Heart Home meets... Lucyina Moodie

I first came across the work of stylist Lucyina Moodie through one of her protégés - Marie Nichols - who I used to assist regularly. Marie was always singing Lucyina's praises and while I never had the pleasure of assisting her myself, it was wonderful to hear tales of their shoots together and learn of Lucyina's great wealth of experience and talent.

So when I interviewed Marie for Heart Home a few months ago and she again mentioned Lucyina, I just knew I had to get in touch and ask her to share her pearls of styling wisdom with us all...

{photography by Holly Jolliffe}

I was working as a temp and had to go and buy some clients some gifts from the Conran Shop. When I went in there was a film crew shooting an episode of the BBC programme Homefront. The crew was bustling around and I could see that everyone loved what they were doing. I watched from a far for a while and thought to myself that I may never get this chance again so I marched up to the one that I thought looked the most important and asked how I would go about getting his job? He gave me the production manager’s contact details and said they would give me a couple of weeks work experience. I left my awful temp job and worked eight weeks for free before getting a runners job. Eventually I became a stylist and then an art director. After five years I swapped BBC Television for BBC Worldwide publishing and joined the team at BBC Good Homes magazine as a contributing stylist. I realised then that I loved styling for photography much more than for TV. A year or so later I became a freelance interiors stylist. That was 12 years ago, how time flies…

{Natural Curtain Company, photography by David Brittain}

It is almost impossible to say. I think to be good at this job you have to constantly evolve and change your styles to fit in with the brief and the product and what the client wants too. It’s also important not to get too pigeonholed into one particular style.

I get great pleasure from working with lots of different styles. I can be a homespun, vintage queen in a country cottage with roses over the door one week and the following week be working in a monochrome open-plan space putting together simple contemporary cameos. In everything! It’s a cliché I know, but all around me. From stuff I see day-to-day, food, people, nature, films, exhibitions, everywhere and everything, all the time. I get huge inspiration from people that are passionate about what they do, and their passion and talent inspires me. I go to Origin every year and find seeing designer makers and crafts people really inspiring. I’m a beachcomber and collector of stuff, a pile of pebbles that my daughter calls treasure, or a bowl of acorns delights me as much as a visit to Liberty’s or Anthropologie! Crazy but true.

{Country Homes & Interiors, photography by David Brittain}

There have been so many! When I look at any of my images each one has its own story to tell. Shoots are never dull and often don’t go to plan. Shooting summer in the snow, child models running around in pretty summer dresses in freezing weather or wiring on leaves to bare trees in the winter for spring/summer features. My proudest moments are the three awards I won at the RHS Chelsea Flower show, it was so prestigious and wonderful to be a part of. It made me feel a little giddy working along side such professionals at the top of their game, also very inspiring.

The many front covers that I have done are also incredibly memorable, there is nothing like the pride you feel when you see your image on the front cover of a magazine in the newsagents, you want to nudge the little old lady next to you and say "I did that!"

{Cormar Carpets, photography by David Brittain}

De-clutter, have a change around. Paint an accent wall. Inject a splash of colour with a few scatter cushions. Mix things up. Don’t be afraid; you can always put it back to the way it was if you don’t like it. A beautiful product, inspiring photographer, extraordinary location, easy client, unlimited budget! It is all about the team. A great team makes for a fabulous shoot no matter what the brief or product is.

{Cormar Carpets, photography by David Brittain}

There are so many! I always look and see what Mary Norden is doing in Red magazine each month. Her work is fresh and innovative and always a joy to see. I also am a great admirer of Lesley Dilcock’s work.

I love to cook and food photography is a great inspiration to me. I remember seeing the Donna Hay magazine many moons ago for the first time and being bowled over by the photography and styling, it was a totally new way to shoot food at that time and so fresh and clean. I still love Donna Hay and Con Poulos as a team. I also follow an Australian blog called ‘What Katie Ate’ - beautiful, mouth watering photography.

{photography by Tim Young}

I love it all, my job continues to inspire me. When you get a good team together; a great photographer, a wonderful location, a creative client, beautiful products. When you find a quiet moment while putting a shot together and the light is just perfect and you look through camera and it all just comes together and works. It’s a thrill. And I really appreciate how lucky I am to do a creative job that I love. Don’t get me wrong, its extremely hard work and all consuming but every job is so different from the last; it never gets boring and constantly keeps me on my toes.