Where It Started
At the end of 2020, I had pitched a local magazine the idea of featuring Barn Door Blooms. This local business was a great fit for with their Connecticut Food & Farm audience. Jenni of Barn Door Blooms provides amazing flower arranging workshops, wedding florals and holiday bouquets for her local area. The pitch was accepted, Jenni was onboard and the creative planning started.
First Creative Steps
The story was around Jenni’s amazing floral business and future Spring workshops. So imagery of flowers in a workshop setting was essential. I also knew we were going to have to capture an environmental portrait as well.
I had image ideas as soon as the pitch was accepted. I had to get them on paper to start the visual concept of the shoot. I did so by creating a digital concept board and if I could not find an image to represent my vision I would sketch the image. Jenni and I collaborated and discussed what flowers would be nice to have, color palette, containers, signage and location. As I developed the concept boards I would send them over to her to gain feedback to keep each other on the same page.
Location was also key. We decided to utilize her amazing New England barn, which I call the studio, considering this is also where she creates her winter wreaths and floral bouquets. We chose the bottom floor for the portrait and the top floor for the action/workshop images. Another fun element to the shoot was the option of using her chickens for the portrait shots. Since we were utilizing the barn it worked out perfectly and the shots were so fun to make.
An extra creative touch to the photoshoot was some custom calligraphy work from a local small business. We loved the idea of having flower tags on the bloom containers and a workshop recipe card. This detail really made the images special. The video shows how they were incorporated into the shoot and final magazine usage.
There were three main image categories for the photo shoot including the portrait, the workshop action/details and the flat lay image utilizing the custom calligraphy recipe card. My initial idea was to use this as a landing page to list out the upcoming workshops, but it ultimately was used as the cover image for the article, which was equally as nice. With this flat lay image in mind I also knew I needed a rustic wood backdrop, so I created a backdrop by applying peel and stick wallpaper on foam board. I brought this with me and knew I could set this up anywhere and wouldn’t be dependent on the space and lighting. Below is a video on How To Make & Use a DIY Backdrop
Photo Shoot Day
A Spring magazine assignment requires the photo shoot to take place during the winter months. Our photo shoot day landed in the beginning of February, right after a winter snowstorm. Nothing was going to stop us. We were both so excited about the shoot. The ordered flowers were picked up from a local vendor, the barn was cleaned and my photography gear was packed.
I used a one light set up. My wireless Flashpoint Xplor Pro 600 light and a 38″ soft box does an amazing job for on-location photo shoots. It was all we needed to capture some amazing images in a confined space. I shot with my Canon 5D Mark IV, 24-70 f 2.8L IS, 70-200 f 2.8L IS II, and 35 mm f 1.4L I. I like shooting with a variety of both zoom and prime lenses. I knew I was capturing portraits, action and details, so all the lenses came in handy. The GoPro Hero 9 was also utilized for capturing the behind the scenes video. I used the hyper-lapse while driving in the car and time-lapse mode for inside the barn.
Jenni and I patiently waited for the digital magazine to go live. We had reviewed all the images from the shoot and carefully curated a batch of image to be considered for the magazine spread. Not all the images were selected so I wanted to highlight a few more below. We had such a great time capturing images of what Jenni does and I feel like it really shows. When shooting an editorial assignment I make sure to leave additional space around the person or objects just incase the magazine designer wants to add text overlays.