The tops of parking garages also make great locations, especially if you get there at a time when there aren't many cars. Just be careful of your surroundings - always. I've seen way too many movies with kidnappings in parking garages!
Later on, I met up with a larger group of people, mostly her friends. We walked around the city, and took some photos there as well. It wasn't as productive as our one-on-one shoot, but still quite fun, and I had a chance to meet a lot of lovely creatives.
There were a few helpful lessons I learned from this experience, both from a model and a designer's perspective. I'd love to share them with you, and hopefully inspire any of you considering modeling or designing to get started!
1. Connections from one experience can lead to something completely different!
When I met S, it was because she contacted me wanting to do a photo shoot. I was very comfortable with taking photos, as I have a lot of experience in this field, but I hadn't expected we'd click as much as we did, and she'd ask me to model for her.
Grabbing a coffee with someone whose style you admire at work or school may lead to opportunities you'd never consider later on! Of course, this is different from taking advantage of others, or going into situations expecting to get something out of them.
2. Likewise, pay attention to what people say/do, it can come in handy later on
In S's case, by meeting me, a stranger on the internet, she was able to have one more model, and photographer as well. I hadn't asked to be part of her clothing label, but when she noticed I was somewhat decent at modeling, it was helpful for her brand.
If one of your friends consistently posts high quality Instagram photos or has a talent for picking the best songs to accompany videos, consider how their talents might be used in a business sense! They could potentially be your photographer and videographer.
3. Be flexible - assume at least one thing will go wrong when you first start
At the shoot, one of the shorts didn't fit a model - it was too big and kept sliding down. Luckily, S had brought shoelaces, which she used as a makeshift belt. We were also planning to have a beach bonfire, but that didn't happen because someone else had arrived earlier and snagged the spot already.
However, we were flexible, and walked around the houses near the beach instead. We found an interesting location we otherwise wouldn't have.
4. Make sure everyone you're bringing really has a purpose
A few of the girls who came to model were lovely people, but they didn't really have experience with modeling. When you're first starting a company, and trying to get the word out, pictures can make or break you. It should be a priority to make sure your models really know what they're doing and represent the look you want. Of course, the clothes are what truly matters, and it's important to check that they fit your models well. Lastly, a photographer who knows the ins and outs of lighting, composition, and portraiture is a must. There's no point on having amazing models and gorgeous clothes only to have an amateur photographer butcher the lighting.
It's like the Triangle of Health, but for fashion/design; you need clothes, models, and photography.
5. Even if nothing goes as planned, you still have that experience
When starting out, it's easy to feel discouraged, and want to quit if nothing is going your way. The model had a breakout the day of, someone accidentally spilled on the dress, the camera ran out of battery, whatever you can think of. It's important to remember that even if you don't get a single usable photo out of the shoot, you've still learned what to do, and what not to do.
This knowledge can be applied to a future shoot, which will undoubtedly turn out much better.
Are any of you thinking about starting modeling or designing? Do any of you already model or design? I'd love to hear all about it in the comments below.
p.s if you're wondering how I got my white hair, read the first part in the series here!