Behind The Candy Curtain - An Insiders Look At Our Haus Of Candy Photo Shoot
Anyone who's in the know will completely understand just how much work goes into organising a photo shoot especially one that has multiple looks to be created on the day. You have mood boards, makeup, models to find, a super talented team to pull together, location and the all important styling.
Here's a unique insiders look at the creative process behind our Mystic Magic 'Haus Of Candy' photo shoot and the images that helped to inspire us.
One thing your often asked when approaching photographers to collaborate with is for storylines and sketches of what you wish to achieve, not just to help them see inside your mind but to also hook them in, much like a business proposal. If they can connect to your vision then the creative flow of the photo shoot will naturally run more smoothly allowing everyone to bounce off your ideas and theirs alike.
This pretty much works the same towards makeup artists who will always ask to see some type of a mood board to help them design and plan their looks in advance.
"A happy connected team makes for a well organised photo shoot."
As the same for all our major Mystic Magic photo shoots, the first seed of an idea comes from the birth of a dream. The more we focus on it the bigger it grows, feeding from our emotions to tether and connect us until we are one. A story begins to unfold as the images run clearer and the characters start to take shape revealing their quirky personalities and guiding our hand to write what they have to say.
From the start I knew this story would be underlined with a darker beauty hidden in layers beneath the colourful surface. The first character I came up with was our Smarties lady. She was by no means a happy person full of laughter and cheer but more like the opposite with tears streaming down her face trapped in a sense of deranged loss as if her life now played out in the mind showing glimmers in her eyes while the empty shell of her body remained dramatically frozen. The sweets that fall from her hand representing the world she knew slipping through her fingers.
The dress was made from a beautiful satin fabric to help create the image of a sweetie wrapper with a luxury smartie choker necklace which can now be found available on our website.
'What Lies Beneath' was all about giving into your indulging desires hence why I chose to go all liquid chocolate crazy for this scene - makeup was Very messy but all so yummy!
The dress was again made from a satin fabric as it gave the perfect rippling shimmer needed to obtain that melted effect. The Santos mask was handcrafted from sinamay and embellished with Amber crystals sourced from Lithuania.
My idea was to think of this character as a blank canvas like a faceless mannequin or a waxwork that has just been pulled out from a dipping tank or rather how I envisioned it in my head was an unfinished figure crawling to life from out of a melted chocolate pool!
As a blank canvas she is waiting to be imprinted on.
The amount of times I had to remake the candyfloss dress for this look was exhausting but needed to be done as I had such a clear picture in mind of a cloud dress which looked lighter than air and yet fashionably couture to wear although not at all practical!
I also made a pair pink glitter shoes with flossy heels which looked epic and were as quoted by our lovely model Adina "Beautifully Comfy". Even though they didn't make it into the finished images I was still rather proud of their outcome.
As seen above and below the hair and makeup was inspired by pretty with a wild twist which artist Annie managed to pull off fantastically with an added sprinkling of her favourite glitter.
I'm always mesmerised with great admiration when I get to see how other creatives can interpret a simple mood board and evolve the ideas into something truly unique with their own flair. It makes me appreciate and respect everyone's talents not matter what it might be and proves that by working together we can achieve far greater magic than what we could do alone.
'Love is Bliss' and 'A Cloudless Fall' is telling the story of how we can go about life wrapped in cotton wool being protected by others unaware of the real reality until it decides to smack us in the face changing our way of life forever and making us question all that we once knew.
Everyone at some point will probably go through this in different situations, loss of a loved one, moving up to high school, being betrayed by a trusted person... but it is how we move forward from this that makes all the difference as you can't go back nor try to stay the same, we must carry on and decide whether this will define our future or will it make us a stronger better person.
A lady in waiting, the 'Candy Creations' is one of the iconic images from the collection. Fierce and fiery I imagined her as warrior rebel influenced by the idea of Frankenstein's bride who although hasn't even yet begun, her strength and determination for survival exceeds far beyond as if in a single breath she had already in her mind fought a thousand battles and know the struggles of many a forgotten outcast.
Making use of the leftovers around her she decorates her face and body in the tribal colours of war acting as protective armour to ready herself for the first real battle into the unknown.
It took two attempts to create her costume using a mix of real and fake sweets. On the first design I had made a corset completely cover in real pick n' mix candy but little did I realise sweets can go off just like everything else and become blobs of oozing sticky mess - it had to be dumped!
My final look didn't quite come out how I'd hoped as we couldn't find location of a giant over to use!
I wanted to recreate an inspired image of Hansel and Gretel with the candy witch coming out from a burning smoke filled oven like she had been bake to sweet smelling perfection.
The insight behind the styled look was to show how even when at your worst there will always be a chance to rise up again from the ashes as a new and improved version of yourself in a state of metamorphic transformation.
Photography By Vic Chowhan
Hair and Makeup: Annie Daniel
Models: Amanda Santos, Adina Krik and Laura Lily
Styling and Costume Design By Mystic Magic