Spring 2017 Creative Look Book
Organizing a creative Look Book for Spring 2017 isn't a simple feat, and this shoot definitely came with some hiccups. But when you're determined, flexible and surrounded by an amazing team, you can handle anything that may come your way!
As I take you through this shoot and the stories behind it, you can click on any logo for more information about those that I partnered with for the shoot. And believe me, you will want more information. All of these businesses and individuals are AMAZING!!
The vision for this shoot began with the model. I knew who I wanted, but not knowing her personally, I wasn't sure what she'd think of the idea. Just so you know, I haven't ever hired a professional model, and while I recognize the perks of having a trained model, that isn't the direction I want to go with Apostle. My desire is to represent you and me- real, everyday women that aren't trained to pose, may not be able to gaze off into the distance with a thoughtful, serene and beautiful expression. But we embrace (though may not love) each curve, wrinkle, scar, and awkwardness. When I look for a woman to be the face for an upcoming campaign, I look for someone who is genuine, kind, fun-loving, and inspiring. And all of the traits take on different forms.
Some of you may have heard about the Love for Lewiston Foundation either on local Calgary news or through social media. Lewiston was an adorable little boy, brother to Swayzie and son to Jessica and Ronnie Olstad. Before Lewiston was three months old he was Diagnosed with SMA- type 1 (Spinal Muscular Atrophy causes nerve cells in the brain & spinal cord to break down and die, thus signals from the brain don't go to the muscles). Given less than a year to live, Jess and Ronnie decided to allow others to journey with them through the real, the raw, and the hope. Shortly before Lewiston's 6 month birthday, he passed away peacefully in Jessica's arms. Lewiston was fiercely loved, and he was a true champion and warrior with the most amazing eyes that would instantly draw you in. During treatment, the Olstad family, friends and those that cared for him at the Rotary House would have dance parties, and these parties continue to lift spirits, bring a bit of joy and laughter, and to remember the tiny man with a huge spirit.
The Love for Lewiston Foundation continues to go strong to help raise awareness of SMA and funds for finding a cure, and to help kids who are diagnosed to receive physical and occupational therapy in hopes that they can live as independently as possible. For those of you that are runners, the Lewiston Ultra is a 50k trail run in Shuswap taking place in May of 2018 (start training now!). To learn more about the Foundation, the Olstad family, or how you can help, click on the logo above to visit the website.
While there is SO much to say about the Olstad family, Lewiston, and SMA, I want to bring some focus to Jessica, Lewiston's mom. Jess was first brought to my attention through similar friends, and I later found out that she was a mentor to some teenage girls (now women) that I also mentored years previously (coincidence!!). Anyone that knows Jess had only wonderful things to say about her, including "she is the kind of person the people want to be like". I began to follow her account on Instagram and I saw a woman who has, and is going through shattering loss, but yet through all that crap she continues to shine and have such intense inner joy and peace. A woman who continues to inspire, challenge and encourage those around her. A woman who isn't afraid of letting people see the raw & ugliness of daily life and struggles, and isn't afraid to show exactly who she is (including video of getting her chin waxed). Jess isn't perfect, and like everyone else, I'm sure there are things she keeps to herself, but I couldn't help but be drawn-in and I knew that because of who she is at the core, she is exactly who I wanted to feature as a representative of Apostle.
When I first met Jess I immediately saw how warm and genuine she was. I noticed that she was sincere and loving to everyone and took the time to look people in the eye and say thank you (and mean it). Jessica is outgoing and she knows what she wants, and goes for it. It was such and fun & easy experience to work with her, and I can honestly say that I understand what people meant when they said that she's the kind of person you want to be. My hope is that through this shoot, I could give her a fun day of pampering and relaxing. Photo shoots are exhausting, and I'm so thankful that she gave a day away to me. Thank you SO much Jess!!
This Look Book was photographed by Janice Lee Photography. If you look at her website or Instagram account, you'll instantly see that her photos are bright, clean, fresh...and SO pretty! Janice Lee has a style that is unique to her, and she has an amazing ability to capture beautiful moments.
About 5 hours after we wrapped up the shoot, I received an email that the photos were done!! Umm...Amazing!! As I clicked through each image, I was dumbfounded at how well Janice captured Jessica's "essence" (sounds so cheesy, but I don't think "soul" or "spirit" sounds any better). You can really get a feel for who Jess is, and Janice did such an amazing job at showing not only who Jessica is, but also at showing the jewelry. Janice Lee is not only great at photographing moments and connections, but she has an impeccable eye for detail as well! Thank you Janice Lee Photography!
If you've followed Apostle for awhile now, you're no stranger to Distilled Beauty Bar. Distilled has hosted Apostle for two Pop Ups now, and as I spend my time there for these events, and for my coffee stops, or pedicure appointments, I get to know the owner, Lisa, and the team (I call them Distillers) better and better each time. Lisa is the bomb! I don't think I know of a harder working woman- she is there every day and doing every task from wiping tables, chatting with customers, answering phones...you name it, and she's doing it. You often see business owners sitting back and working on their computers, Lisa does all of that too, but she is hands-on, and I admire that. It doesn't hurt that she's also an amazing person through and through! And an amazing boss hires amazing staff to support her business, and everyone that works at Distilled is happy and enjoyable to spend the day with. For this shoot, Distilled gave Jess a fresh, spring'y manicure, and I'm looking forward to our next shoot in a couple of weeks where Distilled Beauty Bar will be doing hair, makeup and nails! Thank you Distilled!
Conveniently located across the street from Distilled, Crabapple Clothing Company comes through, once again, with an amazing wardrobe that fit my vision perfectly! My thought for this shoot was "a typical Saturday" - going for coffee, out for drinks, and relaxing at home, and so I needed three distinct outfits. With brands like Mackage, Soia & Kyo, Fidelity, Joie, Ted Baker, Velvet, Rails...and SO much more, the owner, Whitney, pulled together some wonderful outfits and knocked it out of the park! Jessica was comfortable, confident, and looked spectacular in everything from Crabapple. Thank you Whitney, and the Crabapple team for outfitting us yet again!
Hair & Make Up :
This was my second time working with SwizzleSticks SalonSpa, and once again, it was such an immense pleasure to collaborate with them for this shoot and have them really create a hair and makeup look that was pure perfection!
But first, let's go back to one of those hiccups I mentioned at the start of this.
I began planning for this shoot about a month in advance, and I really enjoyed working with the SwizzleSticks team for the Winter Shoot and wanted to do so again this time around. I emailed Molly and everything was set and booked.
Fast forward to the night before this shoot. After I pulled the final jewelry selections, I randomly thought I should write out a timeline for the day (I've never done this). Wanting to know who we had booked for hair and makeup I looked at my emails with Molly, scrolled down, and I saw it. I said May 26th, not April! Heart racing, all blood flow ceased and my body went cold. I was legitimately freaking out. I sent emails to everyone at SwizzleSticks that I could. I was finding staff on Instagram and sending them messages, trying to get ahold of someone to see if we could make it happen, or to see if I had to cancel the shoot altogether. It felt like an hour, but within seconds Missy, the amazing Makeup artist, responded, made a phone call, and told me she'd see us in the morning. How amazing is that?! The SwizzleSticks team pulled out a miracle at 10:30pm the night before and made it happen!! (now imagine angels singing in the background)
We had the immense pleasure of Brianna working her magic and creating the perfect "Saturday" look that lasted all day long. This woman knows her way with hair, and seems to know how to manipulate it to do exactly what she wants. The end result was a full bodied, easy curl that looked amazing. On top of knowing her way around the salon (which she would, because she's the owner of this amazing place!), Brianna also cares about playing a part in our world. Together with the Swizz team, they have started Bee Kind to help raise funds to save the bees. For $20 you can buy a jar of fresh honey from their (yes, Swizzlesticks' own) hive, and in return, you will receive a $20 Swizzlesticks gift card!
Back to the lady that saved the day- Missy! Missy created the stunning makeup look for our last shoot on Katie, and I was so pleased to know that we'd be working with her again. It also doesn't hurt that she knew Jess from before, so they had a great time chatting as Missy worked away. Again, I asked for an easy "Saturday" look. I didn't want a smoky eye, or solid lipstick, but I did want to try a baby-winged eyeliner, and even though Jess was initially hesitant when I said "wing", it was amazing and subtle, and even Jess loved it! With the stroke of her brushes, some spritzes of setting spray, Missy's artistry lasted throughout the day and worked with every outfit and location. Now I want to try a baby-wing too...although I don't have quite the skill or steady hand that Missy does. Perhaps that's something that's better left to the pros!
Now on to our locations... going with the theme of a typical Saturday, and also being spring time in Calgary, we needed three spectacular locations that were indoors (the forecast for the day was rain. All day. Rain and cold.).
First, our coffee stop. Alforno Bakery located on 2nd Ave and 7th St SW, right downtown. Since Alforno opened, I knew I wanted to shoot there, and this was the perfect opportunity. Bright, contemporary décor, with lots of natural light (thanks to their sky lights), and not to mention the delicious coffee & treats, I knew I wanted to get in there, and Andrew, the General Manager, happily allowed us in. After a quick break to enjoy the fireplace and a snack, we got to work, and the end result was spectacular. This proved to me that Alforno Bakery was the perfect "stage" for photos, and the perfect atmosphere for coffee, lunch, and treats, any day of the week! Thank you Alforno!
Next up was our "drinks out" portion of the shoot.
When I came up with the concept for the shoot, both myself and Janice Lee knew where we wanted to go- Bridgette Bar! The mid-century charm allows you to feel as if you've travelled back in time and are waiting to join Don Draper and Peggy Olson (from Mad Men) for an Old Fashioned...only difference is you don't have to wear a corset or full skirt in Bridgette Bar's casual atmosphere.
Every corner at Bridgette Bar offered us a totally different look, and we had a lot of fun getting inspired by the décor. Once we got all the shots we needed (but we could have continued for another hour!), we decided to stay for lunch...it was delicious! The Margherita Pizza, Cucumber Salad and Spring Salmon Crudo were all spectacular! Thank you Bridgette Bar (and the ladies at Press + Post for arranging it)!
From there we continued on to "relax at home" with the Smith condo development from Grosvenor. From the moment I phoned them to see about coming in for the shoot, to the moment we wrapped up, every single person we talked to was so hospitable, kind and supportive. They were more than willing to open up their doors to us, allowed us to shoot in all three show suites, and offered to help in any way (including Dave offering himself as a model).
Apart from their hospitality, the condo itself is perfectly located on 6th St 7 15th Ave SW- one block in from 17th Avenue, which is one of Calgary's best locations for shopping, restaurants, and coffee shops. The condo itself offers a number of different floorplans to suit any need, and the layouts are all logical (sounds silly, but I have seen some new condo developments that leave you wondering "why would they do that?!") and allow for easy, comfortable and modern living. Great views, amazing location, and a builder that loves what they do. If I ever decide to move inner-city, the Smith is where I'll be looking!! Thank you, to everyone at the Smith and Grosvenor!