We were honored when our friend and photographer, Clay Cook, approached Anchal to collaborate on a unique personal project that would highlight Anchal's story through a photography series. Clay's work has been an inspiration to Anchal for years, so when he reached out we felt incredibly grateful to be a part of this special creative collaboration.
The vision for the project spans across all aspects of Anchal's organization highlighting the fashion, the artisans in India, and the Louisville team that will culminate in a comprehensive narrative. Each of the three-part series will feature both standalone portraitures, products, and photojournalistic photography. The first phase features Anchal's fashion and textile art.
For 10 years, Anchal has run on a shoestring budget as a nonprofit. This meant that our Creative Director, Maggie Clines, quickly picked up some photography skills and has photographed virtually all of Anchal's imagery for the past 10 years. So when we arrived on set with a full crew of stylists, models, and photographers, needless to say, it was a pinch-me moment. This shoot was especially meaningful because the location was the Clines family farm, where we grew up in Louisville, KY. The site brings together the origins of our creative inspiration and current creative expression.
We are thrilled to share a special interview with Clay Cook and this first phase of photography with you. Plus, some behind the scenes from the magical day. It was truly a dream project and collaboration with an amazing crew of talented creatives.
We also sat down with Clay Cook to learn more about what inspired him to work with Anchal.
How did you first learn about Anchal?
Clay Cook: "I’ve known about Anchal for quite some time. Since I first started working with clientele in the non-profit field, I’ve had an ear on the ground for people doing great work. Through word of mouth in the community, I came to discover Anchal and the impact behind it. Anchal and what they do has always fascinated and inspired me."
What inspired you to choose Anchal for a personal project?
Clay Cook: "While I have been wanting to work with Anchal since 2016, the opportunity finally arose and the resources came together for me to execute an idea that has been in my head a long time. The project consists of a three-part photography series and an immersive digital campaign. The project will feature not only the fashion of Anchal but also the people behind the brand and the positive change for women in India. It’s everything I love in photography: fashion, people and philanthropy. While the entire series will take some time to complete, I’m very proud of the work we’ve done on this very first phase of fashion."
What was your favorite part of the shoot?
Clay Cook: "I’m always a fan of the process more than the actual product. I think my favorite part was collaborating with Colleen and Maggie to come up with a fashion idea that was creative, unique and most importantly visceral. I wanted the photography to parallel with Colleen and Maggie on a personal level, so we shot the project on their family farm and used the set to symbolize their love for architecture and design. The wardrobe and styling spoke to their professional side and Anchal. It started with a simple idea and transformed into something I really couldn’t have predicted. The location, set, talent, crew all clicked and ticked like clockwork, which made it all that more fun for me personally. I had the freedom to create without the pressures of oversight, budget or time, which made it a magical day."
We are extremely grateful for Clay Cook's creativity and generosity, as well as, the incredible crew that made this special day happen. Stay tuned for the next phases coming over the next year! In the meantime, be sure to check out the amazing team of creatives below.
Photographer - Clay Cook @claycookphoto
First Assistant - Danny Bloom @dannypbloom
Production Assistant / Second Assistant - Emily Frye @emilyfryephoto
Behind the Scenes – Video Justin Gustavison @gustafilms
Hair / Makeup - Kelsey Taylor Fell @kelseyfellmua
Wardrobe - Miranda McDonald @mirandatcs
Prop/Production Designer - Emily Pierce @e.b.pierce
Prop/Production Designer Assistant - Rory White @chilidogcowboy
Talent - Julia Zou @juliawzou
Talent - Tatiana Alexandria @tatiana_alexandria_
AMAX Talent Agency - @amaxagency