Wasn’t it just June?
Ahhh, breaking the apparent radio silence in this space. Although I cringe every time someone reasons out “too busy” as a failure to accomplish much, or live out their passions if we need to speak of things in a more cinematic context, mine isn’t an excuse. Traveling out to see a show earlier this month, squeezing in shoots in between, and dealing with several personalities (& even, to some extent, beyond unreasonable egos) are all but valid reasons, not excuses. Clients with high demands and unrealistic deadlines complete with nagging is typical. Having to acquire several requirements and documents about my citizenship for an overseas trip (after the longest time ever) is enough motivation for me to drag my ass across so much sharp glasses on the floor.
Consequently, these things; or being the field of creativity is something that should be respected, understood and appreciated- the entire mental process is twice as grueling as it is than any physical labor involved. Creativity needs inspiration and inspiration needs time, and often times, of random ignition.
In this instance, shooting the Mags Holiday campaign for the second year in a row is something I am highly honored to do- but still with a hint of subdued worry. Creatives worry that their output may not be as impressive as the client wants- face it: no one wants to see the same things over and over again. As I always say, just how many times can you photograph clothing in a way that it’s marketable but different from how it was shot a season ago? That’s when a story line is involved and creates a campaign- one that is out of the creatives inspired craft that inspires the brand’s audience and creates a foothold on the existing loyalty, but also reaches out and builds a relationship with potential buyers.
We can always say, “ah these pieces- they’re inspired by what my brand stands for: confident, natural, stylish” but these are such cliches in the fashion retail realm and have been spoken earlier by Stella McCartney, Miuccia Prada and even Karl Lagerfeld, among many others in the echelons. For my take on the Mags Holiday Collection, my story was inspired by simply waiting at the lobby of the venue of the shoot: how the Christmas bouquet looked across the salmon walls at the reception area of a historical hotel in my hometown. The hotel, Pryce Plaza, hasn’t gone much renovation over its existence but the large hallways echoed varying personalities the hotel has once served home to, or the prestige of its golden era. The story of the campaign was about classical whimsy, the kind we didn’t live in but we’ve heard stories of or seen the movies from. How glamour back in the heyday wasn’t about Kylie Jenner but was about Grace Kelly, or Sophia Loren. How the holiday season gives a wider audience a reason to dress up or add some sparkle with the string of high school reunions, unis get-togethers and other forms of various pre-holiday cheer. Unfortunately, the hotel is closing down its operations by the end of 2016 with an undisclosed reason- apparently, by the lack of sales with the increase of budget hotels and hotels closer to the city. Although, on a photographers point of view, Pryce Plaza is more inspiring to shoot with its preserved architecture- any wedding, debut or even, in our case, an editorial, than any other hotel in Cagayan de Oro, by far.
With all that being said, creativity isn’t a button that any one can demand from with impressive results in an instant snap. You can demand for instant outputs, with either a mediocre result or a burnt out creative. Creativity is something that needs to be delicately taken care of, especially by demanding honchos, because if they knew everything or were highly skilled at it- they should have done it themselves (than hire someone else to do it)
Photography & Styling / Mikko Mahinay
Model / Nicole Inovero
Hair and Make-up / Cleve Janobas
Location / Pryce Plaza Hotel
Wardrobe entirely from Mags