It’s time for another look behind the scenes here at Paper Crafts magazine, and I’m your enthusiastic tour guide for this one. We’re always curious to hear what parts of the magazine production process are intriguing to you, and if you follow our page on Facebook you know that we occasionally put up a post that invites you to ask those burning questions.
It was in that very spot that Kelly Sasman asked us to spill the beans on this mysterious element: “I would like to hear more about the photography process: who, how, where is this done for the projects we see in the magazine?” While I can answer the “who” and “where” in less than a sentence (Brian Smith and his team at BPD Studios, just down the road from our editorial offices), the “how” part of this question will take you on a pictorial odyssey.
It really starts and ends with a talented photographer, and Brian is it. He has the unique balance of an artistic eye and technical skill that really makes our photography extra special. He’s also a whiz with lighting, and that’s what makes or breaks a shot – over the years he’s captured the photographic magic in so many areas, from still life and fashion to nature and food. Take a peek at some of his portfolio shots and I guarantee you’ll gasp at least once. And if you gasped at Holiday Cards & More, Vol. 5 when it came out a few months ago, it was Brian’s collaboration with our art director Matt Anderson that resulted in the ultra-reflective white Plexiglas set for the projects in that issue.
A great photographer and an equally talented art director are an unstoppable team. If you missed it, I gave you a peek into our studio process HERE, when I shared some candids from our studio time for the Go-to Sketches special issue. And Matt told you a little bit more about that project and our interesting approach to custom props HERE. But occasionally you’ll catch a quick glimpse of human in a project photo, and most of the time that person is someone you know and love.
When Latisha Yoast was inspired by this elegant pair of strappy sandals for the January/February 2011 Get Inspired column, we knew we’d need a foot model. A foot model who wears a size 7…who could be bribed with a company-paid pedicure…who turned out to be none other than our intrepid graphic designer Holly Mills!
When we do step-out photos, we generally use whatever pair of hands isn’t too busy to spend an hour or two in Brian’s studio. This particular hand is used more frequently than others…still stumped? Need a hint?
Yes, our step-out photo hand model is usually our multi-talented and bling-tastic Susan R. Opel!
We’ve also used team family members as models when needed, with best-behavior bribes that range from Oreos for breakfast to the promise of a top-shelf new toy after the photo shoot.
But by far one of the most interesting uses of an editor was for step-out photos in an upcoming special issue – for a section on coloring stamps with markers, we had to show the step of breathing on the stamp to remoisten the marker.
Next time we’re in the studio shooting an issue, I’ll put myself in your shoes and capture some shots that show some of the more interesting things about the way projects are photographed for the issues. For now, I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s tour!
Your photographic tour guide,