Over the years, planning each fashion photoshoot has been quite stressful. Making sure everything is ready and organised for the photoshoot day is quite challenging. As of recently I have come to enjoy it and have learnt not to be anxious about the result and enjoy the process.
This is easier said than done, and there is no way I would have been able to say this at the beginning of my fashion brand launch. I can say this now as I have found my team, have complete faith in their talent and sit back and enjoy this special creative process, where I get to see what was once a sketch, an idea, a feeling, come to life on a model and enjoy the feedback from my colleagues.
Firstly, there is always a tight schedule, from when the collection will be finished to when the photoshoot will be booked. There is a mad rush trying to get everything done, as always there is a lot of work in the finer details in finishing the garments and often there is a lot of hand sewing. That could mean buttons, belts or some type of accessory I want to use for the photoshoot, that I feel will enhance the look. In the meantime while the collection is being completed, I try to get the following synchronised. This is what works for me.
Photographer: Chris Kontos
I have been working with Chris from our first photoshoot which was for AW13. Everything was just so easy from our first collaboration. A photoshoot can take a whole day, but from the very beginning the day just flowed beautifully. What I love about the way Chris works, is that he uses natural light, just a reflector. That applies both for an outdoor and indoor photoshoot. It creates such a natural outcome, not allowing for a deceptive result instead showing the look as it would be if you were to see it live.
Also there's no excessive photoshop, just colour enhancing. There's no changing body shapes, skin colour, removing freckles, things that unfortunately in the fashion industry have become the norm. I would say the result is all quite realistic and authentic.
Chris is a man of many creative talents. He has released a magazine called Kennedy Magazine, 'a journal of curiosities', which is sold internationally. I'm sure it's in your part of the world wherever you are. Check it out when you get a chance, I know you will love it. He is also a DJ. His Soundcloud account will definitely get you in the mood.
Hair & Make Up: Katerina Christine Mitropoulou
Katerina is a great hair and make up artist. I met her on the same photoshoot with Chris and we have been working together since then. Katerina just needs to see the clothes, she understands I like a natural look and she does her magic. For this shoot, we used a wine lipstick that was the same colour as the ankle boots to keep it tonal. She is extra talented as Katerina does both hair and make up and I leave it up to her to find the perfect balance.
Katerina also does bridal make up which is great for anyone looking or if you have a friend who is looking for their wedding day. I totally recommended her to my bridal customers who want a natural look for their special day instead of appearing over the top and not like themselves.
Model: Beautiful bubbly Jasmine
This year, the Black Lives Matter movement really touched me. I think the George Floyd situation shocked me. I have been aware of and sensitive to the injustice in America regarding the African American people and it has personally been an issue that I feel deep compassion for their fight. I was in tears when I saw that video. At that moment, I made a decision that we need more black representation, not just in movies, in the way they have been portrayed in a cliche manner, the principal of a school, the black cop, I thought even in fashion, we need to see more black people, and that was my decision. To use a black model for my AW21 photoshoot.
When I saw Jasmine, I loved her look. She had a friendly, womanly feel. I was lucky she was in town and that was it, I booked her. I also felt that she added warmth to my winter palette, which was primarily greys and subdued colours. I knew it would be a harmonious collaboration.
Jasmine was trying to learn Greek so it was fun speaking to her and seeing what she understood. She has recently started an Instagram page with beautiful pictures of nature, primarily on the island of Aegina called the naked nature. Is worth looking at.
With models, you have the choice to do castings. I choose not to do castings anymore for my photoshoots. I want to be convinced by what I see on-line as that is what you will see. Castings for me are more important for runway fashion shows. So even traditional fashion criteria that some might take into consideration like height, if the model isn't tall or has a small bust, that plays no deciding factor for me. It's the initial look and feeling I get when I see her on-line portfolio that convinces me and if I feel a connection with the model and the collection.
I have been a fan of the jewellery brand Prigipo for a while. Their signature coloured palette design really appealed to me. I wanted to collaborate with them for Winter and so we did!
The difficult part was selecting a few pieces from their vast range of designs that are all just immaculate. I ruled out rings, earrings and bracelets as they wouldn't be seen. I didn't want to complicate the photo shoot by having an extra detail to worry about. Firstly for us and and secondly, not to use something from Prigipo that ultimately wouldn't be seen. Necklaces were something that could be seen, and could work for both of us.
I took some garment samples over to their store and they suggested some beautiful pieces. Their signature colourful palette necklace in forest green looked spectacular with the violet shirt dress so that was a must.
Prigipo suggested layers of chains and I also loved their geometrical pendant line and chose the triangle pendant which added that point of difference when layered with the chains. It looked so delicate with the grey silk blend shirt. The 3 layers of gold chains looked great with the athletic look and the liquid black pm look. It's great when the same accessories can be worn for evening and for day wear. Value for money I say!
Seeing that Jasmine was a size 39, she could squeeze into my size 38 shoes which was great, one less thing to worry about. My white sneakers, wine faux suede ankle boots, vintage brown 80's style boots and my evening black sling back polygon heels were perfect.
I utilised my gold grecian belts which I usually have sold as a set with the dress, but due to customer request, I also sell them separately on line.
I opted for an indoor studio photoshoot for AW21. Usually I use a white background to keep it minimal, neutral and simple. The weather is also a deciding factor if we are going to go on location or keep it in the studio. I often prefer it in my atelier for practical reasons. The clothes are ironed, they're hanging and I have the order and accessories all lined up and ready to go.
I hope you enjoyed a taste of our behind the scenes photoshoot and what's involved. You will see in the video, there is nothing glamorous in doing a fashion photoshoot, in contrast to what the final result may be or the reputation a fashion photoshoot has. For me, it's quite pragmatic and works in a practical way, for a smooth process and for the best reuslt for everyone.
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Waking up to a snowed in Athens and a snow covered Parthenon is pure bliss. Worth taking a day off for and enjoying mother nature's gifts.
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