Behind the Brand:
Getting the shot with Whitney
Whitney, our Senior Art Director of Photography, gives us an insider's look at planning photo shoots that perfectly showcase our collections.

“The vibe on a shoot is key to its success. Keeping the shoot moving and the mood up and creating gorgeous images is my passion.”

- Whitney

Q&A with Whitney
Q&A with Whitney
What’s the first thing you do when planning a photo shoot?
The Talbots photo team and I are part of a very large extended team. We have a streamlined modus operandi, and a lot of specifics need to be developed simultaneously for both our studio shoots in NYC as well as location shoots, as it all has to work in concert to create a cohesive final product! 
After initial plans are approved, what comes next?
We select models and hire a photographer. I make the creative brief for the photographer so they understand the concept we’d like to achieve, lighting needs and other details. I also create a props brief and set design deck for our set designers so they can start to gather props and materials needed for the shoots. That could include renting bicycles, hanging 100 pineapples on a VW bus and casting local dogs on a snowy mountain top in Oregon—every shoot is different!
Tell us about the actual photo shoots.
Shoot days start very early, typically 5am for the models to be in hair and makeup and shortly thereafter for the rest of the team. We meet at the hotel lobby, pile into passenger vans and head to the first day’s location! The first thing you’ll generally hear is one question, “How did you sleep?” The answers vary from “really well” to “I was up at 3!” After lots of coffee and a quick breakfast, we get right into it and do a walk-around, discussing the day and logistics and any snags we may run into and how to optimize timing.
Do you ever run into last-minute challenges?
Keeping things flowing seamlessly by production and orchestrating a large crew’s every move during a location shoot can prove an arduous task. Weather happens, people get sick, flights are cancelled, you name it! Our Mexico hair and makeup team was a day late arriving because of a snowstorm and production had to scramble for local talent for the first day. But it all worked out!
How would you describe Talbots visual/photography style?
Our visual style is emotional and aspirational. It is also joyful and ever-evolving to help our customers acquire a full and positive visualization.
What do you enjoy most about art directing catalog shoots?
The vibe on a shoot is key to its success. Keeping the shoot moving and the mood up and creating gorgeous images is my passion. And I just LOVE working with our teams in studio and on location. We are so lucky to be surrounded by such amazing talent and wonderful people!
What is your all-time favorite catalog shoot?
Every shoot is as unique as a fingerprint! As I write this, we are on a plane home from our latest shoot in Cabo, Mexico, which was just incredible, so I am still riding that emotional wave! The crew and the local people were so welcoming. I’d have to say Portugal is in a tie with Mexico. We shot on the coast every day in Mexico and were treated to watching pods of whales breaching all week – it was unreal! I also should mention that my VP Terri and I have been lucky to celebrate our birthdays, every year for the past several years, in a different country or unique spot while on location! Not a bad gig!