Solo Cup Holiday FUN

My life is now complete!  I have styled a SLIM JIM!  This project was a little out of the norm for me, which made it extra fun to work on.  I got to do things like make 8 cheese balls, turn a Slim Jim into a turkey, make delicious seasonal beverages, and make a votive out of some sticks, glue and plastic all thanks to a product we all love (at least in college), SOLO cups.  The video came out really cute.  It feels a bit Wes Anderson with hints of the Napoleon Dynamite rolling credits.  A big thanks to director Morgan Anderson for having me on board and the agency Zocalo Group.  Link to video below, which appeared on Instagram.

 

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Tazo Tea

How do you make a tea bag not float for a photograph (I know you’re dying to know!)??  Pennies my friends.  You un-sew the bag and add a couple chunks of change, resew, and voila!  Perfectly tamed tea bags.  When you’re a wardrobe and prop stylist, you gain all sorts of rather useless talents to the rest of the world, but super helpful if you live in the world of still photography.

Photographer: Brian Kuhlmann

Wardrobe: Kit This

Props: Yours truly, Courtney Rust

Agency: Upshot

 

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ESPN Magazine – Carson Wentz

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I was so honored to fly out to Fargo to style the expected #1 NFL draft pick, Carson Wentz for ESPN Magazine.  Carson Wentz is a special athlete; he only played football his senior year of high school and is one of the few Division 2 draft picks.  You can read more about this prodigy on ESPN’s website, HERE.

When working with pro athletes (or soon to be), it is important to find who they are signed with because the athlete can only appear in that brand.  Nike was nice enough to send me a number of jerseys, pants, and shoes.  I filled in the wholes at Eastbay, Sports Authority, and Sports Unlimited.  Since Wentz is keeping his North Dakota State number in the NFL, I had the jerseys printed “11” locally.  The badass matte black helmet was from Sports Unlimited (kind of like the Zappos for sports gear).

This shoot was such a blast!  A BIG thank you to ESPN Magazine for having me on board!!!

Photographer: Markus Eriksson

Grooming: Naseem Rafiei

Wardrobe and Prop Styling: Courtney Rust

 

 

Walgreens

Here are two separate campaigns where I styled the wardrobe for Walgreens, photography taken by Kourtney Sellers.  Kourtney is one of my favorite people to work for because her of work ethic and positive attitude.  She sets the tone for her crew, which I really value.

The beautiful prop styling you see in the first three images was done by my fellow stylist friend, Rebekah Wiest.  I do often get asked to do both the wardrobe and prop styling, but a project like this is much more involved then it appears.  Filling in rooms to make them look “lived in” and dressing 30 people (there were more images with talent than shown here), requires two different stylists, and a couple of assistants and a hell of a lot of shopping.  More often than not, projects are too large for one stylist to handing both wardrobe and props.  It’s often best to have your stylist focusing on one task and making sure it’s absolutely perfect.

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The Lord’s Day Off

It is always so fun to collaborate with a creative mastermind like the photographer Taylor Castle.  I love that this image was inspired from the 90’s one hit wonder, “What if God was one of us,” twenty years after the fact.  Lucky for us, we know a DJ that looks a hell of a lot like Jesus  and was totally game to be like one of us and pose in front of the TV for this angelic photograph.  A big thanks to Chicago prop house, Propabilities for the sweet props, and retoucher Brian York for the making it so I didn’t have to create a set that looked like a sky, rather just a couple of fluffy clouds that Brian could manipulate in post.  Great job, team.

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State Farm – Insure your now

If you were to ask me what makes me the most excited about a particular project, my answer would be the people.  Honestly, what we are photographing and who it is for isn’t what gets my engine going.  If you are working with a great photographer who hires a hard-working/awesome crew, the project always ends up being fun and rewarding no matter what you are photographing.  This really held true for this project.

A HUGE thank you to Tru Studio for asking me to style both the wardrobe and props for this State Farm advertisement.  Tru Studio is made up of husband and wife photographer team Steve and Anne Truppe.

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Orbitz

Here’s a web advertisement I styled both wardrobe AND props on with photographer Saverio Truglia for Orbitz.  You would never know that we shot this in December in Chicago.  The fun/not so fun thing about commercial styling is that you’re always sourcing for items out of season.  It wouldn’t be exciting if it was easy, right?!

 

ULTA

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I had loads of fun prop styling for San Francisco photographer, Sasha Gulish for ULTA.  My inner tomboy was pushed aside to find all the beautifully bright girly props in Chicagoland.  Seeing how our demographic was trendy gals in their mid 20’s, I only shopped at stores that cater to that crowd; Target, Home Goods, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, CB2, etc.  I ended up seeing these images months after the shoot while picking up makeup at ULTA and chuckled to myself because I was wearing all black, which made me feel proud of my ability to become a chameleon to whatever the client requests.  Styling is a bit like acting; to be successful at producing the client’s vision, you must play the part of who they are selling to by shopping in that mindset.  It has little to do with your personal taste, it’s rather your ability to successfully and tastefully fulfill a role.  The world doesn’t need to know that I hate pink.  They instead see that the ULTA shopper is someone who is on trend, happy, and enjoys beautiful things.

Re/Max

Re:MaxI’d like to start this post with a disclaimer: I DID NOT MAKE THIS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING HOUSE OF CARDS, but I’m sure glad I got to meet the guy that did.  This is a good example of the difference between a prop “master” and a prop “stylist.”  A prop “master” is someone who builds props for productions.  I often get requests to build props that aren’t readily available, but it’s never anything to this complexity.  If I were to build something of this magnitude, I’d be pretty confidant that you could fill an 8 hour audio book of me cursing.  Rich Schiller was the genius behind this task.  You know when you’ve come across a true “master” who brushes his shoulders with this stuff when destroying his masterpiece after the shoot affected him like killing a fly.

I, as the “stylist” was responsible for providing all the clothing and furniture/decor items you see in the shot, as well as all the rugs, lamp, pillow, chotchkies, and rack of clothing and shoes that didn’t make the cut.  Then on the day of the shoot, I finesse everything for the art director and photographer so that everyone walks away happy.

A HUGE thank you to Saverio Truglia for having me on board this fun project!

Creative Credits

Client: Re/Max, Agency: Leo Burnett Chicago, Art Director: Flavio Pina, Art Producer: Mariana Perin, Photographer: Saverio Truglia, Props: Rich Schiller, Retouching: Stick Digital, CGI: Paradigm Color, Producer: Monica Zaffarano, Styling: Courtney Rust, Hair and Make up: Gina Ussel, Location: Levinson Locations