May 8th, 2021, 05:01 PM

Behind the Scenes of Peacock Magazine

By Sofia Rose
Celebrating the magazine launch. Left to right: Sofia Rose (Photo Director), Stella Richman (Art Director) and Lauren Nanes (Editor-in-Chief). Image Credit: Jeff Hanrahan
A look into what went into making the Spring 2021 issue of the Peacock from the Photo Director, Sofia Rose

As many of you may know this semester's edition of the Peacock magazine was just released! As the photo director I would like to give some insight into the stages of preparations and production. My job starts as soon as articles are pitched and approved. The first stage is choosing which piece will have photos to accompany them. This was a discussion that Lauren Nanes, Stella Richman, and I had as a team. In this magazine we wanted to have as many accompaniment photos as possible, so some of the ideas I had were a stretch. My goal was to have really creative and artistic shoots to accompany the pieces. After deciding what pieces were going to have photos, I had to decide which photos I was going to have created and which photos we would need to find. For a piece like Jeff Hanrahan’s "Have Gun, Will Travel" there was no way we were going to be able make those pictures ourselves, thankfully the interviewees from that piece Chris Helali and Hunter Pugh had some photos from their time in Raqqa, as well as another contributing photographer, Heval Nestor, from the front.

Lauren Nanes (left) and Stella Richman (right) working on the magazine. Image Credit: Sofia Rose

Another piece in which we used existing photos was The Futility of Escapism by Isabella Sibble. Isabella had so many photos from her time in Chamonix that we could choose from. Stella and I really brainstormed how we could make the photos really pop! In the end we played with the hues of the photos giving them this otherworldly psychedelic look which perfectly matches the tone of the piece. 

For the photoshoots that we decided to make the photos ourselves, it started out with a vision and a moodboard. I put together seven shoots for the magazine. While creating the moodboards I was also contacting the photographers , models, and looking for locations. Here are the moodboards for three of the shoots: "Hometown Cravings", "Destroy the Table", and "The Not So Healthy Health Regime".

Moodboard. Image Credit: Sofia Rose

The photos don't always look exactly like the moodboards in the end, sometimes that's intentional and sometimes it's because not everything behind the scene fell into place perfectly. For example, the shoot for "The Not So Healthy Health Regime", shot by Louis Mack, was quite difficult to plan because I had no idea where to shoot it, I couldn't use a studio or apartment because that would be way too messy and all the parks in Paris were bound to be packed on a sunny day. In the end I decided on Bois de Vincennes, we had shot the cover there and it was perfectly secluded. The food fight shoot was extra stressful because everything didn't fall into place until the very last minute.  We had to completely change all the models two days before the shoot because of a positive COVID case, the outfits I originally bought for the shoot looked really dumb, and since it was confinement I couldn’t buy new ones, so I spent all night sewing details on them to make the look more cohesive. Stella and I had to bake the cake and cupcakes because it is very difficult to find those for cheap in Paris. And then we had to carry all the very heavy supplies to our shooting location which turned out to be a nudist colony! In the end though, none of those struggles can be seen in the photos and that's what matters.

Photographer Louis Mack with assistance by Lola Mansell on the set. Models left to right: Magellan McCartney, Stella Guan, and Evan Theophile. Image Credit: Sofia Rose

Some of the shoots were much more simpler behind the scenes like Destroy the Table all of the ladies wore their own clothes and we shot in the AUP photo studio. Or Hometown Cravings shoot, which was shot at Abby Wright’s stunning apartment and the photos were taken by Lola Mansell, the models wore their own clothes and we just had to do a little bit of running around the city to pick up all the food. Another easy shoot to plan was the self care shoot which was shot by Celia Goodman at her apartment with all of the props being her amazing plants!

Left photo: Celia Goodman shoots Edward Napoleon. Right photo: Lola Mansell shoots Charisma Irvine, Bianca Bozzo Navarro Grau, and Jasmine Weiang Li. Image Credits: Sofia Rose

I was at every shoot to take some behind the scene footage but also to help stage things, and make sure to guide the photographers so we could get the shots we needed. Either Stella or Lauren were at almost every shoot too, this was really a collaborative magazine, and I wanted to make sure that all of our visions were represented in the photos. Choosing the photos was the hard part! There were so man amazing ones to choose from! 

 Sofia Rose shoots Yoann Massala and Yara Kenza Ataya for the cover. Image Credits: Lauren Nanes

Overall the process of being photo director was a lot of work, a lot of stress, but a lot of fun. It was so gratifying to be able to have an outlet for creative energy and thoughts and to have an amazing team backing me up and really trusting my vision even if my ideas were a little out there. Please pick up a copy of the magazine and support all of our hard work!!