Behind the Scenes of STNT with Summer Watkins

We sat down with photographer and Collection member Lori Paladino to get her personal take on the workshop, Shoot This Not That. Thanks again for sharing your best-of with us, Lori! What were your expectations going into the workshop? Why did STNT appeal to you in the first place? As a follower of Grey Likes Weddings, I was really excited to meet Summer and hear her take on what editors are looking for in submissions. I'm very happy to have had weddings of mine published, and each time, the benefits of that additional exposure has been wonderful. Finding the time to actually submit weddings is a factor for me.  I was hoping that the STNT workshop would provide that "kick in the pants" I needed to refocus. I want to really make sure the effort I put into submitting is well-informed.

On another note, I was really excited to photograph a shoot styled by Summer! The wedding day moves so quickly, and often times, we have to rush through capturing all the details. I knew Summer would put together a beautiful shoot. We had the luxury of time to capture all the nuances of the space, details and the couple. And who could resist being wined and dined by such amazing members of The Collection including Scribe Winery, Barbara Llewellen Catering and Angele in Napa. We were seriously spoiled!

To what degree did Summer's voice influence your approach to shooting post-workshop? Summer was awesome!!! She was a great speaker— funny, insightful and she has a wonderful gift of cutting through the clutter! Her advice and feedback was clear and easy to immediately incorporate into my shooting approach.

The group dynamic is key at these things. How did everyone get along and collaborate? We had such a great group of photographers— all talented, fun and incredibly friendly. Everyone was excited to be there and ready to test out all the great insight and advice. Summer did a wonderful job of giving us each time to be creative and photograph the different elements of the day, and she also provided awesome 1-on-1 feedback.

What fresh knowledge did you takeaway from STNT? Honestly, there were so many bits of great information and insights, I was blown away. I felt like I gained an entirely new perspective through the STNT workshop. One of my favorites was the permission Summer gave us to move things around while shooting details. It's often daunting to approach some of the details of a wedding day, especially ones that other vendors have so carefully crafted and placed. Many of us are photojournalists at heart. We observe and capture much more than insert ourselves into the wedding day. But capturing the essence of a beautiful detail means clearing away clutter and shooting it in natural light. It may seem small, but that permission alone created a complete shift in my approach and really opened up so many possibilities for capturing beautiful images.

Lastly, will you share the highlight of the entire experience with us? The whole workshop was so enjoyable, from Summer's insights and feedback, to photographing the styled shoot and meeting the other photographers. I have to say, my favorite part was actually editing the images and seeing how small but meaningful adjustments to approaching the shoot really made a difference.  It's so empowering to gather great information and then practice it right away. Seeing immediate results was perhaps the most gratifying part!

{Day 1: photography by Lori Paladino, wardrobe & event styling by Summer Watkins, beauty by Audrey Crandell & Stella Stevens, shot on location at Scribe Winery, bride's dress by Ivy & Aster courtesy of Lovely Bridal, vintage furniture courtesy of One True Love Vintage Rentals, linens by La Tavola Linen, flowers by La Fleuriste, Cake created by Inticing Creations, paper designs by MaeMae Paperie, homemade bread by Sonoma local Mike the Baker, catered dinner by Barbara Llewellyn Catering perfectly paired with Scribe Wine. Day 2: brunch at Angele Restaurant & Bar in Napa, flowers by Maki of Viola Floral Design}


A Day with Grey Likes Weddings: Totally STNT

The big reveal is finally here from our day of shooting with editor and stylist Summer Watkins of Grey Likes Weddings! Summer hosted her first-ever photography workshop, Shoot This Not That, right here in Napa and Sonoma in April. We had the best time collaborating with her on the styled fashion shoot over at Scribe Winery. We were delighted to have Collection members Scott Andrew and Lori Paladino on site for STNT, as well as the many talents of fellow members {Angele Restaurant & Bar, Audrey Crandell & Stella Stevens, Barbara Llewellyn Catering, Inticing Creations, La Fleuriste, La Tavola Linen, One True Love Vintage Rentals, Scribe Winery, and Viola Floral Design} which created an unforgetably beautiful and delicious wine country experience for Summer and her guests.  Emily and I were able to chime in on Summer's classroom session in our studio earlier in the day, too. As fellow bloggers and style junkies, we definitely took a few key words of wisdom away with us. It was extra-special for us to see our members involved in such a rewarding creative experience. 

A little background on the workshop: Summer put a call out to photographers well-versed in the mechanics of shooting, who are dying to know: How can I get published? She focused on the gap between shooting for clients and shooting for an editor in both print and digital media. Photographer Lori Paladino shared her best-of from the day (more behind the scenes from Lori to come tomorrow!). Amazing, right?

We have many people to thank for their contributions to STNT. Check our vendor credit love below! A special thank you and hello to our models and real life engaged couple, Danielle and Will {our friends in the making}! Tomorrow Lori will share more gorgeous photos and her personal take on STNT with us, from working with Summer to getting published in the blog world. See you then!

{Day 1: photography by Lori Paladino, wardrobe & event styling by Summer Watkins, beauty by Audrey Crandell & Stella Stevens, shot on location at Scribe Winery, bride's dress by Ivy & Aster courtesy of Lovely Bridal, vintage furniture courtesy of One True Love Vintage Rentals, linens by La Tavola Linen, flowers by La Fleuriste, Cake created by Inticing Creations, paper designs by MaeMae Paperie, homemade bread by Sonoma local Mike the Baker, catered dinner by Barbara Llewellyn Catering perfectly paired with Scribe Wine. Day 2: brunch at Angele Restaurant & Bar in Napa, flowers by Maki of Viola Floral Design


Color Crush: Bold Pink + Navy Hues for June

We are crushing on bright pops of pink paired with cooler shades of blue and navy for June.  Aren't you? 
All of these images were pinned by our awesome friend Chelsey.


A Portrait of America via Magnolia Photo Booth Co.

You're onto Magnolia Photo Booth Co., right? Well, full disclosure here— our minds were blown when the lovely Alex from their SF outpost enlightened us to MagBooths grand idea via Kickstarter. Thanks to the support of the nation {literally}, MagBooth is hitting the road this summer in a custom-built Westfalia van with a vintage photo booth in tact.

It began with an earnest goal: "To build the ultimate earth-friendly, hit-the-road photo booth ever. We want to share our love for photos, the art behind them and the everlasting memories they entail to people across the nation". The adventure is aptly named, A Portrait of America Through the Eyes of a Photo Booth. This may just be the marriage of two perfectly-designed relics from the past: a photo booth and a Westfalia van. With over 200 contributors to their Kickstarter dream, MagBooth surpassed their pledge goal of $30,000!! 

Photo booths have long captured our hearts {and good times). Magnolia Photo Booth Co. began with a small group of friends in Louisville, Kentucky. They created their version of a cool, vintage-inspired photo booth and  started renting them out for weddings and events. Now they have booths in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin and New York. Each booth rental at an event includes unlimited prints, props, a friendly attendant and a coffee table book. Oh, and they have a print shop for all of your post-wedding wants! 

Magnolia Photo Booth Co is a member of The Collection Event Studio. Say hello here

Photos from Magbooth's website and Sarah Layne Photography


Kirribilla: the look. the style.

THE LOOK: San Francisco Designer Kirribilla's Chloe Dress in Yellow

{1. Wrapped Gifts, 2. Lemon Curd, 3. Save the Date, 4. DIY Popsicles, 5. Yellow Bike, 6. Wedding Cake}


The Gypsy Beauty of Lo Boheme {in the studio}

Lo Boheme is for the modern girl with a vintage heart. Lauren Christensen {who goes by Lo} is the stylish girl behind the collection of handmade hair pieces and accessories. We stole a minute with the new mom to talk every day style and get the inspiration behind Lo Boheme's 2011 Bridal Collection! 

What is your personal style?
My personal style tends towards casual/comfortable with a tomboy edge. It's funny because my design aesthetic for Lo Boheme is mostly ultra feminine and delicate. On a typical day you'll find me in classic staples like boyfriend jeans, cotton tees, and blazers. But my love for vintage always peeks through in the form of layered anitique chunky bracelets and necklaces.

Where do you draw inspiration?
I find inspiration in anything old, worn, and loved, whether it be a pieces of mid century modern furniture, andart deco bracelet, or a fabulous prohibition era photo or movie! I'm obsessed with the details of the fashion of the 30s and 40s, however my love for classic and indie rock and the fashion that comes with it can also be found in some of my more "bohemian" pieces.

What are your favorite materials to work with?
There are so many, but I love texture so I'd have to say vintage French veiling, old millinery flowers, and any sort of costume jewelry.

What's your take on the crafty, D.I.Y philosophy that has made Etsy?
I think the whole DIY movement is amazing and Etsy has done so much to help bring this into the mainstream. DIY and crafters have always been here working away, but the worldwide platform that Etsy has given us is huge. Lo Boheme would not be a viable and thriving business if it weren't for Etsy and its amazingly supportive community. I think its great that more people are coming to appreciate handmade and I'm so thankful to be a part of it!

Will you share your idea of the perfect day with us?
Hmmm, well I'm a new mom {little man Cash is 8 weeks now!} so it would begin with some solid uninterupted sleep {at least 8 hours would be amazing} and some snuggle time with baby in bed. Then a relaxing and successful trip to the flea market in the sun. End that with some tasty mexican food and cocktails, and a massage and I'd have died and gone to heaven!

{Image 1 Lo Boheme Lookbook, Images 2, 3 via Lucky Mag, Image 4, 5 Lo Boheme Lookbook,
Images 6-11 Marisa Holmes}


Ask a Member: PoppyStone Floral Couture

When Claire Sanz of PoppyStone Floral Couture walked into our studio, it felt like instant friendship! She's just a cool girl. Her life story reads much like a great adventure where travel and art collide. She hails from a small town in Connecticut and studied painting and art history at The Savannah College of Art and Design. "Painting and a love of color influence my passion for flowers now. I've drifted back to painting and into flowers. Working with flowers is so active and involved in nature. PoppyStone is the merging of the two."

For many years, Claire was immersed in the creative scene in Portland, working with flowers at a huge open-air market. After writing a screenplay, she traveled to Beverly Hills "to shop it around with a friend". She found herself surrounded by flowers again at The Empty Vase, catering to a high-end celebrity clientele. Sonoma is home now with her husband Victor, a jewelry designer who works with precious materials. Claire says, "We're both super informed by the life that we share up here in Sonoma. Flowers find their way into my design aestheic daily."

We're thrilled to have you as a member of The Collection. What is it about The Collection that inspires or excites you? I love being around other talented professionals, collaborating on ideas and networking. It helps feed my creativity and staying creative mentally motivates and inspires me tremendously!

Where to you find inspiration as a designer? I find inspiration by searching for the unexpected in nature, re-purposed items, architecture and fashion. I also find inspiration through my good friends and husband. My friend Kenny makes awesome cards and my friend Joe taught me almost everything I know about flowers.

What's your personal aesthetic? Eclectic, sophisticated, elegance. This is what happens when you put together multi-era, timeless pieces that somehow fit and make sense.

Is there a particular bride that gravitates toward your work?  I would say that I get the full spectrum of style and taste.  I do notice, however, that the majority of my brides are super-involved and excited about the process of creating their wedding and just about getting married in general. I love that!

In creating arrangements for a Wine Country event, what are your flowers and objects of choice?
It depends on the location and nature of the event. There are so many fabulous venues up here that they span from traditional to modern. For an outdoor rustic event, I love to pull big pieces of nature into the décor: mossy oak branches adorned with flowers and candles. Using tall candelabras, containers or candlesticks on the tables when you are outside creates a more grand feel. In amore modern space that is more simplistic in décor, I like the florals to make an impact because your eye will be drawn to it first. I'd go with green goddess callas, big leaves, tall big flowers like eremurus and cymbidium orchids, gathered clusters of dahlias and white hydrangea...yum! What are your summertime flower favorites?
Ooh hard question! I Love, love, love eremurus, garden roses, dahlias, scabiosa, alliums...the list goes on! I really just love when I can showcase a beautiful summer blossom that usually doesn't get much play like agrostemma or hollyhock.

What’s next in wedding floral design (color combinations, materials, philosophy)?
I think floral design follows fashion, architecture and art; they are all linked. I am really getting a f1940s feel right now. Next, I say we go Mod! Bold, sophisticated simplicity!

What is your idea of the perfect day?
The Flea market early in the morning with coffee in hand, then a leisurely run outside with Manuel, our Costa Rican mutt, then maybe paint a little, hunt for acorns and pods and moss in the woods with Victor, eat anything with carbs and read my book with a glass of wine on a lounger in the sun. It must be between 73 and 77 degrees!

What are you go-to spots in Wine Country (think food, drinks, markets, shopping)?
I love Vella Cheese Company in Sonoma, Juanita Juanita for Mexican, the Girl and the Fig for wine and dessert, The Swiss Hotel for cocktails {Jean the waitress rocks}. Sign of the Bear is a fabulous kitchen store that will basically order anything for you, Alice's Consignment in Napa is my latest vintage discovery for me and I frequent Plain Jane's, another cute consignment shop in Sonoma. Oh and I love the Wine Shack for stocking  great wines at great prices {Wednesday evenings, they have tastings for a dollar!}.

In terms of fashion, complete this sentence, "I can't live without..."
My Fry boots {campus tall & ankle length}, jeans, nude pumps, tank tops, my old ratty REO Speed wagon t-shirt, my grandpa's old golfer cap from Ireland, Korres cream lip and cheek tint, Viktor & Rolf FLOWERBOMB perfume and my VMS cocktail rings!

PoppyStone Floral Couture is a member of The Collection Event Studio.

{Photography by Jennifer Kloss Photography, Event Styling & Design by Anne Sage of The City Sage, Event Planning by Jenne Hohn Events, Rentals by Classic Party Rentals, Beauty by Sherrie Long Makeup Hair & Effects, Jewelry by VMS Designs, Dress pictured left by Elizabeth Dye, Dress pictured right by Saja via Bella Bridesmaid, Groom's suit & dress shirt by Duchess, Clothier, Cake by Sweet on Cake, Stationery by Smashing Cards, Catering by La Saison, shot on location at Annadel Estate Winery}


Host a Crafternoon at The Collection {in the studio}!

Last week we showed you the inspiration behind our Kate Spade-inspired shoot we hosted in our studio. {You can check out all of the glittery goodness over at 100 layer cake if you missed it}. When event designers Myka & Tori of  Sitting in a Tree sat down with friends Megan & Emily of  Enjoy Events Co. in the studio, we re-imagined our long wooden table as a craft space covered in stuff {really practical stuff, at least}. As fellow crafters, we understand the need to have a space that you can temporarily thrash in the name of creative projects.  We want to invite you to host your own crafternoon in our studio {and give us an excuse to use that silly hybrid of a word}. 

We get a bit D.I.Y crazy ourselves: sewing table runners, making escort card holders, painting reclaimed wooden doors, labeling everything with stamped letters. Hello!Lucky's Handmade Weddings is on our bookshelf and we're slaves to ReadyMade magazine. No matter how time-consuming the project, if it yields a cute result, we're game.

So brides-to-be and party planners take note— we have all of the tools of the trade at your disposal and an 1,100 square foot studio space to maximize. Let us know if you'd like to host a craft event and we'll add it to The Collection Event Calendar. 

Photography by Edyta Szyszlo