I jumped head in to this project. I had no idea if it would work, how it would turn out, or if I could even do it. I had a ton of personal ups and downs during the whole project. I had also planned to have it at my busiest time, right in between UFE Invasion and SABBA novice.
I had originally decided to plan a photo-shoot to have my own photos of my suits professionally shot for my website, social media and promotional material. This is also the reason why I chose to sponsor girls in my debut year, as I really had no clue how many clients I would have.
Fake it till you make it - This was honestly kind of my motto as I really didn't know what I was doing.... I've never planned a photo-shoot, and I didn't know the first thing about it. Tan, Hair, Makeup, Dates, Times, Locations, Scheduling girls for all the above and organizing the shoot schedule itself. But I figured if I believed I could do it, so would others and it would come together.
I started by finding a photographer. I considered a few and contacted them, but I had already pretty much had it in my head that I would be using D & M Photography. They are one of the few photographers in Saskatoon that have a larger experience photographing physique specifically. They have shot many competitors and I had followed their work for a while. Their pricing was also very competitive which was a plus.
I had wanted to take care of all the aspects needed for the shoot such as hair, makeup and tan. I did not want my girls to have to pay for services especially since the shoot was mandatory for my sponsored girls. Chandra Zeller was one of my first sponsors. She was also a representative for Bronzed Envy spray tans done by Shelley. I contacted Shelley and she was so enthusiastic to join in this project with me. I knew exactly who I would go to for makeup application. The only girl I ever use Melissa Schneider, my long time friend and amazingly talented makeup artist who has an impressive resume in the industry after attending Blanche Macdonald. Cosmetics were provided by SST Cosmetics which is a high quality local company based in Saskatoon. It was kind of a fluke as to how they came on board. Melissa Perkin who was the brand manager came to me to get some alterations done on a suit she had. We were talking about this and that and my photoshoot planning got brought up. She had offered to come on board and provide all the cosmetics.
So after everything wall all booked and arranged I still had suits to finish, and the really came down to the wire. I ended up using some of my holidays from my full time job, and even had to cart my sewing machine with me to Edmonton on a few trips to visit my husband.
I have to say a special thank you to Shelley at Bronzed Envy. When I initially met with her, I was not sure as to what location I was going to use to get all the girls ready. Living out in Warman using my place wasn't the best option as we were going to be tight on time getting 9 girls ready before noon. Shelley graciously offered for us to use her place. It would make it easier for her as she would not have to move all her tanning stuff. Her set up is so nice to get your tan done in the privacy of her home rather than a salon or spa. She is such a warm and welcoming person, she makes it seem like you've been friends for years. She was such a sweetheart and even had healthy prep friendly snacks for us there in the morning. It was an especially nice day out and she had a large covered deck that was perfect for makeup application. We basically took over her house, hung out, got ready, snacked. I however still had my own suit to finish rhinestoning! Which I did in record time.
I also have to say thank you to Melissa Perkins with SST Cosmetics she also offered to come an help out, which initially I wasn't sure we would need, but after seeing the timeline it was a huge help to my girlfriend Melissa Schneider and the other girls who didn't have to wake up at 5:00 am for makeup. I have to say the makeup provided by SST Cosmetics was wonderful. It wasn't heavy, was nice to wear, and even at the end of my 18 hour day it still looked great, and it looked flawless in the photographs.
After we were all ready we headed over to D&M Photography's studio. initially I had wanted us all to go together but some of the girls makeup went over time so we went when we were done. All I can say in a nutshell is Elaine and Phil of D&M are AMAZING. So passionate and excited to work on this project. They went above and beyond. All of my photos turned out great, regardless if it was someones first photo-shoot, and they didn't know how to pose, or very experienced ( aka the Deb show - seriously Deb you should consider putting on workshops on how to pose! ) you could not tell in the photos as Elaine and Phil gave excellent direction. I had met with Elaine initially to go over what I wanted and needed out of this shoot. I did not have to worry at all the whole afternoon, they took care of everything. They even had a timer set to make sure we stayed on time with each of the girls. Except for Deb and her wings. They really enjoyed shooting her in her dragon theme wear.
The studio was beautiful. Big and open with various backdrops, props, and lighting, as well as room for all of us girls and our stuff. We came with makeup, hair stuff, food, I even drug along my 45lb plate for my own mini session afterwards.
After the day was wrapped up I was very relieved. Everything went smoothly and I was so happy that I pulled it all off. It wasn't until the very end of the day when I went for my cheat meal that it all sunk in that I had done it. I really do want to extend a very heartfelt thank you to everyone. From my girls who came along, some even all the way from Estevan & Regina to give up a whole day on a long weekend, which I only realized that day it was a long weekend.
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Melissa Schneider MUA