Saturday, 7 July 2012

Shooting at the Port Chambly



A few weeks ago, I did the most wonderful shoot to date. It was incredible because of the fact that I had been planning this project for more than 3 months. It took so much effort and time, but the effort was really worth it for the results were totally, if not better, than what I imagined. The shoot I am writing about is the one I did at Port Chambly; there are five parts in this shoot – “Summerland”, “Colour Haze”, “Kind of Blue in the Sun”, “Whatever Suits You” and “Theia”. Let me tell you about the preparation and the management of the shoot itself.



The idea for this shoot came from months of reblogging pictures of the campaigns of Hugo Boss and Calvin Klein. I already knew whom I wanted as models: Sean Craig and Delphine Dholah. Even before telling them about the fashion shoot in detail, they said yes. I wanted to do a real fashion shoot and work with a team. I usually make do with one assistant who helps with the light and the art direction at times but this time, it was crucial for me to see if I could pull off something as big as this.

The first step of the project was to get clothes! But where? I was lost for a few days until I spoke to some friends and they told me go seek a sponsor. Initially, I wanted to do a shoot with a male and female model dressed with suits or nicely cut minimalist clothes because I was inspired by Calvin Klein and Hugo Boss campaigns. I already knew what models I wanted – Sean Craig and Delphine Dholah. I sought out Karl Kaiser to dress my male model; the answer took some time to come but the wait turned into a positive answer. After meetings and selecting different suits, Sean was called in to do the fittings. We had been anxious there would be no proper size for him, but again I was lucky, everything fitted him. And everyone at Karl Kaiser had been nice and helpful which I appreciated a lot.

I felt so nice from there and I moved on to find a sponsor for my female model. It took more time because I did not know who to contact but the final choice was Tendances and again, I got a positive answer after explaining what my project was. I have noticed that it is always best to prepare my idea; to layout the plan. This way everything is clear when I explain my project to others. Afterwards, I went to the Tendances shop in Port-Louis to find and choose the clothes I would use. I must say I had been lucky for quite some time, from the positive answer to meeting the nicest salesgirls at the shop. At the latter, Patricia guided and helped me find the best outfits for Delphine. My model was slender but I had not expected that the smallest one-size outfits would be big for her. I worried at one point that the pieces I chose would not fit. And my doubts turned true. Two outfits were too big; it led me to go again at the shop to find something else. Maybe I should account it to another stroke of luck, but I found the most marvelous dress I ever laid eyes on in Tendances. While a friend told me it reminded her of a golden snake skin, what I saw was that the dress reflected the patterns of a palm tree. And since I was using shadows of palm trees for my shoot, it was just perfect. I must say back then I felt the shoot would be exceptional because of THE dress. It fitted Delphine’s slender frame to perfection.

As for the shoes and bags, a friend of mine had recommended me to contact Aldo and I did. I found what I needed there. Everyone there was again so helpful. (On a side note, I must say I learned that to preserve shoes (that are not yours!) putting tape under the soles might prevent them from getting scratches!)

Now for the location of the shoot, I had been looking to shoot in a very “immaculate” place or maybe just some place with some pure design, white walls and nice shadows, very geometric and full of light. Indoors was a no-no. I don’t like shooting indoors and with flashes because I see it as hassle using flash when the best light I can get though it can change constantly, is the natural light. It taught me so much and made me learn to adapt every time. I had two places in mind: a hotel and a club. First one said no, second one was responsive but in the end, I chose the Port Chambly. I knew about this place in pictures but I would not believe it when my brother told me that place was in Mauritius (the proof that I have yet to discover the hidden treasures of my island). I sent a mail there and my heart leaped with joy when the reply came out positive. The person whom I was in contact with was so nice and warm that it put me in confidence. I do not know if it was luck that everything turned out so well, but I was excited.




Sunday 10 June.
The day of the shoot came. The weather was perfect. A bit cloudy at times but still sunny. My team was composed of Dae Stafford and Max Anish Gowriah who would help with light and direction if I needed it. After picking up everyone, we reached Port Chambly and visited the place and settled on the places we would shoot in. This place really was a little village, breathtaking, calm and picturesque. After the visit, I started the make-up on Delphine. I had never done a shoot with her before but I found her face to be really inspiring. The girl’s a true beauty.

If you want to know, I use:
-          BH Cosmetics 120-colour palette second edition
-          BH Cosmetics 6-colour contour & blush palette
-          BH Cosmetics 66-colour lip gloss palette
-          BH Cosmetics 10-colour concealer
-          BH Cosmetics brushes
-          Maybelline Kabuki brushes
-          MAC Prep + Primer
-          MAC loose powder
-          Revlon mineral bronzer
-          PASTEL bronze pink mineral powder

Basically what I did was highlighting the T-zone and structuring her features by doing contouring and making the cheekbones come out. I did not apply any liquid concealer because Delphine got great freckles and I love freckles. There was no need to hide them under layers of foundation! For the eyes, I applied the matte black eye shadow from my 120-colour palette around the eyelashes and I applied gold-silver accents in the corner of the eyes and under the crease on the eyelid. I added some brown in the crease and moved upwards. Just underneath the eyebrows, I applied a matte brown two shades lighter than Delphine’s skin colour. To finish the eyes, I used the Dior Extase mascara to give awesome length to her already long eyelashes. I also highlighted the brows by making them darker. On the lips, I added a mixture of light pink and strawberry with minimum shine. For the skin, I added the MAC loose powder on her skin to cover any shiny zone and then I tampered the PASTEL bronzer (pink and bronze) on the inside of the cheekbones towards the hairline and added a touch of blush on top! For her hair, it was easy. For the first part of the shoot, I wanted to have her hair pulled back in a wet look. It would fit perfectly with the golden dress of Tendances and match with the golden purse from ALDO.

As for Sean, whose face I made up a lot of times before, it was easy to just apply some highlight, contouring and concealing. His face always takes light so nicely. And dressed up in the gray suit, black jersey shirt and black shoes, he was ready.

We went out and settle for the first location; this place was the dream spot, the one that would channel my inspiration and fascination for shadows of trees. It did not take long; it was really easy and nice to shoot Delphine and Sean, plus having Dae and Max helping out made it easier. I needed hard sunlight for the shadows but the sun would come and go. Even then it did not matter. With occasional light from reflector, I tried different angles, a couple of poses and looks. And we were done. Here are some pictures from this part of the shoot that I called “Summerland”.






*All the clothes, shoes and accessories are available for purchase in their respective shops.


The second part of the shoot was called “Colour Haze”. I planned this time on using the colours of the Port Chambly to create something around lovers on holidays in a colourful decor. I used shadows again for some shots. I could not resist them! The location offered plenty of that. There was this Vespa in front of the restaurant and I wanted to use it but I did not know if it would be possible. But asking does not hurt, and asking nicely leads to “yes” very often. Dressed in the nicely cut and structured red, black and white dress with her hair pulled in a bun, Delphine was just radiant in pink/red heels next to Sean who looked composed, dressed in white pants and dark blue top. They made a wonderful couple in this shoot and work well together. And they had met on this day of the shooting itself!

See the pictures for “Colour Haze” here:




*All the clothes, shoes and accessories are available for purchase in their respective shops.



Once we were done with this scene, we had to eat. We were famished! I bought the pizzas from the restaurant and we ate our fill before preparing ourselves for what was next. The food was delicious by the way and we even had some fun watching Lana Del  Duck on YouTube and listening to Max speaking with an Indian accent (from the East! Ha!)


Next on the agenda “Kind of blue in the sun” part. I retouched the make-up on my models and went on to change Delphine’s hairstyle to a loose ponytail. Delphine was supposed to be dressed with a top with geometric patterns and legging with the same patterns, but when I looked at it, it did not match and I took one of my own pencil skirts from Identity and made Delphine wear it. It fitted perfectly. Mounted on the amazing pale pink and beige heels, she looked so nice. But for the finish touch, I added my own fedora from Panama Jack on her head and gave her the beautiful handbag with leather lining from Aldo with colourful lines on it. For Sean, the look was composed of the navy blue top underneath a gray vest with a texture I loved particularly and the white Canvas pants from Karl Kaiser.

We were ready to shoot and the location we choose for this one was the fountain. We did a few shots with Delphine alone by the fountain and then move on to include Sean in the pictures. I wanted them to look like a couple actually having a good time there. The pictures turned out nice because of the chemistry between the pair.

 


*All the clothes, shoes and accessories are available for purchase in their respective shops.


Dae suggested we use the stairs too after the fountain. I had been looking for a place to try another idea with shadows and it was the ideal place. We moved on the stairs and shot some pictures along the way, trying out the shadows and my idea. It was not totally what I wanted but as soon as I got on the stairs, the idea took shape clearly before my eyes. I positioned Sean and Delphine and bam! It was like in my mind. I wanted their shadows to be meeting, like an encounter while only Delphine would appear in the frame. I climbed on a small structure (25 cms at most in width) that framed the stairs on both sides. I'm not used to heights and often get vertigo. The stairs were already high above the ground but I managed to stand there to get the shot I wanted with Dae helping me out. It was all worth the pain and the scare.

 



*All the clothes, shoes and accessories are available for purchase in their respective shops.



Afterwards, we continue to shoot a few more poses and combinations and then went back to change outfits. This time both of them went for suits. Delphine wore a nice suit outfit from Tendances and Sean, got in a Karl Kaiser gray suit (there was again this awesome texture on it). We were ready for the “Whatever Suits You” part. I looked for a place where there were some nice shadows from the buildings on the wall because the sun was already setting. I found the nice place with Dae, and the first shot was just perfect. Black and white made the whole thing look so fascinating and created the right atmosphere. Changing poses and places, we laughed and shot. This part of the shoot came to an end and we were done with the “official” shoot if I may. Here are the pictures from “WhateverSuits You” album:





 
*All the clothes, shoes and accessories are available for purchase in their respective shops.

After this series, I went to dress Delphine for the last concept I had. It was to be just her in a marvelous creation of a student of the University of Mauritius. Nelvina Mootyen had created this black velvet dress with golden embroidery around the collar, and golden metal circular structure on the side made from zippers! So creative, so gaga-esque like would say Dae. This dress deserved highlight and great contrast and with the setting sun, it was the golden hour. I chose to shoot next to the fountain again, but this time with Delphine standing on the edge with the black heels! We helped steady there and then, started shooting. I must say I did not need to ask for much, because Delphine as a model provided of herself and modeled so nicely. It was awesome. I got such nice pictures and there is nothing better than a model who does what you want her to do without you explaining all. She understands and does it! In 10 minutes we were done. The album was named Theia after the Greek goddess of light.


 



With that came the end of the shoot. We thanked everyone, cleaned our stuffs and packed to go home with my brother who thankfully, I did not need to bribe this time, for him to be my chauffeur (I know I’m 21 and I need to learn to drive, but I can’t help myself being so lazy to go put up an appointment). But he did forget me in the morning, so I had to call my taxi, just saying. 


The team. Too bad there is only my favourite Indian from the East missing - Max!


I hope you have enjoyed this shoot and this blog post as much we have had pleasure shooting it. Leave a comment and tell me about it.
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I will keep on posting every week on the shoots I do and explain a bit more about what I do. Next shoot I will write about is the one I did for the En Mode Newsletter Issue #4.