Painterly Still-Life: Behind the Scenes with La Vie Rustic

I love synchronicity. That feeling when the world holds you by your hand and leads you right into the heart of greatness. It seldom happens with luck alone. When life presents you with opportunities, you better be ready to jump on them.

An incredible opportunity presented itself recently in the form of a collaborative project. Georgeanne Brennan contacted me because her company La Vie Rustic needed more photography for new products, but being a total grassroots startup company, their budget was near nothing. Despite this, I never let an opportunity go to waste. I remembered an inspirational set of photos I saw from a photographer/recipe blogger in Spain, Albahaca Fresca. The style was perfect–rustic farm life, cold days, antique furnishings and amazing textures. I presented Georgeanne with photos as inspiration for our collaboration.

We assembled a team of creatives. I called Laurie Furber of Elsie Green House and Home, a French antique importer, to help with the styling and props. We also got Justin Thach to help with putting together a behind the scenes video (a must for today’s insatiable social media). Joe Lee Foto assisted with gear, grip, and computers. A tremendous job by everyone. I’m super excited about the results.


For this shoot I used Sony’s a7rII, 42mp, full-frame mirrorless camera, tethered to a 15″ Macbook Pro using CaptureOne 8 for image capture and processing. If you want more details about this workflow, let me know. I plan on writing more about my experience switching to the Sony system.


I mostly augmented daylight for this shoot. I used 2 sheets of 4×8 black and white foam-core boards, cut them into strips of 2×7.5 and taped them into an accordion fold. I have 4 of these accordions I carry to every shoot. (You have to have a mini van or truck to carry these.) They are extremely useful. Each sheet is around $20 or less from your local pro camera or expendables shop. Here in SF you can buy them from JCX, Samy’s or East Bay, DTC and Looking Glass.


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What do you get when you get Deep Tea Haus Burningman collective, superstar advertising stylist Jasmine Hamed, beauty expert and Joyous host Mikaela South under the roof of Moroccan importer Tazi Designs? That’s next on Kuoh Photography!