Interview with interior stylist Glen Proebstel, part 2
In part 2 of my interview with the delightful Glen Proebstel, he shares how he and photographer Sharyn Cairns “just get each other”, talks about his prop hire business and who he admires, as well giving tips on breaking into the competitive styling industry.
Compare the photos above with those in part 1 of the interview and you’ll see how Proebstel isn’t just a ‘mean and moody’ one trick pony.
How important, as a stylist, are the photographers you work with? I know you work with Sharyn Cairns a lot.
Just as a stylist has a certain aesthetic, a photographer also has a particular feel or style to their work. When commissioning talent to do a shoot it is important that you pull together a team that bring about the desired look and feel that you envisage. If you were to give three photographers the same set and camera, they would all capture their subject matter differently. The tools may be the same, but it’s the technical skills, lighting and composition that make or break a shot. Whether you are after a soft emotive feel or images that are punchy and artificially lit, you select a photographer based on their body of work.
When you work with a photographer that has the same visual perception and can see the world through a lens the same way you do, it makes styling all the more exciting. This is why Sharyn and I tend to work together a lot. We have a strong working relationship where we know what each other is thinking and how to get the best shot. I feel very blessed to be able to say that I have worked with her in creating amazing imagery. We just get each other.
Tell me about your prop hire business, prop.d
Prop.d focuses on providing surfaces and objects for photography and styling, which began trading almost a year ago. It came about as I began collecting all sorts of props, crockery and kitchenware for styling in cook books. After working in Sydney where there are a number of props houses specialising in food styling, I found nowhere in Melbourne that offered the same. I spent a number of years collecting and collating objects and after some time I felt we had enough to open up shop. Everything is available to view online and of late we have managed to grow our business further by supplying props for weddings and events.
Do you ever style people’s homes for them?
I am often asked to style people’s homes, however I am so booked up with editorial and commercial work that I don’t have the time that it takes to work with a client to develop their style or select pieces for their interior. I usually point them towards an interior designer or offer them small suggestions where I can.
Which other interior stylists do you admire?
The industry seems to be very much about word of mouth. Do you agree?
It is a very small industry indeed and you can imagine how many people want to start a career in photography or styling. Everyone starts out assisting. It’s the best way to get your foot in the door. I constantly have people working with me on shoots through work experience which then leads into assisting work if there is potential or the person has exceptional organisational skills or a passion for what they do. Once you start to get a reputation, it spreads like wildfire on the styling network.