5 Tips on Becoming the Perfect Photoshoot Team Player…

You may recall how McKenzie Design was recently featured on the cover of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME… But, what you may not know is all of the work behind the scenes to make the photoshoot of this design such a success.

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It takes a team of people planning, prepping and executing the plan for a fantastic photoshoot – and, in turn, a wonderful feature – and we were so lucky to have been on a team with photographers, Anthony-Masterson, and Editor-in-Chief, Betsy Riley.

Working as a team on a photoshoot is a necessity – it’s a collaborative project and everyone involved needs to come together to create a unified vision and provide the best editorial possible for the reader. To do this, the editor will keep their reader in mind and work to craft the message they want to share, specifically for them. The photographer knows what will translate well from a photography standpoint. And, finally, the designer knows what they worked to achieve for their client. It’s all about trusting the other parties and bringing these three visions together.

On shoot with Anthony Masterson and Atlanta Magazine's HOME.

On shoot with Anthony Masterson and Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.

Thanks to Steve’s many years working as Creative Director and then CEO of Berkshire Hathaway company, Larson-Juhl, he’s got a great deal of experience under his belt, both in working on various photoshoots and directly with the media. Needless to say, he was a wealth of expertise when it came to prepping for our big photoshoot for Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.

Because of Steve’s and Anthony-Masterson’s shared histories shooting spaces for publication, we thought we could share some top tips, with our design industry friends, on being an awesome player on any photoshoot team – all in hopes your project makes it to print! Here’s what we have to offer…

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  1. Be prepared. For anything. This may sound a bit vague, but anything can happen on a photoshoot. You’ll arrive on site with a plan – or at least an idea – of what will happen throughout the shoot and inevitably things change. Prep your photoshoot site as best you can and ensure it’s in tip top shape for when the editor and photographer arrive. 02-master-amp_0043
  2. Consider your design from all different angles. You may have created a design with a specific functionality in mind. But, when you’re in the midst of a photoshoot, things change. Furnishings may be readjusted so they’re captured in the best lighting. Even if you don’t think a corner of a room will be photographed, be sure it’s designed and photo-ready, just in case. 10-dining-amp_0138
  3. Bring extra accessories. Repeat after us – you can never have too many accessories. We love a great vignette shot. Secret to those amazing shots? Perfectly selected and positioned accessories. Bring additional accessories for each space being photographed. Perhaps the editor will want to try a different selection of pillows on a setee or make it appear as if a cocktail party is in progress on the bar. You’ll need to think ahead and have your stock of accessories to pull out should the need arise.05-living-amp_0090
  4. Stay out of the way. This is a tough one. The spaces being photographed have been your baby and it’ll be difficult to give up control. But, you must trust in the photographer and editor to capture and highlight those
    spaces in the best possible light. That’s their job, and with you supporting from the sidelines, it’ll be a success. 08-dining-amp_0126
  5. Offer advice. This may seem contradictory to tip #4, but when called upon, you’ll need to provide guidance, share inspiration and suggest solutions if any issues arise. It’s a difficult balance, but once you’ve been through a shoot or two, you’ll become a pro!

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*Bonus tip from Steve and Jill – Keep your favorite shops and accessory/textile destinations on speed dial during the shoot. You never know when the perfect item may just be down the road! Lucky for Steve, he was on shoot and Jill was back at the showroom… Blue hued pillows for the kitchen banquette were needed. So, she gathered up all they had and they were brought to the home where the photoshoot was in progress. A selection was made and the kitchen shot was a winner!

Steve's bedroom design made the cover!

Steve’s bedroom design made the cover!

So, there you have it. Our advice on becoming a photoshoot savant and a little behind the scenes of our photoshoot with Atlanta Magazine’s HOME. It was such a fun experience and now we’re ready to tackle the next shoot – and whatever it may bring!

Keep an eye out for a feature post here, on the blog for steve mckenzie’s, where Steve will share more about the clients and the space he designed for them.

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