Drawn in by “The Great Gatsby” film (2013) and the beauty of the style of the 1920’s, I was inspired to create a series invoking that same luxurious feel, entitled “Flapper Girl”.
I found my main inspiration for the series in Elizabeth Debicki’s portrayal of Gatsby’s Jordan Baker, and artistically inspired by her aesthetic, poise, and style.
The process of assembling the perfect elements for this shoot was multi-layered. I styled the wardrobe from the shoes, to the decadent jewelry - some handmade by a local designer, to the gowns by Adriana Pappell and Todashi Shoji, a few dresses imported from London, as well as faux furs, and propping. I needed a model that would properly translate to the era of the Roaring '20s – tall, lanky, with strong features, and a powerful cold glare, but I also needed the signature thin eyebrows and bowed lips. In my files, I found no models that were the right fit. I scouted the perfect model at a local Starbucks, and although she had never modeled before, she agreed to shoot. My scouting continued around Rochester for locations that would fit the lavish feel of the 1920's. I chose two museums and was granted special permission to shoot for a narrow timeframe.
Call time was 6am, with two and a half hours of hair and makeup. The museum prohibited lighting in the railway car, so I had to get creative to create the right atmosphere. I used a strong incandescent light bulb to illuminate the model’s face and opened the barn doors as much as possible to let in ambient light. The rest of the shoots were accomplished with an extra large octabank and natural light, with and without a reflector, to achieve the lighting effects.
My assistant for the day was an indispensable asset, moving and helping set up the lighting from room to room. One of the biggest accomplishments I feel from this “Flapper Girl” series is how I worked with a small team to create an intimate experience and to make my inspiration translate to the role not just as another name and face, but as an actor for this evocative exploration of the 20’s.
I would like to thank my beautiful and talented model, Katie Mason, as well as Krista Inzinga, Claire Kenna, Laurie Berry, Fernando Voltolini de Azambuja, and Sam Duckman, for helping my vision become tangible.