No matter how much planning goes into these photo shoots, when you’re a novice, you can be guaranteed something will be missed.
Recently we had a photo shoot for our products, and despite having done this twice before for Finders and Makers, the whole thing is still well outside of my comfort zone. In my career as a marketing professional, I’ve been involved in many photo shoots, but the world of fashion is a different beast. So, I found myself very early on a Sunday morning driving to the photo shoot via a 24hr Kmart to buy bobby pins and hair spray. Why you ask? Because our hairdresser cancelled at the 11th hour, so we had to default to plan b and improvise. I couldn’t help wondering on the way, what else I might have forgotten.
As I was heading to the location, I felt a mixture of excitement and trepidation. On the one hand, I felt pride for venturing further into the unknown, while on the other hand, I was trembling at the thought of not getting it right and looking like a beginner.
I’ve learnt that in the fashion game photography is crucial. I had so many people who had put themselves forward because they believed in me - I needed to get this right so that I wouldn’t let them down. The Makers of course, but also, the aspiring models who volunteered their time, the Italian make-up artist who arrived in Australia just one week earlier full of hopes and dreams and my friend the photographer, who worked on her day off to accommodate everyone else on the shoot.
As expected, there was a lot to organise, as we all assembled in the photographer’s backyard in the iconic and eclectic suburb of St Kilda, in Melbourne. There was the backdrop to place, the jewellery to lay out, and the props and clothing choices that had to be refined. We also had to hope Melbourne’s unpredictable weather would show some stability for the day ahead. This kind of mammoth effort needed long lasting sustenance of course, so with my best maternal instincts turned up on high, I had loaded up on generous amounts of healthy delicious vegan treats to keep everyone fed, happy and energised.
In the chaos of setting up, I could have easily become flustered, but I instead turned to the skills I’d been learning in meditation lessons to breathe, be present and enjoy the moment - and that I did!
Being mindful and present allowed me to appreciate my good fortune of having all these wonderful women come together, driven by their desire to help others.
I was surrounded by people who supported the Finders and Makers vision of empowering women through financial independence. I also got to share the day with my beautiful eldest daughter Daniela, who I’ve connected with more deeply in recent times.
As the models were made up and the shoot began, hundreds of pictures were captured. People don’t realise how much discomfort models endure to appear so relaxed or comfortable.
From odd neck angles and unnatural poses, to standing on bricks, and holding oversized garments together with safety pins, the final images never reflect the realities of the shoot!
In the afternoon it became overcast, and though it made for ideal light for the photographer, it was too cold for the models, so we bundled them up in warm jumpers between takes.
The day went pretty smoothly and we managed to capture so many really beautiful pictures of both Finders and Makers classic collections as well as some new products. Everyone was happy with the results and we all felt a strong sense of achievement and empowerment that it was such a success. Stay tuned for the new product pics coming soon!
The way I often imagine things ‘should be’ is sometimes a deterrent to actually getting started. The pursuit of perfection, or aspiring to the best doesn’t always reap the results we expect. Although it’s great to have high standards, I am realising that ‘perfection’ will only be achieved once I’ve learnt better to surrender to the mistakes and failures that come from the simple act of just giving it a go.
I’ve made some notes about lessons learned and how to better prepare for the next photo shoot and I’m sure with each one my confidence will continue to grow. My takeaway though is that I’m really pleased with the overall results of this team effort, from my own village of empowered women.
It’s important to remind ourselves of the learning journey everyone needs to travel to get to the pinnacle of the achievement. We just have to be brave enough to publicly suck at something new.
Until next time,
All photos copyright of Finders and Makers
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