It’s clear that summer’s coming to a close as our breath can be seen as we exhale into the cool night air. The lights are still bright and the sounds of arcade games rhythmically repeat in the background noise of the late evening – reminding me of my youth spent working every summer within these same four walls. Today I’m here for an entirely different reason.
On location at The Georgian Grill in Balm Beach, Ontario, Lindsey Drennan asked me to come on the fashion shoot set after the location was scouted three months prior. Three hours into make up and hair prep, a stylist; videographer; photographer; model; makeup artist and creative director (plus me: location scout!) have eaten more than their fair share of bacon cheeseburgers and Poutine and were finally ready to shoot the first of eight different looks to appear in Filler Magazine this fall.
There are a few families who look on wide-eyed at the elegantly dressed and misplaced woman standing in the middle of a Skeeball machine wearing heels that look like they’d crack the ankle of anyone else who’d dare try them on. ‘What’s going on?’ they probably wonder, and stare at us all as if we were aliens in this very calm, unoriginal place. They are probably shocked because, like me, are unaware of the behind the scenes efforts of a fashion shoot. Lighting, accessories, costume changes; and of course, hairspray efforts, are just a fraction of the effects that go into the perfect fashion photograph. I’ve been privy to Lindsey’s previous photo shoots in the past, even being her lighting subject and subsequent ‘model’ for one of them, but I’ve never been so intertwined with one of the shoots as I am with this one. It’s a surreal experience in all actuality. Probably the same surrealism that the very same model – now wearing couture with comfort and ease – did when she stepped on the set of her first shoot.
For me, it’s surreal because I’m not merely here as Emilia Farrace. I’m here as Simply Elaborate Things – this brand new personal web project I’m starting that features exciting and extraordinary experiences in and around the city of Toronto. Being able to realize that the fruits of my labour are slowly coming together is a crazy thing to have happen. It’s a dream coming true.
As I’ve been chatting away with my fellow companions, it’s easy to see that this shoot isn’t only a dream coming into reality for me, but for everyone involved. Everyone had a dream of doing what they’re doing this exact moment. As all the occupations of the people at this shoot aren’t careers that merely get ‘fallen into’ – they take hard work and are often given up on.
We all have dreams. Things we would do if we somehow won the lottery. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet and be introduced to many people who are following their dreams, despite the lack of lottery winnings. These are the people who take risks. These are the people who focus on the bigger picture – that bigger dream- because of passion. A passion for something bigger than they could ever imagine – because of faith. Having faith in something bigger than anything physical because of hope. Hope that all the middle of the night brainstorming sessions, extra shifts at work and dedication eventually mean something to someone more than just your parents. And they do.
As the most important thing realized throughout this whole ordeal is that we are here to inspire each other, to help each other – not merely ourselves – because the fact of the matter is that we all need one another. Whether it’s advice, material or even a loan. We teach each other that things aren’t always what they seem; for every minute of success, comes a year of preparation and a photograph is never just a photograph.
Lindsey Drennan’s photographs will appear in the Fall issue of Filler Magazine. To see other work by Drennan, click on http://lindseydrennan.com and watch out for her editorial spread in the November issue of FLARE Magazine.