Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Dream is A Wish Your Heart Makes

Two weeks before my birthday in November I decided what I wanted was to tackle a photo shoot.  I also wanted to do it in a week.  So Sunday night I picked Cinderella. Monday I contacted Perry and set the day, and Tuesday the heavy lifting started.

This series was going to be different in many ways from other  shoots.  For one thing we were going to need two dresses.  The "Cleaning Dress" and the "Ball Gown."  I had the cleaning dress made already.  I had designed and sewed it for the Hansel and Gretel photo shoot we had planned, but never made happen.  I wasn't really happy with is as a Gretel dress anyway, it fit the Cinderella concept so much better and it was a great jumping off point.

  Then I headed off to goodwill again and found another beautiful curtain panel. I wanted the dress to look both classic and trendy, which is not the easiest of things to accomplish.  So I figured if I made it mostly structured and added the fishnets later that would do the trick.
The dress took about six hours to make.  Or I thought it had.  I had installed a zipper that I had on hand, it was white, I thought I could hide it.  I was wrong.  It looked awful, so Friday morning after my classes I headed to fabric store and found a matching zipper that look leaps and bounds better.  I also did the accessory shopping, I found the necklace, shoes, and belt at Wetseal, and I didn't break the bank either.  All three items were under thirty bucks.

The it was time for casting.  What is Cinderella without her fairy godmother, and handsome prince.  Like I said I only set myself a week to find people for a Sunday shoot.  I called on a good friend of mine from high school Gary Oak.  He had been keeping tabs on the series since the beginning and he and I had been trying to find a project to do together for a while.  I thought that this would be perfect.  So fortunately he was available and more that willing so we booked him right away.  I couldn't be happier with the finished product.  He is... I would say dreamy, but that is Chris's word so let's go with... dashing and sexy.  Yeah I think Gary deserves two words and those are dashing and sexy.
Mmmmmmm.  That's nice.  I feel happy looking at that picture.

When it was time to cast a fairy godmother there was really only one option.  Bobby Schmeling has been my fairy godmother incarnate almost since the day I met him.  Seriously, this man has put aside his own needs to come to my rescue more times than I can count.  He's one of my dearest friends and I couldn't think of a more appropriate person to fill this role in the shoot.   He was brilliant, but then again, he always is.
It was location scouting time.  I knew we needed an awesome staircase.  I google Milwaukee architecture and found a website that provided names and pictures.  I clicked through about 75 pictures before I found the spot I wanted to use.  It was on Jefferson St.  I hopped a bus and tried to find someone to ask permission to shoot, however the building was vacant.  So I figured that we'd shoot there until someone told us we had to leave.
At one point during the morning of the shoot a cop slowed down in the middle of the pictures.  My heart stopped.  For a second I thought that I was legitimately going to be arrested.  The car slows and the window roles down, the cop looks at us and says, "You had all summer, aren't you cold?"  Then he laughed and drove away. That man is my hero, and if given the opportunity I would like to bake cookies for him one day.

We were also going to need a space for the pre-ball fairy god mother shots.  I had just closed a show at In Tandem Theatre and I knew they had a fantastic fireplace in their backstage. I called them and they were super gracious to let us shoot while they were working on their new set.  I knew we could get everything we needed in an hour and stay out of their way.
Some of my favorite pictures were taken at this space.  Gotta love In Tandem.

Finally we needed a "palace" or at least my take on a palace.  I knew where I wanted to shoot.  However it seemed like the longest of shots.  I wanted to do my Cinderella story at the downtown Hilton.  I figured the worst they could say was no.  So I walked in and right up to the front desk. I introduced myself, and explained the project. I was asked if we should shoot there I hadn't even finished my sentence before the man behind the desk  stopped me.  He held up his hand and said, " I don't care. Do what you want."  I responded confused, "Are you sure you don't need to ask someone else about this?" He went back to working while talking to me, "Are you going to break things?"  "No."  "Are you going to move things?" "No."  "Then I don't care."  Hilton accomplished.




The day of the shoot came super quickly.  I hadn't slept the night before, like every other shoot to this point.  All my boys were on time. Hair and make-up was a breeze and we were off to the first location at Jefferson St.  We set up and started up.  If you'll remember I did say this was November, and it was chilly. Bless Alan Piotrowicz who came to observe the shoot that day.  He ended up serving as more of a PA for everyone, he held coats, carted props, and got coffee. You gotta love him.

Then we headed over to the Hilton.  We set up and drew a nice crowd in the lobby.  Little girls would stop and point, men in business suits with roller suit cases slowed down.  Most of them thought we were doing something for a classy magazine, I didn't have the heart to tell people that we were really just fulfilling my childhood fantasies, so I didn't make eye contact and didn't speak to anyone.

Finally we hit up the In Tandem space, and I dressed down.  We finished by around 2pm and parted ways. It was later that night that I got the first Cinderella loosing her shoe photo.  I loved it, and for the first time I realized that these projects were bigger than a little whim that I had several months ago.  Yeah, this was pretty cool.

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