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 Responses to behind the scenes of a photoshoot

  1. Lori @ A Bright and Beautiful Life March 25, 2013 at 11:31 pm #

    Very cool and super fun. Congratulations. Now I can hardly wait for that issue of my BHG. That’s really fun to see what goes into a photo shoot. And I’m like you, I love magazine photos ~ I need lots more practice for my own.

  2. rae March 22, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

    yayayayayayay! i can’t wait to see!!! xoxoxo

  3. Lindsay March 22, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!! So exciting and can’t wait to see it!

  4. Angela March 22, 2013 at 6:56 am #

    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.

  5. Auntie! March 20, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

    VERY COOL Emily!!

  6. Rachel March 20, 2013 at 9:37 pm #

    Congrats! How much fun is that?!?! What a hoot and a holler it will be to see it in print. I bet they came out gorgeous :)

  7. Kayla March 20, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

    This is so amazing Emily!!!! What an exciting thing for you all to experience!!

  8. Jennifer March 20, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    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!!

  9. Dear Lillie March 20, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    YAY!!!!!! So excited for you! Your kitchen is so gorgeous! Whenever I see pictures of it I drool!

  10. Kate March 20, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    Congratulations! Looks wonderful!

  11. Liz Engle March 20, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    Congrats! What an opportunity!

    Do you happen to know which issue your kitchen will be in?

    • emily March 20, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

      Sometime next spring/summer

  12. angie March 20, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    VERY exciting!! I can’t wait to pick up the issue :)

  13. Sandy March 20, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    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 :)

  14. Shara Lee March 20, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    So excited for you Emily! You have a lovely home & great ideas to share w/ the world. Congrats!!!

  15. AmandaH March 20, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    So awesome. You are so deserving of this! Your kitchen is beautiful and your blog is such a joy to read! Thanks!

  16. Lauren March 20, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    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!

  17. Carina March 20, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    Thats awesome! I can’t wait to see it in print!

  18. Shelley Heck March 20, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    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! =)

  19. jami nato March 20, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    so nuts! and amazing!!!!

  20. Susan March 20, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    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!

  21. Jennifer March 20, 2013 at 11:36 am #

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

  22. Jennifer March 20, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    Awesome Emily! It looks beautiful & I can’t wait to see it in print. Congratulations!

  23. le stentz March 20, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    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!

  24. bree March 20, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    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!

  25. leanne March 20, 2013 at 10:14 am #

    Congrats! Very exciting! Looking forward to when I can pick up a copy :)

  26. Cathie Helgeland March 20, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    I’m so excited for you ! and such a fan of Better Homes and Garden Magazine.

  27. Heidi Biggs March 20, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    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!)

  28. Cindy March 20, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    Congrats! That’s so exciting! Can’t wait to see it! Any word on when it will be in?

  29. Naomi S March 20, 2013 at 9:40 am #

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

  30. lori March 20, 2013 at 9:26 am #

    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?

    • emily March 20, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

      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.

  31. Jenny Collier March 20, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    So exciting that your kitchen gets the recognition that it deserves. Can’t wait to view it in print. Congrats!

  32. Trish March 20, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    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.

  33. amber peters March 20, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    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!

  34. Sarah Barksdale Design March 20, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    That is so exciting Emily! Photo shoots are crazy for sure. I cant wait to see the photos later!

  35. Rebecca March 20, 2013 at 8:40 am #

    How exciting!!! Congratulations! I can’t wait to see it in print! :)

  36. Wendy March 20, 2013 at 8:37 am #

    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!

  37. Claudia March 20, 2013 at 8:06 am #

    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!

  38. CT March 20, 2013 at 7:39 am #

    Congrats — I can’t wait to see the finished shots but I love this behind the scenes peek as well. Cheers – CT

  39. jena yoder March 20, 2013 at 7:15 am #

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

  40. Dana March 20, 2013 at 6:21 am #

    So incredibly exciting! Congratulations!

  41. Jill March 20, 2013 at 6:13 am #

    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!!!!

  42. Jenn @ A Simple Haven March 20, 2013 at 5:36 am #

    So fun! I rarely buy magazines, but I will plan to pick that one up next year!

  43. Kelly - Talk of the House March 20, 2013 at 4:12 am #

    Well deserved!!! And TONS of work I know. Can’t wait to see it all in the magazine!!

  44. libbywilko March 20, 2013 at 4:06 am #

    How exciting !

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