Apostle was at it again! Determined to provide clients with the best images, which not only includes product photos of every single piece of jewelry, or each jewelry item on a model to show how it looks when worn, but also stunning & captivating images that showcase how to style your Apostle jewelry. It is my goal to give you everything you need, right down to the last detail, to know exactly what to expect the jewelry will look like when it arrives at your door.
With that in mind, about four times each year we set out to different venues around Calgary to create a Look Book for you, the Apostle clients. Each photo shoot is a combination of efforts and talents, and it really is a coming together of great minds to create a story for you.
Apostle Boutique's Winter 2016/2017
Look Book Photo Shoot
The weather was perfect. All over the place (which is normal for this city). But perfect. There were moments of clear blue sky (which is great for indoor shots), clouds (which is perfect for outdoor shots), some wind (which is tricky with long hair and lipstick, but creates great movement in the shots), some rain (which isn't great for much, but we were inside for that)...but what really mattered is that there wasn't any snow (which is great for everything!).
The day started at Swizzlesticks Salon in Kensington. Being a born-and-raised Calgarian, Swizzlesticks Salon is a community staple, and in the red and green iron-building on Kensington Road, it's a landmark. I have memories of going to Swizzlesticks as a teenager as a special treat, thinking that I was really grown-up because I got to go to this renowned salon. Because of this, I was honored to work with Brianna, Missy and Molly to really create the foundation of the look for the model.
As we chatted about the vision for the shoot, Brianna gave our model, Katie, the perfect voluptuous wave and curl that lasted All. Day. Long. No matter what we did with Katie's hair throughout the day (and we brushed it, put it in a messy bun, pony tail, she wore a hat, the wind messed with it...), the curl did not fade. While I sat there and watched Brianna work, all I could think was "I want her to do that for me"...and to be completely honest, I also thought "#hairgoals", because yes, for those of us immersed in social media, we begin to think in hashtags (#embarrassing).
Missy McIntyre was the go-to for creating the make-up look. We talked about doing a light smoky eye- nothing too heavy or done-up, but a great everyday smoky eye, with a neutral lip and fresh, healthy looking skin. Missy nailed it! There wasn't a single thing I would do to change the stunning look that she created. Katie is such a natural beauty as it is, but Missy made all of her features pop. The make-up was beautifully done and Missy moved with confidence and ease. And again, this look lasted All. Day. We didn't need to change a thing!
As I mentioned, Katie was our model and the face of this campaign, and it all came about a bit unorthodox. You see, before all of this, Katie and I didn't know each other. However, I was in a tight spot and left without a model one week before the shoot. Feeling the pinch, I started contacting different modelling agencies to see about hiring someone for the job and I was so close to moving forward, but it just didn't feel right. I took a step back to think and realized that when I started Apostle, I wanted to represent real, genuine, everyday women. Women like you and me. Nothing against professional models- they're beautiful women whom are extremely skilled at what they do, and they create beautiful photos. But I want to utilize the beautiful women who are aspiring veterinarians (like Katie), work alongside Doctors while in surgery (like Lesley), and teachers (like Victoria). Real, genuine, kind-hearted, fun women who walk through life alongside you and me. So, all that said, I opted against hiring a professional model and took to Instagram. I came across Katie's account and immediately noticed her smile and kind eyes. She appeared to be not only beautiful, but sincere, happy and completely genuine. At the risk of seeming totally creepy, I sent her a message to see if she would be interested in doing some modelling, and we met the next day for a coffee and to select the wardrobe.
While Katie was a bit nervous going into the shoot, you would never know it. She was effortless and I know that her kind, gentle spirit translated through each photo, and I couldn't be happier with how she did. She's a natural and was amazing both on, and off, set!
For this shoot I was thrilled to be working with Genevieve Renee, a "fine art Calgary wedding photographer" who's passion lies in capturing stunning, intimate moments. But she is also amazing at maternity shots, couples, and commercial work (such as endless images in the local & beautiful Dote publication, countless advertisements, etc). But whatever Genevieve Renee does, she does to perfection, and she maintains her Genevieve aesthetic throughout and you can truly see a piece of her in each image that she captures.
Genevieve Renee is a true gem through and through. Sweet, thoughtful and caring, her ability to take charge of the shoot in a gentle and encouraging way was such a great thing to be a part of. Genevieve's demeanor was professional, yet personal and fun, and she created an environment that made Katie feel completely comfortable and at ease, and her direction was straightforward and positive. I also loved how Genevieve jumped in to help out in any way, including the constant hair-style changes. She is a woman who is gently fierce, and there's no question as to why she is one of Calgary's top go-to photographers. Just follow her on Instagram and you will see what I'm talking about!
Wardrobe was provided by Crabapple Clothing in Marda Loop. This store is not only a staple when it comes to shopping for either a great everyday outfit, or something for a special occasion, but this store and the women in it are dear to my heart and a part of my story. Working at Crabapple Clothing throughout my 20's taught me a lot about fashion, styling and friendship. This was my favorite job- being immersed in great fashion every day, and exploring ways to stretch my own style, was so fun, and it is still a place that I visit frequently to shop, visit with the women, and to get inspired.
When Katie and I showed up to select the wardrobe, we both set to work grabbing items that we loved. You should have seen Katie's fitting room when we started- we had so many items that we ran out of spots on the hooks, that we were using a second room just to keep things organized. This speaks to the amazing variety at Crabapple! I had a vision for 4 different looks, and we not only found exactly what I was looking for, but we also ended up with 4 other additional items that I just couldn't leave behind.
All of the ladies (pictured below at the latest Crabapple Fashion Show) were, and always are, so fantastic to work with. Once they heard what I was looking for, and saw the items we were selecting, every one of them pitched in and helped scour the store for other pieces that would work. It was so helpful to have the help, because these women see the clothing every day and they know what they have. Looking through the racks myself was great, but oftentimes I would pass by something that would have been perfect. So having the Crabapple women there to work alongside me was fantastic. They truly are so great at finding pieces that the client is looking for, and also finding items that are perfect for you but you wouldn't necessarily grab yourself.
All in all, Crabapple Clothing killed it! The looks that we put together were incredible, and when I see the photos, I want every outfit!
A lot of the locations that Genevieve and I selected were outdoors- East Village, along the Bow River, and in front of the beautiful War Memorial along Memorial Drive. However, there is one location that we couldn't do without and that really gave the shoot substance, style and a storyline.
Kensington Riverside Inn is a cozy, intimate retreat that is perfect for those visiting the city, or those who just want to get out of the house for a wonderful & relaxing staycation. I initially approached the Riverside Inn because of the clean, modern and welcoming style. You can't help but feel both comfortable and sophisticated when you walk in and see the unique art collection, contemporary furnishings and stunning attention to detail. Everyone at KRI was kind, happy and beyond hospitable to everyone that came in, and it was refreshing to see people who really loved their jobs and had the gift of hospitality.
For the shoot, we did a few different looks in one of Kensington Riverside Inn's stunning suites. The bed was so comfortable that all I wanted to do was curl up with a coffee and magazine and spend the afternoon there. But, we had more important things to do! We were able to create a cozy "getting ready in the morning" type look, a sexy "getting ready for my date" look, and we also utilized the adorable, private balcony for a few shots. The suite had a wonderful sitting area with a fireplace, and a stunning view of the Bow River. From there we headed to the main lobby area for our "evening out" shots, and we also utilized some stunning art installments in the front reception area.
Our experience at the Kensington Riverside Inn was spectacular. The venue gave our shoot substance, depth and versatility, and I know that we couldn't have achieved the same look anywhere else. Hilary, the Rooms Operation Manager at KRI, was so helpful every step of the way and we couldn't have asked for anything more. Thank you, to everyone at the Riverside Inn for making it such a fantastic experience!
With each photo shoot that I do, I am able to get a better grasp on how to ensure a smooth, successful and enjoyable day. It's also been great to experiment with new outfits and styling techniques, different locations to make sure that each shoot results in fresh & captivating images, and learning more about myself and how I want to run this business. I love working with other local businesses and entrepreneurs, and I am so lucky to live in a city where small-businesses are happy to collaborate and support one another.
This shoot was a big success and I couldn't be happier with how it all came together. It was a huge team effort, and I am so thankful to everyone that was involved!
Genevieve Renee - Photographer
Katie - Model
Whitney (and all the women) at Crabapple Clothing in Marda Loop - Wardrobe
Brianna and Missy at Swizzlesticks Salon & Spa - Hair and Make-Up
Hilary at the Kensington Riverside Inn - Venue