Shooting the cover for the 100th issue of Zoom Magazine one of Hollands biggest Photography Magazines is freaking awesome! They contacted me because of my Fashion&Fine-Art background and thought I would know how to build a dress from 100th covers. They challenged me to build and shoot a dress made from all the past 100 issues, and it needed to be shot within a week. Who doesn’t like a challenge! So… Accepted! Phone rang:
The brief went over the phone. They had 100 covers and wanted a dress. I would get the covers on the morning of the shoot and they needed to shoot it within a week. They sent me a sample moodboard and how they wanted the dress. I loved the idea but for a cover I thought it was a little too plain. It was a flat dress, made from paper. I wanted a lil something with more of a bang. So I started looking up paper dresses and got inspired by some amazing designs and started collecting them in my moodboard. They also wanted a list of 3-5 models to choose from. They did make it easy by saying I could use anyone I already have in my portfolio. So it was on to finding:
Now that I had the brief, it was time to find the team. I love working in teams because the creativity flows better- at least with me. It also helps me focus on what needs to be done. So I posted a casting call on Facebook and ModelMayhem, looking for a stylist who could shoot within the week, a model and a makeup artist. From the casting call I picked 5 models and sent the client a little contact-sheet to choose from. Half of the models I’d worked with before and the other half were new faces I wanted to work with. They picked a model I’d known for a while and have worked with a lot, so the people rejoiced! If you can work with humans you know it’s always more fun and intuitive, because you know each other and what’s to be expected. Added bonus: she’s an artist as well, so she could also help build the dress! Double win!
Then I continued on to finding the stylist with the same casting call. And we started brainstorming on making the dress bigger together with the image I found of paper dresses. We send some pictures across and started building the dress in our minds and on paper from this. When we had all the pieces, I re-sent the idea to the art director and head editor saying something along the lines of: “We love your idea, but would love to take it a step further. Is that okay?” and they both gave me a GO! for Epic! Sweet! On to finding a makeup artist. One of my favorite makeup artists to work with reacted to my casting call so I went with her, also because she’s an amazing hairstylist (goes back to working with people you know). And so we had our team. Then I went on to briefing the team what we were going to do and what was to be expected. Everyone was game! So we set and match:
Art director arrived with the covers + some extra duplicates. So we started color sorting them. on the floor. Wanted the top part of the dress to be yellow, so we sorted all the yellowish covers together, the main part of dress in 2 colors, top being covers in different colors, bottom skirt part white pages.
Because it was a cover shoot my composition was going to be to shoot the model from the knee up and leave some headspace for the logo, text etc. After color coding and arranging we started building. The model helped with the dress chest piece and suggested we use triangles. So the stylist cut triangles out of hard paper and started ducttaping and gluing everything together.
We had the chief editor and art director start folding paper for the bottom part of the dress. We also had to cut out all the covers from the rest of the magazine part, so I was extra happy with the helping hands :). They even had 1 last first issue cover! We decided to give it a little spotlight. By making a handbag out of it. And letting the model hold this in her hand.
After everything was stitched together, we started putting it on the model and fitting everything.
For the background we tried different things. I had a plain green background, a custom painted textures background by spider-design.nl or just dark grey. After some tests we stuck with the painted textured background. It gave it just a little more depth.
For the lights I didn’t do anything fancy. Diagram:
– I just used the Elinchrom BXRi 500 with the Rotalux 100 Deep Octa. At about a 45 degree angle up high tilted down on the model. This is my keylight and is directed at the models face and a little spill on the background.
– To light up the dress I used a Elinchrom RX One with default 60×60 softbox camera left at about knee level, slightly feathered off.
– I used a Canon 430 EX II speedlight with a Honl grid to give her a little rim and some light on the cheek – camera left, behind model, up high!
And this is what we ended up with! Thanks to the amazing team! From concept to shoot to end product in less than 7 days.
Model: Elsemieke van der Heijden
MakeUp: Joyce Schweers – Queens Hairstyling
Stylist: Lucretia Van de L’Isle
Assistant: Anna Ustian
Zoom.nl Editor: Robert Theunissen
Zoom.nl Art Director: Aico Turba