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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