Archive for Apr 2011

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1252737151 xJJ3XRK L >A Visit to Block Island Inns   Before and After Images
Exterior of Avonlea Inn at dawn

We just returned from working at an inn comprised of two buildings and several cottages on lovely, dramatic and remote-feeling Block Island, Rhode Island. This property is one of the few inns right on the water and features lots of great views. Avonlea and Blue Dory are the two main lodging buildings.

I have to admit it’s fun to shoot properties when their existing room photos are rather poor. These are the folks we get GREAT fan mail from after a few months, once the pictures are live, raving about the return on their investment on professional photography and styling. That feels good! We like to help people make money!

On this particular job, styling was a really big part of the project. We were moving beds, armoires, dressers, pictures…We often move stuff, but don’t usually move beds to an entirely different part of the room!  In another room, one of the concerns of the owner was that the slanted ceiling made the room look small and uncomfortable–and didn’t showcase the amazing view. We get this comment all the time and have lots of solutions–from styling to lighting to composition–in order to work out this problem. Here is a room with a “slanted” ceiling – we also included the “before” image:

1252734403 sp5HHSc XL >A Visit to Block Island Inns   Before and After Images
Moonstone Room at Avonlea, the “after” shot featuring the view. We also got a wider shot.          

07 >A Visit to Block Island Inns   Before and After Images
“Before” image with “slanting ceiling” and no view


Styling is huge in this shot. We rearranged the sitting area, brought in a smaller table, added the white hydrangea. You cannot find lots of fresh flowers on-island, off-season, so we brought in lots of props from our props collection. These hydrangea are are top quality silk. I love, love the quality of these silk flowers–you can see it in the translucency of the leaves . They are not cheap, our last wholesale flower bill was about $700. Ouch! We source them from NDI.

  

02 >A Visit to Block Island Inns   Before and After Images
“Before” of room in Blue Dory (obvious, I hope!)
 MG 9965 >A Visit to Block Island Inns   Before and After Images
Another view of the room before styling

This is the room in the Blue Dory Inn (the more Victorian-styled building) where we moved the bed. There were several reasons for this: we could not capture the view with the bed in the original position…and also that darn slanted ceiling made the room feel claustrophobic and small. Also, you’ll notice an unsightly AC unit directly over the bed in the “before” shot. You could remove that in post-production (wallpaper makes this tricky, but it is possible) but that strays into the “gray area” where you are removing an element from the room that exists, and is apparent.

I hear they are planning to keep the bed this way.

1252742974 h8wGkkv XL >A Visit to Block Island Inns   Before and After Images
“After” image, after moving the bed. We included one of the hats from the  inn’s collection of Victorian hats.

Christy, the innkeeper was a delight to work with. She gave us complete freedom to “do our thing” which is, quite honestly, a dream. She also makes a MEAN pumpkin muffin.

1252736240 pg9rSgz XL >A Visit to Block Island Inns   Before and After Images
Christy’s pumpkin muffins at Avonlea

If you are a member of the press and want to see or use any of the 72 high resolution images from this shoot, just email us  for the password to the Jumping Rocks Media Bank  page for Block Island Inns

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1241044688 3Bgj4 M >A Southern California Romantic Oasis: Casa Laguna Inn and SpaWe recently returned from California and finally completed the editing of the nearly 1,300 pictures shot at Casa Laguna Inn and Spa in the colorful seaside artist community of Laguna Beach, just south of Los Angeles. The Inn has a great reputation (well-deserved) under the ownership of Francois Leclair as well as the ever-present Innkeeper/Manager Kathyrn Mace and her husband, Henry.

Casa Laguna is a charming and rambling property, comprising a number of Mediterranean-style buildings, and seems very much like a small, enclosed hillside village. The simple experience of wandering around the property is a treat for all the senses, with mature exotic garden plantings, fragrant flowers and bubbling fountains. The word “romantic” is overused–but at Casa Laguna, it’s actually an understatement!

We shot way too much over the three days to share only a FEW pictures, so we created a short video slide show (be sure to check HD so you can get the full experience…)

(If you’d rather watch a conventional, non-video sideshow of a small selection of images, click here)

1241066273 GeFmn S >A Southern California Romantic Oasis: Casa Laguna Inn and Spa
Rolling out pasta for breakfast service

Another thing that really stood out as very, very special at Casa Laguna was their breakfast, which was OUTRAGEOUS. The breakfast menu includes 7 or 8 options and reflects a decidedly California flair, featuring lots of fresh and organic produce from the local farmers’ market. If only every inn had access to the produce you can get in Southern California…Henry Mace, the Inn’s social media guru put together this video featuring Casa’s chef visiting the local market. Check out the video here. I think this type of targeted video is really effective. Great job Henry!

The Inn is a two-time winner of the Select Registry Inn-Credible Breakfast Cookoff. It’s easy to understand why! Where else can you walk into a inn’s kitchen and see fresh pasta being rolled out for breakfast service? All we can say is…wow.

1241046259 fhxQy XL >A Southern California Romantic Oasis: Casa Laguna Inn and Spa
An ordinary omelet is anything BUT ordinary, when prepared by the chef at Casa Laguna

If you are a member of the press and want to see or use any of the 135 high resolution images from this shoot, just email us  for the password to the Jumping Rocks Media Bank  page for Casa Laguna Inn and Spa.