A Day at the Beach ( or 3) behind the scenes Tybee Island Photo Shoot

Natalie and I + our mantra, for the weekend
the pretty marshes as you drive onto the island
yes, this is really how we cooled down and washed the sand off our feet at the end of the shoot.
Nat hard at work on the beach, with photo releases in hand
our "props" we used the surfer dudes boards in the shoot
me with Tom ( MK's Husband)and Mary Kay
that's me, I am under the blanket styling
me making "creative suggestions" to Rob
Rob the barefoot photographer
the view from Sat. dinner on the deck at AJ's
Here's where we bought our feisty blue crabs

Nat's smiling but we were both scared to death of these pinching, crazy crabs...
much more my style, Davis Produce, great little spot to buy pretty produce, and chow chow, and pickles, I bought 6 jars of relishes and pickles to take home

our stash of props and Mary Kay and me the car was jam packed!
Tybee Island is very pretty...fun drive in

As you know, I love my job. But when it involves a beach setting and a New York Times best selling author's charming beach cottage, nothing could be more wonderful to me.

I know that everyone I meet thinks my job is super cool and it is! However it like most things, seems more glam than it really is.

I love to shop, so when I am given an assignment like this, my shopping mojo kicks into high gear, I move at warp speed and I shop til I drop.

Each job comes with it's own unique challenges and even a day at the beach (or 3) is not without these obstacles. Each story that I produce has specific staging suggestions from the editors,and the challenges at this Tybee Island cottage was no exception.
Mary Kay is a self proclaimed "junker" so our challenge this shoot was to de-clutter and make perfect sense of all her fabulous finds in the process. Which personally is what I live to do.

With the editors wishes in mind and shot list in hand, Natalie and I shopped,loaded, drove,unloaded,rearranged,wrangled her stuff and our stuff, we wrangled people,pillows,bedding,throws,chairs,tables, clothes,flowers,babies and food plus a birthday cake, and of course let's not forget the 36 live pinching, clawing crabs, for this shoot for three days.

The Homeowner Mary Kay Andrews is a best selling author of many books she writes what would be described as serious quality "chick lit " a real southern gal, I would describe her as the Paula Dean of the book world in other words a really lovely lady.check out her blog!

She is somewhat of a celebrity on this darling island off the Georgia coast. So we were very excited to meet her and her family.

After a 4 hour drive and a stop at 5 Guys for burgers,( thanks to Natalie) we found her charming cottage although small it was beautifully appointed.

We met Mary Kay at her pink front door said our hellos and quickly unloaded our props into her car port. Once we finished putting out all the props we surveyed the cottage to decide on our plan of attack before
Rob Brinson the photographer arrived with his assistant Brian.

Her cottage is chocked full of found goodies, as I suspected, some serious editing was required to best show off the cute cottage and her flea market finds.

SO for the next few hours, we de-stuffed and edited and styled the upstairs of house. The bedrooms were first on the list, we would tackle the entire downstairs living area the next day.
We were off and running once Rob and Brian arrived

The next few days are quite frankly a blur, we were moving so fast and styling up a storm. We had many funny moments and situations. Wrangling 36 live blue crabs, 20 people some sandy , wet, hungry and thirsty... (that number included the cable guy, who came to install the cable in the middle of the shoot, in the pouring rain)+ the assorted relatives and in-laws, and babies, and friends in a very small space.

We managed to create beautiful images for the story that will appear in Better Homes and Gardens summer issue 2010.

The last day of the shoot, we met the family on the beach at 9:00am(we had been there shooting landscape since 7am) and shot the last bit of the story.

As I worked on the beach that morning enjoying the sun and surf. I had a moment where I thought about what a great job I have and how it never gets old and each challenge was an opportunity that was so unique and so special.

I love meeting the homeowners and their families, getting a brief glimpse into their world and family life.
Mary Kay Andrews and her family could not have been nicer.

Even though we were all exhausted( including Mary Kay's family) we felt satisfied that we captured their story, their home and their family in the best light possible.

Thanks to Rob and Brian and Natalie, a great team, thanks for making it so fun and being so chill and professional.

Thanks to Diane at Mermaid Cottages for her hospitality and the cute cottage we stayed in, we will be back.

Stay tuned for our little extra shopping/inspiration trip to Savannah on our way back to Atlanta...next time