Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Thrift Store Challenge

Welcome to our first challenge in our Photographer vs. Photographer series!

This first challenge was all about creating something out of nothing. MacGyver style. Remember MacGyver and how handsome he was then? If you are too young to remember him (and this means we are SO old), he was this guy who was always in situations that required him using available tools to escape/dismantle a bomb/save an orphanage. He could build an airplane out of a toothpick and bubble gum.  
 See that missile he's holding? That's toilet paper, a swizzle stick, and a flower pot. AND he made it with his eyes closed.

So, we decided it would be fun to see what we could come up with! It started as something we could do for fun, just once, and morphed into a monthly series of challenges.

The rules are simple:
1. The only items that can be used are items purchased at a thrift store. Except for shoes. Shoes can belong to the model. Thrift store shoes gross us out.
2. The only tools allowed are the ones found in our "tool kit".
3. Budget: $20 or less


 We were each allowed to use only the tools provided in our tool kit. This amounted to basically needle and thread, safety pins, and mini clamps.As you can see, Sarah cheated and used big scissors. But, in her defense the little ones in the kit wouldn't even cut big scissors are deemed ok to use!

Yikes! How are we ever going to use ONLY these tools to create art?!


Sarah chose to find her treasures at Goodwill. In a snow storm. 
She took this selfie while hiding behind her van. 

Melissa chose to look for her treasures at Salvation Army. After just rolling out of bed. She took this selfie in .2 seconds and then hid. How do people take selfies in public and not feel weird?!

Look at all the options Sarah found! How in the world will she turn those into something beautiful?
 .99 old lady collars and a $2.29 holiday garland..... hmmm what can Melissa make with these?

Strike a pose, there's nothing to it, Vogue. Or try on a tablecloth... same thing.
Can you believe Sarah bought all of these majestic beauties for less than $20?!

Our models Amy and Kristen arrived.
They really didn't know what to expect,
other than the fact that they would be wearing some second-hand stuff.
And we even did hair and makeup on our models.
Oh, yeah. It got real.

Behind-the-scenes: Melissa

Behind-the-scenes: Sarah


 Sarah's Final Image                                                                         Melissa's Final Image
Ooo la la!


Sarah - Challenge? That's my middle name. Not really. But I do love me a good challenge. I didn't have anything in mind at first, but no worries, because my Pinterest board is brimming over with inspiration (and also dessert recipes should I not fare so well here). At Goodwill, I headed straight to the dress section, and the first dress I chose was an old, stained, pink mother-of-the-bride dress. Fell in love with the collar, thought it would be a cool steampunk/victorian accent piece, then went about looking for other pink items to pull the look together. Came across a long dress--perfect since I needed lots of material for the outer skirt. Then I spotted a pink blazer/skirt suit with amazing texture. $17.99 was my total! I've rigged up "dresses" for women's portraits before, and I knew I had plenty to work with. I got to work the day before the shoot...cutting and needle-and-threading. Sewing. I was sewing. Not my forte, but I kept hearing Tim Gunn say "Make it work."
Shoot day: Clamp clamp clamp. Thank goodness we had those tiny clamps in the kit! It's a good thing photographs are taken from one angle only! Kristen was an AMAZING model, and I have to say, it all came together much better than I had thought it would. Especially 1 hour into cutting and sewing the day before--I had my doubts!

Melissa - I didn't really have a clear idea or style in mind at first. I'm the type of person who needs to browse a store and build ideas as I see things I like, pretty much how I Christmas shop now that I think of it! I did know that I wanted to stay true to my style of light colors, soft tones, with delicate and feminine touches. The first item I stumbled upon at Salvation Army was the lace tank top. I didn't even notice that it was a hand made piece with part of the back cut off until I got home! The skirt is actually a tablecloth. I kept things very simple and used safety pins to loosely pin the cloth around Amy's hips and then sewed her right into it! The garland was turned into a head piece by bending pieces together and the rest is held together with needle and thread. It turned out much prettier than I anticipated! I love the color scheme. The old lady collar doilies from before? Those turned into pretty neat little wrist cuffs, don't you think? I chose to go without shoes because I was feeling a little bohemian/hippie vibe from the whole ensemble, which I feel I finished off by styling Amy's hair with a curling wand for spiraly, kind of wild curls. This challenge was so fun! I can't wait till next month to do the next one!


The winner is....
Sarah: I am honored, and would like to thank every single one of you that voted. And also Melissa for being such a great sport and only accusing me of cheating a few times. Better luck next time, Melissa. Haha. And a great big "thank you" to Kristen for being a fantastic model! 
New challenge to be announced soon!

The voter whose name was drawn is: April Moore.
April, you will be receiving a little something in the mail from Melissa.