backgrounds. The thing that I really love about all the ensembles we put together is that they are regular parts of my closet, so I can wear them again anytime I want!
If you could only pick one image from the shoot and publish it, which image would it be?
There were several that I really loved, but the full-length black and white one in the polka dot dress is probably the photo I would publish. I think it looks really cool and classy, and the black and white of course makes me think of a 1940s starlet. Also, my dad said I looked like Winona Ryder in this picture, so I have to love that!
What was the hardest part of the experience?
I think the hardest part of the experience was trying to come up with new things to do with my face and arms for each shot. Ultimately I found that just trying to smile worked really well, and the photos make the sore cheeks worth it!
What would you say to anyone considering a stylized photoshoot representing a theme or an era? What tips would you have for them?
Like I said for the clothing, I would suggest making a Pinterest board of inspiration to figure out what you want to do with the photos, and then experiment with clothes. Put pieces from one outfit with pieces from another outfit. Mix and match and have fun! If you need/want to go shopping, especially for a period shoot, I would recommend looking around consignment and thrift stores. There’s a lot of great things to find in those stores if you look around! When it comes to the shoot, I would say to just relax and embrace the theme/era. Some of my favorite pictures are candid ones where I’m relaxed and laughing!
I love my family, cappucino cake, family hugs, giggling babies and sand under my feet....