Shooting Joy for Gracious Home & New York Magazine

Every year when November/December rolls around, so many of my friends, clients and companies I work with disappear into the Nutcracker.  It seems we all wave goodbye for two months, occasionally keeping tabs on each other on Social Media outlets, and after a good rest the first week of January, re-surface having survived the season.  And in the mean time, none of us can walk into a department store without trying to close our ears to the ever present musical versions of ‘Flowers’ or ‘Sugar Plum’ that never cease to cause us to gag.

For me, the season holds another type of speedy commercialism: in addition to shooting dancers and fitness and movement pros, I also shoot table top/commercial work.  This year, thanks in part to the art directorship of the one and only Carlos Alphonzo, Gracious Home (whom I’ve been shooting for for the last 4 years) ran a particularly delicious spread in New York Magazine this week.

I’m proud of this one, not just because it’s a grand departure from what their ads of the past have been, nor because it’s a full two page spread and a BTC (before the table of contents), but because I really felt like we did a fantastic job on this shoot!

Bending and moulding available light around objects of all sorts of different reflective properties was a fun change, as was using a faux wooden background with just enough finish on it to cause some glare if we weren’t extremely careful.  Add the snow for a decorative touch that was far outside our exposure zone and we had some really fun challenges to live up to!

The large overhead shots were perhaps all of our favorites.  The set up included my camera dangling (securely, not to worry) at a 180 degree angle about 14 feet off the floor from a jerryrigged auto pole and magic arm configuration. Our exposures came in at about 2 – 4 seconds each; in order to be able to stop down as much as we needed to meant that no one could walk, move or even breathe when we did our exposures.  Once we had the second shot finished, and we all breathed a sigh of relief, Carlos and both assistants laid down in the middle of the set for a few stress relieving fun shots.

The images from this shoot will also be running in a TV spot, also designed by Carlos, for Gracious Home: watch for it over the holidays on the Food Network (Iron Chef, I believe) and HGTV (Property Brothers).

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2 thoughts on “Shooting Joy for Gracious Home & New York Magazine”

  1. Hello Rachel and congratulation on this shoot! It looks like we can get some ideas for last minute Holiday shopping!
    See you tomorrow, when I plan to have some Nutcracker music ready to play during your photoshoot with us!
    Chiara Ajkun


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