Behind the Scenes of a Magazine Photo Shoot

Getting in a magazine was always a big dream of mine and I wasn’t sure if it would ever happen, but it did…it totally did!  Better Homes and Gardens was here last week to do my kitchen, dining room and guest bath photo shoot.

Pinch me NOW!!!  Really, I can hardly believe all the dream come true things happening to me the last couple of years.  Humbled and happy, that’s me right now!

fresh flowers

Bright and early, 2 buckets of fresh flowers arrived at my house.  Lisa Mowry, the BHG scout who is doing my story, sent them over. You’ll be hearing more about Lisa later on, I’m going to do a fun interview with her. She’s been involved with magazines for over 20 years and has a lot of knowledge about the business.

Lisa styling

This is Lisa.  Lisa and the camera crew of 2 arrived, husband and wife team, Owen Masterson and Christine Anthony, and they were so professional and fun to watch work.  They are masters at getting the right angle and great shots of a room.  Lisa worked on putting white flowers in the vase and put me in charge of the green hydrangeas and adding them to one of my soup tureens.

green hydrangeas

And this is how that turned out.  I ADORE these green hydrangeas, aren’t they perfect for spring?  The crew came armed with pages of details on what the magazine wanted out of the photoshoot, so they followed those instructions on getting all the shots that they needed. That was fun to watch.

Lisa was styling all the rooms too and I had already told her I had a lot of good pieces in my accessory stash and most everything she needed, I already had, like the white vase and soup tureen, cake stand, large glass vase for the island flowers and most everything else.  Lisa did bring in some bath towels and a pretty green and white hand towel for the kitchen and I got to keep all of those, as well as ALL those beautiful flowers.  It looks pretty around here this week!

Lisa had told me ahead of time what to move out of the kitchen so I got that done before she got here.  When shooting a magazine spread, it’s not all real life, if you’ll notice in the pics.  My toaster and coffee maker were put away and in their place, more styled items were there, for color pop and just beauty shots.  Things like that.  It’s real life, but not all real life if you know what I mean.  Magazines want to enhance a room and not everything in a kitchen will add to the photo (like paper towels) and that was fine with me.  She did keep a lot of my things in place and that made me happy.

Owen photographer

Owen Masterson, primo photographer.

Christine and Owen

Christine and Owen were fun to listen to as they moved things, tweaking, did this or that to get the perfect shots.  I loved seeing the shots in the computer after he finished in the bathroom.  It’s going to be so pretty in the magazine!   They made my little bathroom look like a million bucks.

photographing bathroom

Owen and Christine getting the right camera angle.

Owen kitchen

Moving on to the kitchen, lots of details shots were done in here too.

Christine kitchen

Christine adjusting the camera and looking for the sweet spot. It was quite an experience and it’s amazing the hours that go into a photo shoot.  Like a day and 1/2 type hours.  I’m sure they take 100’s of photos to get just the right shots.  All the angles and details take hours to get right and that’s why we all love looking at magazine photos.  Perfection takes practice!

Lisa made the island look so pretty with my big glass Willow House vase filled with cherry blossoms.  I didn’t get a close up of that shot, but it’s lovely.  She used lots of green and a little pink in there.

checking photos

Owen and Lisa looking at the list to complete.

photo looking

Discussing photos, angles and all of that detail stuff.  I was like a fly on the wall, listening in and asking questions.  I actually had time to get some work done in my office since this was such a long process. I didn’t need to hover over every single thing happening, but it was sure fun to see the process in real life.  And have it happening at MY house!

kitchen shoot

Shooting the kitchen.

kitchen shelf

I’m happy to say, Lisa left my shelves just like I had styled them, with the exception of moving off a couple of things that didn’t fit the colors.

soup tureen

At one point, she asked me if I had napkins and I got out my cute green and white napkins that I got at a yardsale.  They go so well with the green hydrangeas. She would mention something and I’d say….oh yeah, I have that!

fresh flowers

My smaller Willow House green glass vase is holding those gorgeous blooms from my front yard tree, I think it’s a type of cherry. Anyone recognize this bloom?  They are so delicate and pink.


They took a couple of shots of the dining area too, since it’s connected to the kitchen.


Here’s a partial shot of the island with the big glass vase and cherry blossoms that Lisa brought.  She had this set up as a beverage station in the shoot.

cupcakes on cakestand

Cupcakes were part of the props too and boy, were they yum!  My little planter with ferns got in on the action too.

fresh white flowers

She kept my real plants in the windows and added these white flowers in a white vase too and the vase moved back and forth between the bathroom and kitchen, which she said is OK.  My kitchen and dining room will run together in the magazine and the bathroom will be in another area (maybe separate issues, I don’t know), so it was fine to use the same flowers for both.  They don’t usually do that if all the pics will run together.

It was truly such a fun experience and I’m so glad I got to do it. What an honor to get in Better Homes and Gardens.  I’ll let you all know when I find out more details on when it will come out.  Lisa told me it’s going to be in the Better Homes and Gardens Kitchens and Bath makeovers edition, so when I know more, you’ll be the first to know!

Thanks so much for being happy with me and following along my journey all these years. It’s been a blast to have all of you out there, cheering me on!  Ya’ll are the BEST!!


- Rhoda


  1. Colleen Myers says

    Looks so fun!! Much deserved!! I will definitely renew my subscription now!!

  2. How awesome! Congrats for the recognition of all your hard work in making this a lovely home!

  3. Congratulations — that really is an honor! I super enjoyed the behind-the-scenes glimpse of the photo shoot, too! Love BH&G (who doesn’t?!)

  4. What a lovely reward for all of your work and perserverance through the years not to mention the struggles that you have gone through. God is so good and finds ways to really bless us and you are indeed blessed!

  5. How exciting! : ) I love BH& G and can’t wait to see your lovely new home featured in it. You really are an inspiration.

  6. So THRILLING!! Congratulations Rhoda!!! ~ Hugs, Jennifer

  7. I’m a BHG subscriber. I can’t wait to see the finished pics. What month are you going to be featured in? Congrats to you!

    • Hi, Lisa, it’s NOT going to be in the regular BHG monthly magazine, but rather a special BHG DIY edition. I’ll be letting you all know when I find out more.

  8. Rhoda, I seem to recall you mentioning that this won’t be in the larger magazine which I get at home but in one of the specialty magazines. Do you know if that particular magazine will run nationally? I REALLY want to to get a copy of each one that has your home in it!

    • Hi, Melinda, I do think all their special BHG magazines are national and I’ll be shouting it out to all of you when I find out all the particulars. She told me it’s BHG DIY mag, so when I know something, I’ll tell ya’ll!

  9. Congrats, What fun. I am very happy for you. Your home is beautiful. A long and wonderful journey .

  10. What a fantastic opportunity! It’s been great seeing your house evolve from it’s humble beginnings. You and your family did such amazing work on it. Truly a transformation to be proud of. Congrats on the full spead magazine feature!

  11. Well now I know why my photos don’t turn out as well as their’s LOL. It’s funny how they can move one thing or add one thing and a shot is transformed. Your tile looks wonderful with those shelves. Can’t wait to view the finished article. Congrats!

  12. so exciting!!!! Your kitchen will shine in the feature because of your eye for design. Thank you for letting us peek at the process it’s really interesting to see all that goes into a shoot. I’m so in awe of the way they manipulate the lighting.

  13. Rhoda, I love your home, your personality and your kind heart. I’m so happy this dream happened for you. Out of many people you deserve it. Many Blessings,

  14. How very very exciting!! I love all the amazing work you have done to your house, the feature will be awesome! Looking forward to it!


  15. Oh Rhoda..I’m so happy for you!! I’ve been following you for sooo many years and I’m so glad they choose you, you have a knack for design and have been an inspiration to me on so many DIYer projects. Can’t wait to see it on the shelves.

  16. How exciting Rhoda!! I can’t wait to get my hands on the issue! Your house is amazing and deserves BH&G recognition!

  17. Oh my gosh girl Id a been a fly on the wall too!! Trying to absorb all that styling and photography knowledge. Heres to dreams coming true!!! You are the poster child for it – LOVE that the good Lord is blessing you in abundance :-))))


  18. Oh, my goodness! Thanks for this treat! I want to be a photographer when I grow up, and it was so nice to see these two in action capturing your lovely home! I’ve tried to do the same thing they’re doing for my dollhouses. Hasn’t turned out quite that nice, yet. Thanks for posting! You give me hope for my home (hey, I’m in Marietta, GA, but I mentioned that before).

  19. I googled about this tonight and thank goodness it’s you I found in my search! Thank you for the behind the scenes tour. I’ve always been more home improvement and space planning focused and worried I might not have the right decor for a potential shoot that’s planned for August. The temptation is overwhelming to go buy a bunch of props. Thankfully it sounds like they were happy so far with what I have plus they’ll send plenty of props to fill in the gaps. I’ve always loved your beautiful blog and check in to see what you’re up to. Take care, Rhoda!

    • HI, Jeanette, oh definitely don’t buy a thing. They will bring what they want along with plenty of fresh flowers. Have fun and thank you for stopping by!

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