I was extremely lucky to be offered the job of photographing some of up and coming designer Viv Cass Cassidys’ range of very cool and funky fashionable knitware. The first thing I thought when I saw some pictures of the clothes sent to me was “Whooaaah those colours are awesome”. From that point I really knew I had to be involved in this project. What made this even better was the fact that we were able to do this shoot in my new studio space which I share with fellow photographer and friend Rob Heslop.
Viv’s knitwear collection is originally inspired by the anatomical heart with a fun flair inspired in the Glam Rock era. Her collection is nicknamed the “Love Gun Knit” and has been designed to be easy and fun to wear for women who don’t take themselves too seriously.
After Rob and I had a full day of shooting the The Lanes Rock and Bowl staff fun day we were pretty shattered but I had to turn my attention to something a bit more high fashion and punchy that evening as I was on a very tight schedule to get these images shot, edited and back to the designer in 3 days ready to be submitted to a competition. This was going to be high pressure and for this I needed a good team to work with.
Model for the shoot was the talented and versatile Helen Drew who I have worked with many times so I knew that getting great poses was never going to be a problem, she did a brilliant job of creating some edgy and fitting shapes to show off the clothing range.
Make-up and hairstyling was applied by supremely talented Nicola Redman, again I have worked with Nicola before and always admire her work.
On the day I had Rob as lighting assistant and Lou provided styling and posing advice to both Viv and Helen. Both who I like having along as they understand my way of working and make suggestions which help me get the results I am looking for.
The clothes are very striking and colourful so I was mindful that I didn’t want the lighting to distract or overpower the block colour look Viv has created, once we were all assembled I showed Viv a few different images I’d taken recently and we picked a lighting style which we both agreed would look best (luckily for me it was the simpler of the two).
From the point we arrived in the studio at 7pm to leaving the studio at just gone midnight we managed to cover 6 different clothing changes, 2 makeup and 2 hair changes. It was slow going at first (these things always are and it’s the nature of the beast). There is make up and hair to be done and when you have someone who has great attention to detail and is so meticulate as Nicola, this takes time. Lighting to be set up which also takes time to get right, a little tweak here and a little tweak there, not forgetting the general chatter to be had. But once we got shooting it went very quickly and we were able to blast through the whole range very smoothly.
Anyway I wanted to share the results with you as I am very pleased with what we have created, it was great to work with such a cool and creative team of people and the whole thing just flowed nicely. No egos, no technical problems, no misunderstandings just a pleasureable and easy going shoot. I wish they could all be like this.
Photographer: Mark O’Grady
Clothing Designer & Styling: Viv Cass Cassidy
Model: Helen Drew
Styling Assistant: Louise Groth
Lighting Assistant: Rob Heslop
Thank you to Viv for trusting me enough to allow me to photograph her amazing clothing range. Good luck with the UK hand knitting competition, we are looking forward to seeing your work exhibited at Alexandra Palance.