Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Reflections

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 :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Motion Workshop Styled Shoots

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

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Motion Workshop

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

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Motion Workshop

Part 1.

This was by far one of the most challenging things I've ever accomplished.

My heart wouldn't stop racing weeks before the workshop, knowing it was just around the corner. A moment I had been waiting for and imagining for so long. I remember back in January having a small freak out about securing a location, getting goody bags, and allllll the tiny, millions of details involved in a workshop. While lying on the couch, I told Alex on the phone "I just don't know if there's enough time for a Spring workshop." Alex then proceeded to remind me that I should start with only 2 things: Me teaching, her styling. That's it. And that's the beauty of our partnership with films - we start with what we know best. Over the next few posts, I'll share more details on what the workshop was like, but today I just wanted to share this image. Since I was teaching, I had to steal little moments to film and photograph some of the styled shoots and this one was by far the one that I resonated with the most.

There's dreaming, there's pre-visualizing, then there's execution. I start with a message - a mood - maybe a story. I partner with Alex of AVE Styles to storyboard the tangibles: what will the dress look like? How will it move? What would make sense for the model's hair? I know the characteristics and the emotion, and Alex helps me make it tangible. I'm in love with narratives and directing - so by creating that scene for the model, she can then take hold of that character and embody it. Madeleine Alexandra, this girl right here, was made for motion. Everyday, I am thankful for small dreams that turn into realities and this is what I want to keep making...
Probably one of my most favorite images.

This team. This teeeeeam. These artists have my back. It's one of those things that I don't even have to "check in" because I just KNOW they get it. I'm thankful for their killer talent:

Styling & 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

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

People's stories are buried deep.

As a storyteller - we are the ones responsible for creating the circumstance where the story will rise to the surface. People's stories are buried deep. You can't expect them to magically show up.

And to be honest with you, this is one of the most crucial steps for me in making these brand films. Once a client and I are on the same page about being a good fit, THAT is the next conversation we have. A conversation about purpose, about our promise to our audience, about what makes you different.  I don't expect my client to tell me all of this - I have to guide them by creating an environment that will bring this out.

So, there we were, sitting in Jocelyn's dining room talking about this very thing. And it was like my filmmaking approach was looking into a MIRROR.  The intimacy and depth behind Jocelyn's design process is beautiful and goes beyond designing a room. I mean, you start to think about the way you want to live your life. THAT kind of depth.

I realized this film needed audio. And "needed" in the sense that I couldn't justly make this film without you hearing what Jocelyn had to say. Which is really funny because if you know me, you know that I try very hard to AVOID incorporating (speaking) audio. I used to see it as a way that people would literally "tell" a story rather than experience it. But during our conversation, my gut immediately told me that this particular message had to be spoken - something that I rarely feel. I love it. I know there is such power in the words that someone has to say and I'm excited to keep finding pockets of these moments where sometimes words are the only way to get to the heart of the story.

I would've never imagined that this initial inquiry from an "interior designer" would evolve into a story like this. A story that strongly rings true to my own theory in brand films. Huge thank you to my girls Alex of AVE Styles and Mary Claire for assisting me and the amazing Promise for sending Jocelyn my way.



"That is the blueprint of my work. It's that someone leaves our conversation knowing more about who they want to be, and how they want to live." Absolutely Jocelyn... absolutely.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Who Are You Talking To



Coming up for air from editing to share some of my notes from a workshop I attended last weekend.

I'm staring at my notebook, jam-packed with my writing and I realize that I have to take it one bite at a time. My favorite talk at the workshop was Guillaume Wolf's on the psychology behind branding. Y'all - my little fingers could barely keep up during his talk!! Ridiculous. I freaking inhale everything that comes to branding. What can I say, it fascinates me. Let's dive in...

W.A.I.T.T. // Who Am I Talking To?

We, as artists, filmmakers, photographers, and designers are communicators. Guillaume described communication design as "communication that creates a precise response in your audience." This is often seen as an emotional response or one of action.

So then, if our content (photo, film, website, whatever) is a MESSAGE - are we treating it that way? Are you seriously asking yourself - "what am I saying with this image?" But most importantly, who am I talking to?!

Because here's the thing, when you have clearly defined WHO it is you're talking to, this can guide everything you share online. If I know the client I want to attract, (almost) every time I am sharing something through my business - I have to ask myself if it aligns with the values and beliefs of that client, because if it doesn't, then I can be confusing them. I will shout this from the rooftops - pay attention to the content you share. Heck, pay attention to the content you create.

We are sending messages. That's the moral of this post. But because we are the creators of this message, we are responsible for knowing who it is we want to listen. So let's start there - with defining our "who." What might help you is asking yourself these questions: what does their lifestyle look like? Your dream client. What do they value?

-- photos of Jocelyn from The Inner Interior // An artist who embodies this very idea. She is a designer who's work is completely guided by meaning and purpose - the heart of the client.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Loving Who You Work With

This film gives me chills. Chills. There are moments when I'm filming and I feel in my gut, this is going to be sick!!! - but I don't say anything out loud because I like to manage expectations and WHAT IF it's NOT like I thought it was going to be?!

Well, this particular weekend in Texas with Amanda Holloway was insane. It was all a whirl wind from her contacting me in December to us filming within 3 weeks later. These clients - y'all - they just are on a different level.

I know. I've said this over and over, but it's because I NEED YOU to see that it's true. It's not about a client fitting your style - it's about a client believing IN your style. Your promise. Sometimes it is an obvious pairing - a dream client - no questions asked. And sometimes it's not. But sometimes - there's a client in the middle - someone that is willing to meet you there if you just verbalize what your promise, your experience, their final product could look like. It is at that point that the client decides that either they love the vision or they hate it and that should decide if you are their artist. That's it.



But please know that this is coming from a journey that included having to say yes to certain free projects and no to certain paid ones. I didn't start my business with dream clients. I started my business with a promise to be true to who I am. And that film right there is why I value who I work with so much. How does it go ... "You will be the best at being you." And there's only one you, right?