I just took part in a really fun photography contest at Saint in Boston. Saint is the sister club to the wonderful restaurant Domani, attached to the Copley Hotel in downtown Boston. I mention this detail because Domani's (and Saint's) chef is the famous Rene Michelina, who I photographed last summer for Asian Boston Magazine with Channel 7's Frances Rivera. Anyway, DJ Reaz's company The Synergy does some great events with great music and this was no different.
I had come to find out about the fashion shoot contest by contacting Reaz from a simple listing in Craigslist about his need for a marketing guru. He had selected to allow people to contact him for other services so I put on my salesman cap and told him I'm not a marketing guru but I'd be interested in shooting his events. He looked at my portfolio, contacted me and asked if I'd like to actually take part in the event. Naturally, I agreed to it.
My task was to get two models and dress them in Sam Vartan's designs. Two other photographers would be doing the same and we'd meet on November 7th in a head to head to head contest to produce great photos.
I located models via Model Mayhem. I immediately thought of Erica, a model I hadn't had the chance to work with at the recent Trash the Dress shoot at Oakland Beach, Rhode Island. I contacted her through Model Mayhem and all was set. However I needed another model. Sam and I talked extensively about models for his designs. We spent time on the phone going through the site and I contacted a few but very few models would respond. One model I was hoping would respond did, and rather quickly. It was Aileen. I was impressed with her interest, and the fact that she was actually signed on with an agency, Tonn Model Management. I was impressed as heck and we all agreed to a time to meet up with Sam for a fitting.
The fitting went great, Erica and Aileen looked amazing, and I was excited to come up with some ideas. Sam rocked, he was really open to the design combinations and he and the girls schooled me on what goes good together.
A week later the models and I (and Carlton) met up at Tonn's studio (thanks Tonn!!!) to practice some ideas for the event. We came up with some great photos. Keep in mind that with this kind of photography, I try not to take full credit. The models themselves contribute enormously... they can make or break a "perfectly lit" photo. So when I refer to this kind of photography, it's almost always a "we" and "us" thing.
The night of the event, we had several hiccups. Change in time, change in duration, change in what we could bring into the club, it all caused a lot of stress and anxiety, but I found that I totally lived for it. While we couldn't really shoot the stuff we had practiced for, we managed to come up with some last-minute ideas which I think were pretty good. John Bellavance helped out as well, and one idea he came up with was to put the lights in the bathroom. The bathroom's walls were transluscent glass, so we posed Erica and Aileen against the bathroom walls! People thought we were crazy. But we got some great photos. Unfortunately, the judges didn't think ours were the best, and we lost, but we sure did have a lot of fun doing it.