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behind the scenes of a photoshoot

    If you’ve been following along on instagram, perhaps you’ve noticed we’ve been doing lots and lots of cleaning, purging, painting and polishing all in preparation for our kitchen’s big day: a photo shoot for Better Homes & Gardens Kitchen & Bath Makeover magazine.


    We’ve pinched ourselves a few times … our diy kitchen in a real magazine? Now that’s crazy.


    We’re completely flattered and it was just the motivation we needed to finish all of the almost finished projects in this space.  You know, those lingering things like touch-up paint and deep cleaning and a new bench slipcover. And while you’re at it, you might as well clean out the pantry and reorganize your cupboards and paint the back door. Needless to say, we’re exhausted. But our kitchen has never looked better.

    Since this whole magazine-photo-shoot thing is new to me, I thought I’d show you behind the scenes and share how it works.


    The crew {Linda the stylist, John the photographer and Mark the assistant} arrived bright and early and got right to work setting up equipment and adding props. Linda wanted the shelves to be organized with mostly our things so I had them set up ahead of time and was so surprised that she pretty much left them as I styled them. She did switch out our clear glasses for pink goblets {clear glass does not read in photos – who knew!} and added flowers, produce and a few counter top props. The art director asked for accents in pink and green which makes the space look so pretty and springy.


    Linda set everything as she wanted and then John and Mark went to work snapping photos.


    Another thing I never knew about photoshoots: all of the lights are turned off.  John explained that the difference in tone between artificial and natural light is hard to merge and so he only shoots with natural light.  His camera is set up on a tripod with a remote and he views everything from his computer, making adjustments to his camera settings via the computer. That was fascinating to watch.


    We did a total of seven shots and it was an all day process. If you do the math, that’s about one hour per photo. John is a true artist who pays very close attention to every detail to get the shot just right. They would take a photo, test the color, make little adjustments to props {move a pear, smooth the curtain, turn the cake} until the photo was composed perfectly.  I think that’s why I love magazine photos so much: they are very intentional and meticulously styled.


    The day went very smoothly and the photos turned out beautifully. It will be such fun to see our well-used kitchen grace the pages of a real magazine.


    And when all was said and done, a celebratory toast was in order.

    We will keep you posted on the exact issue but it’s looking like spring/summer 2014.

    46 thoughts on “behind the scenes of a photoshoot”

    1. Congrats! That’s exciting news. I have similar tones in my kitchen (although the counters are laminate, unfortunately, instead of granite) and I always like seeing how you’ve styled it (I also have lots of clear glassware and whtie dinnerware). The touches of pink are interesting. I also love that you have white appliances. It’s something I almost never see in magazines, and it’s nice to see you don’t have to have stainless appliances for it to look nice.

    2. Who knew all that went into a magazine shoot? It sounds kind of like being behind the scenes at Family Feud. I had NO idea what went into a game show. Everything you touch is so classy! Love y our style. Congratulations!!

    3. Now that is so awesome!
      One day the kitchen is full with crayons, kids and peanut butter sandwiches…
      Then full with a camera crew and being prepped for a magazine!
      Congrats girl!
      That is a nice accomplishment that makes every peanut butter sandwich Momma proud!


      P.s. I am saving some extra dough for a laptop that I can take places and use for during my shoots as well :) it is a little extra luxury but so worth it!
      Now I run inside to hook up with the laptop immediately and takes so much extra time.
      Also I never shoot with the lights in the house on. It is just to hard to get it right.
      And I am an amateur photographer.. funny
      But thanks for that as well… Guess I knew more than I thought :)

    4. Super cool! I am a magazine art director (a local magazine though, no fancy photo shoots!) so I love seeing this! I want wait to see it in the magazine. I am so addicted to home magazines! Congrats!

    5. Wowza! I have goosebumps for you! The kitchen looks amazing and the pink goblets (I’m not a pink fan…) look so pretty up there! Congrats…I’m gonna go take a nap now after reading all that had to be done! =)

    6. I do this for my 9-5 job in marketing, but we are in the process of growing pains and trying to do everything last minute. It BLOWS my mind to see them do this for an issue that isn’t going in to stores next year! I can’t wait to see how this turned out. Congrats!

    7. Wow, that is fantastic!!!! Congratulations! Your house is beautiful – what a great reward for all your hard work! Love your style…

    8. Of all the kitchens …on blogs, in magazines, and on Pinterest …YOURS is the one I would most love to copy!!! Love it, and I can’t wait to see the BHG magazine when it comes out!

    9. How fun! Thank you for sharing this! It’s amazing how far in advance they do their shoots-a year until publication. Your kitchen is absolutely lovely, congrats!

    10. Read your every post and am always inspired and smiling when I’m finished.This couldn’t happen to a more talented or deserving person. Well done! (…and I can’t wait to run and buy the mag!)

    11. Congratulations! The behind the scene view is fantastic! Thanks for sharing with us. I feel and share in your excitement.

    12. So fun! Love your kitchen!
      question… I want to redo / paint our “toffee” colored cabinets to white or off-white, but worried about our white appliances. Are your cabinets white white or off white? Do they “match” your white appliances?

      1. Our cabinets do not actually match the white appliances. The cabinets are more of a creamy white. I sort of wish they were closer in colors, but they don’t look bad.

    13. Congrats Emily. I have always admired your kitchen since reading your blog. You have such great classic style. This is so exciting. I am happy for you.

    14. This is so exciting! Your kitchen looks beautiful. I love the touches of pink with the white and sterling. Is that a real telephone with a cord?? :) i have never noticed that before!

    15. Congratulations!! It’s good to know that many others will get to see your beautiful projects and be inspired too! Can’t wait to see the magazine!

    16. How wonderful! Congratulations! I’m sure it was a fascinating experience. I’ll look forward to seeing your kitchen in the magazine when it comes out next year!

    17. WOW!! How wonderful and exciting! Since I have discovered your blog I have loved your kitchen:) Well all of your house:)

    18. So beyond exciting!!!! And agreed – no one deserves it more than YOU!! For quite some time now, basically since I discovered you, I have thought of you as a celebrity. Now you and your kitchen will be shared with the world! :) Congratulations!!!!

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