L.A. Style+Photo Workshop

L.A. Style+Photo Workshop

This past weekend I had the pleasure of teaching a L.A. Style+Photo Workshop with Anne Sage at her beautiful location in Los Angeles, Light Lab. Los Angeles is always an inspiration, and I had not been for about three years since my book signing there. What a perfect opportunity to get inspired and do what I love.

We met for a meet and greet on Friday night at Anne’s new house. Like her, it’s stylish and well edited. Meeting everyone the night before is always so useful, as we can talk about goals and expectations. As always, the group was diverse and delightful.

L.A. Style+Photo Workshop L.A. Style+Photo Workshop

Saturday morning we all met at Light Lab full of energy and a little tentative, and we dove into a day of styling.

Sunday we cooked our lunch together, and shot the process, all the while chatting about branding and social media with our guru Anne. The menu consisted of cream of tomato basil soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, with fig and prosciutto on freshly baked brioche. We finished with apple tartine with whipped cream.

The last hands-on styling lesson was a lesson on composition and building your set. I used building a charcuterie plate an the vehicle for this lesson.

L.A. Style+Photo Workshop L.A. Style+Photo Workshop

We had an amazing day with amazing attendees, and of course, we finished the workshop with a wine and cheese party and devoured the charcuterie plate. Did I mention I love my job??

My Italian workshops are filling-up quickly, and a few are already sold-out. Don’t miss the opportunity to join me and my fabulous team of photographers and guest stylists. Find all the information you need on the workshop website. I’d love to have you come along!

Thanks again to Anne, my partner in crime. xx

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Atlanta Magazine’s Home Summer Issue :: Backyard BBQ with Chip Wade

Atlanta Magazine's Home

Chip Wade and I have been friends for years, and it’s been fun to watch him excel in his profession and his personal life. Recently, I had the pleasure of covering one of his family gatherings at his beautiful home for Atlanta Magazine’s Home where I am the Entertaining Editor.

WadeBBQ-3

One of my favorites recipes from the feature is this watermelon margarita. All the recipes are in the Summer issue of Atlanta Magazines Home and will be available online soon. In the meantime, share this yummy beverage with your family and friends at your next backyard BBQ.

Watermelon Margaritas
Serves 6

You will need:

– 1 cup sugar
– 1 cup water
– 3 wide strips orange peel
– 8 cups watermelon cubes
– 1 cup fresh lime juice
– 2 cups white or silver tequila
– 6 Watermelon wedges

To prepare:

In a small saucepan, bring sugar, water, and orange zest to a boil over high. Reduce to a simmer and cook until sugar dissolves, 3 minutes. Let syrup cool in a bowl discard orange peel.

In a blender, puree watermelon cubes until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing on solids, into a pitcher (you should have about 1 cup juice). Stir in syrup, lime juice, and tequila. Place in a pitcher

Fill salt-rimmed glasses with ice, then pour margarita mixture over top. Garnish with watermelon wedges.

Pick up a copy on newsstands now.

Photo credit : The Raftermen

Styled by : Moi

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Artists Entertain :: Into the Woods with friends for Atlanta Magazine’s HOME

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The latest issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME, is near and dear to my heart. I met the hosts many many years ago: Rinne Allen was working for Rebecca Wood, RWood Studio at the Merchandise Mart selling her gorgeous wares.

At the time, I was designing textiles for a textile company and attended the mart events on a regular basis. I chatted with Rinne and Rebecca as we whiled away the hours during the Atlanta Gift Show. Full disclosure: I was working on my first book at the time, Artist’s Entertain. I hired Rinne to shoot the “pitch” prototype, and while the book never went anywhere, our friendship did.

The years passed. Rinne had children, and grew her photography business, and Rebecca became well-known and very successful. But the one thing that never changed was their pure natural and organic style. I like to say they were the original “hipsters,” the real crafters because they have always lived in a mindful way, and that has never swayed in the 15 years we’ve known each other.

Rinne Allen Rinne Allen

Their online journal Beauty Everyday, was one of the original beauty blogs out there. Although they never called it a blog; it was just a collected online journal of Rinne’s beautiful photographic inspirations of nature she saw everyday. They posted everyday and this collaboration became the kernel idea for their book of the same title. Last year, they published Beauty Everyday with another creative partner Kristen Bach. Kristen is a new friend, but like her collaborators, she’s clever, creative, and brings a natural sense of a “maker” to all her endeavors. She’s the owner of Treehouse Kid + Craft  in Athens, Georgia. Her infectious enthusiasm makes her the perfect fit for a business that engages kids imaginations. She was a blast at the “Into the Woods” party, and single-handedly created all of the nature crafts for the party.

Rinne and Rebecca and Christy Collaborators for “Beauty Everyday” book Kristen Bach, Rebecca Wood, Rinne Allen.

I so love and respect these friends; they live an authentic life, and that’s the best example of all.

Check out some of the behind the scenes images from the party they invited me to at Sweet Olive Farm:

IMG_0248 Me :: greeted by roaming Lamas now that’s the kind of Hello I could get used to 🙂 IMG_0264 Editor and Chief of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME with a friend. This guy kept trying to eat all the props. IMG_0263 Recipes will be online soon.

Photo Credit : Amber Fouts and Rinne Allen

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being #behindthescenes :: the rules for aspiring photostylists

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Sometimes you see me post #bts behind the scenes photos as I am working on styling jobs.

I love a pretty mess, and when you’re on set, pretty messes happen regularly, but sometimes they are not so pretty. One of the things that is most important when you work as a stylist is logistics. That means you have to be super organized. I cannot tell you how many times I have people want to follow me and when I tell them to organize and load props, they completely fall apart. ALL my interns for the most part want to “style.” When I explain to them that the “styling” is the minor part of our job, they NEVER seem to understand until much later down the road.

So for all you interns and stylists in training out there, here are a few rules for aspiring photostylists to think about before delving into the world of production and styling:

Ask yourself these questions::

1. Am I organized? Clients expect you to be organized and have everything at your fingertips on a photo shoot.

2. Am I physically fit? As a stylist your are a schlepper; you will be carrying, loading, unloading, and moving large pieces of furniture and backdrops, so workout. It’s imperative to your work.

3. Am I a good listener? Can’t tell you how many times I have asked an intern to do something, and they don’t hear me and mess up.

4. Am I a problem solver? Logistics and problem solving are the key component to being a great producer/stylist way before being creative!!!  Being creative is the easy part.

5. Am I patient? No you will not be touching the set to style for about 3 years. Learning to style takes patience, and in this “instant” generation, that’s a really hard concept to grasp.

Quick true story:: I recently took someone along on a shoot. She/he had never been on a “real photo shoot” before and made 3 big mistakes:

1.When I said load “your” car and head to the location ahead of me and unload, she/he loaded my car instead  of theirs and headed to the studio ahead of me. She/he was not doing #3: being a good listener or #4: being a problem solver.

2. In the middle of the shoot, we had our photo subject pouring Champagne…mind you the subject had been an experienced pourer. My new intern took it upon herself/himself to jump in and “show” our subject “How to pour Champagne”; a cringe worthy move that made the whole team and the subject super uncomfortable. Lesson here: Don’t jump in as the expert. You’re the intern. Stand aside, observe, and be quiet.

3.Later in the day the intern asked me if she/he should style up a a shot? WHAT??? “Why sure, I really want to wait around for a couple hours watching while you style up a shot for one of my clients. Um, no thank you.” I was gobsmacked at the arrogance. This person thought they could just waltz in having never been on a shoot, and having never styled in their life??? No.

Final question:

6. Are you willing to shut up? When you’re on a shoot as an intern, your JOB is to help. That means clean-up, be aware, be organized, and BE QUIET. Your opinion is not needed. If you have styling questions for me, save them. I am happy to talk about the shoot as we are loading up.

I know this all sounds very harsh, but lately with the interns and people that want to “follow” me, I have to be blunt. These are my clients, and your behavior on set is a reflection on me. Be professional, and you’ll be invited back. For all you stylists out there wanting to learn, remember it takes time to learn a skill, especially with a profession with a million tips and tricks like styling.

IMG_9640 Justin studying the shot list when he arrives in the morning

Justin has been my styling assistant for over 4 years. He’s an amazing example of someone that is willing to put in his time and understands the value of being patient. I am happy to say that he will be styling all summer for one of my clients while I am in Italy teaching my styling and photography workshop, and I am sure he will shine and style with confidence and ease. I am so proud of him.

Just remember, assisting is worth all the time you invest;  it will benefit you greatly. I have seen so many people come in and out of my styling life, and the ones that stay the longest really thrive and go on to have great styling producing careers.

Let me know if you have any questions about styling as a career; I am happy to answer them because ultimately my goal is to help all those who want to pursue this amazing and creatively fulfilling career.

xx

 

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