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As a small business owner and dress maker I have a very hard time pulling myself away from the sewing machine, but when the new styles start to take over the shop it's time to orchestrate a photoshoot.
  I still am by no means a pro at this aspect of the business, but I have learned many new things along the way.  I'd like to share a bit about what goes on, basically the behind the scenes.  So for anyone who's curious about what goes down on the OffbeatVintage set, and get a peek of how its all put together, read on...





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First after I have my list of models and their measurements clothes start getting pulled from stock.  Each model gets her own rack of 8 to 12 dresses, I've found that anymore and you start to work them to death!  The fun part is deciding who gets what...it's a like getting to play dress up. Dresses are pulled and steamed and ready to go for the shoot.

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And of course tons of heels live in the dressing room too.  I try to pick up anything interesting I find around in a variety of sizes so there are plenty to choose from.  The choice is the model's with help from my assistant when it comes to accessories.

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Each girl gets the full pin up hair and makeup treatment before the shoot.  This always takes way longer than I anticipate, but I learned that the best thing to do is schedule two models per hour and jump back and forth.  Having an assistant or two to take out rollers or just grab a drink for the models helps out too.
 

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When doing hair and makeup for a shoot it's ok to be a bit over the top.  All the girls get airbrushed because it looks amazing and holds up for hours with no retouches. Fake eyelashes are also a must, sometimes I even use two pairs. 
  I always feel a little bad explaining to the girls that they're about to have pounds of product, teasing and pins in their hair, but it's necessary to really keep everything in place.



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Some brainstorming goes into the set.  It has to fit into a frame, be interesting and fit the clothes.  Sometimes it's just a pretty location, an area with good colour or an elaborate set. The area is staged and lighted the morning of the shoot. Then we take a few test shots, play with the lights and rearrange anything that looks out of place.

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After hair, makeup, getting dressed and accessorized with the help of my awesome assistants it's time for the shoot.  My photographer is amazing with giving direction, which is really important to not only get a good shot, but also to make the models comfortable and have fun with the shoot. The next 3 to 4 hours are girls getting dressed, posing on set, then doing it all over again and again in each dress.

And that's a quick overview of the shoots.  It takes a lot of planning and a lot of assistants to help it run smoothly, but it's definitely worth it.    You also can't beat the down time of everyone enjoying a glass of wine or two together afterwards!



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