I love perusing Instagram to discover artists, inspiration, and new friends. I connected with an account in Australia called Soul and Rhapsody, a handmade business run by a beautiful and lively woman named Joan. Joan creates one of a kind accessories and her feed is so colorful and full of life. I approached her about using some of her pieces in a photoshoot, and my goal was to capture the pieces with a focus on body and form, instead of color and context. I found local dancer Krystle Aguilera to model for me, and I must say, I love the work we made! Check it out.
One of my favorite things about being a photographer is meeting and collaborating with other photographers! Sometimes this means a creative shoot where we push our skills, and sometimes it's as simple as trading services. Christian is a talented photographer whose business is called Foxhouse Studio. I photographed her and her son playing together in the Swannanoa River outside of Asheville, North Carolina.
One of the perks of living in Asheville, North Carolina, is being able to hop over to Nashville, Tennessee in just a few hours. My husband and I have been a handful of times in the last two years, and I wanted to compile a list of my favorite Nash-vegas stuff.
- Fox House Nashville - This charming treehouse is an AirBnB in East Nashville. It's a rustic place with a bit of a walk to the bathroom, but it's also a charming respite from the hubbub of downtown.
- Craft South - This is a crafter's paradise! Amazing modern fabrics, a small selection of yarn for knitting or weaving, and lots o' notions.
- Gift Horse - A cute little gift shop with colorful note cards, pins, household decor, and more. A browser's dream.
- Mas Tacos - What can I say? I am a total sucker for deep fried avocado on my tacos.
- Barista Parlor - Great food and coffee. I would describe the ambiance as... "Millenial." You'll love it or hate it, either way it's an experience.
- Rolf & Daughters - The food is amazing. Make a reservation. Eat. All. The. Things.
- Pinewood Social - A great place to eat food, get a drink, relax in a big couch, work remotely, or bowl in a vintage restored alley.
- Roberts - Great, live, honky tonk. Need I say more? Favorite spot on the "strip."
- FLWR - Impeccable aesthetic flower shop. Houseplants, flower arrangements, all in a restored home in East Nashville.
- Carter Vintage Guitars - My husband loves it. That's all.
I was lucky enough to work while on the road with my husband who is a traveling musician. We spent some time in Putney, Vermont, near Bennington, where he went to college. I got to spend the morning with a beautiful potter, on her property, in her gorgeous (and handbuilt) studio. It was such a grounding experience, after a week on the road, to be still with her in her bright and creative space. Thanks, Fiona Morehouse!
When The Bright Angle reached out to me I gave a little, "Yip!" I'd been following their pottery on Instagram for a while, since I had stumbled upon it from their connection to the Democratic Cup. They hired me to do a lifestyle photo shoot of their first pottery collection, being released this summer. The Bright Angle is a design collective of Asheville artists that work out of a bright and generous space at the Asheville Area Art Council's Refinery building. Each member of the team helped design one or more of the pieces in the collection. What's unique about their process is that they have truly embraced the nexus of new technology and the handmade. They tested and perfected their shapes by using a 3-d printer to get a real life sense of the proportions and shapes. Once perfected, they made molds, and slip cast the pieces out of porcelain. Their Kickstarter campaign is live now, and more than halfway funded! Check it out for great deals on their mugs, vases, planters, espresso sets, pourovers, bottles, ring dishes, memento boxes, and more. And, for beautiful images and even a few giveaways, follow them on Instagram. For this shoot I was lucky enough to collaborate with Morgan Fender of Bomisch, a beautifully curated collection of homewares.
I love knitting and yarn and fiber in general, so whenever a fiber artist reaches out to me I totally geek out. Queue Suzanne Wadsworth, a burgeoning knitting pattern designer here in Asheville, North Carolina. Suzanne has a romantic aesthetic so we shot her new pattern next to the lovely Swannanoa River near Warren Wilson college. The river and the rolling green landscape made the perfect backdrop for her summer weight linen tee. Knitters, check out the pattern on Ravelry!
Christina and I met over Instagram of all places! We connected over knitting and a shared love for beautiful, simple things. I'm proud to call her my friend and also my client, and every photoshoot we do together is so fun. I always know she'll have styled all her garments perfectly, and she's a natural in front of the camera. She recently published a 4-piece spring collection of knitting patterns called The Stonecutter Collection. The collection features colorwork socks, a lacework shawl, a gorgeous linen tunic, and a cotton cardigan. We photographed all the pieces one evening at Graveyard Fields and I am so thrilled to share some of my favorite images with you.
Photographing for Appalachian Knits, a regional knitwear design collective, is always so much fun. In January we shot a collection designed by Jennifer Sadler and Christina Danaee using regionally dyed yarn from Fern Fiber, another Asheville business. Since the patterns were intended for a spring release, but we had to shoot in January, we partnered with local flower shop, Flora in West Asheville. This Haywood Road shop is a charming store featuring vibrant green plants, adorable planters, fresh cut flowers, and sweet gifts. We shot Jennifer's Waterrock Vest on local model, Abby Jay, as a layer and as a stand alone top. Check it out, and for pattern details, visit Ravelry.
One of my favorite shops in West Asheville is an "urban homesteading supply store" called Villagers. Last year I took a spoon carving workshop there and it was AWESOME. It was so satisfying to take a blade to damp, aromatic wood. I also had the pleasure of meeting Nate Chambers, one of the instructors. Nate is a philosopher and woodcarver operating under the handle, Chambers Woodcraft. We documented a little spoon carving at his shop. Check it out!
Jennifer Sadler of JayKay Knits is co-founder of Appalachian Knits. We collaborated on a shoot featuring one of her original knitwear designs that refers to historical Cherokee Indian basket patterning from the Appalachian mountain region. The Richland Mitts were designed around regionally grown wool from Mars Hill, North Carolina's Bovidae Farm.
This is NOT your grandma's knitting! I've been working regularly with Appalachian Knits and knitwear designer Christina Danaee. I adore Christina's aesthetic and when we get together to shoot it feels like a party! Christina designed this gorgeous Braddock beanie pattern using Magpie Fibers, a squishy and vibrant regional yarn. We shot on location at Asheville Glamping in their beautiful dome and had a blast. Our lovely model is the talented Abby Jay. Hurray for girl bosses, fiber, knitting, glamping, and photography!
A couple of days ago I photographed Jack Devereux in his Asheville shop, handcrafting made to order violins. Jack started playing violin at age three, and graduated from the Berklee College of Music with a BA in violin performance. He apprenticed for three years with violin builder Jonathan Cooper and founded his own shop in 2015. In a busy year, when his touring schedule allows, Jack can make 10-12 violins, meticulously sawing, carving, scraping, and measuring until the wood is just the right shape and thickness to resonate and create beautiful music. I feel so lucky to live in a community rich with handmade culture, and I am so inspired by all the creative entrepreneurs in this city, working hard at their craft and carrying on traditional skills.