Behind the Scenes at a Hudson’s Bay Photoshoot

One of my favorite types of projects is creating full rooms from top to bottom. To my extreme pleasure, that is exactly what I get to do with Hudson’s Bay!  Today I am going to bring you behind the scenes of a recent photoshoot that we did to showcase brand new linen collections for spring. As usual, shoots like these are HUGE productions with big crews, multiple photographers and lots and lots (and LOTS) of options.  What do I mean by options?  I mean that for every item that you see in the final shot, we probably brought 4 others to choose from.  And yes, that includes furniture.  Why do we need so many? Because I never know how things are going to look until I see them in the space, with lighting and bedding etc etc.  I would rather have an extra bedside table or two on hand and swap them in quickly than wish I had something different and get stuck.  Options are my best friend when I’m styling…unfortunately they can also be my assistant’s nightmare (thanks Biagio!).  On shoots for Hudson’s Bay I always, ALWAYS bring lots of flowers because there are bouquets in every shot and sometimes it can be a long process to get them exactly right.  We have to consider what looks good in the room, which blooms are seasonal/available (even though we are shooting months in advance), what speaks to the brand, what was done previously and what my clients prefer.  Luckily, flowers are my absolutely favorite thing to do.  See if you can spot our choices in the final images.

Anyway, without much further ado, I present to you images from the Spring Linens Book photoshoot.  Yes, we work really hard BUT we also have a lot of fun.  First is the cover image (you might recognize it from last week’s Globe and Mail insert):

hudsons bay may 17-30 2013 stephanie 1Setting up for the same shot.  Our locations was a super-hip furniture store in the West end.

IMG_0202On the other side of the camera: OPTIONS!!  And my makeshift desk is in there too somewhere.  Yes, it looks like chaos but I swear that we have a system.

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Oh there it is! Among the flowers…on the most adorable Bay garden table.  Hey! It matches my phone!  And I always keep my receipts in a chic glass vase. Don’t you?

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Biagio and I are in constant contact…and we bring our own phones.

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We shot an alternative angle for the Esprit bedding and it included me (in a pink dress!) walking up and down the staircase in the background.  The image was meant to be blurred….LOL!

IMG_0227The last time you might ever see me in a dress this pink:

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This is the final shot of new Distinctly Home bedding.  We were going for a uptown Kate Spade style.  I am in love with the gladiolas and the fabulous painted pipe wall! Amazing!  Oh and here’s a tip: garden stools as bedside tables. Why not?

hudsons bay may 17-30 2013 stephanie 2An alternative bike option for the above shot.  Super-chic no?

IMG_0215Here’s amazing off-figure stylist Rodney Smith (with photographer Paul Chmielowiec) creating those fantastic towel insert shots.

IMG_0218A better shot of Paul (the master behind all of the off figure shots in the book):

IMG_0219And who shot all the big room shots you ask?  Michael Graydon of course!  Here he is with our incredible Art Director Rebecca Watson.  Go Team!

IMG_0211All right now a few other random but fun shots. It’s raining chairs! Hallelujah!

IMG_0221Biagio, looking handsome, with “options”:

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I love a pretty vignette:
IMG_0198Photo assistant Rudo working on his tan:

IMG_0220The communal inspiration desk:

IMG_0214Oh and here’s me (in my regular clothes) trying to get a handle on things.

IMG_0208What a fun shoot!!  Thanks very much to all involved especially those at Fuel Advertising and Hudson’s Bay.  A very special thank you to our tireless clients Arren Williams and Jen Radway.  Can’t wait to see you all again very soon.

PS: I would be remiss if I didn’t mention bed-stylist Charlene Walton and producer Rosanna Tanti.  Nice work ladies!!!

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Hudson’s Bay Beauty Book

Well, it’s been a while since my last post but life and work have been a complete whirlwind for the last few weeks!!  Hopefully, that means I’ll have some great new images to post and tell you about.  Speaking of which, the Hudson’s Bay Beauty Book came in my Globe and Mail this morning and I can’t resist doing a mini-blog post to show you the image as well as a few behind the scenes tid bits.  This was a lovely project for me in which I got to collect as many pink peonies I could find -which was no easy task in January- and then sew them onto a pretty bandeau to fit directly onto our model.  I used a mix of real blooms and silks that blended together perfectly to create a gorgeous texture, not to mention a heavenly aroma!  I also placed flower in her hair, and shot individual blossoms for the background and page insets.  The sewing wasn’t always easy since natural flowers are so delicate and the final touches had to be sewn while the model was already wearing the “garment” but I think it turned out great.

FYI: Production by Blu, Photography by Christoph Strube, Makeup by Jackie Shawn and Hair by Justin German.

Here it is, take a look:

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Fresh Floral Creations: A Holiday Wonderland on the Danforth

Many people will recognize the big pink sign that hangs over the door at Fresh Floral Creations on the Danforth but have you ever been inside??  I was invited to a sweet holiday-themed event at the store today and was swept away!  What a fabulous place!!  It’s a floral-themed wonderland so chock full of blossoms and creative ideas that I recommend stopping by tout de suite.  Creative genius Bruno Duarte wows with a riot of colour, organic-shaped vessels in all kinds of materials and a display that changes often.

 As a nod to this season’s hottest hue, Duarte covered the ceiling with orange baubles tied to rings of playable wood.  The effect is breathtaking (and must have taken about a million trips up a ladder).  Love it.

There is a tropical vibe to the store that is expressed through the bright-hot shades of red and orange.  Mix-in fresh evergreens or sprays of berries to add a festive touch.

These gold gourd vases look like sea-creatures from Neptune’s garden. So fun.

Planters can be found in all kinds of imaginative materials.  Use them for the holidays and then re-use all year round by replacing fresh evergreen boughs with a potted palm.

On this special afternoon, Duarte led a workshop to demonstrate how to build a simple festive arrangement made with hydrangea, amaryllis and orchids.  His (ahem) pupils did their best while sipping peppermint schnaps spiked hot chocolates and nibbling rum cakes.   Not a bad way to learn no?

Here are the required materials: cube vase, stapler, pre-soaked oasis and water sticks (for the orchids).  Oh and some flowers will help the situation…

Start by rolling your leaves into cute cigar-like shapes and stapling them in place:Cut and insert two hydrangeas into the oasis (don’t be shy about pushing the suckers down deep):Drink some schnapsy hot chocolate:Insert a beautiful amaryllis into the centre, group silvery berries on one side, add 2 rolled leaves into the left and 1 to the right and finally add 2 white orchids wherever they look the best.  Et voila!  A Fresh Floral Creations style arrangement perfect for any table.

And last but not least, you must check-out the amazing installation in the front window (so wide it wouldn’t fit in my frame).  Yes, those are real cherries still on the stems woven with orchids, moss and bare branches.  So, so beautiful.  Reminds me of how much you can do when you let your mind wander into it’s most creative place. Bravo Bruno!

Special thanks to Faulhaber PR for a another fabulous event.