With the 8th year of me doing Eat Me Ink Me coming to a close, I wanted to make a post, looking back at the past photo shoots I’ve done and my thinking behind them. Maybe small stories, that happened.
This was the very first photo-shoot, where I had more than one model and was semi-professional. The planning for this was very scattered and I’d like to think that I’ve gotten slightly better now.
Originally I was planning to have the setting be the actual Art Nouveau streets in Riga, but it was wintertime (the streets look really messy and dirty unless it’s fresh snowfall and we couldn’t really plan that), plus we couldn’t decide how to get to the “juicy” places, which would require to get into the historical apartments, so we could shoot on the windowsills to get both the interiors and the facades of the buildings in the background. I think it was one of the first photo-shoots, where I had an actual idea on how I wanted it to look, but where it didn’t work out in reality sadly.
With my managing skills we were also very rushing everything for the preparations and it didn’t help that I wasn’t 100% happy with how the collection came out. But at this point I had worked on it for almost 2 years I think so I wasn’t going to stretch it out any longer. It was the first puppy and it had to get drowned, so I can work on the next things and implement the lessons I’ve learned on this first custom print release.
As note about the print, since I’m currently working on the re-release of it – I am so much more pleased with how I made the print work this time and I’m very excited about the actual designs, too as I feel I finally did justice to the incredible amount of work that I had done on the facade illustrations years before. I didn’t want to give up on this idea as I knew I could make it work so much better and I finally did.
The setting that we eventually chose was a cemetery-turned-park right off the city center. First off, I pass this place frequently and I think it’s one of the most peaceful places in Riga as well as the most gorgeous, especially during spring, when most of the green turns blue after the blue snowdrops blossom. Since it was winter, most of it was covered in snow, but I thought that added extra layer of eerie and it was sort of a metaphor for the historical buildings here. Most are slowly decaying and loosing their beauty.
I got my trusty photographer Annija Pumpure to get quality shots from this as well as Anita Intaite to make sure the girls were porcelain goddesses. I couldn’t tell you how much I owe these girls and how thankful I am for their help in all my crazy endeavors over the years!
For models I got couple of my friends – Vivianna (who’s an amazing illustrator!), Endija (who takes part in the historical dancing scene here ad well as makes her own historical outfits!) and a cute model Katrina (you wouldn’t believe in the versatility of this girl!). I feel the team that I eventually got for this came out amazing, but I needed to give them better direction, looking back at it. But everybody did a great job even with me giving little guidance.
Midnight Rhapsody (first release; 2015)
I set a very low bar for this photo-shoot for myself. With me being sort of destroyed over the last fiasco, I just needed to get couple of decent photos, where you could see the items clearly, but still setting sort of mood.
Turns out – simplicity works best for me. even with myself modelling these, I was very happy with how they came out. I got Anita to do these for me and the setting was one of the old Gothic churches in the city center. I literally got dressed and did the make up on the spot – right next to it XD I got a few odd stares, but the photos were well worth it! They were simple, but did exactly what I needed them for.
Old Master’s Redoux (second release; 2017)
This was probably one of my more professional shoots and I had a slightly different idea for it. First off, I had Annija as my photographer again and Adele Erta was the MUA for this. The model was an actual model this time – Līga K. from Moonmodels.
I also been eyeing the amazing luxury jewelry creations of Sildare and had a wild thought that I could try and collaborate with her for this shoot. I gathered up some courage to ask her and she agreed! I couldn’t have been happier because I had a thought of instead of trying to go for a lolita aesthetic, but try to do a more commercially looking shoot. This was a more of a business decision as the series skirts work well in both lolita and casual wear as well as a challenge of sorts for myself.
I have to say it was a struggle a bit, but one I enjoyed immensely! First off, I had to get the looks together. You wouldn’t believe the places I looked for the complimenting pieces and I was literally scattering in the morning of the shoot to get shoes for the model as I had nothing that might fit her.
The set that we ended up choosing was the Academy of Arts building and the Museum of Art building right next to it. I has a vision of the “Rendezvous” set on the background of red brick and the staircase of the Museum of Arts is very painterly, so I wanted to have, that, too!
We did the primary make up before we arrived at the location, but Adele had to morph the existing look to fit each set and had to do it on the spot. I think she did a marvelous job!
The original plan was to start very early and get done before 5/6 pm, but with all the pre-shoot madness we started very late, plus in my planning I neglected to add changing and mua time between the looks, so the shoot stretched way longer and we ended up shooting the last looks in near dark. On the bright side, Annija is awesome-sauce and we got shots like these because of it!
Aren’t these just magazine-ready? Annija is truly a magician!
I think this was one of the more decent shoots I ever did both in and out of EMIM (I used to model for shoots and I like to help with styling other shoots occasionally).
Skulls & Roses (2017)
The last (so far), but certainly not least is the S&R shoot. This was probably the most exciting releases for me – ever. From start to finish this collection just spoke to me on a spiritual level. Must be the teenage goth-loli inside of me that just squealed every time I thought of it. This was one of the first releases, where I knew exactly how I wanted the shoot to come out before I even had the print or design down. Coffin. It had to have a coffin! I had no idea where I was going to get one, but I needed it for this.
When I was working on Old Master’s Redoux shoot, between the models offered to me, I saw Diana and I who looked EXACTLY like the girl in the preliminary sketch of the dress I was planning to make. I knew I had to have her for this shoot, if I could. I was able to get her, thanks to Annija, who was again, my main MVP for this shoot. My vision was actually starting to come to life!
Anita was helping me with the make up again and I can’t get over how flawless she makes people look. Not just in photos, but in actual real life. If you didn’t move – you’d look like a mannequin! This not photoshop or anything!
Coming back to the coffin. I ended up asking my SO to make it for me and it came out great! Here are some glamour shots of me, trying out the size.
And some behind the scenes in the studio we were shooting.
Annija, trying not to die (she’s very afraid of hights).
Overall this was my favorite release so far. From start to finish. And the photos turned out even better than I anticipated! I have a set a high bar for my next shoots with this one, but I like a good challenge, so it’s on! ^^
I hope you liked to look back with me and hear about how all these things might not be as glamorous as it looks from the outside. I have a new photo-shoot coming up, so it was a good way for me to remember the lessons learned in previous big shoots. I hope you learned something new, too! Be sure to leave your thoughts and what kind of shoot you’d like to make or be a part of? What would be your role in it? Do share! ♥