Tim Lampe and Ren Adkins, the duo behind Atlanta’s Very Clever, recently photographed Alissa Bertrand, the designer behind sustainable clothing line Jabella Fleur for Atlanta Magazine. Their bold portraits capture the essence of Alissa’s playful and colorful designs and the inspiration behind the line — her kids.
The story and accompanying photographs detail Alissa’s journey to becoming a children’s clothing designer. When the mother of three couldn’t find a good selection of clothing for her young daughters, she turned to thrift stores to source fabrics and made them herself. She began photographing Jayla, Ella, and Jada like fashion models and posting them to her Instagram as a way to make them feel empowered. She wanted to give her kids the confidence to dress however they wanted, and when she entered the Vogue Instagram challenge last summer, her account went viral.
This shoot was Tim and Ren’s first time working on an assignment for Atlanta Magazine. They had been in touch with Martha Williams, an art director at the magazine, about working together, but the plans were delayed due to the pandemic.
We had been in contact with Martha Williams about working together. Then the pandemic hit, and everything got put on hold. Fast forward almost a year later, and she asked us if we’d be interested in photographing Alissa and her daughters.
The production came together quickly and was planned, shot, and edited in less than a week. Once assigned to the story, the duo booked a local studio and rushed to build a set entirely from scratch. Their idea was to utilize vintage fabrics from Alissa’s collection to create a unique backdrop they could shoot in. The unique setting added a personal touch and further emphasized the distinctiveness of Alissa’s line by showcasing vibrant patterns and prints.
We picked up the fabrics the day before the shoot and made rough sketches and plans about which materials to use and how to drape them. The set build had to come together within 2 hours of Alissa and the girls arriving on set, so we were definitely in a time crunch to make that happen.
The team was given some direction but had a lot of creative freedom to execute the shoot as they saw fit. The project allowed them to showcase their photography skills and utilize their styling knowledge to execute the set design creatively.
The art director wanted us to somehow use the fabrics as a background, but it was primarily up to us in terms of structure. We were pleased to learn that we could quickly conceptualize and execute our own sets (without a set designer) at a larger scale and under a time crunch!
Once the set design was ready and talent was there, Tim and Ren spent about an hour photographing Alissa and her girls against the backdrop. They tried angles and combinations of poses to ensure they had a good selection for the magazine layouts. Alissa was used to photographing her daughters in the designs, so they were natural models, but she was a bit shy in front of the camera.
Alissa is usually the one taking photos of the girls for their Instagram, so it was a bit of a challenge getting her to feel comfortable in front of our lens. We had her daughters help her relax by dancing and doing impressions.
On the day of the shoot, no one from the magazine was available to be on set, so in between shooting, the team also spent time sending over selects to the staff at Atlanta Magazine for approval. Since this was their first time working with the magazine, Tim and Ren wanted to make sure they were happy with their approach.
Many different shoots were happening that same day, so they weren’t able to get back to us with approvals right away, which was a bit nerve-wracking!
The resulting images are fun, layered portraits that showcase Alissa’s designs’ playfulness and her beautiful, supportive family. The girls’ photographs exude confidence, which Alissa hoped to give her daughters by encouraging them to express themselves through their attire.
Our favorite part of the project was seeing it in print and reading the reactions to our photos on social media, which were all so positive. Everyone loved seeing this family just as much as we loved getting to photograph them.