Backstage Pass: Behind the scenes at an Israeli fashion production

WATCH: Get a closer look of what it's like to be at a full scale photo shoot with Fashion photographer Ella Manor.

Holy Fashion (photo credit: ELLA MANOR)
Holy Fashion
(photo credit: ELLA MANOR)

Holy Fashion, a weekly column, follows fashion photographer Ella Manor as she explores new trends and icons within the fashion and culture of Israel
Producing a photo shoot is an art form in its own right. Many times, especially when a photographer is starting out and is dealing with low budget productions or testing, the photographer is also the producer and the art director. Hell, when I started producing my own shoots, I was also the wardrobe stylist, make-up artist, hair stylist and sometimes even the model. But with some networking skills and a great portfolio, you can find yourself an entourage of talented professionals who will walk with you in fire and water.

(Cirque du Freak came about by the excitement and inspiration of meeting and collaborating with filmmaker Arin Crumley. We both brought our creative minds to the set of 3rd Ward studios, to create a multimedia presentation consisting of fashion, image projection, stills and video and later editing by Arin and the awesome Alex Baker. The story was picked up by Clam magazine and is now published in the Change issue, currently on newsstands in Paris, and the States.)The first thing you need when producing a fashion shoot is a vision. This vision can take on many forms. For example, it could be a narrative-a story you want to tell; or it could be a visual concept of colors, or textures, or mood, or composition. An important aspect of having a vision before you start producing the shoot is imagining what type of lighting scenario you would like to create. This will greatly affect the mood and narrative of the story. In order to have a vision you must get inspired.

(Sergey Maydin shoots and edits a beautiful depiction of our fashion production shot at boutique Hotel Brown TLV in Tel Aviv where we shoot the winter collection for the high end vintage brand La Tante.)

The next step is to research, contact, and book your team members. It is very important that you work with the right people. I can say beyond a doubt that the most important thing on the set is the atmosphere, and this is determined by the people you have selected. The energy that flies around between everybody on set is going to make or break the shoot, and as a result, the work itself. The wardrobe stylist's work is extremely important and vital to the success of the shoot. The stylist will contact the appropriate showrooms and designers to schedule appointments and select samples to borrow/pull for the shoot. They will then take the appointments, pick out the samples, and arrange for pick up and drop off dates. Next, you will seek out a make-up artist, hair stylist and nail technician. All play a very important role in producing the shoot and creating the final imagery. Finally, the day of shoot arrives; you are on your own now to manage your team and make sure their needs are taken care of. Make sure you take a few minutes with each team member to discuss what they are going to do. Also make sure to greet everyone, introduce them to the rest of the team members, and most importantly, make sure to have fun and be creative!
Special thanks to:
  • Mater hair stylist Tetsuya Yokozuka with whom I've had the pleasure of working with numerous times and has always satisfied my every crazy hair design request in the most professional and meticulous and outstanding manner! To see more of Tetsuya's work, go to
  • Extraordinary make up artist Ronnie Peterson who's work and company always give me the utmost joy and pleasure. Ronnie there is no one like you! To see more of Ronnie's work, go to
  • The wonder called Victoria Stiles Make up artist and hair stylist who is beautiful, talented and takes her work ever so seriously. To see more of Victoria's work, go to .
  • Amazing filmmaker, artist and media wiz Arin Crumley who intuitively came into my life to create much beauty and madness and make me feel anything is possible. To check out what Arin is up to, go to

The writer/photographer is a multimedia artist, fashion photographer and trendsetter.

For more inspiration visit

For questions or suggestions please email team(at)

Follow Ella on 

Follow Ella on Instagram at

Illustration by Efrat de Botton