Photographer Liz Von Hoene Talks Wine and Whimsy

The acclaimed fashion photographer tells us her tips on entertaining at home and how a photo shoot and dinner party have more in common than you'd think.

Photographer Liz Von Hoene (pronounced “hay-nee”) is known for creating compelling images with a touch of playfulness for fashion clients such as Badgley Mischka, Kate Spade, Neiman Marcus, Stuart Weitzman and L’Oréal. She lives with two of her four children in Decatur, Georgia, and also spends time shooting photos in New York City and Los Angeles. She recently worked on a campaign for La Marca Prosecco that married the worlds of fashion and wine with her signature sense of whimsy.

What are the parallels between a photo shoot and a dinner party?

I host my shoots the same way I host a dinner party. I feel the need to be an exceptional hostess. I take care of my clients, and I want everybody to have a great experience, to walk away wanting to come back. I want all of the assistants and the talent to feel that they are part of it. I always bring in wine for my shoots. Everybody takes a moment to appreciate the opportunity and to celebrate the spirit of the shoot and each other.

“I host my shoots the same way I host a dinner party… I always bring in wine.”

Do you entertain much at home?

Liz Von Hoene / Photo by Meghan Mcneer
Liz Von Hoene / Photo by Meghan Mcneer

We have people over all the time. I love to cook. We always have great music. I love a good jazz mix. More than anything, I like to create a meal and let people go where they want. My home is set up with a lot of different areas. There’s a lot of outdoor seating. I love to grill salmon and flank steak. I love clean vegetables and big, garden-fresh arugula salads. Of course, I have Chardonnay on hand, but a lot of my friends drink Pinot Noir, so I serve that, and I’ll get a couple of bottles of Pinot Grigio, too.

What was the inspiration for the tableaux in the La Marca Prosecco campaign? 

They wanted to create different scenarios in which people would be celebrating with La Marca Prosecco. We created moments, whether it was poolside, getting ready for a night out, having a party, or a backyard with different yard games being played. There is always a bit of chaos, but also a vibrant life to each image. It was my job to take that vision and create the moment that includes the wink or magic. Let’s take the pool party. It’s about the quirkiness of the styling, the celebration of the moment. The model is taking a little skip, and you have a playful spirit, but we caught the moment that makes it feel stylized.

A sample of Von Hoene's work for the La Marca Prosecco campaign / Photo by Liz Von Hoene
A sample of Von Hoene’s work for the La Marca Prosecco campaign / Photo by Liz Von Hoene

Can you describe the “wink”?

It’s taking a moment and creating something unexpected that’s happy and has a good spirit. For me, the wink is something that will make you smile. It’s like a charm. Sometimes, these things are planned…. For the La Marca campaign, the creative director, Gillian Frey, said that the disruptive surprise equals the La Marca moment, so that accidental wink creates the perfect moment.

Have you ever gotten star struck on the set?

I worked with Beyoncé for L’Oréal, and that was fun. I was speaking with her as if we knew each other. We were just two women speaking, and she was really a darling. She was such an amazing spirit to capture, and we didn’t talk about work. I wasn’t star struck, but it took me by surprise how much fun the experience was.

Do you have a personal motto?

Yes, I do. It’s “Hey, hey, Chardonnay!”

Check out more from the world of Fashion & Wine!

Published on March 29, 2017
Topics: Entertaining Tips
About the Author
Mike DeSimone
Lifestyle & Entertaining Editor

Reviews Israel, other Asia and other Africa.

DeSimone is a spirits, wine, food and lifestyle writer who has traveled extensively in his journalistic pursuits. Most recently he co-authored the book Wines of the Southern Hemisphere (Sterling Epicure, October 2012). Email: mikeandjeff@wineenthusiast.net




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