Guest blogger, Deanna Beckley shares her experience organizing Western Horse Review\’s annual fashion shoot.
Since I started at the magazine I have assembled and been in charge of two fashion shoots. With 2012\’s edition being my third, I am determined to make it the best one yet! With some experience under my belt I feel that each year’s fashion project gets better.
The first year I was assigned the project I had no experience organizing and coordinating such a large project, but I was so excited to have an opportunity to let my creativity and fashion sense shine.
That year we decided to use our very own Western Horse Review staff to model in the shoot.
To make it even better we used Three Bars Ranch (where I now call home) in Cranbrook, BC as our venue of choice for the backdrop to for our photos. It offered so many options for scenes – from an old red barn to cabins, a tack shed and even a beautiful lodge.
Being this was my in-laws ranch, I had them participate in the shoot (wink), the guys were less than thrilled.
Our photographer was Brian Clarkson, owner of Cranbrook Photo and long-time friend of the Beckley family.
In 2010 I put together my second fashion shoot, this time at John Scott’s ranch where many great movies have been filmed. I even got John Scott to pose for the camera. I have to say he is very photogenic.
I recruited some great models, one of which was my lovely Mom (insert heart here). She not only helped us out by giving us some great pictures, but she helped me with organizing everything and taking care of the clothes and other models. Moms are so great.
It was actually a bit of a family affair. My Dad was the “wrangler” for the day. He trailered over a couple of their horses to include in the photos.
Our photographer was fellow reiner, Travis Rogers of Wainright, AB. His work is amazing and what was even better – he knew horses and how they should be photographed. Check out TJ Photography and flip through his albums.
The fashion shoot just about didn’t happen that year when a freak snow storm whipped through Alberta two days before the scheduled shoot, leaving roads and highways closed – including the highway from Wainright to Calgary. It was touch and go as to whether we would have a photographer or not for our shoot. I did not have a back-up plan, I was scheduled to leave three days later to Texas for the National Reining Breeders Classic. But, good ol’ Travis and his crew pulled through. I might mention this was in the middle of April!
Travis did an amazing job and was great at directing our inexperienced models. Another successful fashion shoot!
This year will make my third fashion shoot I have organized, and although I have more experience under my belt, I am faced with new challenges. In addition to trying to organize such a large project, I work full time at the College of the Rockies, have an embroidery business (which seems to be inconveniently VERY busy right now) and of course all my other writing assignments. At the moment I am just trying to keep my head above water (I’m currently writing this at 11:30 pm).
That said, I am determined to make this the best fashion shoot yet!
This year’s shoot will take place in the Westwold Valley of British Columbia – a place that holds so much potential for amazing photos. The north side of the valley is abundant in sage brush and tiny cactus, while the cooler southern side holds moisture in its mossy forests and pine laden trails.
Stay tuned for some exciting things that we are planning with this year’s shoot and learn just what it takes to put together a successful fashion shoot.