As some of you may already know, I love working with local small businesses. Recently, I had the opportunity to create lifestyle product imagery for METTA 10, a soon-to-be-launched collection of ethical and sustainable fashion and home decor. Not only are their products absolutely gorgeous and really high-quality, but the company was also founded by two local Westport women…
Jolie Gotique is a mobile fashion boutique based in Greenwich, Connecticut. Penny, the owner, is a local Greenwich resident with an amazing fashion style that she infuses into her business. Twice a year, Penny gathers a team of creative professionals to do a spring (and then a fall) photoshoot for her business. It takes a team (photographer, stylist, hair & makeup artist), and a new location each time to make this happen.
I'm a big fan of local small businesses. What a lot of people don't realize is that the people who start small businesses are literally pouring their hearts and souls into it. The courage and fortitude it takes is astounding. And the amount of work that goes into running one of the best new spots in Darien is immense to say the least.
It has been my honor to work with some of the best local businesses in Fairfield County. One of my favorites is Stella M'Lia, a tween- and teen-centric brand of special occasion dresses based in Greenwich, Connecticut. Stella M'Lia dresses are absolutely gorgeous. They're high-quality fashionable designer pieces that any girl would love to wear.. and it was such a pleasure to photograph five incredible young girls doing just that (some are professional models, while others have never modeled before)...
It would be impossible to share all my favorites from our Stella M'Lia photoshoot!
We had a total of eight models who traveled to my Greenwich photo studio for the day. We were thrilled to work with local girls who loved the brand, and models from a little further away who were excited to discover these gorgeous dresses for themselves. The consensus among the girls was definitely that the dresses were super comfortable, absolutely beautiful.. and perfect for all the Fall parties that are happening right now.
Every season, Ella & Henry children's clothing store in New Canaan imports all the best quality and most stylish kids clothes from Europe. These styles are revealed during the semi-annual fashion show. So, I take a few minutes before and after the show to capture portraits that really show off the outfits and accessories (seriously, check out those awesome headbands).
None of these kids are professional models, but they all did such a fantastic job walking the runway and posing for photographs! And some of these images will be decorating the walls of the store next month, so definitely stop by to see them in person. The clothes are from several companies: Steiff, Bellybutton, Paper Moon, and a local favorite Stella M'Lia, which are all such fantastic brands.
Oh, and if you've been thinking about buying outfits for a family photo session or a photoshoot of your child, you can visit Ella & Henry (137 Elm. Street in New Canaan) to get personal styling help for the session. They know my methods for styling my models and what looks great on camera.. and that is such an incredible help for parents.
Tracy, the owner of Westport Bike Rentals (aka "The Bike Lady") is one of those truly passionate business owners whose enthusiasm spreads to everyone she speaks to. She reached out to me regarding her website - she wanted to fill in a few gaps in imagery before the official launch of her business. She needed a headshot, but also photos of her brand-new bicycle fleet.. with a California vibe and a lifestyle feel. When we met in person to chat about her needs, she was able to perfectly relay her vision - a West Coast bike rental that's actually in Westport.
We drove around Compo Beach looking for the perfect location and hashed out the details on the spot. I looked at things from a creative point of view and Tracy was able to tell me whether it would actually work or not (like, no bikes on the sand, and riding has to be done on the road). This is what I absolutely love about working with another small business - she knows her stuff as well as I know mine, and we're able to enhance the final product tenfold as a result.
The photoshoot itself happened at dawn. As in, everyone had to wake up before 5am, dawn. We wanted those sun-lit warm images, without too many people in the background, and before the start of May (the official launch of her site). So dawn it was. And it was gorgeous. None of our bicycling models were actual models - they were, instead, completely wonderful and real people. We had about 45 minutes of that perfect sunlit glow to work with. And, with a shot-list and schedule in hand, we made it happen.
My goal for any photoshoot is to make sure I nail the assignment. It's nice to think that being an artist comes first, but it's always more important to listen to the client. To find out what they need. To collaborate, and engage, and deliver something we can both be proud of. These photographs don't just show people using Tracy's bicycles - they convey a feeling that would be impossible to communicate otherwise. They tell her brand's story. And that's a beautiful thing.