A Gingervating Photoshoot!


In 1994, I sat in the desk beside Jen Squires, turned to her and said, “Do you got any cheese?” This was my Urkel-ice-breaker and a sure fire way to make new friends. Jen laughed right back in my face and has never let me forget my first words to her. Who would have thought that 17 years later two weirdos from Mr. Appleby’s grade 9 math class would be in a studio collaborating together.

I’ve stayed in touch with Jen since graduating but it wasn’t until we connected on Linkedin that I approached her with the idea of us shooting together. Jen has an incredible eye for colour and tone and her commercial lighting skills are mad. I knew that she would be the perfect talent to create the marketing and press images for Ginger Nation.


I believe that the creative process doesn’t stop on the stage, your work must translate into a visual medium in order to engage an audience. There are very very few artists/performers/musicians that have a creative team behind them, and therefore 99% of artists must replicate what the 1% set as industry standard – using limited resources and on shoestring budgets.

For this show, Jen and I came up with three separate concepts for three different uses: thumbnail, poster and editorial. (See storyboards below.) The thumbnail was inspired by profile images of David Bowie, Tilda Swinton and other random gingers, the poster inspired by iconic 50’s Rockwell-esque print ads, and the editorial is inspired by an Asis Ansari shoot and a throw back to my grade 9 highschool photo.


We were able to shoot three different set-ups – with a location change – in six hours.  I’ve collaborated with a lot of photographers but this shoot was by far my favourite. We worked so well together because of our personal history. I really think that we knocked it out of the park and I look forward to sharing the final images with you as the process continues.


JEN SQUIRES is awesome! Follow her on Twitter @jeniglass and check out her Tumblr jensquires.tumblr.com


  1. Have a meeting with your photographer prior to the shoot. Discuss your desired concepts, lighting, backgrounds, locations etc. Gather any images that you have seen that show examples of what you want your shoot to look like. An inspiration board is always helpful to get your ideas across. If you are unsure of your concept this is a good chance for you and your photographer to brainstorm ideas together. 
  2. Decide if you require a hair and make-up artist for the shoot. If not, bring make-up and hair products – especially things like powder, under eye concealor and hair spray. 
  3. Decide if you need a stylist. If not, pick out all of your outfits in advance and bring extra options the day of the shoot, just in case. Check with your photographer to see if there is a steamer or iron at their studio. If not make sure to press all outfits before.
  4. Make sure to schedule enough time for your shoot and if shooting outdoors have a back up plan in case of bad weather.
  5. Get plenty of sleep the night before and have fun with your shoot.