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Sunday
Oct272013

COOKING LIGHT: FOOD GIFTS FOR FOOD LOVERS

  

Here are some tears from a story I prop styled for Cooking Light magazine's "Food Gifts for Food Lovers" spread. I had the pleasure of working with one of my favorite crews, Iain Bagwell (photography), Rachel Lasserre (art direction), Katelyn Hardwick (food styling), and Jenn Gietzen (friendassistant-yes that is a new term we came up with). The magazine is on stands now and the whole issue is fantastic! I loved the dreamy direction for this holiday shoot- wintery, shades of creams and whites, with hints of natural, rustic elements. My kind of holiday...

Tuesday
Sep102013

TIME MAGAZINE PINNERS TO FOLLOW

This was the biggest surprise a few days ago when a friend tweeted at me that Time had included me on their list of 30 pinner to follow! I am well aware this will probably be the first and last time my name is mentioned anywhere near this prestigious magazine but I wanted to say thank you to whoever thought to add me to this list. There are some really awesome people that I follow on there as well Katie Armour of Matchbook magazine, Jordan Ferney, and Bonnie Tsang

Some personal favorites as well are Tristan B(Besotted), Beth Kirby Local Milk, Kathryn Shiells, Pennyweight, my sister Amy Branch Munn and Mady Dooijes. Tristan also features "The Curator" , a column on her awesome blog where she highlights her favorites on Pinterest which is a great way to find new people to follow! 

Monday
Sep092013

TEST SHOOT: IAIN BAGWELL + KATELYN HARDWICK

I love the opportunity for collaboration and honestly am at my happiest teaming up with folks for a photo shoot. I've been so busy lately with client work that I haven't had much time to create something for myself so this was such a treat to prop style for photographer Iain Bagwell and food stylist (and awesome photographer) Katelyn Hardwick. We created a tonal and gritty story around squid ink pasta, figs with mascarpone and honey, eggplants, and espresso. I love the inky quality of Iain's photos and the darkness of it all. My work tends to be pretty light and romantic so it's refreshing to have this masculine balance in my portfolio. 

I have a lot more work to share very soon that I've been having to hold off until various publishing dates. Stay tuned for more...

Wednesday
Jul102013

KINFOLK: HOW TO MAKE YOGURT

Photos: Ali Harper/ Food Styling Katelyn Hardwick/Prop Styling Ginny Branch

Have you seen Kinfolk's beautiful new website with loads of new content? It's delicious in every sense of the word. I even signed up for the subscription option for both print + web so I can still get my hands on their lovely quarterly and pin online imagery to my hearts content. 

Shooting with Ali Harper is always pure bliss, but this time we had the added bonus of help from our talented food stylist friend, Katelyn Hardwick who prepared and styled the food. One of the many reasons why I love working on food shoots is there is some sort of epicurean alchemy that occurs on set that fascinates and mystifys me. Also I am genuinely so pleased with how all the elements from this particular shoot came together. The colors, textures, composition, and camera angles feel so soothing and inviting... don't you agree?

Click here to get the recipe for making homemade yogurt and do enjoy perusing the new site! 

 

 

 

Saturday
Jun222013

STAY HUNGRY...

Photo by Andrea Dorsey/ Food Stylist Allyson Petty

Ever since I moved to Atlanta 3 years ago I have been working steadfastly toward a career as a photostylist. It's hard to articulate the many reasons why I love what I do, but one of them is that I am constantly learning something new with every shoot I am lucky to be on. I'm also learning from some of the best in the industry. This year I have been expanding my prop+ photo styling portfolio to pursue more experience on food shoots. I've had the privilege of working with one of the best food photographers, who for some reason, has kindly given me a shot when I am woefully green in this area. He and his colleagues have been doing this for 10-20 years. And they're good. I mean really good. Sometimes I find myself feeling discouraged because I don't quite speak their language yet and know all the tricks in the book. And with food photography there are about a million ways you need to be able to problem solve on an 8-10 hour day when you need two shots and you have a limited number of props to work with... trust me, it's amazing the kind of magic tricks food stylists have up their sleeves. I had a shoot this week where we hit a bit of a wall on the second shot, 7 hours after completing the first one. I might have even gone cross-eyed. I was really disappointed in myself because I couldn't come up with the solutions to make it work. I was a problem-solving failure. Thankfully the rest of the team snapped to it and found the right answer after a quick group effort of swapping out every possible moving part in the image. 

I try and channel my mistakes into something positive. I critically evaluate my performance on every shoot and add new tools to my kit (literally and figuratively) and accept the growing pains as part of the process. I also hope that the more seasoned I become that I never lose the sense of wonder I feel toward the world of photostyling. Also, in turn, I promise I will share as many tips + tricks as I learn them. My 3 takeaways from this week's shoot:

1. Know your client's aesthetic and be humble enough to not impose your personal style on them. Deliver the kind of work that represents their brand and not your own. 

2. More is more. You will never regret bringing too many options or too many tools. Also you will always want to present the art director with as many photo options for her to chose from. More is more.

3. Stay hungry in every way possible. Don't allow yourself to hit a wall. Continue to look at a scene with fresh eyes and be ready to offer suggestions of every possible prop you can swap out for another variation whether it be the forks, linens, surface, or stack of plates. Be the bamboo that bends not the oak that resists. Stubborness over a shot is just wasting everyone's precious and expensive time. Also, stay hungry in the sense of always wanting to improve and learn more. Be your own best student and teacher. Work with and for people who are better than you and be grateful for their wisdom and expertise. 

Sunday
Jun162013

BOTANICAL SNEAK PEEK

 

Photos by Elizabeth Messina/ Florals by Amy Osaba/Backdrop by Blue Eyed Yonder

Here is a teeny sneak peek from Elizabeth Messina's A Lovely Workshop botanical shoot. Working with Elizabeth is a true collaboration of minds. She doesn't just show up with a camera and shoots what's presented to her. Instead she pours her heart and creativity into every step of the process, ensuring every detail is thoughtful and consistent. This botanical theme married with her Kissing Tree concept into one romantic and ethereal shoot at The Avenue of the Oaks in Sea Island, GA. 

I am still in awe of this wall that Krista built, from a combination of botanical prints collaged with worn paper, and charming little hand drawn bits of flora and fauna. We thought it would be a fun inspiration for a photo booth backdrop or even would be gorgeous accent wall in a powder room! You can see some of her behind-the-scenes process on her Instagram she shared back in March.

Stay tuned for more from this dreamy day and here is a moodboard that was inspired the shoot. 

Sunday
Jun162013

LONNY MAGAZINE: WEDDING IDEA OF THE DAY

Photo: Rylee Hitchner Flowers: Amy Osaba

Have you seen Lonny Magazine's new series called Wedding Idea of the Day? I will be contributing all month long sharing ideas and featuring the work of my gal pal/studiomate/partner-in-photoshoot crime/mentor Amy Osaba. She is the godmother of all things floral in the South and hilarious to boot. Check back in the series for more tips and suggestions (all of which I learned from her through osmosis). Also be sure to check out the other tips from the fantastic contributors Stone Fox Bride (one of my obsessions), Once Wed(Atlanta-based, gorgeously curated wedding blog), Local Milk(flawless food photographer/blogger/pinner), and Paper & Type(thoughtful correspondence + graphic design)

Saturday
Jun152013

CAMP SUMMER SUPPER

Photo by Elizabeth Messina

We hope all you fine folks will come to our CAMP Summer Supper at Sun in My Belly Wednesday, June 19th from 7-11:30pm. Did we mention it's free? We just want to share some edibles and potables with Atlanta's creative community. There will be all kinds of artists/designers/photographers/stylists/makers/movers and shakers attending so bring plenty of business cards! We are hoping this intimate gathering will be an evening making new friends and connections. Feel free to bring a pal or two!

If you plan on attending will you please RSVP info@suninmybelly.com and let us know how many folks will be coming with you!

 

 

Wednesday
Jun122013

A LOVELY WORKSHOP + MARTHA STEWART WEDDINGS

 

Yesterday I woke up to find one of our shoots from Elizabeth Messina's A Lovely Workshop in Sea Island, GA had been featured on Martha Stewart Weddings The Bride's Guide. This genuinely was such a fun surprise and I couldn't be more proud of what the team created together. What I love most about being a stylist is the collaboration on photo shoots + events. Behind every image is a team that contributes their own unique voice and talent to make the photo come alive. I can't even express how much I respect each and every woman on our crew and what they bring to the table. As a collective we all speak the same language and are definitely from the same tribe. I'm so grateful Elizabeth brought us all on to be her creative team for this workshop and it is amazing looking at the images through her beautiful lens. The first image is from my new tumblr site, the middle is the moodboard that inspired the shoot, and the last image is a collection of proof prints I received in the mail from Elizabeth which contain a sneak peek of a bonus shoot from the week. 

Prop and Fashion Styling: Ginny Branch
Floral Designs: Amy Osaba
Vintage Rentals and Set Design: Krista Janos of Blue Eyed Yonder
Printed Collateral: Wiley Valentine
Hair and Makeup: Erin Skipley & Claudia Mejerle

Calligraphy: Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls

Custom Spoons: Monkeys Always Look
Champagne: Cupcake Vineyards
Fashion:
Ivy & Aster dress and bolero, Claire Pettibone floral clip; Jessica Fontaine dress,Chelsea Rose Bridal bolero, Construct Jewelry necklace; Billy Reid suit, shirt, and bowtie; Sarah Seven dress; Myra Callan dress, Claire Pettibone headpiece; Claire Pettibone gown, robe, and cap; Carol Hannah Whitfield dress, Twigs & Honeyhairpiece.

Big love to the team members/assistants/cheerleaders/heroes: Shanna Skidmore, Meredith Mejerle, Katy Dennison

Thursday
May302013

4 YEAR ANNIVERSARY + SOME MARRIAGE TIPS...

I could not be happier to have married this man. He is beyond patient with the fact that he married an entrepreneur (why are there not support groups for this?!) and I am so grateful with all that he does in our marriage. In addition to working 9-6 he has taken up cooking and is totally winning in this arena. I am working on being a better cleaner of dishes as a thank you. He supports me in every way and I could NEVER have started my own business without him. That's a fact. He is such a good man and I am lucky that opposites really do attract. In light of our 4 year anniversary I thought of some helpful tips I've discovered along the way...

1. Express gratitude in the everyday. The power of a sincere, heartfelt "thank you" is truly undervalued. Taking notice and showing appreciation for the tasks your loved one does like taking out the trash or cooking a meal after a long day of work is a small gesture that has a lot of mileage. This is an area I can stand to improve in. 

1. Remember you're a team and in it to win it. When life throws you a curveball or two I think it's helpful to be mindful that you are in this together and to not let rough patches turn you against eachother. Tackle both the good and the bad with the spirit that you are an unshakeable duo! 

3. Find ways to recharge your souls. I think travel, however big or small, is the best way of shaking up the monotony of life and a great reset button for your heart and mind. I noticed that my husband was noticeably happier and calmer after a recent trip to the beach that I am making it a priority that we do this at least once a year... even though I am not a beach lover by any stretch of the imagination... just seeing how much it brightened his outlook is worth its weight in salt. 

4. Do not let comparison be the thief of joy. I find in the late twenties it is all too easy to look around and feel a sense of "keeping up with the Joneses". This is a slippery slope. This is not a great way of measuring success and will only muddy your own perspective. Just because you can't build a new fence or paint the house at this moment does not mean you're failing. Slow and steady wins the race...

5. Admit you're wrong. A sense of humor goes a long way. My new coping method when I know I've made mistakes is complete and utter self-mockery and self-deprecation. It's a much more charming way of admitting you're wrong and takes a little bit of the edge off. This is a new technique that I've adopted and it seems to be working well for both of us. Also, as much as "thank you" is undervalued I think "I'm sorry" gets a lot of neglect. It's shocking what those two phrases can accomplish.