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 www.sallyreps.com or www.gretchenbell.com.

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