Decking The Halls: One House At A Time

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Decking The Halls: One House At A Time

Last week was a fast blur as photo shoot dates changed hourly but we finished decking the halls: one house at a time.

I can’t share much with you and I really cannot stand that I have to wait a whole year to see these pictures but let me just say that you don’t want to miss the Christmas issue of Southern Lady Magazine next year. These photographers are Santa Claus to me as they deliver one great shot after another. Thank you John O’Hagan, Mac Jamieson, Stephanie Welbourne and Marcy Black Simpson. You are a dream to work with.

Here is a little sneak peek at what we have been up to for the past week. Oh, and NONE of these shots are by the above mentioned folks. LOL



Photo shoots are a funny animal. It sounds really exciting but it is actually excruciatingly slow.  We set one shot. Click. Check the computer screen. Move the camera 2″, adjust the lighting, click. Adjust the lighting. Click. Adjust the lighting. Click. Wait for the cloud to move. Click. You get the idea.

Christmas shoots are really crazy because the magazines have about a two week window to shoot everything they plan to shoot for a myriad of publications, all vying for the same photographers. For this reason we were first scheduled for the 7th and 8th of December. Then we were given three more dates and finally on Tuesday the 1st we got the call that they would be here the NEXT DAY. Insert face with eyes bugging out and hair standing straight up.

Fortunately we had one house just about ready to roll so we scheduled it for Tuesday. We had a brief pow wow session after which I sent Nicole one direction to start hanging greens and trimming trees, Jeff another to cut greenery and man-handle more trees for the shoot that would be on Friday and I started adding cookies, presents, fruit etc to house number 1.







The creative director liked what he saw when the images started coming back and decided to add more rooms. So I would call Jeff and say, “Go cut more cedar.” When he arrived we would run a load upstairs or to a bedroom and start “greening” that room in between running to the computer to check and tweak the current shot being composed. It was wild. And fun! About 3 in the afternoon Beth Bridges stopped by and we immediately put her to work…making coffee! Bring on the caffeine please.

I am totally obsessed with this flower arrangement. Some kind of Scottish Thistle I found at Horton Wholesale, Rosemary from the yard and Seeded Eucalyptus. I love Horton Wholesale as much as I love the Curb Market! I am not a fan of stiff, floral arrangements. I love organic, plucked from the garden and all thrown into the pot mixes.




And then the beautiful simplicity of a green natural garland and white Baby’s Breath. It doesn’t get much better, simple elegance.



All in all, I hung 135 feet over 200 feet (I forgot a house) of fresh garland, decorated 7 trees, hung 20 wreaths (I think), did 6 original mantles, 4 original full table settings and who knows how many coffee tables, chests and porches, beds etc.

It took a total of 16 hours to finish photographing the two houses oh, but the beauty that was captured. You just can’t mess up Christmas decorations. The soft glow, the fires, the twinkling lights, the presents and bows and remembering why we do all of this. It’s just the best.

Thank you to the sweet families who invited us into their homes and to Southern Homes and Gardens, Home Depot, Pier 1 and World Market for all of the beautiful wares that they provided.

And tomorrow….. I am getting an hour long massage. Bring it on. Thank you Jeff.

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