Design for Art Direction
One day I get to the studio I am interning for: Ana Dominguez Studio and the task for the day was to create a mood board for a shoot for Vogue. It was not an ordinary shoot but the cover of the magazine and ten images for the inside. The main subject was ‘The Feminine Talent in Spain’. The photographer would be Camila Falquez, which I have been following for a very long time now and the Art Director Ana Dominguez, my boss. The first time I heard about it I knew it would be a very interesting project to be part of, not only for the huge platform that Vogue entails but for the many possibilities and ways that this project could be done and approached.
I researched for almost three days around the main idea that had been previously discussed between the photographer and the Art Director. Meanwhile an assistant for the Art Director was buying all the props and materials that would be used or supposed to be used during the shoot. Observing from a very close distance how the whole project was being developed I was very excited to be part of it and I knew this shoot would be a new path that Vogue Spain had never stepped into before.
I was very involved, curious and exited for this project, three days before the shoot I offered my boss to give her, and her assistant, a hand during the shoot and I would be responsible of paying my tickets and my stay there. The shoot was in Madrid, so that meant a lot more money for the editorial, which they finally were able to help me out. At first, I was not sure if I should have suggested this, but then I thought that opportunities like this could not be missed and I should take advantage of the moment and situation I was in.
Being part of the shoot was the best professional experience I would have ever imagined living. I was able to assist an Art Director at a shoot for Vogue with an amazing team of woman, portraying incredible Spanish artists I would have never had the chance to meet. We spent from 8 am until 9 pm during two days non stop working, by the end my back was sour, my knees were in pain and I ended up with purple hands because of some red cabbages I ended cutting. I did a lot of ‘intern tasks’ such as: cutting cardboards, painting walls, deciding what colour of paint would work better, ironing fabrics for the backdrop, trying 10 different props for one image, observing how the team worked, observing the conversation between the model and the photographer… also, more unexpected ones like: going to 10 different markets to buy fish for the shoot, taking 8 taxis around Madrid, cleaning 40 red cabbages, creating a cardboard silhouette in 5 minutes which will probably appear on the cover of Vogue… I also had the chance to be able to take decisions on the set, how we wanted the props to appear…
These two days of shooting were a very enriching experience for me, personally and professionally. I now can start to understand better: how it works to work for a client, the dialogues that go back and forth until they get to a middle point. Also, the conversation that is created in a set and what matters the most, the relationship between the photographer and the art director and very importantly with the model. How long hours of shooting and getting things done really pays off. The improvisation that comes with art direction and how every decision you take on set can vary in minutes. How ephemeral and intangible an image, an outfit, a still life, a make up…, that has taken hours to create, can be once you have moved on to the next picture. I also found fascinating how can a visual idea that you have on your head can end up being a cover in a magazine. I am very full-filed with my experience and cannot wait to help out with other shoots.
I will be adding more images when the issue is out.