Earlier this year, Lauren, Maranda and I planned another creative photoshoot. We do this every so often because they’re fun, we love working together and we love pushing our creative boundaries. With the launch of I Am Makeup in April, this photoshoot would mark the first of hopefully many for the brand and the team.
Lauren from Iron & Ivy Hair, Maranda from Whitelaw Mitchell and I, are a small group of local creatives that enjoy getting together and giving birth to something beautiful. We combine Maranda’s passion for photography and all things naked, with Lauren’s adoration for hair and my love for makeup. We don’t have a name for our little team, although, sometimes I think we should (all my suggestions have been rejected). We love what we do and we love working together. We’ve watched each other grow, take on more challenges over the years and supported each other along the way.
Throughout the planning phase, I started to feel a little anxious and nervous. I had done photoshoots in the past and loved them, so why was I starting to feel this way? It was killing my buzz a bit.
I realised, I was doing this for I Am Makeup. I had my reputation to think about and I wanted to come across as a great worker and professional. It was strange because I’d worked with most of the crew before but never representing my own professional brand. This made it different and I guess, this was the reason I felt the pressure. I had my own new brand so I wanted to protect it and do right by it. If something went wrong or just wasn't right, this would reflect on me. I was accountable and I was no longer protected under the umbrella of another brand. I was the umbrella protecting the brand. This was the reason I was feeling anxious. I didn't want to do something if I didn't think it was going to look good.
We all wanted to do better than ever before and expand our creative skills. We all had a voice, a vision and an aim. Maranda put together mood boards of our ideas so that we'd have a more refined focus for the shoot. Our photoshoots in the past had been less structured and we wanted to work on this as a team. Paul Green from Paul Green Photography, had been kind enough to offer us studio space where the shoot would take place. This was new for us, as our previous shoots had been outside. Now we had lighting, a studio and Paul to assist us. We were growing, I was so proud.
Lauren and I, had two very contrasting looks for our models. Genevieve from Eve Silcock rocked a pink and poppy look with a glossed eye and pink hair. I really wanted to do something I hadn't done before, something that would push me out of my creative comfort zone. I'd seen some images of models covered in gloss all over their face. I thought, even though a tub of gloss might not be practical for what we had in mind (I'd love to do this still), I loved the idea of adding gloss to G's eyes and face.
It looked great however, half way through the shoot we discovered the lighting and the gloss just wasn't working. The hard lighting we were using wasn't really doing anything for the look I was going for. It had a more sweaty appearance than anything else. Eww! If there was one thing I knew about being a makeup artist, it was, we wanted to create sheen not shine. I couldn't have a sweaty looking model. We'd add gloss for the beauty shots at the end with softer lighting. I was a little disappointed but, I learnt that gloss and hard lighting isn't always a good match. I tried to take the positive out of that. Another thing I learnt was, when using gloss on set, boy, do you need to keep and eye on it. It moves! All the time! Lucky, G was absolutely smashing it as our model. She brought all our work to life and it was so exciting to see.
Jade, had a more 80’s vibe going on with big soft waves. The style we had in mind for her was more relaxed than G's. I smoked out her eyes with some dark shadow and added lashes for a more dramatic look. Jade smashed out some super glam and very testing poses. Seriously! Some of the poses we asked her to do were hard to hold. Think Hatha yoga...
Later, I added some fake freckles to her face for some black and white shots. I’d never tried fake freckles before and this was something I really wanted to do and do well. I found some images of women where the freckles seemed to be the focus. I'd also watched quite a few YouTube videos of people creating fake freckles and I love freckles. I love doing makeup where the freckles beautifully pop through the skin, this was my inspiration for doing a freckled look. As it turned out, the freckles looked great. I was so happy, I wanted to add more.
More gloss, and a generous amount of freckles later, that’s a wrap. We had worked for approximately 10 hours straight. The models had smashed it and we were knackered.
Earlier this week Lauren messaged me.
“U happy?” She asked.
We had received the images via email from Maranda and I hadn’t opened them yet.
“Haven’t looked yet hang on” I replied.
I was super nervous. It was crazy but... I can’t quite explain to you how happy I felt when I saw the pictures. I felt like saying to myself, "Philippa! What the hell were you worried about?" They were amazing! Maranda, with help from Paul had completely nailed it. We had all done each other proud and I felt I had done myself and the brand proud. There are things I would do differently next time but I learnt new things and tested out new techniques. I've got great images as a result so please enjoy viewing them. I've been so looking forward to sharing them with you.