Sunday, February 17, 2008

Under Cover

becky.in.action

I had the pleasure of hosting a team of folks here at the house on Friday to work on some photos for the book. The very talented and gracious Becky Stayner was on hand for the shoot. She is wonderful in every way. The biggest chore of the day was the cover shot, which after two months of persuading my publishers' marketing team finally convinced me to be part of. Notice I called it a chore. I was not especially excited at this prospect and insisted on some hard core convincing for several weeks. Short story is I had to go and name the book Seams To ME and, therefore it was agreed all the way around that the cover should feel as friendly to look at as it hopefully is to read. And for some reason they think I'm friendly. Hmm. I tried to start acting mean, make ugly faces and stuff so they would think I wasn't friendly but no one bought it for a second.

wall.color

It took weeks of back and forth phone calls and emails with attachments like the one above to nail down just the right setting for the shoot. It takes a lot of work for things to look natural sometimes, as strange as that sounds. Not just natural, thats not really what I mean, but for the cover image to feel as though it belongs with the way the book is written. Trying to represent months and months of text, instructions, thoughts, opinions, photos, design, advice and so forth all in one cover image is quite challenging. After about 3 hours of test shots, different angles, various elements and different clothes we were on to what we all felt good about. After shopping 178 different times for something to wear, and trying on and testing several items in front of the camera, I ended up wearing one of my favorite items that's been in my closet for more than a year already. As soon as it was on, I felt comfortable and we started getting what we were all hoping for on film. No one was happier than me about that, and I can't wait to share the cover of the book with you once its all together. It was really stressful. It sounds glamorous, I imagine, but it felt nothing close to glamorous. It felt like I was risking messing up a lot of hard work with the possibility of a stupid look on my face. But guess what? I wasn't alone. I was surrounded by talented, honest people who told me when I had a stupid look on my face (quite often, actually), so you can all relax now.

tulips

Okay, well this was glamorous. I usually don't have fresh flowers in vases this time of year so it was nice to have a few beautiful props around the house. (Thanks Amy!) I managed to get some shots of them while Becky was messing with some little fabric stack still lifes in the studio. After everyone left in the late afternoon I fell to the floor and did nothing for about 36 hours straight. However the pack of wild animals here dragged me out to the woods this balmy afternoon for a nice windy walk through some beautiful wintry trails.

As we embarked Jeff said, 'hey kids, this is the first time mom has been out of the house in about a year'.

Juliana followed with 'yea mom, like the only place you've been in two months is Anthropologie and the grocery store'.

Slight exaggeration perhaps, but it sure felt like they were both right. The air outside felt great. Actually it felt foreign and amazing. I like working away at all the colorful bits of things here in the house and studio, but I have to admit being smitten with the quiet nothingness of the trees in February. Reminds me of cleansing my palette at the beach last summer. I'll share our hike with you soon. I might have left the house but not without the camera.

xo,AM

27 comments:

  1. Congratulations on getting the cover shoot finished! I can hardly wait to see the picture! I am so glad you got a chance to get out of the house with your family and enjoy some fresh air!

    Caroline

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  2. What a great feeling to finish that cover shoot! I like what I see of that apron in the background. I pulled out some fat quarters of C Lollipop this morning to make into another tiered skirt and thought of you! Enjoy that fresh air.

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  3. Thanks for sharing part of your book's process...it seems everyone's is so different!

    Hey, don't you kind of wish they shot your cover with you BEFORE you started the book, when you were feeling all fresh? :)

    Ahhh to be free...

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  4. I cant wait to see it AM!

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  5. the new banner looks great, Anna Maria. i am really looking forward to your book, too.

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  6. I got the new Gardening issue of M. Stewart Living the other day. In the section about her daily show, there you were in a pic with her. *S*.....and when I turned the page, there were the directions for how to do your project.

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  7. That sounds so fun! Congrats, you must be happy to have it all wrapped up.

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  8. It must be quite a relief to have conquered another of your publishing hurdles. I'm sure the cover will be fabulous and definitely reflect the book.

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  9. Anna Maria, I've been a fan for some time now & can't wait for your book to come out. Never realized how much work went into one. I'm a fellow Nashvillian and
    can't say anything good about the winter weather we've had this year!
    LOL You inspire us all.

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  10. Anna Marie, I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to your book. I rarely buy craft or sewing related books, I like to check them out from the library. However, I will be buying yours : )

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  11. OOH! I've worked with Becky before and she's WONDERFUL!! So exciting that she's shooting your book and I can't wait to see it!

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  12. I am a very novice sewer, but I am definitely looking forward to your book. I really enjoy reading your blog and am encouraged when I read about all of the work that you accomplish aside from being a mom & wife. Thanks so much for sharing and congratulations on a successful photo shoot.
    Sam

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  13. Congratulations on finishing your photo shoot. I am really looking forward to the book.
    I'm glad you were able to get outside too. My family loves to go hiking together, although we don't do it nearly often enough. I hope you'll have a chance to share the pics of your hike soon!

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  14. Pretty new at sewing...very new like I don't know how to thread the machine by myself, new. new but interested and I just love your poetic way of writing...it inspires me to want to write. Sorry I am a stranger wish I really knew you. Thanks for sharing.

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  15. Wow, that sounds like so much work and worry! Glad it turned out the way you hoped. And although we all love your work, my guess is that we really keep coming back to your blog because we really like YOU! So, I'm so glad they were able to convince you to be part of the cover. Can't wait to see.
    --Anna

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  16. Wow, reading your take on the process that has gone into the book has given me a real appreciation for all my books. Looking forward to adding yours to my little collection.

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  17. i CANNOT wait for the book and to see your fabulous new fabrics in the stores. speaking of stores, i am also a nashvillian, as well as a huge fan, and i have to admit...i saw you in textile fabrics a few weeks ago and i got so nervous and jittery i had to leave! needless to say, you are a huge inspiration and i thank you for sharing your talents with us. maybe next time, i'll have the nerve to say hello. :)

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  18. SHARON!!!! You better say hello next time! thank you so much for the nice words and I hope to see (really SEE) you at Textile again soon!
    xoxox,AM

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  19. love these 'behind the scene' shots and your narrative.
    but i saw you on MS and you are GORGEOUS!
    i cannot wait to see the cover and all the goodness inside!
    yippee!

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  20. As someone who hates having her picture taken I feel your pain at having to endure a photo shoot. :0) It sounds like you are finally getting a chance to breath a bit with the madness of publishing getting out of the way. Enjoy the time for walks in the woods.

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  21. I'm certain it will be worth all the work, ten fold. You've got quite a following. I look forward to seeing it. ~jen~

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  22. I'm sure it IS very stressful but I still think it sounds oh so glamorous! What a dream! and I just can't wait to get your book. I know it will be beautiful just like you!

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  23. It is always interesting to see the world through your eyes! All this excitement has me even more excited to see your book. I'm glad you got to get outdoors too-- it seems people forget how lovely winter can be and stay inside until spring! (looking forward to your photos!)

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  24. Delighful post....so intriguing all this process....Success. I am already saving for the book.
    anary

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  25. I can't wait to see your new book. Congratulations!

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