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CUREiosities - Rose & Robert Skillman Branch Library - FYT Productions by Christian O'Grady

Photography is my road to the unknown, toward existence...
— Victoria Zegler, FYT Productions

The Rose & Robert Skillman Branch of the Detroit Public Library is a beautiful gem tucked away in Detroit. While it houses the history of the nations automotive collection, it also contains historic architecture - like most of the city of Detroit. FYT had the pleasure of getting to explore this historical landmark with a close friend of ours, Leslie Ann Pilling during a photoshoot for one of her Detroit fashion brands. Leslie has a garment manufacturing studio located on Library Street in Detroit just across from the Rose & Robert Skillman Branch Library, where the shoot took place. Many of her apparel lines are produced in her studio, one of which is CUREiosities. CUREiosities is a highstyle fashion brand appointed with luxury fabrics and hardware. The opera coat, featured above has ruched details to soften the designs and play into strong, simple, and classic shapes. It gives off an edgy vibe which blends both current and deco details. Leslie explained the look as, "...if Audrey Hepburn played a role in Star Trek, her character would be the perfect client." 

Shooting inside of the library allowed us to integrate subject matter into the compositions of the building naturally. Christian was on camera, while Victoria was modeling the pieces with her camera in hand.

The concept expressed behind this brand revolves around people who explore. When Leslie initially reached out to FYT with her vision, she introduced the idea of having Victoria model the pieces. To Leslie, Victoria was a great match: a photographer and visual journalist who just this year started her own company, FYT Productions. FYT's core values lie in storytelling, quality, and purpose. These values fell parallel when landing on our location at the Skillman Branch, a place driven behind quality, purpose, and educating. In each image, a camera is present in the hand of the female photographer, as she wanders through the library exploring and finding beauty in her surroundings and documenting the story unfolding before her.

To view pieces from the CUREiosities apparel line, visit www.CUREiosities.com

Tegan Marie - "God Made Girls" - FYT Productions + Sweety High by Christian O'Grady

A few weeks ago, FYT got the opportunity to shoot a music video with 12-year-old country singer Tegan Marie. It was Tegan's debut, being her first music video, showing her fans just how serious she was about becoming a star. To continue that investment in her brand, we were contacted again by SweetyHigh.com to find a location for Tegan's second video for RaeLynn's "God Made Girls."  After a full day of location scouting, we found the lovely Camp Cavell on the east coast of Michigan along Lake Huron. It was an awesome location featuring a long coastline, abundant trees, a wrap-around porch and much more. Our contact Jill was very welcoming and even offered for us to come back if we ever need a location again, thanks Jill! 

This time around it was important to bring out more of Tegan's attitude with high energy and movement. Our coaching gave Tegan the direction she needed on camera to deliver a more engaging performance. She even snuck a wink in there! ;)

One of the core principles of FYT is teamwork. Tegan Marie, SweetyHigh.com and FYT came together to put out a compelling product. While Tegan is off recording an original Christmas track in Chicago, we'll be brainstorming ideas for her next music video back in Michigan...stay tuned!

SOFI K - Royal Oak Music Theatre - FYT Productions by Christian O'Grady

14-year-old Sophia Washer - known as Sofi K rocked the Royal Oak Music Theatre Friday night as she debuted the release of her album "LoveHate," a collection of 10 tracks that showcase an eclectic mix of creative directions and different styles that have influenced Sofi over her young career. The lyrics for the tracks were written by Sofi K and the music was co-written by Sofi K and produced by Kresge fellowship recipient Bryce Harding. 

The concert also included performances by Soul Divide and Stereo Jane. 

Teenagers filled the music theatre to see Sofi K, grabbing free popcorn, candy and soda before the live performance. As the opening bands transitioned from one song to the next, the anticipation grew stronger. Stereo Jane wrapped up their set and the MC introduced "the reason we're all here tonight!" The crowd began to scream with excitement as Sofi entered the stage with a big smile, greeting her fans.

Watching Sofi perform, I noticed the young pop artists stage presence come so naturally, giving her the ability to sing confidently and move swiftly in front of a live audience. 

As Sofi introduced her next song "Stars," a girl yelled to her friend "I know all the words to this song!" As the crowd began to sing the words to "Stars," they reached out their hands to connect with their peer who turned to a star on the stage.

Tegan Marie - Sweety High - FYT Productions by Christian O'Grady

FYT got the opportunity to shoot a music video with 12-year-old up and coming country sensation Tegan Marie...on her birthday! Tegan was born in Detroit in 2003 and started playing guitar when she only 6-years-old. A couple years later she was writing music at age 8 and playing national stages by age 11.

Tegan has a genuine presence about her that comes through in her vocals. She's natural, fun and always on allowing her to work hard to achieve her dreams.

We were contacted by a production company based out of Los Angeles by the name of Sweety High, who make content for the tween and teen market. Tegan initially reached out to Sweety High by sharing her homemade videos on their site. Our contact at the company told us about Tegan and the incredible digital presence she had been creating for herself. The next step...producing a music video. It was time to show the world what Tegan was made of.

 

We started the shoot at 8 am on a chilly October morning in Metamora, Michigan. Our good friend and fellow photographer Dan Lippitt owns at 10-acre farm with unlimited shooting potential. FYT loved getting to work with Tegan and the team to create the video for "Mama's Song," which has reached over 100,00 views!

A week later we're shooting Tegan's second music video for "God Made Girls" by RaeLynn. Stay tuned!

SOFI K - LoveHate Album Shoot - Behind the Scenes by Christian O'Grady

14-year-old Sophia Washer - known as Sofi K, is releasing her debut album LoveHate on Friday, November 6th. The concept of the pop album revolves around the idea of mixed emotions and rather eclectic in terms of how each of the songs sound with hints of rock, jazz and blues. Christian O'Grady was called upon to conduct her photo shoot on top of Music Hall Detroit at the 3fifty Terrace for the young female artists new album art. Bryce Harding, who is producing Sofi K's album, was introduced to Christian through Sigal Levine the makeup artist and hair stylist for our shoot. The rooftop terrace was the perfect location giving us the beautiful Detroit skyline as our backdrop.

Thanks to all who contributed and Sofia's sweet mom Linda (who provided water + snacks)! 

 

Christian pointing out possible locations to Sofia and Bryce before the shoot.

Christian pointing out possible locations to Sofia and Bryce before the shoot.

Christian trying to get Sofia in the mindset to shoot.

Christian trying to get Sofia in the mindset to shoot.

Sofia was electric, filled with energy and quick to laugh.

Sofia was electric, filled with energy and quick to laugh.

Christian balancing the light from the strobe to the available light from the setting sun.

Christian balancing the light from the strobe to the available light from the setting sun.

Sofia makes a puckered face to allow Sigal to get the makeup just right.

Sofia makes a puckered face to allow Sigal to get the makeup just right.

Behind the scenes of behind the scenes, Victoria shooting the process of the shoot.

Behind the scenes of behind the scenes, Victoria shooting the process of the shoot.

Sigal lending a helpful head to lean on.

Sigal lending a helpful head to lean on.

Linda covering her eyes as Bryce pulls Sofia up onto the edge of the wall to get in position for the shot.

Linda covering her eyes as Bryce pulls Sofia up onto the edge of the wall to get in position for the shot.

Detroit stadiums in the skyline behind our location on top of Music Hall at 3fifty Terrace.

Detroit stadiums in the skyline behind our location on top of Music Hall at 3fifty Terrace.

Commercial Fashion - CRAINE&LOVE - Esii Perez by Christian O'Grady

This past week FYT got to shoot with some of their favorites: CRAINE&LOVE and model Esii Perez.  CRAINE&LOVE is a clothing brand centered towards producing basic and essential pieces for women and men.  

Christian and Victoria have been working alongside owner Carol Craine for several months watching new ideas and inspirations come into play while she experiments with new fabrics and patterns.  For our latest shoot we welcomed long time friend Esii, who Christian says is the most dynamic model he has worked with, to model.  

Her form was as versatile as the pieces themselves.  Each style was photographed on Esii to represent the uniform standing on it's own.  Then combinations of clothing we're thrown into the mix such as jeans, skirts and sweaters tied around the waist and shoulders, all to show the different personas that each of the designers pieces can take on.  

Your uniform, how you define it, how you wear it.

 

Whether a night out for dinner or jet-setting cross country, the style and simplicity of each piece is tailored to your true self.  FYT is excited to be on this journey with Carol as she explores new opportunities for her brand.  We look forward to seeing our images implemented.  

FYT and CRAINE&LOVE plan to produce a video at the end of the month to showcase the different styles of the brand and how the form and functionality play's a crucial role in each piece.

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Esii Perez - Studio Photography - FYT Productions by Christian O'Grady

Esii Perez is a favorite model of FYT. Esii has no bounds, restrictions, or hesitations. She comes to the studio EARLY every time with a bright positive attitude. Christian and Esii have been shooting together since the beginning of this decade and that experience together leads to organic moments captured. Esii has a willingness to try different poses and expressions. This blog post of photos were all taken within one shooting session and all of these photos have little or no retouching. Forget Your Troubles... come shoot with FYT. 

Editorial - SUGARPOP! - The Metropolitan d'Etroit Magazine by Christian O'Grady

Spring is here!  Time to celebrate the best way we know how...with something SWEET.  This warm weather calls for cold fizzy pop, sweet sherbet, and other sugary treats that bring out fun under the warm sun.  The SUGARPOP! shoot was inspired by the personalities of beautiful girls and their silly personalities.  The candy element was added to be both bold and vibrant, combined with the makeup enhanced the sweetness and colorfulness of the shoot.

Studio Portraiture - Madalyn Knebel - FYT Productions by Christian O'Grady

I, Victoria, have always wanted to photograph a ballerina.  The way they carry themselves with such elegance has always been attractive to me.  Upon meeting Madalyn, I knew of her history with ballet but what I didn't know was that she was still graceful as ever.  Sometimes people change, whether it's due to their environment or just the mere fact that they've moved onto that next step.  This was not the case, I knew I had to photograph Madalyn's soft and sweet nature.  During our shoot together, Christian was flying the Helix around our studio getting behind the scenes footage to help tell the story. 

Studio Projection Art - Cassie Keller - FYT Productions by Christian O'Grady

We had worked with Cassie before but on this shoot Victoria and I decided to have fun experimenting with light from a projector. We like to shoot a model from two points of view at the same time. It gives us an opportunity to get some more dynamic photographs.