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[The Scrappy Test]


In this post I’m going to give you a behind the scenes peak into my favourite type of photoshoot. We all have parts of our job that aren’t so great. For me it’s modelling swimwear in sub 10 degree temperatures, the 4am call time to catch that sunrise shot or having 6 hair and make up changes in one day that you come away looking like the pimply faced, frizzy hair teenager of your nightmares. Then there are the days that are just down right amazing and this was one of those days. Modelling in one of the worlds fashion capitals with a team of enthusiastic, like-minded creatives who just so happen to be your good friends and coming away with photographic evidence that this fantastic day did in fact happen.

RIDDLE ME THIS: What happens when you put 2 beautiful models, one fashion photographer, one hot director, an award winning DOP, an eccentric stylist, and a super talented Japanese hair and makeup team in a Brooklyn loft apartment?

Katharina Rembi and Phoebe Ghorayeb


Let me paint an even more stereotypical picture for you. International model, Katharina Rembi, lives with her ‘should be a model’ cool as ice documentary maker boyfriend, Jarod Scott. They are living it up NYC style in a top floor loft apartment in Brooklyn, with views of Manhattan and the Williamsburg bridge. They are THAT annoying couple – both good looking, both exceptionally talented and both our friends – lucky us. This of course entitles me to full bragging rights.

Katharina Rembi Photoshoot

Miss Katharina Rembi is not your average model. No no no…. She has fronted campaigns for Lancome, L’oreal, Revlon UK, Urban Decay, Nivea and Shiseido, as well as having shot for Elle Germany and Elle Ukraine. The list goes on and on.

…….there’s always that one over achiever in your circle of friends.

You may be thinking, why would such a  successful globe trotting international model, be running around Brooklyn shooting a test? Waste of time right? Wrong. First let me explain a test shoot. Put simply it’s an unpaid shoot where each person gives their time and skills to create beautiful images for their portfolio. As models we are continuously reinventing ourselves and demonstrating our ability to evolve into new and wonderful creatures.  “Testing” gives us that freedom to show the world a different side to our capabilities. Also, they are just super bloomin’ fun.

“Friends who MODEL together, stay together.”

Katharina Rembi shot by Georges Antoni New York

There was very minimal planning involved when organising this shoot. We knew enough to get it off the ground, like who was doing hair and make up, who was styling and who was taking the photos. Other than that it was a free-for-all and we let our creativity grab us by the “rum balls” and throw us in which ever direction seemed like a good one.

Brooklyn was our oyster. From the bedroom and lounge room of Kat and Jarod’s apartment to the loading docks of the East River and the streets in front of the South Williamsburg Synagogue. The scene was set and now we just needed to take some nice piccies!

Katharina Remain the make up chair

9am signalled “go time”. While Kat was sitting pretty in the make up chair, Dejan Poletan, one of Kats good friends and stylist, proceeded to turn her bedroom into a walk-in-wardrobe. OK, if you want my honest opinion it was more of a clothes explosion, or organised mess according to Dejan.

Katharina Rembi and Georges Antoni

Before getting started Jarod (not just a pretty face) was kind enough to fuel us for the day. Starting off with bagels and cream cheese, a typical New York brekky, and an array of delicious goodies including muesli, yoghurt, fruit, toast, spreads and homemade ice tea.

“Who said models DON’T eat?”

Katharina Rembi photoshoot lunch

By 10.30am Georges our photographer had set up Kat’s floor to ceiling, bedroom window into a blown out backdrop with light bleeding in from the edges of her silhouette.

Katharina Rembi and Georges Antoni

11.30am and a black backdrop was hoisted up in the living room to create a stand alone portrait studio.

Katharina Rembi on set with Georges Antoni

12:30pm and it was time to say hi to the New York skyline. Using all natural light and the unique backdrop of Manhattan

Katharina Rembi shot by Georges Antoni New York

photoshoot lunch

With all this running around those bagels were bound to burn themselves off eventually so it was time for a re-fuel. Being a New York glamazon is hard work……isn’t that right Kat? For lunch we were fed a nutrient rich, vegetarian feast of rice with black beans, ricotta and salad. Enough to power us through until the last click on the camera.

Katharina Rembi and boyfriend Jarod making lunch

Now of course I was keen to get in on some of the action, however, I’m not one to steal the limelight. During Kats hair and make up changes I may have just popped on a little somethin’ somethin’, ruffled up my dry shampoo drenched hair and told Georges to point the camera in my direction. Without blowing my own horn, I have to say, I think it was worth it.

“For the LOVE of fashion.”

Georges Antoni and Phoebe Ghorayeb

4pm was already upon us and we knew we needed to make the most of the light we had left. We headed down to the streets below and made a few pit stops including the stair well and lift to shoot some more pictures. This brought us to 6pm which meant low light and high flash, creating cool, paparazzi style street shots.

Canon camera

We finally called it a wrap at 9pm and of course after a hard days work of hair flicks and pouting it’s only fair we all treated ourselves to a celebration dinner. Ducking off around the corner we found a cool little place and ordered us some classic beef burgers with thin cut chips – the perfect stereotypical NYC dinner for the perfect stereotypical NYC photoshoot.

Fashion shoot team in New York

You can follow Kat (@katharinarembi) and Dejan (@iam.dejan) on Instagram. Also check out Kat’s website Have A Smile (@have_a_smile)

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A snippet of the end result….. see how 2 different models interpret the shoot quite differently…

Katharina Rembi

Phoebe GhorayebKatharina Rembi

Phoebe GhorayebKatharina RembiPhoebe GhorayebKatharina RembiPhoebe Ghorayeb

  • I absolutely adore that third photo down of you from the final shots. Completely stunning.

  • Phoebe Ghorayeb

    Thanks Charlie. I like that one a lot too xx

  • Great story, good to read about the positives of shooting tests. If only more models realised. Met your hubby once at Sun Studio Sydney, lovely man. Cheers, Keep on blogging.

    • Phoebe Ghorayeb

      Thanks Kent. So sorry I haven’t replied sooner. Glad you enjoyed it. Always good to know people are enjoying what I write. I’ll tell Georges you say hi. Thanks again