Saturday, May 29, 2010

On Location on a Beach

Carol Pofi Matlock loves her job! I met Carol when she was an art director for a Tampa, Florida catalog company where I worked as freelance stylist. I was impressed by Carol’s art direction skills. She’s decisive, not wishy-washy, she values the creativity of the photographer and stylist while knowing exactly what she wants to see in the finished photograph.

Carol is now the photo producer at an in house photo studio for a local department store. But by the look of some of these images of a photo shoot on a Florida beach, she also sometimes serves as the stylist. I think the company is lucky to have her.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

We're an Email Marketing All Star!

Photo Styling Workshops recently received an All-Star Award from Constant Contact®, Inc. We were selected for meeting Constant Contact’s best-practice standards for the use of Email Marketing throughout 2009.

The All-Star Award was given to us for demonstrating best practices in the use of Constant Contact Email Marketing in the following areas:
• Frequency of campaigns
• Open rates
• Bounce rates
• Click through rates

Constant Contact is a leading provider of email marketing, event marketing, and online survey tools for small organizations. For years I've been using the Constant Contact format to set up monthly customer newsletters, plus I send a mid-month newsletter to our instructors and all of the PSW team spread out throughout the United States. I find it it easy-to-use and am able to complete a newsletter in an afternoon. Though I do note ideas for topics all month long - in the upcoming one we'll be including Opportunities for Stylists.

If you're not already on our e-newsletter list please email me at

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fashionista to Recessionista

How to be Fashionable on a Tight Budget
Written by Eduardo Michel, San Diego Mesa College Fashion Student

Has the recession got you on a tight style budget? No worries, there are many ways to be fashionable during these tough times. Here are some tips to boost your wardrobe and save your cash:

Start browsing around thrift stores; sometimes you'll be surprised at what you find. Like the saying goes, "One man's trash is another man's treasure." You can find almost anything from fun vintage pieces to designer goods; the key is to have patience and be willing to look.

Sell back your clothes to stores like Buffalo Exchange or Plato's Closet; these stores will take back your gently used clothes for cash or store credit. You can then use the store credit to shop the large selection of stylish clothing in store at affordable prices.

Plan a clothes-swapping party with a group of your friends. Each person contributes clothing to the party and you guys equally swap with each other. There might be something of yours that your friend wants and you might want something of theirs. It's a win/win for both of you.

Stock up on accessories; by adding different accessories change the look of your outfits.

Get started on some DIY (Do-It-Yourself) projects. Making your own clothing can be very cost-effective, sometimes by purchasing bargain fabrics. You can also take things you already own and deconstruct them to make new garments.

Hopefully these tips help you keep up the Fashionista look at a Recessionista cost.

This article is reprinted from Fashion in Print, a publication of San Diego Mesa College Fashion Program, Spring 2010. This is the class that I wrote about earlier in the Spring 2010 semester. I had a blast working with them to photograph fashions for this and other publicaions for the Golden Scissors Show.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Behind the Scenes Photos

As much fun as before-and-after photos are for us industry creatives, we love to see behind-the-scenes too. It's also valuable for people new to the world of photo shoots to get a glimpse of what goes on in a photo shoot.

Photographer Gregory Bertolini recently posted a batch of these to his Facebook page and has graciously allowed me to share them with you. These are some of my favorites but there are many more.

Chefs Ron & Bernard's cookbook photo shoot: it's all about planning and attention to details.

Cookbook shoot: The camera is always on a tripod and tethered to a computer.

Swimwear shoot: Stylist and assistant help set up shot while being pounded by waves. This is why we pack all equipment in waterproof cases.

Fashion shoot: with clothing designer, Lisa.

Behind the scene of a fashion shoot, the studio setup.

Location fashion photo shoot. Sometimes we are able to put the lights, reflectors and scrims away and just shoot 'natural'.

Location fashion shoot. Note the usual stylist 'butt shot'.

Behind the scene of a photo shoot: Pretty girls, tropical beach.

If you don't have any ideas add smoke!

Everyone has an opinion on which shot is the best.

Full studio view of a BMW shoot.

Thanks to Greg Bertolini for sharing this peek behind-the-scenes. Gregory is an Advertising Photographer in NYC. He specializes in Fashion and Beauty Photography and also Product and Food Photography. His Website is

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Before & After Photo Retouching

Viewing before-and-after images is always fun for us creative, visual types. So when I heard from Art Director/Photo Retoucher Anna Scetinina recently I immediately checked out her Website. Plus she sent such a nice, professional, just-right email note.

Anna wrote: “I am a professional Photo Retoucher and Art Director with over 10 years of experience in editorial, fashion retail and advertising fields. I have recently updated my online portfolio and invite you to check out my new web site at and see the most recent samples of my retouching work.
“I am interested in collaboration with a production company on a constant basis, please let me know if Cox Productions might be interested in my creative talent. Thank you very much for your time.”

Her site states, “Anna Scetinina is a Toronto based creative professional with over 10 years of domestic and international experience in retouching, art direction and creative strategic execution. She started her career in Eastern Europe where she used to work as editorial Art Director. For past several years she has been in fashion retail industry providing artistic direction and professional photo retouching services for Canadian fashion retailers.
“Anna’s got great experience performing Art Direction for magazine covers and various advertising photo shoots from idea and creating of mood boards to detailed on set direction and post production guidance. Her strong retouching skills are built on her artistic background (MFA, MA in Art History), understanding of human anatomy, exceptional technical skills as well as passion to photography and sense of style. Anna is currently in the middle of a Professional Photography course which helps her to continuously perfect her professional artistic qualifications.”

I hope you enjoy comparing these unretouched and retouched images as much as I have.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Show Us Your Toolkit Contest Entry # 3

This is the third entry in our Show Us Your Toolkit Contest, entered by Lauren Emmerling, a Food Styling 101 student and stylist from Cincinnati, Ohio.

I must say I'm glad the winner was to be selected at random and I didn't have to choose between the qualities of all these marvelous kits. We're just happy to share them with our readers. And I must say, they are all nicer than my own kit! Inspiration for me too.

Lauren says, I am such a fan of your photostyling site and classes! I've attached my main kit photo, my extended kit, my food styling kit and my all time favorite tool: my plumber's foil tape that sticks to just about everything!

This contest has been so much fun me that I have decided to hold a different one every other month. Stay tuned...