|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:
|Moonstone Room at Avonlea, the “after” shot featuring the view. We also got a wider shot.|
|“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.
|“Before” of room in Blue Dory (obvious, I hope!)|
|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.
|“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.
|Christy’s pumpkin muffins at Avonlea|