In the ten years since I launched Cupcakes and Cashmere, no two photoshoots have been the same, but there are still a few that stand out. Some, like my outfit shoots with Geoffrey, have barely changed since I launched the blog, with a few DSLR photographs on our way to dinner. Other times, I'm changing in an abandoned lifeguard structure in Marina del Ray, borrowing a friend's childhood home, shooting dresses on Melrose, or bringing a favorite loungewear set to Paris and around the world. Our shoot last week in Malibu, where we captured some of my favorite summer pieces for the Shop, will definitely be one to remember.
By the time our editorial team arrived to a stunning beach house in Malibu for our 8 A.M. call time, many of us had been driving for over an hour to get there, but immediately got to work. Hannah, our graphic designer, and Leslie quickly set out coffee (priorities) and props while our ecommerce team began styling a picnic breakfast scene with scones and iced coffee on the beach. Our fashion stylist set out shoes and accessories, and our photographer, Monica Wang, and her team began to scope out lighting. Thanks to very careful planning in the weeks prior, we had each set planned and scheduled in advance—up to the tide schedule. Here's what went into creating our first shot, plus a few of my favorite moments from the shoot:
1. We began by selecting our very favorite pieces coming to the Shop in the summer—which can sometimes feel like choosing a favorite child. After several meetings with our fashion stylist to select shoes and accessories, we further honed our list into a select fourteen outfits.
2. After selecting pieces, it was time to choose our location—in this case, we knew we wanted a beach house. After finding our location and scouting it, we began to map out each shot, using our office whiteboard (see image below!). From there, we created our shot list and schedule, opting to feature one of our favorite tops, a striped shirt with velvet star details, in the first shot.
3. Next step was figuring out the best way to showcase what we loved most about the top. We ultimately paired it with cut-offs, which felt reminiscent of lounging on a warm summer day. From there, our Associate Editor Marilynn created an entire mood board around the image, from my hair and makeup to our props—in this case, a colorful throw, magazines, hat, and sunglasses to go on a hammock.
4. As soon as we arrived at the beach house, Leslie and Monica scoped out the angle of the photo—opting to shoot from the house's balcony for an overhead shot, while I prepped my hair and makeup and worked with our stylist to put together my outfit.
5. Getting into the hammock was just the beginning, as we checked the lighting and composition of every shot, each of which were immediately uploaded to a computer as Monica captured them. After a few takes, during which we made slight adjustments (being careful not to disturb the sand around the hammock), we landed on a shot we were happy with. Our timing, it turned out, was perfect—within an hour, the tide was high enough that the hammock was nearly entirely in the ocean.
P.S., For more "behind the scenes" moments of our photoshoot, be sure to follow @shopcupcakesandcashmere on Instagram—a video of the day is in our Highlights under "Malibu BTS."