LIZ VON HOENE and Rebecca Weinberg are world-class creatives — seasoned artists of high fashion photography and styling. Their lives and careers were spent circulating major cities around the world and making their homes in Miami, New York and Atlanta.
Simply put: The partners’ lives have been a high-octane rush of imaginative adrenalin.
Von Hoene, a shooter of ads for clients like Neiman Marcus, L’Oréal and Dove — and a creator of magical, high-fashion photographic moments for Harper’s Bazaar and countless others over the past 30 years — describes what she brings to her art.
“I have an underlying sensibility, or the ‘Liz wink,’ with a layer of optimism,” the photographer notes of her trademark. “It has kept me creativey alive and a healthy shooter for 30 years.”
For Weinberg’s part, she is an Emmywinning fashion stylist and costume designer with Sex and the City, among her other enviable credits.
Of the pair’s work, the stylist describes, “We want to bring alive the imagination— to bring it into context and unaffected.” It’s a cool description that clearly comes from someone who styled Carrie Bradshaw.
Together, the artists have mixed and married their work throughout the years. As Weinberg describes every carefully considered moment caught on frame: “A quiet face could lend a fine art appeal … a moment you can’t get somewhere else.”
But whatever aesthetic or vibe they choose, the stylist notes, “Mix in the wardrobe, the body language, the connection between the talent and the lens. It’s considered and intentional.”
A changing frame of reference
At this point in time, Weinberg and Von Hoene are shifting their artform and their lives to meet the expansive yet pared back spirit of the times—in a post-pandemic digital age that invites new ways of shooting and thriving.
Whereas the pair once worked out of Von Hoene’s photography studio, FIG in Atlanta’s King Plow Arts Center, with most of their work on location in New York or Miami, this year has offered a new creative freedom.
“Organic is how we roll,” Von Hoene says, smiling. Weinberg adds, “We don’t back ourselves too tightly into a corner. Photo, stylist, talent—it’s a triangle. Liz and I have an idea, but we might shift it if it doesn’t feel quite right.”
Today, the pair makes those shifts and slight adjustments in an environment that invites exploration.
Their new studio is in the Decatur townhome they renovated this past year—one of 8 DECATUR LIVING Fall 2023 three homes they’ve purchased to keep, not flip. “We took it from cookie-cutter to modern Victorian townhome,” Von Hoene says.
The fee simple townhome with no HOA allowed the partners to recreate their new home-studio with few restrictions—a situation that fit well within the workspace ethos of 2023.
“When we first got the house, we called it the Ugly Duckling,” Von Hoene muses. “But now we call it the Black Swan.”
Alongside top area professionals, the creative duo had a hand in the home’s renovation. No surprise, Von Hoene notes, “We’re really great at making a home beautiful.”
The Black Swan’s lawn was morphed into an elegant and slightly funky affair with the help of L.F. Saussy, a prized local landscape designer who’s been on board for each of Weinberg and Von Hoene’s home projects.
Of the three properties in their portfolio, the newcomer is the one they’re calling home—and studio. The new abode is reminiscent of homes in Brooklyn and London.
“It’s about reinventing ourselves, about not being afraid, and collaborating,” Weinberg says of the shift in their work space and lives. “It’s how we take control of our destiny.”
Curating Chapter 2
The dual functionality of the new property, now a re-envisioned standout with an eclectic red mahogany front door, is instantly apparent.
Step onto the tiger mat at the door, and walk inside to a tiny reception area. Turn left and behold the Window Box, space with a fabulous bay window and a disco ball fixture.
Originally a dining room, the Window Box Studio as it’s now called, has become a creative magnet for shoots . . . one the pair recognized as such at the very start when they first saw the property.
Standing in the Window Box, Von Hoene holds out her arms to showcase the closeness and intimacy of the space. As she does this, she describes how it comes alive with subjects on shoot days, a back light and fill light, different colored papers for use on the walls and strobe lighting gear.
strobe lighting gear. “Sometimes I shoot from right here in the hallway,” the photographer comments.
Travel down the corridor, and there’s an open kitchen space that doubles as a station for hair and makeup, with a powder room adjacent. Behind the kitchen counter hairand-makeup hub is Weinberg’s wardrobe station and space for jewelry.
“We have a whole level for props and furniture,” Weinberg adds.
Just steps from the wardrobe station is a modern-luxe couch for people and parents (the creative duo loves to work with kids) to hang out during shoots, which can take anywhere from 4.5 hours to an entire day, depending on clients’ needs.
“The whole experience is curated,” Von Hoene explains.
The experience, as it turns out today, is very important to the photographer-stylist team, because they are oftentimes working with everyday subjects as well as wellknown talent.
“We find inspiration in being the creators and in having complete creative control,” notes Von Hoene. “After such strong, active careers for such a long time, this is a really nice shift for us.”
In their new setup, they no longer require a crew unless they’re on location. Self-supportively, they produce, light and shoot. And when their children come to visit (now adults who once went through the Decatur school system), they have a built-in crew of creatives to help.
At the time of this interview, Von Hoene’s daughter, a makeup artist, was visiting from London.
In her 30s’ when her career began, people told Von Hoene she couldn’t be a fashion shooter and live in Atlanta as part of her mix. But guess what?
“We did it,” Von Hoene declares, while Weinberg interjects, “Don’t listen to what people say you can or can’t do. We find our own space.”
The partners had babies in their previous lives (four for Von Hoene and one for Weinberg), worked throughout their pregnancies and now continue to thrive in a creative whirlpool that includes their home of Decatur.
“This is meant to be for us,” Von Hoene remarks. “And we’d like to continue to build more work and grow.”
Today, the couple is fulfilled by fielding each client’s individual requests – in a 2023, new world setting where they are in complete creative control, offering a thoughtful, signature approach. Ultimately, they create purposeful content that reverberates with a post-pandemic energy and relevance.
“We’re systematically collaborating, even in the moments when we’re not shooting,” Weinberg muses.
As the stylist eternally envisions street style, mixing it with a laid-back and cinematic Wes Anderson vibe, the photographer is concepting multiple images which relate to a theme: storytelling at its heart. And in the collaborative process, the duo continually crafts a common thread they pull through all their work.
“It could be wardrobe, color or lighting . . .” muses Von Hoene. But no matter the element, they’re willing to change course in the flicker of a shutter if it means capturing magic the day of the shoot.
Together, they are curating the next captivating chapter in a creative climate that, as always, includes Decatur.