We had the good fortune of connecting with Robin Zachary and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Robin, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I am a Prop Stylist and Educator. I have a passion for bringing beautiful objects together for photography and teaching others how to do it. I noticed that many women have a desire to work in creative fields yet they don’t always see the direct path ahead leading them to creative work from which they can make a living. They might have just graduated or had a successful career already and they need help figuring out which niche suits their lifestyle and goals. Some lack the confidence to go for it and need some instruction and support. The popularity of Social Media has cast a spotlight on Prop Styling as a business in itself and as a means to create imagery that promotes any other type of business or product. So I saw a need to explain how it all works from the ground up—the creative techniques and the business aspects—and stepped into my role as mentor to people all over the world by creating THE PROP STYLING EXPERIENCE®

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
After spending a significant chunk of years as Creative Director of Bridal Guide Magazine, where I styled and directed hundreds of bridal fashion and beauty shoots around the world, I felt drawn to the still life aspects of the wedding space—the food, the tableware, the flowers and decor—and decided to pursue prop styling. Overseeing a several hundred page magazine had been so rewarding but very tedious and challenging. I was relieved to take a step back and take cues from a variety of art directors and clients and work on so many different styling projects from videos to food and product shoots for magazines and brands. Using my creative brain rather than being the producer in charge felt like a better fit for me at this turning point in my life as I married my love of color, pattern, themes and narratives with shopping for props for photos and video, My personal work is my most expressive and through my teaching I bring others to the point of discovery within themselves. My goal is to teach others how to “see” rather than copy the latest trend. My proudest accomplishment is the release of my book STYLING BEYOND INSTAGRAM: Take Your Prop Styling Skills from the Square to the Street, due out in June. It has been my lifelong dream to write a book.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take my best friend on a food and shopping spree around New York City. We would visit spots both well known and under the radar. I love browsing around in my favorite shopping neighborhoods, Nolita in Manhattan and Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. Some of the shops I would visit would be: abc carpet and home, Michele Varian, RW Guild, Mud Australia, Collier West, EQ3 and West Elm for housewares and Saks Fifth Avenue, Allsaints, JCrew, Rag and Bone and Nilli Lotan for clothing. My curiosity brings me into Housingworks and other thriftshops for the unexpected unique finds. So many restaurants have closed during the pandemic, but I love Seamores for fish, Momoya for Japanese, Westville for All American and Souen and Butcher’s Daughter for vegan food.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Diane Forden, my Editor at Bridal Guide, who gave me the life changing opportunity and trusted me to be her Creative Director for 9 years.

Photographer Luciana Pampalone, with whom I’ve had a 20+ year creative collaboration that took us on journeys to many places in the Caribbean and around the country for fashion and beauty shoots for Bridal Guide and other magazines.

Website: www.thepropstylingexperience.com & www.robinzachary.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/robinzachary/

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/robinzachary

Twitter: www.twitter.com/robinzachary

Image Credits
Headshot: Chloe Crane-Leroux shot of plates: Victoria Pizzo all others: Chloe Crane-Leroux

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