The thought process

Our relationship began with a chat over lunch. The creative director, Trevor Lunn, explained that they needed art directors. I was interested, but had limited experience of catalog work. I offered to do all the jobs that no one wanted to do. He gave me household and accessories.

It was a wonderful experience. I enjoy working with large teams of people. Anthropologie always hired great photographers, prop stylists and set designers, and their own producers, merchandisers, and assistants were lovely.

anthropologie autographsAt the end of each shoot I always had everyone autograph the signature shot. The photographer for this shoot was Kevin Mackintosh and the set designer was Daryl (surname to come)

At the beginning of each job, I would be given a theme, some photocopies of merchandise, a pagination to act as a guide for sequence and size of image, and some location reference so that I could sketch the shots and brief the prop stylist. Even though I had my sketches, I always arrived at the shoot with an open mind to adapt and invent where opportunities arose.

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(Photographer: David Meredith
Prop stylist: Rebecca Purcell).
The teacups fountain shot was one I had detailed precisely for the stylist whereas the wardrobe with the floating umbrellas was one that we worked out on the spot. (I had requested prop umbrellas, but hadn't decided where to use them until this shot).

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I like things to look effortless, easy, like they happened naturally and you stumbled across them, even if we worked and planned really hard to get them to that point.


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The spring cleaning was a lovely theme, ideas just flowed and we did a bunch of extra shots.







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Because it was "an English girl" spring cleaning, I incorporated some puns like "pillow cases" and "shoe tree" and "steps"

There's always a learning experience. Sometimes it's a little thing like specifying props more carefully. For this shot I had imagined the girl having a sense of humor and hanging her hockey sticks like swords over the fireplace.

feild hockey stick
Of course I was thinking of English girls' school field hockey, but, I got ice hockey... Still worked, but I did learn.












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With long shot lists and no overtime you can't always wait for the sun to come around. When the light isn't there I can add it later. (My retouching skills are second to none).








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(Photographer: James Merrill
Prop stylist: Kerry Reardon) Personality is in the details. A traveller's bathroom or a writer's bathroom. Both shots sell a shower curtain, but the character of the shot comes from interpreting the habits of the fictitious owner. Makeshift washing line or magnetic poetry....






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Over time some elements would recur.

Other times, elements would repeat:

SCISSORS(Photographer: Trevor Dixon. Prop stylist: Amy Chin)
The scissors did several things in this shot. They made an ordinary wall novel, they look like birds faces, they helped you understand the scale of the book, they hint that the illustration style was like cut paper or they suggested that you cut the book up either to frame or use decoratively somehow.






Six months into working with them, Anthropologie started to introduce childrens' products into the catalog.



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(Photographer, James Merrill) This shot is not selling kids' merchandising, but adding the little table and the train set established that they exist in the story and facilitated the next shots that did contain merchandise.


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This one is selling beds and kids' bedding. The beds themselves were just single beds, but by adding the shadow theatre and flags, I made them feel like they were the perfect kids' beds.







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(Photographer: David Meredith) Again the solution was in the detail. This was an opening shot for a new upholstery section within the catalog. The chairs black and white print had very fine-colored birds embroidered here and there. I drew attention to this detail by playing with the colored thread bobbins in the foreground.



What my client's board said:

These are some of the best home and accessories shots we've ever had.






The briefs were mostly:

To present specific merchandise in a lifestyle context by creating a narrative based on a theme from the creative director e.g. An English girl spring cleaning. A writer. A traveller. A nomad, and so on...

anthropologie catalogs

A range of catalogs with my work

anthropologie english teacupsanthropologie umbrellas

Tea pots and tea sets Wardrobe and framed prints

anthroopologie pear tree bedanthropologie shoes and books


Pillow cases Bedding

Shoe tree - one of many ways of shooting shoes

anthropologie rosesanthropologie foot steps



Before After


Traveler Writer




The dog house was one of the extra shots that I couldn't resist and couldn't plan because I didn't know it existed until I was on location, and stumbled accross it. It was perfect! It felt like it had been built for the bag.



Finished shot Original sketch



Upholstery section opening shot.


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