Studio produces compelling images for every season for multiple brands.

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Sometimes, constraints inspire innovation. Other times they cause frustration, miscommunication, and wasted resources. That was where the South Deerfield Home Fragrance Communications Design Team found itself with just 10,000 square feet of studio space to produce compelling images for every season for multiple brands.

That all changed in January, when 4,000 square feet was added to the photo studio. With additional space, the team has created “super sets” that can host multiple shoots with different propping; they can work in those sets concurrently rather than needing to move from one to the next; and they can get ahead of the calendar.

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South Deerfield Time Lapse

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“We can leave sets in place for up to two months,” says Jodi Villani, Creative Manager; “and when we get into fall, we can be literally one year ahead. We’ll be able to order pumpkins when we need pumpkins. We’ll be in a holiday season when it’s a holiday. We’ll be able to create authenticity with everything that is literally real and achievable.”

We’ll be able to create authenticity with everything that is literally real and achievable.”
- Jodi Villani, Creative Manager

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Wynn Francis, Senior Manager, Graphic Design, agrees: “I’ve had to make snow every summer, and to make it snow in the summer even in Massachusetts…. I’ve had to make fall leaves appear in the spring. The level of work we’re now able to do, the stress reduction for our brand partners and us—it’s huge.”

Collaboration with brand partners has benefited in ways beyond authenticity. “We’re telling stories all the time,” Wynn explains. “We’re able to show our brand partners the set and all of the placements.” “Our brand partners can see the reality of the room, see the images,” Jodi elaborates. “Copywriters are able to come write on set in the studio; brand managers can come into the space. They don’t have to try to imagine what might be created; they can come right over and sit in it.”
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The ability to share a vision from the start reduces time spent in approval processes and redoing work. The team estimates that what took a month in the old space can be accomplished in just a week and a half in the new. They’ve also been able to expand the range of image types to meet all of Home Fragrance’s omni-channel needs. A further benefit is that there is capacity—both physical and calendar—to offer services to Business Units beyond Home Fragrance. “We’ve partnered with Baby, Writing, and others,” says Wynn; “they’re learning they can reach out to this crew.”

“They’re learning they can reach out to this crew.”
- Wynn Francis, Senior Manager, Graphic Design

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Both Jodi and Wynn credit their team with the vision and energy that made the expanded studio a reality—and that continue to enlarge the possibilities. Everyone pitches in to build walls, move furniture, paint, whether it’s Jodi, Michael Scroggin (Senior Photographer), Jared Herman (Photographer), Lindsey Manjourea (Photography Assistant), Lynnette Poe (Project Coordinator) or Andrew Greto (Photographer). “We are a team that is small in number,” says Jodi, “but whose experiences mean we bring quite a lot to the table. The attitude with the whole thing is ‘let’s try it.’”

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