Quite a few months ago, In August when it was till warm and there was not a snowflake in sight, Photographer Lucas Allen, lucasallen.com, his partner and Producer/Assistant, in this case; Ali Yourn (who incidentally was very pregnant at the time) hit the road for a 4 hour drive to the Catskills from NYC. Eating organic blueberries all the way, we were on destination to shoot fellow Aussie ex pat Melanie Brandman’s Catskills cabin. Melanie is a dynamo travel PR, who is now the CEO of her own agency brandmanpr.com. She lives in Manhattan but bought the cabin for herself in New York’s Catskill Mountains to get away from the city on the weekends. Melanie and her partner Sims Foster who is a Catskills local and owns his own amazing restaurant/ gastro pub called “The Lazy Beagle” lazybeaglepub.com greeted us with very large cocktails on the porch and made us feel instantly at home!
The story was for Inside Out Magazine, old friends of mine, I was so happy to be able to do a shelter story again, particularly as in the U.S, There are not many shelter titles left. Of course as a Stylist on these stories that are based on homeowners environments, it is important not to tamper too much with what is already there, otherwise it detracts from communicating who lives there if you change it up too much. There have been some places where I have had to go in and totally transform due to lack of interest but luckily for me Melanie is a “stylish kind a gal” and it meant really just adding those layers of charm and personality that should really almost seem unnoticed. I had ventured to Manhattan’s flower market the day before where I had picked up a variety of interesting botanicals to work with and also brought with me a suitcase of props, the only other thing I needed was my eyes and after a rather big night on the town with Melanie and Sims (Who were wonderful hosts BTW) we set to work. I worked with re-creating some of the still lives around the home, changing out some pillows/ cushions, generally making everything just a bit more “graphic” I moved around some artwork slightly and kept in mind the whole time, My client’s, Inside Out’s audience. Had I styled the story for say a “country style” magazine, it would have been styled quite differently, but as it was meant for a relaxed but contemporary magazine, the approach came quite easily.
Lucas is always a pleasure to work with and Ali, regardless of her state gave invaluable assistance. Lucas went all out, rowing out into the middle of the lake to shoot the house from a rocky rowboat, quite a feat by your self! Thanks so much to Melanie and Sims for a great weekend!
The story features in the Nov/ Dec issue, just on newsstands now in the U.S.
Also featured here is Lucas and my contributing bio's in the front of the issue, Thanks to Petrina Tinslay for my shot!