BEHIND THE SCENES AT OUR 'HOUSE & GARDEN' SHOOT
Some wise soul once said “never work with animals or children” – fair point I say!!! The mere thought wreaks havoc with my clean freak brain. But Bon’s a braver girl than I and happily welcomed Australian House & Garden magazine into her dream home to shoot the cover and feature article for their July Winter Wonderland issue.
Surely being greeted by three boys, two dogs, a couple of cows and a toddler on a sugar high would be enough to scare off most photographers (make that ‘most people’!), but not the gorgeous Maree Homer and ladies from H&G. These gals, let’s call them the 'H&G Dream Team', don’t look one bit panicked when they turn up at Bonnie’s place, armed with cameras, props and bribes for the two-year-old.
Have you always wondered how they get those shots sooooo perfect in the mag? Is it all just smoke and mirrors? Or can kids and animals actually sit that freakishly still? I lurked behind the scenes to find out…
Our gorgeous Bon, looking totally glam, straight from hair & makeup. She’s dressed head to toe in white (yes, she even wears white!) and is wrangling her two-year-old to perch on the edge of that mammoth kitchen island, while being bribed with chocolate. “Not too much though, he peaked too soon last time!”.
Mum dressed in white and a toddler dribbling chocolate, what could go possibly go wrong?! Surprisingly everything goes amazingly right! Even Miss Coco, the British Bulldog, looks in the right direction for the shot. The H&G team made that look seriously easy.
Feeling ambitious after the success of that shot, the H&G team set up for the main event… the cover shot. Getting a family of six all in the same shot and all looking the same way sounds positively impossible – oh, and a dog (only one British Bulldog has made the cut today, the other is totally over all the intruders in his home and has been relegated to the garage).
Fresh from school, the three older boys change into their photo shoot best #matchymatchy and try to escape as Bon hairsprays their mini-Dad hairdos to within an inch of their lives. Yeah, yeah best behaviour, they’ve been briefed… they get ‘the look’ and they’re all standing to attention.
Bon, still in white, with only a tiny splatter of chocolate on her white jeans #keepingitreal finally gets to sit down in her amazing new outdoor area. “I can’t believe how friggin’ beautiful you've made this area looks, it warms my heart”. And it certainly will, with not only a built-in fire place but a fire-pit as well!
Around the fire-pit, husband Nathan and two of the big boys mock toasting marshmallows, while throwing jibes at their brother, “sucked in - Buster’s reading!”. Poor Buster is doing a great job of looking “relaxed without lying down” while pretending to read on the hanging day-bed. "Keep smiling Buster, make it look like you're enjoying reading" you can hear one of the 50 ladies on set saying.
Minutes later, as if on cue for a winter-themed shoot, the temperature drops and gusts of wind blow leaves across the scene. Bon’s looking very ‘Marilyn over the wind machine’, in her white outfit and with a new windswept ‘do. And we break. People appear as if out of the woodwork, to rearrange props, sweep leaves, check shots on screens.
In between shots, the lovely writer from H&G, Liz Wilson, jumps in to interview Bon for the article, asking her about her favourite features of the home, her family and the inspiration for the outdoor area which we’re shooting in today - and when she's asked for details about her fretwork inspo she says “um, ask Lana, she’s like Rainman... she remembers everything”. That’d be British Colonial Bon, you were inspired by verandas of those gorgeous Bahamas-style resorts… remember??
While Mum & Dad chat, Dodge practises speed laps of the kitchen island on his balance bike, parking it in the gap of the brand-new chaise (pronounced chez ;-) and sofa, between laps. #deepbreathslana
The big boys break into a dance-off. Is that the running man making a comeback? I recognise the floss #TheDabIsSoLastYear
The leaves are swept, the props replenished, the pie on the table closely saved from the hungry eyes of Coco the dog, and we’re ready to roll again.
Dodge is with Mum, this time the bribe is a (white-jean friendly) marshmallow as big as his head, ‘borrowed’ from the props table.
Bon’s loving the perfection of this idyllic family scene. “Oh, I want to keep them like this all the time... reading, quiet, ahhh…”. She spoke to soon, next minute Dodge is up and making a beeline for the fire pit, seriously this kid is faster than lightning! He's decided he wants a stick as big as Dad’s.
“Nath, boys, smile, look happy!”, Bon calls. And they do. And that’s a wrap.