Years ago, after attending another mediocre New Years Eve party, I thought, there must be a better way to do this. Away from what can sometimes be the amateur hour of impossibly high expectations to have a good time after being bombarded with invites to giant New Years Eve parties in my email inbox beginning, I wish I was kidding, in September.
For those who worried about whether the rest of their year was going to be dictated by how good a time they were having when the clock struck midnight, it was time for a new strategy. We’re professionals. We should be able to solve this.
And New Years Redux was born. I threw the first party about seven years ago, a couple of weeks after the actual New Years Eve and presented it as a way to celebrate the New Year without the pressure of those high expectations I mentioned before. I’d fill my studio with good friends and clients and have a good time. We’d count down at midnight and erase any mishaps and awkward kisses that might have occurred a few weeks earlier.
It worked. So well, in fact that many people came up to me a few hours into that first Redux party desperately asking me, “You’re going to do this every year, right? This is going to be an annual thing?!”
You’ve got to give the people what they want and with a few exceptions, New Years Redux has become a somewhat annual tradition here. And a few weeks after New Years Day is enough time for most people to recharge after the deluge of holiday parties, some you look forward to, and some you have to go to whether you want to or not. December can have an overwhelming social calendar.
For me, New Years Redux is not only an excuse for a fun evening, but it also required me to get the studio back into shape and dispose of the Amazon boxes and packing material that had been piling up since Black Friday. The, I’ll-run-that-down-to-the-dumpster-later pile, was nearly as tall as me.
And for this year, instead of the usual email invite, I decided to take some footage I shot earlier in December and create a short video with the help of one of my good model/photographer friends, Rebecca Lawrence. Something a little different than the average Evite.
This year, we had an abundance of top shelf champagne and rather than test our patience to make it to midnight, this year we decided to have two timezone countdowns for both New York and Chicago. Brilliant and simple. And more time to enjoy the champagne!
On some years, New Years Redux is a blow-out dance party and sometimes, it’s a bit more chill. But it’s always a good time. More often than not, towards the end of the night, an impromptu photoshoot breaks out. Not really a surprise.
Rebecca and I had built an amazing set for our shoot with thousands of christmas tree lights and rather than completely strike the set and box them all up for next year, I decided to take some of them and build what I called the Wall of Light. It set the party mood perfectly and most likely inspired this years impromptu Redux photoshoot after the midnight countdown.
As the champagne glasses were emptied, the party began to wind down hours later and I was happy to once again answer the question,
“Are you going to have Redux again next year?”
“Of course. Happy New Year. See you next January.”
Thanks to Inna and Natalya for the behind the scenes photos!