Christmas in July
After spending a lifetime in retail working 6 months to a year ahead has become the norm. Because of production lead times and press requirements you need to allow time to get sampling in early, and creating images that will grab the imagination of the magazines.But even a hardened retail hack like me still finds trying to recreate Christmas in the gloriously sunny British weather quite surreal.
What we were trying to achieve this time was four very different Christmas stories, but using our current designs rather than specific Christmassy ones. Luckily we could set up the day before, as you will not believe how much work goes into getting every setting look right. Lots and lots of ironing of the Organic Cotton table cloths and napkins to make sure the base is perfect, before we get to add all the props. The work of making all the props started weeks before, with handmade crackers, gift wrapping boxes, and making stars. The lovely peeps at Squeak Gift & Party kindly lent us some of their beautiful ceramic stars and snowflakes which we threaded onto fishing wire for our back drop.
One of the biggest problems with working out of season is finding the right greenery and flowers to keep it looking authentic and Christmassy. No mistletoe or holly with berries, luckily ivy is in abundance all year round. Poinsettia are out of season, but a simple red or white rose still looks right. Another challenge is then keeping everything looking fresh in the heat, (cue lots of water sprays and keeping the studio dark before the shoot).
As always there are a few things that are unexpected. After spending days painting some chairs to go with the shoot, when the new seat pads turned up the day before we realised they were the wrong shape for the chairs – so some last minute scrambling around for different props was required.
As you know at Ochre and Ocre we do love our dogs, so it has become a bit of a Christmas tradition to do a Christmas dog shot – unfortunately due to the heat our office pooch was not quite up to the part, but she gamely performed, and after a bit of arm waving and treat dangling she looked the part!
We are very lucky to have worked with the same photographer over the past few years now, and I feel Rachel Spivey really understands Ochre and Ocre the brand and what we want from our pics. She is also a perfectionist, and no creases or wonky forks will go unnoticed. Rachel is assisted by Dan, and he really adds to the mix as that third pair of eyes spotting things we’ve missed, grabbing some great impromptu shots and some energy for all the lifting and carrying when we are flagging!
We can’t wait to share the new pics with you, but we will leave it until it’s a bit closer to Christmas!!
Written by Tess Heslop from Ochre and Ocre