Our elaborate fashion heist

Luxe2008_13cropThis was one of the most fun, expensive and frustrating photo shoot extravaganzas we ever attempted. It took more than a week to finish, months to plan and 10 locations.

“Luxe” was our high-end glossy magazine-style fashion publication for a while. It was a treat to work in full color on great paper, but geez Louise was it a pain in the butt to do without a fashion assistant.

Glamorous it wasn’t, but I’m used to that. The concept was a slick Bonnie and Clyde duo who targeted wealthy society ladies and banks.

Most of our days started pre-dawn (not my best time of day), including the casino that gave us an insanely short time frame to do the most complicated shot — so many people, so many expressions, no Photoshop, check out those dice by the way.

Luckily, all of the extras are friends of mine (except the police officer), including Susan Block who let us use her fabulous living room in the priciest zip code in St. Louis.


Carlos, the male lead, is actually a local actor and friend who is currently working on fame and fortune in Los Angeles. The casino shot is notable because one of the characters is Garry, our makeup artist. The photographer decided that he needed another person to round out the shot and thankfully Garry was wearing a blazer. I was dying because I would have dressed him differently, but fashion is full of compromises.

Our lead. Ali Turner is also notable because she is a self-described tomboy who almost made it to the Victoria’s Secret runway. She was filmed for a web reality series in which the winner won a spot in the televised showcase. Ali is still a popular regional model and her legs appear on boxes of hosiery at Walgreens. We’ve been lucky enough to work with her a few times.

The shadow figure of the detective hunting down our criminal couple is actually Emily, one of our great staff photographers who was Johnny Andrews photo assistant for the shoot. Andrews (the artist formerly known as John L. White) was the genius behind the camera. Full credits are in the photo of Ali at the airport.

Below was the shot we were most unsure about. Can you tell that Ali is stealing Susan’s diamond bracelet while Carlos distracts her with his charm? Double click any of the photos to view them full-sized.

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