In this article I thought I’d take you on an adventure where most people never go but often dream of as little girls: behind the scenes of a photoshoot! My ‘first time’ was, in fact, for images for ‘The Tribe’ and I have enjoyed working alongside the Fashion section ever since.
A shoot is usually planned weeks in advance, with a whole bunch of people involved. There’s a stylist, a shoot director, a photographer, a makeup artist, a hair stylist, and a model, as well as a location all to be found. Living in St Andrews, us creatives are treated to an abundance of amazing locations right on our doorsteps, just waiting to be photographed! A theme for a photoshoot is another thing to be considered, and is of great importance – everyone needs to know what direction the shoot is aiming for.
Once everything is decided and the big day has arrived, I wake up super early and double-check through my kit to ensure everything is hygienic and where it should be. I then have a hearty breakfast (sometimes courtesy of Northpoint on North Street), as some shoots can last forever, so you never know when your next meal is going to be! All the ‘behind the scenes’ people of the photoshoot generally arrive at least an hour, if not two, before the actual ‘photoshooting’ begins. The model is plonked down in the middle of all the chaos, and her (or his) hair is tweaked and preened, makeup carefully applied, clothes and accessories put on, and the chat flows whilst we all giggle and gossip – behind the scenes is where the fun (or should we say magic?) happens!
In the final photos the model most often looks calm, full of beauty and confidence, but behind the scenes it’s often a completely different kettle of fish! The models come in all shapes and sizes, of all confidence levels. Some come in shy and nervous, but leave glowing, radiant and full of smiles, whilst others are a barrel of fun from the word go! You never know what to expect ‘on set’, you never know how the look is going to pull together, how the photographer will get ‘that shot’ – how it’s all going to end up. But that’s the fun of it! It’s a step into the unknown, but an unknown surrounded by people who love what they do, that make it comfortable, make you laugh until your tummy hurts; people who’ll cleanse your soul without you even realising. Being on set is honestly one of my favourite places to be, it’s chaotic but somehow perfect.
A good example of perfect chaos was on a cold Sunday morning a few months back. I joined Bailey Roberts, a former University of St Andrews student-turned-photographer, in thinking up a shoot idea that suited us both perfectly: based on the university’s ball season, showing real students getting ready for their amazing night. So with the help of my friends, some models and fellow students, Hayley Bannister, Hayley Camis, Mie Maxwell-Smith and Leanne Neicho, we bustled up to the beautiful ‘La Boutique’ on Bell Street at 8am for a morning that was full of giggles and girliness! Find the final photos here on my Facebook group – you’ll be suprised at what five St Andreans can create at that time on a weekend! (Even when the models had been at Fat Sams till the early hours the night before!)
If you fancy getting in on some behind-the-scenes action in St Andrews, the best way is to contact the Fashion Editor of The Tribe, Rosie Steer, or to contact photographers or makeup artists – your ideas could be the birth of an amazing photoshoot soon to be featured right here in a magazine, so don’t be shy!
Milly’s Makeup Mission of the Week:
Not quite makeup orientated, but I want you to step out in that thing you’ve had in your wardrobe forever and love so much, but have never quite had the confidence to wear. Put it on, and wear it with pride!