Saturday, April 10, 2010

In the Garden with Flora Grubb

As part of my work with "Better Homes & Gardens", my continued contribution to their Style Fashion section enables me to meet some very interesting women. With a change of direction, recently came a move away from using traditional models for real women. The idea for me is to try and encapsulate a mood of what they do as a profession and create a set that allows the reader to have an instant read without overwhelming the purpose of the shoot which is to showcase clothes that would suit them but also inspire the reader to relate to a more grounded and professional woman, of which are featured each month.

One of these women who I find extremely inspirational is the aptly named Flora Grubb, A gardener since age 5 who hails from the West Coast in San Francisco. She is the owner of "The Flora Grubb Nursery" in the Bay view area. She works with what some may describe as offbeat plants, low maintenance, drought tolerant varieties such as succulents and air plants. Her approach I find is very sculptural, check out her work at www.floragrubb.comm, beautiful vertical gardens that are like living art and the amazing "Wooly Pocket system" that is made out of recycled water bottles, A hanging garden, See images on this post.

My job was to reinterpret an essence of her, so I took inspiration from images on her website, working with Art Director Amy Deering, we came up with a scheme that felt like Flora, opting for a softish green rather than red galvinized wall featured in her work to minamize too much of a clash. Working with Flora on varieties that would be available on the East Coast as opposed to the West Coast, my amazing assistant Kimberly Steward helped me organize this. Working with Andy from "The Empire Set Shop",, We designed the set in advance and Andy and the boys worked on creating the finishes on the walls, even recreating a section with a stoned wall in their workshop and then reassembling it in the Photo Studio ready for the shoot.

You can see here some of the process of the set up day, The shoot was shot by Fashion Photographer Francois Dischinger,

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