Lollygagger with Loll Designs

December 10, 2010

By Barbara Goldman

© John Christenson

Loll Designs furniture from recycled milk jugs.

When your product needs a personality of its own, New York-based lifestyle and portrait photographer John Christenson is the photographer you want for the job. Clients come to him for his clean, cool captured moments, as one art director likes to describe Christenson’s work.  Satisfied clients have included Sony, Panasonic, Target, Levi’s, Prince Tennis, Heart Foundation, Powerball Lottery, Allianz and many more. They go to Christenson because he knows how to shoot an image that complements the product.


Recently Christenson was hired by Loll Designs for that special talent.  Loll Designs is a furniture manufacturer, offering durable outdoor furniture made from recycled products with a modern aesthetic for people who want a unique look and personality to their outdoor spaces. The new campaign was done internally through Loll Designs’ Creative Director Greg Benson, Art Director Nate Heydt and Art Buyer Sharon Larson. They came to Christenson because they knew he had the right feel for a clean lifestyle look that would integrate very well with their own designs, and he was also familiar with their products.  Says CD Benson of Christenson’s work, “I chose to work with John for two clear reasons. I wanted the shot of the furniture pieces to take on a portrait quality but also have lightness to it and not appear too contrived. John is accomplished at achieving both.”


Loll Designs is rather unique in that all their products are made from recycled milk jugs.  “Greg Benson and I had talked through some ideas and came up with the idea of incorporating milk jugs into a lifestyle shoot but with keeping the chairs as the main focus,” explains Christenson.  


Sounds like it was an easy project to photograph, but we all know that anything that sounds and looks easy, never is. One of the challenges Christenson faced was how to incorporate the milk jugs without being too obvious and cheesy but still keeping the ads fun and playful and above all about the furniture.


The goal was to have the milk jugs as a supporting prop and not become a focal point of the shoot.  Christenson tried different sized jugs such one gallon, half gallon to see what was subtle but still recognizable and decided on the half gallon.  The milk jugs brought some lighthearted humor and awareness to where the materials for the furniture come from and still kept the chairs as the main characters.

Christenson shot on location in New York City and when shooting outdoors he likes a diffused sun or light cloud cover so the light has a softer quality. He also plans ahead with good scouting and a good crew that works well together on location shoots.  He had his shot mapped out, so that by the time he got to his locations in the morning he knew exactly how everything had to be set up and the exact time to have the model on set. With light changing so quickly in the morning, there is always a short window of shooting opportunity.

Christenson got his shots and captured the very unique personality of the chairs with a lighthearted, modern lollygagger appeal that the client loved. The fun-furniture images are being used now in web banners, print ads in magazines and for PR and trade shows.


See more of the very cool work of photographer John Christenson at


Client: Loll Designs

In House: 

Creative Director:  Greg Benson

ArtArt Director: Nate Heydt

Art Buyer: Sharon Larson

 Photographer – John Christenson