I was going to title this post – The Joy of Routine, since today feels like New Year’s Day to me, or the first day of the rest of my life, but it really is not about that.
It is a little peek or behind-the-scenes look of what it was like to have my Christmas decor photographed to be in the 2014 Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication Christmas Ideas issue.
I was contacted by the editor, Ann Blevins, about a week before Christmas. I knew then that for the magazine photo shoot that I would have to take all the fresh greenery down, including the tree and buy new and put it all back up again closer to the photo shoot date. My house has very dry air, so I waited until last week to redecorate my house for Christmas with fresh greens, which were not too easy to find in the middle of January.
I took these photos with my iPhone so they are not the best, but they will give you a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes.
Before the photo shoot…
This is how my foyer looked. The only fresh garland I could find was 75 ft in length. I only used a part of it.
Donna Talley was the stylist for the shoot and came to my house the afternoon before the photo shoot to get a look around and to buy fresh flowers. We went to my local garden shop to pick up a few. Donna, a.k.a. magazine photo stylist extraordinaire, did her magic when we returned to my house. The rooms were soon ready to go and Donna left for the evening.
Ed and I went out to dinner since I did not want to mess anything up. It is bitter cold here in PA and we went to a cozy little Italian place. It felt nice to walk away from the scene for a bit. We also kept the pets upstairs in one of the bedrooms so they would not jump on the furniture and to keep a certain cat named Trax from chomping on the flowers.
The next morning the photographer, Michael Parenio and his assistant, Dave McCaughan came and set up all their equipment. This is only a little bit of it. They bring a lot of stuff!
This wheeled table and computer were where the decisions were made after each photo was taken.
They darkened almost every room with black sheets or put up white sheets to bounce light. They did not use any lights or camera flashes.
After taking a shot, Mike would bring it up on the big screen. He and Donna could then see what needed to be moved, taken away, or tweaked. Once they liked what they saw they took a few shots and then moved on to the next room or area that was in the photo order.
I learned quite a bit by watching them and asking Dave lots of photography questions that he happily answered when he was not busy setting up what was needed for the next shot. They were done in about 6 hours.
After they left, it was all about clean up and getting my house back to normal. My studioffice was quite a mess.
I took all the decorations down and packed them up. They still have to be taken to the attic.
One bonus – lots of new fresh flowers and plants to keep and decorate with.
The cyclamen looks perfect in the sunny spot behind the kitchen banquette.
The paper whites look nice framed against the snow outside.
I moved a few other items around and bought a few new things too. I will show you them next week.
Right now, I plan to get back to my normal routine, something that I have not been able to do for the past 3 months. As boring as “normal routine” may sound, I am craving it and am looking forward to being able to get back to doing what I love to do best – create and share with you.