Monday, April 4, 2011

Styling - Part 4: My Mentor

Samantha Theron was almost the only stylist I had emailed that was interested in meeting me. I vividly remember the day; it was completely impromptu, and we met up for a coffee at Bondi. We talked about me and what I’d been doing in terms of fashion; then about her and the path she took in becoming a stylist. I brought my resume along with me, and that seemed to impress her. Sam is a very upfront, no-bullshit kind of character, and proceeded to tell me that the best way to figure out if we’d work well together was to try it out!

The first job we did together was the look book for Bondi Beach Bag. It was a rather hectic, fast-pace vibe – literally throwing on and pulling off different looks on the models. We did some shots at the designer’s house, and some down at Bondi Beach, and ended up getting through about 40-50 looks from memory! It was a crazy day, but we managed to get everything done.

Sam then asked me to come on board in updating Integral Energy’s stock photo library - I was brought on as assistant producer and stylist for the 2 month long project. Now, even though the majority of the work was production, and we were sourcing wardrobe from places like Target and Kmart, I have to say, it was a great first taste of the industry. I learnt a lot about how to put shoots together, budgeting, scheduling, sourcing props and clothes, liaising with talent etc. I was also really lucky in the fact that Sam was a great teacher and I didn’t feel intimidated to ask any question – so I ended up learning a lot about a lot of different things*.

My strongest memories of this time involve getting to Sam’s place in morning and having our morning coffee, driving all over Sydney together, and working out of Studio Go with the photographers.

We continued to work on numerous shoots together over the period of about a year, and even though we aren’t working together any more, as Sam now the head VA for Prada Australia, the best thing about having a mentor is that I know I’ll always be able to count on her for support, advice…and a good catch up over some wine!

*For whatever reason, I have a very clear memory of Sam teahing me what a Cyc was - a curved connecting from the floor to the wall, so you don't see the horizontal line where they join.

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