Although it was a hot, summer day in August in Alabama, photographer Art Meripol was putting the finishing touches on holiday ornaments and composing presents in the light, preparing for an all-day shoot for Southern Lady’s Christmas issue.
After getting permission from the residents of the local home where the shoot was to take place, Art worked with his team of two stylists, Tracey and Lillie, who sourced the props and arrived a day early to start building the Christmas tree in the living room. Art arrived the next morning to perfect the composition and light, before beginning the day photographing the cover and a number of inside spreads for Southern Lady, a magazine published by Hoffman Media.
Hoffman does a great job of providing the stylist and photographer with direction on a worksheet. The worksheet listed the story theme as:
Christmas Cover. Simple Elegance. Color Theme: white, green, gold, accents of pale blues. Tree ornament in theme colors. Lots of glow from the tree. Mantel decorated with stockings, garland and elegant gold magnolia wreath. Packages around the tree with lovely ribbon.
Was this the first shoot you had done for Hoffman Magazines?
This was not the first shoot I’ve done for Hoffman — I believe this was the fifth or sixth for one of the Hoffman magazines. I’ve also shot for their Bake from Scratch and Cooking with Paula Deen. But this was definitely my first cover shoot!
How did the client find you?
There is a strong close-knit creative community here in Birmingham and many of the photographers, stylists, assistants, writers, graphic artists and other creatives know each other and have moved between publications. I know several staffers at Hoffman from when we worked together at Southern Living Magazine.
The stylists had the more difficult job. All I had to do was show up and do my best to bring out all their hard work. Always work with a great stylist if you want to look good! All in all, it was a very fun day that ended in a major thunderstorm as we were boxing and loading the props back into a van. We ran!
Stylists: Tracey Russell, Lillie Mermoud
Senior Art Director: Tracy Wood-Franklin
See more of Art at artmeripol.com!
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