It’s Day 25, I am a quarter of the way through my impulse decision to participate in #The100DayProject challenge. I set myself a goal the day before, with zero ideas and minimal planning. My project is called ‘100 Days of Pink Ways’. I have been documenting, writing about, and photographing subjects relating to the colour Pink. Y’all know that my use of pink is one of the specialisms of my personal work! I simply cannot keep away from the damn colour; the emotional reactions it evokes, the contentious connotations, it’s historical and contemporary contexts.
Pink is my not-so-secret weapon.
Pink is one of the ways I communicate with the world.
So it made sense that this could be something I could think about for 100 Days straight.
So how am I feeling so far? What have I found challenging? What has come easily?
If you are a participant in the 100 Day Project, or you’re about to set yourself a creative challenge, here’s what I’ve learned so far 25 days in.
1) The road sure does feel long. Relax, enjoy the scenery
I once sat in a lecture with a textile design artist. He broke down the nature of his projects to us into the metaphor of a long car journey to a destination 8 hours away. Is it about the destination, or is it about the things along the way? First, it was about the destination, but actually, was it about the road which took him there? Or was it the tyre on the side of the motorway which had to be changed, and the replacement tyre which took them to their destination?
In summary; a long project makes the goal post seem far away. It’s not about the goal post, it’s about the unexpected experiences you have en route, which will shift your project into focus. Today, I’m writing a blog post. Tomorrow I might photograph a trinket dish. Keep yourself grounded in the present.
2) I love what I do, but some days I’m going to hate producing something, and that’s okay.
Accept that some days, it will feel like a chore or a drag, and that’s because a) you are mentally stretching yourself and b) Creativity doesn’t have a body clock. You’re either feeling it or you don’t. That being said, don’t resent your project. Produce something crap if you can’t be arsed, you’re still exercising the muscle. One of the biggest obstacles in my challenge has been myself, and my mental energy.
3) Every day is an opportunity to share what you know, or learn something you didn’t.
The spirit of generosity is my driving force in this project. I feel I am sharing myself more with my followers on socials, even if I am only sharing what shade of pink I am wearing. Some days I have shared some of my Degree knowledge. Other days I have learnt what different subjects/shades I lean towards.
4) On that note, I don’t know where this project is going, or what I’m going to learn next!
Again, staying in the present moment with this project. Maybe that’s because I left the topic so open. I left it open because I really wanted to enjoy the possibility of trying new things/experiences, thinking new ideas up to collaborate with others on. I am feeling the mental stretch of this project, but I feel I have more I want to try to achieve and share with you all. I know I will still have bad days where I feel tired and I’ll just show you some of my every day, but then I will have good days where I’ll get my pink nerdisms on, take my favourite book from my shelf, and read you all a sermon about the history of pink. Uh huh, be ready. Basically, some days I am going to be an expert, and other days I’m just going to show you my new pink lipstick.
5) How do I feel about the next 75 Days?
The goal doesn’t feel any closer, but the community spirit around this project, I am so thankful for. Thank you to everyone who has dropped me a comment, like, or message to say they’re enjoying my project. The next 75 Days, I want to push my creative boundaries, and play with applying pink to different subjects, thinking about how different shades of pink *feel* (you know, candyfloss pink feels ‘soft’ for example), and how I can communicate how I perceive different shades of pink to you through my choice of subject. Working with others is the big thing for me. So, if you are local to Norwich, please contact me, I would love to chat with you and make some beautiful, startling pink together!
Fingers crossed for the next 75 days!
- E x
I have always loved the planning stages of photo shoots. There is so much potential and opportunity! I am a bit of a research nerd, which does make me a useful asset to my clients when we are discussing how to shoot their collection of new products, because I will toddle away and brainstorm anything and everything I can which I feel is relevant to their brand!
For designers and makers who are still green, and who’s adventure into photo shoots for their products is looming on the horizon, the process can be a little daunting. Your business, your new collection, is your baby. You have so many balls in the air to think about, that maybe sometimes things like concisely planning a look book shoot can drift further down your list of priorities as a launch date comes closer.
So I have made this blog post to give you some pointers, and advice, when planning your Photo shoot. I particularly discuss production values, and the context of a fashion shoot, which is what I am most experienced with. You will find most of these pointers are applicable to other product-oriented shoots, so take on board that which is most useful to you right now!
Let’s do this!
1) Defining the Look and Theme.
A concise look and theme for your shoot will help keep you and your team on objective. It’s really important to keep your concept concise or unified. Can you describe it in one sentence? Will your customer ‘get it?’. Your shoot theme should be true to you and your brand.Look to your brand values to guide you.
Ask yourself some of the following questions;
What story are you trying to tell? Who are you marketing this product towards? What colour schemes/themes? What are your values? What do you want people to feel when they look at your collection?
An example is my Spring Summer look book with Double Trouble Gang. Double Trouble is a brand in love with powerful slogans and embroidered statements, providing plain jumpers and tees with personality. Their customers are youthful, vibrant, independent women gunning to achieve their goals in life and their careers.It’s motivational. It’s empowering.
Whip out a notepad, and mind-map, sketch, collage and moodboard your ideas! All your inspiration you picked up during developing your products comes in handy here!
Alright then. So you’ve figured out your shoot theme, and what you want to achieve, but how are you going to go about getting it all together?
I am going to run through some of the creatives/ members of a team you might find yourself needing to make your shoot happen.
Is styling something you feel confident with doing? If not, a stylist may be able to help you with that, OR you could speak to other independent designers and ask if you could hire their clothes for a shoot.
Ask yourself: What does my ideal customer wear? How would my customer wear this? When are they most likely to wear my product?
Put together some moodboards or use Pinterest to get the ball rolling!
If you feel make-up is applicable and necessary for your shoot, you could do a casting call for a make-up artist, and get a quote for a day or half-day rate. A Make-up student might love to put their skills forward for a shoot, but be sure to offer them payment for their help and cover their material costs. Speaking from the perspective of Photography, I personally find a make-up artist makes a world of difference to the visual outcomes, particularly if you are looking for ‘natural’ make-up, and absolutely if you’re shooting under studio lights.
If you are a new business on the block, and your budget is tight, look to your friends and peers! Do you know anybody in your circle who really encompasses your target market, and could they model for you? You can make it a fun experience, where your team get to see your new products before anyone else! Hey, why not even do a casting call to your customers on social media? The important thing is CONFIDENCE and CHARACTER.
If you are a seasoned brand, looking to elevate your production values on your next shoot, modelling agencies are the way forward. There you can find experienced faces who know how to move and work for the photographer. I can confidently say, as a photographer, it is an absolute dream to work with experienced models with distinctive personalities, as it really helps move the shoot forward.
Yes, modelling agencies do cost money, but you are paying for a service which will put your look book on another level, and you will have the opportunity to run castings before shoot day. It doesn’t hurt to ring up a few model agencies and find out pricing. Ask for the price differences for both New Faces and Main Board. Be sure to have a mood-board ready to send to a Booker after you have come off the phone.
Gigi @ Crumb. Styling/Direction: Marta Zaremba, MUA: Jess Rochard, Jewellery by Studio Adorn
Gigi & Kim @ Crumb. Styling/Direction: Marta Zaremba, MUA: Jess Rochard, Jewellery by Studio Adorn. Photography by Emily Jane Morgan
Kim @ Crumb. Styling/Direction: Marta Zaremba, MUA: Jess Rochard, Jewellery by Studio Adorn. Photography by Emily Jane Morgan
Depending on the time of year, season, or if you live in the most beautiful place on earth (I wish), you need to decide where you would like to shoot. Indoor? Outdoor? Studio? Think about what makes most sense to your brand, and imagine where your customer might spend time outdoors! If not, sometimes less is more; a clean background, or a single room, you really have so many possibilities to work with to tell your collection’s story.
4) The Call Sheet
A ‘Call Sheet’ is, simply put, the plan for the day. Its a typed document which supplies the names of all the team members (including theirs and your own contact details), the when and the where. A call sheet will add structure and routine to the shoot. Be realistic about how long some things may take to shoot than others. How long does a make- up artist need before you begin shooting?
This is where you can also supply instructions for team members (e.g ‘Model:please arrive without make-up and personal jewellery’). Don’t forget your lunch breaks either! Photo shoots are so much fun, but you can easily get swept away and forget to take a rest for 30 minutes.
Also state when you estimate to wrap the shoot by.
5) Make sure you have a check-list of your ‘money shots’, Discuss these outcomes with your photographer!
Because after all the hard work and prep you have put in for your shoot, you want to walk away knowing you got every image you needed to share your collection with the world!
I wish you all the best on your shoot plans. If you have any questions, you can drop me an enquiry any time!
Welcome to my maiden blog post on my website! Before I get stuck in, I wanted to take a quick moment to introduce this blog as something which I know my followers have requested. You wanted to see what work I am getting up to, both in my image-making, gaming, and campaigning; and yes, all of those three things do converge quite often in my life!
I am really thrilled to kick this blog off with a corker of a post; documenting my visit with Instagram Ambassadors to Nintendo UK, where we all got to photograph and have a hands-on workshop with Nintendo Labo, for Nintendo Switch! b
Now, for the non-gamers in the room, allow me to translate; Nintendo Labo is a new concept brought out by Nintendo, whereby families construct new ways to play with unique cardboard (yes, cardboard) designs. Add the Nintendo Switch, and it brings your design to life through interactive gaming. Make a fishing rod, go fishin’. Build a Piano, and then make beautiful music together! It’s three core values are ‘Make, Play, Discover’; and that is the order which myself and Instagram ambassadors were introduced to Labo.
Here’s how we got stuck in, building the quickest project; the RC Cars, followed by giving them the personal touch!
After the making process, the group then proceeded to try out the different Labo ‘Toy Cons’ available to play throughout the showroom. These included all kinds of activities which showcased the versatility of the Switch console, and Toy Con designs.
Labo isn’t released in the UK/Europe until Friday 27th April, so I don’t want to give too much of the ‘discover’ aspects away, but I will say it is the most exciting aspect of the Labo experience, because it is quite literally what you make of it. You can customise as much or as little as you like; the software guides you fluidly through the making process, and has trouble-shooting too (so don’t panic if you bust a piano key, whilst playing chopsticks just that little bit too fierce!)
I’m incredibly thankful to have had the opportunity to meet this lovely family of Instagram Ambassadors, get hands-on with Nintendo’s latest brain-child, and shoot these creations.
If you have any exciting or creative adventures which require some vibrant documentation, you can contact me via my main website page. In the mean time, have a fabulous week!