Behind the scenes on a photo shoot

Behind the scenes: Fashion Quarterly’s spring issue photo shoot

18 August 2016

How many people does it take to produce a photoshoot? And what on earth do they all do?

Well, we’re glad you asked! On a wet, wintery day in Auckland, one photographer and her assistant, a creative director and fashion assistant, one hair and makeup artist, two models and a chocolate Labrador took over Muriwai Beach on Auckland’s wild west coast to shoot a fashion editorial for FQ’s spring issue.

As we traversed muddy, wet and very un-spring-like puddles, dealt with swirling winds and rolling grey cloud cover and tried to keep expensive clothing and footwear in pristine condition, we had no time at all to worry about how our own outfits were faring. Contrary to what you might have seen in movies, impractical footwear has no place on a photoshoot. Thankfully, the crew had all been kitted out in the new and – luckily – waterproof Chuck II sneakers, because, what better way to test their claims of water-resistant fabric, on-the-go comfort and super durability than seven hours spent navigating sand dunes?

fashion quarterly spring issue photoshoot muriwai beach

For creative director Marcel Gull and fashion assistant Jess Thomson, dressing the models and ensuring every look is picture perfect is priority number one. When shooting on location, for Jess especially, going back and forth from the shoot spot to the van (AKA the wardrobe and dressing room) is hot and tiring work. Need a bulldog clip to stop that sleeve billowing? It’s Jess’s job to make it happen. Is the colour of the dress not working with the backdrop? It’s Jess’s job to find an alternative. And for Marcel, as both creative director and art director for FQ, he’s got the bigger picture in mind – so ensuring that every shot works with his conceptualised theme is the aim of the game.

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For Jess and Marcel, wearing footwear that’s as comfortable at 7am as it is at 3pm is the key to success – but the look of the shoes is perhaps an even bigger factor. It’s safe to say that neither Jess or Marcel would be caught dead wearing a gym shoe with a non-gym ensemble (yes, even on a photoshoot) so a high top Chuck Taylor with a Nike inner sole is basically the stuff dreams are made of. The Lunarlon sockliner (made famous by Nike Frees the world over) is secretly hidden inside the shoe to provide added cushioning and arch support. Just like an old-school Chuck, but comfier!

fashion quarterly spring issue photoshoot muriwai beach

Our hair and makeup artist Eve Sorensen, whose job it is to keep the models looking primped to perfection, had a tough job considering the wild ways of the winds out west. Squelching through damp and sandy tussock grass to reach the windswept models at the top, is a job made for a jet black pair of weatherproof Chuck IIs. Thankfully, in this case, our two gorgeous models and their long tousled hair looked even more in keeping with our prairie-styled shoot with a few stray strands catching the breeze.

Where the photographer, Marissa Findlay and her assistant Ben Jurisich are concerned, not having to worry about where you need to put your feet to find the best shot is pretty key. Our location saw Marissa and Ben climbing over fences into plant covered dunes on the first day of clear skies after a week of rain. The carpark where we set up camp was riddled with puddles and the sand itself was black, caked together with rain water and thick as mud. But when a shot’s ready for the taking, you’ve got to be ready to take it, and with the waterproof micro-suede lining, padded tongue and durable canvas construction, they could have been ankle-deep in water and not have noticed a thing.

fashion quarterly spring issue photoshoot muriwai beach

That’s the thing about a new pair of shoes. Find a good pair, and you’ll never look back. Wear a pair that rubs the first time and gives you blisters and you’ll hold a grudge forever. The Chuck II is Marcel’s first foray into a Chuck Taylor – having been put off previously by the infamous ‘wear-in’ period. It’s been three weeks now, and they’ve found their way into his workwear and weekend wardrobe on multiple occasions. Now that, folks, is saying something.

Photography: Holly Burgess

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