I was recently commissioned by Jennifer Morrell with An Inspiring Home to photograph her latest interior design project down in Waxhaw, NC (just out of Charlotte if you aren’t familiar with the area).
The morning of the shoot, I arrived at this super cute home that Jennifer had helped update. I had photographed several of her designs up to this point and was so excited to tackle another interior with her. But I had no idea just how amazing this photoshoot was going to be.
The Task: Our main focus was to photograph the living room and kitchen. Both were major features of this open-concept floor plan and we wanted to show each space in it’s own design but also how they worked together.
The Challenge: Each interior photography session is unique in its own way. This particular shoot was challenged with a very dreary day. It wasn’t just raining, it was dog-pouring rain the entire time I was there. Now while some photographers may choose to reschedule, I personally LOVE the days where the sun isn’t beaming through the windows. So we pressed on, working with seriously diffused light.
The Living Room
We’ll start with the living room since these were my absolute favorite images. If you look at the layout, you’ll see that there is one wall of windows facing the back of the furniture. What I didn’t realize, until months later, is that having this single light source in a layout sets the photos up for major success when it comes to mood and shadows. See below.
Now if you’ve worked with me recently, there’s no doubt you have seen this photo. I’ve plastered it every where that I could fit it. The photo of this chair is hands down one of my favorite interior photos and here’s why. If you take a step back, this shot has such a clear story. It’s full of attitude and the chair almost demands you sit in it, with a cup of hot tea of course. Coffee is acceptable too (but don’t spill it).
I think what makes it so special is the play with light and shadows. This was one of my first photos where the shadows were an important compositional element. They create contrast that makes the photo look natural and so very comfortable.
Since taking this photo, I have studied it and come to realize that the light pushing through this way is something that I need to be recreating in every photo that I can. In fact, I think this singular photo may have revolutionized how I shoot moving forward. I feel like there’s a full post about this in my brain somewhere…so stay tuned.
The Kitchen had an almost identical lighting scenario where a single wall of windows sent diffused (rainy) light through the room. The result? Soft shadows casting through a kitchen I could spend hours in.
I think we should take a moment and just admire that fabric on those barstools. I feel that in a room where everything is soft and beautiful, the texture those chairs bring into the space is on point.
In this room, there was a particular challenge we had to fight quite a bit. The glares. Because we were shooting into windows, and these surfaces were highly reflective, we had to keep a look out for harsh glares on the counters as well as serious color cast on the cabinets.
Color cast what happens when light bounces off of a color object and onto something more neutral. Like a gold drawer pull onto blue cabinetry. I ended up using a lot of brushes in color mode to get rid of color cast on the cabinets.
Now I do want to talk about the photo down below. When you look, it seems like a pretty simple photograph of a kitchen right? Oh goodness no! We spent a lot of energy and time trying to get that dining room perfect for the shot. There’s actually not even a dining room table in there! In though, I think it was worth it.
Now it’s time to talk about this photo of the range for just a second. At face value, there isn’t anything crazy special about this photo. In fact, we almost didn’t take it. It’s clean and soft and not too much pops about it (beside that gorgeous wood trim around the range hood). But something was grabbing me about this photo and I think it was the utilitarian nature of the shot. Let me explain.
Since I’ve got a history with marketing, I know first hand the struggle of not having a good background photo for some content. So this shot just stood out to me as perfect image to have on hand when Jennifer needs some background behind a blurb of text. It turns out, it’s served it’s purpose pretty well!
The Coffee Bar
We’ll wrap up with this one final spot. You got a sneak peak of it one of the kitchen photos but it demands its own feature I think. Take a look at this little coffee bar. Its sweet and innocent appeal made it the perfect spot for some coffee or tea! The light hit it just right to create a little moment that couldn’t be ignored.
I hope you enjoyed these as much as I did! If you want to see more designs by Jennifer, check out Kentucky Derby and stay tuned. I’ve already got a couple more jobs with her to tell you about!