You see tons of lovely images on hats.com – some from the respective brand’s lookbooks, but most taken by the hats.com photographer, Jesi! But are these just pictures of random people we know that were snapped in someone’s backyard? Nope!
Our photoshoots are a process involving multiple members of the hats.com team! The first step in development is a model search in the local area. We compile a bunch of applications and start the approval process. Once we have a model chosen and contacted, the fun begins! We reserve a location and start planning.
Our marketing associate (and photoshoot stylist/assistant), Mel, goes onto hats.com into the applicable men’s, women’s or children’s category. Hats are selected on one or more of the following criteria: brand new styles from our brands, top sellers, and fashion trends from the runways and magazines. Colors are selected to correspond with the model’s hair, skin and eye color; and shapes are chosen based on the model’s face shape. An average shoot has about 30 – 50 hats chosen, with some shoots having upwards of 75 styles planned! The list of desired styles are passed onto the Merchandiser, Cynthia, who places a photo sample order. Once the hats arrive, each product must be unpacked, have tags and stuffing removed, and then organized by brand and shape on the photoshoot cart. The prep work for a photoshoot combines to hours of work for one afternoon of photography, but the organization and prep not only makes things easier: we couldn’t do the shoot without it!
On the day of photography, the model arrives and we head to the location. Shooting begins almost immediately from arrival – lasting 1 1/2 – 3 hours. The whirlwind of activity requires two staff members: the photographer and an assistant – both armed with cameras. Each hat gets 5 – 20 photos before switching to the next style. The shoot is organic, moving from one spot to another, adjusting for light, backgrounds and variety. As Jesi snaps image after image – directing the model and adjusting for the elements – her assistant is choosing the next hat, carrying a stack of pending styles, snapping behind the scenes images and helping with anything she needs. The fast-paced afternoon is exhausting for staff and models alike, but the mood is always light and fun… and filled with smiles and laughter.
Once the shoot is finished, goodbyes are said and the staff returns to the office, Jesi downloads all of the photos from the camera and clean up begins. Carts of discarded hats are cleaned up and put away, boxes are sent for recycling or reused, model information and paperwork is filed. Discs are burnt and images are gone through, a handful of the final images are posted to Facebook, Twitter, tumblr and flickr. Graphics are begun and work returns to normal. But for a few days, the whirlwind of activity overtakes the office and excitement brews. And the final result?