Here’s one of the most stylish and bohemian birthday parties I photographed, bringing The Great Gatsby theme to a yacht.
On a rare occasion, I come across a client planning an event inspired by The Great Gatsby theme, usually a wedding. Ironically, those clients come from a certain budget-centric website and their budgets are anything but The Great Gatsby. Of course, I am not fantasizing about scoring a year-worth of income in one day at some millionaire’s shenanigans; this fun theme is not reserved just for the riches. It’s more that putting so much energy and research and then investing good money into a unique decor, outfits, entertainment, activities aiming to depict the high class, and then having to make up for the splurging by hiring a cheap photographer to do a mediocre job of immortalizing the memory of such event appears perplexing to me. Perhaps it works for the credo “live in the moment”, though.
Finally, a client with The Great Gatsby theme came from another referral source, more common and workable—a personal recommendation. Yana was referred by a dear client of mine, Alena, whose deep personality photo quest we did several months ago. (To my regret, Alena could not attend the event herself but I met another fashionista, my long-time friend, and a wonderful makeup artist and hair stylist Edvina; I admit that she was among the most photographed by both me and my wife, and we conceived an idea for her own bombastic photo shoot.) The occasion wasn’t a wedding but Yana’s fabulous birthday party and to add even more splash to it, she boarded us on a NYC cruise provided by the Lexington Yacht! Another person I recognized among the guests was Yana’s mother whom I had a pleasure of photographing for free as part of the Mama’s Love annual client appreciation event announced right after Yana booked me, so she qualified!
This wasn’t the first time I worked on something related to The Great Gatsby theme, e.g., a fashionable engagement session at the Jane Hotel but as far as capturing the rocking party mood—the essence of the theme—this was my first lucky experience.
Yana suggested that her guests come dressed according to The Great Gatsby theme and could not contain her surprise of how many of them actually did! The theme obviously sparks the excitement and people’s creativity! Coincidentally, I watched The Great Gatsby (2013) movie just a week prior to the birthday party and was so pleased to “materialize” the visuals of the story! Below are my favorites and as you can see, I made a tough decision to present each one of them in black and white. I think I’ve only used this radical approach once in my portfolio for a fine art nude session. The idea of all-B&W is always tempting and I thought, what would be a better candidate than The Great Gatsby theme of 1920s?
Entertainment was tastefully provided by the live performance of Douglas Genuard of D & E Entertainment and the beats were pumped by DJ Legacy, pouring the tunes of classic American, Italian, and Russian songs along the Hudson river to weave into the NYC skyscrapers and the Statue of Liberty.
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Makeup and hair: U-Mode Salon