Steel Reserve | Futuristic/Retro Shoot | Chicago Fashion Editorial with Clara Rae

I absolutely loved photographing gorgeous and unique faced, Clara Rae in this futuristic/retro Chicago fashion editorial shoot. The whole creative team had such great chemistry and a strong vision. The end result was published in two well-known fashion magazines. Keep reading to find out about all the details.

Back in September I worked on a shoot that I designed to challenge myself into going farther than I normally do. My aesthetic goal was incorporate both retro and futuristic themes without them contradicting each other. The makeup, the hats, the hair, it all alludes to the 1920’s while rocketing the look into the future with the use of edgy color, heavily textured and metallic backgrounds, dynamic lighting, alternative shooting, all with an overall gist of beauty, darkness, and strength. My model for the shoot, Clara, emotionally expressed these themes flawlessly. It was the first time I worked with her, and the way she moves was so fitting. Towards the bottom of this post I have a video that was filmed that day to give you a look of what it was like to be there. You can see for yourself this way just how well the atmosphere came together.
This was also the first time I collaborated with a nail artist. Ashley Crowe aka “Astrowifey” went above and beyond my expectations. She designed the most beautiful nails on the spot that perfectly matched our theme. Sharp, holographic, and exploding out of the box. I think this was one of the details that really helped rocket the shoot further. This was also the first time I built as many extravagant sets as I did. Using primarily metal and plastic materials, I had a blast mounting, hanging, collaging, and putting together these tiny worlds. I made 6 sets in total.
One of the best parts of this shoot was how it all came together after it was over. I enjoyed the editing process on such a dynamic look. I used a lot of alternative shooting methods so almost all of the crazy things you see in the photos are actually done in person using only in-camera editing. The biggest challenge here was balancing the light sources from a projector and standard strobes. On top of that it was published by two magazines. Glassbook featured it as one of their online editorials and Ashley Crowe had it published in Tipsy Magazine, a nail art mag that gave it a huge spread. I can’t thank my team enough for making this one such a good experience.

Here’s my team for that day and their websites:
Photographer: Emily Gualdoni
Hair Stylist / Makeup Artist: Kat DeJesus
Manicurist / Nail Artist: Ashley Crowe
Wardrobe Stylist: Sararose Krenger
Wardrobe Designer: Stix and Roses
Accessory Designer: Rachel Frank (Hats were vintage)
Model: Clara Rae
Photographer assistants – Kaitlyn Hope Polles and Rio Wray

And here is the awesome behind the scenes video filmed by Brendan Leahy / Digital Skylight





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