Picturing Plumb: Fall 2014

Plumb Photo Shoot F14 - Paco
The Fall 2014 Plumb photo shoot took place in my house and backyard. Señor Paco, our resident golden retriever, was an ace photo bomber, but our inspired photographer, Yvette Roman, kept her cool.

Photo shoots are a kind of finish line. They’re usually done with advance copies of product (meaning, the very first units off the manufacturing line, air-freighted to us just in time) or mock-ups (sometimes made with manufacturer’s blank samples, sometimes from scratch), so the shoot represents the very first time we’re actually seeing, in three-dimensional form, the notebooks, journals, and sketchbooks we’ve worked so hard on over the preceding six months. At times I find myself in need of a napkin to wipe away the drool.

Behind the Scenes - Fall 2014 Plumb Photo Shoot - Arranging
Janet Kim, our marketing designer, primping and preparing product.

We shot the first Plumb release, Spring 2014, in a studio, and I was only involved in part of it, so I’d forgotten what hard work photo shoots are! It’s not digging ditches, of course, but it’s something I don’t do frequently enough to remember what it’s like by the time I do the next one. So I always assume a shoot is going to go quickly, easily, and pleasurably, requiring only a minimum of setup. It’s certainly harder than it looks, and it takes a lot more patience and tenacity than I ever imagine. I don’t think you can respect what it is a stylist does (because really, who doesn’t think that sounds like a fake job?) until you do it yourself.

But enough about me.

We did two Plumb photo shoots—glamour, hero shots in a setting, then a studio shoot against white seamless paper for the “this is what it looks like” thumbnails that go on the product pages of the catalog and the website. That first one was at my house. I’m lucky enough to live in a perfect little archetypal Venice bungalow with a great backyard and some nice furniture vignettes. The Plumb team thought that the Southern California light and sensibility would be perfect to showcase our second release.

Behind the Scenes - Fall 2014 Plumb Photo Shoot - Outside
Almost all of us in the game: Yvette, focused as ever; her lovely assistant, Michelle, holding the bounce or fill or something like that; me, being useless; and Paco, wondering what it all smells like.
Behind the Scenes - Fall 2014 Plumb Photo Shoot - Inside
Inside the house, taking photographs of Nathaniel Russell’s Fake Jacket Journal.

At my house, we were going for mood, light, and making the product shine. We shot each of the nine notebooks individually; groupings of the three journals created by each artist; and the entire collection for potential cover shots for our wholesale catalog.

Behind the Scenes - Fall 2014 Plumb Photo Shoot - Outside
We thought this shot, taken in front of the house, might be a catalog cover contender, but it was a little too busy.
Behind the Scenes - Fall 2014 Plumb Photo Shoot - Inside
We tried to shoot Nathaniel Russell’s Drawn to Music as if it were LPs strewn across a floor.
Behind the Scenes - Fall 2014 Plumb Photo Shoot - Paco Sits
Paco is obviously a particular fan of Linda Geary’s work.

The next day, at the studio, our mission was to show as many of the products’ features as possible—almost more of a diagramming kind of approach.

Behind the Scenes - Fall 2014 Plumb Photo Shoot - Studio
A staging lineup for the all product-against-white-seamless shots.
Behind the Scenes - Fall 2014 Plumb Photo Shoot - Studio Jen
Me, prepping a shot, using things like little wood blocks, pieces of foam core, and rolled-up masking tape to pose everything where I want it. Without getting the white seamless dirty. Lots of hand washing is involved.

Nothing can beat the Plumb journals themselves, in person, in your hands, under your pen, but in the photographs I hope we were able to convey the magic of these pieces and the artistry that went into them.

Fall 2014 Plumb Photo Shoot
The final triumph: the cover of the Fall 2014 catalog. I love how it turned out. (Just a note—the paper catalog is for wholesale customers. For individuals, the plumbgoods.com website is the shopping destination.)

One comment

  1. Always interesting to see what new and interesting things you are up to. Talent surround you Jen!

    — Jeanne on

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