Really excited to have been working with creatively innovative London fashion brand, Jed Phoenix to create a new campaign centred on 7 lavishly beautiful dark photographs.
Jed entrusted me to bring together a creative Fashion Photography concept that would visually express her brand’s values.
The Story Behind the Fashion Photoshoot
The Jed Phoenix of London fashion label covers a variety of alternative influences. These include punk, goth, and fetish. It’s been an exciting opportunity to create images that express the brand’s ideals of “strikingly unconventional style” and a celebration of beautiful smart escapist clothing and lifestyles.
To create the concepts and treatment for the photoshoot I met with Jed to better understand her vision, taking on the role of Creative Director as well as Photographer. The initial meeting led to an ongoing conversation about how to express the brand visually. The Jed Phoenix of London brand is not about conventional clothing and the whole approach to the creation of the photography for the campaign has centred on that idea.
From the discussions with Jed, I proposed a ‘Dark Faerie’ theme for the concept. The fashion label was already promoting the clothes in pairs based on characters with backstories. I suggested building on this and created an idea of the Duchess and Hunter characters from the collection being the hosts at a gathering in their lavishly decadent home. This gathering would attract mischievous unseen elementals who encourage the breaking of boundaries as the characters mingle.
We were fortunate enough to be able to use London’s Murder Mile Studios for the photoshoot. It was an ideal location with different rooms and themes that could be used to evoke the atmosphere’s we were looking for.
Very few of the models in the photos were professionals. This was a consciousness decision to reflect the values of Jed Phoenix clothing, which, whilst alternative, is always inclusive. The team came from all walks of life and included a magician, musicians, pole dancers, actors, seamstresses and professional models. To help create a cohesive sense of production and to give some of the inexperienced models something to focus on I created short scenarios for each set. Similar to those used in a film storyboard.
Fashion Photography Influences and Lighting
Film and the movies influence my style and approach to image making. Not just visually but also in terms of production management. We had a very tight time schedule, 14 outfits (and models) in 7 pairs to shoot over one day. I decided to use filmic constant lighting for this photoshoot and worked with Greenkit London to design a lighting set-up that would allow me to produce an ethereal ambience on set. A combination of Kino-flo bank lights, a ZyLight LED Fresnel and Dedolight DLED4 Fresnels brought the lighting I envisioned to life. The photographs were captured using an Olympus OMD-Em5 mk ii.
As well as the models we had a full hair and makeup team on set throughout the shoot. They really helped bring the characters to life and produced looks that complimented the clothes wonderfully.
As well as the 7 key images, I also worked with the team to create individual shots and other pairs of images to expand on the themes. So watch this space to view and read more about the processes behind the shoot.
Digital, Social Media, the Web, and Fashion
The approach to this photoshoot also reflects how, Social Media, Digital and Web technology is fast affecting the Marketing communication channels for the Fashion industry. The images have a sense of editorial and lookbook photography about them but they will largely be consumed in the Digital space. So although they will be collected on the Jed Phoenix website (and other media channels, including physical print) they will also be used individually and shared on Social Media. The images are part of a collection but they also need to be able to stand alone and still convey the brand ideals and identity to achieve their commercial purpose.
New Ideas for Fashion Photography?
It has been really exciting working with Jed Phoenix and the wonderfully creative team (of lovely people!) we brought together. I am truly grateful for everyone’s hard work in this photoshoot and the trust in me to bring this together. It has allowed me to develop an approach to Fashion Photography to go from concept to actual photoshoot and editing through to delivery that fits the Digital Age. I am really keen to bring that experience to rest of the fashion industry.
- Date of Photoshoot: 24 July 2016
- Client: Jed Phoenix of London
- Clothing Supply (except footwear) and Design and Stylist: Jed Phoenix
- Creative Director: Stuart Smith
- Lead Photographer and Image Editing: Stuart Smith
- MakeUp Artists:
- Hair Stylist: Sara Kedge
- Dolly Howard (Seductress)
- Yvette Nightingale (Artist)
- Rosie Andrews (Brigadier)
- Holly Arnell-Thorpe (Duchess)
- Cat La Chappelle (Geisha)
- Aerlise (Inventor)
- Sara Kedge (Governess)
- James Artaius (Officer)
- Roi M. Cabaret (Designer)
- Glyn Myers (Samurai)
- Jed Phoenix (Engineer)
- Steve Nine (Businessman)
- Antony Fitzgerald (Hunter)
- Dr Gore (Warrior)
- Lucy Cropper (Vaudeville)
- Additional Photography
- Location: Murder Mile Studios
- Lighting Hire: Greenkit
- Article Author: Stuart Smith