Category archives: Aqua & Turquoise

Prop Styling for
Outdoor FurniturePhotos by Keith Sutter for Costco | photo: Keith Sutter | Los Angeles Prop Stylist for outdoor patio furniture

Last November, I had the opportunity to work with Costco on a commercial shoot for outdoor furniture. Prop styling for commercial shoots like this is a very different world than editorial styling. Unlike wedding or lifestyle editorials where the focus is on the story or how pretty the elements of the photo are, here the focus is only on the product and how accurately it’s being captured in camera. When I prop style for clients like this, its important to prop and show the “lifestyle,” but at the same time its crucial to not overly stage a scene. For instance, an elaborate cheese display or a huge floral arrangement in this context would distract from function of the photo, which is to: 1. Show the furniture 2. Sell the furniture.

Another aspect that is very different from editorial styling, is that products are shot from one pre-selected angle. Normally, I place props on set where someone would naturally set their wine glass down. But since the angle of the shot is so defined, props may actually get placed where they would never be in reality. For instance, the pitcher of orange juice below. In an editorial, I would place it in the middle of table, here its placed back and further away so you can see more of the table and it also helps to draw your eye further into the photo.

So how do I pick props for each set? First, I like to determine what story the props should be telling in this scene. Is this a breakfast? Just a cocktail by the pool? An al fresco dinner? Once, I have the “storyline” for the set, I pull the appropriate props to show that story unfolding. Props need to be obvious, especially from a distance (note how far away the camera is from the actual product). For faux breakfasts, I like OJ in a pitcher because it reads so clearly, martinis read great for a faux cocktail scene, and iced tea works well for a casual moment by the pool. I also like to use orchids for a pop of color (especially when the product is so neutral like this) and soften sets with blankets and pillows. | photo: Keith Sutter | Los Angeles Prop Stylist for outdoor patio furniture

A faux breakfast scene with OJ, strawberries, and muffins.

The models interacting with the props. | photo: Keith Sutter | Los Angeles Prop Stylist for outdoor patio furniture

A mid-day treat, cookies and milk. Here, I used heavy whipping cream instead of milk since its more opaque. The glass I chose features a little pop of color to breakup the otherwise nuetral set. | photo: Keith Sutter | Los Angeles Prop Stylist for outdoor patio furniture

Orchids and iced tea for the lounge chairs and a table about to be set for dinner. | photo: Keith Sutter | Los Angeles Prop Stylist for outdoor patio furniture

Commercial shoots like this are always shot “tethered” aka, there’s a screen to show you the actual photo and angel of a shot as you work. I use the test shots to make sure props are placed in the right spot position in camera and not in reality. The lanterns in the background for instance, had to be staggered just so to account for the angle the photo. | photo: Keith Sutter | Los Angeles Prop Stylist for outdoor patio furniture

And finally, a festive cocktail hour, margaritas (or in this case gatorade mixed with OJ) and chips and salsa.

A special thanks to Keith Sutter for the photos and the amazing team at SunvillaCostco and Trustylz Media for a smooth five day photo shoot.

Let’s Shop: Summertime Fun

I don’t know about you, but I am so happy for the long sunny days, endless excuses for margarita parties, and the opportunity to turn up the volume, and wear lots of color. I’m in love with this happy print dress by Modcloth, the most perfect summer sandals by Trina Turk, simple aqua necklace and hoops by Anthro, and of course this effortless chic and neutral beach tote by Jack Spade.

Shop it:


Watercolor Moments

A little post today (since it is technically a holiday) of some pretty watercolor moments. How cute are these DIY water color tags? They’d make for some cute escort cards!

Pair actual watercolor elements with watercolor flowers (how pretty are the clematis on the left?) and you’ve got a pretty, soft, spring look I love… See you tomorrow, I’m off to prep for a shoot… you can get a sneak peek of what I’m up to right here

Top left photo via Eat Drink Chick Top right photo via Once Wed. Bottom left photo: Christopher Baker, bottom right photo: Beatriz da Costa

Let’s Shop: Holiday Baking Essentials

Now that we’ve shared some seriously delicious holiday baking recipes, there might be a few things you’d like to add to your holiday wish list! Here are some of my current favorite baking essentials (seriously how cute is the bottle/measuring cups from Anthro?). You can shop all the essentials right here:


Let’s Shop: Pajama Party


‘Tis the season to drink hot cocoa, enjoy a day (or two) of not getting dressed properly (my Christmas plans always), eating enough cookies to make even Santa embarrassed, and, of course, sporting some seriously cozy loungewear. So, for this year I’m thinking a colorful and bright ensemble is just the ticket. Plush turquoise slippers? Check. Plaid pajama pants? Check! It just wouldn’t be the holidays without some plaid. And finally, a sleepmask to make sure I rest up before all the merry making? Check!

Vortex, a 2013 Calender by Ink & Wit

I’ve been a big fan of Tara’s work at Ink & Wit for a long time, and its my yearly ritual to purchase one of her beautiful letterpress calenders. This year’s is no exception and was inspired by some of the most stunning places in the world like, Machu Pichhui in Peru and Joshua Tree in California.

I’m seriously in love with the way Tara creates a three dimensional feel via geometric patterns and her color choices are always spot on (an aqua Emu? sign me up).

They’re available for purchase right here, better hurry she always sells out!!!

Home Style: Leslie’s Eclectic Santa Barbara Abode

Today we’re visiting the home of one of my favorite local Santa Barbara artists (and invitation designers), Leslie Lewis Sigler. Her home is her creative space and is filled with collection of vintage and heirloom pieces, her paintings, and a few pieces from good ole’ craigslist.

In the dining room is her father’s table that he made for her and which Leslie drove all the way out from Texas. A built in nook holds colorful plates and bowls, and a vintage child’s chair makes an adorable plant stand.

In her bedroom, her pups, Peach & Skip enjoy colorful prints, eclectic pulls on the dresser, and a serious collection of jewelry.

Outside a petite bistro table is flanked with a grouping of succulents, the perfect spot to enjoy a cup of tea. A big thank you to Leslie for sharing her home and you can see more about her work, here, here and here.