Posts tagged Interior design photoshoot
Creative Focus: Chad Dorsey Design

Chad Dorsey is a gift in the design world. He's a breath of fresh air in a growing sea of sameness, pushing a narrative of masculine comfort, similar to his personality. When you are in one of Chad's homes, you just want to stay there because everything just feels right. He was trained as an architect and his design is a fluid relationship to the architecture where proportion, light, and scale are as essential as taste and lifestyle. He believes furnishings should be impactful without being overwhelming and rooms should flow and transition seamlessly. I have been fortunate to have photographed Chad’s designs over the past decade. He is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades (scroll down for the long list) and we are excited to share our Q&A with him as well as some of the imagery I have shot for Chad recently. Enjoy!

Chad, tell us a story…

Recently at a shoot I mentioned to Stephen I needed a new portrait for an event.  He appeared to hear the comment but really didn’t acknowledge this comment….. I am thinking should I be wearing something else or maybe I am just not portrait worthy?

Stephen went about the day, shooting the project and taking great shots…. When I least expected it, he said “Hey Chad, get on the bed”.  

Shocked, I wasn’t sure if he was being funny or not.   

Thoughts to myself-

 - we have worked for the past hour to perfect the bed for the shot, and now Stephen wants me to destroy this?  

 - Should I act like I am sleeping?  

Stephen says, “Just do it……  RELAX…..  Act like Kelly Wearstler

Not sure I ever relaxed, but somehow Stephen always finds a way to pull out some sort of character or spirt in each shot.  This is the really cool unique angle Stephen has.  His humor is another.  I feel like this image was the Telenovela of the entire shoot.


If you need inspiration for a design project, what do you do first?

I like to think of all of my travel and remember experiences that I have had that maybe relevant to a project.

How would you define your work in three words?

Relaxed, Bespoke, Timeless

Favorite piece of clothing you own?

I have this old grey hoodie that has a cool lining in the hood…. The company that made this hoodie is no longer in business, and well my hoodie isn’t long for this world either.  I wear it all year long…. Inside during the summer…. Outside during the winter… I have even worn it with a sport coat on top.  

What modern design trend makes you cringe? 

Anything purchased as a set or collection….  No matter the budget, find things that make the space unique to the person.  


What is one thing no one knows about you? 

I am not sure that this is a surprise, but I really have to work at being social.  This also goes for social media…. I am super critical of my own work, so one single post takes a lot of thought for me… I have been trying to be more spur of the moment and think less about them and just go with it….

Favorite city to recharge? 

I love Los Angeles right now.  I go there and become so inspired, yet so relaxed and at ease.  It feels good.

If you had one more hour in the day what would you do with it?



What’s inspiring you in life (in the industry) right now? 

I really like seeing the texture, details, and layers coming back into interiors.  This is happening in both modern and traditional spaces.  I think we are all ready for a lot more dimension after a long more minimal period.



Upcoming National Features in

Traditional Home (Oct 2019)

Interiors Magazine (Sept/Oct 2019)

Western Art & Architecture (Oct 2019)

Thank you Chad for sharing your creative spirit and talents with us. To learn and see more of Chad’s talents please visit his website

Are you a client of ours that would love to be featured on our blog?

Shoot us an email at to find out how.

Art Directing Your Projects

It’s interesting to me that some designers think they will hire a photographer and stylist for a shoot, tell him/her what shots they’re looking for, and then have the shots delivered exactly as they want with no more work involved. I always want to remind interior designers that this is your photo shoot, and that you need to art direct the day – exactly the same way that a shelter publication will when they shoot a project.

Why? Because it’s your brand, and you need it to be visually represented in the best way possible. A good photographer and stylist are going to make the rooms look good, but they may not understand your brand and what you really need from the shots

I like to work in a partnership with my clients where we’re both fully committed to getting the best visual representation of the project. And it always works best if the designer is fully engaged in the process from the minute we sign an agreement. So what does that mean?

First, you need to think about who you’re going to pitch the project to, or how the images are going to be used. Discussing this plan with your photographer will impact how the project will be styled and shot. You should also think about what the takeaways will be for the person reading the article or viewing the project.

You want to scout the project again, preferably with the photographer and a stylist. It’s a great time to think about how many shots you’ll need, how many horizontals vs. verticals, what accessories and florals you want, what the light looks like, and so much more.

Be realistic about the shoot and the amount of time it will take! Especially if there’s a room that needs the daylight and it’s going to start getting dark at 6pm. It’s so important to have a shot list ready to go. It will speed up everything and you can be sure that we don’t miss a crucial angle or room. 

So the number-one question I get from a designer is if they really need a stylist for the shoot. My answer is always yes! First, you’re too close to the project and may not be able to visualize how it needs to look for publication. Things look very different on camera.  A stylist can help move the shoot along, styling the next room while the designer and I are shooting the current space. It’s more efficient and more effective. Plus a good stylist will know what trends magazines are looking for regarding props, floral, etc.

And if you still need to be convinced – my styling team and I have a very HIGH publish rate when we work together and then pitch a project. Yep, VERY, VERY, HIGH. 

Finally, remember that you want to look at each shot as it comes up on the computer. We can make adjustments and changes then and there so we get the perfect photo. This is the time for you to make sure the shots are going in the right direction. 

If you are an involved art director in your own photo shoot, you’ll walk away knowing you got the shots you wanted, and they match your brand aesthetic.