Photo Shoot Day: What Really Happens On Set!

Mar 19, 2014 | 3:51 PM


Hudson Studios

I arrived at Hudson Studios on 26th & 11th at 9am to discover my stylist, Lisa von Weise Shaw, in a tizzy. The clothes from Albright, our rental house, weren’t there even though she had confirmation they had arrived the day before. I decided to stay out of her way, and went over to the hair and make up table to meet the creative team.


Tracy (make up), Derek (photographer), me, Leon (hair), Lisa (stylist) and Christina (art director)


Leon Gorman and Tracy Alfajora, were booked to do my hair and make up respectively.  The first thing we all did together was study the inspirational photos I had brought to set with me. They ranged from simple portraits to full-on Bond girl.



Inspirational photos to show the hair and make up team


We decided to begin with a “natural look” and build drama from there. Three hours later, we were ready. I was wearing black leggings and a simple smock top. To tell you the truth, I felt like I should go throw a pot, not pose for an album cover. Still, it was a place to start.


The photographer, Derek Kettela, suggested I stand by the large, industrial windows where the natural light would be best. The Talking Heads “Burning Down the House” filled the space with 80s new wave energy (Derek’s choice, not mine). “Let’s see a smile,” Derek said. “Nice and easy. No need to push.”


Click! went the camera. Click! Click!

I tried. I did. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t smile. I couldn’t even pout. I was miserable.



my so-called “natural” look


Here’s the truth: I don’t really “do” natural. It just isn’t my thing.


“Let’s see what we’ve got,” Derek said, tactfully taking a break.


I looked at the test shots in the monitor— saw the radiator in the background and the blurred city scape in the distance — and said, “Let’s switch gears!”


To Leon’s complete chagrin, I shouted, “Bring out the hair extensions!!” To Tracy, I announced: “More lashes! More liner! A more defined brow!” To Lisa, I queried: “Have the real clothes arrived?” Thankfully, they had.

Image 9

Transforming from “natural” to high glam

Another hour later and we were truly ready for action.

Here are a few snapshots from the shoot (all unretouched) to give you an idea of what we ended up with once I felt more comfortable.


Look 1: Inspiration, Raquel Welch


Fashion Icons Raquel Hair-1


All important Background Music:”You Only Live Twice,” Nancy Sinatra.



Excuse me, Mr. Bond … did you call?

Look 2- Inspiration: Audrey Hepburn, Funny Face

audrey down the steps

Audrey Hepburn descending the steps of the Louvre

Background music: “Celebrate,” by MIKA featuring Pharrell Williams


Good thing we had a wind machine on set!

Look 3 – Ursula Andress

ursula sees something odd

What does she see???

Background music: “Diamonds Are Forever,” Shirley Bassey



What do I see???

Look 4 – Pin-Up Girl


It’s harder to find a red-haired pin-up girl than you might think!

Background music: “Happy,” Pharrel Williams


thanks, again, wind machine!

So anyway… you get the idea! I was in and out of a dozen outfits. We changed my hair 5 times and listened to the entire James Bond theme songs soundtrack until we could hear it no more. We also played Pharrel’s “Happy” again  and again because it made me really, well, happy! I also played Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You” once or twice. Love that grove. I really do.

And now it’s time to choose ONE photo from the many for the album cover. Which will it be? Stay tuned…



3 thoughts on “Photo Shoot Day: What Really Happens On Set!”

  1. ebethnyc     Reply

    I’m guessing the last one. Possible runner up, the one inspired by Audrey in Funny Face.
    I wish everyone had the oppty to do a photo shoot at some point in one’s life. Looks like fun.

  2. Mary C     Reply

    Absolutely stunning !

  3. Bruce Garfield     Reply

    va va voom!!! and woo hoo

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