The Party Planners – A Very Exciting Photoshoot
Here at the Les Enfants studio we are all incredibly, incredibly excited! After a very long wait we are finally able to release our Autumn Winter photoshoot – The Party Planners!
This piece was shot back in May, so you can imagine how we have been sat on it, squirming until it’s release. The shoot was photographed for Hooligans Magazine, and can now be seen, alongside a fantastic interview with Les Enfants founder Katie Burnett, in issue 10, available in both print and digital format.
Read the interview with Katie below, and discover all about trends in Children’s party planning, and what it takes to put together a photoshoot of this scale.
Katie, what is the essence of running an events business for children?
Working with a client wish list & imagination, or indeed without! Such discerning customers, young and old, demand the best, and originality is key. We are essentially engaged to help busy people, not only with organisation and time, but also by making young peoples party dreams true. Pinterest means that many parents are very switched onto visual trends, this means we work harder to exceed expectations for a visually stunning event.
Staying on top of a busy market isn’t easy, what is the Les Enfants key to stand out parties?
Predicting party trends, creating party trends and collaborating with suppliers who share the same ethos is key. From décor to food, activities to entertainment, every party stands on it’s own. Stand out elements are sourced from experts in paper craft, bakery, balloons and more.
Your latest shoot feels very ‘interiors’ led – is this something you strove for?
Again, it’s about party trends, and pushing them to the next level. In the UK market trends filter down from Australia, the US and South America mainly – essentially we are seeing a more ‘grown up’ approach to kids events.
The décor is more fashion led, or ‘ elegantly tasteful’ colour wise, and when it comes to food and drink – visual presentation and actual taste is key – it is no longer an afterthought to a children’s party!
Do you prefer styling for photography, or actual events?
Working on an editorial shoot such as this, gives us an opportunity to showcase new ideas for those who may need that bit of further inspiration for their own gatherings. Sourcing collaborators for such a shoot is a rare treat – we are working towards our own visions and ideas, as opposed to the clients. Our clients always know what they want, but it’s our job to showcase the originality and creativity of those who work hard on their events, and give them a few extra ideas to really make a celebration their own.
There are some amazing collaborators on this shoot – where did you find them?
I am addicted to Instagram – It’s a window for talent and I regularly find many new suppliers there. It’s the most exciting content on the web. For this shoot I wanted to collaborate with new to the market suppliers with fresh ideas. I found the amazing Annemarieke Kloosterhof, a brilliant ‘ paper artist’ who created our ‘crystal wall’ and Dutch Dolls House house for the shoot, Laura from Cutter & Squidge produced the fabulous cake, and Sally from Bubblegum Balloons as well as Maid of Gingerbread – did I say how important taste and flavours were to kids parties these days?
Where did the shoot collaborators meet your vision for party trend prediction?
Again, it’s all about taking things one step further, and having a ‘ good fit’ with collaborators is so important – everyone working on the shoot is a style leader as far as I am concerned – passionate and talented. Balloons are a perennial party favourite, keeping them cutting edge is another story, Bubblegum Balloons do just that. Annemarieke’s crystal wall is entirely hand painted – paper walls are popular now as backdrops, but who wants flowers in 2017 when you can have crystals?
I’ve mentioned the importance of taste previously, combining such a beautiful cake as the one Laura created, whilst tasting so great, is another deal completely and sits right on the Les Enfants vision. Gingerbread artwork is something no-one could resist, right? Maid of Gingerbread really are the Queens of this – did you know they recreate the London weather forecast in gingerbread on their twitter and Instagram feeds? Perfect!
When you work with someone like Annemarieke Kloosterhof, a graduate from Central St Martins who created the amazing ‘paperwork’ for the shoot, you really see an art & design shift from the ‘ traditional’ party décor into the future. Children equal imagination, and where better to let that run free than when creating something specifically for them and their friends, on that special day? Annemarieke’s paper Dutch Dolls house is exquisite – what little girl could resist. Paper art connects with children on a different level than traditional décor – cutting and sticking, it’s what kids do best right?
The pressure is on in 2016 when it comes to ‘ The Cake’ – visually, everyone wants it Pinterest Perfect, the ultimate photo prop to snap and share, not only that, it needs to taste amazing and cater to a myriad of dietary needs too.
Cutter and Squidge are a delicious bakery based in Soho. Annabel and Emily, the sisters behind this amazing watercolour cake, wanted to launch a bakery that delivered tasty treats that were created with 100% natural ingredients and colourings. Perfect for kids! They provide a huge range of tempting and beautiful desserts, including their signature creation, The Biskie – a cake biscuit sandwich crammed with a yummy filling made with no artificial additives. Flavours include green tea and raspberry, salted caramel and lychee pearl. YUM.
A huge trend in children’s party catering is the ‘ dessert’ element – the centerpiece cake will never die, but there is a demand for more and more sweet options – Donuts and Gingerbread make the cut, but donuts only come in one shape – so what better to play with than Gingerbread – there is NOTHING these girls can’t and don’t style out of the stuff, so it goes without saying it’s a perfect fit for a party trend.
Maid of Gingerbread is ran by the lovely Emily Garland. Emily has a background in woodwork and construction, which explains why her delicious creations are as sturdy as they are tasty. She is well known for her baking expertise and her stunning sculptures, which include a full tea set, a DeLorean and of course, a beautiful range of Hansel and Gretel inspired houses. For our Party Planners photoshoot, she created an army of delicious gingerbread robots.
The Bubblegum girls are a Les Enfants favourite – a party element that will never get old. Immediate décor, immediate ‘ grab and go’ fun, the opportunities to style and theme are endless, and why a party will always, always have a balloon, be it big, small, feathered, confettied, see through or splattered.
Bubblegum Balloons is ran by three lovely ladies, Sally, Laura and Meg, the balloon company boasts a huge range of stunning confetti balloons, gorgeous tassel garlands and great foils too. The ladies have been involved in a range of fantastic projects, and can create exactly what you would like for your event.
We hope that you love these campaign images as much as we do! It was a real honour to work with all of the incredible members of the team, and you can read even more about shoot day, and the planning process here on our Behind The Scenes blog post from earlier in the year.
We would like to thank all of our contributors, including our creative team, Hannah Coates (photographer and art director), Ashlyn Gibson (stylist), Rachel Louise Jones (Hair and Make Up) and our two set and photo assistants Mirren Rosie and Rose Sapey.
It takes a great group to pull off a large scale photoshoot and we couldn’t be more pleased.