The anatomy of a shoot

Ever wondered how the professionals pull together a fashion shoot?

With blood, sweat and tears that's how!

From conception to seeing the final product in print the process can be just as painful as it is fantastic and my lack of posts this past week has all been down to one thing - two of my biggest shoots of the year in one week.

It began with a mad dash back to the office where I unpacked samples and started to pull looks together. The easiest way to do this is to take emotion out of the equation. Don't pick out a dress just because you think it's pretty, rather look for a recurring theme and stick to it.

This is where a mood board comes in handy - usually a group of tear sheets from other magazine shoots or adverts you find inspiring along with fabric swatches or accessories -that I always keep on the table or pinned to the wall when selecting outfits.

I also find it always helps me to create a character for the shoot. For example this time my muse was a bored, 50's Miami housewife.  

The chaos that is me at work and my mood board / tear outs

The next thing to think about is the actual product itself. I was shooting for S/S 13 so first of all it needed to look totally different from the past two seasonal shoots we had done. For me this meant pastel colour clashes, pleats and retro prints all came into play to go along with my character.

When shopping for accessories I picked out 50's sunglasses including cat eye frames and earrings which were a mix of bright crystal and kitsch plastic fantastic - as inspired by the Prada S/S 12 ad campaign. Everything that wasn't sourced from the high street came direct from the bargain-filled Walthamstow market.

The rail and accessory table on the day of the shoot

Finally pulling everything together on the day is the hair and make up artist.

For the make up I wanted to stick to the theme of brights. I figured if my housewife was bored she might be more inclined to take some risks. She'd wear a bold lip and vivid eye colour, kitsch, sometimes tacky jewellery and she might even pair a conservative twin set with denim hot pants.

And for hair we started with a soft wave, went up to a tucked in bob and finished with a beehive. Pure perfection!

retro hair and clashing make up were a must for my bored housewife

So there you have it, that's a shoot from start to finish (minus all the technical bits like casting models and finding a location) and if you don't beleive me about the blood, sweat and tears part I'll send you a picture of my hands next time after they have been stabbed with pins and stamped on. I'm officially too embarrased to go for a manicure!

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