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Women’s Ad Campaign

nearly goes horribly wrong

Last November I was hired as the fashion photographer to shoot a Women’s fashion campaign for a retail store on Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice, CA.

The month leading up to the shoot we spent a lot of time on model castings, mood boards, brand development, mood boards and all the other important elements that go into creating a successful campaign.

But it doesn’t always go as planned. We had a crew of about 25 with production RVs and multiple production vehicles. Four models onset, a prop car and tons of gear. The location was in the very west part of Malibu. Not long after we started shooting we noticed a small brush fire up on the mountain across PCH from us. We were not concerned because we were on the beach. But, about 1pm the winds started blowing around 40mph and the first really started spreading.

Because of the size of our production, our permit mandated that we have police officers on set as monitors. They told us that the Rangers were evacuating the campgrounds in the area but they would allow us to keep shooting for the meantime since we had police escorts. Not much later we were surrounded by fire and the police said it was time to pack up as fast as possible and we had to get out of the area.

Looking out over the ocean to the right (West) the skies were nearly dark with crazy pink and yellow colors, like nothing i had seen before. Looking to the left towards Santa Monica it was pure daylight (as you can see from the behind the scenes picture of me). I asked the models for one last shot just to run into the ocean and do what came naturally. Skinnydip, have a water fight, or whatever came natural, but there was no time to set up lights or bounce boards we were just going right now. Those are the shots attached.

That fire ended up being the Woolsey Fire that devastated Malibu (where I lived for 10 years) burning down hundreds of homes and displacing thousands of residents.

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Models running into the ocean in Malibu while being photographed for a fashion ad campaign.
Models Morgann Chelf and Baskin Champion

fashion models in the water splashing water on each other in a candid final shot.
A Unplanned Final Shot To the Fashion Campaign
Photographer Steve Fischer chases the models into the ocean trying to capture the shot for the fashion campaign.
Photographer Steve Fischer Chasing Chasing The Models Into The Water

Published in fashion photographer