Due to another collaboration with Polly Magazine, I recently got to build my own room set for a fashion editorial. This provided some great creative flexibility, and I had a fantastic team to work with as well!

Building this room set enhanced the general creative process that’s inherent in photography. This process answers the questions of where we are, what time it is, who is here, and what is happening. Having the room set allowed for a more precise creative process, as it provided a controlled environment in which to answer these questions.

Additionally, crafting the environment for our shoot allowed me to capture more “magic moments”. Magic moments often come while shooting candids in a typical photoshoot, but they can be hit-or-miss. Thus, consciously creating that magic through crafting the environment makes a big difference!

Besides the opportunity to create more magic moments, I’ve always wanted to build a room set in general. Once I got the news, I immediately created a Pinterest board and collaborated with my stylist and director to get to a final direction. We ultimately decided on a “Waking up to Spring” theme.

Since spring often evokes a sense of freshness, new beginnings, and renewal, we chose two young models for the shoot. These models looked nothing alike, but wore identical wigs to create a contrast. 

As we built the room set, I wanted to make sure we really explored what it would look like for these girls to “wake up” to spring. From there, I developed the idea some more with my stylist, discussing aspects such as how and where to get our props as well as the general direction of the shoot.

In order to make sure that the room set resembled an actual room, we created shadows on the set and even added purple-painted tree branches from my own house. In total, it took two days to paint the entire set and furniture. Despite the different colors, it was very important to me to keep things somewhat realistic. In shoots like this, I prefer to work on the edge of reality and then see what magic can happen on-camera. 

Truly, this room set and editorial would not have come together as well as it did without the help of my amazing team of creative minds. Besides my usual stylist, Chelsea, I also had the privilege of working with Ari, who’s a makeup genius; and Michael, who’s a whiz at hair and wigs. Overall, everyone was a great sport and enthusiastic to be on set. Once we got started, I knew it was going to be a great shoot.

I loved using the room set to create a completely different world on-camera. I really felt that my vision had come to life – like a piece of art that you could walk into! I’ve always been fascinated with how I can transport the viewer to a different world, and building this room set was a wonderful opportunity to do so.

The set was made and painted roughly at $250.00 in materials with free labor from my sweet husband, myself and Chelsea.