Drifter Organics FW17 Lookbook: My Conceptualization Process

November 1, 2017

Drifter Organics F/W17 Lookbook: My Conceptualization Process

The Drifter Organics Fall/Winter 2017 lookbook came out last week. It’s called “Late Afternoon,” inspired by the fall and winter’s short days, long nights, and early sunsets. I creative and art directed, photographed, and styled the lookbook and thought I’d take you down the process of my conceptualization for this shoot.

I used to be obsessed with golden light, backlighting, and all things hazy and ethereal. However, I’m also really inspired by strong light, harsh shadows, and contrast. I’ll be completely honest with you and say the final photos came out a lot more hazy than I had envisioned. I guess you can take the girl out of the haze, but you can’t take the haze out of the girl—or something like that. (Just a side note: The end result of any of my creative ventures are hardly ever what I anticipate from the beginning.)

I always start out by making a list of words that encapsulate the aesthetic I want to achieve. Then, I go back to my list of words and create another list of words that I associate with the original list of words until it becomes a total web of words.

Here are some of the words on my list:

  • Lunar
  • Light
  • Shadows
  • Goddess
  • Ethereal
  • Free spirit
  • Moody
  • Night
  • Sky
  • Moon

Next, I create a mood board based off of the visual imagery that pops into my head when think of my list of words. I’ve been making mood boards since I was about 14 and this is my favorite step to do. Creating aesthetics is my jam. I always work with a mood board template from my friend Jess. They keep your mood boards looking 100%. Here is the mood board I made for this shoot:

Drifter Organics F/W17 Lookbook: My Conceptualization Process

(Image credits, left to right, top to bottom: One // Two // Three // Four // Five // Six // Seven // Eight // Nine // Ten // Eleven // Twelve // Thirteen // Fourteen // Fifteen

After I complete my mood board, I look for models that embody the vibe I’m going for. Sometimes they’re my friends, sometimes they’re models from agencies, but lately, I’ve been scouting a lot of my models on Instagram. I met Isadora at an Everlane event a few years ago (she works at Everlane) and filed her under my list of cute ladies with impeccable style (I have this running list in my head of girls I just think have all-around awesome taste, no joke). I found Isabella on Instagram through a local boutique I follow, but funny enough, realized I actually reached out to her last year about doing a Drifter Organics pop-up at the Urban Outfitters in San Francisco (she works at Urban Outfitters).

While I’m finding my models, I’m figuring out where my location will be. Sometimes, a location inspires my shoot, in which case, nailing down a location comes first—it varies. In this case, my location came first. There is a wall in my house that gets insanely beautiful light. I knew I wanted to play with shadows and reflecting prisms during the two-hour window of opportunity when the light hits the wall just right.

After I find my models and location, I make a shot list. I’m extremely organized and get extremely anxious about everything, my photo shoots included. The only way to keep my anxiety to a minimum is to be 10,050% prepared. Oftentimes, my favorite shot of the day will be totally spur-of-the-moment, even sometimes an in-between candid shot, but I always have to feel like I have a clear agenda of shots I need to get. I thought of some props to use as my shadows (dried flowers, stars, and hands) and matched up which products I wanted to shoot with which shadows.

For larger productions, most times I don’t style my own shoots. This time, I did. Once I get a shot list together, I reach out to some independent designers to pull clothes from. Father’s Daughter was kind enough to set us up with some beautiful garments from their inventory. I was also over the moon excited to be able to get some jewelry from Seaworthy and OHME. Even though I organized everything myself, I had my friend, Elise (who’s a stylist), come over to assist and my mom is forever assisting me with all my photo shoots (she takes all my outfit pictures, too!) because a few extra hands helps soooooo much when you’re doing it all yourself.

I usually have a few titles in my head for what I want to name the shoot, but I don’t pick a name until I see the final images (similar to parents who choose not to name their child until they see him/her in real life). “Late Afternoon” came to me after I wrote a poem to complement the images and it just seemed to really fit, so I went with it.

Drifter Organics F/W17 Lookbook: My Conceptualization Process

Drifter Organics F/W17 Lookbook: My Conceptualization Process

Drifter Organics F/W17 Lookbook: My Conceptualization Process

Drifter Organics F/W17 Lookbook: My Conceptualization Process

neutralizer body butter

 

Drifter Organics F/W17 Lookbook: My Conceptualization Process

Drifter Organics F/W17 Lookbook: My Conceptualization Process

smile balm lip balm

 

Drifter Organics F/W17 Lookbook: My Conceptualization Process

blushing ambition body butter

 

 

Drifter Organics F/W17 Lookbook: My Conceptualization Process

Drifter Organics F/W17 Lookbook: My Conceptualization Process

jar of cozy body butter (limited time!)

 

Drifter Organics F/W17 Lookbook: My Conceptualization Process

Drifter Organics F/W17 Lookbook: My Conceptualization Process

basic body butter

 

Drifter Organics F/W17 Lookbook: My Conceptualization Process

Drifter Organics F/W17 Lookbook: My Conceptualization Process

serenity now body butter

 

(PS The photos are much better when viewed larger here.)

Overall, I’m really happy with how this shoot came out. It was a lot more artsy (for lack of a better word) than the other lookbooks I’ve shot for our line, but I like the variety. Photography is my favorite medium of art. My next creative project for Drifter Organics is to make a promo video for Smile Balm. That’s been in production for the past few months and I’m trying to wrap it up, have it edited, and launched into the world in about another month. Stay tuned!

Photography and Styling: Micaela Hoo (Oh My Drifter)
Models: Isabella and Isadora
Styling Assistant: Elise Filter Von Arx
Assistant: Dawn Marie Hoo
Special thanks to Father’s Daughter  for clothing and Seaworthy and OHME for jewelry.

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