It is a real pleasure to introduce the fabulous Annette Joseph! Annette is an Atlanta-based Photo Stylist and Producer, whose client list boasts some serious heavy hitters such as Better Homes and Gardens, the beloved and mourned Domino Magazine, Country Home magazine, and many, many more. Her most recent design coup is the home renovation for actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s Nashville apartment. In just 10 days Annette and her team transformed a bare, raw industrial space into a bright family home punctuated by artwork and industrial rustic elements. For more details chronicling Annette’s design work for Gwyneth, check out her feature in GOOP! To see how this savvy stylist manages to keep all her ducks in a row, read on guys and dolls!
1. Design*Sponge: What is in your toolbox? What are the tools you can’t live without?
Annette Joseph: My favorite tool is a tiny hammer; it is a hammer, a flat screwdriver, and Phillips head screwdriver all-in-one. It is available at most large hardware store by various manufacturers. Then of course I cannot live with out both large and small Martha Stewart scissors. Also I must include my linen apron! I bought it on a photo shoot in Napa 5 years ago and never take it off during a shoot. Of course, my iphone is the newest and most valuable tool. We use it for everything from photographing objects we want to use as a prop, to a gps in towns all over the country (and the world).
2. Design*Sponge: Fill in the blank, “When I am in my studio, I feel… light. happy. inspired by all the collected beauty.”
CLICK HERE for the rest of Annette’s interview (and her studio music mix tape) after the jump!
3. Design*Sponge: What are on the top shelves of your inspiration library right now? This can be anything from blogs, books, magazines, vintage catalogues/manuals, etc.
Annette Joseph: Even though I work in the magazine business I read and collect them.My all time favorite is World of Interiors~ a new find Apartamento, ElleDécor Italia, oddly enough these magazines are particularly un-styled. I find endless inspiration in the casualness, and in some way try to achieve these imperfections in my styling of interiors. I call it “perfect imperfection”.
Books~The Divine Home by Peter Vitale, Italian Rustic by Elizabeth Minchilli, My Mothers Clothes by Jeannette Montgomery Barron, I used several her photographs in a masterbedroom I did for Gwyneth Paltrow, in Nashville. Her images are graphic, simple and haunting in their simplicity. etc., by Sibella Court
4. Design*Sponge: How do you keep yourself organized? Do you have an agenda book and do you make “to-do” lists?
*I am a slave to my iCal as is my assistant Natalie; we live and breathe by it.
*I keep all of my styling jobs in individual clear folders. These folders hold shot lists, prop shopping lists, receipt envelope, vendors’ cards and information, photos of the location. When we have 8 jobs lined up in a 2-week period it makes picking up the right shot lists easy.
*The most important thing to time management is to get things off your plate quickly. Some of the most successful people I have encountered respond immediately to emails, questions. The one person that comes to mind is my friend and uber-designer, Nate Berkus.The way he has become so successful in my mind, other than his obvious talent, is that if I email him with a question I can expect a response within a day, usually an hour. This style of organization allows one to move quickly through tasks and efficiently even with lots of projects on the deck. I am a big believer in getting things off my plate.
5. Design*Sponge: Do you have any insider/secret styling/design tips or tricks that you would care to reveal?
Annette Joseph: I could tell you but, I’d have to kill you ;) There are no tips about styling that I could write in a sentence. My assistant has been with me for 4 years, and she still has questions everyday. Styling is working and learning as an apprentice for a long time. After having about 20 assistants, I am must say you either have the knack, the eye or you don’t. However, paying attention and being hyper visual are assets in production and styling. Being detail-oriented is essential to success.
6. Design*Sponge: How do you combat creative blocks? What tools do you use to keep your creativity flowing?
Annette Joseph: I go for a long run…that always seems to solve every creative block I might encounter.
7. Design*Sponge: In addition to being a photo stylist, producer, and author, what would you like to conquer next?
Annette Joseph: I renovated a flat in Italy. I want to renovate a large compound in Italy next.
8. Design*Sponge: Where do you like to shop for inspiration?
Annette Joseph: My favorite place to look for inspiration would have to be Italy. I spend each summer there, no work just wandering various markets all over Italy and France, cooking, running on the beach, and people watching in the square. Slowing down my daily life literally recharges my creative batteries. A lot of people say “how can you take 2 months off of work”, my response is “how can I not”? I come back refreshed and better than I left, with new ideas that make my work look great and my clients happy.
9. Design*Sponge: If you could peek inside the studio/toolbox of any designer/artist/craftsman, who would it be?
* I. M. Pei
* William Peace, an Atlanta Designer I think is amazing and talented.
They seem so different, but as a stylist, one must be an expert in many styles and have a love for every genre of design.
10. Design*Sponge: If you could make a master mix-tape of music that is inspiring you at the moment, what would it be?
I Came 2 Party ~ Space Cowboy
Ooh La La- Gold Frapp
Telephone- Lady GaGa and Beyonce
It’s a New day- Will I am
Nothing on you- B.o.B