I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I will always have a soft spot for the wonderful City by the Bay, but one thing I had never really planned on was the chance to work in this stunning city. I left home to study photography and business in Ohio and Italy, and then picked up and moved to New York to follow my dream of being a photographer, but even after all of that I never expected that I would be lucky enough to have clients in my hometown.
When I made the move last fall to go out on my own I started considering the possibility of exploring business options on both coasts, but I wasn’t completely convinced that there would be any potential clients to support that decision. However I was proven wrong when I decided to attend a couple of the apparel shows and was introduced to several San Francisco designers that were creating beautiful work. This discovery prompted me to begin exploring and eventually actively searching for new Northern California designers, and it was in this frame of mind that I found Saffron Rare Threads.
Saffron Rare Threads is a San Francisco based (designed and produced) line masterminded by Priya Saraswati, a former investment banker from Toronto, who now designs this incredible line out of the back room of her multi-line, Embarcadero One boutique. Her line is intelligent, classy, and extremely sexy. I remember looking at her website the first time and getting excited at the possibilities of how I would photograph her designs . Working with her on this project and along side her during production was eye opening not only to learn about how she became involved in fashion but also hear about her plans for the line and the direction that she is moving in as she continues to evolve. Working in a visual candy store is also a side perk.
A few months after our initial meeting I got the call to submit an estimate and when the email came in saying that it had been accepted I was over the moon. I did most of the production from New York, but ran into issues finding a suitable location. When I arrived we fleshed out ideas for the location and the more I asked around the further we seemed to be from what we were hoping for, until we discovered the Steinhart Hotel. The Steinhart was the “guest house” and personal appartment of Ignatz Steinhart (1836 – 1917), the banker and entrepreur who is also know as the benefactor to San Francisco’s Steinhart Aquarium. The building was completed in 1910 and is a magnificently luxurious building with fantastic character.
Included here are some of my favorite images from this shoot. I would like to take a moment to thank the staff of the Steinhart and Personality Hotels for being so kind, helpful, and accomodating to us throughout the shooting day and the entire planning process. I would also like to thank the staff of Saffron Rare Threads, as Priya allowed me to borrow one of her assistants at points during the shoot and for allowing me to excicute the final production touches in the boutique’s back room. Another huge thank you goes out to our wonderful model, Ashley Jones (JE Models) and our incredible hair and makeup artist Tyress, they were troopers, consumate professionals and in general and all around joy to work with. They were all instrumental to making this shoot and it was a pleasure to have the chance to work with them. So please if you are ever wandering around downtown San Francisco, take a moment and wander into Saffron Rare Threads, I promise you won’t be dissappointed.