Want to see behind the scenes at this year’s PUNK.LINE photoshoot? Follow along with COLOR.ME Design Director, Kate Reid, as she takes us on a journey!
DAY 1: L.A. TO LONDON TO PRAGUE
3:00 pm: I arrive in Prague. Prague is one of my favourite cities in the world – it’s so beautiful! I hop in a taxi and head to the hotel to drop off my luggage before heading to the model call. The hotel is simply lovely and is right next door to the salon we are prepping at.
5:00 pm: We hold our model call at Stolen Salon, which is an urban warehouse with open ceilings, polished concrete and plenty of natural lighting from the big windows that fill an entire side of the salon. After seeing our short list of around 50 models, we have narrowed the pool down to 10 girls. Kevin and Luis take an image of each so we can later sit down and go one by one through all of the shots we need to capture and confirm our six girls for the year’s collection. The models in Prague have legs that extend to the skies and the most perfect skin, which makes me feel like I need to drink more water! When it comes down to choosing the final models, we have to make sure that the girls we choose are open to having their hair cut and coloured.
Since many of the models do not speak English, Lucie, our Production Manager, translates. It’s so helpful having Lucie in the salon because she is a former model who now works behind the scenes. Now it is time to have an open and real conversation about what we can realistically create with colour and what we cannot achieve. The man behind the brand, Kevin, and his husband/photographer, Luis are essential in making sure that everything falls into place perfectly. The combined knowledge of hair colour and photography coupled with the fashion culture of the team allows us to know exactly what will happen and takes any guess work out of the equation.
8:00 pm: We finish the model call and Lucie books the models, shares the details of the shoot, and sets times for their hair appointments. I tidy the salon and begin to organise my tools and my kit for the next day. Now that I have met the models, I know what I am going to create and I want to prepare my station accordingly. I always overpack; I bring every shade that is on my trend list in multiples. Some of the products I can’t live without are CLEAR, SOFT.VIOLET, 11.0, ICE, SILVER, and 5.86. Bottomless amounts of my favorite textured foil and loads of KEVIN.MURPHY sectioning clips complete my packed essentials.
9:00 pm: Next stop is dinner with the team to discuss our game plan for the shoot. At the table, we have myself, Kevin, Luis, Michael, Lucie and her boyfriend, our stylist, Craig, our STYLE.MASTER, Juha, and our two lighting guys, John and Reuben. Kevin, myself, John, and Reuben are all from Australia, Luis is Puerto Rican, Michael is Austrian, Lucie and her boyfriend are from Prague, and our “Kiwi-turned local,” Craig, now resides in Prague. We exchange stories about past shoots across the globe – Kevin and Luis recently wrapped up a shoot in south Australia in the very same city I grew up in. We talk about our favourite restaurants from the area and bond over our global adventures.
12:00 am: Lights out! Tomorrow is a big prep day and I need my brain functioning at full speed!
DAY 2: PREP
6:00 am: I wake up and sip coffee over email. Our bubbly marketing manager, Kiki, has sent me several emails overnight and needs an urgent quote on a trend piece for a popular fashion and beauty magazine, so I send her some thoughts to pass along to PR.
7:00 am: No matter how hectic my travel schedule, I always make time for exercise. We run a heavy prep day, so getting in a workout is key to keeping my energy level high throughout the trip. I head for a 5km run along the river to jump start my day.
9:00 am: Time to colour! I will be colouring six models with our European Education Director, Michael Jung, so it will be a fun day. On set, I allow myself much more time than I would normally use in the salon, as I love to colour and recolour until it’s perfect. It drives Kevin a little crazy as it is a long day of waiting patiently. He spends the day looking at props and heading to stores to pick out the set for the photoshoot. When the models arrive, I know exactly what we’re doing on each girl so it’s really well-thought out and discussed amongst all of us. I like to post my inspiration pictures on the windows so I can see my colour story. Just in case I have an inspirational idea, this lets me see if it will work and fit in.
11:00 am: Prep day is fully underway. Everyone is in the zone, but we have music playing and the vibe remains casual and relaxed.
1:00 pm: We wrap up our “IN.BLOOM” model and I’m feeling very pleased with the result. The shade was something I had been playing around with all year and the details of the colour are absolute perfection. The model is so angelic – this look is my favourite, so far.
2:00 pm: Our stylist, Emily, arrives and begins setting up. She takes turns fitting each model and selecting the wardrobe for tomorrow’s shoot. She has so many bags of clothes – about 40 outfits in total. She hangs everything and steams each outfit, treating them as delicately as you would precious metals. She has a mix of high end (expensive!) designer items and some incredibly affordable options you can find at any mall. She has the models try on several outfits, snapping pictures of each one to review with Kevin.
3:00 pm: I feel bad for the models that have been waiting around all day. We only colour one model at a time so it’s a lot of waiting time for them. I turn up the music in the hopes of making the experience more enjoyable.
5:00 pm: I take a second to admire an absolutely stunning pink rose we just created. The way the light catches the hair is so breathtaking as it has so many dense pastel variations.
7:00 pm: Phew, long day. The models trickle out and we all sit with Kevin recapping the looks. Craig brings out some local grappa that his friend made. That stuff is like drinking rocket fuel and I feel my cheeks flush in two seconds flat.
8:30 pm: We head to dinner straight from the salon with the team and we chat about tones of the hair, location, and everything else down to funny, past photoshoot horrors. We eat at the same market every night; it has a nice European vibe and the food is so fresh – it’s the perfect way to finish the day with the team.
11:00 pm: My head hits the pillow and I fall fast asleep.
DAY 3: THE SHOOT
9:00 am: We walk to the shoot location and I have a quick check over the colours before diving in.
9:05 am: Once we arrive, the models head straight to makeup with Hristina. Kevin and I have worked with her for 3 years now and he sent her some makeup looks and images in the months leading up to the shoot so that the overall vision is in sync. Each model spends about 45 minutes to an hour in makeup and the results are flawless. Then, Emily arrives and has the clothes set up for the day. The models head to styling and get dressed, which is the final step before shooting. She stays on set all day to assist with any wardrobe malfunctions that might occur, but they don’t – Emily is a pro!
10:00 am: We start on our first shot. Luis is pretty chill and knows which shots Kevin is after.
11:00 am: We have our coffee machine set up and I make everyone coffee – one of my favourite things! Us colourists have done most of our work, so I spend my day assisting the others in any way I can: passing pins, SESSION.SPRAY and DOO.OVER, making sure the models are fed – you name it, and I’m on it! I’m just a runner and love it!
12:00 pm: While most of my work is done, the STYLE.MASTERS are now ON! They have a seamless rotation of models coming in and out of their prep station, so they are literally doing hair non-stop. SESSION.SPRAY seems to never leave Juha’s hand except for when he is reaching for ANTI.GRAVITY or DOO.OVER.
2:00 pm: We take a pause from shooting to sit at a table and enjoy lunch together. Photoshoots are always such an incredible bonding experience!
2:30 pm: We go back to work and the hair is looking incredible. There is so much movement and texture in the hair – almost a 70’s vibe.
3:00 pm: Kevin is what we call a “world class wafter”. Between shots, he fluffs the hair, making sure each model has that signature “KEVIN.MURPHY” gently tousled finish.
5:00 pm: The models, all dressed with makeup, styling and colour, are so gorgeous! I can’t help but stare at times as they are so exquisite.
8:00 pm: We wrap for the day. The shoot has been a real success. Everyone involved is a master in their own craft and has incredible respect for one another. When you’re on set, it’s like you almost develop a sort of “hair romance” with each other. The trust and respect felt in that set is unparalleled and can be experienced throughout the entire room.
9:00 pm: We head to a team dinner at a beautiful outdoor restaurant on the Charles Bridge. The people-watching is fantastic; the women in Prague are ridiculously stylish. The view from our spot and the overwhelming feeling of history around us is so surreal. Europeans love to come alive at the table, so dinner ends around 11:30 pm. We head to a bar to grab a little Prague culture and celebrate a successful shoot. I fly out early the next day, feeling a deep sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.