Friday, January 20, 2012

Photo Shoot at My House (love it, love it...)

We've just had a fashion shoot at our house. My friend Lesley, whom you might have met here, was taking photos for her spring collection. Last shoot we were away, so this time I hung around to make a nuisance of myself (best boy fetcher anyone?) and watch the magic unfold....

Alexis in my neighbour's Thunderbird Blue
Below is model Alexis arriving at 8am, meeting Tallulah,10 and Cy, seven. She was so natural and so sweet to the kids, giving them a hug at the end of the day.

Model Alexis arrives at our house and meets Tallulah and Cy
Alexis and Joshua (hair and make-up) coming in
 Here she is after one hour of hair and make up...

Joshua finishing Alexis' hair and make-up
Alexis arrived sans make-up in an striped XL t-shirt and two-toned Doc Martins from a charity store, worn with thick oatmeal tights and a fringed leather jacket. She told Tallulah and me that she was going through a Japanese street-fashion phase. Alexis was discovered in a coffee shop in LA where she was singing with a punk band and she was immediately cast for the Janice Dickinson reality show. 

Alexis in our backyard
She is 5.8ft and naturally an "athletic size two" which is good for California as well as Miami and Istanbul where apparently they like you to be more "glamorous and voluptuous" (size 2?)  In New York and Asia she needs to be size 0. To get down to that, her daily intake consists of two protein shakes (kale, spinach, almond butter) and one protein meal.


Lara, who blogs at Piewacket had flown up from LA to take the photos and it was fascinating to watch her work. (She doesn't like to be photographed so you will only see a sliver of her arm here and there.) Lara has been doing this a long time: she photographed the young Naomi Campbell and Kirsten Dunst and did the first headshots of Johnny Depp. Amazingly, through her lens the two models look even slimmer and more beautiful. "It all about the exposure" she says. Though the days were dreary and even rainy and she was shooting inside part of the time, she arrived without no lights or equipment other than a big round white bendy thingy. (Best boy jargon, darlings...) 

Lara came alive behind the camera and was enthusiastic and sure in her direction. But the end of the day we were all calling out her signature: "Love it, love it, beautiful, beautiful!"

Two funny things about the shoot - first, the number of people who were there. At times 13 people were bustling around including caterer Erin who dropped off lunch. The crowd included me (amateur location scout who found on our street: a Chinoiserie-style house as a contrast, two vintage cars including a 1955 Thunderbird Blue and Camille the dog who was walking by),  Lesley's husband Curtis (best boygopher), Laura, stylist and head of sales.... the list goes on. Lesley recruited from the talented mothers on the playground so I knew most of them.

Laura, stylist and head of marketing, Lesley and Candes, graphic designer

Curtis and the shoot mob hit the road

Me and Candes (graphic design, video) at the street shoot
And second: everyone was taking photos of everyone taking photos of everyone else...like a Escher staircase woodcut. So -  Lara was also taking pictures for Lesley and for her own blog and for a behind-the-scenes piece for a Canadian magazine. Lesley was taking a video for her website and blog, Candes, graphic design genius was also taking videos and photos for the LE website and I was taking snaps of all of them for my blog.


Alexis and Tallulah take a break

Time to say goodbye, guys
Day Two the crew arrived at 6.45am waking us all up. They were all treated to me in my dressing gown with bedhead (a veritable vision, sweeties). Later there was a wee bit of discussion about how where the massive bag of chocolate-covered pretzels had gone. (Cyyyy??) Alicia the second model was an art student, again, very sweet. And again, the transformation. Meanwhile Tallulah made her lunch and did the vacuuming.





Despite the gloom and rain, Lara the photographer was able to use every spot of light in the house, even in our bathroom.



Alicia must have been freezing but never complained...


The big news - they used my husband, Kevin, as a model. Lesley has started designing men's shirts and as it happened there was a bloke floating around the house at the time. Well just call me Halle Berry. Just call me Andie McDowell (actually maybe not; their husbands left them didn't they?) The kids didn't know whether to be bursting proud or to snort with laughter. They laughed. My thoughts: "Love it, love it, beautiful, beautiful...." 

Kevin poses while Lesley irons
Cy and Tallulah get a kick out of Kevin's poses

Today I'm over the pond minding my manners...sort of. I'm totally chuffed to be featured on BritMums (a 3000-member site for British bloggers) writing about blogging etiquette. Is it good idea to comment: "Whaaoh! Mutton dressed as lamb!" at the sight of a 55-year old blogger wearing a very short denim skirt? Your thoughts?

41 comments:

  1. That looks so exciting! It is pretty weird to see the transformation. Like from girls to women once the make-up is in place.

    Um, did anyone actually make that comment on a blog? Because it's inappropriate for sure! The only reason someone would even write that is to embarrass the blogger. Yuck.

    Jenn

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    1. Hi Jenn, no, don't worry....I don't think anyone has written that comment yet (that I know of!) It was just an example of what NOT to say....

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  2. Looks like you had a wild time! Glad you had so much fun, and that the shoot went well.

    A 55 year old woman with short denim skirt? Depends how well she wears it. On some it might be hopeless; on others it might be très chic. Send us your picture.

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    1. Welcome! Glad to see you're venturing out of hibernation....

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  3. what a blast.......brings back memories of my make-up days, worked with a photographer who had three assistants but numbers 2 and 3 were only allowed to speak to number 1 who was the only one who could talk to the photographer!! Was Sharon Stone the blogger? She doesn't seem to let age hinder her wardrobe choices.........

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    1. What a great anecdote. You couldn't make that one up!

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  4. Hmmm I think it's an appropriate response...but perhaps not the nicest one ;o)

    Looks like a wonderful couple of days! I'm surprised they didn't put you in the shoot too!

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    1. Thanks SP, according to Joshua, hair and make-up the skin is the most important thing and mine has seen a lifetime of harsh NZ sun...

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  5. Oh you must have had such a fun time! and you look as glamorous as any model as usual....I love the clothes too....not sure I can afford them though but the prints are lovely....married to a model now huh??

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    1. Yes, very very chuffed by my role - wife to model (even for two minutes)

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  6. I might add that we used Jody's pants for a few of the shots and they were snug on the model! Thank you Jody, for you house, your clothes, your shoes, and your friendship!!

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    1. What an interesting two days - I was exhausted by the end (just watching it!)

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  7. What fun! I cannot wait to see the new line. Love it, love it, beautiful, beautiful!

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  8. Such fun to see. I am loving the new line!

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  9. Any word on when that red and white dress will be dor sale? Its just awesome! Fun post, too!

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    1. The orange and white one in the Thunderbird? It's in stock but hasn't been added to the website yet. You can order over the phone 510-526-3851 or just wait a couple weeks and it will be online. Glad you like it!

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  10. What a fun post! Looks like a great couple of days! When you see the clothing line in print, you can say 'I know where they shot those images!' :) What a great experience. I'm off to check out your guest post. Congrats on the feature!

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  11. ohmagash!
    loving the clothes. can't wait to snatch the 'malibu dusk' dress up and make it my bitch. i love lesley's clothes. i can't remember what dress i have of hers, but i love it.
    what a grueling day.
    you're such a sport.

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  12. Ooh, what a fun opportunity! Alexis looks incredible! :)

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  13. Love reading about & seeing the details!

    ... but i must say- if "voluptuous" is a size 2, where would that put ME on the scale??

    (nevermind. i don't even want to know :))

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  14. Okay I have to say you have one of the most interesting lives...you had a photo shoot at your house!! I love, love her retro outfit she is wearing in the car...the 50s are one of my favorite fashion eras...one year I would love to have a retro birthday party!!

    I cant believe that a size 2 is normal and even not good enough for NY fashion. Shes such a gorgeous girl and they are still making her feel that she isnt the perfect size...what is the media doing to women?!

    That is pretty awesome that they asked your hubby to be a model too!! :)

    PS thank you so much for the sweet comment on my personal blog! I just love blogging and really need to get back to it! xoxo

    Hope you are having a great day.

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  15. Oh wow...amazing post...the photos came out wonderfully.

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  16. So cool having a photo shoot in your house. Great photos. Like Kevin's shirt!

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  17. I love seeing all the work that went into the shoot....It looks amazing! I lvoe the feel of it all!

    As for the comment etiquette- I had to laugh! Sometimes it is best to keep comments to yourself :)

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  18. Looks like a fun, action packed day ...your daughter would have been in heaven!
    x
    Melssah

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  19. What a fascinating account of what sounds like a blast of a day. Loving the frocks, make-up, cars and respect to that husband of yours- that's just what mine would have done!

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  20. Your bathroom looks really cool...great, fun post.

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  21. Mutton etc is a classic! Gong hey fat choi from all us Anglo Chinese at OTW.

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  22. How fun was this!?! I love going on shoots. Love how your hubby was a model too :) xoxo

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  23. How exciting, and what beautiful women! It must have been fascinating to watch what went into a fashion shoot.

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  24. What a fun day!! I love all the pictures!! Alexis is so beautiful!

    Have a great week!

    xoxoxo

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  25. What fun! The shoot looks like it was just a lovely time had by all. The very idea of having just two protein shakes and a protein meal every day is horrifying. I'd rather be chubby, to be honest! Great post.

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  26. THis was fascinating. I love behind the scenes, like this. Thanks!

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  27. Your life is way too glamorous!! You're making the rest of us boring moms feel bad:( Looks like a super fun couple of days.

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  28. How fun does this look? And that whole thing about the model being too big for some markets at a size 2, it's so sadly true! Ugh. I remember once telling some friends that at a size 4 I was considered a "big girl" in my industry and I'm not even a model! They thought I was insane, but fashion is disgusting that way. Love Lesley's bright dresses (want that paint drippy one!), that Kevin was a male model and that the chocolates went missing (Cy?)

    xo Mary Jo

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  29. What a cutie that model is and I'm dying over the gorgeous clothes. Love the vibrant colors!

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  30. My mom uses chuffed all the time!
    I loved reading this post and seeing the inside of a photo shoot.
    I also love the first photo.

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  31. this is amazing!
    Veronika
    www.livinginwinterpeg.blogspot.com

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