The Photoshoot Design Prep
The pieces selected for this photoshoot were very much the epitome of that vibe above. There were the Lita and Leticia sets, made from sturdy black leather (pebble-textured and not shiny; something more rustic and raw), combined with gleaming brass hardware. That’s your cyber warrior space queen there. Follow that with the Vesta beige leather and gold harnesses and blinding headpiece, all finished with right angles and pointed corners. Then, soft, pretty Lavender leather with black lace, and the Orchid set – clean white leather painted with delicate floral blooms. By themselves, these sets didn’t seem to have much in common with each other. To help keep things cohesive, I created some pieces meant only for styling this shoot – tulle faux “crew” socks, tulle jogger pants & top, accented with rose gold metallic fabric, a tulle embellished kimono finished with athletic striped knit collar, pretty butterfly printed sheer lantern sleeves. The combination of strength (associated with athleticism and activewear) with these delicate fabrics just makes my insides quiver with glee.
I spent a few hours before the photoshoot coordinating the styling accessories with the leather lingerie sets, laying pieces out on the floor of my living room in a loose mimicry of human shape. Even so, some pieces dropped out of the final shoot once I saw them on a real body. (The black tulle thigh-highs looked REAL different when worn).
I even made a Pinterest mood board to collect some vibes and ideas. This is especially handy when you’re collaborating with several other people. These boards are great for conveying your ideas for poses, camera angles, lighting, makeup and even can dictate your post-shoot editing. See mine below:
Originally for the makeup, I was going for a galaxy inspired ombre pink/lavender/blue aura around the eyes and brow, spreading out over Dia’s cheekbones and forehead. The black smudge at the top of the cheekbones marked another trace of the athletic vibe. Unfortunately, my make up artist became sick just before the shoot so I fumbled through it myself, fixing some of it in post.
Flashing through the looks of this lingerie photo shoot felt, to me, like watching a sped-up transformation of a protagonist’s journey, still shots of her metamorphosing form. The same core person, stepping through various skins depending on what suited her at that moment in time. In many ways, this is how I see other women – glimmering, multi-faceted jewels, smoothly rotating different faces against the various pressures of life. I’m hoping this comes through in the lookbook! To be quite honest, I hadn’t been able to articulate the concept behind this photoshoot until the full lingerie photoshoot finished. Sometimes you find your reason to be, while you’re doing it.
I stumbled and fumbled through a lot of this process rather clumsily; I never felt like I was born with the instincts for things like this. But by doing, by trying, I’m starting to learn those instincts, those thought processes that seem to come so easily to other people. I’m making another skin, another face for myself, to become ever more faceted and varied.