ALL POSTS Beauty Hair Interviews Style

Meet the Crew: Behind the Scenes of Our January Trend Shoot

Behind the scenes of our January trend shoot

Too often you only get to see the talented faces in front of the camera, not those equally gifted and often adorable souls who work their magic behind the lens. During our January Trend shoot, we reversed our camera angle to highlight the artists who execute the style and vision that make fashions come to life.

Hear from two fashion photographers plus nail and hair stylists on how they launched their successful artistic careers and what makes them excited about their crafts—including tips on how to perfect your manicure and hairdo.

SHARP SHOOTER: Zoey Grossman, Photographer 

Photographer Zoey Grossman

How did you decide this is what you wanted to do professionally?

I have always been drawn to the arts. I grew up painting and sculpting, and ended up going to an arts high school where I got to draw and paint every day. I had always played around with photography, but it wasn’t until college that I found my genuine love and passion for photos. I took a few photo courses in college that really promoted incorporating my personal experiences in life, and encouraged me to be vulnerable and really convey real emotion through photography. I have always loved fashion, magazines, etc., but these college classes really showed me that fashion photography could be deeper and more meaningful if I wanted it to be.

What was it like to work on this shoot with Nordstrom?

I love working with Nordstrom. They are one of my favorite clients to work with because they really support artistic collaboration. Every art director I work with always encourages me to try new things for each shot and lets me explore any ideas I have. This was an especially fun shoot because I got to work with my all-girl crew. What’s so awesome is that (in my experience) there is truly no competition between any of the women I work with. There is only enthusiasm, creativity and support—which is the way it should always be!

Zoey Grossman on the Nordstrom shoot
Was there a particular aesthetic you were going for? A particular shot?

For this shoot, there were a bunch of different vibes and concepts. We break each section up by category, clothing, etc. Part of the shoot was outside and we were shooting street style, model off-duty. Then we went in studio and shot a bunch of really cool nautical-type clothing, which was really fun because we got to play around on a really interesting set. We were shooting Trend all day, so it’s about making the girl super cool, with a little bit of edge—getting some in-the-moment type of shots, as well as more posed, relaxed stuff as well.

What did you do to capture the mood on this shoot?

I think the mood on every shoot starts with music. Playing music to set the tone is really important to me, so I always try and keep a good playlist going throughout the day. The art director on this shoot, Suzy, and I go over inspiration images before we shoot, so we can come up with a vibe, lighting, color palette, makeup, hair, etc., that all works for each shot. I also love working with the models to capture genuine moments in each shot—I think it’s important to give direction and then let moments happen organically. So it’s a fine balance of letting both of those things happen so we can get awesome shots. Because this shoot was Trend, it’s fun to let the models move and dance around, try different things!

Are there any particular artists and photographers that inspire you?

So many photographers inspire me. There are really too many to name, but off the top of my head, I love Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, Camilla Akrans, Steven Klein, Steven Meisel, David Sims, Nick Knight.

What equipment do you favor using?

I always shoot with a Canon camera. Then I always have my Fuji Polaroid on hand to take behind-the-scene photos after each shot. Sometimes I’ll even bring my Yashica film camera out to snap a few frames, just for fun. For lighting, I love Profoto or Briese.

Nail Artist Whitney GibsonNAILIN’ IT: Whitney Gibson, Nail Artist

How did you decide this is what you wanted to do professionally?

I was working at a hotel, trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Probably out of boredom, I got really into painting my own nails, like borderline obsessive. I was changing my polish every day and then I started dabbling in nail art. I think leopard was my first real foray into that world. My friends and coworkers started to notice and suggested I do it professionally. I didn’t see myself in a salon, but then someone mentioned the world of on-set manicurists and a lightbulb turned on in my head. I started an Instagram [account] and connected with other people in the industry and the rest is history, as they say.

What was it like to work on this shoot?

This was one of the best shoots I’ve had the pleasure of working on. It was so awesome to collaborate with these women I respect so much. Some days really don’t feel like work and this shoot fell into that category.

Whitney Gibson's manicure work for the January shootWhat did you do for the nails in this shoot?

We did a couple of different looks. One with cool metallic horizontal stripes and one with the nails painted 2/3 silver and 1/3 white. I love a shoot where I actually get to flex my nail-art muscle! With Nordstrom we always want to keep the models looking cool and modern. The beauty details really sell the final look and I’m grateful to work with a team that truly understands that.

Is there a key to a perfect manicure?

Patience and planning! The best looks are ones that are well thought out. It’s important to gather all the things you need beforehand so you’re not trying to dig for tools with wet nails. And the health of the hands makes all the difference in the finished product, so don’t skip the moisturizing!

What is a current nail trend that you are loving?

I’m loving iridescence right now! It’s modern, fun and chic. I’ve been applying different opalescent elements to nails and combining them with negative space for a hi-tech vibe.

BEST TRESSED: Ashlee Rose, Hair Stylist

Hair and makeup behind the scenes of our trend shoot

How did you decide this is what you wanted to do professionally?

I was going to college, working toward my associate’s degree, and I just wasn’t feeling very fulfilled. I went up to Salt Lake to visit one of my best friends and she was attending the Paul Mitchell hair school. The day I went in to visit her was Halloween. I was blown away by the hair, makeup and costumes. I felt very drawn to the creative energy and people. I went home that week and told my parents my new goal was to go to hair school and then to eventually move on to freelance and to work in LA. Coming from a very small town in Utah I had no clue how I was going to make it, but I just knew that this was the path I was going to work toward, and I was ready to do whatever it took to follow my dream.

What was it like to work on this shoot with Nordstrom?

Nordstrom is one of the clients I used to dream of working for when I was still assisting in LA. Getting to work on this shoot for Nordstrom with Zoey Grossman, who is one of my favorite photographers to work with, as well as Lottie, who is just the queen of makeup, was such a fun and creative experience. It was also so great meeting and working with Suzy, the artistic director. She really let us have creative moments and would guide what we were doing in such a positive way.

Ashlee Rose styling the mode's hair for the Nordstrom January Trend shoot
What did you do with the hair in this shoot?

This shoot we went for a really undone cool-girl look. In that sense, just a vibe of not being overly styled in any department. I would put in my texture that I was wanting for each day and then just let the day, clothes and mood determine what the next style of hair would be. Sometimes that meant pulling it back into a messy pony, up into an undone bun or having just a simple ear tuck with the texture.

Is there a key to prepping the perfect hairstyle?

For me, the beginning blowout is essential to every hairstyle I do. I like to add in a root boost to the top of the head and to add what product is needed for the model’s hair texture and what product is needed to help the style progress and get better throughout the day.

I really try to have all the key style and texture in at the beginning of the day so I don’t have a lot of touchups, and have more time to play with the different hairstyles for each look.

What is a current hair trend that you are loving?

I’m not even sure if it’s a trend but I am loving putting in a strong texture and then pulling the hair into a low half pony/bun. It’s a take on how girls would lazily pull their hair back when they aren’t really caring, but I just try to make it a little bit of a more elevated version. I’m also really loving messy ponytails at the moment, as well as simple hair accessories. I can also say I’m happy to see that the “perfectly curled beach wave” has made its exit and evolved into a more undone, relaxed wave.

Photographer Josie SimonetSTEALTHY SHUTTERBUG: Josie Simonet, Behind-the-Scenes Photographer

How did you decide this is what you wanted to do professionally?

I felt there was no other choice for me. I was consistently dissatisfied with every other venture, and photography gave me purpose. It was a way for me to express myself in a new way. I lived in Paris for a short time when I was 19 and started doing street photography. It was the first time I picked up a camera and I knew I had found my path.

What was it like to work on this shoot with Nordstrom?

It was a lot of fun! I don’t normally shoot BTS so it was a refreshing perspective for me. There is so much that goes into one shoot and I enjoyed showing the vibe of the crew and the role that everyone played.

Was there a particular aesthetic you were going for? A particular shot?

I wanted to capture the feeling of the shoot and the energy of the crew in a real way, but at the same time not get too focused on one idea. My goal for shooting BTS was to not miss moments and to accurately represent everyone involved.

What did you do specifically to capture the behind-the-scenes action on this shoot?

Stay present.

Are there any particular artists and photographers that inspire you?

There are several and for different reasons. Right now I’m really enjoying Karim Sadli, Paul Jung and Harley Weir.

What equipment do you favor using?

I don’t really have a preference! I am a big believer in using whatever you have to create. I love using the best gear out there for obvious reasons but I equally enjoy shooting with old 35mm cameras or my medium format bodies—it all depends on the shoot and the creative behind it.

—Britt Olson