Learn more about what happened behind the scenes of the shoots you've seen in the B|BT Gallery.
B|BT x René Collab ii
Our second collaboration and without a doubt one that outshined its predecessor. René and I teamed up again to bring out some designs like nothing we've ever seen before.
As an artist, you want to outdo yourself with every project. And more recently I’ve been very interested in creating works more conceptual than practical.
My inspiration being that I want to draw a sense of awe that will bring you to ask...”Wow, how did he do that?” This is my attempt to wow you. All of the pieces featured in this collaboration are an attempt to be more conceptual and move into the realm of avant-garde.
When René and I have collaborated in past I created pieces that would adorn his designs. This time around however I was more interested in creating pieces that would accent his designs, but in the negative space on the model’s person. So, wherever he had not created, I would. If he designed high I would deign low. If he covered the chest and neck I would design for the face and head. This is why the pieces worked in such a harmony that couldn't have been planned.
Here you'll find models Olivia, Paige, Mikhala, Imani, and Jacquie. All of which bringing their own flavors and aesthetics to the shoot. Some had more experience than others and some no experience at all but that day we found a sense of community among the handful of us that shot at that humble spot in Lowell that Saturday afternoon.
From the time I arrived and showed the girls the jewelry that they would be wearing with to the time we actually started shooting the entire experience was a blissful one that only could've been possible with a group of people as great as the ones you see here.
Days like that only make you look forward to the next time that you'll be working together.
It was a good day to shoot!
Brass & Silk
This was my first indoor shoot! So naturally I was a bit more nervous because lighting is even more vital indoors. Not to mention, while still undiscovered, Ateera is a very experienced model.
Unlike the others however, this shoot was a collaborative project between the two of us and Ateera's brainchild. She drew inspiration from the late Whitney Houston's 1985 "Whitney Houston album cover and the rest came naturally.
She bought silk fabrics that she had planned to wrap in a dress like fashion, allowing the fabric to take shape over her body as it fell. I was meant to do what I do best; design the jewelry. And as our colors were all silky in texture and neutral in tone, I wanted to create something a little rougher to balance, if not offset the color way a bit. Hence my choosing brass, and ultimately titling the shoot Brass & Silk.
The day of the shoot there was nothing stopping the creative process. We had already met several times in the weeks prior so we had a good idea of what we wanted. Unsure still to some degree however, Ateera asked me at one point 'What do you want me to do?" I told her that I wanted her to fall into how the silk and jewelry made her feel and to embrace that. I was only there to capture it, and that I did.
That day reminded me why I do this. It was a good day to shoot.
Vlad, who at this time was already a very experienced model, was so comfortable in front of the camera it was hard looking for things for him to do because he’d do them before you asked.
This was the first shoot I had ever worked on. It wasn’t a shoot scheduled specifically for Beads|ByTrokon but by photographer Don Claud (in photos below). He said that he had an idea in mind that'd feature Vlad in a garage scene and that he wanted my beads to add a little more texture to the aesthetic.
I was more than happy to oblige and I had just bought my camera so I brought it and shot behind him as a shadowing photographer. I studied his movements and directing style and saw how he operated on a site with a subject. It was a truly fantastic experience and one that will remain close to my heart forevermore.
I learned a lot that day! And I would go on to use those a lot of those techniques with all the shoots I did for B|BT.
One of my closest friends. I’ve wanted to shoot with her for such a long time. Being home for this winter break finally gave us the opportunity, and what an experience it was. Berlinda has always been known as the shy studious girl. The one who keeps her head down in her books and her aspirations ever forward. But in this shoot she showed a side entirely different.
In the days prior while we were making plans to shoot she tried on the choker for the first time and completely transformed. She said that she felt like a Queen. Her posture straightened, her back tightened, and her chin rose! She became a heightened version of herself in those moments. A version of herself that she admits she didn’t recognize. Ultimately, learning more about herself during the session.
That’s what I wish to capture in these shoots. Not so much the jewelry (they have their own shoots) but rather the effect they have on the wearer.
I believe that in my designing I’m not just making jewelry, but creating doors to characters that exist inside the wearer. Sometimes ones they may have never seen before.
Still only just getting to know each other there was room for nervousness before Jenise and I met up that day; she isn’t a model nor am I a photographer. But what in the beginning seemed like cause for worry quickly became dispelled when we started shooting.
The day was absolutely gorgeous and so was Jenise, and she knew it; we couldn’t have gotten the photos that we did if she hadn’t.
With very little to no direction at all she started to pose in ways that showed she had a relationship with the camera. She was very natural in front of the lens and I only hope that I was able to capture the spirit of the day in these shots. It was a great day to shoot!
This photo I took during an actual shoot in between shots.
During some time while the photographer was working with one of the other models I saw this scene in my head and wanted to capture it. Darryl was wearing a different piece at the time but I wanted him to wear this one instead because I had designed this specifically for him.
The decision to go shirtless was an attempt to free up the piece from competition and give Darryl the chance to just feel it by itself.
At which point I feel it’s true magic came out and so too his poise. It did well for the shot and the piece didn’t look like something he was wearing anymore but like something that was a part of him.