30 July 2013

Anatomy of a Photo Shoot

Often when I tell people I am a Photo Stylist, they are not quite sure exactly what that means. So, on a recent shoot, I took some pics to help illustrate what a day in the life of a stylist is.
This particular shoot was for Crown Point Cabinetry; we were taking pictures of a  recently renovated kitchen that features their cabinetry for use on their company website and literature. 

I am very lucky to work with the talented and fabulous Kelly McGuill on these shoots; please visit her page to see more of her extraordinary work.

We arrive on site, usually very early, armed with everything we may need, and hundreds of things we may NOT need, but better safe than sorry! We set it all up on tables so we can see and grab quickly. 

This was a kitchen shoot, so we needed food props....

And flowers.....ALWAYS flowers.

And lots of white dishes, glassware, pitchers, etc.

We survey the space we are going to photograph, and remove all of the homeowners items (carefully!) taking pictures of their things in situ so we can put them back just where they were. 

In this case, most of the items were put in an adjacent room, where our lovely friend and marketing guru from Crown Point was trying to work....this photo shows the chaos that is lurking just behind the pretty pictures!

A pretty display cabinet and counter before styling

The stove before

The pantry before

The Photographer then sets up his shots, and we get to stylin'

Once we know his angles, we set our props. The idea is to make the shot look pretty and inviting, while also highlighting and enhancing whatever the client wants to focus on - in this case, the kitchen cabinetry.

A fully styled counter top. You want to sit here while I cook for you, don't you?
Yes, you know you do.

Me? Oh, I've just come in from my cutting garden.  Just give me a minute to take off my wide brimmed gardening hat and put these in some water..

The display cabinet really just needed simplifying..so that the pretty bead board back could be better seen and admired.

It's pasta tonight, care to join us?
Do you think the homeowner would notice if the stove is missing at the end of the shoot? Sigh. Stove envy. There is one known cure (and I can't afford it).

Dessert anyone?

And coffee?

(these styled shots are the same angles as the before shots above, for comparison)

This may seem easy, but the time it takes to get each shot exactly right is quite surprising. A pitcher may be too big, a flower arrangement too small, a napkin not the right color, move it left, move it right, take it out. But it is also creative, fun (usually), rewarding, and as Kelly and I always say, better than a day in a cubicle.

Visit www.crown-point.com if you'd like info on the pretty cabinets.....

12 July 2013

Brimfield in July

Brimfield is back, and I recently spent the day trolling for goodies. The weather alternated between sunny and 95 degrees with 95% humidity, and raining and 95 degrees with 100% humidity. It wasn't pretty. Nor was I.  But these things were!

Maybe she isn't "disturbed". Maybe she is just REALLY hot and sweaty.

Beautiful vases. Great in a grouping.

Wonderful counter stools: love the backs. 
I've seen many of these wire planters, but never this big!
Hmmm. Can we somehow make it into a bench?

Pretty wings: these would look great on a wall. 
Some kind of sports scoreboard: I love that the numbers go backwards. This would be so great on a porch wall or in a boy's room or a man cave.
Vintage French club chair is perfect and timeless. The wall of suitcases is just genius display. EVERYTHING looks better in numbers.
I wonder who E. Watts was? Does he have anything for me to drink?
These pendant lights were amazing. Perfect for a kitchen. 

This was an "initiation" horse from some organization like Shriners or Elks or something. I don't really want to know, do you?
This was my favorite piece of the day. An antique dental cabinet. metal, sandblasted to a nice clean shine. The sheer numbers of drawers and the details!!! I needed it bad. Real bad. 
The drawers pulled out like so. I can't even deal.
Vintage Cherner chairs, 1950's. Beautiful, but priced accordingly. 
FANTASTIC vintage sign. I need some of what it's selling to get over the dental cabinet. 
The prettiest metal and glass chandi. Perfect size, perfect mix of glam and slam, not too frou frou
Chandi detail. 
Gorgeous copper sconces. Great price. 
Perfectly cruddy chairs. 
What wouldn't I do with this cart? A bar cart, a bathroom caddy, a bedside table, a kitchen storage piece, an entry catch-all. Yummy.

All in all a good day! If you didn't get to go, next show is in September. See you there? If you can't go and need someone to shop for you, contact me, I'm your girl!

09 July 2013

The Cobbler's Children.....Part Two

Below, I have re-posted an entry I made WAY back, about a small personal project - transforming a family heirloom into a bench for my bedroom.
Resolutely proving that I am great at getting these things done for clients, but not so much for myself, I have only JUST finally completed this tiny undertaking. I can (and have) design entire homes faster than this!
Here is the finished look:

The original post (see below) has the info on the where's and why's, but it was all done with items I already had.

A close up of the pillows, which I had made out of vintage French kitchen towels.
(again, see them in their original state below)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ORIGINAL POST~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

OK. Time to pause and take care of some practicalities. I have several projects that need doing around the house that Nest built, and since my own favorite blog postings to follow are those that center around real life projects, I thought I'd follow suit. Plus making them public will motivate me to finish them up!
Sometimes when you've spent your day ordering pillows and hanging pictures, while unarguably a lovely way to spend the day, it is difficult to then spend your off time doing it for yourself.

So here is small project #1. This "bench" in my bedroom (actually it is my mother's hope chest - a priceless heirloom, emotionally speaking). I had a slipcover made for it out of a bed skirt I already owned, and purchased a seat cushion for it at Pier One Imports.

Now, it needs finishing up. Pillows, a small rug in front, and something hanging on the wall behind.

I own 6 of these fabulous vintage French hand towels - purchased several years ago in Paris. I think they will make amazing pillows. They each have a small faded red monogram which perfectly compliments the simple red detail in the slipcover, and a little fabric loop in the corner which has great design detail potential.

I have two thoughts on a small area rug; either a lambs wool, or a striped Dash + Albert. Maybe both, and I'll switch them out summer and winter?

For the wall, I have 4 of these beautiful seaweed prints, purchased at Brimfield. Four others already hang elsewhere in the room, and I do like the thought of repeating them here. Already simply framed in glass clip frames, they await hanging. Easier said than done in a 100 year old house with horse-hair plaster walls.

So! Off go the towels to be transformed by my talented pillow guru. Off I go to order some rug samples.
I'll share the final results in a bit. Keep peeking in!