Since before I studied fashion in university, back to my elementary school art days, I have been trying to discover and define my artistic style. As an artist this is crucial, your body of work needs to be cohesive, not experimental. And being in a creative industry you are very in tune with design and all the areas it impacts your life. Like for instance your home interior, your wardrobe, your digital presence, and the artistic medium you utilize (in my case photography). And you are very aware of trends and what other people are doing. However what everyone else is doing is not necessarily right for you, therefore your vision becomes clouded.
I have found the process to be more uncovering my style, as if I am slowly peeling back the layers and underneath my true and fully developed aesthetic, and identity, lies. I am now twenty-two and I am finally starting to feel assured in my decisions (creative and life) and not be influenced by others different creative directions. This quote by Ira Glass articulates my thoughts on the matter better than I ever could.
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you got to know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s going to take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just got to fight your way through.”
The campaign for Peggy Wong’s White Jade Bridal collection is the first shoot I can say that the outcome perfectly reflected my vision. Everything from the décor at Colette Grand Café, to the lilacs and cherry blossoms at Trinity Bellwoods, to the models stillness, grace and natural beauty; everything was perfect. And all of these elements to the shoot were chosen specifically to compliment the exquisite gowns.
The designer is actually a very dear friend, we lived together in our last year of university which is when she designed, drafted and constructed this collection. I first hand witnessed the dedication, passion and hard work that went into her collection. In addition, our models Amalia Penny and Katie Shim were effortless to work with, and Jaclyn Patterson brought everything together by styling the looks, assisting me on set and ensuring mine and Peggy’s vision were met. Any good photographer knows it takes a talented team to produce great work and see your vision through which I was blessed to have. Also I am incredibly thankful Colette Grand Café graciously allowed us to use their premises for our shoot, it truly is the perfect location for engagement or wedding photos.
Feminine, sophisticated, emotive and whimsical; that type of art direction makes my heart flutter. I can now say that is my style and the direction I will take my work. I can only hope I will be fortunate enough to plan future shoots that are comparable to this one with an amazing team of creatives.