Bow Tie Photoshoot: The Preps and Pups September 11 2014

by Tanya Huang

Fashion photo shoots - a lot more gruelling than you'd imagine, yet a lot more amazing than you'd imagine. Let me walk you through our most recent photoshoot with models, puppies, and bow ties!

The Concept

I started with a concept. Sometimes it'd be a story, sometimes a visual style, sometimes a mood. For this shoot, I wanted a playful vibe and I wanted to have some unexpected with camera angles. I discussed what I wanted with The Machuca Photographers so we're on the same page, and we brainstormed on possible directions, props, and locations.

The Bow Ties

The challenge in designing this collection was making it work for humans AND dogs! It needed to be a good balance between classy and playful. We created many samples and narrowed down to 12 styles for the photoshoot. 

The Outfits

The photographers Anna and Wilson recently became a big fan of a local boutique Mr. MZ, so they introduced me to the owner, Ian. Ian was a tall, gentle guy that can win a best-dressed award even on his casual days. Ian travelled to Italy twice a year, and his boutique is filled with the most amazing selection of Italian clothing. I loved his clothes and he loved Knot Theory's bow ties, so the collaboration was a go.

The Dog Collars

We got five beautiful leather leashes from Barking Babies, the most hip dog accessories store in Vancouver. The collars and leashes were over $100 each. Only the best for our dog models!

The Models

I picked out three models from Maijah Lewk model agency. I've worked with them on Knot Theory's previous fashion show and really enjoyed it.

The Dogs

Not sure if there's a dog model agency in Vancouver, but there's not shortage of handsome dogs in the city! I put the word out there, and immediately got a few dozen interested requests. I ended up choosing a Boston Terrier, a Labradoodle, and a Yorkie Shih Tzu. A happy mix!

Walle and Tiloup the doggies
Oskar the Boston Terrier

The Location

I wanted crisp lines for the background of this shoot. The first that came to mind was Simon Fraser University, designed by the famous Canadian architect Arthur Erickson in the the 60's. Another location was, surprisingly, Richmond City Hall. Who knew a city hall could be stunning like a garden from a long lost advanced civilization. I ended up choosing the latter because it was lush and had the angles and edges I needed.

Afro Coincidence

As I finalized on the models, Daniel from Maijah Lewk let me know that one of our models, Deejay, has grown an afro! In his roster photos, he had a neatly shaved head. So Daniel wondered if I can still use Deejay in the shoot. At around this same time, I was finalizing the dog models. It so happened that Walle, a miniature labradoodle, also had an afro. Deejay and Walle were meant to be! So it was decided.

Walle sleeping fur ball!
And yes, labradoodle is a real breed! Walle was a mix of labrador and poodle. He was as toy-like as the word labradoodle :)

Walle running

These photos are from Walle's Instagram - follow him for more cute pics!

Model fitting

Now we fit the models. It was a lengthy process! There were so many great possible outfits. Ian would bring out shirts, pants, blazers, and shoes so beautiful that I wanted to use every piece in the shoot. 

The models were patient, as models needed to be. I would say usually 90% of the time, models are waiting. The real capturing of that perfect fashion moment is in a split second, backed by days and hours of preparation.

Here are some out of focus pictures, taken just to help us coordinate the outfits. As you'll see in the next post, the models look a lot better than in these pics!

Next post - photo shoot day! 

Madison's model fitting
Deejay at model fitting