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. Photography is really hard work! I think most folks have no idea as to how much preparation takes place before the photographer takes each photo. It is very time consuming and can make for a long day…but so worth it once you see the images! Congrats!

  2. with the stylist in the kitchen, I kept thinking about the old roach kitchen! Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!

  3. Congrats friend! So excited for you and can’t wait until your issue comes out ;).

  4. That is so very cool…..I’m so happy for you and after everything you’ve worked for you deserve it!

  5. Your kitchen is such an inspiration. It truly deserved a magazine feature. And your “behind the scenes” post was very interesting.

  6. i simply cannot wait to see this house in
    the big time !
    don’t flowers in the right containers just make everything
    else come into focus !
    can’t think of anyone who deserves
    the gravy more than you friend.
    hugs always, patti

  7. so exciting!!! your house is so BHG-worthy! You have done a fantastic job of putting it all together~ Congrats and can’t wait to see the issue!

  8. Azaleamum says

    I am SO THRILLED for you. You deserve every word and every photo

  9. Congrats to you on getting a BH&G Photo shoot! I would absolutely love that some day. I’ve always been a huge fan of their magazine (since I was 17).

  10. Been reading your blog for years–so happy for you, can’t wait to get that issue when it comes out!

  11. Rhoda, this is all so exciting! Your kitchen is beautiful and deserves to be featured in a magazine. Thanks for sharing the whole experience. Who would have ever thought so much time goes into creating just one article in a magazine.

  12. Charlotte says

    You are like an old friend that I don’t see or talk to often…but keep up with you through your blog. I don’t comment often, but I read your blog everyday. Congratulation on the photo shoot of your new house. I can’t wait for the article to come out in Better Homes and Garden. You have come a long way since I started following your blog several years ago. I’m so glad you have a beautiful new home and are doing so well.

    • HI, Charlotte, thank you so much, it means the world to me that all of you have been with me so long. Amazing really!

  13. Rhoda,
    How exciting for you! You certainly deserve it! You and your father worked so hard on your beautiful home and did an amazing job! It truly is my taste! By the way, could you please disclose the color you used in your dining room? I just love it and I am thinking of using it in my house. Again, many kudos to you! Blessings, Debbie

    • Hi, Debbie, thank you so much! The gray in my dining room is Rockport Gray by Ben Moore. I had mine mixed at Lowes in Valspar.

  14. Wow! How exciting. I would have been soo thrilled. Congrats!

  15. Rhoda,
    I am so happy for you! I have been following your BLOG for quite some time, and I feel like you are a very good friend, the kind I could sit and laugh with over tea and scones!! You have been blessed in so many ways(like your incredible Daddy!), and I love to see the things you have accomplished. You go girl, and FLY!

  16. Dear Rhoda, I will keep my eyes open for the magazine. I am sure you will give us a heads up when it is ready to hit the news stands. Did you do a post on your dining room drapes? I really love them; they re the perfect touch to finish your dining room (like that ever happens). Iris

  17. Fabulous!!!!! Fantastic!!!!! Fun!!!!!
    Are you still pinching yourself??? Not just any ole magazine… BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS, Girl!!
    Woo Hoo!!!! I have been coming in for a visit with you for a long, long while. We have coffee most days together but if not we have our evening snack together. Look at what you have accomplished. You deserve all the accolades!
    ….now for my funny story. Whenever my Mom would get the house all cleaned and a special spot was rearranged just so. My Dad would always say… Well, well, well…Better Homes and Gardens must be coming. What a lovely memory for me. THANK YOU!! ~Nancy from OHIO

    • Oh I forgot…. YOU were my very first blog. I did not have a clue what blogs were until I came across you. What a fun time I have had watching God Bless YOU!!
      ~Nancy from OHIO

    • Hi, Nancy, I’m so glad you have been with me so long, thanks for sharing those sweet memories with me. That’s so cute !

  18. What a fabulous day (and a half) for you, how thrilling I would love for my little cottage to be on show one day…”wishful thinking”, but who knows.

    Thank you so much for sharing the behind scene shots, it was really interesting. When you mentioned about the flowers, I remember seeing a magazine shoot once that had the same flowers in the bedroom that I had seen in a bathroom.

    I am sure that there will be many more exciting opportunities that come your way.

    Thanks again.


  19. Fun!!! Did you contact them or did they find you? I have always wondered how that works.

    • HI, Janette, I did meet Lisa, the BHG scout here in ATL and told her I’d like to send her pics, so I did. It worked out for me. I’m going to do a post about getting in magazines with Lisa.

  20. Congratulations! This is so exciting. I know you consider this a blessing from the Lord.

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