Mark and Graham is an emerging brand of Williams-Sonoma that specializes in high-end personalized gifts. This year for its 2017 holiday catalog, the team wanted a fresh, exciting look that incorporated more lifestyle images along with its classic still life photos. After working together in the past and knowing his style, California-based photographer Eric Zepeda was hired to shoot the images.
Eric has worked with both Williams-Sonoma and Mark and Graham on a few different projects over the years. For this project, Eric was initially hired to shoot images of the brand’s products, solely for the website. When Mark and Graham wanted to go in a new direction and include unique imagery for the catalog, the company knew Eric had the right skills to deliver what they were looking for.
Art Director for Mark and Graham, Ashley Sharma had a fresh, young vision for this catalog. Before jumping headfirst into the shoot, Eric met with Ashley and the wider Mark and Graham team to discuss the overall goal of the project. Once everyone felt like their visions aligned with one another, it was time to shoot!
Much like the location where the shoot took place (New York), holiday shoots, in general, tend to be naturally fast-paced, and this project was no exception. Eric enjoys being on his toes and working quickly and efficiently on projects. Each day of the shoot was jam-packed, and there were many products to capture and sets to change. One day was spent capturing all of the product and still life images, and the next day involved a more robust crew and styling team to capture lifestyle images with talent.
We had a model one day that just nailed it — I mean it all had come together, the lighting was there, the set was right, hair and makeup, the wardrobe stylist, Caroline Rooney had it down. These days don’t often happen, but when the model stepped on set, it was perfect. I’m behind the camera laughing because the art director is at the capture station saying ‘how am I ever going to pick? They’re all great!’
However, not every day of the shoot went as smoothly this one. When there is such a massive shot count, it can be nerve-racking after being nine hours into a shoot, and you still feel like you haven’t “nailed” the shot yet. Fortunately, with tons of experience under his belt, Eric knew how to encourage his team with positive feedback and suggestions to get the shot just right.
Reminds me of climbing — find a handhold, a starting point, and go on from there.
In the end, the project was a success, and Eric and his team delivered fresh new images for the holiday catalog. Greg Heisler, a fellow photographer, and colleague of Eric’s, once told Eric, “Nobody goes to New York City to take it easy,” which was the case for this project. Eric felt the time he spent shooting in the Big Apple changed him in many positive ways. Eric looks forward to the future and plans on working with Mark and Graham on many projects ahead.
Prop Stylist: Leigh Noe
Wardrobe Stylist: Caroline Rooney
Producer: Liz Schultz
Assistants: Summer Wilson, Kari Sweet
Digital Tech: Nick Katkov
See more of Eric at ericzepeda.com!