Saturday, October 13, 2012

Behind the Purple Curtain: Kitchen Photo Shoot Feature


If you follow my blog or Facebook drama, you will know that I recently renovated my kitchen and first floor. It was a may-jah transformation and I am a giddy + glittery girl every time I venture downstairs.

You can read about the makeover here if you have not seen the before and after.

A week or so ago, I had a team come out to photograph said kitchen for a marketing/advertising campaign. It was a fascinating experience, I learned volumes from this team and, as promised,  I am sharing some of the behind the scenes dirt with you;)

I stayed up until 2:00am the night before cleaning and making everything picture perfect. The team came in and ripped out almost every cute thing from my kitchen..LOL. The team consisted of a professional photographer, Nick and stylist, Jamie. There was a representative from MasterBrand Cabinetry there, as well as the Kitchen Designer Representative. Throughout the day, the team would email the photographs to the marketing/ad team for the client and they would discuss what they liked and did not like about the photos. Then the team here would make adjustments, photo and resend the photos via email and the process would start again. This was almost an 11 hour day and I loved. every. single. minute. Seriously.

So, they came in and stripped out my kitchen. The client wanted the feel to be more neutral, less wild. I was down with that. They removed all of my colorful accessories and carpets, but they did keep my mixer, toaster, and a few purple Le Creuset accessories. They also loved one of my cake stands-so she got to stay in the scene:) Honestly, I felt like they were removing some of my personality..LOL..But..I was curious to see what they had in mind.

The team had traveled from quite a distance and had stayed in a hotel the night before. They brought with them tons of equipment and large tubs filled with props. The day was rainy and dismal and I was so worried about how they would get decent pictures. Jamie, the stylist, had been researching my photos for weeks and had pulled out accessories that she felt would work well. She started setting it all up and I started to get woozy. Lots of bright turquoise and yellow. Neither of which I am a huge fan of, but I was go with the flow. Hated the rug. Loved the glassware and little touches she was spreading about. She also brought bags and bags of different foods-fruits, veggies, flowers, assorted spices, etc. She cleaned every piece of glassware that went down. She wore gloves to handle the props.

Nick was busy setting up the lighting-which was fascinating. The had light towers they placed on the deck that would flash light in through the windows when the pictures were taken. It made it look like  a picture perfect sunny day. He also set up remote flash lights in the front living room. He set up a tripod and everything was on remotes and timers. I was so excited to pick up tips form him because he is a professional product photographer. He photographs products for major companies, homes and location assignments. Product photography is way different than event photography and I was just giddy to attack him with questions.
Tripod. Always. Number one. And he taught me how to mess with my exposure length of time which changed my life. I was amazed at how he manipulated the camera to get off perfect shots every time. Even more amazed how little photos they actually take. I always take hundreds, and Nick told me that is never necessary if you have quality shots. I'm working on it! I was astonished that for the most part, he shot the pictures without any lights on. It was dark in there, but with the flash coming from other directions, it was perfect. I still cannot get over it. When he did shoot with lights on, they were always dimmed way down.

So..They set up...sent the pics..The marketing team across the country did not like the turquoise or the rug (TG), so they tried a different set up with different accessories, placements and items. Photo again, resend, wait for team to review. They still did not like the rug, so we wound up using some of the colors from my FLOR tiles. They finally were able to shoot the entire kitchen in the afternoon...I will comment below the photos the cool highlights. After the entire kitchen was photographed, the client wanted close-ups of certain things:the corner crown molding, the corbel in the island and the spice rack. Jamie styled the spice rack and it was just beautiful. It was one of the last things they did. When the photos were all done, they left all of the food + flowers for us to enjoy.
I could not believe how quickly the day went!

I see I am rambling...I hope you find it all interesting. It was def a once in a lifetime experience. Honored, Excited. Cannot wait to see the final pictures:)

Thank you for taking this journey with me. I appreciate your support and kind words.

Epic thanks to
Nick + Jamie
ShadowLight Group
MasterBrand/Decora Cabinets
Julie Thompson
Trish Salvato~Kuiken Brothers
and my brilliant GC~ Kevin Saghafi~ K+S Builders
the amazing Glenn Conklin
and to my husband, Chris- You are everything.

They stripped almost everything out of the kitchen 

Naked kitchy

 Place settings Jamie set up

Turquoise + purple accessories

Jamie doing her thing 

Nick's junk. Always on a tripod, people

 Light towers set up on the deck and fired by remote
when pictures were taken

Command center. All photos showed up here and 
were edited and/or emailed to marketing team

Boxes of props! So many cool items, so little time:)

 Jamie was sweet + gorg

Testing out the color balance

 Checking the lighting outside or maybe wishing
he was in Aruba...

Lemonade with fresh mint.

Soap dish and scrubber set up.
Dish cloth tossed on the side to appear like I was just using it..LOL 

Whole lotta pears:)

Very Miami Vice, no? 

Prop oil + vinegar set. My Cassis Le Creuest got to stay. 

When life gives you lemons... 

Cherry danishes on my cake stand. 

No comment 

Jamie brought bouquets of flowers. They
did not use these for the shoot, but I got to 
keep them:)

All set up and ready for first set of test pics.

Lighting on, but dimmed way down. 

Can I pour you a glass of Fakeade?

 Client did not like any of the turquoise in the test shots, nor the rug (TG)
They also were questioning if people would drink lemonade with danishes. LOL!
They also wanted the bowls of lemons to be placed near the cutting board 
because it made more sense.

First shoot set up

Second set up, different rug placed in, all turquoise removed. 
Accessories changed out and moved around.

Client did not like my junky bulletin board look on the right.
They will remove in post shoot photo editing. 

Danishes moved to the island.

Gray counter canisters.

Rug changed out again for some of my FLOR tiles.

 Final set up of room. They will photoshop in more
rug tiles if needed. Every photo goes through editing. 

Setting up to shoot the crown molding.

Bouncing light form front living room area.

Covered towers from the rain.

This magical thing diffuses the light to make it seem like there are natural,
 leaf like shadows coming from the outdoors.

 Most photos will have fake outdoor/trees/leaves edited into the windows
post shoot. 

My gorg, color coordinated spice rack. I was mortified when
she opened it and ripped out my three spices:)

Photographing the corbel.

 Me, practicing the skills I learned from Nick the great.

Showing off my new camera tricks:) 


Brandi C. said...


Paula {} said...

Your kitchen is gorgeous and totally glam. I agree about the turquoise accessories! LOL Your purples are so much nicer! Thanks for sharing this fun shoot. :)

Dorangela said...

Gorgeous! I will definitely need more details on how to work my camera for product pics!

Dorangela said...

Gorgeous! I will definitely need more details on how to work my camera for product pics!

Sweet Georgia Sweet said...

Love it, girl! Now I gotta go research how to take better product pics....... or just ask DH. Photography is his hobby. LOL!

Michele @ crazyfordesign said...

Love behind the scenes! Thanks for sharing!

Lili said...

OMG! so exciting!

Susan Crabtree said...

so fun & exciting! I love how your kitchen reflects you & the things that you love!

Ebony Sparkes said...

Beautiful kitchen..I kinda like some of the turquoise accents...;)


Anonymous said...

Andy kitchen with pretty chandy's like those is my kind of kitchen!


Lynlee's Petite Cakes said...

Soooo freakin' cool!!! The kitchen, needless to say, is absolutely the most gorgeous thing EVA!!! The shoot ~ so exciting! The rug ~ hilarious! Thanks for sharing the behind-the-curtains... gotta step up my game! ;)

Jenny from Crossing the Bugger-Dixon Line said...

SO fascinating! Your comments had me in tears laughing so hard!

Might be time for a tripod. Need more photog lessons asap!

Looks beautiful by the way!

Jenny from Crossing the Bugger-Dixon Line said...

SO fascinating! Your comments had me in tears laughing so hard!

Might be time for a tripod. Need more photog lessons asap!

Looks beautiful by the way!

Lauren Atwaters said...

Love a blog post where actually reading it is more entertaining than the pictures... and they are really good pictures!

Love it all!!!

...but umm... don't you need a decal somewhere?

Birds Party said...

So interesting how they do that!! Your kitch is dreamy, 'course!! With or without the aqua objects! ;)
OMG!! Love the Creuset pot!!

flutterfy said...


Ayalicious said...

thanks for this awesome giveaway. my favourite colour is pink :-)

Pamela E. said...

I would love any bright color!!! Thanks for doing a giveaway! Pick me!! :)

Shanna said...

It's my birthday!!! Would looooove to win one!