The raincoats of MONTANAMILAN

MM 131019 004 Nine months ago, in one of my very early posts, “Fencing and fashion shoots,” I made mention of a standing client who commissioned me for work on her boutique’s catalogue.  Ms. Carmen Fredrick is the founder and operator of MONTANAMILAN, a luxury designer line of girls’ rainwear.  We had met through the fencing community, and last year she inquired into my photographic services as part of her efforts of revamping her catalogue.  After a meeting to discuss artistic portrayal of her products and logistics (fees, costs, time, number of shoots, model availability, etc.), I agreed to take take the commission.

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Carmen Fredrick, founder, operator, and designer of MONTANAMILAN.

Throughout the month of October 2013, I had photographed children models wearing Ms. Fredrick’s raincoats outdoors at various locations in the city.  I even extended my services to include a few frames of some items from her collection alone and of her workshop.  While I had wrapped up the series of shoots and delivered the images to Ms. Fredrick in early November, I had held off on exhibiting them myself for I had contracted and reserved to her first publication rights.  Though not entirely necessary, I often confer to my clients the right to be the first to display commissioned photographs out of professional courtesy. I am glad to say however, that after months of waiting, I can now showcase these images.  Over a fortnight ago, Ms. Fredrick contacted me with the wonderful news that she had relaunched the website and online catalogue for MONTANAMILAN.  While she had continued to use a small number of her older indoor-studio images, the website predominately features the photographs that I had made for her.

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Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 23 | 22.57.23 PM Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 23 | 22.56.21 PM There is something rather satisfying about seeing one’s work in its intended context, as though it transcends and takes on a higher level of existence than by itself alone.  I concede that part of the satisfaction comes from some commercial and professional success.  This is not, nor should it ever be, however, the principal criteria for judging success as a photographic artist.  Rather, I prefer to see the images on less of a mercantile object and more of a story of an artisan using her craft and skills to make children happy.  And I think I was able to convey that through my photographs.

Visit Ms. Fredrick’s online boutique, MONTANAMILAN at

All images © K. Dao Photography 2013, all rights reserved.