This past summer I endeavored to plan one of the largest photo shoots I had ever conceived of putting together. The idea started with the creation of a feather mohawk and evolved to the point that after several months of creating feather mohawks and headpieces (now for sale in my Etsy shop: Discord Industries) I had inspired a number of characters and at this point, I had to start planning to shoot the editorial, if only to get it out of my head!
I am always obsessed with the idea of what people would do in the aftermath of an apocalyptic event, and started with the basic idea that I wanted to create a group of young women striking out across a desert to reach a safe haven. I wanted a diverse cast of characters and wanted the wardrobe to really depict each girl’s part in the group. I began by contacting a few designers whose work I had seen on Etsy and asked them if they would be willing to loan pieces for the shoot… I had a couple actually respond back and generously let me use a few items for the concept.
The owner of Savage Salvage loaned me three absolutely perfect pieces of her jewelry. She creates amazing pieces from recycled, repurposed pieces she has scavenged from many different sources… she has a lovely bohemian, tribal aesthetic and I would definitely recommend you check out her etsy shop to see her brilliant, eco-friendly and affordable designs. She provided us with a porcupine quill bib necklace with matching earrings as well as a beautiful brass slave bracelet.
The other designer who responded was Anna, from Madhu Designs. She sells lovely leather and crochet pieces as well as some handmade tops from India. When I contacted her, it was because the aesthetic of a number of her designs was EXACTLY what I was thinking we needed for shoot wardrobe… once I started talking to her, however, I realized how much more amazing she was than just a creator of beautiful clothing. She is actually a documentary film maker who spent a number of years in India, traveling around, creating a film about the orphaned children of India who live in the train stations. She sells these clothing pieces to support a man she met in India named Lucky who is a former street kid who currently is devoted to becoming a film-maker himself so he can share the story of the street kids who live on the train platforms all across India and Nepal. It is such an amazing story and Anna is so devoted to sharing with the world the plight of these children, that I was even more excited to have her work as a fundamental part of the shoot. The website for the documentary is: LUCKY EXPRESS: A Documentary of India’s Train Kids— check it out and please consider supporting her incredible project!
Around the time I started actually hearing back from designers, I was also talking with my three favorite makeup artists: Celsa Cutillo of Variant Shades Makeup , Erin Driscoll of Killer Instinct and Devan Weitzman of Devanelle Makeup about what wondrous things they could do with the faces of our (as of yet unchosen) models… we brainstormed and brainstormed, and eventually come up with the idea of doing 2 different, distinct looks- one that had super-fine details and one that was very slap-dash, with a finger-paint kind of feel to it. I created a virtual mood-board on Pinterest, and was able to share it with all participants to give everyone an idea of what we were going for.
Finally, I started casting models… we wanted very different looking girls and it was not an easy choice to make with all the wonderful talents who were interested in being a part of the shoot. When all was said and done, we decided upon Ramagious, Yana Bushmelov, Emily Grondine, Jennie Gail Ross, and Marie Ivanova, who were all amazing, enthusiastic and put up with a lot of discomfort due to the hot conditions, the bright sunlight and the long day we had!
Our final puzzle piece fell into place when we found our wardrobe stylist… just two days before the shoot! After our original stylist fell through last minute, wardrobe stylist Erica Templeman, who is owner and designer of Pretty Thoughts Latex, saved the day! She stepped in and was able to bring the final pieces that we needed to create the vibe we needed for this mish-mash troupe of girls tromping through the desert!
The following images are my favorite shots from the day. I want to thank everyone who was a part of this monstrous endeavor, because I certainly couldn’t have done it without any of you!
Note: If you would like to see all the credits from each image, click to open it up by itself and credits will be listed in the description.