For the last two months, I’ve been texting back and forth with Jackie of Central Square Florist in Cambridge, MA, designing a styled photo shoot. We initially met at a coffee shop with the idea to have this photo shoot and agreed on the theme of “casual outing”. From there we extended the collaboration to model/style & fashion blogger Victoria Hathaway and talented makeup artist Sydney Tess. The shoot would be in the beautiful setting of local business Cafe Luna and the surrounding Central Square community.
There were a lot of voices and styles that needed to come together for the shoot to be successful and working with Jackie to achieve our perfect vision had to be calculated. Our biggest challenge was giving each variable the attention it deserved.
The photo shoot happily fell on a Thursday night, one of the first warm days of spring. Jackie and I walked from her storefront to Cafe Luna holding boxes of succulents, a colorful arrangement, and a bouquet that was bursting to life with orange and purple hues. We chatted on the way to Cafe Luna, our first stop of the evening. As we peeked through the giant garage-sized windows, we saw the shop slowly simmering in the aftermath of a busy day. We walked through the doors, noticing the golden yellow walls and the table settings with white paper placemats and crayons available for coloring.
The staff was smiling and offered us beautifully plated dishes and the perfect cup of joe, complete with a rosette swirl on top. We began shooting still lifes of the glorious flowers and the magical looking plates, with Jackie working as an art director for different positioning. She is incredibly decisive and I adored working with her because of this.
Victoria’s makeup was minimal and gorgeous, the beautiful artwork of expert Sydney. She carried a huge travel bag filled with outfit options, still warm from their car ride from Rhode Island. I reacted quickly and instinctively to her outfit options, and Jackie stepped in to have the final say on which outfits would work best with her flowers’ color palettes.
After 30 minutes of photographing shots of Victoria sipping on a cup of perfectly prepared cappuccino (everyone enjoyed several during the shoot - not a problem in my opinion!) we began to wander outdoors.
One of my favorite spots was Modica Way, a public walkway in Central Square connecting City Parking Lot 5 to Massachusetts Avenue. Modica Way is completely covered in artist’s graffiti, an absolute must-see for anyone in Cambridge. Victoria and I share a love of street art, so this environment totally fit our styles. Victoria wore an all black jumper and held a single gorgeous sunflower, an excellent suggestion from Jackie.
With any on-location urban shoot, there is the challenge of dealing with passersby and looky-loos. But Victoria displayed an admirable confidence as we got lost in the alleys. She allowed me to “do my thing”, sporadically and playfully halting her mid-walk to snap a photograph or asking her to shake her hair wildly. Even though the street bustled with activity, Victoria was comfortable and didn’t hesitate when I asked her to chomp down on the sunflower stem with her teeth. We floated our way through the city streets and the results are saucy. Thanks to everyone who made this styled shoot so fantastic!
Outdoor Location: Modica Way (#modicaway)
All photography: @dakotalenoxphoto