Finding creative luxe in everyday simple pleasures

Post by
Ruth Stephensen
Finding creative luxe in everyday simple pleasures

Juggling two lively sons and a career as a professional brand photographer has given Effie Gurmeza a jam-packed schedule. For Effie, striking the balance between work and family life has come about through careful planning and automating as much of her business as possible. Using tools to schedule and organize her workflow allows Effie to spend more time out of the office to enjoy outdoor adventures with her family.

A love of natural light has helped define Effie's bright aesthetic that favours minimalist compositions where the brand is always the hero of the shot. Her portraits and lifestyle images have an effortless and natural vibe to them where it becomes clear that she puts her subjects at ease.

Effie has shown her true versatility as both a photographer and stylist through working on multiple projects for Creatively Squared clients. She has demonstrated that she is a great all-rounder when it comes to subject matter, working on projects for bags, beverages, and even toddler nutrition products featuring her adorable son.

We had a chat with Effie to find out about her creative journey and learn what she wants to accomplish next.

There’s something about Effie

I've been passionate about photography for as long as I can remember, and now I get to do it as my full-time job! When I'm not creating brand imagery, I'm most likely taking care of my two rascally little boys or exploring around the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Effie and her rascally boys. Source: @effiegurmeza

I discovered Creatively Squared after Yna, an account manager, reached out to me after she found me on Instagram. She introduced me to the platform and I thought, why not join?! It's a great opportunity to work with larger brands that I may get connected with on my own.

Effie's amazing work for Samsonite. Source: Creatively Squared


A few of Effie’s favourite things

I would describe my personal aesthetic as clean and bright. My favorite type of images to shoot is for what I like to call "everyday luxury products," those things that most of us can afford, but don't need, like candles and cupcakes!

Blurring the lines between work and play

I think one of my favorite Creatively Squared projects so far was the first one I ever did for Alamos Wines. It resonated with me because it falls squarely into my favourite "everyday luxury product" category and I felt like it was some of my best work. I enjoyed the product so much that Alamos Malbec is now my go-to wine to grab for dinner parties!

Effie's Creatively Squared work for Alamos Wines. Source: Creatively Squared

Tools of the trade

I use a Canon 5D Mk iii and Sigma Art Lenses (my go-to is their 50mm). I do 99% of my editing through Adobe Camera Raw. I love working in my little daylight-filled studio with my fave backdrops from Replica Surfaces! They make setting up any scene super easy.

I love using planning and automation tools to help run and organize my business. One of my go-to pieces of software is the business management platform Dubsado. Using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform allows me to streamline client communications, bookings, payments, and more. I also use Planoly to plan and schedule all of my Instagram and social media posts meaning I can log off for a few days and still maintain my online presence.

Effie in her studio space. Source: Effie Gurmeza

My working style definitely depends on how much time I have. I prefer to brainstorm ideas and at least have a detailed shot list going into a shoot, but that doesn't always happen. Mostly I think you just have to start working and inspiration will come as you put in the discipline. But music and ambiance can help too.

Most of the time, it’s just me in the studio. But I do have a great group of girls who are kind enough to model for me often and connect me to more friends to model too. They are my secret to finding a diverse set of models.

What inspires Effie

I like following a variety of people for inspiration and so it's hard to nail down just one. But I do find Replica Surfaces tips helpful for styling small scenes and I also love seeing what Joanna Gaines is up to over at Magnolia because I find her inspirational from season to season.

Effie's Top Tips

  1. Find good natural light either from a window or cloudy sky
  2. Simplify the scene so your product takes centre stage
  3. Put in the practice and take the time to get it right

What's next?

I want to learn how to make anyone feel comfortable in front of the camera, no matter the shape of their body. My goal is to learn how to take the most flattering photos of them so that even if they always don't love the way they look, they love the photos I've taken of them.

Thank you Effie for sharing a little of yourself with us. You can follow along with Effie's creative journey on Instagram at her account @effiegurmeza

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