Danny de la Cruz @ VRAI Magazine

by Danny de la Cruz

Welcome to our first blog post! I wanted to take you behind the scenes of our fashion editorial which we shot back in early February this year. Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to see it as part of our new Spring Magazine issue. I’m beyond excited with the images from the photo shoot since it was a big undertaking to pull it off.

Flashback to September of 2016

While at New York Fashion Week last fall, I was thrilled to be in the audience for the unveiling of the Dan Liu Spring/Summer 17 collection. His collection was inspiring and I wanted to learn more about him and share his beautiful dresses with all of you.

Learn more about designer Dan Liu in the Spring Magazine issue. 

While setting up the interview in the months that followed, the idea of doing a fashion editorial as part of the Spring issue came to life. When you flip through the pages of a magazine and see photos of models in their fashions, it’s hard to imagine everything that goes into setting up that perfect shot.

From selecting the right outfits, to the venue, hair and makeup artist, photographer and of course, the model, it’s an amalgamation of everything coming together after months of planning and scheduling and being as flexible as possible for whatever may occur on the day of the photo shoot. Flexibility is key!

From Editor to Producer

Doing a Spring-themed photo shoot in the middle of a Chicago winter was the first major challenge. Despite being a relatively mild winter this past season, you just never know when Mother Nature is going to throw a cold, snowy day in your face. And believe me, I had thought about doing the shoot on location in a Southern state, but I decided upon an indoor set where the ability to control the elements was a non-issue.

Picking out the right dresses and coming up with the editorial theme with my photographer were the fun parts. With so many beautiful dresses to choose from, it was just harder to narrow down the final pieces. And you can only imagine the crazy ideas that were thrown out for this photo shoot.

Once the dresses and the theme were nailed down, finding the right model, hair stylist, makeup artist and securing a venue were next. All I can say are choices, choices and too many choices! But after months of planning and securing all the talent for the event, the night before the photo shoot was here and I was ready. I had done everything (as a producer) I possibly could do to prepare. Before turning in that night, I remember telling myself, “you’ve done all that you can do”.

Flexibility is Key

I woke up extremely early the next morning, possibly from nerves. After email checks as part of my morning routine, I found out that my model was sick and couldn’t make it. Panic set in with just a few hours away before the team would come together at the studio location. While you try to prepare for everything, a sick model was one unforeseen element. Emails and calls started flying and between that time and the start of the photo shoot, somehow the modeling gods looked down upon me and smiled.

By 9 am that morning, the team had assembled at the studio location and the photo shoot was underway.

Despite having everything plotted out by the minute and sequenced, I had to be flexible and make changes on the fly, we all did. Trusting the team with each of their respective areas of expertise is key while keeping things moving and on track with the vision — that was my role for the day. Planning and organizing is great up to a certain point, but once you’re in the thick of the process, sometimes you just go with the flow.

One of my favorite photos just happened as our photographer and model were trying different poses and locations within the studio. You never know when and where a magic moment will happen.

See all the final photos in the Spring Magazine issue! 

At the end of the day, months of planning and preparation had come to an end. And despite a last minute model change, I was so pleased with the outcome. It’s always a pleasure to work with talented individuals who come together to become a team and create something bigger than oneself. Much thanks to the following:

Group Selfie! L to R: Danny de la Cruz, Johanna S. Anastacia Lupo and Audrey DLC

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