The Grackle

Observations, Reflections and Miscellany from the Wacoan

Fashion Shoot Frenzy

A behind-the-scenes look at our Shop Waco fashion shoot

6 years ago

By Kaila Lancaster

Photo shoots are glamorous and easy. Right?

That was always my thought as I thumbed through fashion mags. I’m new to the Wacoan, so this month’s fashion shoot was my initiation to the process.


If you take a look at the fashion spread in our current Shop Waco issue, the outcome makes the process look calm, cool and collected. Tori Matthews, our model, looks effortless, like she just happened to stroll onto our location to pose for a couple of shots. The premise of a fashion shoot seems appealing: take striking photos involving stylish clothes, elaborate pieces of jewelry and gorgeous hair and makeup. No problem!


Well, I would argue there were quite a lot of problems to be solved. And stress. And second guesses.

It turns out photo shoots don’t happen serendipitously — models don’t just show up, pretty clothes don’t just walk onto set and shoot locations don’t just come to you in a dream. They take thorough planning and a plethora of teamwork and collaboration. The Wacoan’s Shop Waco shoot was made possible by wonderful vendors, dedicated staff and a talented model who (thankfully) made it all look easy.

Michelle Johnson, our executive editor, researched poses, looks, venues and much more. She was the idea woman, constantly clutching a stack of papers with sample looks and layouts.

Brittany Becker, our graphic designer, organized the whole soiree: making phone calls and sending texts and Facebook messages to potential models, photographers and hair and makeup aficionados. She was also in charge of directing interns to scope out a location.


I break a sweat just thinking about it all.

Ellie Cantor, our fashion intern, went to every vendor to find the perfect pieces for the shoot, not just pretty items but pieces that captured the essence of the season. She did a great job styling the shoot and hauling those items up to our office.

That is no easy feat, mind you.


Courtney Yarbrough, a licensed cosmetologist and hairstylist, created spectacular looks for Matthews throughout the shoot, braiding and curling her hair with precision and grace. Matthews’ makeup was flawless for the entire shoot, always complementing the clothes and accessories in each look.

Grace-Marie Brunken, one of our photography interns, took the photos for the fashion spread. She took control of the shoot like a pro (well, she is a pro), and she and Matthews worked beautifully together to create some stunning shots.

I wish the entire set of photos could be crammed into a few pages for all to see.

Brianna Borrego, one of our editorial interns, was a social-media maven during the photo shoot. She took most of the behind-the-scenes shots you see in this post. She also was the miscellaneous-needs master of the day.

And me? I attempted to keep the information of all the brands, stores, prices, etc. together as the day progressed. It’s harder than it looks — we would change our minds, switch one accessory out for another or just look at a pile of items and wonder, “Did we use this already?”

Thank goodness for Heather Garcia, our managing editor. My chaotic notes took shape with her close examination.

I also loved interviewing our model while she got her hair and makeup done. She is young, driven and just a sweetheart.

In conclusion, those “simple,” “easy” fashion spreads you see in our magazine and other magazines? Not so simple and easy.

As a casual reader of fashion mags, I never once thought about what happens behind the scenes of those glossy spreads. Now I look at major fashion spreads and ogle: “How in the world do they do this month after month?”

With a whole lot of planning, organizing and gumption, I tell you.


Join the Conversation