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Old May 8th, 2007, 05:22 AM
Benjamin Kanarek Benjamin Kanarek is offline
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Default Was asked "How do you put a Fashion Shoot together?

I really don't where to start...

The team is always the following: A Fashion Stylist, Hair Stylist, Make-Up Artist, Model or 's, Phoographer and Assistant or 's....

A stylist is the person that chooses the clothing, shoes and accessories. The stylist is briefed before the shoot by the photographer. This briefing is a think tank session that is intended to garner a "Theme" or "Story" that will be the thread running through the whole shoot. It is like writing a storyboard. Let's say we want to do a ten page fashion story with the theme being"My Day at the Laundromat" for example. The shoot will be about a girl who has a huge pile of clothes to wash and is spending the whole day in the place while people are coming in and out as she observes the procession. All "Good" fashion stories start with a theme, from simple to complex. Well these people i.e. models are dressed in specific "Brands" of clothing that should cover a range of designers or manufactures to give a reason for it being a "Fashion" story and not just a "Model Portfolio" Yach...Sorry. All fashion magazine expect at least a six page story with a theme. Now how are you going to choreograph all of this. You are going for a ten page story. Well it could be two double pages and six single pages or three double page spreads and four single pages. On the former example you will only have to shoot seven images that being three horizontal images and four vertical. That could be done in one day but two days would be preferable. Now you have to define each of the shots in the "Story" Perhaps the first opening page could just be a picture of the Laundromat empty and void of anything except the ugly fluorescent lights and the washers and dryers. That might be where the title would be. Lets call the story "Living in a Laundromat".

The next shot could be the star of the show who might be wearing a "Miss Sixty" pair of red jeans an "H&M" blouse a pair of "Adidas" shoes and a "Victor and Rolf" Bag...Remember all magazine reason for existing is to catalogue what the designers are coming out with two to three months in advance of the product hitting the stores, so the stylist will have access to all of the press offices representing the designers showrooms. So let's continue. The next image is the introduction of the first couple or individuals coming in to do their laundry. They are perhaps passing dirty clothing to the one that is depositing the socks in to the washing machine. Perhaps it is being throw and caught etc. The story continues with different amusing vignettes and perhaps ends with a close up of the girl, still alone in the Laundromat of a close up on her sad face looking through the glass door on to the world outside...

That "IS" a fashion story.

Now that you have decided on the story, you have to decide on the rest of the team. Remember that the Fashion Stylist was chosen because she/he was appropriate for this kind of challenge and in your estimation a think tank session with this person would result in an interesting treatment. Knowing the story you both will have to find a hair and make up artist or one that is very good at both which is rare.
You will be doing your casting based on looking at books of Hair and Make-up people to see if their style conforms to your treatment (story). Now that you have found the support team it is time to cast for the appropriate subjects.

In the story you decided that you needed three people. The other two will look different in each image so you could get away with just three "Models-Actors" The casting is so important in re-enforcing the theme of the story. For me stranger is better, but that is a matter of taste based on your being "Plugged In" to what the looks are that are happening today.

You will have the stylist or yourself call the model agencies and brief them with the criteria of you theme and they will respond by sending you portfolios for the purpose of honing down the selection. Once selections are made you will call the agency to have them send the chosen finalists to come for a face to face casting. The casting should be attended by the whole team. The hair and make-up artists will comment on there observations as well as the stylist and yourself, all seeing the model from a different perspective.

Once the democratic decisions are made, you will have the final decision approval authority based on their input. The agency will be called to confirm the dates you gave them when they asked "What are the shoot dates. We will send you books of talent available on those dates..."

You will get either a first or second option and hopefully a first. If you are certain of the selection confirm immediately. That will guarantee their availability.

Set the time and place of the shoot and give the agencies all of the telephone contact info and visa versa for the whole team...

That is how to put together a shoot. Although a condensed version. You must also think about the flow of the story. Two full shots two close up details one beauty shot etc etc etc...

The Beginning...
Ben
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  #2  
Old May 8th, 2007, 05:40 AM
Edward Bussa Edward Bussa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Kanarek View Post
I really don't where to start...
I had to chuckle when I opened your post, read the first line (above) followed by hundreds of words! =D

It is a privilege to read about all the upfront work that goes into something like the shoots you do. It gives me a feel for the intensity that must be present on the day of the shoot!
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Old May 8th, 2007, 07:32 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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An excellent sharing of how things work, Ben.

In this example, you have a lot of action. However, with higher end clothing especially suits and gowns, all trhe folds must be vetted and creases, rumple and crumple of the fabric conbsidered and either increased or removed. Also clothing might need to be fitted with pins or tailored. So. what is your approach to that? How much ccutting and tailoring to fit perfectly goes on with your work, especially formal clothes?

Asher
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Old May 8th, 2007, 07:09 PM
Kathy Rappaport Kathy Rappaport is offline
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Default The Model fits the clothes....

Usually when you are using models at that level, the model is already proportioned to size when called and the fashion house provides more than one of a piece. The stylist would see that it all works, fits, is clean etc.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 12:07 AM
Nicolas Claris Nicolas Claris is offline
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Bonjour Benjamin
Quote:
This briefing is a think tank session that is intended to garner a "Theme" or "Story" that will be the thread running through the whole shoot. It is like writing a storyboard. Let's say we want to do a ten page fashion story with the theme being"My Day at the Laundromat" for example.
Very interesting, not much different than for a commercial shooting...
When do the magazine editor and AD come along?
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Old May 9th, 2007, 07:03 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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So Benjamin,

Who corrects, adjust and cuts fit and re-sows the clothes, or are they just pinned bt the stylist?

Asher
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  #7  
Old May 9th, 2007, 10:26 AM
Benjamin Kanarek Benjamin Kanarek is offline
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Default None...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
An excellent sharing of how things work, Ben.

In this example, you have a lot of action. However, with higher end clothing especially suits and gowns, all trhe folds must be vetted and creases, rumple and crumple of the fabric conbsidered and either increased or removed. Also clothing might need to be fitted with pins or tailored. So. what is your approach to that? How much ccutting and tailoring to fit perfectly goes on with your work, especially formal clothes?

Asher
Asher...NONE! That is the job of the assistant to the fashion stylist. Most of the time there is a high end "Iron" at the studio...Pins, Clips, Tape and what ever it takes to make the clothes work...Oh yeah and Photoshop!

Ben
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  #8  
Old May 9th, 2007, 10:32 AM
Benjamin Kanarek Benjamin Kanarek is offline
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Default Rarely..

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Originally Posted by Nicolas Claris View Post
Bonjour Benjamin


Very interesting, not much different than for a commercial shooting...
When do the magazine editor and AD come along?
In most cases it is the Fashion Stylist of the magazine that comes to the shoot or the freelance Fashion Stylist who has been assigned for that specific shoot. Sometimes the AD comes, but they know that I don't like when they are there so they usually don't. You see, they already hired me and that act of confidence has already been taken by the AD in hiring me...

For Ad Campaigns like "TPS" that I did, there was the whole F---ING team from the client side and the ad agency side. So your looking at eight or nine more people, plus the team. That type of dynamic takes a great balance of diplomacy at all times..That is why my agent shows up, to do all of the shmoozing...

Ben
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Old May 9th, 2007, 12:01 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Excellent information, Benjamin.

This is really great help for us. Men's suits seems so much of a challenge, sleeves too long, cloth under shoulders caved in, waves in the fabric because the jacket has not been fiitted. These seem to be all far worse than with women's clothes, or am I wrong?

I guess that if the shoot is just for that clothing MFR, then perhaps they don't mind sacrificing the clothes, but that means an extrra day for a tailor!

Asher
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Old May 9th, 2007, 01:12 PM
Nicolas Claris Nicolas Claris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Kanarek View Post
For Ad Campaigns like "TPS" that I did, there was the whole F---ING team from the client side and the ad agency side. So your looking at eight or nine more people, plus the team. That type of dynamic takes a great balance of diplomacy at all times..That is why my agent shows up, to do all of the shmoozing...
I can understand that!
In fact, as usual, it depends of the client...
"my" team has always been lesser than yours because of budget and different needs, hence it is more difficult to be "protected" from the client.
Some clients are so nice that I do like to have them around me and even ask them to move a balcar for me! Some others are a bit more "difficult" but until now I've always managed not to have them with me for the shooting.
It is true that we do work in complete different conditions, for different "subjects" and for different people, but it's always interseting to compare the worflows ;-)

Thanks for posting all the above !
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