Hey everyone, Maddie here! For anyone who might not know me, I look after coordinating the production of all our photo shoots :)
Before I launch into all the deets about our crazy Disney photo shoot, I want to give you guys a bit of a behind-the-scenes look at what the role of shoot coordinator actually involves and how much our photo shoots have grown!
Back when I first started doing this, being a shoot coordinator meant helping source models and organising the team prior to the shoot. On shoot day, it meant helping style the models and keeping everyone on schedule so the day ran smoothly.
But, in true Black Milk fashion, out photo shoots just got bigger and bigger.
These days, being shoot coordinator means I still help source the models and look after the run sheet…but now we have concept boards, props to source, props to make, world-class hair and makeup artists to brief, locations to book, very elaborate sets to create across multiple days…and everything still has to run on time! The week leading up to a shoot you’ll usually find me with a coffee in hand, hair messy, and random things like stockings, pot plants, and fake skulls all over my desk. It’s nuts!
So I guess it comes as no surprise when I tell you that our Princesses and Villains photo shoot was the most stressful but most amazing shoot of my LIFE!
(Can you see the concentration there?!)
We settled on 6 leading ladies – Alice, Ariel, Aurora, Belle, Cinderella, and Snow White. Now…the hard part. With 6 characters, we figured we’d need…6 incredible, magical models. Luckily, we knew just who to call on.
We had 6 amazing models, so we figured we had better do 6 hero shots! Ok, that meant we needed 6 magical sets. (Stress overload, incoming!)
Unsurprisingly, our source list started getting a little out of control. Like, it turned into a 3-page document listing everything from flowers and loose book pages to bathtubs, a crab (yep) and so much glitter. But, we did it. We found it all.
In an attempt to stick to our budget and not give management a cost-related heart attack, we sourced a vintage bathtub from a demolition site (extreme bargain hunting: exploded buildings included!). Yeah, it wasn’t in awesome condition, but Alicia (social media manager) and myself (stressed-out crazy person) happen to moonlight as DIY extraordinaire so we got stuck in.
We blasted it with a high pressure hose, we chiselled, sanded and spray painted until…
Magnificent! Mermaid tail courtesy of the amazing people at www.facebook.com/MahinaMermaid!
So that's one prop down….only like, one hundred, to go. Eeek.
Pick those flowers, Charli!
By the time shoot day rolled around, we had gone DIY loco. But it was all worth it. After nearly 2 months of planning, sourcing, and creating…we were ready! It was finally shoot day, and we were ready for 3 whole days of pure insanity.
Now it's time for your tour of our two biggest days - the location shoot and our 'hero image' shoot!
Our first day of shooting was on location at the awesome Cloudland. What a venue! We were so excited to be able to shoot here, and we weren’t let down. It was incredible!
This was a full-on day for our models. We prepped:
We blew bubbles...
Posed a little more:
And finally, after a long, long day of shooting, we finally got THE shot.
And that’s a wrap on day 1!
We knew from the very beginning that day two was going to be our most challenging day – it was time to get those 6 hero shots. These are the photos that would be sneak peeked online first, the photos that would be the world’s first look at our Disney collection, they would be put on postcards, printed in the lookbook, and be scrutinised by everyone, everywhere. PRESSURE MUCH?!
We all arrived super early to get started on the models’ super detailed hair and makeup, and creating the elaborate sets.
Of course, it wasn’t long before disaster number 1 struck! Our hero shots are all taken from above, but when we arrived the studio’s scaffolding was too short! There was no way Bonnie could get the shots, unless we somehow found a higher scaffold.
Even the ladder didn't quite cut it! Cue frantic phone-calls to hire companies. Finally, one came through, and a full set of painters’ scaffolding was delivered within the hour.
Phew! We were ready.
One by one, we shot each characters' hero image. Each shot took up to an hour to prepare for…it was very intense, and we were very, very conscious of how much (or little!) time we had.
Filming and shooting on day 2 did get a little messy…
There was even a bathtub disaster! Naturally, out demolition-site tub did not come with a plug. On shoot day, Alicia and I showed up with about 10 plugs between us. Sink plugs, bath plugs, any we could find at home! The first plug we tried…fit! Or so we thought. But minutes later, water was leaking everywhere. Disaster! Thinking quickly, we put a bowl under the bath…and scooped out all the water with coffee mugs. We had much more luck with the second plug, thank goodness!
…But 12 hours later, we had made it. We may have gone slightly crazy in the process, but the magic had been made.
Then we all slept for 3 days straight and lived happily ever after. The End.