The Process of a Stylist and Photographer Duo

The Process of a Stylist and Photographer Duo

[Written by Taura Deacon and photos by Ladd Forde]

My name is Taura Deacon, I'm a local stylist, originally from Los Angeles.  I met Ladd Forde, a local portrait and lifestyle photographer from Aspen CO, about a year ago. We pull inspiration from very similar places of riding motorcycles and vintage aesthetic, which has made it an easy step to pull together as a team and collaborate on a number of shoots over the past year. This is our Process.




The moment Ladd and I decide we want to shoot either a specific model, location or story line, we first create a mood board. This mood board is a great way for us to organize our ideas, pull inspiration and to show one another what we may have in mind.

If we are using a model as our muse, for example, the first thing I brainstorm is what emotion and story I want to get from them. Next comes colors and fits that will work best based off  of their body types and overall look we are going for. Once we have a “feel” set in place, as well as specific outfits pulled, location is next!




When scouting locations, Ladd has to always keep in mind if we will be able to use our own lighting, or what time of day we will need to shoot in order to get the correct lighting. Also, unless you have a very specific shot in mind, finding a location with multiple areas of interest is always key. You really want to be able to get as much as you can from this one location - sometimes you stumble upon the perfect wall or set of stairs that will really bring the shot all together. Take your time with this - there’s nothing worse than forcing a shoot with an o.k. environment.




Similar to finding a location with multiple options to shoot, you want to always have a few accessories on hand to swap out when day of shooting. Although you may have a certain outfit in mind, once you start playing with your surroundings, you may have a change of plans. We can all easily get inspired all over again once the model is feeling comfortable and you're really vibing with the shoot.

Or, let’s say you realize the backdrop your shooting against is too dark for the denim jacket you pulled, having another jacket option on hand would be smart to have. Having options is key! Grab that sorta crazy hat or extra scarf, you really never know what turn the styling could go! Allowing yourself to still be creative while creating can sometimes lead to really amazing photos.




To dive into a Deeper look at this process and a specific theme, drop back into our next DSM post on February 3rd! Any styling questions or comments please feel free to reach out. Photography questions and comments reach out here. whiskey-grade-blkoakdnv-3