Douglas Friedman's Music and Muses
Music inspires. It guides. Music can be a bowl to carry ideas, and a place to find a muse. It can be an obsession, a love, a way of life. It can be a path. For Mia Moretti, Oh Land, and Judith Hill, music is their path. They each have independently chosen a life of music, letting their love and passion of song and rhythm guide them into their futures. Martha Stewart Weddings Fall Fashion 2014 chose these three women to present over a dozen wedding gowns, all picked and styled through musical inspiration. Whether it was a weighty ball gown for an operatic stage, or a gold beaded sheath dress for a jazz hall, each look was rooted in musical tradition. And Douglas Friedman was behind the lens to capture it all.
For three days, Douglas, his team, and these three ladies ran all throughout New York City showing off how different all these looks are. “Every shot was a location. Every shot was a mood. It was a marathon. We sprinted a marathon. It was a lot of fun,” Douglas said. As a team they did the work of transforming each of those moods in the space, using lighting, framing, sets, and the performances of each of the women. “They were real good sports,” Douglas says about the ladies. “They really worked hard to channel something that might not have been familiar to them.”
Douglas is known for the meticulous framing and composition in his work. He’ll use every minute necessary ensuring that each element sits precisely in the frame where it needs to. And he won’t begrudge a second of it. But he does need his music. “Always,” he says. Always needs the music. But for this particular shoot, since the inspiration came from music, it was particularly important. “We had a soundtrack at every location we shot,” he says “We’d have the music going that was telling the story that we were telling. It was good for morale for the crew, it was great for the subjects.”
There is one little tricky thing when it comes to shooting a dozen bridal gowns for one story: it could get boring. But Douglas and Martha Stewart Weddings presolved this by having Mia Moretti, Oh Land, and Judith Hill be the models for this project. They are real people performing inside the dresses. They’re not mannequins. “The three girls are all personalities, they’re not models,” Douglas explains. “So we didn’t want to kind of be deceitful. It could be repetitive, it could look very repetitive.” Instead, they went the route of authenticity and found the inspiration behind every look.