september catalog

Setting the Scene
our visual viceroy, Ashley, shares
her scouting snaps of the Saint Petersburg
backdrops that made it into the catalog
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Because so many things factor into getting the picture right—
timing the light, choosing angles, editing backgrounds—our scouting
days are crucial. In Russia, our planning ended up translating literally.
Our scouting snapshots matched the final catalog edit almost exactly.
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–Ashley, art director in chief
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“We wanted the iconic Hermitage Museum to frame the model, not compete with her. Shooting at a low angle makes her long and elegant.”
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“Canal + cobblestone + traditional onion dome architecture = quintessential Saint Petersburg.”
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“Turn the camera a few degrees and you can’t avoid the growing crowd. Shooting into the building (with a tight crop) gave us control over the background and highlights one of our location musts, the Mariinsky Theatre (one-time home to Mikhail Baryshnikov).”
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“Many of the dance studios we scouted were basic and dark. When we found these windows, I knew we had to take advantage of the milky (and ever forgiving) backlight.”
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“Shooting from the bottom of the hill hides the groups of tourists visiting the Spas na Kravi Church without obstructing the picture-worthy architecture.”
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“A happy accident—we stumbled upon this location while scouting a bridge nearby.”
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“Timing is everything! This picture taken an hour later in the day wouldn’t have worked—once the sun gets too high, the light instantly turns hard and unflattering.”

(post by Ashley Sargent Price)