Dietlind Wolf @ The Hive, Berlin

Saturday, June 15, 2013

**This post was going to be part of my recap post back here but I just couldn't bring myself to lump it all together.**

As soon as I was able in the lead up to The Hive I signed up to join Dietlind Wolf's styling class as my chosen intensive workshop on the second day. I'm not a big consumer of European magazines - I've given up reading French monthlies and internationals are still quite expensive - so the extent of Dietlind's work that I'd seen was limited to what she posts on her blog and whatever a Google Image search conjured. But I had devoured and adored all the eclectic and creatively hand-made images I saw. And god knows I need help in the styling department. So I was thrilled that it was not yet full and I got a place.

As we all piled into the room where the workshop was to happen Dietlind was busy laying out all her wonderful things collected whilst on journeys all over the world and her hand-made ceramic bowls (bottom image). When she finished and stood off the the side facing us the room quietened - you could've heard a pin drop on the carpet - everyone was completely captivated. Dietlind started by speaking of her education in visual communications and her early career in textile design in Milan. Disenchanted with the fashion industry producing "brothers and sisters" of more famous designs, she moved home to Germany and, at the advice of a friend, announced she was to be a prop stylist. Despite this announcement it took seven years before she felt she could actually call herself one. 

Then Dietlind shared the most heartbreaking stories of not receiving the right recognition and credit for her work. In those days, and sometimes even now, the "esteemed" photographer took all the stylists rights (read: and good chunk of money) away as soon as he hit the shutter button on his camera - "Click!" - and like that all the ownership of your hard work was gone and was now the property of the photographer. Her tales were so crushing to listen to.
But from hardship comes lessons learned, and now Dietlind is also an accomplished photographer (although she waited 13 years this time before she called herself one!) and primarily produces all shoots herself to be sure she is the rightful owner of her work.

After telling us her story she then went through her props, describing to us their different uses and value, how to hand-make "undergrounds" and piece them all together. She then asked her little, captivated audience if we'd like to break up into groups and do some styling of our own, or, watch while she put something together - unanimously everyone asked her to do it. A little thrill went through the air we all realised we were about to watch a magician perform magic, but with no smoke or mirrors; simply with just beautiful talent.

She showed us how she colour matches her props, how to build a scene and how to best capture it on camera. While her technique was easy to follow, you could tell that most of what she does comes from within, that every decision is done with feeling and while hanging onto every word and scribbling down everything that left her mouth can teach you the basics it can't teach you that flawless style that makes each stylist perfect in their own way. But, from now on, I'll try a little harder and cleverer. 
Danke schön Dietlind xx

Dietlind promised to finish the scene she created at the conference on her blog which she has posted here. She's now promised to finish the story, so stay tuned...

No comments :

Post a Comment