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Journey Behind the Photo

Journey Behind the Photo

What is the worth of one high-quality photo? More than a thousand words? When it comes to marketing, the answer is “yes!”

What is involved in producing the photo that sells? Join Gary for a glimpse of the Rosewood team pursuing “thousand-word” photos during a recent shoot for Finch, a patio furniture brand, to answer these questions yourself!

I had the privilege of researching photography locations. When I came across Twin Willows Estate online, I couldn’t help but think that we had found the winner!

After communicating with the owners of this VRBO rental property, we were all delighted to secure a date in their schedule. Normally we would visit the location before planning the scenes, but since it was a distance away and the owners shared photos of their property, we began to plan the scenes using those photos and Google Maps. Would we be disappointed when we arrived?

No!

Twin Willows Estate

Many details go into fully-propped photos. Color schemes and props, both edible and non-edible, started floating through our heads as Twila and I developed a photography plan.

Staging montage

For each scene, the photography plan consisted of a furniture, fabric, and prop list, as well as shooting location, time of day, and inspirational photos. See the photo on the top right?

Photography plan

This is our version. I think it’s a great result based on the original vision for this scene, a testament to the teamwork on this project, from the scene planning stage to photography and styling on the day of the shoot!

Keystone counter

Adrian charted the overall plan for the day as he considered light direction, scene backgrounds, the setup team’s travel paths, two styling teams, and two photography teams. It would never do to have a styling team setting up in a photographer’s background! The black sections indicate that initial setup and teardown was slated to happen in the dark.

Work schedule

Well, November 8, 2016 did arrive! And our work schedule that day Trumped all! ; ) We arrived before 6am, our trailer loaded with photography equipment and props, and Windy Valley’s loaded with ALL the furniture and more props. Each team was equipped with the above schedule as well as a map showing where each scene was set to take place. Arrows indicate possible shooting directions.

Ariel Overview

Still dark, we set up the Garden Dining scene by the fountain. (Behind-the-scenes photos credit goes to Matt Feener, manager of the shoot.)

Lyndon is on the move!

Lyndon on the move

Gary, Nancy, and Twila rush to style the scene before sunrise.

Styling the scene

See the 3 workhorses on the right? Merv and his two helpers heroically muscled the furniture all over the property since we needed to keep our vehicles off the grass. It took effort from all of us to stay out of the cameras’ line of fire all day.

Moving the furniture

As dawn broke, Lyndon was already wrapping up the first scene.

Wrapping up the first scene

Meanwhile Adrian was focusing in on the mission dining set in the courtyard...

Focusing on the mission dining set

and doing whatever it took to get artistic angles of the SummerSide Bar and Zinn’s Mill Rockers.

Shooting at artistic angles 1
Shooting at artistic angles 2

Backstage, the trailers were emptied of most of their contents within a short amount of time.

Trailers being emptied

And the contents were then living in the driveway and all over the estate.

Photoshoot contents in driveway

Here is Merv himself, making sure Nancy and Twila get it right.

Merv, Nancy & Twila

Oh and yours truly learning how to cut lemons. : P

Gary cutting lemons

The finished scene overlooking the pool.

Scene overlooking pool

Matt was almost falling into the pool to take this photo, as testified by his wet elbow. : )

Pool

The scene from Adrian’s point of view.

Pool from Adrian's point of view

Matt troubles the waters for some drama.

Matt troubles the water

I discovered the benefit of going on photo shoots, eating the props! These pretzels were delicious.

Pretzels

Uh..I hope I didn’t eat that one though.

Pastry

Sometimes one needs a little height to get just the right angle.

Adrian on diving board

Or even more height!

Adrian on a ladder

Setting up the patio scene.

Setting up the patio scene

The lobster has arrived!

Lobster has arrived

Portrait photography with the lobsters.

Portrait photography of the lobsters

The lights from inside the house helped create the warm ambience on the patio.

Interior lighting creates patio ambience

As dusk settled in, all the cameras were focused on the patio scene.

Cameras focused on patio scene

Capturing the Mission Deep Seating scene.

Capturing mission deep seating scene

We shot 14 scenes that day. See a favorite shot of each below.

  • Garden Dining
  • Courtyard
  • Mission Dining
  • Summer Side Bar
  • Zinn's Mill Rockers
  • Olde Squire Rockers
  • Mission Dining
  • Poolside
  • Sun Surf Lounge
  • Summer Side Bar
  • Great Bay Counter
  • Park Benches
  • Park Benches
  • Great Bay Counter

It was a tiring but fulfilling day. We didn’t have an appetite left for lobster. But Merv enjoyed them the next day.

Keystone counter

Of course the main reason for the shoot was to provide Finch and their dealers with lead-generation and point-of-sale tools. Finch uses the photos in their marketing materials, including catalogs, a buyer’s guide, and the Finch website.

Catalogs & buyers guides

We also provided Finch’s dealers with concepts to inspire them to put the photos to work for themselves.

  • Postcard
  • Wall hanging
  • Branded van
  • Billboard