Yeshen Venema


Workshops, events, the shoot highlights, locations and behind the scenes stories from Photographer Yeshen Venema.

Client Feature: Byron & Gomez

Following our studio shoot with this talented duo wanted to hear more about how they work. We asked a few Qs and they graciously wrote back, read on...

How and when did Byron & Gomez come into being?

Charles and I met whilst studying furniture-making at Williams & Cleal Furniture School in Somerset. We never really discussed making a business together it just happen naturally. We both share a passion for craft and we both enjoy designing and making furniture, it was just right.

In their Somerset studio. Photo: Together and Sunspell

In their Somerset studio. Photo: Together and Sunspell

Your furniture pieces are beautiful and so perfectly made. Tell us a bit about your design process and inspiration.

We very much enjoy designing together, often we start by each of us designing something on our own to then give each other input to improve or change the designs. Sometimes in the design process we reach an impasse where we both prefer our own direction for the design and are not willing to compromise, this can sometimes stall a design for weeks until we eventually find a third way that we are both happy with and is always better than something either of us would have come up with on our own.

Penumbra Sideboard

Penumbra Sideboard

Furniture is not an easy product. What is the thing you love most about being furniture designer/makers? What do you like the least?

We love furniture and the freedom of being able to explore our designs through making is what keeps us interested, the more we make and learn about woodworking the more we expand our possibilities in designing. Hand-made furniture is not an impulse buy and we admit that our biggest challenge is selling it.

Patria Cabinet. Shot at our London studio. Styling by Mugdha Sapte.

Patria Cabinet. Shot at our London studio. Styling by Mugdha Sapte.

As a duo are there pros and cons of working together?

Absolutely, Charles and I are good at very different things so we compliment each other. We get along and we are very good friends so working together is always a fun adventure for us, we share all the highs and lows of being self employed. Cons will probably be that sometimes we can get on each others toes as we live and work together.

Click below to view some behind the scenes images from the shoot.

Do you have differences of opinions?

Yes, frequently. Most of our disagreements are about designs, its the one place where we are very stubborn.

How do you resolve these during the design and making process?

Whenever we have a disagreement about a design that we cant immediately reconcile, we normally put it to one side to pick up on a later date or we come up with a third option that we can both agree on.

You came to us all the way from Somerset! Thank you. Why did you choose to work with us?

We met Yeshen through the Crafts Council’s Hothouse program which is a business mentoring programme for creative businesses. Yeshen did a talk about photography, specifically how to use your phone to have beautiful photos for social media. We followed his work on Instagram and have always admired his photography and style.

Have you done a shoot like this before? What were you expecting from the shoot?

We have never done a shoot like this. We expected to come out with beautiful photos that showed the value of our handcrafted furniture and we got so much more than that. Yeshen and Mugdha did such a great job that we have redesigned our website and have lifestyle photographyfor publications. Also we had a wonderful time at the studio.

Round - About Side Table / Marble Top. Styling by Mugdha Sapte.

Round - About Side Table / Marble Top. Styling by Mugdha Sapte.

How did you prepare and plan for the shoot? Do you have any tips for other makers?

One thing that really helped us was Pinterest, we knew the style we wanted to use for the shoot and Pinterest was a great tool to share this with Mugdha and Yeshen.

You guys had some amazing props and accessories! They really made a difference. Where did you source them from?

We have been working with Foster & Gane who are an antique furniture and art dealer and they where happy to share with us some very unusual and beautiful pieces and objects to help made the shots more interesting. We notice how rugs are such an essential part to furniture shots, they really made a difference for this shoot.

How was your experience of working with us? How did you find the whole process?

Yeshen and Mughda where very professional and we felt they understood the style and quality of the photography we needed from the start. They where fun to be with and over all we will love to work with them again.

We love how the images have transformed your website. It looks fantastic. Do you feel you have achieved what you wanted? How and where else will you be using the images?

We have redesigned our website and the new photography has made a huge difference to how we are showcasing our work.  We have already prepared and shared a press release for magazines like Elle Decoration and Home & Gardens. We have use the photos as well for flyers and most of all social media.

Have you had any feedback about the photos? How has it made a difference?

We have had some feedback and it has all been very positive. We where recently at an exhibition and we notice how lifestyle photography helps people visualise our work in their homes.

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