Nice to meet you, Lovelies – I’m Kate and I have the amazing job of capturing Sam’s designs with my cameras. I’m in charge of all things photo and video related to Wildflowers (as well a the sister brands Eleanor Rose and Kelly’s Kids) and I tend to take my job pretty seriously. I’m responsible for bringing Sam’s clothes to life for y’all, and trying to convey the feeling and excitement behind each release is equal parts hard work and a whole lotta fun. My goal is to make you feel like you’re a part of this crazy Wildflowers magic that goes on inside Sam’s head and that when you look at the photos or watch the videos we create, you actually feel like you’re there with us, getting a little peek at the inspiration behind the designs. So today I’d like to share a little look at how we do that…
The photoshoots are a BIG highlight of each release for our team. Before every shoot there is a lot of heavy lifting and planning and daydreaming and scheming that goes on. We usually start with a pow-wow on the floor of my office where we wax poetic about the inspiration behind the upcoming release – and how we can best showcase and communicate that to y’all (I’m born and raised Texan guys, so sorry but you’re gonna get some ‘y’all’s’ here and there).
For R1 it was obviously based on a back to school vibe with a twist of fun. The gym location was a spontaneous find and one of my most fun memories of that day! R2 (one of my favs) was a whimsical adventure that we loosely based on the book The Borrowers. (Although, while I was shooting, I kept drawing ideas from my favorite childhood adventure movies like The Goonies or Hook.) R3 was allllllll about Theater and The Greatest Showman. Sam played that soundtrack on repeat every day at the office at the highest possible volume so we could all share her enthusiasm together – LUCKY US (just kidding, we all loved it). And of course, last but certainly not least, R4 was based on filling an empty building with holiday cheer using our imaginations and some real good light. So, naturally, we threw a dance party and decorated trees and drank hot cocoa and made a giant Christmas magic mess…literally out of thin air.
After we all get on the same page about how it’s supposed FEEL, the real work begins. We search high and low for a perfect location – if we can’t find one, we find something close and then plot how we can turn into what we want (do we need to build something or paint or source special props?). We figure out what models would best help tell the story – and let me tell you, we work with AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING kids and we love them all as our own. Caroline puts her incredible producing skills to work and gets all the ducks in a row, Sam and Ashley start putting together outfits to showcase and pulling/making props, Andrea plans out hair and makeup, Erin and Lauren steam and prep the clothes, Mano makes sure everything is a perfect fit, I prep the gear and try to plan for worst case lighting scenarios – then we all come together, pack our cars to the brim with gear and props and clothes and OFF WE GO.
(Why yes, that is a denim onesie as well as a pink metallic fanny pack AKA my shooting uniform. NO SHAME IN THE FANNY PACK GAME.)
I’m not sure what people think our shoots are really like but I’m here to tell you it is FAR FROM GLAMOUROUS. We are running and gunning all day long – a lot of the time I’m carrying two big cameras and a kid on my back, Sam’s got armfuls of props and probably two kids hanging off her as well. It is all hands on deck for 8 hours with everyone doing a little bit of everything to help. We play chase, crawl on the ground, climb trees – whatever it takes to get the shot. We set up scenes, tear them down, get filthy and maybe a few splinters or bruises in the process – we really do give it our all plus some blood sweat and tears and WE LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT. We all go home feeling like we’ve run a marathon and then the next day I load in the 7000+ photos and videos I shot (this is an actual number – not an exaggeration) and start the hunt for the best images to tell the story of the release.
Next comes the editing process, where I polish and shine the photos and color correct the clothes so the final tale we tell you is an honest one. (Oh, and editing the video is my favorite part, but maybe more on that process at a later date 😉 )
(from R2: left image is straight out of camera, right image is final)
Sam has said it before and I’m just here to ring the bell twice, but our team is THE BEST. I don’t know how we could do this without each other – I know I couldn’t do my job without the help of every single person standing next to me. They’re also my best buds, so that’s a mega bonus. We all add a little something special and I’m so proud to be a part of it. On top of the A+ team, there are so many thoughtful details and hidden ingredients of love that go into every single piece of Sam and Ashley’s designs – each release is a gold mine of creativity. I feel so lucky that my job is coming up with ways to reveal those details and show how special the clothes are…and hopefully help you picture your own littles in them skipping, playing, having their own adventures or telling their own stories!
**Everybody is a photographer nowadays 😉 **
Rainbows and Unicorns,