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The Worst Ethical Fashion Photo Shoot Ever

Ethical Fashion Photo Shoot
Written by Jennifer Nini

Despite all the vegetarian food I prepare, inspiring memes I distribute on my social media platforms and the hard work I put in to promoting ethical consumerism and sustainable living, I am still only human.

I'm far from perfect.

Like everyone else, I have faults. These faults also show up at the worst times.

Case in point: last Sundays supposed romantic day out.

SOME BACKGROUND

I had been burning the candle at both ends; completing assignments, freelance work, gardening duties, working on another of my fiance Ben's business ideas and trying to keep up with my newfound status as Domestic Goddess. So it came as a surprise to no one when I fell sick. To top it off, it was also that time of the month.

On Sunday, I was feeling a little better so Ben suggested we head into town to enjoy the day. I decided we should check out the local market which is something we had been meaning to do. Not content to just relax the day away, I decided to put on some makeup, don some ethical clothing and do a photo shoot while we were there.

Ethical Fashion Photoshoot

Two words: bad idea.

We went to the markets and were disappointed with the offerings including the food, so we decided to head to the pub.

My tiredness, impatience, stubbornness, indecisiveness and irritability reared their ugly heads. It culminated in me shedding a tear (or many). A sure sign of hormones as I am not known for being a crier.

By the time we got around to doing the photo shoot, I was in no mood to get my picture taken.

Instilled with a great work ethic (thanks mum) I pushed on.

Ethical Fashion Photography

SO NOT A MODEL

I'm not exaggerating, it was the worst vibe at a photo shoot ever. No laughing, no joking, no flirting.

We often argue when we collaborate as I'm usually accusing him of being an amateur photographer ("you need to give me some direction, I have no idea what I look like..!") while he's accusing me of being a hopeless model ("I shouldn't have to tell you how to pose, you're the model, you should be practicing in front of the mirror so you know how to do it...!") but this photo shoot was on another level (to be completely honest, Ben is a better photographer than I am a model).

With my bad attitude and incessant questioning of his creative direction, I'm sure Ben was ready to call it quits and vow never to work with me again. He didn't.

Ethical Fashion Photography

As difficult as it was to do, we finally got through the shoot. Each time is painful, but this time was extra special. I'd never cried before.

I have to give it to Ben, he is a truly amazing, patient and supportive man and I could never have gotten Eco Warrior Princess to where it is without him. Even in my crazy state, I know a wonderful human being when I see one.

The entire experience was extremely taxing, but the emotional electricity may have helped to unleash Ben's inner genius because in my opinion, he took some of the best ethical fashion images he's ever taken for the blog.

Which goes to show that conditions don't have to be perfect to produce great work. It's the passion and discipline you bring to the work that matters.

Anyhow glad another photo shoot is over. I still can't make up my mind which one is worse: doing photo shoots or vlogging (you can find my YouTube channel here). Who thinks modelling and talking to a camera are natural? I bet no one. I certainly don't.

But writing is; writing is as natural as breathing. Well I think so anyway, do you?

Jennifer Nini - Eco Warrior PrincessTop: Synergy Organic Clothing | Ethical skirt: Nearfar | Vintage shoes: Shag Vintage| Vintage bag: Camberwell Market | Bangle: Savers | Sunglasses: Oroton | Photographer: Ben McGuire

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About the author

Jennifer Nini

Jennifer Nini is a writer, activist and the founding editor of Eco Warrior Princess. In 2010, after studying Fashion Business, she began this blog to explore her interests in fashion, politics, social justice and sustainability. Jennifer is also the founder of The Social Copywriter, a digital agency harnessing the power of copywriting and content marketing to help mindful businesses reach more people. When she's not perfecting a sentence or coaching business clients, you will find her at her permaculture farm reconnecting with nature.

16 Comments

  • Hahaha oh girl I feel your pain!! I’m a TERRIBLE model who has no clue what she’s doing. My boyfriend hates taking photos of me and it usually results in some chilliness between us for the rest of the day. But he’s a good photographer!

    Your photos look great πŸ™‚ If I am ever in Australia we should get together and do some photography for each other! Hehe, one day!

    • So glad there are people who understand where I’m coming from! Each time is like going to a dentist, something I can’t stand hahaha! I’ve seen your images and your man IS a great photographer! Yes if you ever plan to come to Australia let me know, a catch up is in order!! xxx

  • Oh my gosh that sounds incredibly familiar!! I’m always telling my husband to give me some direction, but he rarely does! There have been so many frustrated photo shoots. Regardless, you look great and it is FAR from being the worst photo shoot ever.

    xoxo
    Hanna

    • hahaha since I published this post, I’m getting similar comments… and I am so happy that I’m not the only one who goes through this excruciating pain! We’re all in the same boat us ethical fashion bloggers πŸ™‚ Hanna, you are too kind, YOU always look wonderful, very photogenic missy xxx

  • The pictures look great Jennifer, no hint at all you weren’t feeling well.

    It has been nice to watch your first vlog’s and put a voice to the face.

    • Thanks so much Zoe for your kind words! Glad you liked the vlogs too, it’s not my forte talking in front of a camera, I prefer staring at a blank Word doc hahaha πŸ™‚

  • You’ve completely hit the nail on the head! πŸ™‚ As women, I think we have this rare ability to push on no matter what.

    As a mum, teacher, business owner, social advocate, ‘domestic goddess’ (love your use of the term!) and woman in my own right (I could have gone on but my list seems endless sometimes), we completely pull things together. Our success is often not recognised or realised until the end results and often not without tears along the way. But it’s all made possible with the support that seems to help make (……and sometimes break), our journey to the end product. And yes, by that I include the wonderful support of our hubbies who put on their photographer’s hat. A self-timer on the camera and tripod just doesn’t quite cut it sometimes.

    Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    • Thanks so much Anna for sharing YOUR story. Sounds like you’ve got your hands full too and you’re right, we as women have this ability to keep going. But eventhough it feels we do it on our own, we don’t. I am grateful for all the support I get from my fiance. He is a calming influence when I am going nutso hahaha

  • I enjoyed your story behind the photo shoot–although I’m sure it was very stressful for you and Ben. I loved your conclusion about focusing on the passion and meaning behind the work, even if the process is difficult. My mom helped me stage an outfit post once and I felt awkward the whole time and wondered if she must think I’m crazy to be modeling on my blog. However, the results were great and she also knows when to catch things I don’t notice!

    • That’s so cute your mum took your photos! Love that you guys were able to collaborate. My mum needs glasses when viewing things up close and she doesn’t have a steady hand. Nor does she have patience. I think collaborating with mum would be worse than with Ben actually hahaha thanks for sharing hun xx

      • I’m glad you enjoyed the story about my mom. We have a photo of the two of us at the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis, Missouri, with matching Nikons around our necks, so photography is a thing in my family.

        What I really enjoyed about your story is how you showed that people are not perfect, and that’s what’s interesting and great about us. I’m thinking about showing how I’ve struggled and made mistakes in my future posts to people realize bloggers don’t live a perfect life. No one can. πŸ˜‰

        • Definitely do a post on it! I think people showing their highlight reels on social media and blogs is great, very inspiring, but I’m just as inspired by people who are human and REAL. That means showing the sides of us we’d prefer to keep hidden. I love when people can be open and honest and glad you’re going to explore it on your blog too xx

    • Thanks Nichole! It’s so important to remember that while we ethical bloggers are trying to help transform this world, we do have our moments haha hope you’re going well in your corner of the world πŸ™‚

    • Hi Johane, thank you so much for letting me know, you are a darl! Of course it’s okay to use the images. I feel so honoured to be a part of your list and I am in some great company as I am actually friends with some of the bloggers featured on there πŸ™‚ What a remarkable bunch of women we all are for caring so much, for being so supportive of one another, for really putting ethics on the fashion map! Sending you a digital hug from Australia from one ethical fashion girl to another xx

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