Holiday Fashion Week Video Teaser

Penny Rose Winter 2013 Photo Shoot from Nick Chao on Vimeo.

From Dec. 2-6, here at The Penny Rose, we'll be featuring our annual Holiday Fashion Week photo spread courtesy of photographer Nick Chao and creative director Christa Martin. Here's a teaser of what's coming. Each day of next week we'll feature holiday fashion told through the eyes of three sisters. Video and music by Nick Chao.

Creating a Fashion Catalog

Photo by Nick Chao. Left to right: Kate Fisher, owner/fashion designer of Synergy, production manager Gina Peters of Synergy, fashion stylist Missy Schnaps, model Desiree Amariei. 

In December, The Penny Rose production team was approached by international clothing company, Synergy Organic Clothing, with the idea of having our team produce/direct/style/shoot/design Synergy's Fall 13 catalog. We came on board and during the last week of February and the first week of March, our crew came together for 10 days to create the photos for the catalog. We had an amazing experience together. 

A lot of people ask me about what goes into doing such a project. It's a huge but very rewarding job. As the creative director and producer, it was my job to pull together our crew, dialogue with our talent (the models), find locations, secure locations, plan all logistics, create shots lists and call sheets, and oh so much more before we even began shooting. On the set, I served as the point person to make sure everything flowed smoothly and that my producing efforts had paid off. (They did!) Also, on set, I used my 10 years of on camera experience as a professional actor to help the models with movement and posing. 

While on set for 10 days straight, I brought on a brilliant and talented crew including our photographer Nick ChaoMissy Schnaps who served as fashion stylist and hair stylist on the featured looks, Anna Wu who provided makeup for 10 days, and Ginger Vaughn who styled hair during our five cut out days. We were also joined by the client, Kate Fisher, fashion designer and co-owner of Synergy, as well as two staff members from Synergy who served as production assistants, Gina Peters and Cat Gomez.

Photo by Nick Chao. Makeup artist Anna Wu applies makeup to model, Alyssa Lenore.

Photographer Nick Chao on set.

Producer/Creative Director Christa Martin directing model, Coco, before a shot.

Our schedule was broken up into five day sections. During the first five days, we shot "cut outs" in the studio. These are basically stills of the models striking three poses to best show off the garments. The images will be used both in the Fall 13 catalog and on Synergy's website. For our second set of five days, we shot our featured looks in downtown Santa Cruz, in the nearby mountains at the home and property of Laamie Young of Blank Verse Jewelry, and also at the Pacific Cultural Center, a vibrant, airy, serene yoga center. 

After the 10 day shoot was over, photographer Nick Chao and I spent a day together going through 1,500+ photos, editing them down to our favorites. Over the next month and a half, the images will be presented to the client, approved, selected, then given to the graphic designer, Jose Estevez, to lay out the catalog. Come May, the new Fall 13 Synergy catalog should be viewable and we'll be sure to share it here on The Penny Rose. 

Members of our team: Kate Fisher (fashion designer/co-owner of Synergy), model Desiree Amariei, photographer Nick Chao, producer/creative director Christa Martin, production manager Gina Peters.

The Clarisonic—love it or hate it?

A few years ago, I had some extra money to burn and I dropped it on the nearly $200 Clarisonic, the cleansing/exfoliating device touted by beauty editors as the greatest thing in skin care. But is it really? I'm not so sure. Most of the time I forget to use it. When I do use it regularly, every night, or every other night, I begin to find that my skin looks scratched. I think it might be that the brush is too abrasive on my skin. The Clarisonic offers various brushes, and I'm going to try the ultra sensitive one before I officially give up on this pricey contraption. But, for me, it hasn't worked like I expected. When I go through phases when I've been using it, my skin looks like a mess, so I'll leave it in the cabinet for a few weeks and then my skin returns to normal. I'm curious if other Clarisonic users have had the same issues? Is this expensive tool really worth it? Sound off in the comments below!