Ever looked at a fashion blog and wondered what happens at a photo shoot? Imagining an entourage of assistants, make up artists etc? I know I did, so I was fascinated to be involved in taking photos for my beloved friend, the gorgeous Dominique of 3C Style, during my recent visit to Montreal. You can see the end results of some of these shoots on Dominique’s recent ‘When Fashion and Nature Collide – October 2018‘
It appears that the only essential requirements, besides a model and photographer are:
Car full of clothes.
Diet Coke. This appears to be 3C Style’s primary source of sustenance and energy.
Chips/Crisps. Though not as essential as the coke, it appears that 3C Style is also addicted to salty snacks.
Spray bottle of water (see later).
Places to get changed. These vary from bathrooms to the car park of an ostrich farm. In the latter case with me (back turned) blocking the view from an arriving biker.
Yes, I know, I am English so have to fulfill the cultural expectation of talking about the weather. In this case it was very warm (over 30C) for my entire visit. Great for me but not for the model wearing autumnal clothing, including pullover, for her October and November blog posts.
Now, that said, we did have some misty mornings. On one such morning our friend Dee Dee went for a ‘short’ walk (of several miles at an obscenely early hour to use a climbing gym. When she returned she showed us photos of misty spider webs on a bridge across a canal. Knowing that spiders were going to be part of her October post Dominique immediately seized upon this opportunity. The next morning, whilst Linda and Bill had a lie in at the hotel, Dominique and I set off to the canal. The sun was already well up and the dew had gone from the webs so the first job was to spray them to ensure they were visible in the photos:
Next, you will note that Dominique is wearing some rather fetching black boots. It was a very warm, sweat inducing, morning. We thought nothing of this until we got back to my hotel. I gave Dominique my room key so she could go and get changed whilst I chatted with Linda and Bill in the lobby.
After a few minutes my phone rang. (This initially shocked me because nobody ever actually calls me, they usually text. I even struggled to work out how to answer.)
It was Dominique, managing to laugh whilst also sounding stressed:
” Darren! Help! I’m stuck! I can’t get my boots off!”
Linda was somewhat taken aback by my sudden (rare) laughter.
Poor Dominique was on the sofa in my room, helpless with laughter because she had got a boot half off before it stuck, leaving her unable to even come back to the lobby to get our help. Luckily I had a spare key and her phone was within reach.
Dominique is not big or heavy. So she was holding the back of the sofa whilst attempts were made to remove her boots by pulling the heels. If she had not held on she would have been dragged round the room by her feet. By this stage I, too, was practically helpless with laughter.
Eventually de-booting was achieved, though not in the cool dignified manner you might expect from a fashion blogger…
Every fashion blogger needs a backdrop for their shoots, and/or things to pose with, Dominique is no exception.
The pumpkin shoot was done in a market in Montreal after trading had finished and we pretty much had the place to ourselves. Here are some out-takes from the shoot:
This next pose was apparently not comfortable and Dominique was doing her best not to fall over, hence her looking like she is about to laugh (which she was):
The driftwood in the river at St Eustache, and the trees, made great props. The model did not always take this process seriously:
Big silver balls. We had seen these street sculptures earlier in the week but by the time we got back the local authorities had covered them with ugly yellow tarpaulins to stop the heat and reflections on such a hot day. Never put such an obstacle in Dominique’s way. So, we removed the tarpaulin from one and took our pictures. This attracted some onlookers who also wanted to take each others pictures with the big silver ball. We waited patiently until they were done then replaced the tarpaulin.
Then Dominique spotted a statue nearby, next to some scaffolding. She approached the young man using the scaffolding and asked if he minded being in the background of the pictures. Now if I was was approached for a favour by a beautiful woman in a short skirt and thigh boots I think I’d agree to practically anything so I was not surprised when he said yes. Hence the somewhat bemused looking chap on the scaffolding.
At this point Dominique was aware that she was at eye level to people approaching up the hill and they would have a good view of her undies. I was instructed to hurry up and take the pictures quickly! (Not pictures of her undies I hasten to add)
We went to the botanical gardens for this shoot, with Dominique herself taking lots of pictures too. Dee Dee was very patient waiting whilst we worked!
Whilst walking around the gardens Dominique kept stopping when the unfastened buttons on her red skirt kept getting tangled in her fishnets. I am sure we all know this problem – myself only at weekends of course. After a quick change we did some more shots with Dominique wearing this black kimono dress but noticed the tear in the shoulder afterwards!
Never work with animals.
Dominique knows I love animals and told me of a snake farm and an ostrich farm near where she grew up in St Eustache. Her son loved these places so she figured, with me being an overgrown ten-year-old boy, that I would enjoy them too. (She was right)
So we went to visit with a view to taking pictures of Dominique with the ostriches for a future post.
Birds are descended from Dinosaurs. Ostriches have not forgotten this. They are evil feathery Velociraptors in a cute and innocent looking package.
We managed to get some good pictures of Dominique with some young (better behaved) ostriches.
Then we moved on to the adults, penned behind a totally ineffective fence and in possession of a wicked sense of humour..
During this process Dominique got her jewellery pulled, her hair pulled, her back pecked and her bottom pinched (I was nowhere near in case you were wondering). All in the name of pictures she might never use!
Of course she did not see why she should suffer alone so next it was my turn. Now I was not wearing loose jewellery or long hair, which limited the available targets. For some reason the ostriches therefore decided that pecking my bottom was their new favourite game…hence the somewhat pained but amused expression.
Of course, we did not learn from this experience, hence the doggie t-shirt shoot later in the week, which we used in September.
I would not have missed any of this for the world! Thank you Dominique, for the fun, warmth, laughter, friendship and encouragement as well as for being a perfect guide to your wonderful city. I will return soon!