Monday, December 31, 2012

Biodegradable Flower Pots? Yep.

I recently was invited by a young photographer and fellow Blogger, Lynn Kloythanomsup, to style a product she was shooting.  Always, excited to do something new I took on the opportunity to do more prop-styling.

Her clients family has had their nursery for almost thirty years.  The son, Jed, wanted to have a more sustainable production using biodegradable containers rather than plastic.  So, he used an old technique of using rice husks to make new containers.  He has developed amazing and colorful pots for plants.  They will biodegrade over time and quicker if left outside but they are riding the wave of the future at Ecoforms.  Taking better care of our Mother Earth.

Jed, who has been running the show since 2004 hired, Lynn to help update their website with shots of their newest product colors and shapes.  His parents opened up their home to us to produce our photo shoot.  We had a fun day experimenting with all the varieties Jed provided.

These are my favorite pictures from that day.

Please check out both Ecoforms' and Lynns' websites and see great ideas and stories.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Up in a tree: Part 1

The first time I went to visit Mike I noticed the tree house.  Never one to hold back;  I exclaimed "you have a tree house"!  Then I asked him if he or his three teenagers use it.  "No,  the kids were never interested".  My brain started spinning.  What fun to hang out in a tree in Marin!  Luckily for me he liked my enthusiasm.

Of course the next question was "do you mind if I check it out"?

The new venture started.  My man let me climb up and I spent a day cleaning house.   I asked the spiders to please leave so they wouldn't get sucked up by the shop-vac.   

We had our first cocktail party on the veranda that night.

The house was built between two Bay trees and is very solid.  Not only did the architect line the outside with weather proofing, he finished it off with shingles left over from the add-on to the main house.  It has a nice little window that faces West.  Perfect for the afternoon sun to stream in.  Although, the inside measures 5 by 4 feet wide and only 5'4" tall there is a lot of potential for lounging.  

The outside has about a 3 foot veranda that goes around two sides.  Plenty of room for two chairs and two people to sit and sip.  The door is a piece of plywood that Mike is going to shape up and I will paint. 

There are some minor adjustments needed for the outside.  One, which Mike already started, is to finish shingling the outside and the other is to change the entrance up to the house.  The rope ladder and small hatch in the floor is not going to cut it for most visitors.  We will create a new entrance with a ladder.  

Mike also made a pulley for raising and lowering a basket to transport goods!

My idea is to have cushions on the floor and hang any other items that might be useful to have in the house.  Like blankets, glasses, a corkscrew...  I am sure you catch my drift.  We are leaving the rustic charm of the outside for camouflage and authenticity.

I have started the next phase: painting.  I primed the inside last week.  Chose two colors of paint for the floor and walls.  Then earlier this week I painted the walls "chamois"... getting some in my hair of course.  Yesterday,  I painted the floor "silver spruce".   I also, hung my first piece of art. This is just the beginning!

I can't wait for you to see it done!!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

All in a Week

I have been so busy these days that I have been neglecting my blog!

Since I have no current projects to talk about I have decided to post photos that I have taken recently.

These photos are ones that I took on my latest work week in St Helena, California.  One of the gems of Sonoma.  We had a fun week working and playing.


candy at Dean & Deluca

Martini at French Blue

Friends showing some color

Seasonal fruit salad... yum!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Morning Ritual

As I sit down to write this post I am sipping a delicious cup of coffee.  People who drink tea or coffee have their particular ways of blending their brew.  I am sitting at the table in my living room looking out the window... enjoying my cup with cream and honey.

These photos are the other part of the two part food shoot with Michael and Martha.  Although, we intended them to all go together this seems more like a separate story.

Here is our vision of a morning ritual.

this is the first photo... "before breakfast"

Martha made these delicious lemon curd pastries

now isn't this how you want to start your day?

There are a couple of people I want to thank that contributed to this shoot... Mario De Palma for giving me the beautiful drop leaf table and Peggy Hickey for loaning me her perfect dining chairs.  It's these little gestures that can make pulling a project together much easier.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Good Food

Yet another collaboration with two good friends. 

Our first food shoot. 

Food styling by Martha Arriola photos by Michael Bennett and propping by me.  

For a few months Martha, Michael and I had been talking about doing a food shoot.  It was time, after years of working on PB shoots, for us to pull our ideas together.  Martha wants to build up on her food styling experience, I want to do more table top and Michael well, he is up for any new photo project.

I asked Martha to pick the menu and I would choose the propping around her choices.  She wanted brunch... I appreciate a good breakfast so, I said "YES".  Besides my living room is perfect for morning light.  

The process was fun for me because I enjoy shopping and finding unique items.  I hit a lot of thrift stores and scored on many pieces of dish ware and table top items.  

I also, have been sewing so even though its not evident by the photos I did make the table cloth.  Which has fine little detailing around the edges.  

We started with a story about four friends enjoying breakfast together.  Bloody Mary's, fruit salad, savory potatoes with eggs and toast (of course).  We did also do a dessert and coffee course but now after editing and cropping we have decided that these could be two different stories.  I will be writing a separate post with the other photos.

I have chosen these for this post but there are more that each of us can use.  

After the whole process we have found that the three of us can't use all of the photos for what we are trying to achieve for our independent portfolios.  Still this was a successful merging of our talents.

Eat up!

cocktails first
getting ready to eat
a few close-ups before digging in
it was Marthas' idea to leave the potatoes and eggs in the skillet


I liked the partially eaten food shots... because I got to bite the toast

We showed these to a couple of our colleagues and our over all feed back was positive.  We did learn some "art direction" that hadn't occurred to either of us.  But we (three) are happy with the results of our joint effort. 

Michael made this card for Martha... sweet!

Thank you both for the fun two days and good food.  Let's do it again!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Aubergine Haze

This has been a long process... mine and Michaels' color story.  Mostly because we both have been busy and it's hard to get together.  We finally finished!

I have been inspired by the decorating stories that Elle Decor UK does in every issue and wanted to duplicate the same process.  I've been planning this shoot for months and we actually shot some of it before the holidays.

Aubergine is a good neutral.  I imagine it more like brown or grey.  I have been in a purple daze for over a year and as might be expected the color has been incorporated into my wardrobe.

This first picture was the kick-off to our first day on the project.  I had the vision when walking down the street one morning and so Michael and I carried it out.

This is the final layout of the shots from the two days.  We feel that this is a solid "color story" and will be a good promo card for us both.

The rest of these are shots that we decided to not use for the promo.  Although, they will still be useful for our portfolios and websites.

this is my favorite but of course just for fun.

The process of composing a shoot can be arduous.  I have learned a lot this past year about prepping and pulling together ideas. Interestingly, not all of the photos turn out the way I envision but somehow it all works in the end.  

I always say that doing these independent shoots is what I like best about being a stylist.  

There are no rules.

Thanks again Mr Bennett.  More to come...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Mellow Yellow

I have a memory of my dad, when I was a little girl.  I thought it was funny that his favorite color was "banana".  I remember asking him over and over again, "daddy what's your favorite color"?  I would giggle at his answer and say, "that's not a color"!

I'm inspired by the brightness of yellow.  I am aware of the color more these days and see it in magazines as well as on the street.

I have a photo shoot coming up with my two friends Martha and Michael.  Our recurring theme will be... yellow.  Martha has pulled together a menu and I am choosing my props from her food choices.  Michael and I have also been discussing our inspiration on lighting and propping that we are gathering from magazines and on-line.  This is going to be a fun collaboration for the three of us.

Michael and I, just today, finished our "color story" shoot.  We are both excited with the results which I will be posting here soon.

In the meantime these are some recent visions of my current favorite hue.

Apparently "banana" is a color...  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Snow Days

I have a very dear friend, Juli, who moved to Massachusetts over ten years ago to marry and start a family. She lives in a beautiful farmhouse in the woods with her husband and two sons.

I have had the pleasure this past week to spend some time with Juli and her boys while dad has been away on business.  I arrived the day after a snow storm to this beautiful place and have been experiencing what it is truly like to live in the present.

My first day was like being in a winter wonderland.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Into the Light

I have so many creative friends.  One of the best parts of these friendships is how inspired I feel when talking about ideas and coming up with projects.  Sometimes the ideas take awhile to get produced but then there are those that have to happen NOW.

I was working with Brad when he told me about his plan for shooting still lifes in a dark environment.  I suggested that we try to create the images in my basement.

Then I couldn't stop thinking and planning... envisioning the tales and walking around my house picking out the props.

We pulled this shoot together in three days.

I composed the stories... Brad provided the vision and the light... in the dark.

All of these items are treasures around the house.  Some were gifts,  some belonged to my parents and others belong to my roommate.  They have all come together to play a part in each story.