Putting together photo shoots might be arguably one of the most time-consuming and exhausting, fun and rewarding parts of creating our magazine. Since the theme of this issue is “Process,” we thought it would be fun to be transparent about the behind-the-scenes steps that go into the final photos you see in these pages.
For this shoot, we had four cameras on location: our photographer Tyler’s Nikon d850, which made the final polished images that one would normally see in the pages of our magazine; the iPhone XS, with which I shot the zoomed-out “behind the scenes” images; and a vintage Polaroid 600 and Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 that our models used to document their experience of getting ready for the shoot and being in front of Tyler’s camera. We hope the diversity of perspectives in these images gives you a broader understanding of all that goes into flourish photo shoots and what they look like from our viewpoint.
Of course, there is much that goes into being on location before we ever even step foot there the day of the shoot. It begins with imagining a general concept for a theme that fits within the broader theme of the magazine. When I was in grad school, I worked in a greenhouse and was inspired by the life breathing around me and all of the lovely ways the light came in from everywhere and cast itself all around. It was a place of healing for me, and inspired me to create. Since we did this shoot in late January and early February when it was still gray outside, I wanted to incorporate the green and other colors of a greenhouse into the shoot for our Spring issue. I also thought the growth that happens in a greenhouse visually reinforced the issue’s theme of “Process.” Tyler wanted to incorporate film cameras into the shoot — which is where the theme “Process” for this whole issue was born in the first place — and shoot in a greenhouse, too. Voilà, our concept was decided upon. Thanks to Melissa LaPlant at the Southeast Missouri State University Charles Hutson Horticulture Greenhouse and Dr. Jim Hoffman with his private greenhouse and collection of exotic plants in Cape Girardeau for offering up their spaces and time to us so this idea could come to fruition.
A lot of what happens in making art is serendipitous, a matter of being open to receive what the universe gifts us as we live day-to-day life: the models for our shoots are often women from our region whom I meet in daily life and would like to know, who inhabit their own inner and outer beauty and have a certain authentic quality about them that can help encourage all of us in our pursuits to be who we genuinely are. Once they say yes to being a part of the magazine, we set up a time for the actual shoot and a time to go shopping for their clothes, which are graciously lent to us from area boutiques. They also answer questions to share in the magazine via email, so readers can get to know the beauty of these women’s hearts and minds, too.
As all of this is happening, Tyler and I talk about ideas for the shots and aesthetics that we want from the shoot; we get these ideas from our own minds as well as from photography that inspires us. In this photo shoot, we wanted to create clean images that evoke the natural beauty and personality of each model. The day of the shoot, it’s always fun being on location and getting to know the models even more as we all work together to create photos that bring goodness to the world and help us think in new ways. After Tyler shoots the photos, he spends time choosing and editing his best shots, passing them along for final choice. We make the final call to create a well-rounded set of images and then send the photos along to our designers to create something beautiful on the page.
So there you have it. That’s how flourish photo shoots work around here. We hope they inspire you to be who you are in the world.
Tell us something that matters.
Something that really matters to me is not doing what is going to make me the most successful, but what is going to make me happy.
Tell us something that you’ve learned in life.
Taking chances on things I was scared to do before. There have been many times in my life where I refused to do something: apply for that job or take that trip and much more because I didn’t know the outcome of my actions. I’ve learned that, in life, we can’t be afraid of the consequences of our actions because they may not turn out the way we wanted or planned, but some will change our lives forever, and in the end, everything we do was part of God’s plan.
Tell us something that it took you a long time to get good at.
I’m not one to point out my talents because there are so many out there who can do what I do, but I’ve spent many years learning how to classically sing. I believe everyone can sing with some practice, dedication and training.
Tell us something that you’re glad you took a chance on.
I’m glad I took a chance on Cape Girardeau. When I first visited Cape Girardeau on a college tour in 2015, I hated it. Everything about it was so old, and I wanted to be somewhere new and cool. Although this may have been true, I took a chance on Cape Girardeau and SEMO, and I’m glad I did. I learned I love things that are old and can find beauty in them, which explains why I dress the way I do. Cape Girardeau has given me so many opportunities I never had before: it gave me my favorite shops, jobs and people. I’ve had the chance to meet many new people, not only through school, but through the people here in Cape Girardeau who I have come to love so so much!
Clothes: Pastimes Antiques in Cape Girardeau
Necklaces: Love Rocks in Cape Girardeau