As a young child did you ever wish to be an air hostess? Imagining it to be filled with glamour, excitement, totally amazing? Then you went on your first plane trip and realised that it wasn't so glamorous after all?
That was me with the photo shoot - especially when I got stuck with the ironing - but more of that later... I rocked up on time having received a call from the shop (over an hour away from where I was) asking if I had remembered to leave the spare keys with the takeaway next door. Ahh that would be a no, they were still in my handbag. Nearest other spare set was 50 minutes away. Oops.
I bounded up the stairs lugging my suitcase and hangers. Well Stephen lugged the suitcase, I kinda bounded! Into the studio to meet up with the very nice Erica and Ben again and to meet Sue the hair and makeup lady.
When you book models it is generally for a minimum of 2 hours. I thought that would be heaps of time but no, wrong again! Hair and makeup time intrudes on the 2 hours. It is really important therefore to have some one who does a great job but is also quick about it. If for example hair and make up take 1.5hrs you only have 30 minutes left or have to pay for another full hour if you over run. You don't get that many outfits shot in 30 minutes... We staggered the models so that they come in an hour apart, so the shoot should all be done in 4 hours. We chatted with Sue about how we want the models hair to look. A bit hard when you have short cropped hair that you do nothing with - and never played at being a hairdresser when you were a kid!
Our first model entered the room. It was Jess. I was so excited when we were able to hire her. She was the model that The Iconic used in their photo shoot and just oozes joy at being alive. She raced off upstairs to get made up which left Stephen and I idling around. That is until Erica asked about shoes. Apparently it isn't up to the models to bring suitable footwear and if I want shoes I need to provided them. I quickly decided that bare feet are good feet!
Next Erica mentions that the steamer is all ready to go. Errr, what do we need a steamer for? All the garments need steaming before they are worn. But this is sportswear and I have specially chosen the fabrics so they don't have to be ironed - ask my husband I DON'T IRON!
I do now :(.
Jess comes down and it's all systems go. Ben starts to get used to my naming convention - green top, black pants, mesh overtop...
Danielle arrives ready to sit in the makeup chair. Danielle and pink are made for each other. She looks stunning, super athletic one hot Mama! For some reason the photos that I had seen of Danielle showed mostly her face and torso. It is a shame as she has really long legs and looks great in tights. Luckily she brought trainers with her which reinforces the athletic look. Fooled Ben by calling one of the shoots Butterfly top - broke my naming convention totally.
Mercy arrives hot off the set of Channel 9 at Willoughby. This is when I get hit with a dose of reality for these models. Sounds glam being on TV, then off to model but reality is that Mercy was up before 6, had a 2hr public transport trip to get to C9 before 8, then back to us before performing again for a few hours then off to another casting. Luckily Erica had thoughtfully provided food (including chocolate biscuits) as Mercy hadn't had a chance to stop to get anything to eat. Off on a tangent, I had wild imaginings that the studio would be filled with loud music, drugs, tantrums, dramas for a photo shoot. Must have read to many cheap novels, nothing could have been further from reality. We didn't even have a little Ricky Martin to add a bop beat! Just soothing music with happy, calm professional people :).
And then it was all done. The models leave soon after their allocated time is up. I didn't really to get to chat to much with them - to busy steaming.... but the chatting I did get to do reinforced my opinion regarding how lovely - and normal they are. Danielle is a mother, Jess likes dossing around in lounge pants, Mercy went to an International School.
Ben is searching through the shots starting to make a first pass. Having looked at some of the shots I have absolutely no idea how we are ever going to be able to pick only a couple. There are so many fantastic photos.
I am not sure that I would enjoy doing this on a daily basis - there is a lot of hanging around and the styling of things and making sure that not a hair is out of place drives me demented.
What was interesting to me as a small business owner was listening to the talk of how the advent of digital has made any one with a camera think that they are photographer and that prices have dropped not necessarily commensurate with skill and equipment. For example, Erica's camera was a recent purchase in the region of 30k. You have to take an awful lot of photos to pay back a camera that expensive. That is before you pay rent on a studio, for an assistant and all the other normal overheads a business incurs. The parallels with retail and manufacturing were noticeable. In retail the cheaper manufacturing offshore has failed to take into account the quality and experience of onshore operators but in all fields price appears often to be the majority purchase decision determiner over quality and experience.