PH2005 – WE ARE COW

Introduction – An established own brand and vintage clothing company requires photographic imagery for their spring campaign. The client is looking for a well researched and developed original concept, that takes into consideration the fashion trends for the next season as well as staying true to the company’s vintage roots and branding.

I am going to be producing professional final imagery that could be used for their online promotion, website home page, through advertisement in magazines, flyers, newsletters and for social media. The client will then state key objectives that need to be applied, allowing me to use my creative skills and imagination for a client.

I’m feeling pretty confident for this brief as I won’t be relying on any group work and I will be able to communicate with people who will actually be willing to reply and engage in a project if I was to collaborate some form of element. I’m really looking forward to this as this project is something I desperately want to do in the future and in my fashion classes it’s where my skills come out the most.

Pinterest – Immediately from getting the brief I have opened up a Pinterest board ready to place inspiration and ideas throughout the entire project. https://www.pinterest.com/elcphotos/the-commercial-client/ I have made this board secret as then nobody else can see my work, but will screenshot all of the data I collect gradually as time goes on.

PINTEREST

Brand – We Are Cow (wearecow.com) is a clothing company based in Nottingham, Manchester, Birmingham and Sheffield. They specialize in the underground cool clothing of the not-so-every day person, bringing colour and past generations to the 21st century.

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Website

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Their website is very grunge and young aesthetically pleasing, giving it an edge to the average website. Monochrome title, logo and dingbats are clean and crisp so that they don’t clash with the colours of the imagery provided, which are full colour.

Clothing sold – The collections range from Womens, Vintage Womens and Vintage Mens. They’re all quite similar in style, as it’s vintage and quite 90’s yet with the new style contemporary style that AW/14 had to offer, and the trend still continuing until AW/17.

new in 2 new in VINTAGE MENS VINTAGE WOMEN WOMENS

Patterns, crop tops with skirts, jackets, oversized jumpers and shell jackets are definitely not a thing of the past with this brand.

Brands sold with We Are Cow – For quite an indie brand in the marketplace right now these brands bring new consumers in and gather a specific target market.

brands

ASOS Marketplace – The brand is currently being sold on ASOS with their niche brands marketplace.

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Press – In the Manchester Evening News the brand was posted for others to see their new store, as there is some already open in concession stands in Topman and Topshop this is a perfect opportunity for a brand.

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Social Media – As social media is now a huge part of the marketing strategy within the 21st century I think it plays a huge part in building a brand and target market from gaining feedback to getting your brand out there through viral posts etc.

Pages include Instagram, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr. These all show their inspirations as well as their clothing, meaning it’s a VITAL part of the research process for me to develop any form of imagery.

FB social mediaINSTA  tumblr TWITTER

Trends – Trends they believe are truly suitable to their brand through their own research, these can then be expanded and developed for a future trend for Spring 2016.

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Collaborations – These include model agencies such as A-Models, INDUSTRY and Nemesis modelling industries and clothing company Confetti Crowd.

A-MODEL AGENCY confetti crowd INDUSTRY MODELS nemesis agency

Competitors 

Phix

mens PHIX clothing womens

This brand is quite similar in the same type of logo they use, as well as the vintage style clothing they stock. I have also noticed that their product shots are quite similar to We Are Cow too, making this more accessible for the customer to view the product as it’s what their eyes are used to.

 Ark

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Straight away you can see how similar We Are Cow in the way they lay out their website and the direction their location shoot goes in.

mens ark womens ark

The clothing they sale is quite everyday mixed with quite vintage vibes, whereas WAC is one off branded vintage clothing. I really like how they customize their clothes for the season, ideally most brands do this but I feel like WAC don’t do this as much as their stock is quite limited, although they are starting to bring in everyday, higher stocked clothes.

Lost Art

lost art

All mens skater style brand that also specialize in hats, tote bags, trainers and tshirts. Typically seen on the streets, on photographers and in urban scenery.

lost art mens

Their style of imagery is staged still life, with hangers in the air with the clothing demonstrated, sort of a point and shoot atmosphere like Terry Richardson and Juregen Teller.

Pop Boutique

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Pop Boutique is local to me and as I know the models who I went to college with and the photographers I went to high school with. This brand then branched out to Manchester, Nottingham, London etc as their success rate got so big. They feature womens, mens and vintage wear just like WAC.

pop bo mens pop bo womens

Their style of imagery is quite moody, similar style an lighting of WAC but models appear street cast and candid. Clothing specifies the trends of AW/15 and represents the style of the brand quite well. Really like the warm tones and autumnal feel, something to remember when creating images for WAC SS/16.

Atom Retro

atom retro

Specifically a vintage and retro MOD brand, bringing out the best in the grunge and underground clothing scene from the 1960s until now. Stock womens and mens all in one off brands just like WAC. Also stock vintage briefcases, dress shoes, leather bags and suits.

mens atom womens atom

Product shots are clean and crisp rather than point and shoot like the others or fit with a model, similar to what you would see in usual high street market websites.

Scene 

scene

Preston based mens clothing brand specializing in vintage branded clothing as well as branded footwear, all in the theme of skateboarding. The brand has a more contemporary approach than any of the other brands I have seen which I really like.

scene web

Although their website isn’t the prettiest in the world, they have a similar layout as the likes of Ark and We Are Cow, which is definitely something to remember when creating mock ups.

photog

I really love their style of photography for their branded clothing, its very candid, long and contemporary to use for the modern day consumer. I really love the lighting and grey background in the majority of the photos and the use of strip lighting to leak through the images to represent traditional film in a contemporary market place.

mens scene

Their product photography and layout is with the traditional lay flat approach, this allows the consumer to look at smaller details rather than looking what the items look like on another persons body, strictly making it between the item and the consumer. Definitely something to think about for future use when doing mock ups and creating ideas.

Mod Cloth

mod cloth

American brand that feature vintage and one off clothes for a specific target market in the indie scene. Only sell womens clothing at the moment.

mod cloth web

On their website they match the style of the season perfectly, as soon as Halloween was over they where waiting to press the button and release CHRISTMAS! 1st November their Christmas label got launched with jumpers, knitwear you name it.

mod womens

Their product shots go for the Etsy marketplace style such as using the mannequins as the model rather than the models used on their campaigns and editorials.

Customer Analysis

Generally the target market for the brand is someone who prefers not to wear what everyone else is wearing, has a keen interest in art and music and is between 16 – 35. ACORN analysis gives me an in depth look into what the target markets usual everyday lifestyle is like, as well as what to think about when thinking of ideas to make sure it all links. The following is ideally where their customer gets their inspiration for campaigns from, whereas the target market is more freelancers, students and young adults.

ACORN

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Customer Pictures – Ever since the label became a popular brand in Manchester, customers have been snapping away at the type of looks they go for. We Are Cow love this type of promotional material and share their favourite looks, whether it’s from an everyday adult or from a fashion blogger.

 customer pics

Fashion Bloggers – Bloggers and vloggers are the reason most independent labels get to the status they are now, much like the competitors above, they all started as nothing and now are quite big in the UK. Bloggers help promote their clothing, whether it’s just on the off chance that they’ve bought something and wrote about it or if the blogger has been sent the clothing in the first place as promotional material. Looking at the Facebook album We Are Cow X Fashion Bloggers and Instagram hashtag #wearecow, you get to see how they put their outfits together for their certain demographic or for what their readers like to see. Example of this:

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SS/16 Trends – In the fashion world, you’re always 3 steps after everyone else when it comes to photographing fashion campaigns and advertising, this provides enough time for editors, journalists, promotional and advertising companies, PR and excitement to flow for the brand. A massive example of this for November 2015 is of course H&M X Balmain, causing world war in every H&M retail store as the hashtag and promotional images #HMBALMAINATION went viral and everyone was excited for what was to come.

H-and-M-twitter-balmain

Of course, this all has to start somewhere and it all starts with looking into trend, therefore I will be looking at SS/16 trends for a wide range of collective and forecasting sites to demonstrate this so I can begin my initial ideas.

WGSN – SS/16 MACROTRENDS

Soft Pop – There is an increased open-mindedness towards gender, race and sexual ambiguity, Soft Pop, which is open to instinct, emotion and all other human senses, is gaining ground in all areas, including business and technology, softness and comfort are central considerations throughout the design world, decoration and playfulness become serious concepts for making design more approachable and in contrast to this, decoration can take on cartoon aspects that are simplified, contemporary and fun.

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ECO ACTIVE – Preserving and building long-term relationships with endangered cultures and ecosystems becomes a priority, extreme and cross-cultural sports become a focal point in the year of the Brazil Olympic Games, Earthy, textured and layered mixes of materials are essential – from raw to refined, man-made to natural, ecology and humanity gain new-found respect through more considerate manufacturing processes and creative ways of working with found materials and existing objects show respect for the scarcity of resources.

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Deep Summer – Inspiration comes from the unexplored and imaginary, such as the deep sea and deep space, cinematic backgrounds are vital for showcasing the bright, otherworldly colours, materials and shapes of this trend, equally essential is the introduction of light effects and bioluminescent technology to design, pattern, colour and texture are showcased in fresh ways, with watery, submerged and weightless aspects focused upon and by looking at nature in detail, we become aware of strange new technical and organic surface possibilities.

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PAST MODERN – Removing the timelines from history allows for ingenious mixes of the digital and the crafted, tradition and pop culture combine to attract new audiences, effective user experience and personalisation are crucial for engaging clients – whether it be in design, in museums or in stores, thoughtful and innovative archiving preserves and promotes a wealth of data and creativity and opulence makes a comeback as romance and ornamentation are repackaged with a contemporary edge.

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COLOUR COLLECTIVE – SS/16 (http://color-collective.blogspot.co.uk/) & #colour_collective on Instagram is a collection of photographs found by a trend forecaster and added colour palettes to use as a form of inspiration for the seasons ahead.

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COOL HUNTING – A collection of daily posts dedicated to the coolest new looks, trends, exhibitions and songs worldwide. COOL HUNTING

(Click the image to be re-directed to a video of the artists work)

PAST TRENDS

TREND HUNTER (http://www.trendhunter.com/tags/ss15)

PAST TREND 1

SS12 – JEREMY SCOTT X ADIDAS

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Love how the bricks and branding has been used so well, as well as the dark colours and bright colours with such vivid accents. Represents We Are Cow’s branding core, only this is much more high end.

URBAN LONDON EDITORIAL – MASA HAMANOI – SS/13

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Really love the use of darker colours and high saturation, as well as natural direct sunlight to create harsh shadows in the facial features and in the creases of the clothing. Similar to We Are Cow, as the urban feel to the work gives it that underground edge that’s often missing in higher end branded work.

Chloe Moretz – ASOS MAGAZINE – SS/14 

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Although this is an older editorial, the colour palette is quite similar to the Deep Summer trend for SS/16, definitely something to keep being inspired by.

Initial thoughts: The more I continue my research for the first 2 weeks of this project I have definitely been going on a certain path, once something has caught my eye, no matter how obivious or simple, I stick with looking and falling in love with similar looks, styles and photography over and over again. For this project I think I’m going to be going along the lines of the theme Deep Summer as I really love the dark undertones with the bold and vivid colours, as well as the bold undertones with dark colours on top. I think that this ground will now get me started on inital ideas and coming up with a concept that will work towards my final images.

SS/16 CAMPAIGNS BASED ON DEEP SUMMER

Seafolly SS/16 – Gigi Hadid

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Kookai SS/16 advertising campaign – Irina Shyiak

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Dzarm SS16 campaign

DZARM

Colcci SS16 – Gisele 

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TOM FORD – SS16 – LADY GAGA

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PRADA RESORT – SS16 

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VISCERAL – Visceral refers to the gut, rather than the mind. Connecting mutual colours and bringing them out to their maximum potential without a second look. I have done work similar to this trend for a SS/16 beauty cover shoot for Dazed magazine (mock up). These images where then put on to an iPad as an E-Magazine.

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This was based on Visceral Beauty for a Deep Summer makeup and beauty trend for SS/16 for a fashion project. This has then gave me the platform to then continue to create similar looks throughout my work to see how they would appear on a magazine for portfolio and other projects like this one.

I have also created past mock ups of a still life editorial in a magazine for fast fashion.

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Although this shoot was on AW/15, this is a reminder of how to manipulate images to a commercial standard and mock them into a magazine to see how professional they can look in a magazine.

EXPERIMENTAL – Now that I know what theme I am going to be doing, Deep Summer – Alternative Perspectives, I have began experimenting, as the trend reminded me of painting with light I decided to set up my tripod in my bedroom and buy glow sticks, flashing LED lights, torches and halloween light up toys that I found leftover from the Poundshop and began creating abstract images.

abstract 2 abstract dots flying glasses JAMES 3D ME LIGHT PATTERN 1 speradic squares

I then opened these in Photoshop and edited the Levels, Curves and Hue/Saturation to bring out the colours and brightness. I also created a 3D like photo, I originally took 3 photos using an LED light to catch the light as he moved his head to the side and up and down each time to capture it on a 20 second shutter speed, I then did this 3 times for a different colour. I then went into Photoshop and layered the images by Multiplying the layer so you could still see all of the details. This then created the colours to clash without merging the layers all into one. I also created a self portrait with red light and moving around rather than directing the light specifically per-movement.

I am now looking into Pinterest for inspiration for a concept idea, now that I have my trend under way and know what my colour palette will be, as well what trend/trends in other fields that are out there and the target market I can now think of inital ideas to come up with a great, creative and unique idea.

I am wanting to keep the urban feel as this is the labels/brands vintage trademark, but I am wanting to create a concept that not only reflects youth but gives it a pop of colour for the Summer, rather than relying on simply just florals and sunglasses to promote a SS/16 campaign. I am also wanting to signify my trend by having dark undertones with bold accents or bold undertones with dark accents, giving it the electro grunge meets vintage type of style. I am unsure of womens on mens, although.. With looking at past campaigns it seems that there is a current trend in bring women and men together in their shoots, making their an intimacy and romantic feel. As this is something WAC haven’t done before, I feel like this will really benefit the brand and gain more customers and a wider target market/audience. As we all know… Sex sells, so I can only imagine this being a very successful outcome.

When I think of Deep Summer, I think of the very deep part of the ocean where all colour comes alive and there are every type of fish and sea creature swimming around, with colourful plants and rocks and multicoloured moss etc. Keeping in line with a specific colour palette this could work, only from a very commercial point of view too much of a bold colour will scare customers away unless it’s alternative or emo much like Hot Topic etc.

UNDER THE SEA ORIGINAL

I quickly created this file with a short amount of annotation of an image based on my inital thoughts. I am now going to mute the colours down to a commercial, high street standard.

UNDER THE SEA MUTED

PINTEREST

PINTEREST 2

Pinterest so far, looking at colours and use of still life in photography and fine art. The use of dark backgrounds with really brighter and multi-coloured accents, as well as lighter backgrounds with darker coloured accents.

Styling concepts – Initial ideas – CLOTHING

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All have elements of the bright colours and muted backgrounds etc, if I was to only manage to get these type of clothes with the brighter colours I would have to manipulate the colours and saturation in Photoshop after, which I really enjoy anyway. As it’s Autumn I’m going to try and get hold of as much clothes that can match the theme as I can.

Location or studio? – To keep in the theme of the brand I feel like location for the commercial images and then if I was to do product shots as if I was doing my images for the clothing itself then have them in the studio as your typical high key set out.

Location ideas – Through my Pinterest link I have been researching different location styles and themes that would fit into the demographic I am going for. As weather is very hit and miss, I am thinking of doing indoor location, although it’s summer I feel like I can re-create the look of sunshine easier than direct Autumn/Winter light that’s outside right now.

Outdoor location: 

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Although these are quite striking and I know I could use a green screen and fake the location, it just doesn’t seem very WAC or high street market at all. The selections above are very varied from point and shoot locations to very high end advertisement locations. As much as I would love to do this, it really doesn’t appeal too much to me for the brands identity.

UNLESS: 

THIS LOCATION IDEA

If I was to do something quite similar to the way this is shot, using props and outdoor location for the urban feel with the typically British Summer weather then this is the only way I will be using outdoor location I think. I really love this idea, so as I continue my research I will have to decide between the 2 ideas of indoor or outdoor with elements of the inside… Quite a tricky decision as they’re both shoot ideas I have always wanted to do since I even started photography.

INDOOR LOCATION: 

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I simply LOVE indoor location, there’s no other word for it, maybe ADORE? or even LURVEEEE. Even so, indoor location is ideal for any decade recreation from 1920’s to early 00’s. Every location is different, every lighting set up different ranging from external flash, natural light, location lighting like soft boxes etc and even a normal bedroom light. There’s honestly nothing better, so now the biggest decision… Mix the two together or have strictly indoor? That, I simply couldn’t decide right now so after a talk with Lucy and after going over more ideas and research I will decide closer to the time of my final shoot.

PRIMARY RESEARCH – Today I had a styling shoot with 3rd year Fashion Promotion with Styling students, they where basing their look off a Mathematician, but as the shoot went on after research I couldn’t help but think how some of the looks go so well with my final idea, therefore I have included them as primary research.

BLUE JUMPER CHAIR BLUE JUMPER STANDING BLUE SUIT SIDEWAYS BLUE SUIT WALKING BOW TIE DETAIL BOW TIE FRONT BOW TIE SIDE BOW TIE WALKING CLOSE UP BLUE JUMPER 2 CLOSE UP BLUE JUMPER COLOURED SHIRT DETAIL RED JUMPER GREEN COLLAR RED SHIRT CHAIR RED SHIRT DARK LIGHTING RED SHIRT DETAIL RED SHIRT SITTING CLOSE UP RED SHIRT STANDING UP SUIT JACKET FULL BODY SUIT JACKET WHITE SHIRT DETAIL WHITE SHIRT STANDING

All images are taken by me, the main focus I am wanting to point out are the last 3 photos, with the electric/deep blue sea scenery on the waist coat and shirt pocket… This is generally the style I am wanting to pull off but in a more commercial, urban way rather than product shot style.

Inspiration for indoor shoots: 

Juergen Teller – As much as this is quite an obvious answer, you can’t help but feel pulled in with Teller’s work, no matter how many times its mentioned. I absolutely love the use of indoor locations and flash photography. It’s a technique and styled shoot I’ve always wanted to do therefore this is the perfect platform to try it out.

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I also really love the idea of using 35mm colour film or medium format to demonstrate the classic look to the images. Although I’m more of a digital fan, I’d definitely brand out and use 35mm colour film to create external flash imagery as well as digital for a change of scene.

Terry Richardson – As we know, he’s not exactly the nicest man in the world but you can’t slate him for his style of flash photography. As I’ve said, I’m a massive fan of digital and as he uses a speedlight or a ring flash in the majority of his work to give off a medium format feel I really love his magazine spread work. (Nothing X Rated, I swear!) I’m not a huge fan of high key studio set ups BUT I do love it when it’s been done on just your basic wall in a room with the floor and board on show, this makes the bleached out white look that much more authentic and real. Checkered shirt and oval glasses or not, you have to love his work!

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Lukasz Wierzbowski – This photographer, using 35mm colour film and medium format to photograph his work. His style is similar of Teller and Richardson, yet his have a more physiological feel to them rather than strictly fashion. His work features obscure angles and close ups, as well as using objects to hide models faces. I really love his work, as it sort of reminds me of the everyday much like Stephen Shores work in the 1970s.

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Although the above inspiration is works I really like, I have to keep the branding in mind from We Are Cow, meaning that when it comes to doing my own images I have to make sure it keeps in theme with their past work yet is different enough to spark attention and promote the clothing in a way that is interesting. I will be running test shoots before my final shoot therefore I can see how everything works.

Use of cut out backdrop in the images – With works I’ve seen so far, a lot of large prop ideas and boards etc are always mirrors, although this is a fantastic approach when done correctly and at a high end level, I just find that it’s a bit overdone, therefore like the image I showed earlier with the outdoor location theme, I was hoping to re-create something similar with A0/A1 paper or card or maybe even perspex borrowed from the studio to combine the clothes and total look to the final images. Some examples of using larger objects to obscure an image set up are:

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The images above all vary in quite a wide range of colours to contrast with the outfits, as well as using mirrors, card and perspex and their prop. I think this could work really well for the brand identity as it’s surreal to have my style in (as if I was to get hired, they would want my style in there somewhere) and then the clothing being the main element. It’s something to think about for testing right now.

Fine Art – Deep Summer Trend – Visceral SS16 – Looking at art work online and through Pinterest I have gained more inspiration rather than sticking to just photography. I really love fine art and as I’m used to a more hands on approach, this is perfect for letting my inner artist out.

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All works of art are inspired by the deep blue sea and the ocean, as well as the contrast between the human form and the colours of the coral and underwater plants. All are inspired by the SS16 Deep Summer trend and pull the look off flawlessly. The different forms of mixed media such as sculpture, wax, paintings and graphics and collage are all really good forms of inspiration for me as it’s something I can apply towards my idea.

STYLING – At the moment I’m frantically looking for a stylist to do test shots with, if not for the final shoot. I have got together 2 mood boards of the type of styling that can be used for SS/16 for men and women. As I am wanting to joining the 2 together I feel like this gives the stylists and the models and even myself a wider range to work from to access clothes etc. As I still can’t get a stylist that is free, we are sourcing our own clothes from our own wardrobes.

MENS WAC STYLING WOMENS WAC STYLING

TEST SHOOT – I have now organized a test shoot that will run Sunday 15th November 11am till 2:30pm, using digital (Canon 600D), external flash (speedlight), 2 female models and 1 male model. The images will be a direct source of experimentation to see what my ideas look like on the camera rather than in my head.

RESEARCH – VIDEO – SUBCULTURE

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A series by i-D magazine on the SubCulture, a cultural group within a larger culture, often having beliefs or interests at variance with those of the larger culture. I really liked these episodes as they inspired me for not only this project but for others too, it also inspired me to look further than the aesthetic and to look further into cultures throughout future work.

INDOOR LOCATION ID Similar to my idea, in the video I noticed very briefly that the modern day clips of the fashion styling was captured in an old looking room, similar to my indoor location styling that I am wanting to create. The only different is that they haven’t used flash.

SUBCULTURE – EWAN SPENCER

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As a nightclub photographer (for 2 years) myself, these images not only provoke an aesthetic appeal for me but they also remind me of the fast faced culture that is nightclub photography. With blasting music left, right and center, cluttered people around you and drunken antics it’s quite difficult to do your job, but I can really feel for Spencer. I really love how he’s captured his images with a reflect on the movement in time, using flash film photography is also a hard task in itself as with digital if there’s too much of a blur, if the shot wasn’t in focus or if the flash was too high.. Then there’s nothing you could do about it because the moments gone!

SUBCULTURE – GAVIN WATSON

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Skinhead culture in Britain was so big that they are now seen as a huge trend even in the modern day now in the underground scene. Boyfriend jeans, doc martens, leather jackets and graphic tees are all trends that are still things that people wear even now, and will continue to until something new and exciting comes along. I really love how the images are in black and white, giving it the 1960s mod inspiration and the bring the 2 cultures together theme that ran throughout the 1980s.

SUBCULTURE – KEN RUSSEL 

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Raw, 1980s culture of the suited and tailored movement from the mods, they took it a step further and used 1960s Italian American gangster styling and brought it to Britain to demonstrate a much sleeker and tailored aesthetic. With Russel’s work I’m such a massive fan of the candidness and the overall feel, with the likes of high end fashion campaigns like Dolce & Gabbana using women in tailoring and Versace using not your usual woman in their photographs. Out of the ordinary women and men look spectacular in photographs and this is something I want to think throughout this project.

We Are Cow – Indoor Location 

POLAROID WAC 2 PHOTO STYLE WAC POLAROID WAC 1Instagram posts from We Are Cow showing their methods of shooting for certain images, definitely something I can use in for this project, now to wait to see how the test images turn out!

 Research – Corinne Day

Corinne Day was a British fashion photographer, documentary photographer and fashion model. At first glance, Days work instantly gives off the ”Heroin Chic” feel in her early days, documenting every element to her life of drugs, play and sex. When asked in interviews with the press, they would question her movements and whether she was pushing women empowerment and feminism, then in typical Day humour, she would reply with straight forward answers that she was simply off her face. Although there was no staged action in any of her early photographs, she was the start of using flash photograph and using grime and 90s flat shared housing to her advantage rather than everything being glamorous.

Moving on to her staged fashion photographer, what makes it great is her attention to detail to make things look as relaxed and like it was a natural surrounding as possible. Making sure there was nothing else in the photograph to distract the element of the garments and making sure it was 90s editorial at it’s finest.

My main source of inspiration throughout Day’s work is the consistency when it comes to layout and style, using the grit and hard hitting reality of the late 90’s and early 00’s to her advantage and causing a stir in the usual fashion photographers styles, making it into the press and dominating the realities of what the fashion world was like for some people. I also really love the use of minimal colour apart from the small pop of warm orange and browns, the low contrast and the use of colour medium format film and 35mm film with external flash and natural lighting settings. Overall I really like her style of work and it’s something I will be bringing into my own style.

Research – Mario Sorrenti 

Mario Sorrenti is a photographer and director best known for his spreads of nude models in the pages of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. When I think of my most influential mainstream photographers Sorrenti is definitely one of the photographers that comes to mind, every single magazine I pick up I recognize his style and influence throughout, from the use of bright vivid colours, to his brand identity work for brands such as Chanel and Tom Ford for the black and white campaigns and to his highly manipulated work that can be seen in Dazed & Confused, AnOther and Interview magazine.

Not many people associate Sorrenti with his indoor flash photography, but as I have a been such a big admirer for so long I have come across stunning high end imagery that is in the style of Jurgen Teller, Corinne Day etc, just with a much more glamorous feel and using glamour models.

Using location lighting with a speed light is the specific set up for this styled shoot, using high end models with expensive branded clothing gives the perfect feel to Sorrenti’s trademark work. Although this style of work isn’t his typical style of work its definitely something that I’ve noticed him doing more and more in the past and even now as I think he has started branching out into new styles the longer time goes on. Compared to Corinne Days work I really prefer Sorrentis twist on the ‘Heroine Chic’ layout as it’s a much high fashion approach with richer colours and quite a lot of shadows. As much as I admire this though, I don’t think I am going to go with this effect as it doesn’t suit the We Are Cow look, therefore I think I’m going to stick with washed out flash.

Research – Shaun Brackbill 

Shaun Brackbill is an American fashion photographer, as well as shooting weddings and lifestyle. I admire Brackbills work simply as he is known for being THE backstage photographer of the 21st Century. Using a Canon 5D Mark II and external flash it’s not surprising how his work can differ so much from just your average behind the scenes press photographer. His stunning shots are main focuses of magazines such as V, Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and ELLE. His work is often candid and opens up new areas for new and upcoming photographers to try out by opening up their options around the limits that are often perceived through runway photography.

The use of a ring flash comes in handy with his footwear shots, these are often published in the CR Fashion Book run by the Creative Director at Bergdorf Goodman. No objective but to capture what is going on around him and Brackbills approach is beautiful. I really admire his attention to making sure none of the models are looking at the camera and the ability to capture the emotion and excitement of the seasons shows. Above featured are Armarni AW15 and Westwood SS16. The candid approach is definitely something I’m going to be thinking about when it comes to shooting my work.

Equipment and location:

Below is a mood board that I created to show the equipment I am thinking of using for my shoot. From all of the above research I am sticking with using external flash and a DSLR. Then mixed in is the props, location, lighting diagram and the list of my team.

EQUIP BOARD

Camera equipment, using just an external flash rather than location lighting as that would have provided far too much light when I am only wanting direct light source to specific elements of the image. I will also be running with the A1 card idea and having it in the image in some way to create the colour pallette of SS16. Using a reflector where its needed in low light conditions where the flash darkens the background too much, although I could of gotten out location lighting for this, this was a less hassle approach to the whole thing. The location will be in 55 TUDOR STREET, KENSINGTON, LIVERPOOL, L6, this is my dads house as he is an artist and has the 90s flat type of look to his house with the organised chaos look to all of his rooms, as well as elements of paints, music and old props that could become useful. My team will be myself as photographer, my assistant will then be Ted Devine a photographer friend of mine who will already be in Liverpool. My stylist who will be providing the clothing and shoes is Suzie Lund, a freelance stylist currently working for Lacoste in London. My makeup artist is Kate Gately, the artist has worked with Missguided and Harpers Bazaar therefore I was thrilled to know she was willing to work with me!

Experimentation – GIFs

As I had missed the GIF workshop because I was at another shoot in Manchester I thought it would be beneficial if I took it upon myself to learn, as a photographer it’s my goal to get at a high level of GIFs and making Cinemagraph Stills a part of specialty as it’s so visually beautiful and is really popular with the brand and advertising industry at the moment. I quickly got a piece of paper and got my house mate to paint the words COW with black paint, I thought this went quite well with my theme using artistic visuals and textures in my backgrounds.

GIF COW

(I’m not 100% this works on WordPress as I’ve had trouble with GIFs in the past therefore I apologize if its not working)

Shooting day!

Today was the day to go onto the shoot with all moodboards at the ready and any boards that would be helpful when it comes to displaying poses, lighting and layout when it comes to props.

These where all printed off in A3 and put onto the walls (I completely forgot to get a photograph!) for the models to see and reference to, as well as the makeup artist. She quickly created a pinterest board for me and Suzie the stylist did too so I could agree on the aesthetics they where going for.

These where also printed by the stylist, then all of the clothing had tags on for each model so we where prepped and organized. Makeup we went for strong eyes and lips for Shazia and minimal eyes and strong lips for Hayley, Kate did a fantastic job as for the hair we went for space buns, two ponytails and out and wavy. This allowed room for all of the looks to be photographed in a way that wouldn’t distract away from the clothes too much.

BHS

Here is a behind the scenes shot of me with my external flash and Canon 600D (Originally I wanted to go with a Canon 5D, I booked it out for the Wednesday 2nd Dec which was the day of the shoot but as I went to get it apparently there was a problem with my card access and as I didn’t have time to go to C&T to check the problem out, I just had to use my own 600D which did a perfectly fine job, it just wasn’t the best quality I could of had it!)

Contact sheet

Here is a contact sheet of the images taken on the day, as you can see we stuck by the overall theme really well and I think it was the perfect setting for the style we where all going for. The models where very professional and knew exactly what they where doing the entire time even though the location wasn’t the most glamorous (or clean) I do have to say that I really do love the final outcome of the overall look. The use of flash worked really well too, with only having to adjust minor settings in Photoshop to make it look as if I had taken it on colour film like all of my inspirations have done so. I know I could have done this myself and actually created my images in film but as my budget is more than below (more like -£2k), I simply couldn’t afford to do this but if I was to shoot again I definitely would.

The entire time the shoot ran really smoothly, transport for all of the team members went brilliantly and for such a quick shoot with not a big budget I think they came out really well!

Editing process

As I said before, editing is now really minimal as the flash worked really well. I could of left them the way they where as they looked strong enough this way, but as most of inspirations had an overexposed look to them through film development I thought I would adjust the brightness and add a colour overlay just so the image could get that overall feel of it being shot on film. Although I wasn’t overly pleased with not having a better quality camera I kind of like it the more I look at is as it looks like it was almost a throw away camera scanned in through a 90s scanner or the out of focus look a polaroid would give off.

After the inital editing was done, I used layer masks to bring out the vivid colours in the clothing but kept it in the background and skin textures. I also went in with a High Pass technique used to add back sharpness with an overlay over the original image and lower opacity, this sharpens the image without destroying the overall quality.

INITAL IDEA CARD PHOTOS

HAYLEY WITH CARD 1HAYLEY WITH CARD 2HAYLEY WITH CARD 3SHAZ BATH 1SHAZ CUPBOARD 1SHAZ WITH CARD 1SHAZ WITH CARD 2

These are all of the edits of my chosen idea, main focuses on the clothing as I think this is instantly what your eye is drawn to as they have a lot more colour in them, then the colours of the card bringing out the SS16 colour pallete, the styling also goes along with this as Suzie did such a good job with having the denim and minimal approach as this goes along with the inital Deep Summer trend I provided in the beginning.

ALL OTHER EDITS 

HAYLEY COUCH 1Hayley TV 1Hayley TV 2Messy clothes 1Messy clothes 2SHAZ AND HAYLEY 1SHAZ AND HAYLEY 2SHAZ BATH 2SHAZ FRIDGE 1SHAZ PAINTING 1

All edits are meant to be very real and gritty, so plasters/blemishes/skin scratches/messed up hair etc have all intentionally been left alone just like they would if it was through film photography. The only adjustments are of those with colour, this is an intentionally done thing and not out of laziness. If it went with the brand to go along and do a really high end flawless approach then I would of just like I usually would with all of my other projects, but for this I feel the more natural the better overall.

I really like how the flash came across and how all of the natural background elements from my dads art house is just so perfect for the fitting of the images. Imagery can be tricky with just an hour to shoot but with a team like mine it made it feel less hassle. I also really liked how the makeup although in person was quite dramatic and I was scared at first, I find that with the flash it was quite muted, just like the other elements of the photo therefore I made sure to edit them this way.

In reference to my inspirations and look into past campaigns and indoor location shoots I feel like I tied them all in together well by making sure the flash was pointing in a way that Jurgen Teller would use by directing it into the face and body rather than behind, then making sure I had a reflector behind my head by my assistant holding to bounce back any light that could escape behind me.

MAGAZINE MOCK UP 

MOCK UP 1

I went with the vintage theme with the lay flat layout like in still life photography and added the image and logo as if it was an official advertisement for the brand in a magazine. I went with the image with the two models as with the double denim and the background I feel as if they go really well together with the wood hues and the overall feel of the image.

I then went on to create this one:

MOCK UP 2

I feel like the colours in this magazine mock up suit the colours in the photograph way better and have a more minimal approach to them. The logo was made in illustrator by me as the logo isn’t anywhere to find to download a high res file, the mock up is an image of a magazine I took myself and just cut out and placed onto a white background in Photoshop. I then used free transform to scale and shape the images into place and placed a gradient into the edges of the magazines. The background was then a new layer in Photoshop using a multi-coloured gradient and then I changed the layer to Hard Mix as I knew this would give me a more illustrative look to it rather than just a soft gradient going along. The colours are also based on to the Deep Summer trend for SS16 and with the card used in all of the images. I really like the outcome to this and I hope that it comes across for my idea well too.

EVALUATION

Initial ideas: I’m quite pleased with how I went from having a small thought in my initial ideas to carrying it out all the way into my final shoot. Looking into Deep Summer and thinking of ways to mute down their colour palette to suit the brands aesthetic really did help overall therefore I’m really glad I looked into trend through WGSN rather than just guessing.

Development: Through idea development and experimentation in mock ups, test shoots and past work I am feeling pretty confident that if it weren’t for the thorough research I wouldn’t have gotten to the point where I’m at now. I also feel that it gave me more confidence to work like this again (with a different camera hopefully)

What I would change: As I mentioned earlier, getting a camera out was meant to go to plan rather than my card not working therefore I would definitely have the right equipment next time around. I would also change the card from just thick card to having perspex or mount board but with the budget this wasn’t as easy as I would have liked. Another thing is the time in the location but as it was my dads house and it was in the middle of the day this was only time I could of got therefore it was the only thing that I could of done.

Overall I’m really pleased with the outcome and although there are some minor tweaks, if I was to have taken these again I probably would do it with another brand as it’s not a personal taste of mine, but I’m glad this project has gave me the opportunity to put my own style and twist on a brand just like others would of done when a brand, publicist or agency would do if they where to hire me in the future.

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