There is a lot going on in our world right now. It feels overwhelming and discouraging at times, and filled with possibilities at others. Admittedly I have asked myself ‘what’s the point?’ a few times.
I am going to share a story with you. It may seem insignificant to your life right now, but I hope you will take a few moments to read a story that involves courage and resiliency. Fashion is a way to make a statement and the intent that goes into an editorial photoshoot is often deeper than meets the eye.
It was a fall day in a cozy café. I was meeting up with Holly, a woman I met a few months prior at a networking event. We had met up once before and I felt a connection with her, knowing it would be something more. Here we were, sitting down again, about to take a journey.
As she got settled, her little one slept in the car seat beside her. Holly started sharing this dream she had for an editorial photoshoot. It was based on a suite by composer Sarah Quartel, called Snow Angel. As she continued to share her vision, I could see the passion come alive in her eyes. A mother of three beautiful girls, an artist, and businesswoman, was inviting me into an incredible story. It is a story about strength and resilience, which I have most definitely come to see in her.
She asked if I would be interested in being part of the team and style the shoot. Wow. Inside I was experiencing fear, excitement, and curiosity all at the same time. Fear because I had never worked on a project like this before and didn’t fully know how my skills would work with her vision. Could I do this? I did not want to let her down! Excitement because I had the opportunity to learn and grow and stretch my skills. And curiosity because I wanted to see how it all would come together. And wow, it came together.
I didn’t have to think about for long, I was in – fear and all. I remember the day we sat down to talk about concept for each photo in the series. I was nervous I would have nothing to contribute because she’s this incredible knitwear designer from spinning the yarn, to dying it, to designing and crocheting the pieces. Plus she has the story about resilience that hits you in the heart. How would I add value? As we started talking, it felt natural. We dreamed about colours and the pieces she would make, and the other pieces we would need to round out each scene to tell the story.
I followed my curiosity to learn as much as I could, from reading literature to talking to others on the team. I learned from the photographer about the importance of texture in the shots and making sure we have a few different textures and materials, which turned out fantastic!
After much planning and dreaming, the day in February 2019 was suddenly upon us. It was a cold day, but there was something so warm and energizing around us. It was wild to watch Holly’s dream come to life. To see all the different pieces come together. It was one of the first photoshoots I styled and the nerves were there - would this work? Did I pull the right clothes? My job as the stylist is to not only pull the clothes, but to steam them and help the model(s) get dressed. Then in front of the camera, it’s pinning and being an extra set of eyes to make sure everything is in place (this helps with editing!).
We went from scene to scene in the stunning Art Gallery of Alberta. It was incredible to showcase this stunning building in Edmonton. We watched the sun moved through the windows as the day progressed. Before we knew it we were at the last scene. The Snow Angel in all her glory standing in front of the building. It was cold. And not because she’s a Snow Angel. It was about -30c without the windchill. We would get a couple shots, then hop in the vehicles to warm up. Then hop out and do it again.
It’s not just the beautiful photos that make this project magical, it was the team and the message. It was the difficult moments of posing when it didn’t feel natural while holding a struggling baby. It was in the moments of waiting, the flurry of activity. It was watching the dream come to life. It was seeing resiliency showcased in every scene.
I truly hope you see your story of resilience reflected in these photos. I know I do. Take a moment to show some gratitude for all you have done and for the angels around you. With all that is going on around us in the world right now, it’s more important than ever to do this.
The Final photos: Click Here
Hair & MU: Melenie Montgomery
The publication: Click Here