The last week has been quite eventful to say the least. My boyfriend and I produced our first still shoot (or our first anything for that matter) with Japanese photographer Mote Sinabel. Bobby, my boyfriend, corresponded with Mote, who was in Paris, via Skype for several days up until Mote arrived in Los Angeles. Mote sent photos of India’s Holi festival, a festival centered on vibrant colors, as well as other desert landscapes to help us get a feel for what he wanted to shoot for Marithe + Francois Girbaud‘s 2013 Spring/Summer campaign; and from there, it became our job to make it a reality. Here’s a little glimpse of the Holi Festival, as well as some landscape ideas for the location.
We researched rather heavily in search of the right kind of tossable paint that would satisfy our client’s desire without polluting the raw desert earth. We agreed on ‘Tempra‘, a non-toxic paint that comes in a dry powder form. We budgeted for 100 pounds of the stuff but in the end were only able to round up 67, of which we got from Special Effects Unlimited, a production rental warehouse in Hollywood. Next it was our job to figure out how we were going to execute our client’s desired theme of a dry, burning earth with color and smoke; naturally we chose colored smoke bombs! We bought almost a hundred packs with six colored smoke bombs in each; gotta love Chinatown for a find like this.
The location wasn’t as easy to nail down; in fact it took three trips and over 400 miles in driving to decide for sure! We were down to Vasquez Rocks, Aqua Dulce, California– and Arthur B. Woodlands State Park, Lancaster, California; and although using both would have been ideal, the locations were just too far apart to make it to both without losing daylight. The Vasquez Rocks location had the most beautiful, almost sky-scraping sand-stone boulders with faces steady, steep, and bright. It had the kind of dead vibe we were looking for in the sense of its lack of greenery, but the peaks had such a golden magnificence about them we felt in reproduction they wouldn’t look dead at all.
Here’s the Vasquez Rocks Location:
Marithe + Francois Girbaud’s newest campaign, “No Water No Chemical,” is all about their newest Wattwash method. A way of creating a jean for today’s world with a look similar to that of stone-washing (which they invented over 40 years ago) but one that saves 97.5% more water than their former creation. As a result, the dry desert earth we found at Arthur B. Woodlands State Park was more fitting for the shoot.
Here is the Arthur B. Ridpley Woodlands State Park:
Realizing how much Mote liked the boulders at the Vasquez Rocks location, my boyfriend was determined to either find rocks at the State Park or figure out a way to bring our own. After searching the entirety of the location for boulders and finding none, we decided to hit up Jackson Shrub in North Hollywood, CA. There we rented several boulders, and just in case we needed more color we also picked up some Cacti with colored flowers.
Dec. 8th, the day of the shoot, rolled around and Bobby and I found ourselves up at 4 a.m. We needed to make it to the location with all the models and crew by 7:30 a.m. which meant leaving our place in Los Angeles at 5 a.m. With only a few hiccups along the road everything was underway by about 9 a.m. and the shoot looked great; at least from my perspective!
So here are the behind the scenes shots from the shoot, enjoy!