Today I had the opportunity to take a tour of a local studio and see what kind of work goes into a Belk print ad. Pictures taken at this studio go through quite a process: from here, to India, to Lancaster, PA and back with only TWO DAYS for turnover. Our guide stated that when they first took Belk as a client, they had 14 days to go through that process but technologies have changed and demand has increased for e-commerce which has whittled down the turn time.
I thought this wall was hilarious... where models come to grab their hair extensions in the morning.
I have seen the outcome of this KitchenAid set-up a bazillion times... and here it is getting shot!
This particular office housed commercial photographers, stylists, digital marketing program managers, and a couple other interesting titles that I can't remember specifically. Before today, I would say I had a pretty narrow view of what a "stylist" was. My definition would be someone who dresses models in a way that is creative and thought-provoking way for a photo shoot, commercial, TV, etc...... or, hello... Stacy and Clinton! But today I got a glimpse of how far styling can range. Some stylists were stacking fuzzy slippers for a holiday ad, some were clamping jackets on models to better fit their less-than-average frame, some were steaming and shaping felt hats, some were sticky-rolling samples, some were ironing men's shirts and trying to re-fold them to the perfect rectangle dimensions.... and I assume there are home stylists that we didn't see in action. According to one of the stylists we met, the more range in their position, the better. I do firmly believe that creating creates creativity and it's an ongoing cycle. Maybe the same philosophy works for them? As for those stylists shaping felt hats (for one, have you ever TRIED to shape a felt hat?), if it comes in more color way, they have to near-perfect shape all of them, and then place them exactly the same in front of the camera. I thought back to how I always assumed that Victoria's Secret must edit the color ways on all those bikinis...but now, I don't know?
Fun Fact: While a lot of product is shot in this studio, photographers fly to NYC to shoot Cynthia for Cynthia Rowley, Eileen Fisher, Free People, Crown & Ivy, and MADE for Cam Newton.