Our creative team is always on the hunt for up-and-coming styling talent. And our Creative Director Chris Deal and Head of Styling Jessica Bellef love to
talk teach. So it made perfect sense for a class from Sydney Design School to visit us to learn about our styling and photography process.
Chris and Jess set the class a styling challenge, supported by Noritake who kindly supplied their beautiful Colourwave dinnerware range to the students. The winner of the challenge, Sarah Cousens, spent a week learning the ropes in our studio. We talked to her about the highs and lows of styling life.
What are you studying at Sydney Design School?
I am studying the Diploma of Interior Design. I graduate at the end of this year.
Was the T&W site visit valuable?
Definitely. I found coming in and meeting Chris & Jess very inspiring. They were both so intriguing and passionate and I loved seeing them bounce ideas off each other. Getting to see the styling team in action in the studio was also a very valuable part of the site visit. It gave me an insight to what I could possibly be doing in the future. I knew that this would be an amazing opportunity to be able to work with such a fun, creative team of people.
What was the brief for the styling assignment?
The brief was to design and execute a photoshoot and produce one final photo for Temple & Webster using the Noritake Colorwave Graphite range. We had to produce the image along with a concept/style board explaining the creative process behind it. The image had to highlight the products’ features, tell the brand story, create desire and have impact.
How did you approach the task?
I knew straight away the look I wanted to go for when I saw the Noritake range, though I did do some research on the client and the brand to make sure that I was on the right track in terms of the client and brands vision and values.
My concept was derived from the Japanese philosophy ‘Wabi-Sabi’. Wabi-Sabi is the quintessential Japanese aesthetic. It is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. The simplicity of the contrasting matte black and soft ivory tones of the Colorwave Graphite allowed me to incorporate this philosophy by playing with texture and a variety of natural, organic materials and props such as hand dyed Shibori napkins, crumpled linen, wood and greenery to create a relaxed, uncomplicated scene.
Sarah’s winning image featuring Noritake Colourwave dinnerware in Graphite
What did you find most surprising about styling work during your internship?
Being a stylist isn’t always so stylish! It’s definitely lot of hard work and very hands on (eg: building furniture and heavy lifting!), however it is definitely satisfying in the end seeing your concepts and ideas come to life.
Tell us about your shoot. What was your biggest challenge?
The shoot worked out as expected! Jess and Adam really helped me develop my ideas and helped me with prop sourcing and problem solving. I learnt all about lighting and photography tricks (which I found out play a huge part in the whole process) thanks to Denise, and we managed to really bring my ideas to life!
The biggest challenge was working with water. In a studio space with plenty of electrical cables and expensive equipment, I was a bit nervous! We had a Plan B, but I am glad we didn’t have to use it.
How did you feel about the final shot?
The final shot is exactly what I had imagined! I really wanted to embody the products vision through my concept. The Ezure range was created to provide the consumer with the most luxurious, sustainable lifestyle products that are both safe & ethical and as a result improve our culture and protect our land.
I kept it clear and clean to evoke both the environment and ones consciousness yet at the same time create a sense of luxury through the simplicity. I think we nailed it!
The final shot for Ezure. Photographed by Denise Braki, styled by Sarah.
And finally, where do you hope your studies will take you?
I am studying Interior Design however I think I have found my passion in styling. I would love to make a name for myself in the design industry as a stylist, whether it be interiors or event styling I am not still not quite sure.
I do know for sure that I want to be able to collaborate with other inspiring creatives and generate amazing ideas, concepts and projects! I would love to be able to work both locally and internationally; I want to be the one that everyone in the industry wants to work with!
I am excited for the road ahead. I feel that if you can wake up each day and get to do something that you love, have fun doing AND get to call it your job then you are on to a pretty good thing!
Images by Josh Eriksson for Sydney Design School and Maya Vidulich.