I pitched this idea to Melissa Rodwell and she liked the mood board. As a result we decided to work together on this shoot and she would run it in her new magazine. The first thing we did after committing to work together was to start casting for the perfect model. We wanted someone with soft features and could pull off the idea of a “Lost Soul”.
My next task was to find the perfect hairstylist for this shoot. I realized that there needed to be that one thing to catch the eye of the person looking at this editorial. I made the decision that that one thing, had to be the hair! My hairstylist got my mood board (one specifically just for the hair) with my notes and he created wigs to symbolize chaotic thoughts in our damsel in distress’s head. And of course, they had to keep in theme with the era we were inspired by initially, the 1990’s, so there had to be bold color, fake dreadlocks, short bangs. Make up had to be soft and natural as to not overload the look.
During the shoot, Melissa and I worked with Anna so she didn’t do overly dramatic “model poses”, in other words, we didn’t want her to “model”, we wanted her to feel the natural mood of the story.
To create the lonely mood of the story, Melissa created a small “closed in space” using foam core and then later had her retouch artist copy the distressed wall in the background to replicate on either side of the model (see before and after below), creating a tight, claustrophobic “cell”. I sent a mood board and color references to our retouch artist, I wanted to exaggerate the faded calm colors and boost the contrast but still keep the entire story very monochromatic. Melissa and I sat and looked through all the images together. I like being a part of the entire process. It’s the way to ensure I have a perfect end result that I am totally satisfied with. We selected images that we felt depicted the idea of a lonely girl’s struggle with mind’s strange dance.
I didn’t have a title for the story. Melissa came up with the name, Annabel Lee, with her managing editor while they were laying out the story. It’s the name of the last poem Edgar Allen Poe wrote, it’s the tale of a girl kept imprisoned by unrequited love. Very fitting.
I also would like to announce here that I will be doing a workshop on creative direction and styling for fashion photographers. It’s a 2 day, intensive workshop where we go through the entire process of producing a shoot. On Day 1, the first half of the day is spent learning all aspects of an editorial fashion shoot. After lunch, we shoot 6 different looks, creating an actual editorial. Day 2 is spent learning how to choose your shots from the day before and why certain shots stand out over others. We learn some valuable retouching tips from a top-notch retoucher here in NYC. The rest of the day is spent in Q & A and portfolio reviews. The class is open to photographers and stylists. This workshop will take your skills of making outstanding photos to creating actual editorials that you can start submitting to magazines in order to get published! See here for more details: BREED ACADEMY