Cocktail Hats Photoshoot

I’ve been trying for a couple months to put together a photo shoot using some friends as models so I could list my hats on my etsy store.  However, something always seemed to go wrong and the shoot would have to be canceled.  I felt that it was probably a sign, a sign that I needed to put more effort into the project and be realistic about the quality of pictures I would be able to coax from my ancient point and shoot.  The more I thought about what kind of pictures I wanted the more I realized I really wanted to collaborate with someone who was more knowledgeable about cameras than I and who would be interested in modeling with me as well.

The person who came to mind was Amy Billarz.


Amy is a beautiful Videographer I recently met who has been filming the ongoing musical antics of my boyfriend’s band Lou-Lou Hernadez, among other things.  We struck up a long conversation at a recent Lou-Lou show about our respective art projects and realized I loved her look, her attitude, and her work.   She seemed like just the kind of person I’d like to hang out with and do a photo shoot.

In High-school I would have photo shoots with my friend Nitza all the time.  It was what we did for fun and fulfilled a need we had to be creative.  So we would dress each other up as zombies or Greek Goddesses, or whatever and have a great time taking pictures on our 35mm.  I was hoping to have a similar experience with this shoot, I wanted it to be fun, creative, and engaging.

So I ran the idea by Amy over coffee and to my delight she was as excited about the project as I was.

After a trip to the local thrift store for some clothes we set a date and hoped for grey skies.  I really wanted overcast skies for the shoot because they create a diffused light that I really love in pictures.

On Sunday we had the grey skies we wanted but it was 38 degrees and drizzly.  However, neither of us wanted to reschedule so we packed up all our equipment and several umbrellas to keep everything from getting wet and headed out to Discovery Park,  a 534 acre natural wonderland!


We set up camp in one of my favorite off the beaten path spots I had found on many explorations of the giant park.  We stayed in the same spot the whole time because it offered such a variety of backgrounds it seemed silly to waste time lugging every thing around to a new spot.

Deciding which hat to wear.

We started slowly experimenting with light, angles, and camera settings, and despite the cold our outfits were just the kind of odd retro/Korean/Victorian/futuristic style I love and our hair had just the kind of texture I wanted it to have.  (Amy has naturally curly hair but curled it even more for the shoot and I used a strange scrunching twist technique to gather my long locks on top of my head in the kind of voluminous mass I always imagine the hats perched on.)

hat hair

One of us finally thought to check the time and realized 3 hours had flown by in what seemed like minutes so we had to rush the end a bit but everything still came out nicely.  Although, I think Amy deserves most of the credit for that,  her amazing camera lens and eye for composition really pulled everything together into the exact kind of shoot I had envisioned.

Needless to say I can’t wait to make more hats so we can go out again! Although we both agree we need to wait for warmer weather 🙂

Check out the store here with all the serious artistic faces 🙂

Can’t stop giggling!