patience is a virtue I lack

Such a delightful day at My Edmonton Studio yesterday working with this young lady!  Kailee Cheung is a singer-songwriter from right here in Edmonton, and at the ripe old age of 14 (or, a she prefers it, "almost 15...") has landed herself a spot on the ATB Homegrown Stage at Big Valley Jamboree on August 2, 2013.  (You should take a minute to subscribe to her YouTube channel and follow her on Twitter!)

What made her so much fun to work with is twofold.  First, she is a goofball.  She's not afraid of playing, of having fun, of laughing, which made my job really easy.  Second, and more importantly, Kailee is completely down-to-earth.  She's not the least bit of diva you might expect from someone with such huge talent.  

Kailee has never had a professional photo shoot before, so I took some time to explain how things work, especially when her and Mom asked if they got all the photos, even the ones we're not using.  I said, no - there is a lot of retouching and tweaking that happens even in the simplest of images.  The deal is, if it's temporary I'll take it out but if you would require a) a long time or b) surgery to change it, it stays...  

Here's an example of the magic of before and after Photoshop.  Even with an image requiring minor retouching, I still spent time to remove mosquito bites, bruises, and flyaway hairs caused by the perfect expression being caught when the fan wasn't doing its' job.  I also got the mismatched pinks to be a more similar and complimentary tone.  Crop, extend edge, blend, tweak saturation and contrast, sharpen it all up, add watermark, and voila - final image: (Click on the images to see them bigger.)

We had music playing while we were shooting and Kailee started singing along with an invisible mic, so we just went ahead and handed her a hairbrush.  (Come on - we've all done it... lol)

But when it was time to "work" Kailee was completely mature, professional, and polite.

Kailee's Mom was there for the entire shoot and became the unofficial assistant, helping with lighting, refreshments, and of course clothing malfunctions...

All in all, a super fun morning...

But, I'm not gonna lie - the best part of the day for me was the last set which we started shortly after lunch.  Kailee is a bit of an old soul, and between singing Adele and Beyonce covers, likes to sing a bit of Elvis, her Grandma's favourite singer of all time.  So we decided to channel Priscilla circa 1967 and go for an outrageous retro look replete with giant hair, heavy black eye make-up, and a dress that looked like it came off the set of an Austin Powers movie.  It involved a lot (A LOT) of make-up and backcombing... and a big foam hair donut to support all that long long hair of hers in a bouffant.

The "Priscilla-pics" are top-secret for now - we're holding them back until Kailee gets a song or two recorded - and it's killing me, really - I am not a patient person.  I know it's not my place to start riding her butt about rehearsing, writing, and getting into the studio, but I kind of caught a bit of stage-mom-itis from the day.  For now, this is all you get for a teaser:

After we finished with the "official" pictures, Kailee really REALLY really really wanted to wear a cupcake tutu for a few pics.  And since when I have I ever been one to say no to a tutu picture?

At the very end of the day Kailee's Dad and two little brothers stopped in for a few minutes.  Her youngest brother felt like he needed a jumping picture, too.  (If you watch this video in its entirety, you'll learn a bit about this little guy.)

I showed this pic to Kailee on the back of the camera and she said, "He looks like a flying pencil!"  And you now what?  He kinda does.  Unlike Kailee, who looks a bit like a flying kamikaze in this pic...

A million thank yous to the incredibly talented Juanita who accomplished such amazing things with Kailee's hair, and to Lindsey who took our creative vision and went above and beyond to create the perfect look; to Kailee's Mom Crystal for keeping us fed, coffee'd, and coordinated; and to Kailee for being such a quick study in smoke-and-mirrors and a sheer pleasure to work with.



Unless otherwise noted, writing and watermarked images on this blog are copyrighted to Hope Walls.