I knew this image was going to be a favorite of mine the moment I started styling it. There are client projects in commercial product styling where you have a very clearly defined image concept and then there are projects that, for a variety of reasons, have an end goal but no other creative restrictions. Often times, when shooting on location for a client I am simply pulling from available props and items the client has on hand and creating as I go – styling on the fly you might say. I LOVE the challenge of projects like that and really feed creatively off of the client’s product and props that are found last minute on location. Do you guys remember the “White Room Challenge” on HGTV’s Design Star? I kind of think about it like that – my very own White Room Challenge!
For this particular image I was shooting on location in Miami for Adrienne Bosh in anticipation of the launch of her new website, store and event space Sparkle and Shine Darling. One of the goals during this day long shoot was to create 7 images that would communicate the various themes that customers will be able to pick for events hosted in the amazing SASD event space. One of those themes is her “Garden Tea Party.” Adrienne wanted these specific images to be a small teaser of what your experience will with each party theme without the images being simply a typical themed table setting. I LOVED this idea!
For our primary props I knew that we would need to incorporate some of the gorgeous patterned tea cups, pots and saucers that she has in her store collection as well as featuring the gorgeous Sloan Fine Tea (whose packaging is to die for!) that will actually be available in the Sparkle and Shine Darling boutique and cafe. Adrienne had gorgeous fresh peonies, ranunculus and roses on hand and ready for styling (and you know I LOVE to incorporate fresh florals any chance I get!) so I was in styling heaven.
For our secondary props we pulled this fabulous soft pink vintage perfume atomizer as well as PINK sugar cubes and hearts! Its doesn’t get any more Darling than pink sugar cubes! But when you think about a garden party you don’t think modern, sterile, white do you? No, you think about a lush garden with green grass, blossoming trees and mossy stepping stones! I have worked with moss before and knew that it would lend a gorgeous color and texture and complete the garden tea party story but the problem was that we had nothing of the sort on hand – the only risk in styling and shooting on the fly.
Fortunately for me, Adrienne has the most gorgeous fresh floral arrangements created each week and placed around her home. Sitting in the living room was a beautiful, lush, tropical green arrangement that had the most perfect mossy greens arranged in. What are the odds!? PERFECTION. It’s never fun to ask a client if you can disassemble something in their home for the sake of “getting the shot” but Adrienne was sweet enough to let me pull whatever I needed to complete the vision. To me, the moss is what makes this image. It brings in that crucial earthy element while maintaining a clean aesthetic.
Creating an image concept, whether on the fly or through hours of inspiration gathering, is one of my favorite parts of the job and when it works, you feel it instantly. I knew this was going to be a favorite image of mine the moment I starting styling it. It makes me want to take off my shoes and sit on tree swing with a cup of tea in hand while my bare feet brush over the soft green grass. A good image begs you to crawl inside and live in it and for me this image does exactly that!