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.
Communication. I find communication is something that matters in life. From our relationship with ourselves to the science of our cells — communication is a vital part of our being.
Tell us something that you’ve learned in life.
Most problems can be solved by taking a bike ride, sitting on a yoga mat or looking towards the sky.
Tell us something that it took you a long time to get good at.
Not to get lost in the details. It is easy to get lost in the forest when all you can focus on is the bark of the trees.
Tell us something that you’re glad you took a chance on.
Failure. Failing is both the worst and best thing that can happen to me. When I don’t fail, I succeed and move on to the next risk. When I do fail, I succeed in learning more about myself, and I am given the opportunity to try a different way — it just doesn’t feel quite as good.
Dress: Goodwill in Cape Girardeau