Creating a ‘look’ takes time and preparation. Colours, fabrics and wall finishes are chosen, using a mood board for inspiration. Locations are researched and key pieces of furniture are selected to interpret the theme.
Two of the most important people behind our lifestyle shoots are our visual merchandiser, Andrew Durham, and photographer, Paula Siqueira.
Working alongside our creative team, we all pull together the final look. Furniture, ceiling lights, wall art, plants and accessories all have to make it to the shoot (in a very large Arighi Bianchi van!), along with Paula’s camera equipment and a whole bundle of kit.
Lighting is the key to great photography, so Paula takes her time to work out the best way to use available light from windows as well as studio strobes to illuminate the set. It can take hours to get the lighting and composition just right. Fake walls and floors are often constructed too, to give the room a particular shape and feel.
Once everything is in place – furniture positioned, rugs laid, mirrors and lights hung, plants arranged, books piled and any shiny surfaces polished – the shoot can begin.
What’s your role?
As visual merchandiser it’s my job to make everything look great in store. I work closely with head buyer, Rob Bianchi, to create an environment which is inspirational – we like to call it theatre!
How do you spot trends?
I visit trade shows, use websites, magazines and travel to other countries too – all of these help to show what styles and colours are coming through, and give me the elements I need to create the next ‘look’.
What’s hot for AW17 and beyond?
Green is still big, and tropical prints, with people creating their own ‘jungle’ at home. Antique metals, marble surfaces & bold geometric prints are grabbing our attention too. Deep rust and red are key colours we saw in Milan this year so expect to see a lot of it in 2018.
My own style is very eclectic and quirky – at home we have a mix of vintage, a few shop bought items, artisan craft pieces, objects from our travels and stuff we found out and about!
When did you first pick up a camera?
My dad gave me my first camera when I was a teenager and still living in Brazil. There was a famous waterfall and I took dozens of photos on film. I was hooked!
Capturing a moment and an emotion is key, even when shooting furniture because my ultimate goal is to express how it feels to be in that room at that particular moment. I love the challenge of getting everything right, from the location, to the lighting, to the accessories.
Where do you get your photographic inspiration?
I read a ton of books, magazines and blogs, and go to lots of exhibitions. I’m definitely a geek and love the challenge of new photographic techniques.
Best thing about working with Arighi Bianchi?
The freedom to be creative and to do things differently for every campaign, which really speaks to
my creative drive. It’s great fun too!