This month, we had the luck to connect with photographer Annika Lundkvist, who planned and executed a wonderful photo shoot in luscious Hawaii, starring cruelty-free beauty brands Au Naturale, Everyday Minerals, LaFresh, Devita, Harvey Prince, Crazy Rumors, Marie Natie and Hurraw! and models Haylee and Eliana, made even more gorgeous by makeup artist Janessa. Presenting the brands in a joyful, effervescent light, Annika and her crew brought a sun-drenched summer vibe to the shoot (and made me resent the grey London skies even more!), while showcasing all the beautifying potential that vegan brands have to offer. Here’s an exclusive peek backstage, narrated by Annika herself.
As a photographer with interest in the fashion and beauty industry, it is essential for me to be well acquainted with a range of vegan lines so that I can promote their use. Consumer awareness is, I believe, a very critical part of affecting change. When consumers express a lack of interest in supporting brands who test on animals and more and more bans against animal testing for cosmetics are put in place across the planet, we get closer to bringing to an end to these cruel practices globally.
Organising the shoot
In late January 2015 I decided to organize a vegan beauty shoot. The very first thing I did was put up a post on a local vegan Facebook page for volunteers to be photographed. I have worked with models before, but for this shoot I really just wanted the participation of anyone who is passionate about the promotion of vegan lifestyle. The makeup artist for the shoot was someone who I met while eating at a fantastic local raw vegan restaurant who I am currently working on photography for (see more here).
Approaching the brands
For the shoot, I was very grateful to have the participation and support of eight North American-based vegan lines offering cosmetics, skin care, body care and perfume. I wrote to them, presenting the concept of the shoot as an event to celebrate and promote vegan beauty and ended up in some great dialogues with the companies. I also sent each company a few questions about their brands, their outlook on the vegan beauty market as well as their favorite vegan restaurants and places to shop! Seriously, every aspect of this shoot was so interesting and fun, from initially writing to the brands, to hearing their interest to participate, to hearing their various answers in the Q & A and of course to the actual shoot.
The location of the shot
I shot right at our current home in Manoa Valley in Honolulu, Oahu! This was my first time doing a shoot like this and I really wanted a relaxed ‘girly party’ type of atmosphere. My home provided that casual atmbiance where the ladies were able to relax, chat with each other and munch on snacks while having their makeup done or getting photographed.
My family and I will be leaving the Hawaiian Islands this spring. It is not yet determined where we will go, but once I know I will certainly start researching doing more events like this!
‘As a participant in today’s vegan photoshoot, I had the opportunity to meet some amazing girls. So wonderful to be surrounded by fellow vegans! The vibe was very warm and positive. I really enjoyed trying new cosmetic lines and am always happy to support vegan companies. The photographer Annika made the shoot so much fun! She is very hospitable and made me feel confident and beautiful! What a wonderful way to spend my Sunday afternoon.’Haylee (model)
‘The photoshoot was a blast! Having the chance to support vegan beauty was heart-warming. The products are wonderful and will definitely be recommended to friends and family. I’m stoked to see the photos! Thanks for having me.’Eliana (model)
About Annika Lundkvist
Annika is a freelance photographer who loves integrating aspects of vegan lifestyle in her photography work. She currently lives in Hawai’i yet is set to move with her family this spring. She is very excited about the global vegan community and thrilled to collaborate with mindful individuals, companies and brands doing interesting, beautiful work. See her work here.