Wednesday, April 26, 2017

What It's Like Behind the Scenes of a Photo Shoot

I'll be the first to let you all know how much I absolutely love Pittsburgh and living in this wonderful city. However, as a blogger, it can be a little tough because a lot of the events, companies, and opportunities are located in cities such as New York and LA. 

Sometimes, I feel like I miss out on a lot. I never let it get me down, though! Plus, it's fun to be able to live vicariously through other bloggers as they attend some really amazing events and behind the scenes fun. That's also not to say that I don't get to do some pretty amazing things while traveling or even right here in Pittsburgh...but, this experience might just take the cake on one of the cooler things I've gotten to be a part of while living in this great city!

As you can imagine, there's not a whole lot going on in Pittsburgh fashion-wise... however, a few companies call Pittsburgh home, one of them being Rue21. Last year I got to tour their headquarters (and meet Daya, who actually went to my high school!) and it was so neat to see how a company that large is run! They actually have an entire 'store' at their HQ that is just a mockup... kind of like you are playing pretend. Pretty darn cool. 

Typically, Rue21 holds their photo shoots for campaigns in LA or New York, but just last week was their first ever photo shoot in Pittsburgh! Needless to say, I was thrilled to be invited to go behind the scenes of their summer 2017 campaign. I had never been behind the scenes of a photo shoot and had no idea what to expect. 

I was so excited that I had trouble sleeping the night before! I remember being in middle school and high school and pouring over magazines and catalogs marking what I loved and reading all of the articles about models, fittings, and the top photographers. In high school, I was also a big America's Next Top Model junky. So I had always been so curious as to what goes on at an actual shoot! So in case you are as curious as I was, let me walk you through it! 

First, a few days before the shoot, I was e-mailed a call sheet from a producer. Think of this as a master schedule for everyone that will be on the set. Everyone from creative directors, art directors, photographers, hair and makeup artists, stylist, models (and even me!) was included on this list. It gives you the run down of where you need to be and when.

The day of the shoot, I arrived on the set just as they were finishing up setting out breakfast for the crew and starting the shoots! Rue21 has their own photo studio. From the outside, it's pretty nondescript and looks like a large warehouse. A few of the models had just finished hair and makeup (here's an instagram from Moiz, the hair stylist on set and the messy bun he did on June) and one of the guys was in the chair actually getting his hair cut! The area for hair and makeup looks just like what you'd imagine: products everywhere with directors chairs and vanity lights around a large mirror. 

Different 'sets' were set up with photographers at-the-ready. There were also stations with computers which transferred the photos from the camera immediately to the computer screen for review. At each 'set' there was also lighting set up to achieve just the right look.

They had a great playlist blaring as the models all posed and the photographers snapped away. It was so much fun to watch all of the different outfits being tried on by the models. There were so many cute pieces, it was hard to pick my favorite! Also, as the models moved around/switched poses, there was always someone there to touch up their hair or makeup and even to fix the clothing to make sure it looked perfect.

It was also interesting to see how amazingly organized everything was. The stylists had everything laid out and ready to go for each outfit... down to the tiniest details. There were people steaming clothes, pulling clothes from racks, and walls upon walls of shoes!

It was also really neat to see how certain photos are achieved. For example, there were special tripods just for the flatlays that you often see on Instagram and on product pages on the Rue21 website.
It was also really neat to see how certain photos are achieved. For example, there were special tripods just for the flat lays that you often see on Instagram and on product pages on the Rue21 website

Overall, the experience was one for the books. I had no idea just how many people and how many moving parts are necessary for a successful shoot. I love that the vibe was overall relaxed, but you could also tell how hard everyone was working to get the best results! You could see everyone's talents shining, but I loved that they all worked together as a team and really respected each other and their opinions and ideas!

I received a ton of questions from those of you who were watching my snapchats and insta stories about the two outfits I wore while at the Rue21 shoot. I tried my hardest to get back to all of you! Everything I am wearing is Rue21 and will be available the first week in May! I'll let you all know in a future 'Lately' blog post once everything is live. The pieces are really cute and very affordable. I noticed lots of blues and ginghams (love love love) as well as comfy basic tees, cute slide sandals and mules. A big thanks to Rue21 for having me behind the scenes!

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