I love Fall. Fall photo shoots usually happen in the Summer months. I'm always thankful when it comes to propping that I remembered to collect nature elements the year before. I have a couple of prop closets and a storage. Most of the time they're neatly organized, unless I'm super booked and, well...
I grew up in South Florida. We didn't have Seasons really. We had hot or wet, or hot and wet. I remember the weather forecasters on our t.v all they ever got to forecast was hot, with a chance of afternoon showers. After my parents divorced my Mother would send me up to stay with her folks in Virginia for the Summers. My grandparents had acreage on Blue Mountain. Near the Shenandoah Trail. It's beautiful there. The mountians are old and look like crushed velvet from a distance. I had thirteen cousins, and we ran wild. If my stay would linger...through August, and Fall would come a little early...I got my first taste of it. Cool evenings, trees beginning to show their true shapes against the sky. Gardens harvested and put to bed for the Winter. Garlic braided. Root cellars filled. My Aunties canning and preserving. Life had a rythym there, seasonal heartbeat. Back on the Island, South Florida. We grew food, year round. Fruit, yams, greens. My father was a fisherman so there was always fish. I worked on the docks cleaning them. There were no seasons there, just consistancy. When I got off the school bus, I knew who's yards held which fruit trees, that was lunch. Same in the morning, walk to school...pick fruit...eat. Simple. We didn't preserve or can because next week that fruit would be there too, and the week after. I think maybe Mother Nature farmed more than we did. At night we had fish and rice. Rice was the one thing my mother would buy in bulk at the health food store.
Fall still lingered in my mind long after I was back from Virginia. I wondered how much of the trees were exposed now. What their silhouettes looked like against the Blue Mountain sunset. How the fire smelled in the hearth and if it warmed my Grandma and Grandpas feet up enough.
In the Industry, when Fall rolls in...I'm finished styling shorts, and bikinis, and light scarves...layers come with Fall. Naturally. More fabric to work with, more textures, richer tones.
The last few years, as budgets have tightened I have had to do alot of repurposing of props. I love the challenge. How to make the old look new for clients and brands. So far I haven't run out of any ideas, creativity is a beautiful thing. I think it's solid advice to collect as you go as well. That way you don't scramble at a deadline. You make it happen.
Every year, I fall in love with Fall.
Growing up in South Florida, I didn't know Winter. My parents had both come from four season towns They moved to the South for warm water and palm trees. I lived in a house my Mother had designed and built. There was a play ground in the rafters, eight feet above an unfinished cement floor. She was an artist, and kept the floors raw so whenever she was inspired she could paint anywhere and not worry about the mess. Our house was the only house turned sideways...so it would collect the breeze off the gulf. We had an outdoor shower. A bookcase that started at the floor and topped out at fourteen feet, twenty-four feet wide. My Mother wrote stories along the rafters, and in the attic. We had cats and dogs. Anything was possible there.
Through my teens I dabbled here and there with vacations, and road trips...but mainly I stayed in the southern united states. The children's father was a snowboarder and mountain enthusiast so eventually my life headed north. I lived in Northern Idaho and Nelson, BC for eight years. I learned all things Winter. Gearing up, telemark, bundling little ones in layers until they looked more like brightly colored marshmallows than children. I have shoveled more snow then I ever knew possible.
In the Industry, I style Winter in the Fall. Winter brings, puffy, and shiny, and thick, and textures, and fake snow, and worn wood, and painted backgrounds, and tweed and houndstooth, fake fur, velvet. Winter is encompassing. Theres a cooler light than Fall, as the photographers develop the light in such a way. I'm always slightly mesmerized by how they wield light. I've learned so many tricks and techniques from styling on fake and eco snow. I've built snow boxes, large and small. It's a fun season to work with. Propping is generally minimal. The real propping comes when Holiday lines are introduced. On sets, I find that Winter is the season, where anyone and everyone tends to try on what they're styling or admiring. Theres a touchy feely coziness to the season. People come to set, even in a photo studio Winter brings gathering. Warmth.