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Oddly Enough Lookbook

Jess Erica 1#

 

As I’ve mentioned before, I have recently been working with fashion student Erica Godfrey on her final collection. We have already had two photo shoots together, which can be seen here and here, and today, the third and final (though hopefully not too final) photo shoot took place.

We were lucky enough to find a great studio locally with large windows, which allowed plenty of natural lighting. Hanging fabric to create our own custom background, we focused on a very typical English, slightly Cath Kidston feel. Working with chameleon haired Jess, who was also one of the models of our test shoot, we spent the afternoon experimenting with draping, crafting, altering and layering a suitcase full of accessories to create just the right look.

The main purpose of this photo ‘series’ was of course for Erica’s final university project before her graduation, but I’m hoping that I have also helped her to get learn to ropes of photo shoots. I certainly seemed to have achieved in that sense. One month ago, Erica freely admitted to me that she had never worked on a photo shoot, or had any of her work photographed, but for a small home studio with her own camera for her online shop, as is the case with most independent designers. Now, however, she has experienced three very different fashion shoots, and I have watched her confidence grow with each as she has styled our models with an expert eye for detail. It’s been lovely working together.

Jess Erica 2#

Jess Erica 3#

Jess Erica 4#

Jess Erica 5#

 

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Oddly Enough: Wollaton Hall

Erica 1#

As those of you who follow my blog will know, I had a previous photo shoot with the lovely Erica Godfrey of Oddly Enough recently (Update* my third, lookbook photo shoot with Erica can be seen here). All of our photo shoots are going towards her final university collection, but today, was the big shoot, the one that will feature at her final catwalk show and the accompanying exhibition. The amount of passion that Erica has for her work is evident in just how hard she has worked in organising not just one photo shoot, like most of her fellow students, but three. Especially considering that this one in particular proved a challenge to organise in itself.

We quickly chose the upper floor of Wollaton Hall as our location, a room rarely shown to the public but for four tours a day for a select few. It’s a grand room that covered the entire upper floor of the small manor house, and was clearly once used as a ballroom. I must admit though, I was hard-pressed to understand how anyone in a gown could possibly maneuver the tiny spiral staircases at either end of the room – the only entrance. It took us about half an hour to move the boxes of clothing, lighting equipment, props, makeup and hair styling tools up the stairs.

As a second location, we also used the beautiful greenhouse in the grounds, as the flowers were in bloom. We also managed to convince a member of staff, the lovely Angela, to allow us out onto the balcony/rooftop for a brief few minutes. I’m sure health and safety would object if they knew… whoever ‘they’ are, exactly. Our theme was focused around childhood, English rag dolls with a hint of fairy tale fantasy, and I feel that this is echoing from each image. Does the location remind anyone else slightly of a dolls house too? I think that must be because of the faux drapes above each window… something I’ve never seen before.

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Oddly Enough: Studio

People often think that the only people who ever get nervous before their first photo shoot is either the model or the photographer. No one seems to give any thought to how a new makeup artist, hair stylist, wardrobe stylist or designer might be feeling before their first photo shoot. I was recently approached by University of Derby fashion student, Erica Godfrey, of Oddly Enough designs, to photograph her final collection.

Erica admitted that she had never had a photo shoot for any of her work, and that she – as were a few of our models – was a little nervous. This was out of her comfort zone. We decided that we should hold three photo shoots – a studio test with a short video as a ‘casting’ for our models, as Erica wanted to see who would be best in front of the camera for the look she wanted, a lookbook, and the grand, main photo shoot at Wollaton Hall, the images of the latter being the one that would be prominently displayed during her final exhibition.

I don’t like that we live in a world that seems to expect everyone to be an expert at whatever is thrown their way. A lack of confidence does not equal to a lack of skill, an introvert is no worse than an extrovert, and I think that, while I enjoy learning new skills as much as the next person, its important not to spread our abilities too thinly across too wide an area. I’ve always believed that nerves equal to passion. We would not feel nervous about something that we did not care about, and so nerves are just another powerful emotion that can be channeled into something wonderful, such as our creativity. After all, powerful emotions, be them negative or positive, are always the best stimulant for the imagination.

This shoot in particular consisted of a great team of people – anyone who felt a little nervous or unsure as to the process of a photo shoot, was welcomed with open arms and made to feel ‘at home’. Everything was organised meticulously, and we came away with a clear vision for the main shoot and lookbook in mind.

The video produced by Ben Bransbury-Hare can be seen here.

(Update* my other two photo shoots with Oddly Enough can be seen here and here.)

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Models: Jessie Jing & Jessica Bailey

Video: Ben Bransbury-Hare

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