Lisa-Marie McGinn

AD­VEN­TURES OF A FASH­ION PHO­TOG­RA­PHER BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Practical Photography (UK) - - Spring -

Beauty and the Beast pro­vides the in­spi­ra­tion this month.

A SA LIT­TLE GIRL, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST WAS one of my favourite Dis­ney movies. When I started ex­per­i­ment­ing in fash­ion pho­tog­ra­phy, I was re­ally in­spired by fairy­tales and wanted to cre­ate ethe­re­al­look­ing pho­tographs. For the last few years, I’ve shot at least one fairy­tale-in­spired ed­i­to­rial ev­ery year, and the idea of a Beauty and the Beast-themed shoot has never gone away. I just needed to find the per­fect lo­ca­tion, out­fits and, of course, model.

I’ve men­tioned both Sheba and Martina in a few columns now and they were the ob­vi­ous choice for this shoot. Find­ing the right venue took some search­ing though. Typ­i­cally, I shoot out­side at an area near my house that’s filled with green­ery and by a lake, but for this par­tic­u­lar shoot I wanted some­where quite dif­fer­ent. Lo­ca­tion hunt­ing is both fun and stress­ful at the same time – and when you don’t find ex­actly what you’re look­ing for, it can be quite dis­heart­en­ing.

I searched for lo­cal parks around the city and came across a stun­ning botan­i­cal gar­den just out­side of Ed­mon­ton. I’d never even heard of it be­fore. After tak­ing a drive and scout­ing out the gar­den, I knew this was the ideal back­drop. Rather than do­ing the typ­i­cal hair and out­fits of the Dis­ney fairy­tale, we de­cided it would be more of a high fash­ion shoot with a Beauty and the Beast theme be­hind it.

Most of my shoots never go as planned and this was def­i­nitely one of them. We had the gar­den booked for a spe­cific time and only for an hour (thank­fully they had the gar­dens closed off for us and even put up a sign with my com­pany name on it). Hair and make-up are al­ways hard to pre­dict and when the three of us get to­gether for a shoot, it be­comes a fun so­cial gath­er­ing. Need­less to say, we were late but thank­fully we were able to shoot at the time we ar­rived and with­out a time limit. That was mu­sic to my ears.

The gar­dens were even more breath­tak­ing than I re­mem­bered. We started off in the or­nate Ja­panese gar­den with the first few out­fits. I’d been able to get a gor­geous gold gown that was cov­ered in crys­tals, and this was prob­a­bly my favourite out­fit. All day it had been threat­en­ing to rain and as we started shoot­ing I could see rain clouds ap­pear. I had this feel­ing of dread wash over me and I was wor­ried that we were go­ing to have to leave and our shoot would be can­celled. We just kept shoot­ing as the rain clouds hov­ered above us...

The sun was still peek­ing out from time to time. When the rain started, we ran into a green­house to take cover, but also got some lovely shots there. As we neared the edge of the gar­dens, I spot­ted an en­chant­ing green maze. Both Martina and I wan­dered around the maze to cap­ture some images and ended up get­ting lost (of course!). We stum­bled upon a tower that re­sem­bled a cas­tle sur­rounded by lots of lilac trees. If we hadn’t got lost, we would never have found this place, which was the per­fect end­ing to a great ed­i­to­rial.

With the re­lease of Dis­ney’s new Beauty and the Beast movie this year, I’ve re­vis­ited these images once more and re­flected on just how mag­i­cal they are. Lisa-Marie is a Scot­tish-born fash­ion and beauty pho­tog­ra­pher based in Al­berta, Canada. Her work is reg­u­larly pub­lished in glossy mag­a­zines, and clients in­clude Elinchrom, Canon and Vis­tek. lisamariem­cginn.com

“LO­CA­TION HUNT­ING IS BOTH FUN AND STRESS­FUL AT THE SAME TIME...”

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