Veronica Olson: Photography


Veronica Olson is a talented photographer and prop stylist. She graduated from BYU and has a sumptuous Instagram feed. Olson lives in New York City. She was profiled previously on The Krakens for her work as a prop stylist.

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Tell us about your journey growing up and becoming a photographer. As a child, I was always into art: drawing, coloring, sewing, crafts. Anything visual and creative. Relatives and teachers complimented me from a young age, and my love for art was reinforced. Later, in high school, as I started thinking about college majors and a future career, I was starting to lose interest in drawing and painting. I had lost its joy, and I could no longer execute what I envisioned. I continued with the advanced classes, because I had for so long identified myself as an artist, but remember feeling like a fraud surrounded by the other students.

I credit my initial interest in photography to my dad. Always a supportive parent, if my brother, sister or I had interest in a hobby, he would not only encourage us, but participate as well. So, looking for another artistic field I may enjoy, he signed us up for a extracurricular photography course, and bought a DSLR. I loved those weekly night classes together, and found a new way to express creativity. Instead of rendering from a blank page, I discovered how to work with what was already there, adding, reducing and changing perspective to determine the content of my frame and tell a story.

When I went to Brigham Young University, I was accepted into the photo program, and over those four years, learned more about technique, process, the industry, and art direction. I created a large portfolio of still life work, planning and styling with exactness. My teachers gave me a hard time for being too narrow in my work, pushing me to branch out of still life, but I’d determined my direction, and I think it helped me get a head start in the industry. (Although I definitely admit I should have been more humble in listening to their critiques and trying new things!) But the industry in New York requires some specialization, and still life is where I thrive.

You once wrote, ‘When I want to make something happen, I determinedly do, with discipline and faith.’ Explain how this applies to your craft. I believe we are all creative, being children of God, the ultimate Creator. Being creative, and especially being creative for a living, requires immense faith. And faith requires action. As a photographer, I want to have faith in Him, trust the worthwhile process of creativity (even with setbacks), and be open to His will. I have a tiny perspective of where I’m at in my career, satisfaction with my work, my ability to create the beauty I want to create – and without hope in Him and surrendering my own will, stubbornness and discouragement really get in the way. I want to be constantly progressing and hopefully becoming more like Christ, and that applies to creativity and career as well.

I must have faith, that with discipline and His grace, I can achieve anything. I’ve seen it many times: when I’ve doubted my own ability to move to New York, take on a big job, work freelance, finish a stalled project, ask for help. The path isn’t always clear, but I determinedly move forward and it works out, and I’m reminded every time to have more faith and confidence. I’m also a big believer in visualization as a form of prayer. I am very grateful for the opportunities in my short career so far, and while I’ve worked hard to meet goals, I totally attribute any success to blessings from Him.

Visit Veronica Olson’s website.

Follow Veronica Olson on Instagram.


Veronica Olson: Prop Stylist


Veronica Olson is a talented prop stylist and professional photographer. Olson graduated from BYU and has a sumptuous Instagram feed full of delightful images. Olson lives in New York City.


Tell us about your work as a stylist. After graduating with a BFA in photography, I started out in New York assisting super talented prop stylist Robyn Glaser. I was lucky to learn from her on set with some of the best photographers in the commercial world, and discover the industry of styling.

While I’m still pursuing photography as well, working in props is really fulfilling. When shooting my own personal work, what I always loved is using objects to tell a story, and arranging various items to form a whole. So prop styling is a natural route for me. I enjoy sourcing props, shopping, collaborating with photographers and art directors, and deciding the visual direction of the image. On a commercial shoot, the stylist can almost have more creativity; a photographer determines the lighting, but a stylist is choosing colors, composition, textures, shapes. This year I’ve had fun jobs for clients like American Girl, Williams Sonoma, Yosi Samra, NBC Today, Gracious Home, Food52. I appreciate that being freelance, it’s something different every time. I could be styling shoes for a holiday catalog one week, and a kids cookbook the next.

I enjoy projects with great clients, food stylists, assistants, etc.; the still life industry is full of nice people, and it’s usually such a collaborative effort. Often photographers can request a certain stylist on a job, and I’m thankful for talented photographers I love working with like James Ransom and Nicole Gerulat, who have helped me grow and accelerate my career.

What’s next for you? For this year, one goal is to focus more on my photography. I’ve sort of put photography on the back burner while being so busy with styling, but I don’t want to abandon that side of my craft. I want to get back into shooting more often, and expand that client base. I’ve heard some detractors say you can’t be both a photographer and stylist, but I disagree. Each helps me be better at the other, and I like being versatile. It may not be traditional, but it works for me.

I have a few exciting commercial projects coming up already in 2016, and a collaboration with StoryKeep photographing family heirlooms. I’m also working on a site called The Family Gathering (@familygathering instagram) to share how relatives create connection to past generations, specifically through art, objects, and documenting family history.

I love New York, so I’ll continue my career here, and look forward to working with talented creatives, expanding my portfolio, and following the Lord’s will. It can be easy to get caught up in business and competition of the industry, but no matter where my career goes, I want to respond with humility, love, and grace.

Visit Veronica Olson’s website.

Follow Veronica Olson on Instagram.