Sunday, February 17, 2008
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.
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.
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.