Inside EC Spotlight: Photographer Carol Reach

In addition to being an all-star mom, her southern charm and years of photography experience make her an invaluable addition to our team. Her images capture the heart and soul of our brand, which is why we felt she deserved a featured post on our blog- along with a Q&A to inspire all our fellow photographer friends!

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Q:  Carol! Can you explain just how and when you agreed to join the EC team!?

A:  Waaaay back in 2004, Erin realized her growing business would need professional photos for the website, marketing, etc.  Since I am married to Erin’s brother and was already working as a commercial photographer, it was natural for her to come to me when she needed product photos. We’ve always worked well together and have a great time and productive creative sessions, so as the business has grown bigger, I just keep shooting more and more.  Now, I shoot exclusively for EC, as well as shoot video and create stopmotion videos for them as well.

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Q:  What does your typical day-to-day look like at the office?

A:  I come in and set up for whatever product or campaign we have on the schedule for that day and then go with the flow of the creative team. It’s a collaborative process here with Erin and the amazingly talented designers, and we all go back and forth until we get the right vision and shot.  We have brainstorming meetings and spend a lot of planning and prepping.

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Q:  Do you have a favorite EC photoshoot/campaign that resonates with you?

A:  The Holiday 2014 “Auntie Claus” campaign will always be in my top favorites.   It involved EVERYONE. And by that, I mean everyone with a desk in this office and also my family and Mom! The work team spent endless hours creating the products, wallpapering the walls, and decking out the mantle and tree with the design of the season and voilà! we had the Jolly Jester (design) theme extreme! My mom happened to be visiting so she became team seamstress making Erin’s skirt, scarf & my daughter’s nightgown.   My husband brought the kids for the shoot so I could focus on the photography. We weren’t sure if my daughter would make the “naughty” or “nice” list that day (only a two year old!) but everyone cooperated beautifully and it turned out to be a ton of fun for all!

Q:  What inspired you to be a photographer?

A:  I was always creative when I was little: drawing, painting, & sewing with my mom and during my free time.  My dad taught me all about his camera and gave me my first one in the 2nd grade.  I won a photo contest in the 4th grade and that definitely sparked an interest in photography.  I kind of forgot about it for a while until my best friend took a photo class in high school and I thought, “Hey wait, I want to do more of that, too!” Looking back I can see that I took A LOT of photos over the years (way before iphones and Instagram). I just loved it and couldn’t get enough. When I went to college I majored in Fine Arts with a concentration in Photography.  When I moved to California for more school, I started shooting portraits and weddings, then on to commercial & products.

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Q:  What is the Erin Condren product you couldn’t live without?

A:  I LOVE my “Oh What a Week!” Schedule Pad for my busy family of 5, which I fill out weekly (corresponding to my rose gold, vertical LifePlanner™).  My kids love seeing our week’s activities.  I’m also an EC notebook junkie. I keep different ones for blog, marketing, video, etc. Hmm, I can’t say which product I love the most – they are all absolute necessities for keeping order around here!

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EC Nails: Matching Planner Manis!

Over the years, my obsession with nail art has grown- but it hasn’t always been this way! Believe it or not, even with my love for color, I used to keep my fingers bare. Yet I was so amazed by a photo I saw on Instagram by @willpaintnailsforfood that I simply had to give the whole nail art thing a go- and wow, am I hooked! Meghan, my Instagram nail artist muse, had created a fun and funky paisley design to match the cover of her LifePlanner™, and I was so inspired and intrigued!

For this year’s launch, I knew it was time to give some of my favorite covers a little nail art nod of approval. After all, what’s more fun than a matching mani & LifePlanner™ to make planning that much prettier?

I started with my all-time favorite shade, turquoise, then let my nail artist (who is a genius, by the way) go wild with gold foil! I love the way she used the negative, white space of the nail to accentuate the minimalist elegance of the luxe LifePlanner™ – it’s safe to say she “nailed” it.

The next planner-inspired mani I chose was meant to match the original rose gold metallic LifePlanner™. The look was really feminine and chic, and I knew the combo of rose gold and lavender background color would look lovely as a nail design!  

Now this is something I didn’t even know was possible: marble nails! How anyone discovered this is beyond me, but I’m so glad they did! It’s the perfect way to blend color and texture to create an effect that is as unique as it is beautiful- exactly what I look for in every design we create!

While it would be totally overdramatic to say that that “nail art changed my life,” it did make me realize what a world of fun and creativity was waiting at my fingertips! They may be tiny canvases, but I’ve come to see my nails as little artistic expressions of personality that deserve to be decorated and celebrated.

Show us how you’re matching your nails to your LifePlanner™, notebook or journal! by tagging us on Instagram! Who knows, it may just be this week’s #FanFriday challenge…

Color Guide to Your 2017 LifePlanner™

This year’s wash of watercolors in our colorful classic interior is arguably our prettiest palette ever! Not like I’m biased, or anything 😉 Seriously y’all, the monthly shades we selected coordinate perfectly with the seasons. Rich gemtones during the holidays, light & airy pastels for spring, & classic combos like Sapphire in July and Magenta in February round out a color scheme we’re crazy for!


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Now if these shades aren’t swoon-worthy, we don’t know what is! Shop 2017 LifePlanner™ and behold the beauty for yourself.

FROM CONCEPT TO COVER: DESIGN INSPIRATION!

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Inspiration is all around us! Our designs, both monthly covers and classic favorites, are always inspired by a blend of things. Sometimes I’ll see a fashion trend like rose gold, lace or butterflies and create a unique interpretation for the EC collection. I love to take photos of fashionable window displays or tear inspiration from a magazine and have creative collaborations with my fabulous design team.

Our very talented lead graphic designer, Aby, shared some of her favorite personal projects and how they go from an idea in her head to the cover of your LifePlanner™! I ambushed her over coffee last week and thought the community would love to know how she works!
 

Q: Aby! Do tell…what are some of your favorite patterns that you’ve designed?

A: I definitely have a soft spot for the watercolors. Hmm, so I’d say the new Watercolor Floral, Watercolor Shine, Butterfly and (non-watercolor) Lace!

Q: How do you go from an idea to a full-fledged design and how do you ensure that it’s on brand with the other products on the site?

A: After working here for almost 4 years, I have a strong sense of what direction we are looking to go with the brand based on what’s in style for the season and then I try to put my own twist on it. Butterflies were something that you were super passionate about and after seeing the awesome pictures of your kids hatching butterflies from 10 years ago, inspiration took flight (pardon the pun!) I took that idea and hand-drew the butterflies you see on the cover, but overlay them with a watercolor palette to make it a bit different.    aby inspiration 4 Q: Are you inspired by things in your own life that you see in these designs? A: I definitely don’t even realize how much certain things affect me. “Watercolor Shine” for example, has a specific color gradient that is strikingly similar to one of my favorite scarves. I didn’t look at that scarf and model it after the pattern per se, but one day when I was wearing it, I realized how much it had impacted me subconsciously when I went to design that cover.

 Q: What is your favorite part of your job?

A: Getting to work with such innovative people, doing something I love every single day and ending up with beautiful designs that I had a hand in creating that make thousands of people happy. It’s amazing!

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 Q: Finally, what layout of the LifePlanner™ do you use and which cover?

A: I have a Rose Gold Horizontal LifePlanner™ (I designed that layout as my ideal planner, so I HAVE to use it) with a Butterfly cover! Though I am loving our NEW April Watercolor Drops cover, shown above.

 

St. Patrick’s Day #tbt

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We are throwing it back to that time we filmed a silly Harlem shake video for our Youtube channel. Can’t believe that was 3 years ago!!

Notice the special (cardboard cut out) appearance by “the Biebs” in the background. I’ll be seeing J.B. this weekend with my daughter at Staples center!

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and green-filled St. Patrick’s Day full of good LUCK & love!

p.s. If you haven’t heard….you may just find some extra luck over on our site (hint hint it’s a SALE!)