Monday, May 18, 2015
Snapshots from Allegra Hsaio's iPhone as she styles a video and print campaign for Kelly Moore Paint in Mill Valley, CA.
Monday, May 11, 2015
Zee Wendell, Los Angeles based lifestyle photographer has been creating spontaneous images of kids and families for twenty years. We caught up with Zee last week to talk to her about how she captures the spontaneous moments that she is known for.
What do you enjoy most about photographing children/lifestyle?
Photography is about capturing a moment. Babies are really fun because they are not yet self-conscious or concerned about how they look when they get emotional about something. They just emote, no-holds-barred, which is great for me when I am trying to capture something really real (maybe not so great for the parents). Not too long ago we were photographing a baby in a high chair set in a beautiful, white modern kitchen. We gave the baby a bowl of mashed sweet potatoes to eat. Naturally, he dived into the bowl, smearing sweat potatoes all over his face and screaming with delight. He was having the time of his life and we were getting wonderful spontaneous images. I also really like to shoot at birthday parties or events where there are several children. Kids forget that they are being photographed and get absorbed in the action which allows for some amazingly candid moments.
How do you handle a situation where a “child” model isn’t giving you what you need?
My crew is made up of great problem solvers. The toughest challenges get solved with creativity, patience and a lot of laughter. The trick is to make everyone on the set feel part of the production—like they’re on a big team. Recently we had a child who was incredibly reserved. The set was somewhat intimidating and we didn’t have a backup. Before we began photographing the talent our stylist spent some one-on-one time talking to him and getting to know him. Once he was warmed up to the crew he felt like he was part of the team. He just needed time. We ended up getting wonderful spontaneous shots of him. That said, sometimes babies and children have “off days” and nothing works except a backup baby or kid. You have to know when to move on because the clock is ticking. A good policy is to have at least one back-up baby for every primary baby model on the set.
What are the major influences in your work? Aside from many photographers who I have admired over the years my real influence comes from real life, my children, my friends, my family. I am a mother of two young boys so I have a community of moms and kids around me at all times. I get inspired by watching moms and kids, or siblings interact. I love watching what kids wear to school. You can tell who dressed themselves, they are the most creative and interesting (future stylists). Kids come up with great ideas. One day my son took a few licorice sticks, put them in his mouth and pretended he was a walrus. It was a fun moment that I ended up recreating on a shoot. I am not sure a stylist would be inspired to do that but whimsical little moments come naturally to kids when they are just living life. The trick is to be there when it happens and to pay attention.
What is the trick to getting the most natural “non-posed” shots? I am a naturally quiet person, I try really hard not to intimidate my models but to just be there with them as they move or slip into a pose. When a model is posing, I try to capture the moment that happens before or after the pose is set. That’s when they look most natural. I also like it when two or more models are interacting, then they sort of forget that I am there, instead they focus on one another or the conversation they’re having. If there is good chemistry between the people they begin to riff back and forth. It’s all about their reactions to one another.
If a model is alone I prefer to have her actually doing something that distracts from the photoshoot. The other day we had a model fry an egg. I shoot very fast during the action. When the model giggled or reacted to her own actions her expressions came alive resulting in some wonderful images. On that same shoot we photographed a glamorous woman lying by the pool, sunbathing. Behind her a male model cannonballed off the edge of the pool creating a mini tsunami over her head. We were rewarded with a priceless expression when she was caught off guard by the wave. I don’t think she could recreate that face if she tried.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
SALLY BJORNSEN REPRESENTS: The Old House Cover Story Photographed by Alex Hay...: Congrats to Alex Hayden and Rachel Grunig for collaborating on another successful publication. Together they styled and shot the cover for...
Congrats to Alex Hayden and Rachel Grunig for collaborating on another successful publication. Together they styled and shot the cover for This Old House Magazine. Their cover portrays a modern day kitchen, with wood and steel furnishings, crafty cabinets, and creative ways one could revamp their kitchen. House designed by JAS design build, Seattle's leading residential design and construction copmany.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
In the most recent campaign, Watch Her Fly, Ian Coble personifies the art of exercise through movement and superb photography.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
San Francisco based food stylist Rachel Grunig has been styling food (as well as interiors and soft goods) professionally for eight years. She imparts her magic for a variety of commercial clients such as: Gatorade, Sahale Snacks, Amazon, Target, Pacific Coast Feather, and Minted.com (just to name a few). We interviewed Rachel to learn the secrets of creating mouth watering images.
1. What do you love about food styling?
I love food styling because pictures of amazing, delicious food can elicit incredibly strong, visceral feelings. I was working on a shoot recently where one of our shots was of pancakes....beautiful, thick, pillow-y pancakes with blueberries and a pat of butter and syrup streaming down the sides. The shot looked amazing; everyone on set, all day, couldn't stop talking about how they wanted to have pancakes for dinner. I love being able to create a picture that makes someone immediately think "I want to eat that. Right now."
2. What was your most challenging and or memorable food or beverage shoot? What made it so?
My most challenging food shoot included a Thanksgiving turkey that I styled for Amazon a couple of years ago. I hadn't styled a turkey before and was really nervous about it being a complete disaster. I did a ton of obsessive research on how to make the turkey look just right. The method actually isn't that complicated - basically, you cook the turkey halfway so that the skin is taut, then paint on a colorant mixture to make it look properly browned. I was just so nervous that it would end up looking "un-turkeylike."
It ended up looking beautiful in the shot and stayed perfect for the rest of the day. I got curious about how long the turkey could hold his pose, so I told my assistant to let it sit out overnight. When we came into the studio the next day, the turkey looked exactly the same as it had when I'd first styled it!
3. What are the five most important things to consider when preparing and shooting food?
1. Timing. A lot of food won't last long once it's been prepared, so make sure you have a stand in dish to use when you're composing your picture.
2. Get the freshest, prettiest produce you can find.
3. Be patient. There can be a lot of minuscule adjustments needed to get a dish looking perfectly thrown together without being overtly styled.
4. Prepare as much as you can ahead of time. If you're working with grains or noodles, you can cook them the night before so that there's less to deal with the day of the shoot.
5. Don't go in blind. If you're shooting something you're not very familiar with, do a test run to get a feel for the dish and how to handle the ingredients.
4. What are the five most important things to have in your bag as a food/table top stylist?
1. Good, sharp knives. I have three - a chef's knife, a paring knife, and a serrated knife.
2. Paintbrushes and basting brushes. You can use them to oil food, place droplets, and move around or clean up crumbs.
3. Lightweight prep bowls and trays. I use metal bowls and baking sheets; plastic bowls and trays work great too.
4. Cleaning supplies - paper towels, glass spray, and dish soap. It's mind blowing how many paper towels I go through on a food shoot.
5. Chopsticks. They're so useful for moving tiny bits of food around.
5. Is there something about a food shoot that would surprise people, sort of a “who knew,” idea?
There are a lot of little quirks and tricks in food styling.
One thing that always amazes me is that often, hot dishes are assembled and photographed cold.
Also, condensation or water droplets generally are not pure water, but a 50/50 mix of water and glycerin. The glycerin increases the viscosity of the water, so it moves more slowly and forms bigger beads.
My favorite trick is perking up herbs. Fill a shallow bowl with an inch or so of water and add a drop of dish soap to the water. Trim a little bit off of the stems of the herbs, then pop the herbs into water, standing straight up as if they're flowers. The dish soap weakens the surface tension of the water, so the freshly trimmed herb stems can suck up the water and get refreshed quickly.
View more of Rachel's work at SallyReps.com
If you have any questions for Rachel, or any of our other stylists, feel free
to comment below, or submit them to email@example.com.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
For two weeks this spring, Plate of Nations will draw food lovers and urban adventurers to sample the authentic international cuisine offered by some of the best restaurants in the heart of the Rainier Valley, one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the country. Hankering for some Somali Goat Stew, Lao Papaya Salad, or Vietnamese Claypot? Plate of Nations has it.
is the brainchild of Asari Mohamath, a Cham Muslim refugee from Vietnam and former owner of Salima restaurant, who wanted to develop a unified marketing event to highlight the unique and authentic cuisines offered by MLK restaurants.
Immigrants from around the world have settled in the Rainier Valley and started businesses, many of them restaurants providing cultural favorites to their ethnic communities looking for a taste of home. Those restaurant owners are excited to welcome other customers to their traditions.
Monday, February 23, 2015
Experienced bed stylist, Allegra Hsiao, gives us an inside look at the trick to her trade. Hsiao's partial client list includes: Pottery Barn, West Elm, Crate and Barrel and Target. We interviewed her for the inside scoop on the ins and outs of bed styling.
What do you love about bed styling?
I love textiles and fabrics. (So much so that when just out of college, I was considering going into fashion design). Soft styling goes one step further than most prop styling in that activates the viewer's sense of touch. You can allow people to "feel" softness with their eyes! I also love how fabrics interact with light. They are so organic in the way they move creating a beautiful effect on camera.
What are the challenges?
While light is fabric's best friend, it can also be its worst enemy. With the wrong lighting, minuscule wrinkles are revealed and soft goods can appear stiff. It's very important to work with a photographer who knows how to work with you to make soft goods look their very best.
Another challenge is keeping people from touching the bed. It sounds silly, but even walking by a sheet too fast can make it move. One time a homeowner's two teenage kids and their cat slept in a velvet bed that I had styled before it had been shot! Cat hair and velvet are a stylist's worst nightmare.
What are the five most important things to consider when preparing and shooting a bed shoot.
Angle - Beds are typically shot from the side, from the foot, from 3/4 angle, and sometimes from above. Knowing what angle you are shooting from completely determines how to build a bed.
Light - Where is the light coming from? This determines how you angle the pillows and make the fabric move.
Style - Tidy bed or Loose bed. Find out what direction your client wants.
Plan - Conceptualize the bed in your head ahead of time, deciding the order that each item will go onto the bed. Then prep/iron the items in reverse order. For example, if your bed will have a sheet, duvet, and then quilt on top, then iron in this order - quilt, duvet, and sheet. When taking them off the rolling rack and placing them on the bed, the sheet, which needs to go down first, will be on top!
Time - When on location, a shot will have a time of day when the light is best. Find out when the bed will be shot and try to be finished with the bed at least 40 min prior to that. That will give you, the photographer, and the art director plenty of time to work out the kinks (pun intended).
What are the five most important things to have in your kit as a bed stylist?
Tank Iron - Never leave home without it.
T-pins - For everything!
Aluminum foil tape and/or high quality clear packing tape - To support the pillow flange. Clear tape for fabric that is translucent.
Lint Roller - No explanation necessary.
Batting - Props pillows up, fluffs bedding, fills corners, etc.
Is there something about a bedding shoot that would surprise people, sort of a “who knew,” idea?
Most everything would surprise people, I'd imagine. The mattresses are usually fake and made of styrofoam. The sets are usually fake too. The beds look gorgeous on the camera side, but on the other side look like dirty shambles of stuffing! Often times there are up to 3 comforters on the bed to make it appear lofty. Fitted sheets are rarely ever used, as flat sheets can be faked to look like a fitted sheet. Most bed stylists use TONS of pins and batting. I'm unusual as a bed stylist in that I try to style my beds as close to reality as possible. In other words, you could probably sleep in my bed without getting stabbed by a pin.
Pro Tip on how to make your bed at home look gorgeous?
(Honestly, ironing your sheets would be the best way to make any bed look crisp and fresh, but realistically, who has time for that?)
Layer beautiful textures upon one another. For example, Egyptian cotton sheets with a Belgian linen duvet and a brushed silk quilt on top with a wool throw at the foot of the bed. Textiles like these look great on a made bed, as well as in a jumbled up mess after you've slept in them. Nothing is more inviting than layers of fabrics that you want to snuggle up in time and time again.
View more of Allegra's work at Sally Reps.
Monday, February 2, 2015
Seattle based prop stylist Molly Hurd recently styled "The Perforated Tote" to make quite the impression. She uniquely styles this beautiful leather bag to accent its porous qualities for LE TOTE. This bag is not only high quality leather, but it gives jealous onlookers a sneak peek of the goodies you carry inside. View more of her work at www.sallyreps.com
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Los Angeles based lifestyle photographer Zee Wendell and art director Tara d'Ambrosia along with their client at Little Giraffe have moved outside to evolve the Little Giraffe brand story. In past seasons the team focused on photographing product and models on an indoor set or in studio, but this season when the product line evolved they took the set on location outdoors. "We wanted to add depth and texture to the environment. Our customer is a multi-faceted woman and we wanted to show her in a different environment," says Wendell. Our set aesthetic is still very simple and clean but the outdoor setting gives the setting more visual layers. And of course we love the curves and iconic statement of the Airstream." Zee Wendell has been working with Little Giraffe for over four years. More work from Zee Wendell can be found online here.
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Photographer Alex Hayden and Stylist Rachel Grunig recently collaborated on a project that hits close to home. Rachel's husband Josh Grunig started Pocket Bakery in August 2014. It currently functions as a pop up shop in Magpie, a lovely children's toy/gift store located at 2002 E Union Street in Seattle's central district.
To say the least, Josh is an entrepreneurial baker. He opens the bakery every Saturday from 10-1, and provides returning customers with a delicious selection that includes locally sourced and organic ingredients. He has a few stable items, and a few rotating items based on seasonal ingredients. Lately he's been focusing on incorporating heirloom and varietal grains into his products with great success (rye brownie, emmer shortbread, spelt paillettes).
Some of his other items include (but are certainty not limited to) peach hand pies, mini sourdough loaves (because who doesn't love sourdough), slices of birthday cake, parmesan sage scones, cinnamon rolls, emmer shortbreads, sweet potato pies, and aurora apple pie pockets.
As Josh is focused on keeping the neighborhood "wanting more", he has high sights for the bakery. Eventually he plans to move to a more permanent space, with the hope of cooking in a brick & mortar kitchen.
Below are photographs from Alex and Rachel's campaign. You can follow Josh on Instagram at @pocketbakeryseattle and on Facebook at Pocket Bakery Seattle. He has been written up in a few local blogs:
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
David Clugston recently shot a campaign for Alaska Airlines introducing their new flight experience. Clugston's photos include an Ipad with streaming entertainment, artisan food, custom leather seats, smart phone chargers, and award winning staff. His photos go above and beyond portraying the airlines service, with his characteristic bold, iconic, and technically proficient composition.
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Alex Hayden Photographs the Brand New Hampton Inn in Brooklyn, NY. His detailed hotel photography shows the modern interiors of the hotel complete with contemporary furniture and wooden furnishings.
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Interior photographer Alex Hayden and photo stylist Kelsey Eads recently completed a new image campaign for client Hotel Andra. A stylish, sophisticated downtown Seattle Hotel, Andra offers a boutique hotel atmosphere with first-class service.
Alex and Kelsey were charged with creating images that capture the Pacific Northwest style with the comfort and warmth of the hotel interior. The lobby “Living Room" is centered around the fireplace. The floor to ceiling book cases and firewood are a nice contrast to the modern artwork and sophisticated furniture that fill the space. The loft sitting area with its cozy chairs and wood block tables allow guests to unwind in comfort and style. The light filled breakfast room is inviting and sophisticated. Hotel Ändra is within walking distance of such iconic destinations as Pike Place Market, the Seattle waterfront, and downtown Seattle's thriving retail core. Boutique shops, luxury retailers, and some of Seattle's finest restaurants abound under the looming edifice of the famous Space Needle.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Winter is upon, Weather we like it or not (pun intended)! Photographer Ian Coble, who is notoriously famous for his epic powder shots, and deep understanding of how to portray the winter, has begun to document the snowfall in the PNW. View his newest photo story, launched on an app called Steller. Get excited friends because Winter Is Coming!!
Monday, October 13, 2014
With Dia De Los Muertos and Halloween related celebrations right around the corner, get the most out of your celebration with the best decorating tips from Stylist Allegra Hsiao. See more of her work at Sally Reps.
Thursday, October 9, 2014
It is always such a pleasure when two of our very own get to work together. Photographer Alex Hayden and Stylist Rachel Grunig have recently been working on a spread for FloForm. FloForm, based in Seattle, is a company dedicated to consistently providing their customers with the best countertop purchasing experience available in the marketplace. The photoshoot took place in and around the Pacific Northwest at a variety of different residences. "It was awesome to work with FloForm," says Grunig. They're countertops have the perfect balance of storage and style. Lots of great opportunities for styling." View more of Hayden and Grunig's work at Sally Bjornsen Represents.