I have an exciting announcement to make today about a project that I have been working on away from High Gloss Blue and in addition to my interior design business. I've struggled with whether or not to include this project on HGB- after all, throwing unfinished work out into the inter webs is a little bit scary. Here it goes-
For the past 12 months or so, I've been working on a coffee table book featuring the interiors of the beautiful homes on Lake Burton. Just 2 hours north of the city and neighboring the base of the Appalachian Trail, Lake Burton is an idyllic weekend spot for Atlantans. It is a casual place where boats, bathing suits and burgers replace briefcases and Blackberries. I was a photo stylist before deciding to start my own interior design company in May of 2009. In making the transition to becoming a full time interior designer, I looked for a way to insert my love of writing and photography with my design company when a friend let me know she would really like a book of Lake Burton interiors, but none existed. This same friend just finished designing and building her dream home. Over a November lunch that included her mother's tomato aspic, she offered up the house she had just finished designing and building as a photo-shoot guinea pig. She told me about the three antique barns she had taken down to use for interior walls and ceilings and the four heart-shaped rocks included in the fireplace stonework- one "heart" for each of her children all found during her walks on the property (the rocks, not the children) and the industrial pendant lights she found at a side of the road garage sale for under twenty bucks. I drove away from our meeting not only with a new appreciation for tomato aspic (tastes like gazpacho), but motivated to create a book focusing on the soul of the area's interiors. And that was not going to happen with the camera on my iphone.
I needed a real photographer. A week or so later, over pumpkin soup at the yellow trestle table in my Inman Park apartment, I convinced my friend and accomplished photographer Amy Herr to join my endeavor to capture the soul of these houses or at least the ONE that I, at the time, had permission to shoot. We shot our first house and I used the images to introduce myself and my project to homeowners. Looking for leads and referrals, I emailed my pitch to architects, real estate agents, and interior designers. Suggestions for houses came in much easier than I originally anticipated. I interviewed homeowners and scheduled shoot after shoot after shoot working them between both Amy and I's paying work at home. To date, we have shot 12 houses. I have had the pleasure of speaking with and meeting some of Atlanta's finest design talent including architect Bob Norris of Spitzmiller Norris (who I first met via twitter), interior designer Craig Kettles of C Designs, interior designer Margaret Bosbyshell of Margaux Interiors Ltd., architect Todd Pritchett of Todd Pritchett Design Studio and architect Bill Harrison of Harrison Design Associates. I've met wonderfully generous and passionate homeowners who turned over keys to a complete stranger (me) and called from Atlanta to suggest shot angles, ask if we needed flowers and let us know there was soda in the fridge in the laundry room.
Now, all that is left for me to do is to write the thing. And find a publisher. And shoot exteriors. Ok, so a lot, but what better place to go about accomplishing all those things than right here with all of you. I'll go in chronological order and write in the first person. When photo-shoots are the most fun, they are an adventure. Do come along on mine.
ALL IMAGES BY AMY HERR PHOTOGRAPHY