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Launching my swim brand has opened a lot of doors, some of which I had never imagined walking through until the opportunity presented itself. One of those opportunities has been the chance to direct photo and video shoots.
Last week, I talked about how much I have always wanted to model and this is still very true. I love modeling and am so happy every time I get to do it, but I think that because I’ve had this dream to model for so long, I never really considered other roles within production—until now.
Girl standing on beach in green slip dress with face turned up toward the sun
We just launched Collection Nº6 with Sienna Swim TODAY, and this time around, I stepped into the director’s seat. For each collection, we typically have a several-day-long photo and video shoot where we collect all the assets needed for launch, promotion, and press. We take thousands of images of every style and color way to make sure we have enough content for everything from web to socials, and typically in the past, I have modeled every day of the shoots.
Photo of an iPhone taking a video of a girl in a bikini laying on a log
This time around, though, I decided I wanted to direct the photo and video shoots instead of modeling. I still modeled one of the days of the shoot, but I really wanted to have a behind-the-camera hand in how the lifestyle content with our other models was going to turn out.
Girl looking at phone video monitor of a photoshoot with models in background
I had the best time helping post the models, choose props and locations for each shot, and give general direction on where we should go creatively. In some ways, this was such a step outside of my comfort zone, and in others, I felt totally natural and in my element. I have done so many photo and video shoots at this point that I feel like I know how to get the vibe going and make it fun for everyone—which is, in my opinion, super key to a successful shoot. People need to feel comfortable in order to get good lifestyle images. My approach to this was to be really encouraging and positive of everyone on set, and also to NEVER let the music stop playing. I walked around with a bluetooth speaker strapped to me so that we could maintain jams at all times.
Two models standing in a foot of water with a camera videotaping them, with the words, "got INSANE shots here" laid over the screen
I was also really lucky to be working with my brother and sister-in-law, who help me with the creative for the brand and are awesome at keeping track of technical things like camera batteries, inventory, model sizes and call times, etc. This end of things was very new to me, since as a model or actor you usually just show up, do your part, and leave. Having to keep track of things on the back end gave me an entirely new respect for production staff I’ve worked with in the past who had everything on HUGE productions so dialed. It is not for the weak!
Photo of girl in green dress sitting on the rocks, taking a selfie with the words, "director hat is on today" laid over the screen
I truly had the best time and am just so continuously grateful that the love you have all shown Sienna Swim has provided me with opportunities to learn and grow as a person, business woman, and creative. Make sure to check out our Instagram to see the content we shot, and shop Collection Nº6 now!
On a more somber note, I am devastated by the fires in Maui. Hawaii is my part-time home; it is an incredible place that has brought me so much community, comfort, and creativity. For the month of August, Sienna Swim will be donating 20% of sales to aid in Maui relief efforts and the recovery from the disastrous wildfires that swept the island earlier this week. More information about organizations helping in the efforts and how to donate directly is available through our Maui Relief highlight button, on Sienna Swim Instagram.
Text photo that reads: Hawaii is a home, inspiration, and community to Sienna Swim, and our hearts go out to the families, friends, communities, and wildlife of Maui who have been affected by these devastating fires. To aid in this disaster, Sienna Swim will be donating 20% of our sales this month to Maui relief efforts. If you feel led, please support this beautiful community; we've provided a list of organizations in our stories and in the Highlights button above."
Sienna Mae Gomez