Class Preview- Portrait Photography 101 with Sarah Deragon & Jesse Freidin



from Sarah Deragon:

On Sunday, July 27th I have the great honor of teaching a Portrait Photography class with my good friend and super talented photographer, Jesse Freidin.

We thought you should hear directly from us why you should come, so here goes:

Jesse says:
In this class I’ll be providing students with very important, yet easily understandable, technical information. Building a strong understanding of camera basics is the most fool-proof way of improving one’s photography- that means understanding what aperture is and how to use, where the shutter speed and ISO knobs are, and how to seamlessly move through all these settings with ease. Photography is available to everyone, but the way in which you understand it’s complexities will make you a better photographer, with a true style. I love teaching with Sarah at Makeshift because we both get to share our passion for portraiture, and get students excited and confident about creating their own portraits. Also, we laugh a lot and balance each other out quite well- I think it makes for a wonderful learning environment for our students.



Sarah says:

I’m excited to be teaching this class again because I love photography and I am especially fond of taking natural light portraits. Taking portraits of people can be extremely daunting and I am going to be sharing my top tips and tricks to make folks feel comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera. We will address issues like: what do I do with my hands, how to build rapport with your subject, how to position and pose someone without making it look contrived and how to get a genuine smile out of your person. I love teaching this class with Jesse because he’s a technical genius and has a wonderful approach to showing you the complexities of your camera without overwhelming you with technical jargon. I took a class from him years ago and it totally helped to shape me into the photographer I am today. We will spend a lot of time actually shooting too because that’s the best way to learn – through practice!

Something new we’re offering this session is two breakout sessions after we go on a photo adventure in Hayes Valley. Jesse will be talking to folks about all things technical – workflow, software, and camera settings. I will be leading the break out group offering advice and support for photographers.


We encourage all levels of students to attend and please bring any camera you have including (but not limited to): DLSRs, iPhones, Smartphones, Point and Shoot Cameras, and/or Film Cameras.

Checklist of Things to Bring:
Shooting Gear
Laptop (not required)
Editing Software (not required)

We hope to see you in class and please share this class with your networks. We’d love to have a full house for this exciting class!

See you in a few weeks!

Jesse & Sarah


Residency project comes to life as New Market Goods

Member and former MSS resident Stephen Kennedy has been busy building a brand called New Market Goods. He’s partnered with Deshal, a small community of artisans in Dhaka to produce a line of popover shirts, with the goal of better understanding and highlighting positive production practices in Bangladesh. If you’ve been by the clubhouse over the past month, you may have seen the shirts on display in the popup nook, but if you missed them, be sure to check out their Kickstarter.


A bit more backstory on New Market Goods, from Stephen:

The design we’ve developed is an all-cotton popover shirt. It takes cues from the punjabis frequently found on the streets of Dhaka, such as the band collar and a placket that extends only to mid-chest.


We’ve hybridized the style with more traditional button-down features: a slightly more fitted silhouette that hits at the waist and side gussets. The design itself is fairly minimal, and is really meant to highlight the textiles, which are produced in one of the last remaining hand-loom communities called Pabna, in western Bangladesh.


Our production partner, Deshal is a popular Bangladeshi clothing line that started nine years ago as the passion project of three friends and artists – Kanak, his wife Ishrat and their friend Shobuj. We were stunned by the incredible, hand-loomed textiles that they use, and how the design of their garments (punjabi, tunics, saris) reflects the need for comfort and coolness in such a tropical climate. As a friend wrote about them, “Deshal gives a new meaning to the word factory – bright paints, colours, folk music, quiet smiles and Ishrat, Kanak, and Shobuj can be seen on the factory floor almost every day.” Their line has been super successful and they have several retail outlets throughout Dhaka.


While visiting their factory, we’d share clothing we liked and work together to design custom pieces with their textiles. After a few visits, everyone seemed game to start something new that could be sold in the US. We agreed to start small: produce a small run of a single design in a couple of different textiles. By learning from the ground up with Deshal, we’ll be able to focus on developing a quality product while gaining full exposure to the garment production process.


While we’re big supporters of the movement to bring manufacturing back to the US, the reality is that the majority of our garments and products will always be made in places like Bangladesh and China. Horrendous incidents like the factory collapse in Savar last year, shake us up and open our eyes to the terrible conditions in which our clothing is made. But within a few months, the focus subsides and companies continue to turn a blind eye.

We think it’s extremely important to work more closely in these contexts to develop practices that are beneficial for all parties involved. Making improvements is complex and requires a change in perspective from consumers, brands, industry leaders, local government, factory managers, and the garment workers themselves, but the last thing a place like Bangladesh needs is to have the garment industry leave. It’s become an integral part of improving economic conditions, and brands that aren’t willing to take responsibility for fair labor standards will likely continue the cycle of exploitation elsewhere.


For everyone involved, NMG is currently a passion project; we all have full-time jobs and find ourselves burning the midnight oil to get this thing started. Our Kickstarter, now live through July 20th, is our first step toward seeing NMG and Deshal grow together! We could certainly use your help getting the word out.



Stephen Kennedy

Stephen earned his Bachelors in Industrial Design at Georgia Tech and a Masters in Urban Planning at MIT. For the past several years, he has been working as a hybrid planner / designer on transportation mapping initiatives in Bangladesh, signage initiatives in New Orleans, waterfront greenway planning in the Bronx, participatory planning in Indonesia, stormwater management strategies in West Philadelphia, and New Town redevelopment in Kiryat Gat, Israel.


Aesop + Makeshift Society


What do essential oils and co-working have in common? Besides providing some much needed relaxing after a long day of work (hellooo lavender & chamomile), Makeshift was invited to the chic Aesop on Fillmore last week for an Essential Oil Workshop.

We were greeted with a hand wash at their beautiful sink station followed by a glass of wine. Talk about being pampered! The store manager introduced us to Aesop and their luxurious products. Founded in the 80’s in Australia, they use both cold pressed plant-based materials and laboratory-made ingredients that are highest quality and have a focus on anti-oxidant properties, which means they are simply best!

aesop-3 aseop-2
We were then introduced to 7 different essential oils they utilize in their range of beauty and skin care products. They kept our noses thinking and often stumped us with what oil we were smelling. Think your discerning nose can stand up to the challenge? A few of the Aesop essences we experienced were parsley seed, violet leaf, and petit grain. If you went huh when you heard petit grain, your not the only one! We were all unable to figure our the elusive smell of the leaves of the bitter orange plant. Clove essence was more identifiable, evoking memories of Winter time soirees and mulled cider. We learned that each essential oil has it’s own fingerprint, just like that of a snowflake!

Similar to essential oils, each store has their own look and design. It is a good reflection of the style of the city it is in. The San Francisco store is minimal with a beautiful display of natural wooden boxes with lovely vignettes of their skin care items, not a thing out of place and impeccable service. Head to Fillmore Street if you have not stopped into the Aesop store in Pacific Heights, It’s definitely an experience to be had!

Thank you to Aesop for inviting us to your lovely space and being such gracious hosts for our members!

MSS Member Spotlight- Einat Argaman

Today’s MSS Member Spotlight features Einat Argaman, who runs the blog Design Break.

Makeshift Blog - Einat


How would you describe Design Break?

DesignBreak shines a spotlight on emerging designers as well as veteran and/or less well-known designers and brands, and helps them get discovered by the public and by the industry. DesignBreak is constantly inspired by new designers and trends of the scene, and while it has a strong personality of its own, it’s always evolving and growing with the times. In 2009 I started out as a blogger trying spread the word about the impressive design scene in Israel (that’s one of the reasons I decided to write it in English) and that’s how and why it all started. Today the blog is more international (and features designers from around the world (moving to San Francisco helped :).

Most of the designers (like I once used to be) like doing their own thing, designing from morning to evening in their studio without worrying about anything else. I guess that in a way, I’m helping them spread the word out. Some know what’s needed to be done but there are others who need to be pushed and be encouraged and that’s what I’m here for.

What made you want to start Design Break?

I studied Interaction & Digital Media Design (a long long time ago). At the beginning of my design career I worked as an e-learning designer and then switched to web design. At some point I decided that I needed to explore a different path. I found out that I love to design but not so much designing for someone other than myself. So, after much thought, and being encouraged by my partner, I quit my job and took some time to think about my next step in life.

I used to sit in front of my computer and gaze for hours at so many inspiring design blogs and I was really blown away by all of the variety. I wasn’t thinking about a blog of my own and actually it was my partner who came up with the idea (he knows me better than I do). After giving it some thought, I decided to give it a try. I always wanted to be some sort of an ambassador, so writing about the mad talent in Israel sounded like an obvious choice.

What does an average day look like for you?

You can say that for me design comes first and that is how I choose to live my life. I love being surrounded by white spaces, dashes of colors and lots of amazing designers. Oh and… most importantly, my coffee breaks are crucial for my everyday survival. I guess that being some sort of Instagram junky is also a big part of my daily life. Most days I start by scrolling down my Instagram and Pinterest feeds (actually that’s also how my night ends) while I have a big cup of latte in my hand. After eating a huge bowl of fresh fruits and drinking another cup of latte, I sit in front of my computer and go through my inbox (I must say that being approached by designers that otherwise I wouldn’t have known about, feels pretty special. I’m also lucky enough to establish a close bond with most of the top design schools in Israel and their PR department informs me about what’s going on during the school year). A few times a week, mid day I’ll schedule a couple of meetings with local designers or bloggers. I always make a point to combine it with a gallery or a design shop visit (and a yummy treat on the side). After a few hours away from my computer, I’ll go back home and to sitting in front of my beloved computer. Answer some emails and continue working on future posts and other projects. I love sitting in front of my computer and just sailing away to the unknown and that’s never going to change.

What are some of the tools that you use?

As far for apps and programs, I usually use Photoshop and wordpress as my right hand. I also try and keep up with my ever-floating bloglovin/feedly and Evernote.  Since Instagram came to my life, I began following a few design students and from their feeds I discover a whole new world of talented people. Pinterset and also my FaceBook feed is filled with lots of design related news that I go through each and every day to stay on to of things.

What is your workspace like?

To be honest, it’s still a work in progress.  I always need a bright and white space so my white table and white chair are a must. My iMac (a pretty new and exciting gift from the Mr.) makes everything looks a lot fancier. Other than that, you can find lots of patterned pans, few black and white notebooks (most of them will have a polka dot flare) and ceramic stamps on top of my table. Oh and recently I bought one of Courtney Cerruti’s illustrations and I’m so happy to look at it each and every day.

What type of role does Makeshift Society play in your work?

I moved to San Francisco from Israel about a year ago. I remember learning about Makeshift Society before knowing I would move, I didn’t even imagine ever visiting it in person. BUT the minute I knew that San Francisco is going to be my new home I had a feeling that Makeshift will play a big role in my new adventure. Coming to a new country with no friends or family, I had to find myself a home away from home and assembly a new creative net. And so, at the beginning I visited the clubhouse once a week and began learning the “American way of being” in small inspirational doses. I met some pretty special and inspiring girls that some of them became with time some of my favorite people in the city (hi there, Ashley and Kat!)  A while back I switched to being a supporting member and I can honestly say that the mailing list and the ability to read and be introduced to some of the bay area’s most talented and diverse people makes a big difference in the way I explore the creative side of the city. I learn about upcoming shows and events that I get to explore first hand and then write about or even discover new and exciting creators in so many disciplines. You can say that now it’s more of informative kind of role but it’s much more than that. It makes me feel like there are so many like minded people out there that I still want to get to know and learn about and Makeshift is right there by my side to guide me in the right direction. It must sounds a bit cheesy but that’s how I feel…


MSS Member Spotlight- Launch Sessions

Today we are featuring the dynamic duo behind Launch Sessions– Ariana Pritchett and Katrina McHugh.

How would you describe Launch Sessions?

Launch Sessions is a micro-business support team. Created by a coach and designer duo, we work with creative entrepreneurs and change makers who are looking to start something new or mix up what they’ve already got going. By pairing thoughtful business strategy with quality custom design folks not only build a map to where they want to go, but also have a new identity to help them look good along the way.

What does an average day look like for you?

Both of us work primarily from home, Ariana in Oakland and Katrina in San Francisco, so our days often begin by throwing on a hoodie, grabbing a cup of coffee and parking it at the computer while we go through our work plan over the phone. The rest of the day varies, filled with client meetings, marketing, leads follow up, art direction prep, accounting, and other various projects that get thrown our way. We break up our day by taking our dogs for walks, having networking brunches with other fun creatives, pursuing our own creative projects, and trying to reap the benefits of being self-employed by making those daytime appointments or running errands without the crowds.

What are some of the tools that you use?

We love anything that helps simplify systems and daily tasks. Our business mainly runs on Google Apps but other favorites include: Harvest, Boomerang, Hootsuite and for meetings and screen sharing. The design studio is up in the Adobe Creative Suite all day but getting off of the computer and into the physical world is important too. We can often been seeing getting our hands dirty with sketchbooks, colored markers and giant pads of paper for our meeting notes.

What is your workspace like?

Ariana has a studio in the lower level of her house where she can meet with clients, work in peace, and even rent out on airbnb for some extra income. It is homey with great natural light, but truth be told many days she stays upstairs working from her couch.

Katrina has an art studio in her SF apartment and perches in the top floor bay window behind her giant imac most days. She’s lucky to have plants, light, and little dog to keep her company but the best part is having two separate desks – one for business and one for purely creative endeavors. As a creative working from home it can be hard to switch gears between things like accounting and illustration. The defined spaces for each make a world of difference.

What type of role does Makeshift Society play in your work?

Makeshift has been such a huge player in growing our business. We have received referral clients through members, used their lending library in a pinch, found incredible resources like our photographer and lawyer, as well as utilized their space as a place to meet with clients from SF in person. We love Makeshift and wouldn’t be where we are today with out them!