Editorial Children Photographer
children photography, fashion | enchanted shores
This is one of my favorite editorial photo shoots to date. It was last fall in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for Child Model Magazine. Hair and Makeup (amazing) by Charisse Miller and fashion by Mummymoon and Tutu Du Monde. When I thought about my inspiration for the shoot and what I wanted to do, it went back and forth and evolved in my head like most editorial shoots do for me, and where it began was that I wanted something whimsical and enchanting, but almost ghostly or a little bit different. I began picturing an abandoned ball room at the beach where ghosts danced, and then the piano came to mind. So I was thinking, “okay, so how do I get a piano on the beach, is it even possible”.
Then the hours of calling and figuring things out began, between my admins and myself the amount of hours spent on the phone just trying to figure out first, “where to get a piano”, second, “how to get it on the beach” was exhausting. I got to the point many different times where I almost gave up, everybody I talked to said “it wouldn’t work”, “wasn’t possible”, “would sink in the sand”, etc. Finally I talked to the right person… he had the perfect piano for me already and had equipment to get it to the beach AND here’s the kicker, I paid him $700 to “gut” the piano so it wouldn’t weigh as much. It actually still weighed 150 pounds after it was gutted, so if you can imagine “not gutting it” would have been impossible to move on the sand.
Just when we thought everything was figured out OF COURSE he (my piano guy) was going to be out of town that weekend (my shoot, models, flights everything was already booked a this point). So I talked to the hotel and made arrangements for a gutted piano that I had already paid for to be sitting in the maintenance garage at the hotel when I arrived. I was so worried I would show up and it wouldn’t be there, keep in mind I’m just working this out with a bunch of people I don’t know.
For the hair inspiration I wanted up-do’s that were over the top… then let Charisse go from there. She spends about 6-7 hours on a hair piece like this PRIOR to the shoot (for each model) then putting them on and getting them ready is hours. The fashion just came together, “whimsical, enchanting dresses” – easy, “Tutu Du Monde”, for the boys I thought Mummymoon was perfect, sophisticated, but still a little unique.
When we arrived at the hotel I rushed to the garage to see if the piano was there, “phew” it was. It was in a corner of a garage looking abandoned, somebody could have easily taken it, so I was lucky. Okay everything was in place – well wait, the piano isn’t on the beach yet – that should be easy though…. right? NO… it took myself and 4 other assistants and a maintenance guy, to start the slow journey of placing the piano. Pushing it across the concrete through the sides of the hotel’s swimming pool, etc. with no wheels then across the sand was tricky to say the least. My team kept stopping and thinking it was close enough to the water, but I felt so bad because I kept making them push it closer.
When we started shooting the tide had come in which we had planned, but didn’t plan for the piano to actually not be heavy enough to stay sturdy, so every time the waves would push it the piano would significantly move, making the models and everybody nervous. I had two guys standing in the water holding the piano from the back so it wouldn’t move as much, and had to edit them out of most photos. We had a whole crew of people out there, lights, and then people started to gather around from the beach as we started shooting, I didn’t really notice though until afterwards… when I get into my shoots, it’s like I travel to a different planet for a couple of hours, I love it.
Here are some behind the scenes pics that people took with their phones while I was shooting:
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