"Downtime" during the Apocalypse has meant a lot of cleaning and organizing for me. The upside (other than *finally* getting thru a bunch of stuff on my to-do list) has been re-discovering lots of editorial shoots in my archives.
This particular editorial was originally shot for the Fall 2011 Issue of New Orleans Weddings Magazine and the theme was "Shopping for Your Storybook Wedding." The idea was to create store window displays, each with a fairy tale theme, featuring human "mannequins."
I photographed the editorial in the Magazine Street storefront windows of a wedding planning library called The Bride's Lounge. Y'all know I love a challenge and this shoot presented several:
1. Shooting thru glass means dealing with glare and reflections that can completely obscure the subject in photographs, so I had to make use of creative angles and large scrims to block those as much as possible.
2. It was HOT y'all. Aside from the New Orleans summer heat and humidity outside, you would not believe how fast the windows heated up inside! I had to shoot relatively quickly so the models wouldn't melt (or pass out).
3. The models couldn't hear direction from behind the glass so I had to pantomime what I wanted them to do. Fortunately, they were all fabulous and nailed their shots.
For this pairing, we explored the light and dark side of the Snow White story. We wanted to capture Snow White's innocence and connection with nature and contrast it with the darkness of the poisoned apple scene. We channeled a winter vibe with "snow" and bare branches in both scenes. We also snuck in a NOLA nod with a Fleur de Lis mirror.
Little Red Riding Hood
For this motif, we decided to do an edgy take on the story. I used reflections in the windows to my advantage to create a mysterious, dark vibe. We repurposed the branches from the Snow White set to create the forest that Red Riding Hood set off in and chose short gowns to capture a youthful vibe. Florals, appropriately, included a basket of red roses and a wildflower bouquet.
A window was a must for this fairy tale, so we set off to The Green Project, an environmental non-profit in New Orleans, in search of our key set element. We hit the jackpot and found the perfect window that had been cut right out the side of an old house - with siding and moulding still in place! Let me tell you, that window was HEAVY. After the shoot, we loaded it right back up and donated it back to The Green Project, so they could sell it again. The gowns were light and lacy and the florals included draping, wispy elements. And, of course, Rapunzel let down her hair.
The Goose That Laid Golden Eggs
This fairy tale set had to feel glamorous. The set included a shimmering gold backdrop, lots of golden eggs and gold-toned feathers. Ashley at Nola-Flora created a giant flower "egg" out of hydrangea wrapped with gold shimmering net. The gowns were dramatic and feathery (of course). And ALL the details were gold, including jewelry and eye shadow and if you look really closely you can also see gold rhinestones that the makeup artist added to our model's lips. ;)
We focused primarily on the happy, elegant side of Cinderella's story for this shoot, because who isn't excited when they find the perfect shoes? Blue crushed velvet draping and a display of bridal shoes on wedding-white shoe boxes set the scene. A flower "pillow" for the "lost" shoe sat on a pedestal display.
So, now that I've taken you on this trip down memory lane, I kinda want to revisit this concept now - updated for 2020, of course. As soon as the Apocalypse is over, I'm going to be all over this y'all.
HAIR + MAKEUP: Get Polished Beauty | FLORALS: Nola-Flora | FASHION: Ali Beasley Designs, Bustles & Bows Bridal, Olivier Couture | MODELS: Katie Gill (Red Riding Hood and Golden Goose), Kaitlin Hoychick (Rapunzel and Cinderella), and Julie Huesman (Snow White)