Behind-the-Scenes of the Gibson x Hi Sugarplum Photoshoot

Has anyone noticed that countdown widget in my sidebar lately?!? It says 12 days until the launch of the Gibson x Hi Sugarplum Collection. TWELVE!! No big deal, just rolling waves of nausea over here. I think most of it is excitement rather than nerves though.

I shared some sneak peeks with my blogger tribe yesterday, and their reactions just fueled my excitement! I literally can. not. wait for y’all to see it! Oh, but before I forget, congrats to Traci K, she was chosen as the random winner of the Collection giveaway (see the official announcement here)! 

I’m excited for today’s post just as much to share the experience with you, as I am to document it for myself. The photoshoot was the biggest whirlwind of my professional life, and not something I want to forget. Funny enough though, I can’t include most of the photos because they’d reveal too much of the Collection! And Nordstrom kind of wants it to be a surprise on May 29! 😉

So this post is an accumulation of pics from our phones, the photographer’s camera, and screen grabs from my Instagram Story. But I think it still tells the story of the weekend! (You can watch it all unfold on my GxHSP highlight video in my Instagram profile.)

But before I get into our time in Santa Monica, I have to go back several weeks to the photoshoot planning process. Once we’d approved all the clothing samples for color, pattern, material, and fit, they were returned to the designers for mass production. Leaving me with only simple computer renderings and fabric swatches to create 45 individual outfits! #challengeaccepted

My goal was to show how versatile each piece is, so I wanted the outfit combinations to cover everything from Work to Weekend.

Clutch | Ombre Earrings | Cuff | Sandals

And since we only had two full days to photograph each piece for the Nordstrom site (fashion moves fast!), I needed to be more organized than ever! So I called in the goddess of zen, the wizard of organizing…Alison Thompson. (You may remember her from my Master Closet project.)

I remember her as much for her mad-organizing skills as her positive, calming spirit. And according to Mr. SP, I was in desperate need of both!

So while I created outfits like a mad-woman, Alison documented everything…leaving us with a bound handbook of every single outfit combination, down to the earrings! It was essentially our map for the shoot, and was glued to someone’s hands at all times.

I want Alison to come organize every nook and cranny of my house. And life.

Garment Rack | Pink Straw Bag | Star Straw Bag

It was pretty much all hands on deck…even the pups were helping!

Slippers | Straw Bag | Cropped Jeans | Leopard Clutch | Black Wedges | Stacked Bracelets | Flat Sandal

Then Mr. SP packed it all up (eBags saving us, once again!), and we were off to California! You didn’t think I could do this without my Mama Sugarplum, did you?!

We decided on the Santa Monica area for several reasons…1) the predictable weather (we didn’t have time for Mother Nature!), 2) the abundance of photo backdrops (remember that whole 45 outfits, 2 days!), and 3) I already knew a phenomenal photographer in the area! (Of course I begged Mary to come shoot the collection, but she’s 8-months pregnant, so there’s that!)

Within an hour of arrival, the entire Collection was hand-delivered to the hotel room and we were a flurry of steaming and organizing! Mr. SP steamed all 45 pieces while Mom and I pulled everything together for the first day’s shoot.

The next morning, Suzie Moldovan arrived to work her hair and makeup magic. And I mean serious magic! We became fast-friends in the two days of working together, and Suzie taught me some amazing make-up tips I’ll share with you once I can show more photos!

Hoop Earrings | Pendant | Jean Jacket

The rental van was our rolling closet, stocked with all the clothes, shoes and accessories…and Mama Sugarplum the facilitator of it all! While I was shooting one outfit, she’d pull together everything I needed for the next look. Then while I changed in the backseat, Mr. SP would drive us to the next location. It was chaotic and organized, all at the same time.

Samantha Klose was our photographer extraordinaire, and flushed out all the best locations, while dealing with the crowds, ever-changing light, and our endless stream of chatter. She is an amazing photographer, and so full of joy and patience.

Suzie Moldovan (hair & makeup) | Samantha Klose (photographer)

Straw Tote

Suzie was with me every step of the way, switching up my hair, touching up makeup, and doing a never-ending change in lip colors. My arsenal of bright pinks has grown, and I’ll be sharing all the makeup and colors she used soon!

Hoop Earrings

Tassel Earrings | Wedges

Day 2 was more of the same, but this time Mama Sugarplum was in front of the camera with me! Y’all are going to die when you see her pictures!

After her shots, it was back to facilitating us all. (Y’all know ‘facilitate’ is just my nice way of saying bossy, right?!) But she was so good at it, and we squeezed in our final shot just as the sun was setting!

We stayed at Palihouse Santa Monica, and it was the perfect home-away-from-home for the exhausting days. It’s decorated like the inside of an Anthropologie catalog, and the gorgeous grounds even served as beautiful backdrops for some of our photos.

They knew we’d have an entourage, so they kindly upgraded us to a 2-room suite. But Mama Sugarplum’s standard room was just as lovely.

It was the busiest, most-exhilarating two days, and I felt so blessed to be surrounded by such a kind, talented, supportive team. Everyone was an essential piece of the puzzle, and made the weekend both fun and successful. Plus, sharing the experience with my darling mom was extra special, and I couldn’t have done it without her and my funny Mr. SP.

White Jean Jacket | ‘Out of Office Hat | Hoop Earrings | White Jean Skirt

Pink Straw Tote

We flew home early the next morning, but there was no rest for the weary since Samantha’s photos were due to Nordstrom 24-hours later! You’ll get to see them all in 12 days. Did I mention it’s only 12 days?

A huge thanks to everyone on #TeamSugarplum for your patience, talents, support and unlimited enthusiasm for this project!! My heart is so full after time with you, and I can’t wait to share the fruits of our labor. And thanks to Gibson and Nordstrom for trusting me with full creative freedom on styling and shooting this Collection. I’m beyond proud of what we’ve created together.

I hope you enjoyed this look behind-the-scenes, and stay tuned for more sneak peeks of what’s to come May 29!



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