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Lavender and Lace

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

I've had this vision for about 2 years and finally executed on it this past September.


The last time I organized a concept shoot like this was when I did Frida back in 2011 - AHH. Remember Frida (link)?! That was one of the MOST memorable shoots I've ever done. This will be one of those too...








This shoot was featured as a Valentine's editorial on Disfunkshion Magazine (link). I love what that magazine stands for and am constantly inspired by their visuals. So honored to have this piece featured with them.



Huge, huge thanks to my team that made this happen - Hair | Jenny Strebe, Makeup | Jessica Fierro, Model | Alexandra Smith (Agency AZ), Florals | Posies Florals




2

Le Secret d'Audrey - A Paris Elopement Film

Monday, February 23, 2015


If you count the day that Audrey first contacted me, this has actually been a year in the making.

The story? Oh, that's been in my head for the longest time. I will always gravitate to a love story. But an elopement in Paris?!! ... I could barely wrap my head around this. Audrey and I communicated over e-mails and long distance calls. I remember when I first heard her French accent over the phone I could BARELY contain myself. I'm such a dork!!

Actually, after hearing her voice - it immediately occurred to me that we needed to incorporate her speaking in French. Her target market is American brides and if *I* was freaking out about her accent, can you imagine listening to her speak in French?!

And that's how it all started. I filmed on the plane, the story tucked away in my head, anticipating other moments to film while Jose and I made a trip out of it. In the car, I filmed the buildings, the people on the street, even the noises in the cafe. Though I had an idea of the story, I needed to have enough content with me to give me options when I went home.

Audrey teamed up an incredible group of vendors, and when we arrived on set, I knew that day would always, always, always live in me. This truly, no doubt, was a day I dreamed of. After getting back to the U.S., I committed myself to not rushing this film and executing every idea I had. Narrative, voice over, sound effects... all of it. And I know this sounds crazy and dramatic, but this film changed me - it changed me as an artist. I'll have to explain another day.

Here it is guys, my heart is in my throat. Turn up your volume, and enjoy...





1

Epiphanie Campaign - Behind the Scenes with Ale Vidal

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

So here is an inside look into our approach for the Epiphanie Fall 2014 campaign.


Before I ever begin ANY visuals, a significant part of my process is understanding my client's promise, values, and vision. And I don't mean understanding their colors or descriptive words only, I mean what their brand stands for. Sometimes I have clients that have a hard time verbalizing it, but they have a clear vision. I help them with this process too. It's deep y'all. I push hard for this because this is how I humanize a brand and make them stand out. I don't ever compromise on this because that would mean compromising on my client. This is what Maile, owner of Epiphanie, summarized hers as:

"Beauty. Connection. Adventure. I am endlessly inspired by people who live unconventional lives, who go beyond the status quo of what is expected to find whatever it is that fulfills them. I'm inspired by passion, and by the general idea that it's possible to design your life, rather than just react to it." 

Um, heck yeah.  I completely connect with this on so many levels.

Once I had this, Alex of AVE Styles and I collaborated on a Pinterest board to initiate what the visuals would look and feel like. My focus, as usual, is on mood and story. Alex's focus is on styling and art direction which are the tangibles.

From that, I created a story about a graphic designer/photographer that we would follow and experience parts of her really awesome day. Sort of like the journey that the epiphanie bag gets to go on - without focusing on the bag as a product, and more like an experience.  These details also guide what hair, make-up, and location should look like. I also noted in the story that she had a connection with the guy in the film. That while they're "just friends" - they do things like having their own handshake. This gives the film a sub-story and more depth to play with :) Here's a look into my "bedroom scene" storyboard:


Once my team has translated the visuals right before me (models, clothing, hair, make-up) - this allows me to do what I believe I'm made to do: direct and connect. On the day of filming is when my brain goes into a world I can't describe. I guide the people in front of my camera to understand the character and how their movements need to feel authentic and true. I give them visual and emotional cues that occur to me on the spot, or I've thought about in advance, and capture it on camera. Sooo, that happens...


And after all of that - the inner soul searching, the visual planning, the tangibles, directing, and emotional cues - we get the point that I refer to as "bringing it to life." Sounds dramatic but I don't know any other way to describe it. The story goes from idea to tangible. It's in front of you as a character. It has emotion. It is ... alive. And the most thrilling, yet also scariest part, is YOU - the filmmaker must capture this and immerse your viewer into THIS world that you and your team have created. Phew.

I was able to do both the lifestyle photos and the brand film for Epiphanie with my incredible team. This is some of the content that our planning translated to:


And the film:



And that is a just a little glimpse at what I do and a preview into more of what I'll be doing this coming 2015. My heart has been set on campaigns for the longest time and I feel insanely proud of watching this bloom. Huge thanks to my team:

Styling: Alexandra Evjen | Video Assistant: Matt Hail | Assistant + Behind the Scenes: Audree Lopez |  Hair: Jenny Strebe | Makeup: Stephanie Neiheisel

3

Clean.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

YES. I finally did it. I cleaned up my blog design. AHHH. Do you love it?!?! I do! I'll be adding a few things in the coming weeks, but ohhhh it feels so good to see my images on this layout.

I could photograph this girl ALL DANG DAY. Madeleine Alexandra - she's a beast. I just finished editing the video to this. Oh. My. Word. It's different from anything I've done. Sometimes I crave the freedom to experiment and there is nothing like creating movement to a song that is plain and simple, sick. I am completely fine if half of my time is spent making music videos for women or love stories. Yessir. Seventeen year old Ale would be living her DREAM.

1

Reflections

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I remember watching the bench dance with Travis Wall on So You Think You Can Dance years ago and having the same response to the commercials I would watch as a kid. I FELT them. I don't know how to describe it, but it fired me up inside and every fiber in me wanted to be dancing within them.

That's what I want to do with video and stills. To feel it in your bones.

The first section of a project Madeleine and I worked on together. Oh yeahhhh.. there's more :)

2

Motion Workshop Styled Shoots

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Now that you know what it's all about (catch up if you don't!) ... we are going to get knee-deep in storyboarding and art directing here.

First is the vision. The mood. This is the place I start and then Alex translates this through styling and art direction on Pinterest.  Wait, WHAT? The best way I can describe this, is basically that Alex translates the vision I have of the character and mood by pinning images that match that and provide inspiration. I'll also pin a few things that stand out to me as I think about filming and the storyline.

After this, Alex pulls clothing and props and basically translates our vision board into reality, including finding the model that suits the look. After having worked together so much - Alex knows exactly what kind elements work best for motion - especially my style of filming.
There were multiple styled shoots (did I mention Alex Evjen is a beast?!) but I'm only going to focus on a few so I don't overwhelm you with content.

The bride: I have personally always wanted to set up a shoot with a very haunting, bohemian feel - something that isn't so typical for bridal shoots. I knew this would push some of my attendees out of their comfort zone, and I was okay with that :) Here's a look at the board Alex curated for this look:

I was DYING. I could swim in this style ALL DAY.  One of Alex's clients, Fame & Partners, became one of the workshop sponsors and sent us a gown specifically for this look. If you go on their website, they actually have videos on some of the dresses so you can see it in motion. GENIUS, right?! As soon as we saw a clip of the dress with movement, we knew that was the one.

Alex took into account the space the attendees were shooting in and communicated some of these ideas to Hilary who was doing florals.  Every single detail from the the floral cuff on Madeleine's wrist to the florals floating in the fountain were thought about. Here is what I filmed at the workshop for this look:


Because half of my attendees were highschool senior photographers, we made sure to have 2 styled shoots catered specifically to this group.
And see what one of my attendees did in motion - BRILLIANT!!

Translated through photos:
photography by Mary Claire

I don't know what I would have done without Alex or Mary Claire.  There was a moment during lunch that I ran to the back to collect myself and the two of them were right there, full of encouragement and support.  I think that's what I'll remember most about these days - these relationships. Brainstorming, slapping on fake tattoos to instagram, pep talks, and dreaming about ways to change our industry.

What I loved most about this first workshop was watching my attendees grow and change things up by incorporating films into their business.  It truly left me speechless to see what they did after the workshop.  That's what I want to do in this industry - change the way people think of and use motion :) Let me know if you want to be a part of that!

Styling and Art Direction: AVE Styles |  Florals: Hilary Lamb |  Make-up: SN Makeup |  Hair: Miriam Kenly |  Model: Madeleine Alexandra |  Assistant: Mary Claire | Dress: Fame & Partners | Event: The Motion Workshop

1

The Motion Workshop

Monday, June 23, 2014

Part 2. // (see Part 1 here)


So why did I decide to hold a workshop?

I had noticed that a majority of the video workshops happening (online and off) were heavily focused on gear and aimed at very experienced videographers. This sort of left out photographers who didn't originally start their journey through video, but over the past few years have developed a serious interest in it. But it doesn't stop there because I think there's something JUST as important (sometimes even more than) gear when it comes to cinematography: human connection.
  
See, photographers have the amazing ability to have gear that can transition them from stills to video/motion instantly AND know the fundamentals of creating an image (composition, message, lighting). But, when you've been thinking in stills for years, the transition to motion isn't always easy. You are no longer capturing a single still. You are unfolding a moment from start to end. Or, you unfold a moment in an unanticipated way to heighten your viewer's interest. See, that's the kind of stuff that gets me excited. How to set a mood through motion, how to direct, how to create a character, and keeping your viewer's attention.
The Motion Workshop teaches artists the power of motion storytelling. We cover everything from filming for your brand, consistent imagery, creating value for your product, storyboarding, directing clients who aren't models, human connection, technical details, and a beautifully styled set of shoots to do hands-on filming and editing. I also have one-on-one time with each attendee to discuss their specific journey and what their current needs are to incorporate motion into their work.


Photography by Mary Claire

So that's what this is all about. A bit of my world and what I love to do :) Here's where to sign up to be on the mailing list to find out when I announce the next one: The Motion Workshop

Next, we will unfold the magic that happens in conceptualizing the styled shoots! 

Styling and Art Direction: AVE Styles |  Florals: Hilary Lamb |  Make-up: SN Makeup |  Hair: Miriam Kenly |  Model: Madeleine Alexandra |  Assistant: Mary Claire | Dress: Fame & Partners | Event: The Motion Workshop
 

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