How hot is this shoot with Lee-Ann Roberts?! I had the immense pleasure of shooting with Jacques Weyers for a commercial client recently and we piggy-backed this little shoot onto his Durban trip ;)
Daniella Capriati styled and I just love how laid back and sexy this shoot is! We shot in Thompsons Bay and started early in the morning to get the beautiful morning light.
I wanted to keep the makeup look simple and a little sultry; a lot of Lee-Ann's work is very sexy and very smokey. I kept her skin as dewy and flawless as possible, bronzed up her bod and let her hair stay loose and tousled.
I've had the pleasure of being one of the MUA's working on this series with Vaughan. Every shoot that he can, he steals the model for a quick portrait shot in a white T of their choice. This series is more focused on the models' personality, which is so interesting to witness on set....how the person chooses to portray themselves, how relaxed they are in front of the camera and then of course, the ones that blow you away in front of the camera.
Often I get schooled on set about judging a person before they step in front of the camera. One thing is for certain - people will always surprise you!
In Cape Town earlier this year, we contacted a bunch of agencies and organised a couple days in which we only shot for the portrait series. The makeup look is always natural, so it's easy-ish to do but JEEZ did I do a lot of faces!
I must thank all the agencies and models who took part in this series and were so accommodating with their time and gracious with their help. It means so much to both Vaughan and I that we have your incredible support and friendship!
You know I love you right? However, recently I've had some experiences that have left me wondering how we determine a "professional" model. You see, to be a successful model you need to be professional and you need to treat your job as just that, a job.
Too often have I had to defend the IQ of models and the integrity of this profession because people are daft and don't realise what a challenging job modelling can be; most of the models I know are intelligent women who not only work 8-16 hour days in the boiling sun or freezing Cape Town waters but they are also studying (something usually quite smart that I have no hope of mastering!) part time while traveling the world with little time for sleep or relaxing with friends and family. This job is hard core. Not many people know that.
The good models - the professional ones, who will make an actual living out of this for many years - know the drill and look after themselves. They present themselves in a friendly manner, they come to shoots prepared and they treat the people around them with respect. They don't complain and they certainly don't make other peoples' jobs harder. These ladies will get booked time and time again. Not just because they are pretty, but they are smart and they hustle.
If you're reading this and think that you're one of these models, good for you! That means that you know that the list below is PART OF YOUR JOB and NOT a courtesy to the team who works with you:
...are on time. Always. They know where they are going, they've research transport options and taken into account possible traffic delays.
...are always prepared. The really good ones would have research the company/client before their casting (which is probably why they got the job in the first place!). They have an idea of what we are shooting and where. They've researched the photographer and maybe even chatted to some friends who might have already worked with him/her.
... look after themselves. No brainer, right? You'd think. Models have clean skin, they eat clean and drink a lot of water, they shouldn't smoke (because this is bad for your skin, nails and lungs...just FYI), they exercise and are in the best shape they possibly can be for the type of work that they do. Their nails are ALWAYS manicured and unpainted (or french manicured.....toe nails too ladies). They have shaved legs and pits....and bikini lines, if the shoot requires. Their skin is moisturised and their hair is looked after and in fantastic condition. Preferably washed the day before the shoot.
[You wouldn't believe how many times I've asked agencies to relay all this info to the model - which they should already know - and the model has shown up for the shoot unprepared. I DO NOT have time to clean your nails, remove polish and shave your pits when I am only given 30 minutes to do your face and hair! I do not work for the model. I work for the client/agency and they have given me a brief and a certain amount of time in which to execute that brief. If you show up unprepared, you are making my job harder and you're making me look bad.]
....have the following with them for all shoots - sticky boobs/chicken fillets, nude strapless bra and nude seamless panties. The stylist might ask you to bring shoes. Another great thing to keep with you is makeup remover. I always ask to take off my models makeup after a shoot but you might not have time and you should ALWAYS remove the makeup after you're finished. Don't blame MUA's for breakouts if you keep the makeup on after your shoot. Also, ask your MUA to put sunblock on you if you are shooting outside. Most should apply it anyway, but remind them if they don't. Your skin is your livelihood, look after it.
...don't tell the makeup artist / stylist how they like their makeup done / how they prefer to wear clothes. Most of the time, you will be working with seasoned professionals who have been given a brief to follow. THEY WILL NOT LET YOU LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT as this makes them look bad. We are all there to get pretty pictures, so stop adding lipgloss, eye liner or contour (I will fucking cut a bitch.) and don't pull or tug at the clothes. If the MUA or stylist keeps coming in a fixing something you move or asks you to stop doing it, trust me, for your own safety....stop fucking doing it. Let them do their job and you do yours.
... try not to complain. Happy, friendly models make life so much easier and 9 times out of 10, will get rebooked based on almost this fact alone. This is going to sound counter-intuitive for this industry but trust me, looks are not everything. There are hundreds of ladies out there who are pretty and look very similar, so make yourself stand apart from the crowd by having a outstanding personality. Be courteous and pleasant on shoot. Crack a joke and a smile every once in a while. There's a good chance you're going to shoot winter clothes in the humidity of a Durban summer and swimwear in the chilly waters of Camps Bay. Prepare yourself mentally and then do the job. Early mornings and late nights, crappy food and tired work colleagues are part of the job. Be the person on set that lifts everyone up. I promise you, that is the most powerful business card you can hand out.
...promote themselves and push themselves. Work with new photographers, network, tag and credit the creative team on all images you put onto social media. Do a free test shoot every once in a while. Push yourself on shoot - performance and variety are key in your portfolio. Mix it up, get booked because you have a range of looks, not just one that you do well. Also, get to know your agents really well. They do a lot for you (or they should!) and they don't take that commission for nothing.
Having said all this, we know "life happens" and sometimes cars break down, clients aren't so great at communicating briefs and everyone might experience that once off oops-I-forgot-to-remove-my-nail-polish on a shoot. If you're one of those girls who are notorious for this type of thing; we know who you are, we cringe when we see your name on the call sheet (even though you're pretty and fun to work with) and we more than likely don't put you forward for jobs. We also take note of the agencies these models are from....just FYI.
So maybe you're in a comfort zone or maybe you needed some tips to separate yourself from the herd, so to speak....either way, I hope this helped. We're all here for the same reason, so let's make the job as easy for each other as possible...who knows, maybe we'll make some friends along the way ;)
My next post is going to give you some tips for when you're getting your makeup or hair done. Little things that help the MUA not poke you in the eye with the eye pencil.
I've had a pastel beauty shoot in my head for ages! I created this moodboard and let the idea brew for quite some time. I knew that the whole idea would only be worthwhile with the right model and from the get-go I wanted to shoot it with Emma from Outlaws. Emma has a beautiful edge and sharpness to her features that lends it to editorial beauty.
So on a recent trip to Cape Town, I tried my luck and sent the moodboard to the wonderful family at Outlaws. After some wrangling, we managed to get dates and times and locations sorted out and the shoot was booked! I was nervous to work with Emma (due to her high level of work) but she immediately assuaged these feelings with her enthusiasm and professionalism.
Emma seems to take her career very seriously and she has immersed herself in all things fashion, as can be seen from her well-managed (and updated!) blog, My life in Pink.
So, here's the mood board I created for the shoot. I knew that I wanted to incorporate fabrics in some way, so I went out a bought a bunch of pastel-ish colour fabrics to drape on the model and to use as a background.
As much as this is a beauty shoot, I didn't want it to be based around crazy makeup. I wanted to keep the looks and hair simple and allow Emma to work her magic. (As you can see, the hair in the mood board is nowhere close to what we went with!)
Here's the finished product!
I love the intensity in Emma's eyes and her commitment to her work. I have her firmly placed on the short list for our next Mozam trip....exciting times!!
PS: Those nails are an absolute HACK but worth the effort in the end. A longer, well shaped nail made them much easier to use.
I'm sorry, I should know better...leaving you all alone like that. To be fair though, I have been a little preoccupied with bringing you some lovely pictures.
Although that's not entirely true...
Last year was a little tougher than most and while I've taken some time (forced or otherwise) to get my ducks in a row and figure out what's really important, I've neglected you. So sad. However you will be tickled to know that I am back and I'm in a "slightly" improved frame of mind. I got so lost in certain thought processes that I forgot to think at all. Recent experiences and interactions with some over zealous and adventuring personalities have brought to light my wilful exclusion from the funner things in life. Yes, grammer nazis, I did that on purpose. OCD's a bitch, huh?
So what have you learnt in the first half of 2014 Candice? Well, invisible internet friends, here it is:
1. I really love renovating. Well, actually decorating. I love fashion for homes. I love repurposing old pieces and making the new fit with the old. I love colours and trends and prints and looking for "juuuuuust the right piece".
2. I do not like actual brick-breaking, dirt-making renovation. Just the stuff that comes after that. If your relationship can make it through an errant site manager, builders painting your new tiles with concrete and family members re-gifting that [insert random knick knack here] to you; you love birds can make it through pretty much anything.
3. As much as I love to organise; I hate doing it repeatedly. I like to organise once and then that shit must stay organised. This is important because.....I always thought I'd get into production at some stage but now I realise that it would actually just drive me nuts. I don't like to baby sit. Hence the lack of babies. Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should.
4. I like to write and I like to travel. Neither of these are enjoyed under pressure. Watch this space.
5. Art Direction is my game. From concept creation and development, to implementing and finding the right people to be a part of the team all the way through to end of the job and post work. I dig it.
6. I like getting to know people. On a real level. I want to know what makes them tick. Watch this space too.
Instead of making New Years resolutions that fade by the wayside, I've taken time to look around me, at my life and the people in it and it's helped me make decisions on certain things. So these epiphanies have become my guidelines.
But the most important thing I've learnt? Be present and focussed. All the time. Constantly. Hustle. Not sure where that Candice went for a while there but she's back and she's gonna mix things up a little.