I love the look of editorial-style photography. I subscribed to my first fashion magazine at twelve and grew up on a steady diet of glamourous, high gloss images of models draped in elegant designs. But in sorting through old posts recently, it struck me just how much more casual our approach to taking photos was when we first started Coco & Vera… by which I mean that we had no approach at all. I got dressed, we walked outside, snapped photos and moved on. From photos in our back lane, we progressed to seriously elaborate editorials shot in hotels and restaurants. And I admit, it did begin to feel like a bit much.
When we moved to Winnipeg, I made a conscious decision to scale back my shoots. My days of carrying bags of props to a well-chosen location to stage an elaborate scene are long over and honestly, I’m fine with that – carrying props is a pain and something that, for obvious reasons, I don’t do in real life. But that’s not to say my photos are truly casual. What we present is reality in its most polished form. My outfits are meticulously planned. And we still choose our locations ahead of time, based on specific esthetic considerations… except, that is, in the case of this shoot.
We took these photos on a Saturday afternoon. It had been a sunny day, until Ian got home, when rain clouds rolled in. We had planned to take photos, but in retrospect, if I’d really been serious about it, I likely wouldn’t have spent the afternoon drinking wine with Topher while Ian was at work. We could have just skipped the shoot. But instead I said, “Why can’t this just be casual for once?” I stayed in the clothes I was already wearing, an outfit I’ve worn a million times this summer, most recently this past Saturday night. All I did was step out onto our balcony – I didn’t even bother to clear away the stray cigarette butt from the party we’d recently hosted. Ian sat on a dining room chair inside and shot from there. It was all done in ten minutes and afterwards, we went out to dinner.
These photos don’t mark the start of a shift in our overall style. I have no intention of starting to share iPhone photos the way I once did without thinking. And I doubt we’ll shoot on our balcony very often. But it was fun to just do a casual shoot again, the way we used to when we were younger. Granted, we are able to pull off the casual vibe in a way we couldn’t five years ago, because our photography and styling skills have grown so much. But that isn’t the point. The point is that a lot of trivial things we really focus on when taking photos don’t actually matter to the people who end up looking at them – all of you. So sometimes, it’s okay to let things go, be casual and forget about perfection entirely.
I am talking through one of these shots. It’s something I do often, but that you rarely see. In another, part of my foot is cut off. And you know what? All of that is just fine. Because sometimes, fine is all you really need.
#aritzia #zara #mango