Houston-based photographer Shannon O’Hara delved right into the holiday spirit with his recent shoot for A Year of Gingerbread Houses by Kristine Samuell. Kristine’s publisher found Shannon on Wonderful Machine, and after hearing Kristine’s ideas, Shannon was ready to get cracking (figuratively, of course).
I went and met Kristine to discuss her project and was immediately blown away by the detail and creativity in her work and couldn’t wait to work with [her] on her project.
Because there were so many physical pieces involved with each gingerbread house as well as the large size of some of the them, they had to shoot everything on location at Kristine’s home. This proved a pleasure for Shannon, who delights in the challenges and opportunities that shooting on-site provides. Shannon did have to adapt his usual raw, photojournalistic way of shooting subjects, however, in order to fit a stricter, more structured series style:
This project needed to be cleaner and more structured because of how detailed each step was, and for all of us who have followed along in a craft book, we know just how precise the photos need to be.
I did shoot all the gingerbread houses with natural light to keep some sense of my personal esthetic.
Far beyond your average gingerbread guide, this book includes gingerbread house designs for Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and birthdays, as well as over 200 step-by-step process shots for customized windows, chimneys, and paths: all photographed by Shannon. With Kristine’s detailed shot list and Shannon’s flexible style, they were able to do some test shoots, formulate a plan, and send material back and forth to the publisher in New York for feedback throughout the five-day shoot.
Shannon says the book is selling well and he’s been receiving a lot of compliments on the photos. So if you’re looking for a sweet guide to gingerbread houses this year, you know just where to find it.
To view more of Shannon’s work visit his website.