Interiors // Behind the Scenes of a Magazine Shoot

May 31, 2018

Morning! So a couple of weeks ago, we had a very exciting photo-shoot at home for a large national magazine. I shared a few behind the scenes shots on Instagram but thought I'd give you a little more insight if you're interested?

Our last house was featured in Ideal Home Magazine a few years back {remember this post about it?} and we've had plenty of blog shoots before {like when Rock my Style came to feature our current house a couple of years back} so I knew what to expect. But it had been a while, and certainly never on a scale like this before - with both our house and garden this time and I'd forgotten just how much work goes into a shoot! 

To step back a little, talk of a shoot first started when we very first got the keys to this new project. I had five offers over the course of a few months once freelance stylists/writers began to see our house on my Instagram account. But I was reluctant to jump into any, either the publication wasn't right or the people were too pushy. We didn't want to set a date until we were properly finished and because we wanted the garden featured, we wanted the time of year to be right. With our last magazine shoot for Ideal Home there were a team of 5 in our house who brought whole suitcases full of props that they wanted to get into shot for their own gain. And they dictated that it had to be done in January, which was dark and miserable!

So this time it was Naomi {from Naomi Jones Homes} who had got in touch that I liked the best, she said that she would shoot our home as it was, without a publication lined up to start with and she would then submit it to magazines. Doing it this way around meant that we would have no products pushed into shot, it was about our home and garden and we could choose the time of year to suit us best. It was just Naomi, who is both a stylist and writer and her photographer who would be with us and she was prepared to wait until we were completely ready. I think it was probably 18 months ago that she first got in touch? We both decided that May would be best for the time of year to suit our house and garden and she was completely non-pushy and I'd seen examples of her previous work in magazines via Instagram. She tends to cover publications which I was keen to be featured in too.

Some people ask what you gain from having your house featured in a magazine and in truth, it's just for the glory I suppose. As a homeowner you're not paid, the payment goes to the stylist and photographer and it is an incredibly long day. You'll need to tidy/clean scrupulously beforehand and your things will get moved around {a lot!} during the day. I'm pretty OCD so this does tend to affect me quite hard during a shoot. But I just think it's a really lovely record to share your hard work after a couple of years of renovating a property. There are blogs and there are Instagram but for me, still, nothing beats print media. 

As luck would have it, it was a beautiful day for the shoot and I was so pleased that we'd chosen May. The wisteria was out on the front of the house and the garden was looking all green and lush. The sunlight was perfect for the house too. With our last shoot, the photographer had come round in advance to look at the house, but this time because Naomi had seen so much on my Instagram/blog she was happy enough to come first on the day of the shoot. She brought along Rob Sanderson from Talbot Photography, a really lovely photographer who's shot for some huge publications over the years and focuses on interiors. I think it's key that you get on with these people as they'll be in your home alll day {from around 9am until 6pm with just a short lunch break!}.

Each shot is styled to perfection. I'd forgotten that I would have to be in some of the shots too until the morning of the shoot! But it's key for magazines to have you involved, and if you have a dog they often like these in the shot too! My husband was pleased that he didn't have to be involved this time, the last set of Ideal Home photos were a little cringe worthy to say the least. I also had to go on location for a couple of the photos this time too.

Naomi brought a few flowers with her and encouraged me to create some arrangements in advance for each room. I used a mix of flower market blooms along with some cow parsley and bluebells I'd cut from the garden.

Mostly, our house stayed as it was, but a few bits had to be arranged to suit the magazine's style or to get key pieces into the frame.

I'm not allowed to show you the official photos until after publication but I'll share this one sneak peek from the back of the camera on the day.

Whilst tiring, both in the preparation and on the day itself, it was a lot of fun and it helped that both Naomi and Rob were so lovely to work with.

I was SO in love with his camera skills and this lens.

Naomi's styling was so gorgeous and fun to watch.

I'm not allowed to name the publication until nearer the publish date, which we expect to be next Spring. Magazines tend to like to publish just before the season in which it was shot in. Some magazine shoots like to keep seasons out of your house, so you'd have to wear neutral non-season specific clothing and keep the flowers unthemed but our shoot was very much about Spring - another reason why I liked Naomi shooting it to how we wanted rather than being dictated to for ease of publication dates.

Be aware that once a magazine has commissioned a shoot, they have the 'first rights' to that and it means your home can't then be featured for quite a while in any other print media. We had a couple of requests for a Christmas shoot at our house but a) I wasn't too interested but b) we wouldn't have then be allowed to go ahead with this one.

There's some work afterwards for the interview piece which accompanies the photos. All magazines differ on how much information they need, Ideal Home needed costings and source details of practically everythingggg in our house and we didn't really like having to disclose the value of our home. But other magazines just like more photos and the story behind it without having to go into too much detail.

Will share more as soon as I'm allowed to! But I hope you've enjoyed this little look behind the scenes. We have a couple of blog house tours lined up for this summer which I'll be allowed to share a lot sooner.

With greatest thanks to the lovely Naomi and Rob, I can't wait to see the feature!

R <3 xx 

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  1. Lovely post to read. Definitely looking for to seeing the finished article when you're allowed to share it. You do have a great style and it will be intersting to see how they've captured it x


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