On the morning of my photo shoot for 12 Small Things it was pouring rain. I was on the phone with my photographer, Mark Johann, to see if we should reschedule, and checking our model’s availability, when my daughter Olivia called me crying from her cell phone. She had just left the house to drive herself to school for the first time since getting her driver’s license, and bumped into the car in front of her at an intersection. When it rains it pours. Using another cliche, I told her to get back on the horse, and call me when she got to school. Checking the weather forecast I decided to go ahead with the shoot, as the model I wanted was traveling to Los Angeles later that week. I answered the door as my friend Margaret Barr arrived to help, and so began yet another busy day.

The model I booked, Chelsea Wendroff fromStars Model Management, is a beautiful young woman recently new to San Francisco from New York. Her mother is from the Dominican Republic and her father is of Russian decent, which makes for a very photogenic mix. After finishing our first shot inside our home in Bernal Heights, the rain stopped, the sun came out and we all headed outdoors to shoot 12 Small Things Spring/Summer collection on Bernal Hill, our little oasis among the urban sprawl. Mark had his friend Mario Parnell, a fellow photographer assisting, who donned us in Mar Y Sol’s hats from Madagascar to shade the jaunty crew from the blazing sunshine.

After a great session on the hill we headed down the other side to our third location at the Hillside Supper Club. The owners, chefs Tony Ferrari and Jonathan Sutton had kindly agreed to let us photographer there before their nightly dinner service. I had contributed to their Kickstarter fundraiser to help open their former pop-up restaurant in the former Cafe Cozzolino space. My husband and I have had a number of memorable meals there with Mark and Darcy Lee from Heartfelt ,who provides the floral arrangements for the restaurant, keeping it all in the hood.

While the guys set up the lighting for our next shots, we gals walked down the block to grab some lunch for everyone at Precita Park Cafe. The place was bustling for a Monday afternoon and we brought back delicious salads and sandwiches for the group to share. Fortified by our break, we handily shot my friend Gianna Driver’s collection of silk scarves from Laos and SERRV’s new recycled glass necklaces made by women in Mali, both great gifts for Mother’s Day. We finished with a shot at the bar of Smita Paul’s amazing polka dot shawl from Indigo Handloom, and headed back to the house to shoot Petel’s table runners from Mauritania in Africa. Waiting at home was Olivia, safely back from school having recovered from the morning’s fender bender. As my awesome photo team packed up to leave, we all exchanged our contact information, hoping to stay connected. I ended the day feeling very lucky to know so many inspiring artists and artisans from around the world through 12 Small Things, and to be able to live and work in such a great neighborhood on the Hill.


April 28, 2013 by Laurie Kanes