Chantal’s Photoshoot – Women’s Expressions 2013 Calendar

Behind the Scene

So far, we had completed one photo shoot and were about to begin a second one without an organized agenda. For this photo shoot, we decided to take another approach: we organized a prep session a week before the photo shoot during which every participant was assigned homework, such as theme development, research on clothing and make-up, practice of the suggested poses, etc. We wanted to work smarter and more efficiently. We hoped that this would reduce the duration of the photo shoot, thus allowing us to combine two photo shoots on the same day. The prep session took place in August and targeted two models: Chantal and Nadine. Interestingly enough, it turned out to be very beneficial to Chantal’s photos (if you keep on reading, you will see why!).

Since the prep session occurred on a weekday evening, we were all tired from work. Nevertheless, we gathered our remaining energy and focused on what was a long night. The make-up artist tested her make-up on the models while the hair stylist styled them. Over a glass of wine, we discussed the setting and the poses that would best represent the models’ chosen themes. Throughout the evening, we took pictures of the models trying out their poses, and we captured their make-up and hairstyles on film as well. We used a lightweight digital Panasonic camera. Though we were not accustomed to the camera’s settings, we tried out a few interesting effects, such as the candlelight effect and the black-and-white effect. To our surprise, some of Chantal’s pictures turned out very well, especially those in black and white. Overall, the prep work took 4 hours.

Chantal’s photo shoot was scheduled for September 25th at dusk. With the temperature rising to 23 degrees Celsius, it was a beautiful fall day. On that day, the photographer, who lives out of town, drove to Ottawa and sacrificed a Sunday dinner with family for the photo shoot. A light meal was prepared for the team members and the model, allowing everyone to feel energized and appeased before the photo shoot. The meal consisted of vegetables with dip, cheese, a baguette and fruit. Wait!

Let’s not forget the sparkling wine to calm down the model!

Chantal arrived with her hair styled to perfection. Throughout the evening, we cheered on Chantal and celebrated the upcoming Women’s Expressions calendar. During her make-up session, Chantal explained why she decided to wear pants and a top. She had shopped extensively to find the perfect item for the photo shoot and had finally purchased a top (bustier-like) to match her tight black pants. She had chosen an attire fit for the shoot.

At 7 p.m., it was time to leave the preparation zone and head close to Parliament Hill. The shoot took place on Wellington Street, where we decided to make use of the beautiful lampposts located alongside the street. According to the photographer, the old brick covering the Parliament would also provide an exquisite photo background. We all parked our cars on the street next to the location of the photo shoot. Rachel cranked up outstanding rock music in her car (the windows were down, so we could hear the music playing).

The following items were set up: a table, a chair, a ladder and photography equipment (a parachute, a spotlight and a battery). After a few minutes of light testing, we were ready to start. Chantal was so nervous that her bottom jaw shook (see the video)! The first shots we took were near a lamppost. We then continued with many other poses: near a monument, on a bench, holding metal ornate gates and next to the brick and wrought iron Parliament wall. The federal police were guarding the entrance of the Parliament, as usual, and looking out for any unusual activities such as the photo shoot.

Many passers-by commented and asked questions. ‘What is this for?’ they kept asking. We could very well have caused an accident. The model was so beautiful that she attracted attention: heads were turning to the scene, which could have caused the drivers to divert their attention from the road. All this attention led the team members to chuckle and yell back to the onlookers. ‘It’s for a calendar, the Women’s Expressions calendar! Wait and see!’

After two and a half hours of photography, we decided we had plenty of good shots. We captured some night shots and possible black-and-white photos. It was 9:30 p.m., and we all headed back home.

When we reviewed the pictures, we just couldn’t decide which photo we would display in the calendar. Chantal preferred the clothing she wore for the prep session. Finally, we found a solution! We combined a pose from the pictures taken during the prep session with a background from the photo shoot. It was the thing to do. Pleased by this proposition, Chantal was happy to be part of the Women’s Expressions calendar!

On another note, do you think the prep work shortened the length of the shoot? Not at all! Thereupon, we abolished the prep session. We also challenged each other to find efficient time management solutions. Hopefully, someone will find that miracle solution! This will have to be seen in the following photo shoots.

Article by Joanne
Edited by Zoé G.

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