A artistic trio, composed of designer, photographer, and fashionista, has unveiled a united work that they feel symbolizes this region’s mounting emphasis on portraying women in a refreshing new light. The photo shoot was headed up by Carla Measer-Costamagna of Costamagna Design, who worked with Julia Rabkin Photography, and Katie Ambrose from Groom Service at the Hotel at The Lafayette, to create an inspired scene depicting women as “the new force to be reckoned with” by “sending a message of strength, while promoting local talent.” The following background on the photo shoot was provided by Measer-Costamagna.
What was the inspiration for the photo shoot?
The idea for this photo-shoot came to me a couple of years ago. I had always wanted to do an “event” photo shoot featuring women – ethnicities, body types, sexual orientation – in a glamorous environment.
Tell us about the “glamorous environment”.
I wanted to incorporate the glamorous environment, lush and decadent florals and bright colors to represent the inner spirit of confident, strong independent women who are happy and proud to be who they are. As a floral designer, I am always attracted to bright happy colors and a combination of decadent and romantic blooms with more exotic and unusual ones.
Once you had the idea, how did the rest come to pass?
After the idea, comes the development into reality, working with professionals to show how much talent there is in Buffalo and surrounding areas.
Where did the photo shoot take place?
The location is a gorgeous mansion in Youngstown owned Christina Gentz, who has been building this beauty for 8 years, taking care of every detail until it’s perfect and bringing her vision into reality. She calls her house “Lakewood Castle”.
Who helped you to pull off the vision?
Hair and Makeup was done by the very talented women of Groom Service, under the direction of Katie Ambrose. All I had to do was give her some inspiration photos and she took it from there. I wanted to make sure every woman had a different look and personality. I also wanted to invite a representative of the local LGBTQ community. Harper Bishop a local community leader, an activist and a proud Trans Man. His presence gave the shoot depth and strength to convey the message of equality.
What about the technical aspect of shooting?
All of this would have not been possible without the breathtaking photos of Julia Rabkin. We had never met in person before the photo shoot. Katie Ambrose suggested I bring her on because she thought our styles would go well together.
Where did you find the models?
The people in the shoot are actually not professional models, but women and one man I am lucky to know personally, each unique in physical look and personality.
What inspired the overlying theme of the image?
The theme was initially inspired by the motto and battle cry “Nevertheless she persisted” that went viral after the United States Senate voted to silence Senator Elizabeth Warren’s objections to confirmation of Senator Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General.
Later, with the growth of the #meetoo and #timesup movements, the idea of the shoot has taken a larger meaning. We want to celebrate woman’s independence, perseverance, courage and beauty.
What was the mood of the shoot?
When the shoot was over, and we all danced around a world globe with glasses of champagne and listened to “Roam around the world” by The B52’s – it was clear to me that it was the perfect combinations of creative minds in one room.