Showcase | The Tee-Pee

When photographer Nicole Mitchem submitted some of her beautiful work to Reverie, it was this session that caught my eye. I’m sure you can see why — uhm, gorgeous!

Please join me as I chat with Nicole about her shoot below.

skye | What was the inspiration behind this shoot?

A client told me about a giant teepee she thought I would like for an editorial shoot. Boy, was she right! As soon as I saw it the inspiration juices started flowing. I wanted to show a fashion forward editorial with Native American influences, but it was important it not be “costumey”.


skye | Did you final result stay too far from your initial vision?

No, I can’t say the final result is far from my vision. However, anytime I shoot I always have a loose vision in my mind because I work best when I let things come together on set. What I’m trying to say is I had hoped the pictures would reflect something amazing, but I didn’t know exactly what that would be until I actually was in the moment shooting. I am thrilled with the final result.


skye | I love the indoor lighting inside the tent — seemed like a giant “softbox” to diffuse the light. Any thoughts on this?

The lighting in the tent is what sold me. As soon as I walked in I was in love. Being a natural light photographer, good quality light is kind of my world and that light is some of the most flattering I’ve worked with – ever. One of my team members and I made mention that it was like being in a giant softbox.


skye | Thinking back to when you first started as a photographer, how do you feel about how your style has evolved over the years? Are you were you hoped/thought you would be?

When I first started and where I am now are worlds apart. I feel much more creative and skilled now. I miss film’s richness deeply, but I love the digital advantages. I am still an old school shooter at heart. I was away from shooting for about seven years and literally fell back into it two years ago by mistake. I had no idea my business would take off so quickly and am ever so thankful it did.


skye | How do you replenish your creativity?

Replenishing my creativity is vitally important. Becaus I shoot five days per week for agency represented models I see a lot of people. I am a nut about providing original locations and images to my clients because I can’t bear the thought of my work circulating around and people having the same comp cards. That mentality lends itself to a lot of stress in finding new locations to shoot. I am 100 percent of the time looking for new shooting spots with good light. When I find a new spot, I am instantly inspired.


skye | The clothes are an important part in pulling off the feel for this type of session. How did you choose the wardrobe?

For this shoot I made some of the clothes and accessories and then shopped for the rest. I wanted to show fashion and fun within a storybook setting. I hopped and looked around a lot. The props and pelts were provided mostly by the tent’s owner who has some amazing authentic Native American pieces.


skye | How were the models chosen for this project?

I chose models I had shot before as well as a few new faces. It was about the look, diversity, spirit and their ability to take directions from me. I needed more editorial faces and kids with big expressive eyes to convey my feeling. These kids were amazing; they all did so well for me. It was 95 degrees inside that tent. On a side note, some of the models are siblings.

If you live  in the central Florida area, you can check out this showcase in the latest Playground Magazine.

Until next time!

- Skye, xoxo


| Credits |

Images © 2011 Nicole Mitchem Photography

Wardrobe by Nicole Mitchem
Hair + Makeup: Whitney Parker
Photog Assistant: Claire Almond
Scouter, Shopper, Behind-the-Scenes Shooter: Lori Smith

21 Creatives Left Comments

  1. Almut says:

    I posted on my facebook

    I greet you very warm from Germany,
    Almut :-)

  2. Jasmine McGinnis says:

    Check out the huge Giveaway at the Reverie Blog for Photographers:!

  3. andrea says:

    Fantastic and creative! Thank you for posting such a wonderful interview that is complemented perfectly by outstanding photos!

  4. Adriana says:

    AMAZING session, I love that spirit coming from it. LOVE IT

  5. Kelley says:

    Gorgeous shoot… only, I cannot help but feel a little like the poses/makeup would be more appropriate for teens. The natural light & joy of childhood is lost to fashion. Still – to each their own, and the result is technically stunning.

  6. Mary-Kailtyn says:

    This is absolutely stunning.. That 5th shot.. wow.. Incredible work and great interview!! <3

  7. angelica says:

    the photos are beautiful but the make up on the girls really bothers me. I think kids should be kids, and the girls should have gone for native american make up rather than than vogue, which would have gone gorgeous with the hair

  8. Cortney says:

    Beautiful work. I love your vision and the interview was so helpful. Thanks!

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