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A day of styling with Megan Morton at The School
Earlier this year I had one of my most useful days of training in my whole styling career. I joined stylist Megan Morton in her studio at The School to shoot a five-page bedroom feature for InsideOut magazine. This is what I learnt.
With the number of shots to be completed and four eager learnee stylists joining in, I was expecting some urgency or stress in the air. I couldn't have been more wrong. The day started slow and finished easily. This sense of calm is visible in the images produced. Five different bedroom scenarios all with a common thread - they have a sense of serenity.
Embrace the unexpected.
I've heard Megan say before that 'a stylist is an opportunist, in a positive way'. When you are tasked with making five different equally beautiful rooms in a short timeframe, chances are, not every detail will play out as planned. You need to be prepared to pivot. When a dog turns up to the shoot unexpectedly – find a way to include him rather than seeing it as a distraction. There is beauty in the unplanned.
You can't do it on your own.
Sourcing, calling in, bumping in, set building, styling, lighting, photography, captioning, bumping out. If you you try to do everything on a styled shoot your energy will not last the creative distance. Behind all brilliant styled editorial is a group of talented specialists who understand the value of collaboration.
The job of a stylist is to create imagery that pushes viewers beyond their creative comfort zone. To show possibility and opportunity. This requires being brave enough to try things you haven't done or see before. Trust your gut, not your brain, on this one.
Details and big picture are equally important.
Over the life of a styled shoot the baton is passed back and fourth between detail and big picture several times. Viewers will be stopped in their tracks by the overall beauty of an image and then pause to look further and read the captions. A stylist must have the ability to master and manage both.
The purpose-made bed waiting for its moment of glory.
Tissues, for when one becomes overwhelmed by extreme beauty
A different perspective
Transformed by beautiful lighting
The one that got away
Keep the brief on hand at all times
The final shot
Doggie and his master
The fantabulous assistants from Palmerston North!
Get yourself a copy of the October issue of InsideOut magazine to see how the final shots worked out.