It just happened…


Here comes a rather funny shooting story. Back in March, I was shooting a great editorial (Dreams of a Samurai) with a new team. It was Konstantinos and Rocco doing the styling and make-up/hair and although I haven’t met Konstantinos before, I just had him on the phone, and Rocco I have seen only once before and it was already a while ago, we had a lot of fun and it felt right working together. Our model Emma was gorgeous: sweet and very talented, she blew my mind with her powerful poses so that after half of the outfits we had to slow her down to loosen the total image. It was unusual that we were all smokers (shame on us) and so we had many little occasions to talk in between and discuss either the next shooting steps or just chat about other things. And so the stylist told me in such a little pause that he had a brand new corsage from Dawid Tomaszewski, which has never been shown before and he planned to work it into the shooting. The corsage had the word “safe” stitched on it with sequins and beads and it looked very arty. Konstantinos wanted to combine it to a NIN3 earring saying “SEX” and so he wanted to hint at the importance of safer sex, especially for the LGBT community. He told me that the corsage was meant to be a homage and for the world aids day. The idea of implying a message into the editorial pleased me and I told him to do it if he’d like. 

Making of editorial "Dreams of a Samurai" for XIOX Magazine by Heidi Rondak
Konstantinos styling the model for “Dreams of a Samurai”


When we came to the look – it was the last one – Konstantinos didn’t really like it. Something didn’t look quite right on the model and we all agreed. So he rejected the look and gave her another outfit. But in his genius brain he already had a plan B…

Female fashion editorial with model Emma Reipert by Heidi Rondak for XIOX Magazine
The initial outfit that should go with the corsage, but it didn’t quite look right

After we finished shooting – it was still early: about 4:30 pm and we had the studio for us until 7 pm – I was sitting in front of the computer making the first choice for the pictures we just shot when Konstantinos took my arm and kidnapped me for a few minutes. He revealed me his idea of putting Rocco, the make-up artist into the corsage and taking the pictures with him. I was thinking that it could be the better decision doing so and when the model had left we started taking the photos. They looked really good and we couldn’t stop laughing because it was so much fun. We got more and more creative and Konstantinos conjured more and more crazy stylings and dressed Rocco up, until, in the end, our new model was standing there with a leopard print hat, a floral harness, a floral bouquet in his right hand and his left hand stuck in his pants. The look would get dismissed afterward (because of that crazy hat), but I can tell you the vibe was ridiculous! Imagine a party where you do crazy things and after a few days you have no explanation for it, that’s how it felt, but deep down inside of us we all knew that it was a great story and it should get seen.

Making of editorial "Absent Gods and Silent Tyranny" for Kaltblut Magazine by Heidi Rondak
Making of “Absent Gods and Silent Tyranny”

Only Rocco wasn’t sure yet, because understandably for him the photos meant a huge step. He would show himself in a very intimate way to a great audience, as we wanted to publish it in a magazine. We had to talk to him a few times and tell him that it would be very brave of him and that in fact, he looked great, which I really think he does. And we sat down together and chose the best pictures commonly. I couldn’t stop thinking that this was a perfect story for Kaltblut Magazine, so it was my first attempt to submit the edited pictures there. And voilà: they really took them. 

At this point, I want to thank Dawid Tomaszewski, Marina Hoermanseder, Marcel Ostertag and all the other designers for their support. And as Konstantinos said: Love is the answer and the answer is love.

View the editorial on Kaltblut Magazine


If you enjoyed reading this article, or you found it helpful in one way or the other, I would love to know (reach out)! You are also welcome to support my work and writing by donating whichever amount this is worth to you. I will thank you with lots of telepathic love and more interesting journal entries. Cheers!


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