Tuesday, September 20, 2016

My Photo Shoot with Fifi O'Neill and Mark Lohman

 I had the pleasure and the honor of being selected to have my house featured in 
Fifi O'Neill's Romantic Country magazine.  For months it's been in the making, and 
the last few days were killer, getting everything looking polished and shiny.
Living with a pesky puppy in particular means white slipcovers need to be washed
and I didn't dare put them back on until the morning of the shoot.  As soon as I 
did, Colby came over and wiped his breakfasty mouth on one of the cushions.
Grrrrrr!!! I decided to have him spend the day with my son Brandon to get him out
of the house and away from what was about to take place.  While I waited for 
Fifi to arrive with photographer Mark Lohman and his assistant, son Taylor, I took a 
few shots of my "before" status.  I was very interested to see what Fifi would do to
style the rooms in the house.  As soon as they arrived, I gave them a tour of the 
house and they rooms they wanted to shoot.  They spoke their own language it seemed
as they made decisions rapidly about what angles would be shot, and what things 
needed to get changed up for a good looking photo.  They have shot over 50 homes 
together and they work efficiently and playfully to capture the best these private homes
have to offer.  So for me it was a pleasure to observe and sometimes chime in on 
the different stages of how the photos were coming together.
Although we started in the bedroom, these iPhone pics show them in action.
Little adjustments are made between each shot, and then accessed in the monitor.
Notice how dark the room is...after having sunshine for the last three months, it decided
to be the darkest day ever the morning of my shoot.  But I was told not to worry.
And boy was that the truth, as I soon would find out.
 They set the monitor on the piano top and focused for this shot, only the sofa
and coffee table.  Fifi set up a cup of tea (actually diet coke with water) and some 
other items she rummaged from my kitchen.  She asked if I had a few cookies...errrr...
no I did not. But luckily I had my mother in law (who lives next doors) to rely on.
I proudly told Fifi and Mark that she was a Swedish gal who loved baking cookies and I 
would run and get a few for this shot.  But when I went over to get them, she looked 
flummoxed and said all she had were some Keebler elves cookies in the freezer.  
Hahah!! OMG, the cookies were little elves....with writing on them. Not so Romantic.
Then Fifi asked me if I had any mint, and when I gave her some sprigs from the garden,
she arranged the cookies on the plate with the mint and it all looked quite nice.
This was the resulting shot.  Most beautiful!  
She added big fluffy pink hydrangeas to my Costco bunch of roses
 and the floral arrangement went from standard to luxurious.
Fifi plucked elements of my pink lusterware collection for the "tea" service.
A snap of the camera would result in micro adjustments of a pillow or a throw,
and those little adjustments often made the difference between average and glorious.
The shoot actually started on the top floor of the house with my bedroom and bath.
The equipment was all brought up by Taylor and set up to include lighting
and the camera and the monitor.  Here Fifi checks the shots from the bedroom.
After checking, she would go make adjustments. When it came to my bedding,
she opted to switch out some of the pillow cases and added toss pillows and a pink
chenille bedspread to give it a more layered Romantic look. Colby hates that pink spread
and when I did have it on the end of the bed once, he made sure to get it off in short order.
After the main shot of the room was taken, Mark zeroed in on some detail shots.
The small swedish chair came out of the bathroom, as did my pashmina.
It ended up being a very pretty shot, and I loved it.
Seriously, how good is this?!
The master bath was the second room to shoot, and they worked on an area
that centered on the sink.  White rugs were replaced with a vintage hooked rug
I had and Fifi set up my vanity bench in the center.  It looked pretty before
they even snapped a shot!  She switched things around and used some of my costume
jewelry and my big bottle of Chanel No 5 to make the shot more glamorous.
Other rooms were the kitchen, my tiny dark kitchen.
But they made it look bright and beautiful.
And the dining room, which centered on my transferware collection and the Swedish bench I got
from Matthew Mead and then they did an overall shot showing the whole room.  So pretty!
After six hours, my day of watching styling and shooting had come to an end.  
Things were returned to their rightful spot and we said our goodbyes.  
It was such a fun experience for me, as I covet home decor magazines, 
and have examined lovely rooms over the years in their pages. 
 To have my house come out in Romantic Country will be such a thrill!
Due to be out in December, it will officially be the spring issue. 
 Other homes around New England will also be featured.  
If you have instagram check us out!
Fificoconut and Amymaisondecor are our account names.
Since we both hate having our pics taken we decided to just
look at each other, hahah!
At the end of the day, the wires were all corralled and the dog was let back
into the house.  Life begins again, regular style.
But I will always love the idea of how it could be... with a small village to help!

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  1. What a fun day for you, Amy! They both do such amazing work, don't they? It's incredible how Fif's artist's eye creates such vignettes of beauty. And the slightest tweaks make alllll the difference. I remember so well how hilarious Fifi and Mark were while working together setting up captures around my home and garden. They almost acted like an old married couple, giving each other a hard time and throwing jibes. Their comebacks always sent me into fits of laughter. lolol! I don't know if it was the adrenaline, excitement, or the running around I did for them....but I was exhausted at the end of the day. lol But wow....what a wonderful experience it was!! I'm hoping that Fifi will get the chance to return to Heaven's Walk for a photo shoot for her Boho Style mag someday! I'd love to see her and Mark again!

    xoxo laurie

    1. Laurie, it was quite enjoyable and I was tired at the end....but then I was tired at the beginning because of all the spiffing up I had to do! She spoke fondly of you.

  2. What a thrill! Your house is beautiful to begin with and I'm sure the tweaks were small. It was very well deserved. :-)

  3. They managed to make your beautiful home even more amazing! I love the mixture of roses and hydrangeas. Just wow.

  4. Isn't it amazing how just a little bit of light, can translate after editing, into a bright space? Can't wait to get this copy!!!

    1. Its shocking how true that is...thanks Melanie!

  5. This is so exciting! I am going to be counting the days until the issue comes out! I'mnot patient-- this is going to seem like forever--lol!

    1. I can't wait either...its like Christmas is coming, haha!

  6. I hope you are having a rest after getting everything ready for your photoshoot Amy,your home looks so beautiful and the sneek pictures are just gorgeous,congratulations can't wait to see your home in print x

    1. Yes I am relaxing now for sure Krissie, thank you!

  7. I occasionally buy this magazine off the shelf. Will definitely do so in December. Love seeing your gorgeous home.

  8. I like that your home "feels" like a home.

  9. How exciting Amy! I love your home and it always looks so beautiful, warm, and welcoming. It is indeed amazing what a photographers "eye" can capture with just a bit tweaking. I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Fifi, but we did have professional photographers shoot our home last November for French Country Style. It was supposed to come out last Spring, but FCS went under right before. We were so disappointed, but we're hoping now that Fifi has brought FCS back to life, maybe we'll see those photos come to life! I remember how exhausted we were at the end of each day of shooting, but it was a good feeling as well! So excited to see your home in print!

  10. Congratulations on having this photo shoot at your house! I can't wait to see it when it's published. I saw lots of eye candy in just the photos you shared. So, I can imagine how great the magazine will be. Fifi is so tiny and cute working in your home! I bet it was an exciting day.

  11. How amazing! Your house looks so beautiful. Now we need the story on the new countertops in the kitchen and the bath. New chandi in the kitchen too. It's still blazing hot here. I sent you an email a couple of weeks ago but I'm guessing it got lost in your inbox. The store I worked at closed and I got moved to be a designer at a different store the company owns. Yay! Starting over with new clientele. I'm not happy about that but don't ha e a choice. Colby is a doll. Franklin is doing great. If you saw him you would have no idea that he went through all he did last year. I can tell but no one else can. You've completed do many great projects this year. I had a day off yesterday and made a pillow and a giant moss ball. That's about all I can manage after working 5 to 7 ten hour days in a row at the new store. I have worked there almost two years and have only had two days of vacation. Goi g to take a week in October and hopefully paint my dining room. That's my kind of vacation. Write when you can!

  12. Your home looks beautiful Amy! I was amazed how things looked on the screen, and wondered how it could possibly be my house they were shooting!!! Wait until you see your home in print!!! You will have to catch your breath! It's all just so exciting, isn't it??!! I love the photo of you and Fifi....very nice. What a keepsake! Sending you a big hug.

  13. Gorgeous home! Well deserving of the December issue. Can't wait to see it!

  14. How did I miss this post!....How exciting and how wonderful to have spent the day with Fifi and Mark L....such great talents...I cannot wait till the issue comes out!...Would love to meet the fabulous Fifi one day....I have only spoke to her over the phone...she is such a delight!!!

  15. Can't wait to read Romantic Home with you in it! Congratulations Amy.

  16. Amy, it's such a treat to work with Fifi and Mark, isn't it? I am sure that the resulting feature will be stunning. I can't wait to see it, looking forward to seeing your beautiful home. Xo Lidy


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