This summer our team took on one of the largest, most high-profile projects of our careers. We worked with Procter & Gamble on a lifestyle shoot featuring their products. The photographer would be used in one of their marketing campaigns. We were tasked with styling and managing wardrobe for 18 models including adults, small children, and infants. Although we have worked on editorial and commercial shoots before, the sheer size of this project was daunting. I knew our team had to be vigilantly organized in our pre-work and for the three days onset with the models and crew.
Our friends at Sapling Pictures brought us on board as the stylists for the shoot. We have a great relationship with the Sapling team that started with our work on the viral teacher makeover series for the National Education Association. I was in front of AND behind the camera for the two years we produced those series of makeovers for public school teachers. This time, though, all work would be behind the camera.
I immediately knew Marisa and Lenà would be up to the challenge. Our everyday work is one-on-one with clients, but it’s always a fun venture into other areas of styling and exercise our project management muscles. We had no idea what we were in for.
The prep work involved fitting all adult models prior to the shoot and finalizing their looks, including drafting multiple collages of proposed looks for each model, ordering clothing to be used, merchandising, fitting, and organizing. The highlight was using a prosthetic to style one “pregnant” model! We fit folks during two days, made mutiple adjustments and changes, and ran final looks by the powers-that-be at P&G.
The first day of the shoot was the three of us managing models in the fitting area and making any wardrobe tweaks onset. We knew when we met the P&G executive and she hated the first look that had already been approved…we had our work cut out for us. There would be many make-it-work moments in the next few days. Our philosophy shopping for clients is more is more. The more options you have to choose from, the more chance you have of nailing what you need/want. This lesson came through loud and clear during our three days onset. There was definitely a couple runs to the mall to retailers to buy additional clothing because the color or style didn’t read on camera the way we wanted.
The last two days of the shoot, I left Lenà and Marisa as the lead stylists — I had a full load of clients that week. I knew the models, crew, and our client were in good hands with my team. Throughout the two days, the two would text me updates, pictures, and funny moments. The last day of the shoot was especially challenging as they had to have full wardrobes in a trailer in a grocery store parking lot. They had to keep looks pressed and ready to shoot at a moment’s notice. I think if you asked both of them, they would agree that it was a truly bonding experience.
When we received the pictures a couple of months later, we were floored. All our blood, sweat (a lot of sweat) and tears (ok no tears. Like baseball, there is no crying in styling ;)) was worth the beautiful results. We would do it all again in a heartbeat.