Sunday, February 26, 2012

Talking with Prop Stylists

There has been a recent surge in recognition and interest in the field of prop styling, and I've found a couple of great interviews and blog posts online which shed some light on the work that prop stylists do.

I recently found this blog post by a prop stylist who decided to document and share all of the tedious details of a day in the life of a hard working prop stylist. I loved that she was willing to go into such meticulous detail about what's expected of her and how she spends each minute of her time. Since there is little information out there about this field, this blog post really illuminated the hidden art of prop styling and all of the thought process and hard work that the often uncredited stylist does for a shoot.

Today I found this interview with a prop stylist, which also focuses on the incredible amount of detail, running around, and savvy required to succeed in the business.

While it's slightly intimidating to read about all of the things a prop stylist is responsible for and expected to do on such short notice, the best jobs always have some aspect that seems intimidating. Therein lies the challenge, the opportunity for reward, and the pure excitement!
Today's inspiring prop styling image comes from Amy Chin's Desire to Inspire!  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

An Inspiring Discovery

A few weeks ago I started an informal Interior Design class through UT. The idea to enroll came from a few places: First, I am not working or taking any college-credit classes this Spring, so I kind of have a lot of time on my hands. Second, that I have an intense interest in design- you might say I even have a knack for it- but I have never received any formal training in any area of design. Third, and perhaps the biggest push to take the class, is that over the last year or so, I have slowly been discovering that there is a specific field that I am interested which has a name and even a job description. 

It's called prop styling, and I've been obsessed with it my whole life without even knowing what "it" was. My obsession with magazines has had to do with one thing: images; and not just any images, but specifically what I now know are photographs styled under the categories of "Lifestyle", "Still Life", "Interiors", "Tabletop", and even "Food". I love the fashion styling, too (hence my obsession with Vogue magazine), but I'll be honest, if the model is standing in a room filled with amazing things or storybook qualities, I'm looking at the room. 
Hansel and Gretel: Fairytale styling by the amazing Grace Coddington for Vogue.

Natural food ingredients styled for Martha Stewart's Whole Living Magazine. 
Which brings me back to my enrollment in the Interior Design class. I know nothing about Interior Design, and for such an artistic and creative person with such a vivid imagination, I certainly bomb when it comes to envisioning structural changes to a room. For some reason, I seem to have a blockage in my left architectural lobe which prevents me from tapping into that particular ability. However, as a prop stylist- heck, as someone who's interested in buying a home one day- a person needs to be able to work with spaces- with light in spaces and with functionality in spaces. I'm hoping this class with at the very least introduce me to some concepts to explore, give me some guidelines to draw from, and teach me some of the basics involved. I don't intend to come out of this class ready to dive into an architecture field, but I hope to give some foundation and knowledge to my creative process. 

The first example of what might now be called prop-styling that I can remember having a
profound effect on me: Photographer/artist/stylist Cindy Palmano for Tori Amos on Under the Pink.