When everything changed this March, we were already prepping for the arrival of our early fall collections with photoshoots planned for our catalogs and website. Like many, we had to turn on a dime and rethink everything, but creativity reigns supreme and the show had to go on, so the team enlisted the help of the Smoots, a husband-and-wife team based out of the San Francisco area.
Seth Smoot is a photographer and Kendra Smoot is an accomplished stylist and art director. This dynamic duo jumped right in to get our home collection styled and shot in their own personal home. We’re lucky to have worked with such an amazing team that could uphold our photography standards while we’re working and living in times of doing things differently.
“We’ve had a lot of fun partnering with clients on ship-and-shoot collaborations. Compared to how we used to shoot, these projects are a bit scrappier, but in a lot of ways more creative and less wasteful. With COVID considerations, we keep the crew very small—just usually someone to help with lighting and digital organization. In this case, we had help of an incredible stylist, Christina Watkinson. It’s definitely a lot of work constantly rearranging the house and keeping our three kids entertained, but we are so grateful for the creative opportunities and work.”
— Seth Smoot
“Garnet Hill sent us their merchandise in these black rolling crates. At one point, there was an empty crate and our kids entertained themselves for a few hours by giving each other rides.” — Kendra Smoot
Art Director John Costello, based out of New York City, conceptualized a beautiful presentation for the original photoshoot, so this capsule shoot was derived from that bigger project. He provided inspirational shots, and worked with the Smoots to help adapt and adjust the presentation to work with what they had available in their home and studio.
“This was one of our first big projects at the beginning of the pandemic, and after a month of Shelter-in-Place orders it felt amazing to do something ‘normal’ and familiar. We worked with John remotely. Our routine was to FaceTime him every morning for a briefing. It made our day to see his smiling face and to have someone to collaborate with.” — Kendra Smoot
When the shoot happened, most of the businesses in the San Francisco area were closed, so Kendra donned her prop-stylist hat and took a different approach. She purchased some wooden planks for flooring from a local lumber yard, a radiator from the salvage yard across the street, and her favorite antique shop elsiegreen.com met her with gloves and masks to rent her a few items to help bring the set to life. The flower market was closed, but Kendra was able to get some gorgeous roses from a local garden.
It all came together beautifully; it just required a bit of resourcefulness!