It’s my birthday today. I’m thirty six and feeling great. Why? Well, my husband is home, which makes everything OK. My kids are doing well. They are now learning to grapple with quilts instead of grow-bags (lots of re-covering them as their legs stick out is going on) and I had a chat with my publisher yesterday and we’re all really happy with how the first part of the shoot went. I look around the new house and I see lots of corners that I’m itching to get my grubby mitts on and that gets all of those decorative juices flowing. So all in all I’m happy with where things are at.
But I think you know that is ONLY because I know that Robert is safely asleep downstairs as I type this and not in a hospital bed.
Here are some behind the scenes shots from the first part of the book shoot that took place last week.
We were blessed, BLESSED, with the weather. Even on the one day that it rained (and boy did it rain) it had cleared up enough by the time we had to go back outside and set up the shot for that day. We used the dappled light from the trees at the end of garden for one of the shoots and when we all gathered around the screen to check out the pics I got just a teeny bit excited. It’s an odd/surreal/exciting/dream come true to see your thoughts and vision come to life with the help of other people who, unbeknownst to you at the time, understand that vision. You’re not sure if you’ve explained yourself well enough and then you see the finished shot and you know that you really didn’t need to explain yourself very well at all because the team of people surrounding you were all geniuses!
My pregnant sister, Jodie. She is almost eight months gone now and I’ve never seen a pregnant woman work so hard. Some days she literally did not stop or even sit down for very long, despite our telling her she must. She’s an absolute trooper and the best sister a person could ask for. She also bought me a rather fab birthday pressie so she’s definitely in my good books right now. She’s pictured here with her best friend, Jolie. Jodie & Jolie have been friends for about twenty six years (or something like that). Perfect!
It was great to have the kids there for some of the shooting. I think it’s important to have them around as many different people as possible so that they can soak up everything those people have to offer them. But I’m not going to mislead anyone, the kids were not around all day, every day. I could not have focused on the shoot in the way I needed to if they had have been. Which is where the Grandma’s really came in to their own for both Jodie and I. I dropped my two off at my MIL’s in the morning and she bought them back for four pm, just in time for that last chunk of togetherness before bottle and bed.
It was a bit of distracted togetherness, coupled with hot nights that the babies didn’t understand and didn’t like very much. And the fact that after I shut the nursery door to the children we carried on working right through as there was much to be done.
But it is a busy household and they not only have me, who knows exactly when they need me to look in to their eyes or to pick them up, but they now have a brand new extended family that comprises of an art director, a photographer, a couple of publishers and some rocking home economists. I tend to think they are really lucky to have such skilled people hanging about the place.
It was all really lovely and at times, especially as the heat of the sun went down behind the houses opposite, strangely calm.
We refereed back to the mood boards from time to time but also came up with new directions and aesthetics. A fluid, creative process that is exciting to watch.
I’d impaled my arm on the bracket of the stair-gate and caused a bruise/scab thing so Lindsay, our make-up artist covered it up for me. Lindsay is awesome and an absolute delight and you can follow her on Twitter @LindsayBmakeup
The thing about Lindsay is that she gets to spend the entire Autumn and Christmas season working on
Strictly Come Dancing which she described as fantastic for a make-up artist as it’s glitter, glitter and more glitter. I’m insanely jealous of her as I’m a huge Strictly fan and very honoured to have had her there.
There was one tiny Hawthorn branch that was right in Keiko’s lens and needed to be dealt with. We tweaked our environment for the shoot and then put it all back to the way it was.
The team. They rock!
A special mention goes out to the best brother-in-law in the world. Garry gave up an entire working week to help us out when we knew that Robert would not be home or fit enough to help us on the shoot. Garry moved stuff, climbed ladders, held props, made us laugh and was generally a really cracking chap to have around. Thank you, Garry. You are the best.
It was a beautiful week. Full of moments of high tension as I slowly but surely burnt my hand while cooking outdoors and moments of real joy as individual personalities came out and flourished. This is Nikki, the art director, holding Ned. At the start of the week, when I didn’t realise just how accomplished Nikki was or for how long she had been doing her job, we had a conversation about wardrobe. As I am a perfectly happy, out in the open, control freak I asked her if she was going to take notes during our conversation lest she forget anything. She informed me, in those fabulous Newcastle tones of hers, that she’d done all this many times before and she knew what a dress was.
I’ve not laughed that hard in a very long time.
Would you like to see some more from the second half of the week next time?
Are there any questions about the shoot that anybody has?
I love you and wish you all a fabulous day.
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