Friday, August 6, 2010

Photo Shoots and Furry Friends

The last few days have been fun filled and very busy!  Wednesday I got to watch Fifi O'Neill in action once again while she styled a home for Cottage Style Magazine and another for Country Sampler Magazine.

There is so much that goes in to styling, and it really is an art!  If you've ever tried taking a photo of one of your rooms and then realized that it doesn't look anything like you see in a magazine that is because a lot of time and effort goes in to making a room look that beautiful.
Of course the stylists and photographers can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, as my grandmother would say, but they can take a beautiful home and make it even more beautiful!

And one of the ways they do that is to bring in beautiful flowers, fresh fruit, and yummy food to place in some of the shots!

I've been lucky enough to do a few shoots of my own lately, nothing compared to the major magazine spreads, but some where I needed to add a little something to make the shots a bit more attractive and special and let me tell you, it's not as easy as you might think!

Fifi always comes well prepared for each house she plans to style, but there are always those last minute flowers or pieces of fruit that you need to get once you are on location.  So for the second shoot on Thursday, which was for Country Sampler Magazine, I ran out to a local Mennonite farm and picked up some fresh fruit and a few flowers.

While I was there getting things for Fifi, I picked up a few bouquets for myself and for my own shoots.  When I woke up on Thursday morning to head to the second shoot, my house looked like a flower shop...and it smelled SO good in my kitchen!

The other key component of a successful magazine shoot besides a talented stylist is a fabulous photographer.  For both of the shoots the photographer was Mark Lohman.  Mark's accolades read like a who's who list of some of my favorite magazines!

And he's pretty darn funny too, just beware the hazardous conditions he'll put you in that involve plugging and unplugging lights!  Yup, yours truly has been known to help move furniture and wield an extension cord when called upon!

Watching a stylist like Fifi and photographer like Mark work together really is amazing.  It's such a collaboration borne of trust, and the end result is always spectacular as witnessed by the wonderful magazine spreads we drool over each time our favorite magazine arrives in the mail!

And speaking of trust, the homeowner's kitty cats weren't sure they could trust us, but there is a lot of trust on the part of the homeowners who open up their homes too.  We had two great sets of homeowners that not only trusted Fifi and Mark, but also helped to make the shoots so successful.

Opening your home up to perfect strangers, no matter how wonderful they are, isn't easy.  So it's always nice when you see a shot come together and the look on the homeowner's faces when they see the home they love and cherish looking picture perfect!

After a short while, even the kitty cats decided maybe these strange people weren't so bad after all!

During part of the shoot, I snuck out back and took some pictures of the beautiful waterfront setting of my friend Susan's home to share with all of you!

Not only is the interior of her home beautiful, but so are the views and the wonderful seaside touches she has incorporated into her yard!  I just love how she ringed this tree with shells!

Even with the hot weather, there is almost always a breeze on the water, so the waves were crashing along the shoreline.

You can see what a few storms, high tides, and erosion can do to the trees that are close to the shore!

And the Osprey love to build nests atop these old torpedo sighting towers left over from WWII.  They were circling all around it, making sure I didn't get too close!

Both of the shoots were so much fun and will result in truly wonderful spreads in their respective magazines, and I know those of you that read Country Sampler and Cottage Style will love seeing these two gorgeous homes!

After a yummy meal filled with great conversation and wonderful company we all hugged and parted ways.  Fifi and Mark were headed to Florida to shoot Fifi's guest house for her book!

Sometimes I pinch myself and wonder if I really do get to work with such great people and generous homeowners!  And I know that I appreciate every photo I see, whether it's in a catalog or a magazine, because they truly are works of art...each and every one of them!


  1. Love your kitchen. Wow.... it is beautiful. I will have to check out these two magazines.

  2. Wow! These photos are so amazing. Thanks for sharing today. I love them all! Anne

  3. What a wonderful opportunity to participate in this. I would be beside myself If I ever got to do anything like this, How exciting!! Kathysue

  4. I won't ever look
    at magazine spreads
    the same, again, Kat!
    Kudos to you for this
    exciting time in
    your career : )
    xx Suzanne
    PS: So glad to read
    that Mrs. M. is doing

  5. The pictures are absolutely gorgeous!!! Can't wait to check out the magazines :)

  6. Wonderful post - I love seeing the "behind the scenes" shots!

  7. Were you pinching yourself each morning as you headed to the shoots? How exciting!!

    Though you know I love all you photos here (it's really cool to see all the 'stuff' that's necessary to make a beautiful room seem effortless), I love the cat photos best. That first one is GORGEOUS, and the kitty was very nice to be so cooperative for you.


  8. Oh, what fun! This is beautiful. Sorry I haven't been around. I have so much catching up to do. Had a little trouble at the end of July but we made it to Maine.
    Love your photos these days!!

  9. First, I'm so glad to hear that Mrs. M. is progressing so well, I know all her loved ones must be so thankful.

    I love how you explain the process photographers and stylists go through to get that perfect shot. Such a fun job, but there's a lot of work behind the scenes.

    The ocean shots made my day!

  10. I love having this little insight as to what goes on the hours, minutes and seconds before the image that we see! Beautiful images, especially those of the beach! Hope that you have a wonderful weekend!

  11. Wonderful photo's and sounds like a fantastic day! Thanks for sharing with us the behind the scene process of a magazine shoot. Fresh flowers are the best! Have a great weekend :)

  12. I went slowly through this soak up all of the images and to allow myself to imagine your day! How amazing to be there taking part in something so neat! I'm so glad you share with us! I think the flowers and fruit are a wonderful addition when photographing our homes! Happy weekend! ♥

  13. I always look at the photos in the spreads and wonder about what was brought in and what was already there - and now I have a bit of insight.
    Your pictures of the shore are beautiful - wild, really.
    Working at something that one loves is really the ultimate - not work at all on the best of days.

  14. Fascinating - but somehow it makes me feel tired....
    Truly such a lot of work, but it makes all the difference. I'm looking forward to seeing the result!

  15. All the pictures were really gorgeous! I especially love the zinnia pictures-they always make me happy and they make me smile!

  16. What a great week for you and the photos were awesome.

  17. You must be having the time of your life Kat! This is so much fun to read and know you're a part of it now. Those shells your friend placed around the tree are so completely unexpected and I heart them! Continued fun to you!! And keep those wonderful pictures coming. ~Lili

  18. It sounds like you have a great job! Lovely photos, especially of the sea and the ospreys.
    Hugs, Cindy S

  19. I'm so excited for you Kat! You are definitely in the big time! It must really be wonderful working with FiFi and her photographer.
    The beach shots are so spectacular.


  20. I love behind the scenes shots..., for everything really!! And I'm so glad that you snuck out back too..., the shells around the tree are adorable. I'm always so amazed how such simple creative things just uplift.

  21. That must have been so much fun for you! You have the best adventures.


  22. It must be wonderful being part of that. I love your shots outdoors. I'm a "rock loving gal," so when I see lots of rocks I'm in heaven!

  23. Kat,
    This looks like a boatload of that pic of the shells placed around the tree!


  24. Kat - what a fun job to have! Always something new and exciting going on for sure! I guess I never realized how much work actually went in to those mag photo shoots. Now I do! Thanks for the inside scoop!

    xoxo laurie@heavens-walk

  25. What an amazing two days you had! That would be so much fun to watch everything come together like that. You lucky girl!!

    Your pictures are gorgeous! I love those flowers, so vibrant!

    Thank you for sharing!!!

  26. I think I love you ...
    the duo was just in my home for the new coffee table book of fifi's ...
    i've never laughed so much in my entire life ...

    your vignettes are lovely

    what a gig ...i didn't want it to be over ...
    I blogged all about it and put an interview with fifi on my sidebar ... you may have to scroll around to find it all ...

    let's chat

  27. You sound like you had a ball Kat, and no wonder! It would be great to watch someone like Fifi work, and I know from experience that getting a decent shot is much harder than it looks! You obviously don't have that problem, as your photos are always stunning. Thanks for the behind-the-scenes peek. K xx

  28. THis really is awesome and I'm so glad we get to come along with you! That water looks so refreshing, would love to dip my toes in...

    The calico cat has a beautiful face!

  29. Fresh flowers and the beach...I can't think of a better way to spend the day!

  30. This is such a great post, Kat! So fun to see the behind-the-scenes action! Sounds like you are in a busy, but VERY fun time of life!

  31. Incredible photos! Wish I had your talent!


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