Over Labor Day weekend, I teamed up with Jessie Jazmine and Nina McGowan to do an end-of-summer Editorial photography inspired shoot at the lake in Little Elm. It was a warm holiday and the lake was full of families. Despite the crowd, we found a little area on the beach and in the water to shoot.
Jess, the model, got into the water without hesitation and after a while Nina and I decided we needed to get in too. This was a moment of laughter and acceptance as we were in denim shorts and zero swim swear. Basically, this is how a lot of shoots go. You just gotta do what you gotta do, right?
After we were in the water, Nina saw a boat and wanted to shoot on one, which we all eagerly agreed to, so I asked a family if we could use their boat. Not only did they say yes but they also helped us walk through the water that nearly touched my shoulders, because short people problems, while holding my camera above my head like Simba, because camera is life.
I shot as if it were an Editorial photoshoot by choosing a set location and a specific outfit for the model, working with a chosen mood, and utilizing a variety of poses and visual references such as a boat, sand, and water to embellish the summer-to-fall transition theme. However, it was a low budget shoot with no team to prep for it like Editorial shoots have. Also, unlike true Editorial photography, we didn't choose a specific clothing or fashion brand but we chose the fashion based on the visuals and created an illusion as if the shoot were representing a brand. I was more interested in the visual aspect and what the clothing, model, and environment was capable of narrating to the viewer.
Basically, it was a much more relaxed and inexpensive version of an Editorial photoshoot but I definitely planned for the outcome to look Editorial.
For the shoot, I decided to capture a fusion of fall colors and summer wear as autumn starts to creep in, but let's be real, it's Texas and still pretty blazing hot. The romper we chose is perfect as it has sleeves with a fall color palette and pattern, but it is also thin and airy for a warm lake day. Basically, it is the perfect fashion piece to transition from summer to fall.
I knew I wanted a vibrant and emotional approach to each image. Julia Trotti is a huge inspiration to me because she shoots that way and also in and near water a lot. I have never shot portraits in water but after seeing her images I knew I needed to make it happen soon. I'm already trying to figure out when I can shoot portrait in water again before it gets too cold.
The preset I used is customized based off the Teakwood preset in the Brixton Essentials package, which you can buy here. The warm skin tones against the cool highlights really dazzle and contrast nicely while still maintaining natural earth tones.
This type of Portrait and Editorial photoshoot is what I'm about:
-Editorial photography with a visual concept, bringing fashion and environment together to create a look and mood.
-Working with creative people down for anything.
-Soft light and warm colors
If you're curious about Editorial photography and the importance of creating + executing + inspiring with your work then here are some valuable links!
1. If you don't know who Tim Walker is by now then you probably should click here and find out. He's the ultimate Editorial photographer. My shoots lean more towards lifestyle than his but his eye for detail, costume, and executing are 100% and super inspiring for me. His work is fascinating, y'all. I hope you get the same "woah" vibes from him as I do.
2. Again, my shoot was more lifestyle fashion approach with an Editorial execution because I literally said, "hey let's shoot at the lake because summer is about to end and we can get some cool shots! Wear something that can transition into fall!" That's the amount of planning that went into this shoot after I found the model and photographer I wanted to work with. However, if you (and including me) ever want to shoot more deliberately to execute a full on editorial shoot then this article will be a great starting point. I'm actually really wanting to create a full on shoot now!
3. Ben Sasso is one of my favorite photographers. He has talent like no other, his work shows raw emotion and creativity, and be believes in education and community. This blog he posted of a subject he shot in the lake is a typical piece of work I might look at before going and shooting at the lake myself. I also have never done shot in water before, so I pushed myself creatively, which he even talks about "The Importance of Experimentation" in a separate post as well. Gotta try something new to learn something new!
4.Another inspiring photographer I follow is Emily Soto. Her fashion and portrait work elicit emotion, romance, and nostalgia for me. Her soft light, simplicity, and story telling capabilities are great for the imaginative mind. Looking at her work before a shoot is always helpful.
5. Organizing a shoot can be super simple or extremely time consuming. This shoot is specifically a portfolio building shoot--a "test shoot" or an exchange. Ben Sasso explains the importance and difference in a test shoot and a paid shoot in his blog and why they are important. If I wanted to do a real editorial shoot, it would take a team and much more time. This interview on Who What Wear explains what shooting for an Editorial piece is really like.