Behind the Scene
The day before the shoot, Céline (model), Jo-Anne (founder) and Nadine (modeling expert) gathered for dinner to discuss the shoot. Céline was in charge of providing dinner and wine. They opened a total of six bottles of wine, feasted on great appetizers, and… never got to dinner. Filled with never-ending laughter and conversations about their views on life, the evening turned out to be very stimulating. Their chatter continued up until early morning, when they suddenly realized that it was 2:00 AM and that they had a photo shoot coming up. The model needed her beauty sleep. Just before Céline left that morning, Jo-Anne and Nadine suggested some poses for the shoot that was to take place a few hours later. What a time to provide her with this information! Céline took a quick glance at the pictures and said that she would be ready. However, she asked them to remind her of the poses during the shoot because it wasn’t the ideal time to absorb new information.
At 9:30 AM, the technical team members called each other to confirm that the shoot was still occurring. Ginette (assistant photographer) had heard the trio saying their goodbyes in the wee hours of the morning and had heard Céline laughing all the way to her vehicle. We all knew that this was going to be an interesting shoot. Nevertheless, we weren’t going to quit… Even though some of us had barely slept and were experiencing a slight stomach turn, we were devoted to pursue our first shoot of the 2014 Women’s Expressions Calendar.
The photo shoot was going to take place outdoors on Céline’s beautiful property: she lives high in the mountains, where the air is crisp and the leaves are tinted with bright shades of orange and red. The country air would definitely help us keep focus on this joyous occasion. This was going to be a photo shoot to remember.
When we arrived at Céline’s home, we were astonished by the clear blue sky and the delightful contrast of colours. It was a beautiful day and we had chosen a very peaceful location. We were greeted by her Old English Sheepdogs: Penelope and Gaspard. Céline heard us and came rushing out the door. She looked astounding… Her beauty sleep must have been quite profound and regenerating. It was no surprise: this peaceful environment and pure air could re-energize anyone. She smiled and we began preparing her for the shoot. The prep session was over in no time, for Céline is blessed with natural beauty. Nadine, who is very skilled at applying makeup, prepared the model for the first time since she joined Women’s Expressions. She did a marvelous job. Ginette (previously a barber) brought curling irons (one and two inches wide) and slightly curled Céline’s hair. The model’s hairstyle looked natural and it fit the blue jeans theme chosen for the shoot. Céline also decided to sport a black gothic/medieval dress toward the end of the shoot to provide additional photos for the calendar.
While Nadine applied Céline’s makeup, Marc (photographer) studied the property to find the best suited location for the photo shoot. Jo-Anne had previously envisioned a shot on Céline’s roof; a secret doorway led us to the roof where the view of the landscape was breathtaking. The mountains were overflowing with colour. Unfortunately, Marc had to eliminate this idea because the focus areas were conflicting. It was impossible for him to keep focus on the model and the landscape simultaneously. Jo-Anne sadly let go of this location. We decided to pursue the photo shoot near big rocks surrounding the house. Two angles were selected: one angle exposed the trees filled with colour in the background and the other offered a glimpse of the rocks only. We also planned for Céline to pose in front of colourful trees. Suddenly, Ginette noticed another possible shot. Facing the bright sunshine were wood logs stacked near a cabin. This setting diverted slightly from the autumn feel we were trying to portray, but it conveyed an artistic tone that was definitely worth exploring.
The first shot was very interesting: Céline was sitting on a rock and the dogs kept trying to hop on along with her. We chose to let them be and to go with the flow. Because of the space restraint on the rock, Céline opted to pose with only one dog, while the other was being entertained by Ginette, our dog lover. Ginette has two dogs of her own and they play a big part in her life. After being photographed on the rocks, Céline and the technical team made their way to the logs Ginette had previously spotted. We were all surprised of the outcome. The pictures turned out to be very original.
The third segment of the photo shoot was quite humoristic. As the photographer was posing Céline near a big rock in her driveway, Nadine picked up leaves that were to be showered over the model as we took a picture. Marc was to tell Nadine when to throw the leaves. As he yelled “Go”, the camera did not succeed in capturing the moment, as it was not properly set. The moment had passed and we all burst into laughter and couldn’t contain ourselves. We laughed so hard that tears were streaming down our cheeks. We proceeded with a second take – this time, Nadine used a big fiber bag to collect the leaves. Céline’s makeup had to be touched up because of the tears brought about by laughter. We were ready to begin take two. We instructed Nadine to make her way closer to Céline so that the leaves would fall near the model. It’s important to mention that Nadine was perched high on a rock and was reluctant to approach the edge for she is scared of heights. She made her way closer to the edge of the rock and expressed her fear through nervous laughter. We all agreed that she was now close enough to do the job. Jo-Anne wanted to capture everything on film, but her video camera was turned off. The battery seemed dead, although she had just bought it and had charged it before the shoot. We didn’t understand why she was having so much difficulty with her camera and we concluded that this was due to some defect. Jo-Anne switched to the video mode and, hoping for the best, tried to capture the moment. Ready for take two, Marc yelled “Go” a second time and Nadine proceeded to empty the bag of leaves. To our disappointment, the wind picked up and the leaves traveled to the left side of the model. A single leaf was captured in the shot. Since the camera focused on the model, none of the other leaves surrounding her were visible in the shot… once again. Jo-Anne’s efforts to capture the whole scene on video had failed as well, for she had been holding the camera upright instead of sideways, making it impossible to view the video properly. However, we did manage to capture some pictures of the team laughing away.
We then proceeded with the gothic look. Céline changed her lipstick colour and went outside for more pictures. We tried to have her lie on a rock, but this outcome was deceiving. Marc went on to photograph Céline in front of magnificent trees, where the rich brown tree barks and yellowish orange leaves contrasted the cold green grass. We managed to take the perfect picture… It was Marc’s favourite scene indeed. Even with careful planning, it’s impossible to predict the outcome of a photo shoot. The best pictures are always captured on the spur of the moment!
After this shot, we decided as a team that enough pictures were taken and that it was time to close up and discuss the shoot inside. Céline had prepared a snack. Over food, water, and drinks, we examined the pictures. We were very content with our first 2015 calendar photo shoot and we all agreed that Céline was a marvelous model. We laughed as we rehearsed our attempts to capture the leaves on film. Céline, a talented artist, presented some of her own ideas to the technical team, as well as some of her past creations. Inspired by her work, we decided to use one of her idea as an inspiration for the next calendar. And so, the May photo in the 2015 calendar entitled ‘One with Nature’ has been inspired by Céline. Thank You Céline!
Article by Jo-Anne
Edited by Zoé G.