The Vintage Bus Project: 1960’s Fashion Shoot_Day 1, Part 1 by Alexandra Gunnoe

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Quite unexpectedly I had to make a mad dash from England to Seattle the morning after our 60’s fashion shoot.  I’m relatively new to blogging and I’m not sure how much personal information is appropriate to share.  Until I decide, I will purposely keep this part vague.  As I develop my voice, perhaps I will open up more but for now let’s keep things focused on the shoot. 

This was the first in a series of 11 Vintage Fashion shoots featuring these gorgeous old buses  from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, beautifully restored and provided by Dan Shears at the West of England Transportation Collection.  For more information on “The Vintage Bus Project”, please read my previous post about it here.  And to take a glance at the mood board for the inspiration behind this shoot, please read my post about “Preparing for a Fashion Shoot and the Importance of Mood Boards”. 

I will be expanding on this 60’s inspired shoot next week, once I am back in the UK and working from my desktop computer, uploading the behind-the-scenes footage and editing the photos properly in Lightroom and Photoshop.  So while I hesitate to give away too much right now, in the meantime I can offer this teaser image and a brief description about our experience. 

First off, everyone showed up with smiley, positive attitudes.  And get this… every single person was EARLY (and the good kind of early too… just a few minutes ahead of time, allowing for pleasant introductions and small talk… not the uncomfortable kind of early where you’re still scrambling around like a mad woman while everyone secretly watches you as they pretend to look at their shoes and discuss the weather).  The sun was shining, everyone was getting along well, and we had a brief pre-production meeting discussing the goals of the day.  I could just tell it was going to be a fantastic shoot. 

And indeed it was.   

Dan was a real trooper, shuttling us back and forth from the prep area to the shooting area after every wardrobe / makeup / hair change, and in the very bus we were shooting in.  I’m happy I was able to grab a few seconds of footage from the journey, because it all felt quite funny and surreal.  Not once did Dan complain, and he drove us around the entire day with a laid-back attitude that matched his smile.  I can’t tell you how helpful it is to work with people who are so mellow, yet also manage to have a fantastic work-ethic and a cheeky sense of humour.

If it sounds like I’m gushing, I am.  Again, this is probably the opposite of what a professional should do, and I’m likely violating a rule in some blogging handbook, but whatever.  The infectious attitude of our team helped set the tone for the day and produced a work environment that was conducive to creating the kind of photographic magic I was hoping for. 

We had wide selection of fabulous clothing to choose from, thanks to Kate Sly at Fashion Farmer (pulling vintage clothes and props from Vintage Tramp and Hay Does Vintage).  And they fit our model, Morgan Dun-Campbell perfectly.  Almost every person on the creative team came up to me at some point in the day to mention how perfectly she fit the theme. 

I found Nicola Redman, our stellar makeup artist, about a month ago, and she definitely lived up to the work I had seen on her online portfolio.  She slowly built upon the makeup with each look until the very end when Morgan looked out of this world in the best way possible.  We all had a laugh at how she would have to ride the train home in these very bold Twiggy lashes that were so high fashion and out of place in a country setting.  I’m sure she received quite a bit of attention from curious passengers not used to seeing that kind of beauty riding a train in the middle of the nowhere back from Eggesford to Bristol. 

Then there was the hair situation.   Let me start by saying there was a bit of a hair crisis at the 11th hour and I had a slight moment of panic (which actually means “major moment of panic with a slight side of meltdown”, but in an effort to save face, I’ll downplay it here).  I’m used to living in LA, where if you need a substitute mua or hair stylist at the last minute, ten people are chomping at the bit, all ready to go by the time the figurative ink has dried on your casting call.  I’m sure it’s the same in London, but things are a little different in the country.  There are artists of great quality in the south west, but it takes some resourcefulness, time, luck and lots of digging to find them.  And at that point, time was definitely not on my side. 

My original hair stylist (who seemed incredibly enthused, trust-worthy and together when I booked her) ended up letting me down at the last minute by not responding to my emails and calls.  I won’t go too much into it except to say I am baffled, as she is the one who responded to my casting.  I did not seek her out specifically.  As time went on I saw that she was posting online publicly, and I realised I would just have to swallow my frustration, cut my losses and find someone new.  And fast. 

So what lesson did I learn?  Well, if possible, be sure to work with people you know and trust.  If that is not possible, work with those who have great references and who respond to your emails right away, even if you come off like a neurotic freak who needs constant reassurance they will turn up on time and understand the concept you are going for (hence the importance of mood boards). Though the hair stylist situation was a huge headache, I am actually grateful it happened because I was able to find a more qualified, creative and truly amazing hair stylist, Trude Bosence, at the last minute.  And now I have added another member to the creative team who I definitely plan to work with in the future. So for all the hassle and stress this bit of drama put me through, it was definitely all worth it.

As I said before, I will soon have the finished photos up and ready for you to view.  Thank you all for reading.  I look forward to sharing the final product with you next week.  Stay tuned!

Model and Muse Morgan Dun-Campbell

Styling by Kate Sly at Fashion Farmer

Clothing provided by Vintage Tramp and Hay Does Vintage

Hair Styling by Trude Bosence

Makeup Artistry by Nicola Redman

Photography by Alexandra Gunnoe at Alexandra Gunnoe Photography

alexandragunnoe.com

 

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