ADVENTURES OF A FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
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...”