What goes into a POLYWOOD Photoshoot?
If you’re familiar with POLYWOOD, you’ve probably seen an image or two of our furniture taken at an exotic location.
Whether it’s the beaches of the Outer Banks or the hills of Austin, Texas, these photos (what we call “Lifestyle Images”) capture what we’re all about — casual, laid-back, outdoor living.
While these photos may appear to be glamorous, the behind-the-scenes photoshoots that create these images require long days, hard work, heavy lifting, and creative ingenuity.
In the past two years that I’ve worked at POLYWOOD, I’ve been lucky enough to go on several photoshoots as a scene stylist and image editor. On each shoot I’ve learned something new.
Here is a little behind-the-scenes look at some of what I’ve learned along the way — details and experiences that aren’t necessarily evident when looking at the finished image.
– LONG DAYS –
Did you know there are actually two sunsets in a day? Neither did I. It wasn’t until I started going on photoshoots that I learned a sunrise looks a lot like a sunset in a photograph (especially when styled with a couple of wine glasses!).
In order to capture both “sunsets” per day, our crew has to be up before the crack of dawn with the furniture assembled, scene styled, and shot lined up ready to capture the image — all before the sun rises.
– LIVING WITH COWORKERS –
When we’re scouting for a shoot location, not only are we looking for a place with beautiful outdoor living spaces, but also a place that can house our crew. Luckily, our crew of about seven people can usually fit in the house we shoot at, which makes for easy logistics in getting everyone to the scene before sunrise, cooking meals, etc. It also makes for untraditional team building when you live with your coworkers for eight days straight.
(Below is a video of our photographers, Chris and Amanda, playing the “Dice Game” which we made-up on our California shoot)
We often joke on shoots that we feel like we’re on a reality TV show: being confined to a house with seven relative strangers — only we don’t get to vote anyone off the island at the end of the day.
When you spend eight days straight with the same people, they can get on your nerves. But, it always seems that we come back from photo shoots even closer than the last, which makes for a good work environment back at the POLYWOOD headquarters.
– DEALING WITH THE UNEXPECTED –
Some of the biggest obstacles to overcome on a POLYWOOD photoshoot are the intangibles. No matter how much scouting, prepping, and planning you do beforehand, unexpected situations will arise. Most of the time, we learn from these experiences and use this knowledge in prepping for future shoots.
However, once in a while I find myself in very unique situations that I will probably never find myself in again. And with that, I leave you with an image of me herding a couple of goats at a recent shoot.
Blog Post Updated March 8, 2021