Long days of shooting multiple concepts is exhausting both mentally and physically. Different people use different tricks to keep going and that sometimes leads to behind the scenes antics that are more entertaining than what actually happens on set.
[one_half padding=”4px 8px 0 2px”]Models will quickly tell you that even under the best of circumstances, shooting multiple concepts in a day can be exhausting on every level. Wardrobe changes, location changes, makeup changes, and just trying to wrap one’s head around the different concepts, with different posing styles, requires a lot of energy and effort that doesn’t seem like a lot when divided into small segments but builds up over the course of a day. Given all that is demanded of them, it’s not too surprising that they each have different ways of coping with the stress.
Different studios and agencies have different rules, of course, and those rules have evolved dramatically over the past 30 years. When I first started, it wasn’t the least bit unusual for everyone to take a smoke break in the studio. No one ever gave a second thought to the health concerns that would soon enough force changes in smoking laws. Large clients would provide a Kraft services table that might contain fruit and vegetables, or bagels and cream cheese, and almost always coffee and soda. Occasionally one might luck out with a client that provided alcohol, possibly even champagne, but those were much more rare.
Over time, though, both clients and models became more health conscious. Many models now stick to drinking water on the set, with maybe a protein bar or some other healthy snack they’ve brought with them. Some models do yoga between sets, some walk the small dogs they’ve brought with them, and any more one is likely to find the model on her phone checking social media or posting a selfie if their contract permits. Everyone has a different way of relaxing and keeping the day from becoming too stressful. Stress inevitably makes for bad pictures, so whatever works to keep that away is often allowable. [/one_half]
[one_half_last padding=”4px 2px 0 8px”]Of course, there are stories of the whole relaxing thing going a bit too far. During the 80s and 90s, it wasn’t all that unusual for illicit drugs to be running around the set. Joints were as common on the Kraft table as were donuts and if there was alcohol there was probably cocaine to go along with it. Even harder drugs were easily available, all in the name of staying relaxed and having a good time. Tales of those who succumbed to addiction are legion and many models and creative staff have ruined careers and even lost their lives because of the problems.
On the occasion of today’s behind the scenes photo, it is simply a single glass of white wine giving our model a bit of a break. She had already finished four concepts and still had two to go, one of which involved being covered in cookie icing. While such a sweet task might sound like fun, it really is time-consuming, and even a little frustrating, to get the icing placed and shaped just right. Melting is also a factor, as natural body heat causes most icings to break down within a relatively short period of time. Revisiting the wine a time or two was necessary before we were done.
Ultimately, the concept, seen below, was deemed too racy and ditched in favor of one more family-friendly. Still, it made for an interesting shoot and a very provocative behind the scenes moment. These are the pictures that cause some people to envy my job, and yes, it is every bit as much fun as it looks.[/one_half_last]