15 May, 2011


Linda Merrill and I entered The Cabinetry Showroom in Hingham to create the cover shot for Linda’s Surroundings Magazine this past Monday. After reviewing our choices for background and discussing the pros and cons of each, we chose the space that was the most difficult to shoot but had all the right bones!
The theme was a lobster bake; indoors, and this display was perfect with its rustic upper cabinets, casual layout and farmhouse sink.The difficulty was that the display granted about 8 feet of space before hitting another wall of cabinets and I wanted to use a longer lens to keep everything in scale. I found myself in a doorway shooting diagonally through another doorway and at 90mm it just worked.
Linda wanted a table setting in the foreground with the kitchen softly in the back.
We played with the table to get it situated just right, started adding some of the props and then tweaked the table some more…
Most shelter magazines have the luxury of masking out several featured shots to find the one that fits best for their cover (sometimes adapting a horizontal shot). Linda and I only have one shot, the cover shot, so the layout and space for text is critical and an intricate part of our decision making process. As the shot developed, we poured ourselves into the theme of a Cape House Kitchen, rustic, nautical, lived in, and fun. Our first notion was to have a collection on the shelves above the sink but then thought, let’s go with the open kitchen concept and fill it with simple coffee mugs. The items as you can see on the table moved a bit and ultimately it was about keeping the larger items off the table, almost creating a stepping up of scale with the largest items in the back. We wanted the gorgeous, white Dunes and Duchess candelabra with it's wonderful shape and profile to stand out against the bead board side cabinet, which was also white. Ultimately I solved this in post production “painting” the bead board side cabinet (in photoshop) a soft grey, similar to the lower cabinets.
This is Linda and my second cover shoot together and I’m loving the process and cannot wait to see the next showroom for our next cover together!
Warm Regards,
Michael J. Lee
PS Make sure to visit Linda's Blog Post about our cover together

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