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Digital Diary: A Homage to Chewbacca

This post marks my first “Digital Diary” entry. I created a diary feature on my blog this time around so I have a place to share with you guys anything I’m up to – projects I’m working on, random info I come across, new recipes, opinions – in a less polished form. Pretty much like any diary would!

I thought this recent project I did with Disney to benefit UNICEF was interesting to share because it was a unique collaboration with a bunch of my friends. Disney produces the Star Wars movies, and with their new movie coming out next month, they created a t-shirt line both to promote the movie and benefit a good cause.

What I thought would be cool to share with you all is a little behind-the-scenes of how a shoot like this goes down when you have multiple style influencers involved and massive brands like Disney and Star Wars.

To give you some background, a typical photoshoot involving a model is overseen by a creative director and directed by a photographer or a combo of the two. The model is told where to pose, how to pose, what to wear, what emotions to express, what her makeup will look like, etc.. the model’s job is to accomplish what the brand or photographer expect her to with very little input herself (obviously there are exceptions but this is most often how it works). Pretty self-explanatory, right?

Well, when a blogger/style influencer signs on to a photoshoot, the roles are almost reversed. Although the influencer is playing the role of the “model,” he/she also accepts the role of creative director and stylist. A brand hires an influencer because they want their product woven into that influencers OWN style, not a style they have dictated. It’s really cool actually, and very flattering, to have a brand ask you to put your own spin on them. Of course, a good photographer will still have input. After all, they have the real perspective in the situation. I can’t tell you how many times photographers have saved me from looking like a tree branch is growing out of my head or from tags I forgot to detach. Blogger shoots generally seem to involve a lot less production – no hair and makeup, no massive set, lighting crew, etc.- just the blogger and photographer, one on one.

In the case of the Star Wars shoot, we were each told by Disney’s PR team to style our own outfit around the t-shirt we had been assigned, and show up in downtown LA at noon to begin shooting with each other. I was slightly concerned we might clash.. like really badly. The right look for a Star Wars themed shoot seemed like it could be very  widely open to interpretation. Would someone show up in head-to-toe white vinyl? Leia braids? But at the end of the day, we’re professionals, and everyone showed up in spot-on street style with their assigned t-shirts on.

I’m not gonna lie, my furry jacket was secretly a Chewbacca homage, but it seemed to work out ok! Well, except for the fact that it was nearly 90 degrees that afternoon..

Derren Versoza was our photographer. He’s the man. So easy going and sweet, but insanely talented. Each blogger took their turn shooting with Derren, selecting their own downtown backdrop and creating a unique set of images for Disney. We also shot some group photos which came out interesting – like a hipster Star Wars gang or something. It’s so neat to see how different each person’s photos came out, and also how well all these independent minds can come together and make something collectively awesome.

After the shoot, I called an Uber to get back to my car across town. The driver (a middle-aged, seemingly cheery, Asian woman) pulled up and I asked her to wait a second so I could grab a bag I’d left on the sidewalk. I’d heard that the new rule with Uber was that after 2 minutes of waiting they start the clock so they aren’t waiting around making no money. Well, after about 1 minute the woman rolled down her window and asked if I was coming or else I could get another ride. So I quickly hopped in the car, where she lectured me on how rude it was to expect her to wait for me. I apologized and told her I had assumed she’d just start the clock if I took more than two minutes, which she clearly had never thought of before and seemed to decide was a reasonable solution. Not sure why I’m sharing these details, but it’s my digital diary so I can 🙂

Until next time…

Oh, I almost forgot! If you’re a Star Wars junkie and would like to support UNICEF, you can shop all of the tees we wore here.

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