Fairytale, playful, and whimsical are hardly words anyone would associate with the pandemic, but for You actor Elizabeth Lail and stylist Sarah Slutsky, an optimistic outlook is achievable — it just takes a little imagination. More specifically, it takes a socially distanced quarantine photoshoot at home with a pile of fanciful decor and equally effusive clothes. "Elizabeth and I were catching up discussing how we both have been evolving in this time of change and adaptation," Slutsky tells TZR about how the shoot came to life. "We talked about what it means to find new ways to stay connected to our crafts while our industries have been on pause." Both Slutsky and Lail, like many, have experienced an abrupt halt in their work due to COVID-19. Understandably, it's taken its toll. "I felt it was really important to find ways to keep creating for both my mental health and as a means of staying connected to my colleagues," Slutsky adds.
With a floral backdrop sourced from LoveShackFancy, a gorgeous handful of assorted props including vases, teacups, fresh flowers, and even a mache strawberry, the two convened in Slutsky's outdoor studio for what she describes as "grown-up Alice In Wonderland." In other words, they had an adult sleepover complete with dress up and play and it's precisely the way to stay creative during your own quarantine this winter season.
At-Home Quarantine Photoshoot: Begin With A Story
Pictured Above: Amanda Uprichard dress; LoveShackFancy backdrop; Shop Repurpose vase; Anthropologie chair.
"Both Sarah and I hadn’t worked in months and our identities as stylist and actor were no longer clear to us. Who are we without our work?" Lail shares with TZR. "Luckily for us, I think we were both able to re-connect with why we do what we do." For Lail, storytelling is at the heart of her work as an actor and is the reason why an ethereal, imaginative backyard photoshoot fits the bill. "Stories reveal the human condition like no other. They provide cathartic release, understanding, and guidance, even when the world as we know it comes to a halt," Lail says. "The pandemic has forced us to be creative with how we do our work, socialize, connect, and spend our time. My hope is that this creative energy will continue as the world opens back up."
So, where to begin with your own at-home shoot? Both Lail and Slutsky agree: let loose. "The best way to be creative is to connect to yourself," Lail advises. "Look around you, grab some props, grab a camera, someone who speaks your language, and create! There is no wrong way to do it. Enjoy the process. You never know what you might learn." For Slutsky, creating a fairytale-like space was a reminder of what's possible. "There are no rules when it comes to creativity and even in times of uncertainty there is beauty," she says.
At-Home Quarantine Photoshoot: Cull Props And Wardrobe
Pictured Above: Coco Shop dress; For Love & Lemons necklace; Mejuri rings; LoveShackFancy backdrop; Kate Kimmel mache strawberry; Anthropologie chair; stylist's own teacup.
Before choosing your quarantine photoshoot garments, follow Slutsky and Lail's lead and envision the overall aesthetic first. "The backdrops and props were important because we were able to transform my everyday space into a dream world," Slutsky shares. "We felt that creating and sharing a universe of play would be an opportunity to escape." This all culminated in a fantastical array of powdery colors and romantic textures that set the stage for Lail's whimsical wardrobe.
At-Home Quarantine Photoshoot: Dig Deep In Your Closet
Pictured Above: Self Portrait dress; Kate Spade bracelet and necklace; Mejuri rings; LoveShackFancy backdrop; Abigail Bell Vintage vase; Shop Repurpose white vase; Pop Up Florist florals.
For their shoot, Lail relied on the transformative power of clothing. "It can entirely change your essence," she says. "When I put on a certain outfit I immediately become another person, or rather, I tap into another part of myself. I put on a dress during this shoot and I was immediately transported to tea time and the French countryside." As a stylist, Slutsky is no stranger to this phenomenon. "After a day of creating with a friend you never regret it. Spirits are always lifted, we are reminded of all the good there is around us, we are reminded of all the people who are experiencing something similar and we are not alone. Truly, what I want to say is just do it," she says.
Ahead, Props and Pre-Loved Wardrobe Picks For Your At-Home Quarantine Shoot.
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