Our first editorial shoot of the year didn’t go as planned
Model: Cassie Kerns
Hair & Makeup: Kat
Hey, look! A brand new gallery with brand new pictures! How long has it been since we did that? Uhm, a long time. And this one almost didn’t happen, either. The weather this week sucked and I woke up Thursday morning wondering if I could even hold the camera. The first thing I did was pull the camera from the bag to see if I could keep it steady. I could, but it hurt like hell. The thought of canceling crossed my mind. A year ago, I would have. I really needed to shoot, though. I needed the chance to be expressive. Plus, I didn’t want to let everyone down.
Our original plan was to shoot most of this set outdoors. I’ve not shot much outside the past two years and was really anxious to get in some winter shots, even without the snow and with all the grey clouds. I knew I could make that work. That wasn’t going to happen, though. As we prepped for the second look, the rain that had been a mild annoyance whipped itself up into a major problem. Wind blew a hard, cold rain sideways. Our outdoor plans flew away. I was pissed. I really wanted those outdoor shots more than anything. I struggled to keep any sense of composure as I mentally re-worked the concepts for the limited conditions.
We continued shooting, Cassie and Kat keeping a positive, professional attitude despite the lack of space and forced changes in concept. My hands felt like they were on fire as I held the camera. Cassie was wonderful, even finding a way to sit in the window when there really wasn’t any place to sit in the window. We worked through the last two looks and I felt certain we had some strong images. I was hoping that I wouldn’t open them to find them blurred by a trembling hand. I kicked myself for not pulling out the tripod.
Much to my delight, the number of blurred shots was minimal. In fact, curating this set was quite challenging. Cassie’s experience as both a model and an artist comes through quite strongly and I was pleased with how Kat’s makeup communicated just as well in black and white as it did in color. There are more images we’ll save for a later day.
What we have today are the images that appealed to me on first pass. That’s not to say there aren’t others that might end up being stronger, but these are the ones that shouted at me as I poured over the RAW images. I’ve divided the four looks into six visual sets of five images each. These include the teaser images we released earlier.
The first two sets are fashion editorials based loosely on concepts and styling from Unconditional vol. 4 Winter and Poland’s K Mag No. 85. The changing background color represents the versatility of the trench coat, something that has become a fashion staple regardless of the season. The high-waisted slacks are a more of a fashion argument, a continual theme that designers explore then drop, perfect for that blank expression so popular in Europe.
Stretch and Hold is the concept enveloping the second two sets. Our purpose here is two-fold. First, it’s a muscle study with an emphasis on the obliques, upper trapezius, serratus anterior, deltoids, sternocleidomastoid, and anterior scalene muscles under the stress of holding a stretched pose. Those are best seen in the black and white images. Second, the stretched deltoids and latissimus dorsi muscles gave us a good opportunity to highlight the beautiful artwork on Cassie’s back and sides. The muscles pulling upward give us an especially good look at the details of the center artwork.
I Am Real is a set of five portraits based on the tattoo on the inside of Cassie’s left arm. The struggle to be real, to be one’s self, is one with which a lot of people can identify. Full of emotion, we struggle to create individuality, pulling ourselves from the amber haze of social nomenclatures and fighting to find clarity and focus amidst insecurity and uncertainty. Cassie does a wonderful job of giving physical embodiment to emotions many have difficulty expressing.
Rain Delay is the title set and I think everyone’s favorite. There is a peacefulness to sitting in the window wrapped in the softness of a cable knit sweater while sipping a hot beverage (coffee, in this case). The wind and rain has subsided a bit at this point, but the raindrops clung to the window as a reminder of the contrast between the harshness of the outdoors and the comfort of being inside. Thoughtful and contemplative, these images capture a warmth and beauty we all want for our winter’s survival.
I hope you’ll take your time going through the 30 images below. If you click on any of the photos, the display transitions to a slideshow for easier viewing of the individual photos.
Our tremendous thanks to Cassie and Kat for their incredible effort and help in making these images possible. I’m still hoping we get to do those outdoor shots, somewhere, somehow, very soon.