This was a super fun shoot with the uber talented Chicago photographer, Marcus Smith for Beats by Dr. Dre headphones. We shot Australian rugby superstar, Matt Giteau at a gym near Notre Dame. I knew going into prepping this project that this was going to be shot in black and white, therefore it was all about texture and sheen. Shopping for athletic wear is often a challenge because everything is covered with logos, and even though in this digital age it’s an easy fix in Photoshop, you’ll be doing everyone a favor by finding items with minimal logos. The surprising best place to find such sportswear is Kohl’s and Target. You can hit the obvious choices like Sports Authority and Dick’s Sporting goods, but most things will contain some kind logo on them. Fit is also a key element in sourcing athletic wear when you’re trying to capture motion. In styling print you always have the crutch of pinning wherever the camera doesn’t see to get the perfect fit, but when trying to capture movement, you want the apparel to fit properly so that the movement of the fabric during the stills looks realistic, not pulled. This means that you need to bracket sizes and buy multiples of each option.
This was part of a series Marcus did for Beats by Dre. You can see more of this series on his website, here.
A HUGE thank you to Howe Haus Productions for having me on board to do the wardrobe styling for Nike’s Chi League. This was an impressive group of men, and I couldn’t be more honored to work with them. If you’re in Chicago, I highly recommend going to see them play during their 10 week season during the summer. You can find more information here. Photography by Robert Maxwell.
I love doing projects where you get to have a sense of humor with the props and wardrobe. Playing around with the imperfections rather than the perfections in the wardrobe can really set the mood for the characters, AND is so darn fun. For example; to exemplify the drabness of these insurance agents, it was important that their wardrobe didn’t fit perfectly, that the colors didn’t pop, ties were askew, and that wrinkles were present. The same went for the props. Angela Finney, the prop stylist, did an amazing job with this through the set design and propping. This was a dream job for me. I would like to send a huge THANK YOU to the amazing photographer, Ross Feighery for having me on board. Here’s a photo of our ace crew.
I must admit, I’ve been so crazy busy with projects that I’ve completely neglected my blog. This week I’m on a mission to make up for lost time and find some of the images that I’ve worked on over the past year. Something people don’t know about the photography crews that create all the advertisements you see is that we often have no idea where the image is going to appear or when (the photographer may be the only one). Therefore, if you’re short on time like I always am, many of the projects I work on fall through the cracks and I never get to see the awesomeness that the hardworking crew I get to be a part of had created.
Here’s a shoot that we did this winter for Related Realty. If you know me personally, you may laugh at the idea that I sometimes get hired to create a luxurious feel to a photograph. Luxurious I am not, but I’d like to think of myself as a chameleon who’s strong suit is that I can execute any idea an art director presents to me. On this project, I styled the wardrobe for the talent that you see. The hero talent (lady holding the tray in white) is actually wearing a dress tucked into a skirt. How do you like them apples!
It’s always a pleasure working with the super fun and talented Chicago photographer, Clayton Hauck. This project for Kmart’s in store holiday images was a bit of a tricky one because we were shooting ahead of the season and only had sample sizes for wardrobe, all of which were about 5 sizes too big, or too small. The good news is that you don’t have to see the back of these beautiful people, which was full of clamps, pins, slits, and tape. You instead first notice the amazing expressions Clayton captured and the great hair and make up. As they say, it takes a village…
I was once hired for a job because of my “Wes Anderson” style, which may have been the biggest compliment I’ve ever received as a wardrobe and prop stylist. I’ve loved/been obsessed with Wes Anderson ever since I saw Bottle Rocket in high school, therefore I’m not surprised that it comes through in my styling. The weird thing about this comment that kind of baffled me was, “how can I look like my style is “Wes Anderson” when I’m constantly adapted to either the photographer’s or client’s vision?” I was talking about this with a photographer I often work with and he said that saying someone has a “Wes Anderson” style means that everything they create within an image is very deliberate. If that’s the case, then yes and YES, I will then relish in this coined style.
If you’ve never been on a photo set before, you’d be surprised at how little is just that; a surprise. It’s all manufactured to create the perfect frame. How it looks on the other 3/4 of the object/model not facing the camera doesn’t matter, all that matters is how the camera sees it. You manipulate things from every other side facing away from the camera to create the vision. This is the main difference between styling print oppose to TV commercials. It’s not about fluidity, rather that perfect moment.
Wes Anderson is so amazing because he is able to create perfect stills in motion. His films are so rewatchable because all the effort he puts into telling the story within each frame. Everything serves a purpose, which makes the story that much richer. Hence, I CAN’T WAIT to get his new book in the mail. I can now enjoy all his work in 2D.
Lately I’m feeling the strong urge to discuss what designers I’ve been enjoying in my personal life, rather than on a photo set, and today is no exception. I stumbled across this designer on ShopBop last fall while looking for my fall boots. Two pairs of Fredas later, you can easily call me a HUGE fan. My Freda Salvadors answer my constant dilemma of having to look put together on set, while still being able to stand for 15 hours and unload a cube truck. You only get to wear heels as a stylist if you’re on the level of Rachel Zoe, or you’re a complete rookie and you had no idea that the job requirements are similar to executing 200 shuttle runs in a day, only making you wish you had your Tom’s. These do the trick for those of us who can’t just look pretty in one spot.
One would think that your job as a wardrobe stylist would become easier if you were asked to find clothes that are all the same color, but that depends on the color and the season. Navy? Piece of cake. You want gray? Easy breezy… But kelly green? Luckily and shockingly, this was actually a very popular color last December when we shot this campaign and it wasn’t too big of a task. I apologize to anyone who was looking for a kelly green garment to gift a family member in Chicagoland over the holiday season because I most definitely snatched it up.
The next obstacle was creating different personalities for each of the talent with the kelly green clothing options that were available in the stores. It’s not a matter of picking up a bunch of button up green tops. You have to think about the tailoring of these garments so that they properly represent the demographic of the talent. For example, a dolman cut top (seen on the girl with the knit hat) is for a younger/trendy demographic.
A big ol’ THANK YOU to photographer, Brett Nadal, one of my favorite photographers to work with in Chicago. Check out his awesome work HERE.