Behind the Scenes of a Tucson Lifestyle Photo Shoot

Being part of a Photo shoot is very exciting!   And being the Stylist for a Tucson Lifestyle Photo shoot is even more exhilarating!!  March 2016 Issue was just that.  There is so much prep work that is involved prior to the big day I thought I would fill you in on a little of the behind scenes and what it takes to have a great success the day of!

The Wardrobe:

In order to achieve "the look" of what you are forecasting for the shoot you must hunt and gather for the clothes. Two Words: TIME CONSUMING!!!  This task was challenging for me because I was first asked to shop local designers which was few and not particularly "the look" I had conjured up in my mind.  Whats a Stylist to do?  Move to Plan B!!!  Shop Local Boutiques  and add a few of your own personal items as well!!!  Now things were coming into place.  As I worked this process I did enjoy meeting so many interesting people. Laura Tanzer who I had met before gladly provided us with her amazing Palazzo pants, Laura-Tanzer-red-lotus-chiffon-with-high-waist-cotton-striped-pantMoni, Creator  of Cry Baby Couture greeted me at the door with her standard poodle who also greeted me enthusiastically on two legs and two paws on my shoulders!  Moni designed the amazing feather dress!!!IMG_0749

FullSizeRenderShahida Parides provided gorgeous exotic printed jumpsuits and tunics.FullSizeRender (1)  Avenue Boutique also helped out with providing some cute bralettes to go with palazzo pants and cute tops.

The Jewelry:

Roni, creator of Bella Sonoma Jewelry  fascinated me with her beautiful home, art and Limoge collection.FullSizeRender (4)  We are both from the Bay Area  and  seemed to hit if off instantly not to mention shared interests with the love of antiques and art!   I listened and  learned  about her mother who came from nothing in the Mid West  and built a Retail empire.    Her portrait hung above a beautiful antique table as I hand picked jewelry for the shoot. FullSizeRender (3)

There was also an  exquisite chandelier I was drooling over !!!FullSizeRender (5)

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Charlene of Bowman and Hock was just what I needed one morning, I just didn't know it till I met her .  We met in the parking lot of Chase Bank and the trunk of her car opened up as I excitedly was shown her collection that had a Dolci and Gabbana over the top feel. This transaction felt slightly illegal as pieces were pulled out of baggies and displayed on my neck. The mirror was the reflection in the  car window.  I felt somewhat calm and in control until she pulled out the GUN!!    I had to purchase it, because I was in a Gun token mood that morning!    Charlene was vibrant,  funny, enthusiastic and I loved her  jewelry designs. The necklace is the most mind blowing piece I  own. IMG_0902 Your collection really isn't complete without a  F*** Gun around your neck!  I never get ahead!!! I wasn't suppose to buy anything for myself.

The Location

Merci Gallery was the  stage to which all beautiful pictures came to life the day of.


The Editor and myself discovered it one day as we were  casually walking down 9th Avenue.  As the small little Merci words popped out on an Industrial building, naturally we were intrigued since after all its TUCSON!!!  Thalissa as we later would build a relationship opened the door and it was a vision of wonderfulness. A wall of green plants, cool furniture,  champagne bottles and art on old brick walls.  This place was COOL!   This was the spot for the Shoot!!!024

The Players

In order to pull off something amazing a lot of talented people need to be in the line up!!! Let's start with Tom Spitz the photographer. 019 This man has so much positive energy and enthusiasm I look at him in awe and learn. He is so easy to work with not to mention his amazing talent behind the camera.  I was surprised when he asked me my opinion on how things should be set up , looks ect... Okay!!!!!!!

Scott Barker: Executive Editor of Tucson Lifestyle. IMG_0750 Another  very cool guy to work with.  Very laid back and goes with the flow.  Present at the photo shoot  he is a believer in the people that surround him will do what they do best and he trusts them to do just that.  He is the diplomat needed at every shoot and  to keep the flow going and the work at the highest level.  He succeeds!  After the pictures have been selected for the magazine  he will write the story  that goes along with them.

Matthew Kauffman: Art Director of Tucson LifeStyle. A quiet player but very supportive and enthusiastic.  He is very much a part of the success of the end result because he is editing all the pictures and setting it up in the magazine._MG_0884

Studio 110 ( Hair and Makeup)

Vanessa Baird is the girl wonder who is beauty, brains , and overall awesome person!! 004I can thank my web designer Brittney Christie for introducing me to Vanessa when I was asking about Hair Stylists who would come on board for my Makeover of the Year Project 2015.  She is responsible for Jodis hair! ( Posted  Feb 2015)038  Vanessa and I pow wowed prior to the shoot with "looks" where both hair, makeup and wardrobe would come together making each model look amazing.FullSizeRender (7) I was trying on the clothes, texting her and she would respond back with what do you think of this hairstyle to go with....  When she texted me with "What do you think of a Turban"?  I gasped with excitement---- YES!!!!!!!  The turban ended up making the cover!!!006

015So not only did Vanessa and her team create amazing looks that day but Goddess Vanessa also was a model for the shoot!!! I am glad to say I know her now before she becomes famous!032

The Models

Models are scary and intimidating! Or we think they are! Why??? Isn't it obvious??? They are tall, thin, young, thin, beautful, thin.  Get the picture.  Well the models selected for the day were just what I described above  but also  so nice and approachable.  I got to know each of them, Amber 009and Lauren 031And Thalissa 044Not only were they great to work with but extremely professional!

The Shoot013

This was a very long day!!!!   I started loading up my car at 6am,IMG_0747 and picking up last minute wardrobe items from Avenue Boutique as well as ending my day returning those items  at 6pm .  Patience is required because there is a lot of waiting around in between shots while hair and makeup is being done.   My duties for the day consisted of dressing the models, selecting the accessories, working with Tom, Scott, and Matthew on the vision of the poses and exact location of the shot.   Lunch needed to be ordered  and picked up also!  Ultimately I felt the need to  make sure everyone  involved was comfortable and  relaxed. 027 I also needed to jump in during the shot to make sure bra straps weren't exposed, collars were in place, hemlines pulled down, jewelry behaving ect...  No dozing!!!! Be alert at all times.

The shoot was a total success in my opinion.  The entire team was in sync and we all worked together with out big egos getting in the way. I have heard it doesn't go down like this all the time. I guess I got lucky!!

Below is the edited final pictures in the Magazine.  Stay tuned we are heading for Bisbee next for a Road Fashion Trip!!!

The March Issue!FullSizeRender (8)

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5 Responses

  1. That's a lot of work, Monica. Good thing you are so on top of it. I think those looks are very Tucson in the best way - expressive, creative and not predictable. Good job and looking forward to the next adventure.
  2. Thanks Judy for having a look! On a side note congrats on selling Frank!!!
    • Well, how could I not look at that spread, Monica? You did a fabulous job. Actually, Frank is still here; it was a very large Black Longhorn that went out. Thanks, Monica.
  3. juliahiggins123
    loved reading your blog Monica. your hard work paid off with a beautiful shoot.

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