ABOUT COURTNEY WATKINS

Courtney Watkins

…is a wardrobe stylist based in Atlanta.  She has sixteen years of print and film production experience in advertising, editorial, corporate, and scripted entertainment.  Courtney comes to styling with a love for design and a background in fine arts and commercial photography.  It is her strong respect for concept, her wit, and her creativity that set her work apart.  Those qualities have earned her a broad range of advertising, commercial, editorial, and broadcast clients like Nike, Coca Cola, AT&T, Red Bull,  People Magazine, TBS, and Discovery Channel .  FULL CLIENT LIST

Background

Sports and the arts have always been a big part of Courtney’s life. She spent countless hours at various sport practices and games: basketball, soccer, track, swimming, horseback riding, and summers spent in the gym, at AAU basketball tournaments, or water skiing.   Courtney’s  art and design foundation began in high school studying four years with Nelle Elam.  With a scholarship in hand, she pursued painting and drawing at University.  She received a BA in Fine Art where her last undergraduate studio class was Black & White Photography. Courtney caught the photo bug and was hooked.

After graduating from University, she taught high school art and continued to pursue photography learning alternative photo processes and mixed media techniques. Wanting a more creative and collaborative profession, Courtney applied and was accepted to Portfolio Center’s commercial photography program. Portfolio Center’s Intro to Styling class piqued her styling interests; however, it was the hours spent in-studio with the 4 x 5 camera that consummated her love for styling. Styling was a perfect platform for her creativity, resourcefulness, and strong work ethic.

After Portfolio Center, Courtney began her freelance career and has never looked back.  Courtney has taught styling classes to commercial photography students at both Portfolio Center and Creative Circus, competed in triathlons and marathons and is currently renovating and living in a 1917 craftsman bungalow with Mr. Wonderful and her old yellow dog, Oliver.

On Collaboration

Courtney works well with creative teams. She collaborates with photographers, directors, creative directors, and brand managers to develop visual solutions consistent with marketing strategy and brand standards across multiple platforms; print, commercials, live events, catalog, product launch, web, and celebrity spokespeople.  She translates production briefs, scripts, and verbal direction into definable visual treatments by establishing demographic, character, style, location, color palette, POV, time of day, mood, materials, texture, or special effects.  If there are conflicting opinions between client and creative during collaboration, Courtney remains diplomatic.

“My goal is to successfully tell the client’s story while staying under budget and on schedule. I contribute opinions and ideas that will best serve the production.  If an idea is rejected, it’s not personal.  If an idea is used, success belongs to the creative team.  Also, there’s an appropriate time, place, and way to address concerns during a production.  When lights are up and client is standing-by,  I quietly share any concerns with the AD, producer, or photographer so they can decide how to proceed.”

CLIENT RECOMMENDATIONS

Talent Support

Courtney has dressed talent of all ages, shapes, sizes, medical conditions and celebrity status.  She handles all talent with respect and appreciation. Professionalism and privacy is a priority when working with Celebrity talent.

“Talent’s time is extremely valuable.  Every second on set is negotiated, booked and painstakingly scripted and story boarded.  I don’t want to waste a second of that time and I never want the camera to wait longer than scheduled on the callsheet.  With proper pre-production and assistance, wardrobe is organized and prepped and ready to dress talent so the director has as much time as possible on-set.

When handling celebrity talent, I keep it professional and respect their privacy.  I don’t ask for autographs or photo-ops, because I’m there to support them not to distract. Talent is expected to be ON so I keep both my wardrobe room and conversations respectful and light.  I read the talent’s demeanor and follow their lead — empathy and emotional intelligence is critical. At the end of the day, I always receive a gracious hug, handshake, or a ‘Pleasure working with you’ from the talent.  They appreciate my professionalism and my efforts to create a comfortable environment for them to WORK.”

Humility, hustle and humor are important — and tape — lots of Toptick tape. 

Inspiration

Courtney finds inspiration in fine arts, craftsmanship, and her environment.

“As a stylist, my job is about details; visual minutiae.  If my eyes are open, I am scouting my environment, film, fine art, fashion, and communication arts for inspiration. I love museums, galleries, and exploring new places.  Also, reverse engineering inspires me. Taking something apart and revealing the way it works gives me a better understanding and appreciation for the craftsmanship, materials, and processes.  I’ll deconstruct a garment for the pattern pieces or take apart a light fixture and use the parts to make a new fixture.  Deconstruction sparks creativity and strengthens problem solving skills which are both crucial in turning inspiration into realization.”

 

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