Two years ago I was approached to have my home featured in an interiors magazine and I turned the opportunity down. Mainly because we were in the middle of a hallway renovation but also because I didn’t feel there were enough rooms ‘ready’. Time passed and I was so excited when interior stylist Maxine Brady got in touch via my instagram asking if I’d be interested. I’m not in any way a trained interior designer/stylist, but interiors has always been a fascination of mine, even more so since owning our own home. For professional stylists in the industry to think that my home is magazine worthy is the biggest compliment.
We had two weeks from my phone conversation with photographer Colin Poole to the date of the shoot. It’s funny how when you have a professional photographer coming to your home you suddenly see every flaw as a huge eye soar. So those two weeks we were flat out, using every spare minute to fix all the little snags we’d got used to living with. The other news was that there would be no stylist accompanying Colin on his visit and so the pressure was really on to get things looking immaculate. One week to go we were fitting new blinds that we had been meaning to order for ages, fitting a huge en suite mirror, painting the home office and organising the spare bedroom. A few days to go the nerves were kicking in and the deep clean began and then I wanted to get every room perfectly styled so it was photoshoot ready and set for the big day. To say we were exhausted would be an understatement! This side of the stylist life turned out to be not so glamorous, but exciting none the less. A huge shout out to Mr F for taking on the to do list with me, he didn’t have any time off work so it really was a sacrifice; the joys of being an insta husband. I have now promised to leave him alone for a while 🙂
On the day of the shoot Colin arrived bright and early armed with a box full of flowers and throws. After a quick look around we discussed what order we should photograph the rooms. It’s so important to know where the natural light will fall through the house from morning to afternoon and this decided what we would shoot and when. I asked Colin if he can tell when an image has been taken with supplementary lighting and he said definitely, it’s never quite the same. We were so lucky to have a bright sunny day and the beauty of plenty of natural light. Colin was also more than happy for me to take some behind the scenes pics as we went along.
Next we discussed the kinds of shots we needed to achieve; from full views to the smaller details. Colin was particularly interested in any DIY projects as this is the kind of idea the magazine likes to share. We also had to think about captioning; what I would mention in the interview (I will be chatting it all over with Maxine this week) and make sure we had images to match. Planning the images was so important.
Then the shoot began. The magazine brief was that the images needed pops of colour as we will feature in a spring edition. You all know that my home is monochrome through and through and so the final result is not 100% my style, but the images are beautiful. I learnt that whilst it is your style that may draw an invitation for a home shoot, the final images are about what will fulfil the brief and make the editor happy.
These are also the first glimpses I’ve shown you of our new en suite reno, a blog post on that to come soon 🙂
It was lovely to see the attention to detail, time and effort that goes into each photo. A few shots would be taken and then we would view them on the laptop and point out everything that wasn’t perfect. Maybe a cushion isn’t plumped quite right, a cable is visible, the curtain isn’t hanging straight, there are too many objects in the far corner…it all needs to be adjusted and the shot taken again.
The kitchen and dining room were set up for lifestyle photos. We styled tea for two in the dining room where the cupcakes I bought for props came in very handy. Everything is very staged but created to look completely natural, warm and homely. There is a definite art to creating the ‘not too over thought’ look! Then there’s the dreaded portrait shots and the I love to smile at veg shots…I’m my worst critic and so I won’t be studying those too much!
Something I already knew but was highlighted to me even more was that styling for a photoshoot is quite different to how you would normally style your home. Microwaves, kettles, TV’s and remotes are all non existent in the magazine world and so have to be moved out of the way. Also a blank space may look fine to the eye, maybe even needed for balance in a room, but through a camera lens it looks too vacant and so things have to be added in or moved. It takes time, adjusting and patience until everything is perfect.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about what it’s like to have your home photographed for an interiors magazine! I completely enjoyed my experience of being an interior stylist for the day and observing Colin work his photography magic. He was so complimentary about our home and very pleased with how everything was styled ready for him stating that it made for a very straight forward shoot. We were both surprised to have finished all the shots and be packing up by 2:30pm!
Our home will be featured in the May 2019 edition of Your Home magazine, a long while to wait but I’m so excited to see the finished article.