9.16.2014

BEHIND THE SCENES OF A BOOK SHOOT


A few weeks back, just about ten minutes after getting in and settled in our new place in Brooklyn, we had ourselves an interiors shoot for this damn book I wrote, which is coming out in March. March!!!! (March suddenly feels, like, tomorrow.) It was  kind of a comical situation, because here we had just moved in, I wasn't sure I was sold on where anything had landed just yet, we have way more space than furniture and way more chairs than necessary, and we'd just barely had our interiors shoot for Ikea Family Live the week before in our old place on the Upper West Side. So, life was starting to feel pretty surreal there for a minute. 

Though the procedure was more or less the same between the two shoots, the feeling of the two were wildly different. For Ikea, the point was to spotlight the way we use Ikea in a tiny home. We had a ton of Ikea already, but any pieces we had that weren't Ikea but could have been Ikea were swapped out (i.e. our dining chairs, which were from Amazon but had a very similar counterpart at Ikea), and a few cozy touches were brought in to "winterize" our space, since we were shooting in the summer for an issue set for release in winter. (Ikea was able to get so much great material that our story will now be spread out over two issues--first a teaser in the winter issue, and then a full spread in the spring!) So, for the Ikea shoot, it was my space, their way. Which I sort of loved actually, I loved getting a peek into how someone else would style our aesthetic + layout. I mostly sat back that day and made sure the bottled water flowed like honey and kept my mouth shut.

For the book shoot, it was all about whatever you want, Natalie, which is awesome and sometimes how I think things should always be, if you're gonna want the honest truth (hah! ;), but which was also completely, entirely terrifying. One of the feelings I had to ignore and push back the hardest when writing this book was this constant feeling of who the hell do you think you are, Natalie? Years of hateful words in forums, and a sense of inferiority that I think all of us deal with from time to time, if not always, plus the beautifully encouraging comments and emails I was receiving (and keep receiving!) from the coolest readers telling me they were so excited to read my words, to tell me what a difference my blog had made in their lives, it was kind of a complicated series of feelings to sort through. I still have a hard time sorting through them (and sort of I hope it never becomes too easy to sort through these feelings, that might be a bad sign of things). And I guess that had extended into my home, because I suddenly found myself feeling worried about whether or not it was going to be good enough, when really, I love it. And shouldn't that be enough? 

Uhh. Anyway.


I am blessed with the neatest team. It was an intense day of rearranging, lighting, shooting, and eating bagels-- it was nothing short of amazing. So much creative energy and love in here, and as soon as everyone left and the energy of the day had drained, I suddenly felt like I'd been hit by a NYC sanitation truck. When Brandon came home he found me plastered to the bed with no pants on, while Huck watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in the living room eating a giant carrot, and he said, "You look like a deflated balloon."

But a happy deflated balloon. :)

Here's what the day looked like. 


Photography assistant Nicole Cordier.


Stylist and handmade coffee table/side table loaner Bronson Bigelow


Designer Abby Low and Photographer Lesley Unruh.


My exposed rolling clothing rack was made last minute and delivered to my door by Patrick Glynn, who is rad. 






"Purposeful clutter," as Abby put it ;).


Huck was a dream the entire day, I can't get over what a stud this kid is. He helped with all the heavy lifting, sang songs in the corner while coloring in his coloring book, and entertained us between setups with his impressive knock-knock joke collection. He fit perfectly inside Bronson's end tables and at one point had an entire bed made up in there. Pillow, blankie, penguin stuffy.


Huck's little room.


Corner of our kitchen. 


I'm a pretty lucky girl leading a very lucky life right now. It's so fun. I'm so grateful for all these experiences and for all the wonderful people I get to have as a part of my life thanks to this goofy little blog. Not a day goes by that I'm not completely blown over by it. So thanks, guys, for all of this. :) I like ya.

28 comments :

  1. I just love your new space Natalie! It looks amazing, and YES you are living the dream girl! Good for you!

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  2. First, you are courageous to share both your awesomeness and your vulnerabilities. Love the lovers and ignore the haters.
    Second, you have a glass jar of marshmallows. I love.
    Third, is your book tour headed to minneapolis perchance?

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  3. I love reading your blog. Could you do a forever 21 roundup for us? I loved so many of your suggestions.

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  4. love this SO much. I can't wait to get my hands on that book.

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  5. The new space looks fantastic. So much more room for you and your family to grow in. High give girlfriend, it looks amaze!

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  6. Holy crap your place is like a dream! Can't wait for your book!

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  7. You seem to be in a much better spot than you were just 6 months ago - you're the Natalie I loved reading again and I'm so happy to see it. I love your new space and look forward to seeing more of it!

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  8. I can't even imagine how exciting this experience must be, wow! Enjoy it. embrace it & shout it from the rooftops!! LOVE your new space, it's gorgeous :)

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  9. So happy things are going well for you. I love reading your blog and always appreciate your honesty and sincerity when sharing thoughts and feelings. I can't wait for your new book! You are an excellent writer.

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  10. i can't wait for the book! could it be shipped international? :) you're amazing and your new place is fabulous!

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  11. Firstly, (as a longtime blog reader) I am so excited about your new home! The space by itself is amazing, but combined with your own decorating, it has turned into a place that is so you. Secondly, I am so excited to read your book cover to cover come March! And lastly, despite all the grossness that comes in the form of internet commenters, I am so glad that you remain unapologetically you. It is truly inspirational.
    Thanks for sharing so much of your life with us, Natalie.

    xoxo

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  12. I want to come sit in your living room and drink coffee and talk about all the things.

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  13. I LOVE this peak into your home... its looks amazing, especially considering you had only been there for a few days! Just totally curious -- where do you guys sleep? You mentioned maybe putting in a loft eventually, but what are you guys doing for the time being... if you don't mind me asking? ;) And can't wait to get my hands on your book in March! xx

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  14. So neat! I felt compelled to say that sure you seem very lucky, but it also really looks like you've made your own luck. Which is even better, in my opinion! So rad! Also I totally can't wait to buy the book, I hope I can find it in Australia somehow..

    Ps. I've read your blog for years and never commented, because I'm shy maybe? Idk why I felt like I needed to today, but yay! It's awesome. I love to see a lady making her own way in the world.

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  15. Your home is unreal! Excited to read the book when it comes out. (I just looked for the thumbs up emoji, only to realize there is not that option on my actual keyboard, but you get the drift!)

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  16. beautiful - inside & out; your home, your family, YOU! <3 Ya!

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  17. this looks like such a fun day & the ikea day sounds just as awesome :) I look forward to seeing your old palce in the catalogue - I imagine Canadians get the same version as the US??

    Emmett - Hippie Lace

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  18. I understand why you'd feel wounded from the online criticism you have received because I'm sure that is an unpleasant drawback to having an online presence; however, I can honestly tell you that I am familiar with your blog only because of the critical site you obliquely reference. I really like *that site*. I think there is some extremely valid criticism towards blogging (in general) and children's privacy (in particular) to be found there. Sure, some of the criticism is completely insane, but the insanity is peppered in between some really insightful commentary.

    Because of that site I was introduced to your blog and although i think there is some valid criticism coming your way (find your filter, Natalie!!;)), for the most part it has only served to endear your blog to me. In short, I don't take all of the criticism directed towards you seriously. Some of it is valid, but I really appreciate that you have something else to offer beyond your son's childhood or your role as a Mormon mother. I find your evolution really interesting. I think it's fascinating to read and watch the story of a woman raised in a conservative faith find her voice and renegotiate her future. I'm not religious but your story is both familiar and yet novel. Not all of us are fangirls, but we're not all haters either. Some of us are just genuinely curious to read the story of Natalie Holbrook.

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  19. OK, am I crazy? Where in the world is your bed?

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  20. I am going to tell you what my wonderful uncle told me very recently. You are not lucky. Never say it again. You are blessed and highly favored. That's right, blessed and highly favored.

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  21. I can't wait to read your book, Natalie! It seems like you've been busting your butt on it. :)

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  22. What an amazing peek into your home. So happy for your success and whats to come! <3

    xo,
    Christina
    www.newdarlings.com

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  23. Your home is so beautiful! I recently found your blog and look forward to reading your posts. I appreciate the vulnerability and honestly you share, especially when it comes to motherhood. Seeing your pictures and reading the various stories you and your family share make me excited to have a family one day. Congrats on the book, can't wait to read it!

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  24. Your new apartment is awesome! I'm so excited to read your book. I'm one of your readers that has come to find comfort and encouragement in my own life through your writing. It's a funny thing, the internet, but I'm thankful for it.

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  25. I was just looking at these pics and thinking you could really use a sectional in your living room... You did say you have too many chairs... Ikea and stuff... You know.

    :)

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  26. You pretty much live in my dream home. Exposed brick, wide open space, plants on the window sill, bright copper pots.. Beautiful!

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  27. Where is your lovely loom from? I'm looking to get into weaving and fell in love with yours...I'm sure you've mentioned it somewhere somehow, but I haven't come across it yet!! (Sidenote: Can't wait for my preordered book to arrive in March!!)

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