Framing Fashion

Professional fashion photographer Pauline St. Denis shares advice in workshops and lecture series

Fashion photographer Pauline St. Denis has experiences, skills and advice to share about her storied professional career. Luckily for the students in Kent State University’s School of Fashion, St. Denis made time to talk and work directly with students as part of this year’s Annual Fashion Week.

St. Denis was the speaker for this year’s Thomas Schroth Visiting Artist Series focusing on “Synergy with Fashion and Lifestyle Branding - The Art of Photography Using Imagery and Story to Promote the Product.” This lecture was free, open to the public and demonstrates Kent State's deep industry connections in action. And while St. Denis was here, she engaged with fashion students in a more intimate setting.

Students at the Schroth Series Lecture: Visiting Artist, Pauline St. Denis

Students worked in the West Atrium Auditorium in Rockwell Hall during the Editorial/Branding Workshop on Wednesday, April 24, which was the first of a two-part workshop where students learned and engaged in hands-on in-studio learning.  

Ohio and Kent State are familiar to St. Denis. She grew up in the Buckeye State and spent some time at Kent State in her younger years. But St. Denis noted that coming back and seeing the evolution of Kent State’s School of Fashion is tremendous.  

The workshops covered everything in a photoshoot from start to finish. St. Denis picked designs to fit the indoor setting and showed the inner workings of a photoshoot from lighting to the editorial portion.  

“Editorial fashion photography is very specific and has to do with magazine photography. I think it’s the most creative kind of photography,” St. Denis said. “It’s your chance as a photographer or artist to get a little more emotional and creative.”  

Schroth Series Lecture: Visiting Artist, Pauline St. Denis

Students had the opportunity to style the models in many different ways.  

Senior fashion merchandising major Lucia Perry was one of the attendees in the indoor-based workshop and volunteered to help with the hair portion of the workshop.  

“It was great to be right with her discussing wig options and styles,” Perry said. “I hope to work in editorial in my future and thought this was a great opportunity to take advantage of."

Junior fashion merchandising major Annabelle Oney was another student tasked with styling wigs and hairstyles during the shoot. Oney’s favorite element was being in the room and feeling like an integral part of the process.  

Kent State School of Fashion Professor Hillary Stone

“I felt really excited to be selected to work with a professional fashion photographer, and it made me hopeful for my future career in the fashion industry,” Oney said. “This workshop was designed to simulate a real-world editorial photography set, and it truly felt that way.”  

Hillary Stone, the fashion school’s industry liaison and internship director for the fashion school, was essential in St. Denis’s appearance for the week. Stone, St. Denis and a team have been meeting weekly since Fall 2023 to carefully plan and execute these events.  

St. Denis selected nine students for the workshops from an application process. Anyone in the School of Fashion was able to apply by selecting a model and designing their outfit, accessories, make-up and hair.  

St. Denis picked the winners for the two workshops based on which look would fit better with the indoor versus outdoor landscape.

“It's so cool what she's doing,” Stone said. “She works with them, and at the end of it, students will be able to use their own work. She gives the work to the students and the models themselves so they will have something for their resumes and portfolios.”  

Stone, Perry and Oney noted it is amazing how St. Denis helped students with a concept from start to finish during the workshop making it at as real as possible.  

“Excellent work on the part of Pauline, and we are so grateful for her expertise and feedback,” Stone said. “She opened up new avenues in taking digital to the next level for the future of fashion.”  

Learn more about the School of Fashion.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 30, 2024 10:53 AM
Updated: Wednesday, May 1, 2024 08:18 AM
Francesca Malinky, Flash Communications
Bob Christy. Video: Francesca Malinky