We have a treat for you all today! We’re thrilled to feature the husband-wife team that is Anthony-Masterson. This dynamite team specialize in photography and filmmaking. And their work is almost as fantastic as they are… Steve and Jill have gotten to know Owen and Christine by working with them on a number of design projects and have found such like-mindedness, as they’re also a couple that do just about everything together. We believe you’ll thoroughly enjoy this fun little conversation/interview and are so pleased to introduce you to the latest Tastemakers for the blog for steve mckenzie’s, Owen Masterson and Christine Anthony:
We began shooting sixteen years ago determined to combine our individual talents. Before that Owen was working with some of the best cinematographers in Los Angeles as an actor and Christine was an in-demand food stylist. We had both spent a lot of time on sets observing what it took to get a great shot. Inspired, we picked up a camera and a bunch of film and began shooting. We started with food. Shortly after that a new stock agency dedicated to food photography began licensing our images. In 2001 we shot our first job. Since moving to Atlanta in 2005 we have been shooting Interiors, Food and Travel.
In 2008 we acted on a long held desire to make our pictures move and began experimenting with filmmaking. This led to a number of short films and two award winning feature length documentaries.
Working in both mediums provides great balance plus we get to travel a lot and work with some extraordinarily talented and interesting people.
1. Three words that describe your aesthetic?
Owen: Do we each get 3 words?
Christine: What have you got?
Owen: Fast, edgy and dangerous.
Christine: I think that describes you more than the aesthetic.
Owen: Okay, what have you got?
Christine: How about balanced, uncluttered and provocative?
Owen: That’s why I love you.
2. Would you please share a little about your favorite space/project to date?
Owen: You go first.
Christine: I always go first.
Owen: Ok. Plaza Towers 25th floor, stunning pied-a-terre, killer view of Atlanta skyline.
Christine: And the rich tones in the living room. What about the first interior project we ever shot? That beautiful home on the coast in Malibu owned by the Fluxus artist Van Schley and his wife.
Owen: Wow that was so long ago and we shot it on film!
Christine: And we hardly knew what we were doing.
Owen: The challenge was the light bouncing off of the Pacific Ocean into practically every room in the house. But we figured it out.
Christine: Speaking of the coast… what about the light in the house at Wrightsville Beach?
3. What’s the source(s) of your inspiration?
Owen: Christine. That was an easy one.
Christine: I guess I better say Owen. But really, it is Owen. When you live and work together 24/7 as a team you each bring something different to the party so it’s essential to be inspired by your partner’s vision – or madness.
Owen: I always know I’m in for something challenging when Christine says “Tell me if you think this is a crazy idea.” But we don’t live in a bubble so there’s the things we see and the people we meet in our travels that influence and inspire us as well.
4. Name three people (alive or dead) you’d invite to your dream dinner party…
Christine: That’s tricky. Only three?
Owen: John Lennon, the Pope, and it might get fun if say, Amy Winehouse comes.
Christine: The Pope choice seems off unless it’s Alexander Pope.
Owen: Okay, how about Jimi Hendrix, Jackson Pollock and Howard Finster?
Christine: Better. But I’d really like to cook for Joan Didion so one has to go.
Owen: Wait a minute, don’t we each get three?
Christine: We could be here all day… how about we move on?
5. A favorite type of space or even a favorite type of object/setting to photograph?
Owen: We love the skill set of shooting interiors. It’s so exacting, like a high wire act.
Christine: The placement and balance of objects.
Owen: The play of shadows and light.
Christine: The vignettes.
Owen: Capturing the more intimate moments that really express the personality of the room.
Christine: But there’s also a freedom to shooting the travel stories that we enjoy. Being out and about, anticipating, keeping an eye out for the shot.
Owen: Because we shoot so many different things: interiors, food, people, travel, and then there are the videos too, it’s like cross training. It keeps our imaginations limber and eyes fresh.
6. Do you follow a particular set of rules when mixing textures, finishes, etc. – how do they work for you?
Owen and Christine: See it. Love it. Shoot it!
Christine: That’s been our motto from day one.
Owen: Of course our clients’ needs come first but we always try to take the shots further than they had imagined; the angle, the frame, the composition.
Christine: And then there’s the lighting. We shoot primarily with natural light and Owen is the master of light and shadow so we like to wow our clients with the lighting.
7. Trending… What is something you are currently “into” and something you are “over?”
Owen: Playing records
Christine: Owen is the house DJ, he spins, I cook. I love long hours at the dinner table or on the deck with close friends.
Owen: Christine is a great cook so the dinners are always good. And then there’s the wine and the conversation.
Christine: It’s like the exact opposite of social media.
Owen: Which is anti-social
Christine: So you’d say social media is over?
Owen: Definitely over. And out.
8. What would be the one thing you would have if you were stranded on a deserted island?
Christine: Do we each get one thing?
Christine: That way I could cook. So maybe I’d bring a knife.
9. Please share a piece of advice you’d offer to someone looking to break into the photography design industry.
Owen: I’d give the same advice we were given when we started. Just do it!
Christine: It’s a process and you have to work at it to find your eye. Just make sure you understand the business end of it. That can be the most difficult part for creatives.
Owen: Find your passion. It’s an art form even if you’re shooting plumbing supplies. It’s a journey and you should have adventures doing it.
Christine: Oh, the places we’ve been…
Okay, so that was a lot of fun, right?! We need to find more dynamic duos to feature in our Tastemaker series! At least ones with such wonderful senses of humor… And isn’t their work divine. The way they work with lighting – it’s magical. And they make our spaces look absolutely phenomenal. We’re fans of Owen and Christine’s and are willing to bet that after reading this post you are too!
You may recall how McKenzie Design was recently featured on the cover of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME… But, what you may not know is all of the work behind the scenes to make the photoshoot of this design such a success.
It takes a team of people planning, prepping and executing the plan for a fantastic photoshoot – and, in turn, a wonderful feature – and we were so lucky to have been on a team with photographers, Anthony-Masterson, and Editor-in-Chief, Betsy Riley.
Working as a team on a photoshoot is a necessity – it’s a collaborative project and everyone involved needs to come together to create a unified vision and provide the best editorial possible for the reader. To do this, the editor will keep their reader in mind and work to craft the message they want to share, specifically for them. The photographer knows what will translate well from a photography standpoint. And, finally, the designer knows what they worked to achieve for their client. It’s all about trusting the other parties and bringing these three visions together.
Thanks to Steve’s many years working as Creative Director and then CEO of Berkshire Hathaway company, Larson-Juhl, he’s got a great deal of experience under his belt, both in working on various photoshoots and directly with the media. Needless to say, he was a wealth of expertise when it came to prepping for our big photoshoot for Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.
Because of Steve’s and Anthony-Masterson’s shared histories shooting spaces for publication, we thought we could share some top tips, with our design industry friends, on being an awesome player on any photoshoot team – all in hopes your project makes it to print! Here’s what we have to offer…
- Be prepared. For anything. This may sound a bit vague, but anything can happen on a photoshoot. You’ll arrive on site with a plan – or at least an idea – of what will happen throughout the shoot and inevitably things change. Prep your photoshoot site as best you can and ensure it’s in tip top shape for when the editor and photographer arrive.
- Consider your design from all different angles. You may have created a design with a specific functionality in mind. But, when you’re in the midst of a photoshoot, things change. Furnishings may be readjusted so they’re captured in the best lighting. Even if you don’t think a corner of a room will be photographed, be sure it’s designed and photo-ready, just in case.
- Bring extra accessories. Repeat after us – you can never have too many accessories. We love a great vignette shot. Secret to those amazing shots? Perfectly selected and positioned accessories. Bring additional accessories for each space being photographed. Perhaps the editor will want to try a different selection of pillows on a setee or make it appear as if a cocktail party is in progress on the bar. You’ll need to think ahead and have your stock of accessories to pull out should the need arise.
- Stay out of the way. This is a tough one. The spaces being photographed have been your baby and it’ll be difficult to give up control. But, you must trust in the photographer and editor to capture and highlight those
spaces in the best possible light. That’s their job, and with you supporting from the sidelines, it’ll be a success.
- Offer advice. This may seem contradictory to tip #4, but when called upon, you’ll need to provide guidance, share inspiration and suggest solutions if any issues arise. It’s a difficult balance, but once you’ve been through a shoot or two, you’ll become a pro!
*Bonus tip from Steve and Jill – Keep your favorite shops and accessory/textile destinations on speed dial during the shoot. You never know when the perfect item may just be down the road! Lucky for Steve, he was on shoot and Jill was back at the showroom… Blue hued pillows for the kitchen banquette were needed. So, she gathered up all they had and they were brought to the home where the photoshoot was in progress. A selection was made and the kitchen shot was a winner!
So, there you have it. Our advice on becoming a photoshoot savant and a little behind the scenes of our photoshoot with Atlanta Magazine’s HOME. It was such a fun experience and now we’re ready to tackle the next shoot – and whatever it may bring!
Keep an eye out for a feature post here, on the blog for steve mckenzie’s, where Steve will share more about the clients and the space he designed for them.
Summer is shaping up to be a great season here at steve mckenzie’s! We’re especially excited to see so many recent mentions of steve mckenzie’s in many of our favorite magazines and blogs and we wanted to take a moment to share a quick shout out…
Our friends at Restyle Source recently interviewed Steve for their blog as the first in their summer series of Designer Spotlights focusing on the group of top design experts who will be featured this July at AmericasMart’s Vignette Exhibition.
This is a wonderful series and they get into everything with these interviews – they’re so fun! Steve dishes about the inspiration behind his upcoming vignette, his must-see AmericasMart showrooms, and even shares a few personal tidbits.
Thank you to Restyle Source for including Steve in this exciting lineup, we’re thrilled to learn more about the other designers in the AmericasMart Vignette Exhibition!!
Next up, you may have seen us share this cover shot, but we’re too elated about this amazing feature not to post about it on our blog as well… It’s our first ever interior design magazine cover – thanks to Atlanta Magazine’s HOME!!
The feature story offers stunning photography by Anthony Masterson and savvy writing by Lisa Kline Mowry. We’re so very honored to have this project showcased in this way, and are so appreciative to our clients for trusting us with their home.
Not to be overshadowed, was a mention of Steve’s fabric, as a part of Garden & Gun magazine’s blog feature on “Six Southern Fabrics that Say Summer.” Here is an excerpt from the post:
“Steve’s ‘Gingham’ is a brushstroke version of the classic pattern gives it a modern twist.”—Kristen Gish
Thank you so much to the Supply Showroom team and to Garden & Gun for working to pull together this excellent blog post!
Finally, a visit from a new friend of steve mckenzie’s and talent behind Thou Swell blog, resulted in a wonderful feature by Kevin O’Gara.
Kevin is a brilliant student and designer, who we’re honored to have the pleasure of collaborating with over this summer.
So that about wraps up our most recent media mentions… Another BIG thank you to all of our friends, clients and colleagues who’ve been so generous with their support of steve mckenzie’s!