Hey guys . I’ve decided to write a blog post. I just downloaded the app version of my website and am going through all of the functions. It makes it so much easier to upload photos from my phone, and i discovered there is a blog section, so that’s pretty cool. Anyway, I wanted to write about the process of creating the “Quarantine Series” photoshoot.
The inspiration behind this shoot started with a vision I had of hair wrapped around the models body, constricting her movement as she tries to break free. I didn’t have a clear idea of how I wanted the shoot to be, just some imagery in my head, i usually just improvise these things on set. The first time I tried to schedule the shoot, it wasn’t the right time for the team to get together, then the pandemic came crashing in and the idea was pushed to the back of my mind.
As the world stopped, and we were confined to our homes, I started to take up other creative outlets; like painting, collaging, sewing and even interior design. All while keeping up with the internet news and figuring out how to survive.
Then, I saw the first wave of anti-lockdown protests, from people demanding they needed a haircut! Although this seems completely asinine and shallow,
“It proves how hair — regardless of our political affiliation — is directly tied to our deeper ideas of identity and community. And how hair has, for some people, always been about power and control.”(Abad-Santos)
That’s when the idea sparked up again. This time, the hair has meaning. I wanted to create a fairytale quarantine showcasing how to handle being rapunzelled. A world where overgrown hair is considered practical rather than an inconvenience.
Once the quarantine started to ease, I pitched the idea to my makeup artist Maggie, who is always down for my crazy conceptual ideas, and she introduced me to Francesca, a creative hair stylist. I told her I needed some really long hair. The model, DonnaToni, has natural long hair down to her knees and I wanted to add another two and a half feet. Francesca was pumped and ready for the challenge.
The day before the shoot, she spent over 8 hours at my studio creating 6 foot long extensions out of individual strands of hair. Can you say tedious! Once glued together, the hair was so long, we had to tag team the braiding process, passing the strands back and forth to each other from behind. The next step was to soak the braid in boiling hot water. Apparently we were only supposed to soak the hair in a glass container but I didn’t have anything big enough, so we improvised and used a cooler, then boiled 100 cups of water in an electric kettle. That was a pain in the ass. Once the braid was situated and drying, Francesca proceeded to make the hair mask; starting with a dozen small braids then hand sewn together.
Searching all week for an available wardrobe stylist, Mila reached out to me eager to collaborate on a shoot in the outside world. We discussed looks and styles via DM but unfortunately she couldn’t make it on the day of shoot. Determined not to let me down, she offered me into her warehouse to pick out whatever I felt would work with my vision. She had so many amazing pieces it was hard to choose a theme, but I ended up going for a vintage retro vibe. She helped me put together looks and I was off to the shoot.