To the Aisle Australia Interviews Helena Couture Designs Inspirational Designs

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What was the inspiration behind this shoot?

I was shooting images of all the new jewellery I’ll be selling and as I was almost finished, I thought it was a shame I didn’t have a female model to place some of the pieces on and create a more intimate shot.  Then, I thought, I have willing models who I’m sure would be available last minute, along with a hair and makeup artist, who I haven’t had a chance to work with and I’m sure would love the close-up images.  From there, I pushed my luck and thought, how far can I push my luck?  If I can get a hold of a florist to create the floral boob tube, I pondered, then I’m going to go all the way and make it a full-on styled shoot.

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I started ringing around Tuesday lunchtime and by Thursday the shoot was in motion.  When people talk about last minute weddings, it’s usually at least a few months out.  To create what we did in 36hrs, is completely the result of creative, dedicated individuals, who could see my vision and even though we were all busy with work, were still able to push ourselves, as we knew the result would be worth it.

When I was younger, my mum always said, if you want something done fast, ask a busy person!  We were all into our busy season for the second half of 2018, but as we all like to push ourselves to be better at what we do and evolve each time, this was a no brainer!  Sleep came later, much later. 

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What are some of the highlights you had during the shoot process:
It all happened so fast and I was so tired from lack of sleep, due to preparation and my ideas over flowing, that I only remember ‘coffee’ and that you truly can fall asleep standing up.  In saying that, I do have some flash backs, which I’m happy to share.

On the Wednesday, the day before, the final vendor was confirmed by lunchtime, only 24hrs after I started ringing around.  I still needed to purchase the underwear the models would be wearing, under their shear garments and was told from the models that Cotton On Body had a mix of underwear at a great price.  Normally, I would design and create the underwear in-house, but time was ticking down fast and knowing what size the models are, purchasing it was a time saver for me.

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My staff and friends sometimes call me Hurricane Helena and when I walked into Cotton on Body at Helensvale, I was exactly that!  I had 30mins from the time I parked, to select briefs and bracelets and be out of there and onto my next errand.

Lauren from Conk and Co. Grazing was my life saver and was my assistant the whole day.  She helped subdue the adrenaline rush I was still on, on the day of the shoot, which started when I decide to put this shoot together.  When explaining to the group some of my ideas, I was in fast forward and remembered one of the vendors commenting that they would hate to be in my head at that moment in time – so many ideas and so little time.  I was so relieved when Kristy from Klee photography showed up and was able to take charge.

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Did you face any challenges on the day? If so, how did you overcome them?
The only real challenge was limited time.  We had a total of three hours maximum to turn my vision into reality, through images and when you have professionals right alongside of you, they make it possible.

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What led you to decide on this venue/shoot location?
Due to all the jewellery and not knowing how many scenes we might want to create, having the shoot at my studio was the only option and as we back onto parkland and have enough props to open our own styling company, I knew we were set.  There was even the option of alpacas, but we will need to leave that till another time! 

What was your favourite detail about the shoot day?
There are so many things I loved about our shoot, as there were so many different images created, but if I had to pick only a few, it would be the wattle and lying down scenes.  Although, I did have loads of fun after everyone left. I was running on exhaust fumes at this stage and photographed some close-up shots of the jewellery and candles, using the flowers and some props from the day.

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Favourite moment/s from the day:
Favourite moments were the excitement and fun all the vendors put into the shoot.  It was so great, to finally meet some of the vendors for the first time in person, as we had only communicated online till that day.  It was almost like a reunion.  Loads of talking, laughter and ideas popping out of our creative minds.  Whenever I’m organising a styled shoot, I only like to give a basic run down of my vision and allow the professionals to develop the rest and see what evolves.

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On another note…
I really want to say a very big THANK YOU to all the vendors involved.  Without each one of you coming together, when I know you are all busy with work and other commitments, it really means the world to me.  I appreciate all the effort, time and money you devoted; and to bring it together in 36hrs (images needing extra work after shoot for culling and editing) – You are the best!

Thank you,
Helena xo

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Vendor credit list:
JEWELLERY & DRESSES: Helena Couture Designs
(in conjunction with Bliss Design Jewellery)    
PHOTOGRAHPER: Klee Photography
HMUA: Blake Designs
FLORIST:
Lola’s Wild Flowers
GRAZING PLATER AND WINE: Conk and Co. Grazing
CANDLES: Malfoy & Rose Candles
MODELS: Kate Davidson, Jamie-Lee Andrews, Adrian Roser
LINGERIE: Cotton On Body
MAGAZINE: To The Aisle

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