Breakdown of a Photo Shoot Job.

Brimfield_PeopleErin

(Saw this at Brimfield Friday before shoot and seriously should have bought it for my office.)

Last week I styled a photo shoot for a magazine.  This is something that I never would have dreamed I would have been asked to do two years ago.  It’s just another thing that has happened to me this year that leaves me going “What? Me? Really???“.  To most people, myself included, hearing the words “styling” and “photo shoot” conjures up images of glamour and air kisses and rainbows. I now can tell you that is not so. While I am very proud of the results and feel it was very much worth it, it was one of the hardest, most stressful things I’ve done as of late. So here is how it REALLY goes down:

THE DISSECTION & TIME LINE OF A STYLING JOB

  • May 5: OMG, I’ve been asked to style a magazine feature! Am real, grown up, legitimate designer! This is magnificent news, worthy of three or four drinks!
  • May 25: I have so much time to do this. SO much time. No sweat (scurries off to Facebook/ client work/ puppies/interwebs).
  • June 1: Holy sh*t, this is happening in a month and a half! I need to start thinking of ideas! (**Crickets chirping**)
  • June 2: I suck. I can’t think of anything. Will be exposed as complete fraud! All of Boston will point and laugh!
  • June 15: Ok, I have an idea! It’s going to be brilliant! Happy dance!
  • June 16th: Just kidding, that idea won’t work. Back to the drawing board. (Hits forehead on desk)
  • June 17: Have done nothing but lie on office floor and stare at ceiling waiting for divine design intervention to happen. (Ok, and maybe a little Facebook.)
  • June 18: Design concept is due ASAP! Panic ensues! Spend 48 hours on interwebs obsessively searching for things and muttering to self. Husband contemplates straight jacket as birthday gift this year. I request that it’s zebra and monogrammed.
  • June 19: Facebook friends become concerned about negative, homicidal status updates.
  • June 20: It’s actually coming together. I’m liking it.
  • June 22: Finish up concept boards. Not perfect, but good. Send off to editor.
  • June 24: Editor likes them! Success! It’s all a cakewalk from here (Note: foreboding music plays in back round)
  • July 1: Shoot scheduled for July 20. That’s in 19 days. Ruh-roh. Will deal after the 4th. I need to carb load in preparation for the home stretch.
  • July 6:  Have assistant call people begging them to lend us furniture. Some are nice, some are not. Hello, free press people! This biz is bananas.
  • July 10: Realize I have to order/buy the non-loanable stuff. Shiz.
  • July 12: The rug I planned on using is BACK-ORDERED! AHHHHH! Good thing I have one in my living room. Will have to get wine and spaghetti stains out of it ASAP.
  • July 13: Waking up in the middle of the night panicking that everyone forgets about loaning me items and nothing shows up. Way worse than being naked in the middle of school/work dream. This happens for the next 7 nights. Yay for prescriptions.
  • July 15: OK, everything seems to be in order. Off to Brimfield tomorrow! Can finally relax!
  • July 16: In middle of hot, sunny field hyperventilating. Pick up of items needs to be day earlier than expected. As in MONDAY. OMG. OMG. OMG.
  • July 16: Text/call assistant on day off obsessively. She saves the day. Bow down in front of antique stone Buddha praising her existence. Vendor wondering if I’m buying it or not.
  • July 19: Make husband and assistant assemble random IKEA items. Dodge evil glares like ninja.
  • July 19: Pace in circles waiting to hear if movers picked up everything. Tick tock, tick tock.
  • July 19: YAY! It’s all being delivered into the space! Drive over to check it out and unload car full of items.
  • July 19: OMG. They picked up the wrong piece! WTF!?!? Am going to die! DIIIIIIIEEEEEE.
  • July 19: Crisis averted. Vendor bringing right time in the morning. See everything works out! Set up room #1 and love it. First smile in days.
  • July 20- 4 a.m. : Up before roosters. Freaking out. Why don’t stores open at 6 a.m.? Write crappy blog post, too nervous to focus.
  • July 20- 9 a.m.-: Last minute pick up of items.  Have incredible trouble picking out houseplant. Feels equivalent to finding peace in the Middle East. Stress has reduced brain to oatmeal.
  • July 20- 9:30 a.m. : Where is vendor with correct piece? Melt into puddle of anxiety on townhouse floor. SERENITY NOW!!!
  • July 20- 10 a.m. : OK, this is not good. Vendor not coming, have to go get myself two towns over! Attempt to delegate to assistant but am control freak and want to do everything myself. Note in Blackberry: Must work on this.
  • July 20- 11 a.m. : Shoot starts in 45 minutes but I am not liking that vase on bit. Send assistant to store to get new one. She probably updates her resume in the car and/or contemplates driving into road divider.
  • July 20- 12:00 : Photographers arrive. They are nice. Yay for nice people.
  • July 20- 12:01: No, I do not know how we are going to hang that light without putting holes in the ceiling. I did not know I had to have a M.S. in Craftiness! Run to hardware store to get magical sticky hooks.
  • July 20- 1:00: Dear Magical Sticky Hook People: You should get Nobel Prize. I love you. xoxo, Erin
  • July 20- 1:30: Room is the wrong orientation. Shot needs to be vertical. Room is horizontal. Basically write out mathematical theorem trying to figure out how to make it work. P.S. I nearly failed math.
  • July 20- 1:45: Click. First shots taken! It looks AWESOME!
  • July 20- 1:45-3:00: Click. Click. Think about  celebratory dinner husband has surely planned in head. Click. Click.
  • July 20- 3:15: WE’RE DONE!!!!
  • July 20-3:20: JK. I forgot we have to move everything out. Realize I could patent “Photo Shoot Staging Diet/Workout”- have lost 5 lbs in a week and a half. Watch out Tracy Anderson.
  • July 20- 5:00: Husband did NOT plan celebratory dinner. Humph. Rob Pattinson surely would have.
  • July 20- 6:30: Go our for dinner. Eat half of large pizza. Pat self on back.
  • July 20- 9:00: Go to bed same time as most toddlers. Dream of wild editorial success (and Rob Pattinson).

THE END!!!!



69 comments

  1. You might have a future in comedy writing! i know it was painful and very un-funny while it was happening but you know, they say the best comedy come out of agonizing and painful situations.

  2. AWESOME! So happy for you! Can’t wait to see the pics. You nailed it right on the head – it always goes like this, hoping, praying, disaster, recovery, meltdown, elation, and somehow it all works out in the end!

  3. Love this!! Not for photo shoots, but I feel I have had days (or weeks rather) like that and you captured it beautifully. Or rather real-ly. Have at times contemplated driving into the divider myself. :) Can’t wait to see the pics!

  4. hahahahahahahahahaha! This post is starting my day off with a laugh! Please let us see the room when the magazine comes out.

  5. Hilarious! Okay, now do it in two locations once a week. You go insane! You end up showing up in front of Jill Rosenwald’s at 7:30 on a Monday morning after you’ve just flown in from Chicago at 1:15 a.m. the night before, begging for some beautiful stuff to fill in the gaps. Can’t wait to see the piece.

  6. Hi Erin,

    This was such a great post! We have had our own online business for 11 years, and I wish I could just show your post to everyone who has ever asked, “So what are your days like?” How do you even begin to explain?

    Anyway, just wanted to let you know we linked to your “What to Wear to a Wedding” post in our blog. We just started writing (it’s hard!), and I wanted to make sure our readers knew about you. I love your fresh voice. It’s here, if you are interested: http://blogs.graciousstyle.com/

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