lights, camera . . . action!

so you may have read that last weekend i had my first ever product photo shoot. and here's a little behind the scenes of how it all went...

i guess it all starts with a few weeks before the shoot actually. i had been thinking about ideas for the shoot and whilst discussing with Monica during one of the Clarity Coaching sessions we cam up with and outside theme, cushions lined up on chairs with lampshades hanging above from a tree branch...fantastic!

first thing was to source a location. Emily (my old housemate) has a ground floor flat with garden. with a fence and grass and tree. now that may sound like obvious garden material but in London it's not all that easy. trust me. and to add to that Emily also had a tree branch going spare. as you do.

so next i needed chairs. onto good old ebay. i bagged 6 for £15. now they had to be collected. that's where best pal Alice and my lovely Mum came into play to collect them for a various locations in Kent (parents location). so now i had a lovely selection of mismatched chairs. but they were a bit dark so Dad painted them for me in white, blue and purple to match the colours of my palette. now i just needed to get them to London. Caroline (HI CAROLINE!!) collected them to drop off on the day of the shoot. her fiance, Mr Sam Nesbitt, is the photographer who will be shooting my products on the saturday so they will bring them up with them then.

so a week before the shoot i started looking at the weather. hmmm. not great. mild panic but the english weather can change at the drop of a hat so no need to panic just yet. let's wait until 3 days before.

3 days before came along and...still rain. crap.

back up plans needed, and quick! now this is something i hadn't thought about which is very much unlike me. i am very organised and like to plan for every outcome when taking on a project like this. so why hadn't i this time? goodness knows, but i won't let it happen again that's for sure!

so options were moving the shoot inside Emily's flat. but there was no wall big enough to take the set up. OUT.

do the whole shoot in the studio. now it wouldn't have anywhere near the texture that i wanted but it would be clean and fresh and have the lighting that would be important. POSSIBLE.

or i could postpone, but due to restrictions on time by both me (3 week holiday) and the photographer (wedding) this would mean it would not take place until at the earliest the first week of october. not an option because at this point i'll be starting my Smart Creative Style e-course and doing my new website portfolios, marketing and brochures for Top Drawer. OUT.

my flat. last minute panic where i was laying out all the accessories i could use i realised i have a nice long wall, but manky walls. could they pass? i was very hopeful (just desperate at that point i think is more likely!) that there could be some amazing camera that could make wood chip walls appear nice and smooth. no such luck. OUT.

so i contacted a good fried, Eric, husband of Kim who i work with. they have just moved house but were very accommodating and offered their place. it was perfect! they had a garden (in case the weather did perk up) and they had 3 rooms to pick from. SOLD!

right. panic aside. i could sleep again! a last minute shop for some frames, accessories, and wrapping paper.  who knew it could be so hard to find some plain colour wrapping paper these days? goodness me what a task. Kim had a watering can, and Mark helped me collect a palette from work as a bit of a quirky option to go in the shots. didn't have a clue how i might use it but better to have too much than not enough, right?

anyhoo, saturday morning came and cars were loaded with products and props. first stop was Touchwood Studios in Kingston. Oscar met us and helped set up the studio for my white background shots. in and out within 3 hours. success!

onto the house of Eric! where he and Tennison greeted us in excitement. we took a look around and selection the room of choice - the garage. great brick work there would make a great backdrop. and hello there mr sunshine. well, kind of. it wasn't exactly sunny but it wasn't raining either. we decided to chance it and take some outside shots so we set up the chairs along the fence and took cushion shots. it was a bit windy and so the lampshades-hanging-from-a-branch set up wasn't going to work. oh well. you win some you lose some.

lunch. much needed.

back to work. and into the garage. lampshades were strung up and some group shots taken. the wind was messing with us so we had to wait until the lampshades were still but we got the shots we were after. before you knew it the day was over. doesn't time fly!

i realised at the end of the day i hadn't used the watering can, the palette, any of the house-y accessories or the plants i'd brought along. doh! but to be fair the set ups we had were enough by themselves so no biggie. Sam took some great shots and i'm so pleased the weather held out for us to get a few outside snaps. shame the tree branch idea didn't come to life but what with the wind and risk of rain i think it wouldn't have been possible. about 15 minutes after we packed up outside it started to rain!

home time. well, Sam & Caroline travelled home and i went to Emily's where she cooked me a lovely dinner and we chatted about the day and started to organise her hen-do. for next May. yes, that's right, the hen do is booked for 9 months time. told you i was organised ;)

now i bet you want to see some of the photos don't you? after reading all that you wouldn't want to get this far and be disappointed with no shots from the day now would you? well, i'm afraid i might just have to disappoint. i know, i know, i'm mean, i'm sorry! but it'll be worth the wait. i want to get them as i want them before showing them off so you'll have to be patient just a tad longer.

oh alright then, here's a little teaser of some chair shots (pre-edit) ...

and i'd like to thank all the people involved in this project...aren't they a smiley bunch :)

Alice & Mum (chair collectors), Dad (chair painter)

Mark & Emily (prop movers, tree branch supplier), Caroline (assistant)

Oscar (Touchwood Studios), Sam (photographer), Eric (location supplier)

Liz, Rachel & Sarah (bouncing ideas around)

and Tenny (just 'cos he's cute)