Gwen is currently Art Director at Banana Republic with a focus on brand and marketing photography. During her 15 years with Gap Inc., she’s worked as senior fashion photographer overseeing on-figure photography produced in-house for Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta, art directed for, and is currently art director for Banana Republic, directing photo shoots for marketing and social media.


1.) What was your very first job?

When I was 15, I got my first job selling hot dogs at a concession stand in a park near my house. I think I lasted two months at best.


2.) Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails. I began my career as a photographer so my art direction for Banana Republic focuses on brand & fashion photography.

I work on photo shoot concepts based on marketing strategy, determining how to best achieve our creative objective, directing on-set photo shoots and finally post-production direction.


3.) How did you discover that the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? What was there train of events that brought you to where you are today?

After graduating from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in history, I found myself unhappily working at an insurance company just to pay the rent. One day I was at an artist friend’s house talking about our careers and futures and he asked, “If you could be or do anything in the world, what would it be?” Having a bit of photography experience in my past, my answer was that I’d like to be a National Geographic photographer. He replied “There’s one of the best photography schools in the country right here in Santa Barbara.” Shortly thereafter I signed up for classes at Brooks Institute of Photography.


4.) In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant? 

To stay inspired, I periodically shoot personal photo projects with colleagues. I love the people I work with so it’s exciting and rewarding to collaborate on these creative projects. They remind me of why I went into photography…the thrill of capturing beautiful images.


5.) If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation it required, rather than its recognition or industry “success,” what would it be? 

Lately I’m proud of the still life I’ve been shooting and art directing for Banana Republic.  I’m super thankful that our Creative Director tells me to “shoot what I’m inspired by” each season!


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