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September 26, 2021 2 min read 1 Comment

A lot goes into curating a catalog – you’d be surprised how much of it we bring with us. 

“We scout locations, of course, a background that suits the theme of the collection,” Cheryl explained. “But as far as staging, the vast majority of what appears in our editorial photography are things that have been carefully selected, collected, or created over several months to really tell the story I want the collection to tell.”

From paintings to pieces of furniture, even vintage accessories that complement the collection, every detail is hand-selected, one-of-a-kind, and limited to the collection.

“Wall mounts had a strong presence in setting the Yellowstone scene,” Cheryl explained. “Vintage horns -- longhorns, elk horns, etc. -- on plaques were not only key to the vibe, but they’re also great for displaying things like necklaces, bandolier bags, and the like. It creates a dimension in the photography that adds an element of aesthetic interest to a type of shot we call a ‘laydown’, which means it features product, but no models. We did something similar with a row of cuffs on a vintage krill, same concept. Anyway, much to Audrey’s chagrin, I had a lot of luck finding amazing taxidermy mounts, I think we ended up with about a dozen!”

Roughly. And, not only do we have to purchase them (Audrey’s least favorite part), then we have to get them there (Jack’s least favorite part).

“I can’t tell you how many vans and Uhauls I have loaded and unloaded in my day,” laughed Jack Matusek, Cheryl’s son and prop manager extraordinaire. “It’s truly unbelievable the sheer amount of stuff we haul across the country to make sure we get photography that looks exactly how Mom envisioned. People would be amazed. It’s no wonder Audrey’s finally making her sell some of it -- have you seen our storage space?!”

He’s not kidding. We literally drove an enormous, authentic taxidermy buffalo head (“Buffy the Buffalo” from our showroom) all the way from Yoakum to Broken Bow, Oklahoma -- and it’s not even for sale! The things we do for the sake of the shot.

But it’s not always the size of the props, sometimes it’s the age, rarity, fragility.

“We haven’t broken as many things as you might imagine,” Jack said. “We’ve been doing this a while, we’re pretty prudent packers. But it does always make you a little nervous that everything will get from A to B and back in one piece. Mom tends to be drawn to things that are really unique, or really old, things that are one-of-a-kind and irreplaceable, so you really, really don’t want to ruin them. Like, say, handmade vintage moccasins; they’re not exactly ‘fragile’, but you snag the wrong string and all the beading could fall off. Or like those handmade drums that she’s really into using as end-tables lately -- I kept thinking, ‘With all the horns we have in this van, we’re bound to puncture one of those rawhide tops.’ But we made it; they’re all still intact.”

Yep, they’re all safe and sound back in storage or the showroom, and most are available for you to take home and set your own scene!

1 Response

Carol Stoneburner
Carol Stoneburner

September 27, 2021

I have always been intrigued by unique vintage/antique/old pieces of history from the West, especially beading. I must say, your take on packing those things is priceless. I can invision it. You need to do a forward…and backward for us all with packing and unpacking. Your determination to make it right for"mom" is so appreciated.

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