It can be luxurious to work for a larger client as they often have ample resources — their own studio, a skilled and experienced crew, a kitchen, and efficient and thorough planning.
Amy Rose Productions, made up of Melissa Amy Shanahan and Chelsea Rose Nye, has worked with Wayfair for many years. They both worked in-house for a time before deciding to team up and establish their freelance business.
Over time we have established solid client relationships with the producers, art directors, and creative directors. When we go back for productions, it’s like seeing an old friend and we can just pick up where we left off.
Wayfair and Amy Rose planned to photograph the majority of the catalog in just three weeks, but the client ended up extending the contract by another week to reuse some of the sets for additional imagery. Ahead of this month-long production, Amy Rose said that the planning process did not divert too much from other catalog projects they’ve worked on.
For all catalog productions, we have a comprehensive meeting where we review the creative brief. During the meeting, the client’s team describes the direction for styling, merchandise, lighting, overall themes, and the schedule.
Being the largest online furniture retailer in the U.S., it makes sense that Wayfair invested in a state-of-the-art studio. At 30,000-square-feet, the entire space is thoughtfully designed, with all the needs for every stage of a large production.
Some studios are so big with areas super spread out that by the end of the day you have 10 miles under your belt just getting from one end to the other!
Wayfair understands that to succeed as an entirely e-commerce company, they have to nurture their photography department and the facility they work in. At this level of production, organization is key. Their new studio has a logistics area to receive, ship, assemble, and stage their product. There is a storage area specifically for props and staging equipment. There are green rooms, a kitchen, a soft styling prep area, multiple shooting bays, conference rooms — you name it, they have it.
Even though we [Chelsea and Melissa] were working only 20-30 feet from each other, it felt like we were worlds apart.
For the majority of the project, the workdays started at 8:30 a.m. and would wrap up around 6:00 p.m. Before going on set, there was a brief meeting to go over expectations for the day — the schedule, reminders for creative direction, opportunities to explore if there was extra time, and anything else that needed to be addressed.
Then it was off to the races! There were some large scenes with multiple rooms that needed to be captured, and since the client will try to get various crops, vignettes, and product imagery out of one scene, that meant that we could be on that set for multiple days.
How Amy Rose functions as a duo varies from project to project. In this case, they were both hired as photographers, working on separate sets with their own crew.
When working in this dynamic, we check in regularly to ensure we are on the same page for lighting, lens choice, and can bounce ideas off one another for an overall cohesive look.
As many scenes and as much product as there was to cover in a month, the energy was fun, lighthearted, and playful. Amy Rose cultivates a positive atmosphere that allows everyone to be themselves and enjoy the process. It turns out the talent was actually a family in real life, so the dynamic was already established.
Communication and direction are key — explaining what the goal of the scene is, demonstrating or instructing as we move through the shots, and having an overall positive and calm demeanor.
For a holiday shoot, the energy on set was always upbeat, though it’s not hard to keep the mood bright when there are dogs in the production.
It’s always a laugh having animals on set. You never know what they have up their sleeves and everyone is usually laughing at them and oohing and ahhing the cute poses!
Producer: Naomi Lindberg
Senior Prop Stylist: Brynne Putney
Prop Stylists: Philippa Brathwaite and Karin Olsen
Assistant Stylist: Samantha Moon
Soft Stylist: Adrian Manuel
Talent: Renrick Family
Hair and Makeup: Dianna Quagenti
Production Assistants: Eric Samayoa and Ricky Ortiz