Behind the Scenes of Wool Appliqué Folk Art

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We have a special guest on the blog today:  Rebekah L. Smith, author of Wool Appliqué Folk Art! She's here to tell us about all of the hard work that went into creating the beautiful photos in her book. I'll let her take it from here:

From the very start of the journey into creating this book of projects, I knew exactly how I wanted my pieces to be photographed and where I wanted them photographed. The pictures in my mind were of each project piece in a period setting, giving the reader an idea of how the piece could be used. The photographs were going to set the stage of the book and really give life to my work. All along as I designed, stitched, and wrote, I continued to develop how each piece could be staged for its big photo shoot.

Once the technical writing was finished, it was time to focus on the long day of photography it would take to get just the right shots to express the feel of this book. It started with my West Coast publishing company choosing a photographer in northeast Ohio. Not only did they find a capable photographer, but Laura is also a very talented artist with the camera. We set the big date for July.

Before I even wrote my book proposal, I had approached Ron and Kathy Wright about the idea of photographing my work in their beautiful and historic home, should the publisher agree. The Marshall House is a stately home that sits on a bluff overlooking the Grand River and is steeped in history of local and national importance. It was built by a leading citizen of the community and was a stop on the Underground Railroad. With many period-styled rooms and a wonderful collection of antiques, their home would offer just the right backdrops.

Now it was time to assemble the team. Yes, it definitely took a team. I have two highly trained assistants in my daughters, Kelsey and Karly. They are both artists in their own rights whose advice and design skills I can always count on. The three of us, along with homeowner Kathy, worked a whole day a week in advance of the photo shoot to get each piece staged in just the right setting. The Wrights were very generous to let us move items in their collection from room to room in order to achieve just the right setting. The day of the photo shoot arrived dark and gloomy. The final and most important team member, Laura, arrived with gear in tow and ready to get started. Once she had a look at our settings and set up all of her equipment, we dived right in knowing that it was going to be a long day. We divided into two teams now, with Kelsey and I staging each shot just ahead of Laura and her assistant Karly, who would get the shot and which would then be approved by all. Then Kelsey and I would clean up after each shot and return items to where they belonged in the house. We had started at 9 am and, with a brief lunch break, finished at 6 pm. We gathered around Laura's computer at the end of the day to see the fruits of all our labors. It was an amazing moment as I saw for the first time my book come to life in these pictures.

To say thank you to Ron and Kathy for their generous loan of the Marshall House seems so inadequate as I am so grateful for all of their support. Laura's talent with a camera is so evident in these photos, and I am just so thankful C&T found her. My two assistants also deserve a lot of credit for always being willing to support me in my work.

As this journey with my book continues, I will share more about it with you in hopes it will inspire.

Thank you, Rebekah! If you'd like to see more of the gorgeous photos she's talking about, you can purchase her book  here

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