It is an exciting time at Sizzix as our yearly photoshoot has just taken place! For this, we create beautiful projects that are set up in an interior home setting to showcase our upcoming products. We invited Joanna Thornhill, interior stylist, to source props to create the finished look of our set scenes. Joanna is not only a stylist but also an author and styles for an array of events from TV and film to press launches.
We sat down with Joanna to ask her some questions about her typical working day, trends and our photoshoot. Here is what Joanna had to say:
Why did you decide to become a stylist?
The reason I wanted to become an interior stylist is because I love interiors but what I really like is the challenge of creating new scenarios and putting in all the finishing touches that create the scene. My background was working on TV production and being on set with camera’s, so it seemed like an obvious cross over for me. I also have a background in art and design, so it is a combination of the two.
What do you love most about your career?
My job is very different day to day so some days I will be working on a shoot like the Sizzix Shoot where there is a lot of full scenes that need to be created from scratch and other days, it may be going into a space and just tweaking what’s there. In between I am writing rather than on camera. It is interesting to trial out all the design ideas and scenes without doing anything permanent – you just take it all away again.
What is a typical working day like for you?
Everyday is different for me it is hard to describe a typical working day. If I have a shoot coming up I may meet the clients and then will be out sourcing the props or making things to prep for the shoot. Before the day of the shoot I will go out to get the fresh props such as food and flowers and any last-minute bits to finish. On the day of the shoot I start with unpacking and then begin thinking ahead – being five paces ahead is what needs to be done throughout the shoot. It is nice in contrast to being in my office at home doing admin and features so every day is different.
What is your current favourite interior trend?
A trend I really like at the moment is the Moroccan theme with sun bleached terracotta, pale colours, coral colours and mustard. The colours are a nice comforting fit and I like layering lots of patterns together with different textures. It is an easy look for a natural space that works together to create a warm friendly look.
What is your favourite item that you have purchased for our shoot?
My favourite thing I purchased is some little plastic animals. We worked on a jungle theme birthday party and had lots of fun with that. I have been using them in every single shot on table tops and presents. I like when they poke out in a shot I find it’s quite a quirky style. If you were throwing a child’s birthday party it’s not that you would need to go out and buy these items it is using something that they would already have.
Which scene was your favourite to style?
My favourite scene that we shot was the birthday boy jungle scene. It is the first time I have ever done a jungle themed birthday party scene, this is something that is completely new and it is nice to bring in the tropical trend to this such as pineapples and animals. There are lots of fun and quirky things that would really appeal to children and adults in this scene – it was a fun bright scene to style.
We have seen you also love to make things! What are your current favourite craft trends and why?
I don’t have any particular craft hobbies but love to try out different things. I recently did a calligraphy workshop and it was fun and useful for work with writing names onto tags and on place settings. I did a one-day workshop in tile painting that was really fun too! I tend to make things up as I go along, I sew a little bit and knit a little bit but like to come up with solutions to a problem. I quite like when a creative challenge shows itself and have to think about how I can overcome this.
Where do you look for creative trends?
I feel like I don’t actively look for trends but notice things when I am not in work mode such as going on holiday and noticing floor tiles or colour combinations on the washing lines. I think I find inspiration everywhere but if I am specifically looking Pinterest and Instagram are good places to search. When searching Instagram, you will find real people photographs as apposed to Pinterest which can be a lot of product shots so it can provide something different.
What is your favourite thing you have made?
My favourite things I have made at home are not full on craft projects but personal makes. I have some linen that is from a great grandma passed down through the family and have sewn this onto a piece of dowel and have this hanging in the hallway. I also have a frame of a lovely holiday in India that have put coins in to remind me of it. They are not necessarily craft projects but are personal things to me.
What top tips could you give our readers on photographing and styling creative makes?
If you are having a go at home photographing your craft project first think about your background. If it was a wooden table you could do a flat lay style from above or shoot it from an angle on the table. Natural light is always best over flash so if you can have a light source coming from the side rather than straight on or behind this is best. Keep things simple and then bring is some props and if you have your camera on a tripod you can look through this to see how it looks on camera. Ensure your project is the focus and that your props are not distracting from the project.
For more information about Joanna Thornhill, go to her website here.