Post image for our december catalog photographer

get to know our amazing december catalog photographer, chrissy piper!

How did you first get involved with free people?
I had a friend who worked on the team that did in-store installations for Anthropologie. She mentioned that my work seemed perfect for Free People. Soon after that, I brought my book in to meet with Carrie (our videographer).  At the time I shot mostly music (my book had portraits of Cat Power, Evan Dando, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Paul Westerberg, etc.) so we sat there nerding out on music for a long time. Not long after they booked me for my first shoot :)

When did you know you wanted to be a photographer?
I’d say pretty early on. As a kid my Mom would give me her camera (without film in it) to walk around taking pictures. One day the camera stopped winding. When I went in to ask my Mom about it, she realized that there had been a roll of film in the camera. When the film came back from the lab, there were lots of photos of one trash can, shot from all different angles. She asked me what I was taking a photo of and my response– “I was waiting for Oscar to pop out.” So, I think wanting to be a photographer has always been inside of me.

What kind of camera do you use? Do you always have a camera on you?

The camera I use more than anything is my Leica M4. I love it and for me, nothing really compares. When shooting something that needs a quick turnaround or digital, I use a Canon Mark II or 5D Mark II.
Yep, I always have a Yashica T4 in my little bag!

Who are some of your personal favorite photographers?
There are so many! Always inspired by others– Robert Frank, Helen Levitt, David Bailey, John Heartfield, Sylvia Plachy, Tim Walker.

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the photographer at work, shooting our december book.

How was your experience shooting the Free People catalog?
I love shooting with the Free People crew. I feel like Doub (our creative director) and I share a really similar vision of the shoot and it’s just really great (and inspiring) to bounce ideas off of one another. We all worked really hard but had a great time doing it! I also love the girls that were casted for this shoot. They were both very confident as well as (naturally) beautiful.

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Is there a particular shot in the catalog that you love most?
I love the center photo of Martha standing in the road. She just looks so bad ass to me!

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How would you describe your personal style? Do you have a favorite item from our December catalog?
My “style” is pretty much Tom Boy with a few “girly” essentials! There were so many clothes (and boots) on this shoot that I wanted!!!

I can’t tell you how many times my assistant Autumn and I were like “I WANT THAT!” The red leather jacket Martha is wearing on the motorcycle is amazing as well as the black crotchet dress. Oh and I’ll take all of the boots in the catalog!!!


I loved your three records show and thought the whole concept was awesome! What are the three records that changed and/or inspired your life?

Thank you! The Three Records Zine has been like my baby for years so it means the world when people really get it.
Here are my records from the first issue:

Chrissy Piper 3 Rec Page (2)

Where do you live? What are your favorite things to do there?
I currently live in Los Angeles. Most of my time is spent in bookstores (Skylight and Family books) or the Pacific Ocean (surfing).

here’s some more of chrissy’s work:

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tomboy photographer into music, bookstores and surfing? a girl after my own heart :) check out her website here, and view our december catalog here.

Angela Datre -Dec 09, 2010, 12:23AM
Forgot how I first came across Chrissy's work years ago but ever since she has been an inspiration. This catalog was beautiful!
fp julia -Dec 08, 2010, 1:19PM
the trashcan story is one of the best things i've ever heard.

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Post image for A girl who loves crochet

Ever since I was young I’ve always been intrigued by crafty items and intricate detail. I remember the sensation of watching my Grandma and Mam knit… when the dark wintery nights drew in they used to set up in front of the fireplace with me cuddled under their arms, It was a relaxing, soft feeling watching them at work.

I used to stare at their hands moving so fast, fascinated with the pattern that was rolling from underneath the needles. Ever since, crochet has continued to excite me.

Can you believe the earliest evidence of crochet goes back no further than the 1800′s when it became popular in Europe.  During this period crochet was used as a less costly substitute to create the similar effect that lace has, and if you ask me… I would say the outcome is a little more endearing!

Crochet remained popular through the mid 1970, and then declined a little, but now it has made its way back into 21th century with a huge bang — now the technique is being used on runway shows and in new, fresh fashion forward ways that continue to impress!

Working at Free People is like heaven for me as the knit team here is so crafty, I often find myself drifting upstairs to investigate their new creations – they never disappoint!!

I am over the moon right now… we have just launched a BIG crochet story that was strongly promoted in our December catalog.  It’s a great look to invest in as it one of those old world charms that will never die!

kels -Dec 09, 2010, 2:21AM
speaking of... check out this authentic 1970s hand crochet poncho! http://www.etsy.com/listing/63947895/vintage-hippie-authentic-70s-boho-fringe
fionazhou201 -Dec 08, 2010, 8:48PM
Really causual and fashionable styles!

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Post image for december playlist: easy rider

if you aren’t familiar with the soundtrack to the film easy rider, it is probably one of the best compilations of classic sixties tunes out there. i couldn’t help myself from including some of the songs from it in this december playlist, inspired by our catalog, easy rider, the open road and freedom.


MusicPlaylistView Profile
Create a MySpace Music Playlist at MixPod.com

tom -Dec 08, 2010, 8:31PM
AWESOME PLAYLIST. You always have the best music on this blog.
Brittany -Dec 08, 2010, 10:11AM
Great songs! XO

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Post image for inspired by…easy rider

our team drew inspiration for the attitude and styling of our december catalog from the classic sixties film easy rider, starring peter fonda and dennis hopper as bikers traveling the american southwest in search of freedom.  the film explores the counterculture of the 1960s and alternative lifestyles that rose out of it, and in its optimistic, ambitious beginning and tragic end, seems to mirror the counterculture movement itself.

the american southwest, with its vast open landscape, represents an unexplored frontier full of possibilities.  it is this essence that has drawn so many to “go west” in search of freedom and a new life, and what drew our team to the dramatic beauty of utah. the expansive desert, massive rock formations and majestic canyons, the southwestern US landscape is some of the only land in the country that looks untouched by man. the only backdrop suitable for the themes of exploration, independence and of course, freedom.

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to capture the attitude and style of easy rider our team used hard-edged denim, leather and suede to toughen up girly lace and crochet. denim on denim, paisley scarves, western shirts, suede hats, biker boots, fringe and that amazing red leather jacket ooze with the easy rider spirit. oversized utility bags complete the look of a girl gone wandering, seeking adventure and captivated by the beauty that unfolds before her eyes.

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for more feminine inspiration there’s sixties icon marianne faithfull in the film the girl on a motorcycle, in which she plays a woman who leaves her husband and takes off on her bike to visit her lover, her motorcycle representing freedom and escape.

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this trend has left me longing to take a motorcycle ride up the california coast with the sun on my face and wind in my hair…

shop easy rider here.

caroline -Dec 07, 2010, 10:25PM
RED LEATHER JACKET! yes please :) and ill take it with me on that southwest motorcycle tour your talkin about! love it!
fionazhou201 -Dec 07, 2010, 10:19PM
Freedom is soul free.

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Post image for fun giveaway on twitter!

we’re doing another giveaway – this time on twitter!

a lot of you have been asking about the amazing saddle bag on the back of the motorcycle on the cover of our december catalog.  this one of a kind piece was made in india, using the same antique quilts used in many of our store displays and embellished with studs and leather fringe.  this bag has seen some wear and tear but that just makes it look even cooler! can you imagine having this on the back of your bike?!?

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to win all you have to do is head over to our twitter page and tweet a story or memory involving a motorcycle @ us with this link: http://ow.ly/3kGYq. if you don’t already, make sure you follow us on twitter so you don’t miss out on fun stuff like this!

i thought this one was pretty cute:

“im secretly in love with my boyfriend’s motorcycle & i pretend to ride it while it’s stationed in the garage.”

the winner will be selected at random on friday. good luck!

fp julia -Dec 08, 2010, 10:19AM
i guess maybe it's a bag/case? haha...the interior is a sturdy plastic.
Cat horn -Dec 08, 2010, 8:20AM
Those are absolutely awesome! I really wish I had a motorcycle to put them on :-)

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Post image for some sparkle for your monday

a couple of weeks ago i popped into our web studio and found this scene: stunning model elsa hosk striking pose after flawless pose, and our stylist and studio intern crouched on the floor scooping up fistfuls of glitter and tossing them into the air. just another day at the office!

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they were shooting our december lookbook which is up online now and i suggest you go see – i swear they keep getting better and better and this one is perfection. see it here.

fionazhou201 -Dec 06, 2010, 11:09PM
The model girl lools like a Barbie doll!

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Post image for free people december catalog

our december catalog was shot at the amangiri resort in utah by photographer chrissy piper, featuring models martha hunt and izzy marshall.  shades of brown and rust to highlight the earthy landscape with pops of turquoise, and delicate crochet and lace roughened up with biker boots and suede. the catalog was inspired by easy rider attitude and freedom of the open road and as i look through its pages i can’t help but hear the plucking of guitar strings and neil young’s voice…

“somewhere on a desert highway, she rides a harley davidson, her long blonde hair flyin’ in the wind, she’s been runnin’ half her life, the chrome and steel she rides, colliding with the very air she breathes…”


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view the entire catalog online right here!

fp julia -Dec 07, 2010, 4:10PM
thanks guys! we love this catalog a lot too :) vanessa- the photographer was chrissy piper, http://www.chrissypiper.com/ you can get her contact info on her website. she is awesome :) lu - yes, just the two models- the brunette is izzy marshall and the blonde is martha hunt :)
Lu -Dec 07, 2010, 3:58PM
There were only two different models in this catalog right? What is the name of the brunette? She is gorgeous!

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Post image for monday quote

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images from our december catalog shoot in utah.

supergirl -Dec 07, 2010, 3:38AM
Yes, the sentence is very philosophical. It is true. All the things in our minds will become memories when we are old.
Tiffany -Dec 06, 2010, 11:45AM
Beautiful quote. Free international shipping again please!!!! ASAP :-) PLEASE? <3

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Post image for holiday getaways – lou

lou would be in her element at a ski resort where she can snowboard to her heart’s content, and one of the best places for winter activities is lake tahoe. we love squaw valley – which is also where the wanderlust yoga and music festival takes place. lou could stay at the squaw valley lodge where she can ski right out onto the mountain. when she gets tired, she can relax in the outdoor hot tub and then cozy up by the fire in an armchair with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book… even lou needs to indulge herself every once in a while, and for that there’s a fireside indoor spa!

other activities that lou will love can be found at high camp.  a scenic ride up the mountain in the squaw valley cable car and she can enjoy ice skating, snow tubing and moonlit snowshoe tours, all with panoramic views of lake tahoe and the high sierra.

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for more info on squaw valley click here. the website is referring to this past month as “snowvember” because they’ve already gotten eleven feet of snow – and counting!

Keri -Dec 04, 2010, 6:19PM
squaw valley is only 3/4 hrs from me and I first went in summer when I was 17 and even then it was magical and have been dying to go back sense...I <3 tahoe!!!!
mary ann -Dec 04, 2010, 3:49PM
luve every thing

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Post image for dispatches from doub

one of our most inspiring fp girls, our creative director, has started a twitter! follow her to get the updates on her day’s activities from lunch to xmas tree decorating :) i’m so excited, i always wanna know what she’s up to!

prop shopping for our next vintage loves shoot!

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propped out!!

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my pride and joy!

follow doub’s twitter here!

whitt hanshaw -May 13, 2011, 10:26PM
she is my sister , i know yall are jealous , you should be ...
Jamie -Dec 06, 2010, 11:04AM
She needs her own blog too!! ;-)

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Post image for office style – twins!

this is actually pretty wild – these are our two web merchandisers, who maaayyyy be spending a little too much time working together, because they came in today wearing almost identical outfits! printed maxi skirts, boots, black sweatshirt/sweater and vest, one fur, the other with fur trim on the hood… and while you can’t see it in this photo, they are both wearing sarah lewis bullet shell necklaces! great fashion minds think alike :)

fprebecca -Dec 04, 2010, 7:22PM
Hi Sarah- I found my skirt in a vintage store in Brooklyn :)
Sarah Mak -Dec 03, 2010, 8:32PM
Hey!! To the girl on the right... I have a tapestry from Mexico that looks EXACTLY like that skirt!! Can you tell me where you got it??

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Post image for a gift we love

i’m slightly obsessed with these booties we have right now by gypsy 05. gypsy 05 is a southern california company started in 2005 by israeli brother and sister duo osi and dotan. their line is largely inspired by culture and colors – these booties are inspired by south american handmade booties that have been reinvented with modern life and fashion in mind. we have two styles, the gretta over the knee sock and the chevron tall sock boot. they’re a hybrid of knit slippers and boots, so you can wear them whether you’re lounging around at home or running errands in the city – for someone like me who would love to wear my slippers outside, they’re perfect :) the sock portion is made of 100% organic knit cotton and the soles are biodegradable rubber, keeping true to gypsy 05’s green state of mind.

these would be an amazing gift – hint hint ;) i also think it would be a really cute idea to double their purpose and use them as stockings, filling them with little trinkets on christmas morning!

i want to wear the gretta over the knee sock with the patchwork chemise on christmas morning, then pull them on over skinny jeans with a chunky sweater and hat to go shopping!

Dragon Fruit -Dec 02, 2010, 11:14PM
this is so cute! i love the outfit you put together and the booties are adorable.
Taylor -Dec 02, 2010, 9:32PM
too bad they are so expensive...

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