3 Things I learned from "Old Glory" by Chelsea Beauchamp

I know many of you think Betsy Ross was the designer for “Old Glory” but despite the legendary tale of Ms. Ross and George Washington, documentation strongly suggests that although Ms. Ross may have made some alterations while she was manufacturing the design, it was another that crafted the “Stars and Stripes.”

Congress was billed by Francis Hopkins a “quarter cask of the public wine” and cash for the design of the flag with thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; so that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field. Payment was not rendered for the design, because it was decided he had already received a salary as a member of Congress.

So, even in the late 1700’s a designer not only struggled to collect on an invoice, he wasn’t even to be credited until recent history. A couple things we can take away from this

  1. Good Design lasts centuries - If you can't do it, invest in it.
  2. Being paid for creative work is a battle that has been around since the foundation of our nation - When someone says it will take an act of Congress to get paid for creative work, they may not realize that it was Congress that started the non-payment payment plan.
  3. Leave a paper trail - Send those invoices, they may be the claim to your legacy and who knows, you might even get paid.
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Frame 1 - Wesley Knight by Chelsea Beauchamp

When visionaries this focused, this excellent, united by a greater cause than themselves get together everything seems to fall into place. I would not do the disservice of actually saying that everything on this project fell into place because it was months and months of dreaming, planning, executing and follow through. There truly was very little need for the kind of production I usually do. From the beginning I knew this was a project I wanted to be a part of, even if it was holding a light stand, but they all kindly humored me and let me do some production work.

 

The brains behind all of this started with Wesley Knight's idea for a ready-to-wear line, inspired by the concepts "transparency, vulnerability, self-consciouness exposed by examining yourself and not others." With that he rallied Brett Warren to capture stills and Jordan Bellamy to add movement to the story they dreamed up. 

Craftsman: Wesley Knight
Photographer: Brett Warren
Director: Jordan Bellamy
DP: Ryan Mclemore
Composer: Thad Kopec
Beauty+Grooming: Aña Monique
Talent: Dylan+Laura Hanson (Amax) Take a look and enjoy

Nashville Fashion Week 2017 by Chelsea Beauchamp

No matter how many details you can think of, or plan for those details, you will not think of everything, and not everything will go according to your plan, especially when you are working with a project involving as many moving parts as Nashville Fashion Week 

Every year The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee teams up with NFW and put on a week of fashion related events. This year there was over 100 different events all across the city. My job was to make sure the event was well documented and appeared as excellent in photos as it was in person. It was also important to show different perspectives of the same event. 

So how do you cover and coordinate that many events, meet the requirements of Sponsor, NFW, and make interesting images?
— Great question, glad you asked.

• Gathered Resources • Adjusted and Removed • Trusted the Professionals • Communicated • Repeat
 

My first plan of attack was to look at the resources NFW already had, photographers, systems, and templates. Then I pulled from those resources that worked well, and called them back into action. Then I gathered what did not work well from previous years (based on input) and made adjustments or did something new altogether. 

It's always so interesting to me that someone hires a professional to do a job and then tells them how to do it. One of the questions in the application was "What are you most interested in shooting from the following list..." I trusted that if they were excited about it they would do better than someone who was told what to be excited about. 

Once I confirmed the right photographers, I made sure to connect with them to talk about expectations (on both sides), gave them all of the information and tools to set them up for success, and also made myself available before during and after if there was anything left to the imagination. 

I was surprised how well everything came together, despite some Dropbox issues (grrrrr), and people walking on the runway during the show. When all the work is said and done, I am quite happy with how the long week of events went. And next year the same 4 steps will get me through.

Nashville Lifestyles September 2016 Issue by Chelsea Beauchamp

If you are anywhere near Nashville, TN you have probably heard the buzz that fashion is nestling itself right in the heart of Music City. Working with Brett Warren for the last 5(+) years has given me a front row seat to the ever growing fashion show (pun intended). I cannot express the gratitude, and excitement I get when I reflect on the passionate designers I have met, or how humble I feel when I say, "I remember 'them' or 'that' when..." 

That is why working on this issue was such an honor for me. Producing 9 shoots in 3 days was no small feat. Constant communication, what felt like thousands of details, and an incredible group of people made this September feature possible and really fun! I am so proud to be a part of this community in a very small way.

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Like a tree planted by a river...in the winter. by Chelsea Beauchamp

Growing up in Arizona means that I am forever perplexed by two things: Daylight savings time, and trees in the winter. While daylight savings has taught me very little about life, trees in the winter consistently leave me in a state of wonderment. Although, it's not just trees in the winter that inspire awe, I suppose, it's the whole life cycle of trees. I love the beauty of the green, the variety of species and their leaves, the support they offer to the air we breathe, and so on. But what I respect most about trees, is their vulnerability; winter is when I find the trees the most beautiful.

Fully exposed, I am granted permission to see the knots, imperfect lines, hallowed spaces carved out by little creatures, and the overall structure that supports the green. The green which would so readily be classified as life, but upon closer inspection the tree proves it is just as much alive without its interesting shaded and shaped garments. It is when the tree has shed this outer layer, the fruits, the potential for admiration, that an on-looker can see its strength, its scars, and the structure which shapes everything about it. 

I have encountered many people that remind me of trees. They too inspire me, and reveal to me that there is beauty in all seasons; a mysterious kind of beauty in being exposed through vulnerability, which shows me what they are made of. I hope to be more like a tree. Vulnerability is the the key to true success...at anything.