Who doesn’t love the colours in an autumn garden? All those rich reds, browns, russets, oranges and greens. The leaves, the berries, the beautiful contrast with the green grass.
So, last weekend, I decided to take some autumnal shade beauty products into the garden and shoot them for the beauty blog I work for – you can see that post here.
I love doing these wee beauty shoots for blogs I work for – it reminds me in a small way of my former life as Fashion and Beauty Editor at the Daily Record newspaper. We never really shot beauty products in an interesting way – we just snapped them under the lights and used the cut-outs on the pages.
But I did spend a good whack of my early 30s outdoors on fashion shoots, and quite a few of those were in autumn. We’d throw leaves over models, trying to capture that moment when they fell down around the model perfectly in shot. Take after take, piles of leaves, after pile of leaves.
I do find it funny when fashion bloggers talk about doing a ‘shoot’ and then go off and stand under a tree, or against a wall, posing whilst their pal takes a shot, albeit on a decent camera. Perhaps this is where the annoyance of some of the Vogue editors came from in the recent furore, and I can see both sides of the story.
Blogging is a full-time job for many and good on them to have got that far, I say. Some blogs, and bloggers, of course, are questionable. But at the end of the day, it’s all small fry in the world, right? It’s clothes and makeup, and come the apocalypse, neither fashion editors, nor bloggers, will have skills that are overly useful! (This is why I married an engineer…!)
But I will say this. The amount of sheer hard work that went into the weekly, and sometimes twice-weekly shoots I did at the Record over a good few years, drove me to the point of exhaustion. Following the trends, conceiving the shoot idea, calling in and collecting the stock, booking the location, booking the model and the makeup artist, putting in a photographer request to the newspaper’s picture desk, prepping the clothes, choosing the looks, taping up the shoes, and then actually waking up on the day of the shoot and hoping that the weather is on your side, the outfits work, and everything comes together.
After the shoot, if I was lucky someone else would take the stock back to the shops if I had borrowed it, but invariably it fell to me, because I’d be taking stock back, and getting more for the next week’s shoot. Oh, and there was an accessories page, and a beauty page to shoot for too.
It was exhausting. Exciting, and exhilarating, and seeing the looks in your head come together on the shoot, and then in print (usually cropped and ruined in a newspaper spread, but hey, that’s newspapers for you!), was validation for all your hard work. That’s if the editor liked the shoot and let it run, of course! The stress was palpable, tangible, ever-present.
So, maybe this is where some of the old guard Vogue Editors’ blogger-annoyance comes from. Maybe they see some bloggers as not working so hard? Or maybe they don’t really know what the bloggers do, and perhaps finding out would be a good thing?
Anyway, this week, in the garden, there was no stress – just me, my husband, and some beauty products. Oh, and this wee frog who just popped up at the perfect moment, next to a bottle of Ilamasqua Nail Varnish in Quagga, from their new Extinct collection.
The autumn garden is a beautiful place, and much more fun doing this in it, than throwing piles of leaves over a model. But I wouldn’t take my time back doing that for anything, as pointless as it sometimes seems!