Workaholic

Meg’s Collection

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It’s that time of year, when students are struggling with repeated all-nighters to meet their big deadlines. No, we weren’t all like that, some of us spent the entire semester pulling all-nighters purely because we wanted our final work to be perfect. Meg, a University of Derby fashion student, is one of those students. Just look at the detail that has gone into these laser-cut designs… beautiful!

I was the lucky photographer who she selected to photograph her collection. It was a beautiful day for a photo shoot, and as we had chosen Wollaton Hall, a stately home in Nottinghamshire that is open to the public (and a spot where I have worked before with a University of Derby fashion student, as well as for one of my own personal shoots), we had quite an audience, members of the public lining the various benches that surrounded the greenhouse, watching us work, complimenting our gorgeous model sisters. The sun was shining, perhaps a little too harshly, but we made do. Thank god for reflectors.

Besides a small incident with a bee somehow getting trapped in our model’s trousers (all was well – none of us have ever laughed so much in our lives!), everything went without a hitch. A shout out has to go not only to my lovely assistant, Gem, but also to Meg’s boyfriend, her chauffeur who stepped in as a second assistant when we were experimenting with spontaneous ideas. It was such a great team to work with.

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Workaholic

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: 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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