Tom Hood Goes Behind the Scenes on a Lookbook Shoot

April 4, 2012

By Jacqui Palumbo

© Tom Hood/San Francisco Magazine

Since relocating from upstate New York to San Francisco, California ten years ago, Zero2Sixty Creative represented photographer Tom Hood has made himself an indispensable staple in the local community. From advertising work on the streets of the city, to personal projects focused on locals, such as his portrait project on city bike messengers, Hood celebrates San Francisco and its inhabitants.

In the past year, Hood has worked on four assignments for one of his favorite clients, area lifestyle publication San Francisco Magazine. Hood says he consistently reaches out to them because their design and content meshes well with the type of imagery he likes to create. He keeps Design Director Ellen Zaslow and Art Director Monica Lee up-to-date with his work through mailers and promotion, and they reach out to him whenever the assignment fits.

Most recently, Zaslow contacted Hood to shoot accompanying imagery for a feature on the rise of lookbooks for small boutiques and local clothing designers. Lookbooks have become standard for larger designers and brands and are quickly trending within the Bay Area community to showcase upcoming designs and collections. 

To show this trend, Hood was asked to follow the boutique Welcome Stranger on location at a lookbook shoot to get behind-the-scenes imagery. Welcome Stranger is inspired by local fashion and accommodates Bay Area weather into their designs, making them the perfect example to feature in the article. The shoot was held in a small wooded park in the southwestern part of the city, filled with redwood trees, grassy spaces and beautiful natural light.

Hood only had a weekend prepare and his biggest concern was how to shape somebody else’s photo shoot without interfering too much. After chatting with the lookbook photographer and owner of Welcome Stranger, he learned that they were shooting “guerilla style” with no lights and a minimal crew, without the typical visual cues that convey a shoot. Hood comments, “The team was willing to allow me to pose them in a way that I thought would be dynamic and make a powerful image, so I decided to bring along lights, show card, and a smoke machine.  Things I thought not only ‘photo shoot’ visually, but also help me do my job.” He brought to set a Canon 5D Mk2 tethered to a laptop, ProFoto 7b packs and heads and a Mole Richardson portable fogger.

During the Welcome Stranger shoot, Hood set up his own space nearby to stage a quick shoot afterwards. In fifteen minutes, he directed the team and produced several series of images for the creative team to choose from. Zaslow says, “Tom is a brilliant collaborator. We sent him on this shoot with no direction beyond wanting something “behind the scenes”. He came back with a haunting image that has the feeling of a timeless tableau. Plus he shot lots of other options, over and above what had been discussed.”

The images appeared in the March 2012 issue of San Francisco Magazine and were also featured online. For more of Tom Hood’s work, visit his Web site.