Branding Portraits of Interior Designer Palmer Weiss
These are professional branding portraits for San Francisco based interior Designer Palmer Weiss. Back in the day I took some Interior Design courses at FIT in New York. So every time I get to work with interior designers I do a little (internal) happy dance. The goal was to create a variety of portraits that reflect Palmer’s style and profession. As an interior designer working on high end projects, Weiss receives frequent press inquiries. So having portraits available when asked is important.
Camera Shy, Not photogenic, Awkward… and other stories we tell ourselves.
One of the main things I hear during my initial consultation calls is a version of “I’m terrible on camera.” Creating portraits that feel approachable, and confident all at once is my jam. And working with people who are camera shy is nothing new to me. In fact, it seems like most of my portrait clients are not super into being on camera. For the record, I’m not either. Whenever I need to have my portrait taken I have to hype myself up. But, it has gotten easier over the years. As I’ve truly learned that a great portrait has very little to do with the stories we tell ourselves. I know how to work with my clients to find the right angles, lighting, and posing to give a natural feel. I also like to create a judgement free, safe space for people to express themselves. Staying true to who the client is as a person is key. When Palmer first contacted me, she made it very clear that she does NOT like being photographed. And that she gets super awkward on camera. Well, folks, I win. Because these photos came out gorgeous AF and Palmer Weiss looks like the boss she is. Oh and she LOVED her photos.
On Location Branding Portraits
If you are familiar with my work you know the studio is my jam. But working on location brings me just as much joy. Although lugging my gear around isn’t my favorite thing. I’m more than willing to fill my car with equipment if it means working in a cool setting to create awesome images. With professional branding portraits the setting is a critical part of the story. In this case shooting in a studio would not have been the best solution. We wanted to show Palmer’s interior design aesthetic. So creating these images in her San Francisco home was the perfect solution. Not only does it show her personal and professional style. Being in her home allows for an authentic and intimate portrayal of Palmer Weiss as a person. Her living room is a textural dream. Filled with rich layers that feel both wild and sophisticated. And capturing images of her with her adorable pup was an added bonus.
One of the challenges with on location portrait sessions is the lighting. My goal is to capture the natural light of the space while also creating ideal portraiture light. I solve this issue by bringing a variety of professional lighting equipment. I can manipulate the added light to balance with the available light. Occasionally, I get lucky and the light in a space is perfect as is. But often that is not the case. So I lean on my knowledge of mixing light. Which is something I started learning over a decade ago. Thanks to the mentorship of my first college photography professor.
Professional Portrait Makeup
Offering professional hair and makeup to my portrait clients is an added bonus that I bring with me. I work with some super talented bay area makeup artists who bring years of experience to the job. The makeup artists I work with are able to work with all ethnicities and skin complexions. And our goal is always to create a look that feels right for the client. Sometimes that means creating a look that is more bold. But more often than not it’s a natural look we’re after. Creating a minimalist and clean makeup look takes talent. And I love that I have cultivated relationships with some of the bay area’s best makeup artists.
San Francisco Branding Photographer & Art Director: Ella Sophie
Hair & Makeup: Teresa Song
Client: Palmer Weiss, San Francisco based Interior Designer.