Each month, BRAVA produces a fashion feature that rivals those in national publications. I often go above and beyond my regular duties of scouting and choosing the location, planning the shot list and directing the photographer, working with the models, coordinating every aspect of the shoot and designing the pages—to conceptualizing the editorial angle of the feature, helping chose the vendors and products featured, even writing a headline or two!
While every September issue highlights an extra special fashion feature, this last shoot might just be my favorite ever! I secured an amazing location—the Chazen Art Museum in downtown Madison—which had luxurious but neutral textures and amazing natural light to that allowed the richly embellished garments and accessories to shine. Pair those factors with one of my favorite photographers and amazing model and we’ve got a shoot that is a perfect ending to one chapter in my career. Click here for the full feature.
Whether it’s working with a local boutique to ensure their goods support our editorial direction or simply making heads and tails of a pile of product that’s appeared in my office, product styling is an essential skill. It can be as simple as acting as liaison between the editors and photographers or as involved as actually setting up the shot and specifying focus and lighting, I’m perfectly comfortable in either situation.
Some of my favorite product features were simple one-pagers in BRAVA’s “Live” or “Thrive” department. Often featuring home goods, cosmetics or accessories, a great assemblage of product is like a little gem in these pages—a little spot of beauty every reader can appreciate.
Sometimes the simplest articles are the best. For September’s shopping guide, BRAVA’s fashion coordinator and I spent a few days scouting our favorite local shops and pinpointed trend colors on which to base the feature. We brought all the product to the studio, where we styled and shot each piece on a simple white background. After cleaning up the shots in Photoshop, I assembled them into a quirky mosaic with lots of white space—creating content that was interesting while giving readers a break between heavier articles.
At the heart of every issue of BRAVA are the women whose stories we tell. They’re not professional models and they’re not always comfortable in front of the camera—but they’re shaping our community and inspiring our readers.
Not only do I coordinate the logistics of each shoot and direct the photographer, but I make sure our featured woman feels confident every step of the way. Nearly every month, I get an email along the lines of this one from our August 2010 model, “I really enjoyed working with you and [your photographer] David and felt like a supermodel for the morning! You both made me feel very comfortable and relaxed. Thank you.”