Miss February’s Calendar Girl

As most y’all know, the Georgia “Cottage Girls” put out an annual calendar and the lucky gal for February is none other than Miss Tracey.

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Her stacked baskets with all those hearts was a bit of a challenge to photograph. Obviously she spent a lot of time creating these beautiful baskets so I wanted to make sure I captured every detail.

I found the perfect dark rich-red velvet settee as the backdrop but I wanted to have all the hearts be in focus in both the front and the back. So I focused my first shots on the front section of the baskets and then zoomed on the back in the next couple frames. Then in Photoshop, I split them up and meshed them back together, where front and back were now fully detailed.

Everyone have a great February!

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The Cottage Girls 2015 Calendar: February

Almost forgot to share the month of February from the Cottage Girls 2015 calendar!

If you missed January’s post, I was hired to photograph and design a calendar for the “Cottage Girls” of Georgia. You can find more info about that project here if you missed it last month.

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One of the issues that I needed to solve for the calendar was how to feature everyone’s basket when there were more ‘girls’ than months.

Previously, they simply added pages at the end of the calendar to place photos that were not chosen for any of the months. It was a good solution, but these ladies are all so talented that ALL their baskets should be treated special.

So I decided to use the month of February as a sort of “We Love Baskets” page and feature a group of photos. But how to do that?

Outside of Suzanne’s Cottage is a little sign, “Basket Lovers Gather Here.” I thought that would be perfect for the February page, however I needed to figure out how to utilize it and incorporate several other photos.

And then it came to me…

Most of these ladies are also obsessed with quilts. Why not make a collage of sorts on a quilt background?

Initially, it wasn’t working as I envisioned in my head and then the answer popped in my head…

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Create Polaroids of all the photos, including the Basket Lovers sign and “pin” them using an image of quilt pins! Perfect!

In addition, it was a great solution for the baskets I was not able to shoot at a specific size, thereby not having the images in high enough resolution or sized properly in the layout. For those images, I could put it in one of the polaroid squares and still have the same importance given to these basketmakers as all the others.

I also liked this month’s date page because of Suzanne’s folk art Abe Lincoln. A little difficult to photograph but it looks great on the page! Breaks the white space nicely.

I will try hard not to be so late with sharing March’s pages!

Note: Jane and Gwen provided their own pictures. I photographed Diana and Hannah’s baskets.

The Cottage Girls 2015 Calendar: January

One of my more enjoyable projects I was busy with at the end of 2014 was finishing the Cottage Girls Calendar and getting it printed before the new year! I think I made it by a couple days.

It started back in November where I photographed most of the subject matter while I was in Georgia, during Eric’s workshop. I love setting up shots. I might have gotten that bug from my photography class in college or on the many photo shoots I was on while I worked in advertising. I was usually envious of the “photo stylist” on set, since her job looked so much more fun than mine! LOL. Except the time we had to shoot product for Pizza Hut out in Los Angeles. The hand model we hired was driving her crazy!

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One of my favorite shots (and the one I was most nervous about) was the cover, pictured above. It features Suzanne’s cottage where all the charming “cottage girls” convene and make baskets.

I chose to do an evening shot because of their new bottle tree that Jud created. It is stunning! And he electrified it so each bottle glowed. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it justice but I wanted to try and attempt the night shot – hence my nervousness!

I was quite pleased with the end result. Along with getting the detail of the tree and not having it overpower the building, I was able to capture the soft light from the inside as well as still getting additional details, such as the bottles lined up in the bottom left window. If anyone has taken shots when it’s dark, you know what I mean!

So after I processed the photos on my laptop, I could finally breathe a sigh of relief!

I thought I would share each month with y’all over the next year. So here’s January’s layout. The basket was created by Connie Baughman… lucky girl to be the first one featured!

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When I saw Miss Connie’s basket, lined with that black velvet, I knew I had to photograph it on Suzanne and Jud’s new basketweave marble tile! I was elated that it came out stronger than I thought.

Overall, despite all the work and what it entailed, the calendar was one of my favorite projects…. most likely due to my client: The Cottage Girls! Easiest clients ever and am grateful they trusted me with having creative license over their 2015 calendar.

Will have another snap in February.

On the date page, January 3rd’s basket is from Gwen Clark and the 30th was created by Cole Medeiros over at D.E.L.S. Nantucket. Both photos were supplied by the artisans.