Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Photo Stylist Beth Batson Shares Some "Take Home" Styling Tips for Thanksgiving

Recently Amazon turned to talented table top stylist Beth Batson to promote all things Thanksgiving! Makes sense since Beth, who started her career as a cook and baker in commercial kitchens, has been turning table tops into dreamscapes professionally as a stylist for some time now. She partnered with fantastic food stylist Randy Mon to showcase Amazon's beautiful spread. Beth has been able to successfully meld her passion for photography and commercial video with her obsession for aesthetics to create meaningful visual stories for her clients. This week, Beth took a moment to share some styling tips that we can take home for the holidays.

What makes Thanksgiving special for you?
Most of the amazing women in my family — my sister, mother and grandmother — celebrate birthdays just after Thanksgiving, so this time of year has always felt especially important to me. Now that I live on the other side of the country, it’s also become a very nostalgic time. Over the years, what has meant the most to me is how my family has transformed our traditions through food. When I was vegan (Yup! For at least six years), my family and I made sure our dinner spread was entirely vegan, minus the turkey and gravy. These days, my father is on a strict gluten-free diet, and again, we’ve reinvented our traditions. We are all a part of the cooking process, even my 92-year old grandmother who is in charge of the pies.  

What would you tell your average host to get them started with their table setting for Thanksgiving? 
It's so easy to get lost on Instagram and Pinterest looking at gorgeous table decor and come away feeling defeated or overwhelmed. Relax! This is the time to bring out the family heirloom dishes, tablecloth or silverware. It's okay for the place settings to be mismatched and for your water glasses to be jam jars. 

Start with your family's customs, then incorporate something fresh or new that makes you happy. I'm of the opinion that the food is the centerpiece so keep the table decor minimal. Don't skimp on real napkins and a table cloth or runner. A few candles and a small vase or two with some autumn flowers adds a simple, elegant touch.

What styling tips would you suggest to someone who’s more adventurous or wants to add more drama?
I love the idea of setting up a separate table or bar for mid-day snacks and drinks. Dress it up with a tonal bouquet and add foliage that you’ve found in your yard or neighborhood — think fir needles, dried leaves, herbs and branches of berries. Create a bar area with a signature cocktail or make a mulled wine or punch. 

If you want to add more drama to the table, make menu cards for each place setting. Even if you’re serving gelled cranberry sauce, put it on the menu! It’s an easy way to make the meal feel more special and give guests something they can keep to remember the occasion. Don't be afraid to add a bit of gold or sparkle.
What elements do the most successful table settings incorporate?
Let the focus be on the food and the company. If you have a centerpiece, keep it tonal or monochromatic. It shouldn’t be distracting. No one wants to be ducking and weaving around tall candles and large bouquets to pass the stuffing, so keep your table decor low profile. 

For more inspiration from Beth Batson, visit

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

George Barberis' Photography Imagines Important Moments for Death Over Dinner

For the launch of Death Over Dinner – The Jewish Edition, commercial still life photographer George Barberis got to dive deep into the beautiful world of Jewish history, tradition and symbolism. The client, in partnership with IKAR and Reboot, was looking to change the way their congregants prepare for their final days and inspire a life with intention and gratitude. With this goal in mind, Death Over Dinner spent the past year speaking with religious and healthcare experts to curate the finest materials for visitors to access in preparation for their dinners —photography included.

In preparation for the shoot, George met with art director Michael Heeb and prop stylist Margo Latka to determine how to deliver on the client’s concept with a linear story. They imagined a dinner table that fused both modern and old world visual elements. Next George and Margo were left to play with biblical references, ancient grains, oil and figs, uniquely modern Esque glassware, elegant gold flatware and haunting candles. The team wanted to capture the ritual of the meal, evoke the senses and create an analogy for life’s important moments and transitions. 

As with much of his work, George’s storied images are layered yet manage to reflect an elegant simplicity. To see more of George's photography visit and

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Matthew Barnes' Enchanting Halloween Images for Munchkin Cast a Spell

For more than 20 years, the Munchkin children’s lifestyle brand has brought the best, most innovative and safest products for babies to market. Munchkin believes its commitment to “the little things” is key to making children’s and parent’s lives easier and more enjoyable. For their Halloween image campaign, Munchkin’s creative team turned to LA-based lifestyle photographer, Matthew Barnes, to capture some very colorful and engaging moments of a young family enjoying Halloween. Matthew has years of experience working with people from all walks of life and his confidence behind the camera brings out the best in his subjects — kids and adults alike. 

While these images are clean, bright and hip, they also manage to capture the playful, often messy side of a young family having fun; A family that relies on Munchkin's products to make their lives a little easier. We’re pretty sure this family’s joyful expressions will have you reliving your own Halloween memories one more time. To see more of Matthew's work, visit


Monday, October 24, 2016

Seattle Photo Stylist Gretchen Bell Rocks a Retro-Chic Look

Clients like Amazon and Tommy Bahama love working with Seattle-based fashion and prop stylist Gretchen Bell for her ability to communicate their story through style. With 20-years in the business working across the production process, from styling to casting and producing, Gretchen brings some serious know-how to any photo shoot. This week Gretchen shares a little about her process along with these brilliant images from a portfolio shoot that was picked up to showcase the renown Leico SL camera.
Q. How did you come up with the style concept for this shoot?
A. I was immediately inspired by the retro-chic feel of the bowling alley — it’s dark lighting with pops of color from the blue neon, bright bowling balls and benches. Originally built in 1948, it still retains much of it’s original, old-school charm. So, I’d say first, the set helped to inform the style. I wanted it to be fun and poppy. It turned out to be the perfect location!

Q. How do you like to work?
A. For any shoot, I bring a lot of options for wardrobe, so I have something to play with when I get there. If I have a plan for an outfit, it rarely stays the same. I find inspiration in the moment from the crew, model, and location. It happens naturally. For instance, I had not planned for the colored socks in the shoot, but had some colored tights along and decided to cut them off at the last minute to make knee socks. I think it really added to the look.
Q. The images almost feel like pop art. How did you and the team achieve this result? 
A. We wanted to make a high visual impact. I chose brightly colored, modern, athletic wear to play off the set’s dark background and highlights. I was inspired by the Brooks colored sneakers and thought they’d be fun to use as the footwear, another option to a bowling shoe. Angalina Sandoval, the hair & makeup artist, wanted to do the bold, colored eyeliner on model Lauren Tamayo, to update the retro vibe with a nod to Amy Winehouse. It also helped that the photographer, Christopher Bell (Gretchen’s husband), works as a cinematographer and is always looking to introduce dynamic movement and strong lighting focus on the subject — “a film-making approach.” This lends a sense of story to the images.
Like her style? Please take a closer look at Gretchen’s work at or

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Lifestyle Photographer Adair Rutledge Joins Sally Reps and We're Smitten

We’re excited to welcome lifestyle photographer Adair Rutledge to Sally Reps! Adair hails from the Southeast and has made a name for herself producing unique images for clients like John Deere and Disney. Adair’s work is right on point and we were excited to learn a little bit more about her background and what makes her tick.

How’d you get your start in photography?
Photography has always been my favorite medium. I have a post-baccalaureate degree in fine arts. At 19, I had the “brilliant” idea to get a BFA in graphic design so I could work as a photographer to musicians and design their packaging. While I decided not to pursue design professionally, it does inform my photography work. In particular, it helps me see things from an art director's point of view and visualize how my photographs would translate to final layout. Early in my career, I did work in the music industry. My photography took me to Austin, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee, where I shot people like LeAnn Rimes, Luke Bryan and Willie Nelson. Later, I changed gears to do more editorial and advertising work. 

What would your clients say about you?
The feedback I get most often from clients is that I’m good at making everyone on set feel at ease. When people relax, there’s a natural, emotional spontaneity that can happen. I do a lot of preparation before the shoot to create an environment where people truly feel safe. This is especially important because I frequently work with “real” people who aren’t necessarily accustomed to being photographed. Helping my subjects feel comfortable leads to more authentic expressions and real moments, and it’s something I really enjoy doing. 
What inspires your work?
I work with kids a lot and I try to bring their spontaneity to my work with adults as well. Kids aren’t trying to look their best and I’m not interested in making them look perfect either. In fact, for me, there’s something that makes an imperfect moment really interesting. For example, a kid trips and falls on a dog then bursts out laughing. It’s a happy accident and it works. I try to bring that same mindset to all of my work. 

We can't wait to show more from Adair, but in the meantime, please visit or to see her complete portfolio. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Prop & Wardrobe Stylist Joanne Plana-Anderson Shares Her Essential Styling Tips

Very rarely do stylists adhere to rules. If anything, they appear to effortlessly mix disparate styles for a remarkably balanced look. It confounds the average person. So, what's their secret? According to busy Seattle-based prop and wardrobe stylist Joanne Plana-Anderson, there are a handful of guidelines aspiring stylists can follow to avoid potential mishaps. Joanne has built up an impressive clientele over the years ranging from heritage brands to Internet startups. And, while she obviously brings a natural talent and years of experience to the job, Joanne was happy to share some of her favorite “tricks of the trade.”

1.     Before you do anything, connect with the photographer. Talk over his or her vision and take time to understand the client's marketing strategy. This is the creative team’s chance to determine the message the images need to convey.

2.     Once the team is in synch, the stylist can get to work on the strategic “look” for the shoot. Getting started usually begins with lots of research. Search online, use magazine tears, shop for props or soak up nature — whatever inspires you!

3.     Now you’ve done your homework and you're ready to focus on the subject. Whether you're in the studio or out on location, working with a pair of denim or a small marble bowl, it’s important to ask, what is it about the subject that I want to make stand out? What additional props can I introduce to make the subject more appealing? 

The transition from prop selection to styling comes organically. Be sure to pay close attention to each element surrounding the subject and consider how one affects the other. Inevitably, the best shots are a result of a strong collaboration between the client, stylist, photographer and art director.

4.     Read your subject’s interaction with the light. Lighting can play with many things in a photograph including color, size, texture and movement. For example, when I'm styling soft goods such as stacked towels, intentional rippling can make a huge difference on how the lighting hits it. As much as you can, play with the body and shape of the subject and/or props. When you feel you’ve made the right change, step back and have the photographer take a shot.

5.     Remember:  Composition is everything. Without the right composition, the resulting image will be a fail. It’s a balance. A lot of planning and smart placement of props will make a composition work. Every touch, angle, direction a prop is placed in an image will impact the composition. That said, overworking a composition can hurt. Trust your gut. Lay your props out with a plan in mind, but don't be afraid to have fun! Exciting things happen when you tweak your props. 

Interested in learning more about Joanne? Visit

Friday, September 30, 2016

See Commercial Photographer George Barberis' Beautiful Interior Photos on the Cover of Gray Magazine

Photographer George Barberis is seldom seen without his camera. Over the years, George’s intense and soulful images have garnered the attention of many editors and art buyers and have been featured by some of America’s leading design and lifestyle publications. This week, one of George’s gorgeous images landed the cover of Gray, a magazine that reflects the most intelligent and beautiful design coming out of the Pacific Northwest.

For Gray’s October issue, George photographed the home of Britney and Adam Renner in southwest Portland. The Renner’s, in collaboration with Portland-based firms — Clarkbuilt and The House of Jude — decided to work with the existing bones of their home but completely transform the interior. George showcased the finished project for Gray with the help of Stacy Kendall, Gray’s special project editor. It was important for the team to highlight the home’s layered, timelessly chic design and bold, unexpected accents. The pair had to work fast to chase Portland’s fleeting light and styled the entire shoot with what the Renner’s had on hand — a job well done!  

Please visit to see George’s images from the latest issue of Gray.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Talented Stylist Gretchen Bell Joins Creative Roster at Sally Bjornsen Represents

Sally Bjornsen Represents has expanded its talented roster of stylists today with the addition of Seattle-based fashion and prop stylist Gretchen Bell. Clients such as Levi’s, Amazon, Target, Starbucks and Tommy Bahama (among others) have turned to Gretchen for her styling expertise. Gretchen brings with her 20-years experience and an intimate knowledge of the production process, having also worked as a producer and casting agent.

Clients love working with Gretchen for her ability to collaborate with crews large and small, her experience across print, film and video, and obviously, for her great sense of style and can-do attitude. Here at Sally Reps, we have a longstanding relationship with Gretchen, a deep admiration for her work and jumped at the chance to bring her on board.
“Production is about the details and so am I. I know how to handle big productions and seemingly impossible concepts, all while keeping a smile on my face. I am there to make your talent, your set, and ultimately, you look pretty amazing.”
Visit and help us welcome Gretchen to our amazing team.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Photographer David Clugston's Images Unveil Diamondback's New Andean Super Bike

This week we’re excited to catch up with commercial photographer David Clugston. David’s clients seek out his modern aesthetic to reinvent everyday, ordinary objects with his signature graphic intensity. His images never reduce a product to its parts, rather they celebrate sculptural elements, complex engineering  and detail.

Recently, Diamondback Bicycles called on David to help unveil the Andean – the world’s fastest aero bike. Diamondback, one of North America’s most well-respected cycling brands, debuted the Andean last week as a culmination of a two-year effort to produce a bold, new super-bike. For its release, Diamondback looked to David’s iconic still life photography to capture its form and function.

The intensity of David’s imagery comes in part from his appreciation for the Andean’s design. “A bike is so much more than the frame,” says Clugston. “It’s a collection of really beautiful, well-designed components. It was my job to visually show the details that matter to the highly competitive and focused triathlete.” 

With high-contrast lighting, strategic shadows and deep black background, no question, David’s photos stand to make a big impact for Diamondback. Very slick!

To see more of David’s work, visit or  

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Photographer Matthew Barnes Shoots Inspirational New Brand Images for Los Altos

 Matthew Barnes Commercial Photographer
Lifestyle and fashion photographer Matthew Barnes relishes a challenge. He began his career photographing musicians and celebrities, and over the years, got good at working with people from all walks of life, making them feel at ease and earning their trust. Whether it’s shooting for a new client, a totally different niche market or traveling to a tricky location, time and again, Matthew makes it work. He attributes his longevity and success in the field to the fact that he feels pretty lucky to be working with people. It’s that gratitude that we see in the images he creates of people sharing genuine moments.  
 Matthew Barnes Commercial Lifestyle Photographer
This summer, Matthew had the opportunity to work with a new client, Los Altos Foods, to help them take their traditionally Hispanic products into more mainstream markets nationwide. To make this move, the client had to go in a totally different direction and shift its brand focus from product to lifestyle. As we can see from the images, Matthew was able to capture the warmth and authenticity of families enjoying moments and creating memories around food. Look out for the new Los Altos brand images to appear in print and online this fall.

Photo credits:  Creative director, Agustin Garza, The Garza Group; Art director, Paulina De La Garza; Photographer, Matthew Barnes; Food stylist, Camilles Kitchen; Hair & Makeup, Donna Gast; Prop stylist, Bory Tan.

To take a look at Matthew's work, visit or

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Photographer Brad Knipstein's Work Illuminates Interiors

Brad Knipstein’s photography captures some of the Bay Area’s most inspiring interior design work. His curiosity and eye for design make Brad a go-to for many of San Francisco’s top designers. His most recent collaboration with San Francisco interior designer Angela Free may be one of our favorites. The images featured in the September issue of San Francisco Cottages & Gardens showcase a newly transformed pied-à-terre in a 1920's property located in beautiful Pacific Heights.  
This was Brad’s second project with Free and, as you can see from the photographs, he’s a big fan of her work. “Angela Free manages to blend a variety of textiles and materials with ease. She uses lavish textures but applies them with a refined, subtle approach. The result is elegant.”

Brad’s photographs succinctly unite the space's architecture, light, flow and, most importantly, the attitude of the people who live there. Interested in seeing more of Brad’s work? Visit his website at or  Read more about this project at Cottages & Gardens.