Behind the Scenes


The exciting day comes when we capture our projects, and our many labors of love, appear before us through the back of a camera. No pressure. 🤔 Much like picture day at school, we “spruce up” our already beautiful child. 🥰

The sprucing part, aka “styling” is similar to what you do before company arrives. To be clear, NONE of us live our everyday lives ready for a photoshoot. That said, getting a space camera-ready is usually more involved than meets the eye! 😉 The challenge is to capture the scope of the project without missing all those fine details that make our good designs fabulous. Sometimes there’s a fair amount of rearranging, to accommodate how the lens translates the space. Big or small, there’s always a lot to capture. Have a look behind the scenes…


The process:

Plan/Prep:  Ili, Kirstin, the lead designer/architect and I, go through snaps of the project to determine the important architectural and design representation, (both interior and exterior), along with any “details” and “function” images needed to tell the story. We break it down into a roadmap for three types of shots: Scope, function, and detail. There’s a delicate balance between showing the scope while making it a good editorial image.  “Function” images are always in the mix, because we’re so crafty at hiding things behind beautiful built-in panels.  “Detail” shots or what we’ve affectionately named “moments”, are snapshots focusing on lifestyle, ie the creative sensibility of the moment.

Based on our creative inspiration, I make a list of props to resource for the shoot. The amount of props range with each project, however plants, food and flowers are staples, —and I always travel with birch logs. BTW, It’s a good idea to have a large vehicle. I’m lovin’ Kirstin’s new van, fiddle figs can get huge! 😆 Meet the plant whisperer…🌿


Call time: At this point, the hunting and gathering of props is complete and the cars are unloaded. We, the art director/stylist, (Kirstin and I wear both hats 🤠) determine just the right angle for each space. Here are all the contraptions you don’t see in our images…


Overall Scope shots: These are shots that capture a wide range of the space, and the overall architecture. There’s always a lot to take in however, the best perspective to see the whole big picture. The challenge for the stylist is to find props large enough not to get swallowed up by the lens. How large of a pot can you find??? LOL 🤣


Details shots: This is the shot that gives you a closer look at the unique backsplash, the amazing Thermador range, and all of the details in the selections. BTW, fruits and veggies always look the best when they have a bit of natural sunlight raking over them.

This is a detail of a custom dining table we are incredibly proud of.


Function shots: Here’s a “wall of function” snap with a peek of all of the swoon worthy storage, a fridge, plus dueling beverage drawers that are all tucked away. This one was photo bombed by a certain friend who heard the fridge open. Can’t fool him.

Speaking of big pots…check out these custom space savers hidden in the cabinet.



One of the biggies is chasing light and weather. Every space looks different in the eyes of the sun, 🌞 therefore determining what time of day is best can change your whole schedule. Flexibility is key and being prepared to switch it up on a moments notice helps navigate through the day. Jeff Herr, our photographer extraordinaire is the king when it comes to shooting with natural light, seriously making him the ruler of the shot sequence. This snap was taken an hour before a tornado warning in Decatur. ⛈Planning is everything.


Small spaces: Inevitably we back Jeff into the tiniest corner of the house. Happens every time, usually in the powder room. You know how much we LOVE to design them and we can’t leave the house without a shot of the loo. There’s always the discussion debating whether to show the toilet. Jeff maintains that it’s an essential part of a powder room and it is what it is. As stylists, we create a distraction with clever accessories. Subtle but fun, the leaves on the back of the commode are the same leaves depicted in the wallpaper, and graced by a portrait of the commander of the household.


All clear. Before we take the image, we do one final sweep for any loose ends…Kirstin seems confident this one is ready…

That’s a wrap! We hope you enjoyed the insights of our photoshoots. Stay tuned for more images of all of our projects. Thank you Jeff for being so kind to crawl in all those tight spots to get those beautiful images. Thanks Katelyn for being behind the candid camera, snapping those amazing details. Huge thanks to our friends/homeowners who are so hospitable on our photoshoots. Big hugs to all of our dog friends who willingly let us photograph them in their home. 🐶

Love Life at Home ❤️







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