I thought it might be interesting to share the behind the scenes blog post from one of my shoots. I can’t tell you how many times people have thought that being an Interior Stylist is all shiny photo shoots and glamour but it’s not. It’s a lot of planning and prepping and a ton of loading and unloading of vans. But when it’s right it can be the most fun job ever!
This was a Christmas shoot for the 2016 Talking tables brochure and these shoots are big, four day affairs with tons of props (like a luton van full) a LOT of food and drink and always beautiful flowers. Often we are in a different location every day traveling around London and the suburbs so there’s a lot of driving and a lot of loading and unloading of vans – no need to go to the gym that week! But even with all of that incredibly hard work what they are most of all is fun.
The gangWhat makes it tick along nicely
It’s all about having a good team. We’ve been shooting together for Talking Tables for six years now so we know each other pretty well. I’ve been shooting with Olly for sixteen years since a fated shoot for Homes and Ideas magazine where he likes to remind me that I made him shoot 60 shots of grilled peppers (it wasn’t- it was about 20 and I was young and inexperienced – but I still got him to do it!)
Helen is the Marketing Manager for TT and is so on her game. She runs the shoot. To say she finds the most amazing locations is an understatement. They’re always perfect for the ranges. In a week we can shoot anything from eight to fourteen ranges some big collections and some additional products to great selling collections. Each range has a completely different feel so it falls on Helen to find locations that will work across the shoot list – no easy feat when you move from pretty floral Truly Scrumptious right through to ultra modern Glitterati in one day.
Shoots don’t work without assistants and for this shoot I had the lovely Stella to be my right hand girl and together with Olly’s assistant Jo the shoot can run smooth as anything.
We shot at the lovely Catherine Worram’s house on one of the days and I have to say it’s a stunning and MASSIVE house in SE25 . Great for big shoots as there’s plenty of space for props and you don’t end up tripping over your boxes and crates. I’m pretty clumsy so there’s a lot of tripping when I’m on a shoot! We were in the basement location for this shoot but have shot in the main house too! Both are incredible shoot locations.
The cover shot for the brochure has had people on it the last few issues so while Olly is setting up I sit in and be a ‘model’ while he gets the lighting right. I seem to have this reaction to being on the wrong side of the camera. I don’t ever just smile. I HAVE to pull a face!
Another location we shot at was Tavistock Works in London which was originally an old stables. You could walk past it every day and not even know it was there. It had a big open space upstairs with great light. Of course we were shooting Christmas in June so Olly had to create a bit of mood and hide all that light!
We also shot at this house in Thursley, Godalming. It had a swimming pool, tennis courts and most importantly beams in the dining room and the perfect fireplace for a christmas shoot.
On me ‘ed son
If there’s one thing that can be guaranteed on these (and frankly most shoots) it’s that if there’s something that can go on your head I will put it on and do a selfie. I know I do this but it’s not until I look back over the whole shoot’s selfies that I realise how often I do it. I mean glasses and headbands are one thing but the clip on robin decorations I am sure are not meant for heads!
So that’s a quick tour of behind the scenes at this TT shoot. Next time I’ll be shore to share the boxes and vans! You can see what the finished shots look like here on the Christmas 2016 with Talking Tables post but here’s the brochure.
Be sure to check out the fantastic products over on TalkingTables.com