Several months ago, my friend Emily Cook approached me with an idea to collaborate with her on a photo shoot. Emily is a paper maker, and co-founder (with fellow paper maker Flora Shum) of Paperhouse Studio in Toronto. Located in Artscape Youngplace, a converted school-turned-cultural hub, Paperhouse Studio is a magical place, filled with colours and textures and some pretty badass equipment for all types of papermaking.
Emily's idea was simple yet brilliant: she wanted to start making handmade paper hair fascinators, and she wanted me to create some hairstyles for her to showcase them! I was of course totally keen to take part, and after a few months of scheduling challenges (we're busy ladies!) we finally got together on Monday, August 18th for some creative collaboration.
Emily sent me some photos of her fascinators in advance so that I could plan styles around them, and it's a good thing that she did, because I had originally planned a whole vintage theme, but when I saw how modern and ethereal the pieces are, I completely changed my mind!
Emily and I are very fortunate to be friends with a multi-talented visual artist, Stephanie Avery, who generously offered her services as photographer, and four of my lovely friends cheerfully loaned me their hair for the afternoon. We're both extremely grateful to Steph and to Liz, Amanda H, Amanda S, and Kenin for helping us out with our project!
The afternoon went like this: Steph arrived just as I was finishing up with Liz, my first model, and went outside with her to find some fun locations for photos, and in the meantime, I began styling Amanda H's hair. Once she was done, it was her turn to go out with Steph while I began Kenin's hair, and so on! It was a pretty good system and I think Steph got some incredible shots in the areas surrounding Artscape Youngplace.
I wanted the various looks to reflect realistic bridal styles while at the same time complementing Emily's designs. I wanted a variety (not all updos, not all curls) so I chose a loose braided updo for Liz, flowing curls with fishtail braids for Amanda H., a modern take on a 1920s faux bob for Kenin (I've been watching a lot of Downton Abbey lately!), and a low chignon with pincurl details for Amanda S.
I had so much fun with this photo shoot - Emily was totally game for anything, and her pieces are so beautiful that it was really easy to find styles to allow them to shine. After I was finished styling Amanda S's hair, since she was my final model I got to come along on the photo shoot with Steph and see the process (and provide touch ups and fascinator changes as needed).
Yesterday I had the wonderful privilege of doing a portfolio shoot with super talented photographer Scarlet O'Neill in Toronto. This was a really fun experience because I've never styled a shoot before, and all of my models were my lovely friends! It was a great learning experience for me, and I can't wait to see how the photos turn out. Scarlet photographed my wedding in March, and the photos are absolutely stunning (I was seriously obsessed with them for several weeks after receiving them) so I know that these are going to be gorgeous too.
I think the most important thing I learned yesterday was that breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day. I am a huge breakfast fan - I'll eat it any time of the day, any day of the week - and I usually have a nice hot breakfast every morning. However, as I was in Toronto and I was not entirely sure about parking/travel time/whatever, I didn't quite leave enough time for breakfast, and by the time I got to the salon where I'd rented a chair, it was GO TIME and it was all I could do to stuff a boiled egg in my mouth before getting to work. For five hours straight. I think the combination of starvation and hairspray inhalation left me a little loopy by the time I got to my last model (sorry, Kenin!) so, as if there was any doubt in my mind before, I now know what happens when I skip breakfast. Speaking of which, I could really go for some French toast right now...