Week 3: Little Free Library

Feeling refreshed from the weekend, the whole office returned this week ready to crank out our September issue!

NOTE: It is still very bizarre to me how we work so far in advanced. Our October Halloween photo shoot was shot last fall, since there are no pumpkins in the middle of New York in the summer. Magazines have to think much farther in advance than I ever considered.

This was an exciting week for projects. Morgan and I started off the week with a photo shoot for our September issue. There was a lot more that went in to a photo shoot than I think either of us expected, and I think it goes to show that the best part of this whole experience is getting to see the behind the scenes work of what goes in to the magazine.

The photo shoot was for the opener for our Family Room section. Generally, the family room section consists of fun things for parents to do with their kids, and often includes a craft of some sort. This month’s craft was a Little Free Library – a trend popping up across the country where families set up a leave a book, take a book mailbox.  

Our first task for the shoot was preparing the actual library itself. The two of us received the structure from the company with the wood completely bare. From there, we got to paint the exterior (we decided on a minty green), wallpaper the inside (grey diamonds), and added white trim. We had to wait for it to dry overnight, so it was ready to go for the shoot the next day.

The next task was picking a background façade to be used behind the set. We settled on a red brick, which was used to look like a home exterior. Before the shoot could begin, we spent the morning exploring the floral district in Manhattan looking for the perfect shrubs for the photo. We spent a good hour finding the perfect suburban-looking plants, and then hauled them via subway back to the office.

Once all the elements arrived at the office, Mike, our photographer, allowed us to help pose the shoot all together. We tried some varieties ­– with the Free Little Library’s door open, with it closed, with books inside of it, without books. We messed with shadows and lighting, and then the art director finally approved the final shot.

That shoot was probably my favorite part of the week, but that didn’t mean there weren’t other things to do. We also did a significant amount of photo research, where we pulled stock photos for articles, and then presented them during the art edit meetings to be decided on.

We continued to update the wall and run errands as needed. I am so thankful to be in a place where we’re allowed to get to work hands-on with the magazine, as opposed to doing gopher work or fetching coffee. I really am lucky.