Serendipity is a funny thing. Nothing just happens, everything in this industry is a culmination of previous projects, interactions, and relationships. Every opportunity is the foundation for the next. And then you follow up. And repeat. This is the story of how I was called on to shoot the Jordan Louis New York Spring 2014 Lookbook.
At the beginning of August I sent out my fall mailer to brands and showrooms that I have admired and am interested in working with as well as current and past clients to let them know about recent work and that I am still excited to work with them. One of the recipients of said email blast was Brian Cahill. I had collaborated with Brian, the line’s public relations guru, on previous projects for a couple of his clients in the past and when I sent out the email blast he happened to be looking for a new photographer for one of his clients. He forwarded the email onto Kimberly Bowser, the designer, to put me forward as a candidate for the project. She mentioned that she was impressed by my work and he contacted me shortly after to set up a meeting and offer me the opportunity to collaborate with them.
We met up in a coffee shop to go over the plan for the shoot and begin hammering out the specifics. From that first meeting it was apparent that Kimberly was an incredibly talented woman with a definite vision for her line and its visual identity and direction. She was meticulous and daring in her designs and pursuit of excellence for her collection and the future of the company. That kind of passion is contagious. She is the kind of client that motivates you to excel and push the boundaries for the benefit of all parties.
The next step was the model hunt, we saw girls from incredible agencies, some new some not so new. The questions that we were repeatedly asking ourselves throughout the casting weren’t restricted to “does she fit the personality of the line?” but “is she going to advance the brand? Is she going to help to demonstrate the growth and development of the line and the brand’s evolving visual identity?” The girl with the answers to those all important questions was our star/muse, Liv O’Driscoll from IMG. Liv is captivating, she moves beautifully, she’s cheeky and it’s impossible not to want to photograph her all the time. It also doesn’t hurt that she is a hard worker and an incredibly sweet woman and so much fun to have on set.
The shoot day started off with some serious frustrations about the visual mood and some traveling samples, but these issues were fairly quickly put to rest. My tried and true recipe of surrounding yourself and the client with a stellar team who help bring the fantasy to life with a minimum of stress, frustration, or attitude took hold and we were off. The crew consisted of Julianna Grogan (hair and makeup), Antonio Rodriguez (first photo assistant), and Rena Rong (my trusty dusty intern, who has since returned to RISD). A girl could hardly ask for a better team.
Here is a look behind the scenes at some of the day’s hijinks, including but not limited to more than a few Miley Cyrus VMA references.