03 Mar See how our campaign shoots come to life!
See how our campaign shoots come to life!
It’s no secret our campaign releases are pretty frequent, so the process our team goes through to turn around our campaign shoots in two weeks or less is pretty impressive to say the least. Hear from Eden, our Stylist and Content Producer, Palmina, our Art Director, and Phi, our resident Photographer, as they walk you through the process of creating a killer campaign shoot.
Scouting our Location
Once we have an idea of what the collection theme will be, one of the first things we start planning is where we want to shoot. For Stardust Saloon, we shot at The Ivory Tusk, a bar in Fortitude Valley, but over the years we’ve used a huge range of locations all over the world.
In pursuit of the perfect backdrops, we’ve been everywhere from the backstreets of Tokyo, to the top of New York City skyscrapers, to the backyard of Eden’s grandparent’s house.
What’s your favourite shoot location we’ve ever used?
Eden: Has to be the Monster Cafe in Japan! We went there for the Hello Tokyo campaign and it was so perfect.
Palmina: That’s a tough one! We’ve had so many amazing shoots. If I had to pick, I would probably have to say Salem, Massachusetts for the Salem release. It was like stepping into a different world and there was so much history on every corner.
Phi: Japan was definitely the best. Just the whole Neon Demons shoot was sick, going all over the city seeing the hectic night life was incredible.
Casting our Models
Next we need to pick our models for the shoot! You’ve probably noticed there are a few girls we love to work with again and again, but every now and then you’ll see some new faces in the mix ;)
What’s a fun fact people might not know about working with models?
Eden: They are all hilarious! Definitely take what you think you know about models and throw it out the window. I’ve never met a model that acts like a stereotypical “model”.
Palmina: They can actually be quite shy before they step in front of the camera!
Phi: They all have different personalities like us, but are just ridiculously good looking.
Choosing Hair and Makeup Looks
At this stage, we also need to plan hair and makeup for the day, which depends heavily on the theme of the release, and what kind of “character” our models are going to portray in the Lookbook.
For Stardust Saloon, our makeup inspiration was vibrant, hot pink lips with matching eyes, rhinestone embellishments, OTT fake lashes and super glowy skin. We topped it all off with soft waves on Elise, and big bouncy curls on Mollie.
Picking the Accessories
Even the most incredible clothes need the right accessories to really bring them to life, and add to the special story behind each shoot. And with two campaign shoots every month, that takes a lot of accessories. In fact, it’s about one shipping container full…
At BMHQ, we have approximately:
- 100+ pairs of shoes
- About 30 hats (including bunny ears, pirate hats, flower crowns and alien masks!)
- And infinite jewellery…
If you could steal one piece from our collection, what would it be?
Palmina: I would probably have to take the entire jewellery trunk as there is sooo much that has been accumulated over time. Some pieces are purchases, others have been made for us and a lot of it was also donated by staff (which we love!)
Phi: I could tell you, but then it would get taken away from me…
Eden: I’m a cowgirl at heart, so I want everything from Stardust Saloon. The hats, belts and shoes are a dream.
Sourcing the Props
Having an epic location is one thing, but we also need to source the right props to really transform the space and help tell our story. For Stardust Saloon, this meant giant fake cacti, a hobby horses and a lasso!
Sometimes the props we need can take a bit of work to track down, like vintage tiger statues or bales of hay (in the middle of a city) but we make it work! We normally put a call out to the whole team at BMHQ to see who might have something on hand. Turns out the people here keep some pretty random stuff around their house. Thank goodness!
In your opinion, what’s the weirdest prop we’ve ever used in a campaign shoot?
Phi: These creepy dolls from The Naughty List…
Palmina: Definitely any of the little easter eggs we plant in shoot photos. We like to hide things in the background to see if anyone notices.
Eden: Surely it’s the Alien costume from My Boyfriend’s an Alien 😂 I felt so sorry for the person in that mask on a 30ºC day. (That’s 86°F!)
Lights, Camera, Action!
With all of this planning in place, it’s now time for shoot day! This is where all the magic happens, and our team has one chance to capture all the ideal images we need – no pressure!
When it comes to the finished campaign you see, this might only include 10-20 shots that make the cut. But in a single shoot, we usually take hundreds of photos before narrowing them down to those few perfect pics.
Depending on the size of a release, a shoot can take anywhere from half a day to a whole day. It’s a big job! Stopping for lunch and snacks in between shooting is a must.
Which shoot day do you remember as being the most fun?
Eden: BM Birthday Bash with aaalllllll of the babes!
Palmina: I would have to say Spaced Out for sure! Road tripping through the Nevada desert on the Extraterrestrial Highway searching for aliens with a van full of girls – what could be more fun than that?!
Phi: DC Birds of Prey. We were at Movie World going in the out of bounds areas and skipped queues for rides.
Selects and Edits
So that’s it right? Not quite. Remember those hundreds of photos we mentioned? Now it’s time to choose our favourites and transform them into the snazzy final assets you get to see online.
What’s the hardest thing about choosing selects?
Eden: They’re all so good! Every shot has something unique and special about it. It’s so hard to whittle them down to the ones the world gets to see.
Palmina: The best shoots are always the hardest – when I see the photos they have already been narrowed down to the cream of the crop (I’m so lucky Eden does the hard yards with that), so it’s like letting go of one of your children when you have to make that final choice!
After the selects have been finalised, it’s time to start editing. The editing process can include things like:
- Making sure the colours in the clothes are realistic to the real product
- Adding special effects or animations like you might see in some of our lookbooks
- Cropping or editing out awkward things in the background of a photo…
What’s the most hilarious thing you ever had to edit out of a photo?
Phi: On the Wild Hearts campaign we had the models wear snake eye contacts. And they kept spinning so the pupils were horizontal instead of vertical. It looked so funny.
So yeah, BlackMilk shoots are kind of intense! But it’s all worth it when we get to see your reaction to the end result. We hope you love every shoot just as much as we do x