Leanne F. helped with the Creative Direction for the Live Your Life campaign from discovering our cast to documenting all the behind the scenes action. Read below to get to know more about her fun and fascinating job.
What is your background?
I went to school at Ohio University where I designed my own major so that I could learn everything I wanted in my industry. I took all of the classes that I could in Art, Retail, Advertising and Public Relations. I graduated early and headed off to New York where I interned and then worked full-time with Heatherette. They were the BEST to work for. Next, I did PR at Roxy after meeting this rad girl on the subway that worked for them, so I ended up in California. While at Roxy, their team started having me come on photo shoots to help style, which I fell in love with. I was asked to be the Fashion Editor of an amazing surf magazine, FOAM. From there, I just started freelance styling for a living. I get to run all over the world, work with amazing creative souls, and never have to hang out in an office!
How did you get to be a part of the Live Your Life campaign?
I have been working in fashion as a freelancer for the last ten years. In those ten years I have done all aspects of fashion; creative direction, styling, design, fashion editor, PR, sales, production, casting, you name it. I have done all kinds of fun gigs for American Eagle including styling their past photo shoots.
On the Live Your Life campaign I had two totally new jobs. My first job was to find and cast great people! I was looking for cool kids that do cool things. I was on set making sure the cast were all happy and taken care of, so it was kind of a cross between fashion and camp counseling. My second job was doing some behind the scenes updates and photos for the blog, giving the inside scoop that you couldn’t get from just the campaign. That was a blast.
What was your favorite part of the campaign?
I loved watching my friends shine! A lot of the real kids we cast were my buddies, so I was really proud of them and happy to have the world see their talents!
What was the coolest place you traveled during the shoot?
My favorite place to travel on the shoot was when we drove up to San Luis Obispo to see Aaron dirt bike. We hung out at Aaron’s place with him and his fiancé Hillary and had a blast playing with all of their “toys” - Motorcycles, tractors, dirt bikes, old trucks, and dune buggies! That was one of those amazing days that you really love your job!
What was a typical day like on the shoot?
I had my camera on all day, following the crew and cast around as they did their shoot. We would get up early and follow each cast member around for a typical day in their life. We really got to know each person, it was awesome.
What is something people don’t realize about photo shoots?
Oh, that’s easy! People don’t realize how much time, work, energy, planning, and how many people go into these big shoots. You see one cute picture with one person in front of the camera, but behind that camera are probably 50 people watching to make sure their part of the job goes off without a hitch. Whether it be the clothes, the hair, the makeup, the photographs, the lighting, or the props, there are all kinds of things that go into the back-end of that picture you see. Photo shoots are a bit like summer camp, you all bond and get really close and at the end of it you hug and promise to write.
Do you have any funny stories from the shoot?
I loved when Angel Taylor was rapping! We wanted her to sing something for the camera. She just started rapping the entire Eminem song from 8 Mile [Lose Yourself]. She did the entire thing start to finish. By the end of it, she was sweating and we were all cheering! We had to dry her off and redo her makeup, but it was so worth it! We had a blast with her.
Where do you find your inspiration?
EVERYWHERE! When you are the creative type you can’t help but be inspired by everything you see and hear. I am probably inspired most by road trips. Everything about them: the people I meet, the places I am going, the sights out the window, the truck stops, the country side, the music playing… all of it.
Do you have any cool hobbies or interests?
I do a lot of interior design projects. My husband and I are fixing up our house. You can see pictures and read all the funny stories are www.meettheshaffers.com. I also love to write. I have been writing poetry and lyrics with my friends who then turn it into music. I write a lot with the band Escondido, Nikki Lane, Carey Kotsionis, and Kai Welch to name a few. They are amazing musicians and I have a blast writing with them. It is so rad to hear your little poems turn into these great songs.