I knew I'd do it. I started this blog knowing full well I'd write a few posts then fizzle out. It's been nearly six weeks since I last checked in. Disgraceful.
However - I've had some wins and some exciting lessons. I've been rewriting strategies, evaluating methods, trialing services and making progress. I've pitched, met, produced, and delivered in my hiatus. The cogs are well and truly in motion.
Today, before I dash for a train to gate-crash a networking event, I'm going to write a quick story about achieving difficult goals.
The setting: My client, Hippy Mini Market, wanted to run a model shoot for his clubbing accessories. As his Social Media Package provider I'm beholden to him, so the onus was on me to make something happen. We started planning this back in February but as always, there was a problem:
How in the world do you organise a model shoot?
Usually I've used the client's links or my own to take part in portrait photography. I've never dealt with actual models, nor would I know how to find them! We set a date in March for when we roughly wanted to have it completed by, and starting working backwards.
Here's what we had at the time:
Photographer: I wasn't going to do the pictures this time. Our friend and fellow photographer Chris Werrett from CW Photographics was going to be called in to shoot whilst I handled the day. We met up with him to talk details and he was happy to take part.
Make-up: Chris happened to be friends with Kelly-Anne Watson, the mastermind behind club, rave and festival make-up brand Glitter Gods. We'd have a chat to her and see if she wanted to take part.
Models: No idea. I knew the President of Leeds University Union Fashion Society, so would send her a feeler to dissipate and see if there were any interested parties. If not, it would be back to asking friends.
Styling: Own clothes, unless we could sort out any collaborations with local brands.
Venue: Public space! It's free and easy. We had a couple of alternative ideas but nothing set for certain.
Before I continue, know that there were points where we wondered how this shoot would go. With all three of us having commitments to juggle, there were a couple of weeks where we didn't think about the shoot at all. However, thanks to Hannah at LUU Fashion Soc, we met a transformative individual who turned everything around. Enter Sarah.
Sarah was the only person to reply to President Hannah's email, and so the only name I received. I sent her a polite message asking if she'd be interested in taking part in a shoot to come in the next two or three weeks, and by the end of the night we had a group Facebook with over 20 models waiting to hear on a date and venue. It just so happened that Sarah lives and breathes for the fashion industry, and wants to do anything she can to build her portfolio. Her immediate response was "how many people would you like to shoot? I can get more if you need" before spreading the word in her own circles. Minutes later we agreed a group chat would be best for the amount of interest she'd received. Then, "do you have plans for styling? I know Glitter Romance, they can supply us with tops". Then, "do you have make-up? I know an artist." In one night, a half-hopeful Facebook message to Sarah had resulted in everything coming together. All we needed was a time and place, which Chris was sorting - with success. Beaverworks, one of Leeds' popular rave venues, were happy to let us come in and shoot. And so the plans were made.
Here's what we had on the day:
Photographer: Chris Werrett, armed with his best kit and a couple of (surprisingly inexpensive) softboxes.
Make-up: Ash Fehners on faces, Glitter Goddess Kelly with the glitter.
Models: Fifteen male and female experienced models.
Styling: Glitter Romance providing the tops, along with all the wavy garms the models owned/we could source.
Venue: Beaverworks - the perfect setting for a club brand.
Myself, Louis from Hippy Mini Market and Chris are all hugely thankful towards all the contributors and those who helped us pull this shoot together. I learnt a tonne on the day about model photoshoots and the pictures we came out with were beyond anything we could have expected. The main moral of the story though is that we achieved something we never thought we could. Pulling together a model photoshoot of that scale was something none of us had ever managed, and the success we'd had was proof that putting your neck on the line yields results. Be proactive, ask, and keep that self-belief. I knew I'd do it.
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