Winky Lewis Collaborates With Misha and Puff
Portland, Maine-based photographer Winky Lewis shot fashion photographs of children for Misha and Puff, a clothing company known for their beautiful, long-lasting, and responsibly-made knitwear. All of the clothing is hand knit and dyed in Lima, Peru, where it is made to be soft, durable, and fabulous.
Winky first got in touch with Misha and Puff founder, Anna Wallack, through a friend of hers and has since been commissioned for several other projects. Because the brand needs new photos for every season — including launches of non-clothing items, sneak peeks, and photos for their website — Winky and Anna have fostered an ongoing working relationship. Most of their collaboration has taken place in the Boston area, which includes both studio and location shooting.
Previously a stylist before becoming a fashion designer, Anna has a strong visual sense for her marketing material. She often uses inspiration boards to brief Winky on her vision.
“I show up with my camera with an understanding of Anna's vision, and just hope I can bring a little extra to capture the right pose or expression. I haven’t done much kids fashion work in the past, though I’ve been photographing kids ever since I picked up a camera.”
Having a wardrobe stylist, hair and makeup artist, digital tech, and multiple assistants on hand help the shoots run smoothly. With so many different models and images, Winky admits that having a digital tech on hand is key. She has also learned from her experiences that when working with kids, it’s all about catching what she can, rather than trying to pose the children.
“Sometimes it’s good to have input from Anna and/or parents on site to get what we need. Other times it’s best if we keep the set quiet and it’s just the model and me. There are some kids that reappear from shoot to shoot, and it’s been great developing relationships with these kids. It’s always so good to see a familiar face. They are so cute!”
What are the shoots like?
“Every shoot I’ve done for Anna is pretty much a race — just non-stop — which I really like. We move fast. Anna has multiple models available at all times in case one of the kids is having a hard time and needs to work through it, take a nap, etc. Somehow there is always a really stunning kid in an equally beautiful outfit ready to step in front of the camera.”
What is your primary strategy when photographing kids?
“I really try to catch an expression, maybe a distant one, or an odd or lost one. I find myself often saying to kids that I’d like to see a 'quiet face.' I landed on that with my daughter ages ago as a way to avoid cheesy smiles. If the smiles are genuine, I’m all for them. It’s the forced ones I try to avoid. And it often works! It’s about capturing a moment for me.”
What was your favorite part about this project?
“Beautiful kids in beautiful clothes, with a team to support me— I can’t really ask for more. It’s fun work, and nice to have an ongoing relationship with such a beautiful brand.”
Check out more of Winky Lewis at www.winkylewisphoto.com!
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