How do you integrate creativity with your clients’ brand identities?
Our clients usually have an idea for the shoot, and they hire us to see their vision through and bring their ideas to life. When working with clients, I first ask myself, “Who are these images for?” Are we shooting a campaign for a juniors' brand, an anti-wrinkle cream or a hip boutique for people in their 20’s? When I know who the client is trying to reach, I can bring my creativity into the shoot through the use of photographic techniques that enhance the message of the client's brand.
How did your life experiences impact your photography?
Growing up I was always encouraged to try new things and not be afraid of a challenge. When I played with toys, I would act like a director, creating story lines and setting up scenes to play out. Also, my family traveled a lot on vacation, and I always took photos that tried to capture the "feel" of the different cultures, landscapes, buildings and people I saw. Later, while working on my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, I learned to appreciate the role that light and shadows play in photography.
What inspired you both to start a photography business?
Jamie and I met in college when we both worked as photographers for the student newspaper. I can remember driving around campus talking about our dream to work together as a photography team. We would talk about the kind of clients we wanted to have, owning a studio and working with top models - back then, it all seemed so far away. So, since Jamie and I have been working together from the start, I guess you could say that having our own photography business is a longtime dream come true.
The most challenging part of building a business as a fashion photographer?
Fashion Photography is a business and finding the right team of artists (make-up, hair, stylists, set directors, etc.) is key. We have worked with numerous creative people and continue to find talented individuals who’s quality of work and personalities compliment our photography. Another challenge is to be true to yourself and not be influenced too much by others in the industry. When I talk to my "artist" friends, they can’t imagine having to create, on demand, with a client standing behind you. The pressure can be overwhelming if you’re not confident and true to yourself. At the end of the day, we absolutely love what we do. I purposely shoot each year on groundhog day - just in case, like Bill Murray, I'm forced to relive the same day over and over again.
Most interesting photo shoot; What happened?
It’s difficult to name just one interesting shoot because, honestly, if something unexpected can happen, it will. But a good example was the morning we were shooting for a client on Key Biscayne, and things were going well. Our team had arrived before sunrise to set up all the equipment - light stands, tents, reflectors - and they even swept the beach to remove all the debris. Then, when we start shooting, from out of nowhere, a fire rescue team - with multiple helicopters and numerous police boats - begins a training exercise right in the background of our photoshoot. Luckily, our team was able to quickly move everything to another location, and we began shooting again. I think it's funny that there's always an "unexpected something" that comes up during every shoot - but, that's what makes this job so interesting!
Describe the interplay of fashion design and photography.
Fashion design and photography have always gone hand in hand. If a designer wants to show a garment's texture, fabric and color, they can show it in person (or at a fashion show) and let people touch and feel the fabric or see the movements of the garment. But, through photography, the designer can expand the audience to millions and have the garment pictured in any setting - from a dreamworld to an urban street scene.
Fashion shows for new designers: describe the mistakes you see at fashion shows
I feel like fashion show attendees are always excited to see the new looks from emerging artists. I would say - for an emerging designer - it is most important to get experienced models whose looks and personalities represent your brand. Fashion shows are a lot of fun, and I love to see the models and designers having a good time on the runway.
Apparel Design House is a resource for emerging designers committed to offering resources and advice for implementing fashion marketing strategies for new fashion designers. Visit www.appareldesignhouse.com to read the full interview with images.