Inside a Design Mag Photographer's Head

A few weeks ago, the stars aligned, and I was able to meet professional photographer

Emily Johnston Anderson

.  You may not realize it, but you've seen her work.  Her photographs have been featured in Rue, Bon Appetit, and Remodelista to name a few. 

all photos by

Emily Johnston Anderson

(duh)

I'm a big fan of her work, especially how she lets the natural light tell the mood and story of a space.  I have a geek-like interest in interior photo shoots; how they come together, how they're edited, and most importantly, how we all can make our homes "shoot-worthy."

Thankfully, Emily is as kind as she is talented, and let me throw together a little Q&A to help give me a little creative fly-on-the-wall perspective. 

Enjoy the morsels!

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Q:  Your interior photographs have a unique (um, amazing) aesthetic - they're not falsely lit, and convey a very true "mood" of a space.  How would you describe your interior photography style?

I think I would describe my style as authentic and atmospheric.

Q:  I think I speak for many when I say it is a goal to have my design projects published.  In your experience, how are most published homes "scouted?"  

Great question! I like to pitch homes I've photographed to publications where I feel they'd be a good fit. I know editors are always looking for great spaces to feature. 

Q:  I've always wanted to be a fly on the wall of interior design photo shoots.  Partly from a styling, partly a photographer wanna-be perspective.  (I'm nerdy like that)  What do you try to capture when you photograph interior spaces?

I always look to capture the way it feels to be in a space. I'm looking for the images that capture the way a room struck me when I walked in. The colors, the scale.

Q:  In your opinion, what is more appealing to photograph, a perfectly-decorated home, or a highly personal home?  Why?

Definitely a personal home! A skillfully assembled collection of furnishings can be beautiful, but for me there's nothing like a room that's full of objects that carry memories and secret histories. 

Q:  We all see what appears to be perfect spaces in design publications - online and paper glossies.  Are the interiors you photograph ever as "perfect" as they appear?

Rarely... often all signs of daily life are removed, and curated "lifestyle" scenarios are recreated in their stead. Can you tell I'm a fan of imperfections?

Q:  I think we can all agree that a space can be beautiful, but if it is poorly photographed, the loveliness is often diminished.  Do you have any tips to offer the blossoming designer on photographing their work (other than hiring a professional)?

The power of good composition is an often-overlooked factor in interior imagery. Think about what you want in the frame, and what you don't, and play with moving objects and furniture a little bit to one direction or another. Also, leaving a little bit of strategic negative space in the image makes for a pleasing balance -- try framing things off-center!

Thanks again, Emily!

My Preggo Pics

I'm going to attempt three blog posts this week.  That's especially ambitious, considering I'll be single-parenting for most of it.  You just watch me.

I mentioned a few posts back that I was considering having maternity photos taken.  I've never had them done with previous pregnancies, and felt like if I ever wanted to document myself in this preggo state, it was now or never.

I knew I didn't want anything belly-baring or overly serious/pensive.  Having lost our last baby has made me more contemplative, scared and grateful during this pregnancy, but the joy and humor of being pregnant again has not been swept aside - and I wanted to capture that.

I found a really wonderful, kind and patient photographer here in Rio, who just had a baby herself.  I think she registered just what I was hoping for.  Having Ipanema Beach as a backdrop didn't hurt, either!
What d'ya think?


all photos by Daniela Justus

Highlighting Interior Photography

As I'm gradually accomplishing projects around my house, and planning to put together a portfolio of my interior styling work, I'm focusing more and more on what it takes to present a room amazingly.  A professionally photographed space can take a less-than-extraordinary room, and with incredible angles and lighting, make it look straight out of a design glossy.  A poorly-lit and photographed room, however inspiring it may be, will never earn its true merits.

I came across the work of Ashlee Raubach, who's photographs of interiors capture light and essence perfectly, creating a sense not only of a beautiful space, but of actually wanting to be a part of them. 
Talk about inspiring!



 






Top O' the Mornin' to Ya!

DSC_1887

Align CenterI made these Orange Muffins. Well, actually, I riffed* a bit off-recipe according to my taste, and availability of ingredients. Made a bit of Orange Butter to up the ante. They are sunshine in your mouth!

*Part whole wheat flour, plain yogurt instead of sour cream, added flax meal, shredded coconut, and cranberries.

P.S. - Food blog sloooowly coming to fruition!

Chic Camera? Oui, Oui!

Ben and I don't exchange Christmas, birthday, anniversary, gifts in the traditional sense. He claims it's too much pressure to pick out the "perfect" gift (cough-copOUT-cough), and I never know what to give him, as he's the least materialistic person I know (that's a good thing, I realize).
However, in the event he ever wants to surprise me with something I am guaranteed to love, I do keep a Wishlist on Amazon. (hint, hint Honey ;)
I recently spied this too-cool-for-school camera - a Lomography Diana named the "Parisian" for its adorably-chic, and oh-so-French navy and white striped body.
"Lomo" is a style of photography dating back to the early '60s. Images in the Lomo style typically have high color saturation, yet a dreamy, vignetted appearance.
Most photo editing software offer ways to "Lomo-ize" digital images - like I did here using Picnik...
...but how great would it be to pick up an actual film camera again, and have a go at creating your own images in the iconic style? Perfect gift for your photofile family or friend (or of course, me!)

Picture Perfect

A few months ago, I posted about looking for a photographer to take portraits of Avery, and then newborn shots when the baby was born. I ended up hiring Angelique with Dragonfly Design Photography, after my sister-in-law recommended her. Last week, I received Isla's birth announcements that Dragonfly designed, and thought you might enjoy a peek. My sweet baby girl (who hardly even looks like this anymore!)
Isla Birth Announcement
See? (Nice spit-up bubbles, too!)
DSC_0160
(Thanks, cousin Lindsey, for being a part of our impromptu session this weekend!)

Anyway, here's some of my other favorites from the two photo sessions...

I can't even tell you how much this expression is her daddy.
5378 - Tutu eyes open

Not really wanting to smile
White dress on velvet couch

Very Anne Geddes, isn't it?
5473 - in basket in flowers

Something about the loveseat and those pom poms...
With paper poufs

A little vintage editing...
Avery on porch vintage by DF

...And a rare, candid shot with Mommy
With Mommy
**All photos except the second one, by Dragonfly**