About this shoot:
On a beautiful, warm summer day on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, I had the pleasure of attending the Luz Studios + Leah Macdonald Shoot.Edit.Create ~ Revival No. 2 workshop. We began our three days of creating by going to Osokozy Farm, where we were greeted by the creative stylings of fashion editor, stylist, and former model, Lia Crowe. She had two gorgeous models with her and a rack full of incredible garments and accessories. Photographer and brilliant encaustic painter, Leah Macdonald, was our fearless leader that day and showed us the inner workings of creating beautiful images. It was an intense, but magical day, with one shoot after another, and worth every second of it. I shot these 35mm film images with my Nikon F100, which were later developed and scanned by The FIND Lab. The late afternoon, golden sun was perfection, along with the grassy fields and freshly picked flowers and fruits. Film photography is what makes my soul flutter and truly helps me feel alive as an artist, so that’s mostly what I shot with that day.
Five Session Styling and Shooting Tips:
This session was the first time I’ve worked alongside a stylist and with models, and it was such a life-changing experience! I learned so much from working with fashion editor & stylist Lia Crowe, and artist Leah Macdonald at the Luz Studios Workshop. I have been able to carry this knowledge with me as I move forward with my career. Here are my top 5 takeaways from that magical day:
-First, at the most basic level, if you’ve never worked with professional models, I highly recommend trying it! I found that because of their experience, they were able to help me execute my vision and take it a step further into the creation of some truly special images. They know how to pose themselves and take direction and work with a photographer. And because they were working models, you also feel slightly less crazy asking them to do things like lay in fields and drape freshly picked fruit all over them. 😉
-Next, ordinary, found objects from your surroundings can be a stunning way to keep it simple while also incorporating more of your environment into your shots. A lot of what we used that day came straight from the farm we were shooting at, including dried up flowers that were on their way to being thrown out with the trash! You don’t need expensive or complicated props to style a beautiful shoot.
-One of the greatest tips Leah Macdonald shared while shooting was to continuously talk to the models and tell them stories. Not only do I feel like that helps keep things interesting for both of you while you shoot, but it also helps your subject to open up and find common ground with you, and maybe encourages them to also tell stories of their own. I think it’s in those moments that you begin to take some really emotionally honest and intimate photos.
-Experiment with a variety of cameras and film when you’re shooting a style session! While the images you see here are 35mm film, I was using a combination of digital and film cameras that day. Sometimes a particular shot just really called for my digital camera, while most others just begged for film. Don’t feel to set in your ways to try something new or go out of your comfort zone. Try different cameras and formats and film stocks. Borrow from a friend or rent something new, if you need to. You never know what might end up being your favorite until you have your final images in hand!
-Finally, and mostly importantly, surround yourself with an amazing crew of people when working on a styled shoot. if you truly collaborate, magic is bound to happen! I was working alongside my dear friend and fellow photographer, Karen Renee, and when I was feeling stumped about my next shot, she was there to bring fresh perspective and suggestions. Other artists look at things with a different eye and can really help add variety to the final images. One of the biggest honors was creating alongside Leah Macdonald, who was an incredibly inspiring mentor to learn from. Surrounding yourself with other artists who have a contagious, creative energy is priceless. Then, Lia Crowe’s experience as a former model herself and in her current career as a fashion editor and stylist was invaluable. From the way she worked with us and the models, to the numerous wardrobe options she brought with her (most of which was from her own personal closet!), and her kind-hearted personality, she was such a perfect addition to the shoot. And last but not least, Diana and Quinton of Luz Studios from right there in Victoria, BC, added another creative and fun dimension to that day of shooting and then the following two days of painting at their studio. They were encouraging and not only provided us with assistance and support while shooting, but they were also so inspiring to learn from. As you can see, who you surround yourself with while you work is key!
IG: @liacrowe (https://instagram.com/liacrowe)
IG: @luzstudios (https://instagram.com/luzstudios)
IG: @leahwax1 (https://instagram.com/leahwax1)
Kiah Eccelston (images 10-17)
IG: @kiahzen (https://instagram.com/kiahzen)
Sierra Lundy (images 1-6)
IG: @sierralundy (https://instagram.com/sierralundy)
The FIND Lab
IG: @thefindlab (https://instagram.com/thefindlab)