by gillianshenon

cul·ture ˈkəlCHər/  noun

1. the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.

synonyms: the arts, the humanities, intellectual achievement;  literature, music, painting, philosophy, the performing arts


I had a thought several months ago about the direction in which I would like my business to go, and began to consider who I am, how I live, and what best represents me. I came to the conclusion pretty quickly, with a word I think best defines me: bohemian. I have always lived my life moving and thinking outside the box, and I like to be free. I am a free spirit. What also occurred to me, in doing a little further introspection, was the type of gatherings that delight me most, whether they be my own, or others’ celebrations. I decided to pursue design of a series of styled photo shoots that would help me to share my vision and great love of the loose, “boho chic” style gathering, whether it be a wedding or otherwise. I have since designed a dozen shoots (!!) both locally in Marin, San Francisco, and down in my hometown of Woodside, as well as several outside the area: Truckee, Ojai, Big Sur, South Freeport, Maine and Basalt, Colorado, where dear friends have graciously offered their lovely properties for this experience. I am finding this extremely gratifying and the most creative I have ever been throughout my twenty years working as a designer.

Typically, I begin my thought process with one item or prop, and for this first shoot I was inspired by a rope chair swing that I purchased for my nieces to play on in my yard. I had a vision of this rope swing chair suspended over a dining table as the “chandelier,” with a glass hurricane as the source of light, and we’d weave vines throughout the macrame. The completely amazing and talented Natalie Bowen brought my vision to the next level. I think the best part about working on these shoots is the inclusion of several artists in my community. So much of the work I do is independent and the shoots allow for terrific collaboration.


Installing the rope swing chair, confirming the height. It works!

Another key participant in this effort is one of the tip-top photographers in the Bay Area. Meg Smith brought my vision to life. (Please note that the photos below are not Meg Smith’s images, but previews of the shoot taken with our iPhone).

With all of this exciting development I am creating a section on my website that I am naming “Culture.”  I was mulling this idea around in my head and suddenly thought Culture, hmm… and researched the proper meaning of the word. I like it. Culture, by definition, is “the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.” Given this is all a big collective effort and we are manifesting our artistic achievement collectively, it feels like the perfect word.   

Once we are able to share the full set of Meg’s images you will find them under the “Culture” tab on my site. Please stay tuned!