A couple of years ago, New York-based architecture and interiors photographer Andy Ryan was commissioned to work on a project in the Hudson Valley town of Clinton Corners with Lori Paranjape of Mrs. Paranjape Design + Interiors. Just over a year after the shoot, in 2022, the images were selected to run as a feature story and on the cover.
Lori commissioned me back in 2018 to photograph a small upper east side apartment that was later featured in Domino Magazine. She was hired by the same clients to find a property upstate for them to retreat to, somewhere they could entertain family and friends.
That retreat came in the form of a converted 1925 dairy barn in New York’s Hudson Valley. The homeowners affectionately named it The Grateful Farm: a living space that any resident would be grateful for.
A gravel road leads to a main barn accompanied by a grain silo. They retain a rustic, country feel with a simple, unpretentious design emphasizing their original agricultural purpose. Around these two structures are several outbuildings, each serving a different purpose to its owners. In front is an expansive grass lawn ideal for croquet, cornhole, or any other summer game outdoors. If life had to be slowed down to a snail’s pace, where you’d lounge and idle about with friends and family, this was definitely the place.
Andy was brought on board to document Lori’s work for her portfolio, showcasing the interior and exterior design. He scouted the location in April 2021, in preparation for their shoot in May for Mrs. Paranjape’s portfolio and for editorial consideration.
Andy photographed the space over two days, with Lori and her design team styling and staging the property and interior spaces. Having worked with Lori before, he knew to expect only the best from her.
Lori and her team are professionals. The spaces were styled and shoot-ready, with some slight tweaks as we moved through the space. We chased light and had a production timeline we stuck to. We allowed natural light to fill the spaces, and at times, created light within a space using off-camera lighting. With the exteriors, I followed the sun and determined the best time to capture each shot.
While the exteriors remained largely faithful to the property’s rural roots, Lori and her firm were more liberal with the interior renovations. The top of the barn was converted to a party room with abundant options. There’s a full bar, media center, and numerous spots for board games. A staircase leads up to a bunk room reminiscent of a cozy find at summer camp. The kitchen décor includes antiquities that matched the timelessness of its existing structures, which include hand-hewn timbers that frame the doorway. All in all, the place is a sight to behold.
The homeowners were generous with their hospitality. They provided meals each day for Lori’s team and myself, and were involved in styling the breakfast spread for the kitchen shots and the charcuterie board for images of the patio. They filled our hearts, minds, and bellies with a lot of love. There were tons of laughs throughout the setup for those shots, as we were excited to eat the food they provided.
Roughly a year after the photoshoot, Country Living reached out to feature the property in their May-June 2022 issue. Lori’s designs would be featured in a 6-Page Story, but she was kept in the dark regarding one detail: The Grateful Farm would also occupy the cover. Andy received that news first, allowing him to break it to Lori before anyone else. The magazine selected a wide shot of the property’s exterior, revealing its idyllic presence in the natural environment during the afternoon golden hour. And it was a shot that might not have been taken.
While Lori and her team were setting up for the shots of the porch and summer house, Andy wandered around, trying to make use of the golden hours while they lasted. He headed to the back of the barn to photograph the warmth from the sun that fell on the exterior, even though the shots and angles were not in the original plan. This unexpected departure from the script resulted in a moment worthy of the cover, demonstrating that spontaneity has its own merits.
See more of Andy’s work on his website.
Client: Mrs. Paranjape Design + Interiors
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