So one of the most common questions I am asked when someone finds out I am a fashion photographer is what was your favorite photo shoot or what has stood out in your career? There have been many, I can’t say exactly what my favorite shoot was but there is a long list of shoots that have gained notoriety in my mind. The White Cashmere Collection of 2009 is one such shoot. It was particularly complex due to the nature of the materials we were working with, but I was fortunate enough to be collaborating with some of the most hard working and dedicated people in the Toronto fashion industry.
If you haven’t heard of the White Cashmere collection before it might just seem like a clothing line, but if you are familiar with the bathroom/paper product aisle at your local grocery store you may notice a commonality. It is the very same Cashmere that makes toilet paper. Or, as they harp the more proper terminology “bathroom tissue” (we all know what it really is). As you could imagine this stuff isn’t the most durable material on the face of the planet. Typically, the only clothing you will see from this select material would be the result of bridal shower games or from kids who have a distinct affinity for ancient Egyptian practices.
So why TP couture? The Cashmere White Collection is a collaboration between Cashmere and a select roster of designers who create these works of art to raise money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. So it’s all for a good cause. The roster of designers included a pretty hefty list of well-known and excellent individuals; so when I was initially approached, I was over the moon excited. These individuals meticulously slaved over every detail, creating some of the most detailed and impressive designs. So not only are these dresses beautiful, painstakingly detailed, they are also delicate. All of these factors posed a significant challenge to the team but we all pulled together to create something quite unique and extraordinary.
Here is a quick look at the results:
So first I have to say I love how this shoot turned out. The concept was created, directed and styled by Peter Papapetrou. Hair by Marilisa. Makeup by Melissa Gibson, Grace Lee and Jane McKay. Nails by Sheri Stroh. Models are Tegan, Andrea Pearl and Grace. Designs by Greta Constantine, Sunny Fong, Patrice Soku, Paul Hardy, Patricia Fieldwalker, Tavãn and Mitto, Farley Chatto, Anastasia Lomonova, Carlie Wong, Evan and Dean, Dinh Bà, NADA, David Dunkley, Jewelry by Dandi Maestre and Handbags by Jeanne Lottie.
On the photography side I was faced with several technical challenges. The goal was to have a blown out background, intricate detail highlighted on the clothing, and creating a healthy glow to the skin without blowing it out. Sounds easy right? It took a bit of creative strategy, and a gear heavy set up but as you can see it worked like a charm. To top the technical challenges up one designer was unable to make the shoot deadline so we had to do the full set up a second time and replicate the exact result two months later.
Our day on set was a pretty hectic one, with 35 people in the same studio things can seem like chaos. That being said everyone had their role down pat and we worked together quite seamlessly. Pulling off 15 looks in less than 12 hours was pretty intense, but we still managed to have some fun.
If you would like to see a quick video of all the dresses from the runway event and interviews, check it out:
So here it is one of the more memorable shoots I have been a part of, this is also a quick glimpse into the life of a Toronto fashion photographer, sometimes we shoot some pretty bizarre things for a good cause.