Please Vote for our picture here http://www.fashionweekaustin.com/distilld-rose.html
Well, this is our third year doing the awesome fashion photo contest for Fashion Week. Looking at my older austintxphoto.com posts below, you can see our previous award-winning photos. This one is especially our fave, since we had to do much better than last years image and the competition this year is fierce. We were inspired by Katherine Micheal’s vintage and sexy fashion designs which we saw on last years runway and Steven Meisel’s Vogue spreads. We decided to do three models for increased complexity and for more than one design and pretty face to be shown. The light whimsical and airy painting picnic scene was chosen so that the models could be engaged in an activity that made sense. We want to capture an image that romanticized fashion editorial as it could have been before the camera, when painting people on French easels was en vogue – as if painted by some impressionist back at the turn of the century. The fun, feminine, fashion approach to this was something we thought would be fun to do. Location was important as well. I guess in retrospect a flowered field could have been just as affective, but I wanted some period looking architecture, especially a staircase to set the scene. Our first choice was the late 19th century staircase at Laguna Gloria in Austin Texas, but that was unavailable on the day of our shoot. At the last-minute, I happened to stumble upon this meandering staircase at a guest ranch in Fisher Texas that seemed period, and even better appeared to look like some rural French or Italian hillside village type of place. We had all the best elements and people in one place at the day of the shoot with exception of the weather. That day the last gasp of Arctic air blew in bringing constant 20mph winds, rain, and ice – far from the airy springtime fanciful scene I had envisioned. We were initially forced to shoot indoors in the big great room of the main guest house, which although pretty with a great hill country panorama below, the combined glass windows, dark skies, and large panel lighting reflections made for a rather dismal series that was neither appealing or award-winning. We tried different angles and set redesigns, but I wasn’t impressed. Finally at about 5:30, there was a slight break in the weather that afforded us the opportunity to shoot the scene we all wanted. It was still windy and icy, but it stopped raining so we all scrambled to set up all the accoutrements as models huddled in indian blankets waiting for the green light. Everybody did well with their skills at this 11th hour crunch time. We broke and ran inside to look at the photos and decided to do it again with some adjustments. Finally, we gathered again to review, and there was literally just a couple that stood out, but I really wouldn’t know until I got home. I was very concerned that we may not have gotten a shot and wasted everyone’s time, and was thinking about the impossibility of a reshoot. I wanted to get home quick, although icy conditions and accidents made a 1 hour drive into three. When I did make it home, I went through all the photos on the big screen and it was the very last series of 20 images where the images began to pop, and it was this photo that really spoke to me. The dark overcast skylighting ran bluish while my super toned down panel lights were warmer, but at least the two types of lighting were equal enough in regards to intensify. I don’t remember what my ISO was, I reckon I would have set it to 100 or 2oo for best pixels, but I do remember that I was shooting at my widest aperture of 3.5 and was concerned that my 15-40th/sec shutter speed might introduce blur, but it balanced the lighting which was my biggest concern. Canvas flip, equalization, burn and dodge, and saturation control rounded out the post production. I shot wide at 28mm, on a low tripod. This was the best crop I felt to tell the story and set the scene. Check out all the other mash-up teams and please vote for our image for “Peoples Choice” at http://www.fashionweekaustin.com/distilld-rose.html Thanks!
with PHOTOGRAPHER: Gregg Cestaro
HAIR STYLIST: Lorie Newman
MAKEUP ARTIST: Mandy Ray Hernandez
APPAREL DESIGNER: Katherine Micheal
MODEL: Sarah C.
MODEL: Callisto G.
MODEL: Susan P.
WARDROBE STYLIST: Sandra Antoun
with Special Thanks to April Skinner at Vintique Rentals and Ranch Mirando in Fisher, Tx