People often ask me, “Which celebrity or person did you enjoy shooting the most?” For me, the most enjoyment I get is doing my personal projects. I love being inspired and recreating things that I see in my mind. I never know when or where I will encounter something that will inspire an idea for a photoshoot, but when that happens it’s pretty exciting! I usually think pretty quick on my feet during a photoshoot and get ideas on set from what’s available, but it’s not as satisfying as having an idea and planning it all the way through.
The first step in the process is to find the right model, for special projects like these, I never use a model that I have not worked with before. Then next I select a MUA/Hair stylist that I feel can execute what it is that I’m going for, once again I never use a MUA/Hair stylist that I’ve yet to work with. It’s about trust. I only get one chance to execute it correctly.
One day I was walking around Manhattan taking in the city for one last time before moving back to the west coast. I walked by a moving truck parked next to the curb with movers loading a bunch of office chairs, next to the office chairs was a good size cardboard box. Right then the idea came to life. I knew right away who I wanted to use as my model for this project. She had the BIG eyes that I needed, plus she and I have a history. Whenever we get together, we produce magic.
As for makeup, I had worked with Amy Gillespie before I had moved away to New York, we kept in contact off and on. When she heard that I had moved back to the west, she contacted me asking if I had any projects in mind. Little did she know, I had already penciled her in as the make up artist for this project. Amy is really detail oriented and does fabulous work, especially focusing on the eyes which was really important to me for this to work. She was REALLY excited when I told her what the idea was. Since it was the holidays, we had a little bit of difficulty matching our schedules up and had to reschedule a couple of times.
Friday afternoon, the day before the shoot, Amy called me to tell me that the bald cap that she had ordered had not arrived in the mail. =( It was 5:30. I quickly grab my cell phone and keys. I contacted Madi Roosevelt on the way out, another make up artist on my team, and asked her where I can get a bald cap. A few days earlier, she and I were having lunch and she had mentioned where I can get some but I had forgotten. I called the shop and they said that they were closing at 6pm. I had less than 30 minutes. Getting across town in rush hour…bad idea. Luckily I had my GPS and sped through back roads and residential streets, jumping over speed bumps like the Dukes of Hazard. 5:55 read the clock in my car, destination arrival time 6:15 said the GPS.
Ring, ring…”Hi this is the guy who called about the bald cap. I’m kind of stuck in traffic right now, but I’m ALMOST there!”
“Don’t worry, we still have a few customers in the store. We’ll see you when you get here.” assured the voice on the other end.
On the way back from the shop, I realized that I had forgotten to call my assistant to remind her to get the security codes for the warehouse location. Luckily she didn’t need any reminding. Thank God.
Saturday: Day of the shoot Jillian arrives anxious to see what I had in stored for her. I kept the whole idea under wraps. All she knew was that I needed her beautiful face. She had asked if she needed to bring any wardrobe and I simply said, “Nope, you’ll be nude.” I’m surprised she showed up. LOL
After I told Jillian what the idea was, I saw a little hesitation in her eyes. It’s understandable. What girl would want to look bald? I reassured her that it will be great and that she has the most wonderful face and it’s perfect for this shoot. Amy had never done a bald cap before, but she was up for the challenge, this is where the trust comes in. Still, I crossed my fingers that the cap didn’t rip during the application process because we only had one. =/
Here’s the BTS video of the shoot. This was before I really got into BTS and tutorials, so there are no explanations of the shoot or the lighting set-up. Sorry. =(
Here’s external link. I no longer embed videos into my blog. All future videos will reside on my new youtube channel and website.