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A Behind the scenes Peek at the Boondocks Blog

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A while back I shared some pretty pictures with you all of my son’s bookcase transformation which you can see here.  And many of you were wondering where all the books had gone. They are all safe and sound, thank you!  But this got me to thinking. Many times we show you the pretty pictures but I bet you have no idea what goes on behind the scenes.

Well, today I am taking you to a messy, cluttered place.  My home. Or should I say a blogger’s home because it never looked like this in my pre-blogging days. Horrors!! What did I get myself into?  How does my family put up with me? Join me as well take a look behind the scenes peek at the boondocks blog. 

I am joined in this wacky adventure by some friends who are also super brave and will show you their ”Behind the Scenes” reality.  So don’t go anywhere, you’ll be able to see my blogging friends posts on the bottom of this post. 

Logo A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com

Peek #1 – The Tri-Colored Coffee Table

Let’s take an easy example.  This is a photo my daughter, the future pastry chef, asked me to take for her. It was photographed a month ago in my living room, onthe tri-colored table which I use as a background.
photo of cupcakes, A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com
Let’s pull back a bit.  See all that stuff on the chair to the left.  Those are craft supplies that had taken up permanent residence on the table. I needed a clear spot so I just moved them there.  Let’s hope they don’t grow roots on that chair.

And those are my daughter’s knees on the bottom left trying to stay out of the photo. 
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cupcakes on table and messy chair, A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com
Lets pull back a bit more. Do you see the mess?  Why is the iron in the living room?  Why are there still bits and pieces of Christmas decor out in March?  Maybe I should just save myself the trouble and keep them out till Christmas!  Or I can celebrate Christmas in July. 

And let’s not overlook the paint brush on the table. At least I had it in a plastic container. 

messy chair and other assorted clutter, A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com

Peek #2 – The Dictionary Stand

The dictionary stand looks great against the red brick background, doesn’t it? Wanna know why it was photographed there?

Light!  It’s all about the lighting. Outdoors means natural light, even if it’s a cloudy day in January no less!

Dictionary Stand, A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com
We pull back and you see where the stand is.  Right behind the metal rails.  In that tight space! This is my dad’s house in New York.  There is nowhere else to photograph that even remotely has a neutral background and has good lighting.  I really had to improvise here. It even started raining as I was photographing.  Lucky me!
dictionary stand on porch, A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com

Peek #3 – The Christmas Decor on the Wall Unit

Over ChristmasI had decorated the wall unit with lots of pretty things.  This is supposed to be the pretty shot.  

That glass block window behind Santa has been a problem for years.  I had originally added a fabric scraps curtain to block some of the light out. Of course it did nothing for this picture. I had to find some other way to save the pictures. 

Christmas in the living room, A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com
Let’s zoom in a bit.  I took this shot while standing on the table.  Yes, that is a common occurrence.  But this lovely shot did not look like this …
close up of shelf with picture frame, A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com
It originally looked like this, from all the glare of the window. 
Reality shot of shelf, A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com
What you don’t see is this giant board I had to place up there to block the light.  And even that was not enough.  I also placed a piece of cardboard against the window to block the glare on the bottom of the top shelf, under the bottles. 

The glare from that window is constant.  I don’t really want to add a heavy duty curtain since it is nice to have that bit of light but it really is not photo friendly!

zoom out of shelf and all the glare from window, A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com

Peek #4 – The Mirror with Angels

Nice shot right? Another one from the Christmas post. The hanging angels, the picture frame with the wreath reflected on the mirror.  And my precious cauldron.

But you see that the shot stops there.  What is further down?

Mirror with angels, A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com
If we pan down to the bottom we can see mayhem!  Christmas decorating is a hard job, and there are always too many objects to choose from.  We also have to remember to hide the Halloween things. After all, we wouldn’t want to get those two holidays mixed up!  
mess under the mirror, A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com
And to the right of this set up we have my craft table.  It is a wonder that I can craft at all, seeing as how I can never find anything I’m looking for.  I have seriously given up trying to keep it organized.  Even when I do clean up, it only lasts for about a few hours before it looks like this again.  This definitely has to be a blogger malaise!  
craft table mess next to the mirror, A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com

Peek #5 – The Fabric Headboard

Below is a photo from a recent project on how to use fabric to warm up a room.  

Everything is perfect down to the last detail. The fabric, the right chair, the added details on top of the dresser.  But there are two things you don’t see. 

​One, there is no mattress in the bed frame.  It is an illusion. “wink”


guest bedroom with fabric headboard, A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com
And two, all the “stuff” has been shoved to the side of the room. Out of the picture frame. 
Reality shot of bedroom, A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com
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Peek #6 – The Balcony Photography Studio

As I have mentioned before lighting is so important in photography.  And with that in mind, I built this table along with my husband, and aptly christened it “The drunken table”  We placed it outside on the balcony with the idea that I could photograph various vignettes and projects, using natural light. 
The drunken table, A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com
Originally I used a pallet as backdrop, but that was too busy and distracting.  I replaced it with this bigger pallet which was painted all white and is easier on the eyes. 
pallet painted in white, A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com
Let’s zoom out for a minute and as you can see my daughter is holding it up while I get ready to take a photo.  Why is she holding it up?  Because it is so windy out there I am afraid that if I just lean it against the wall it might topple over.
holding up the pallet, A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com
Sometimes I have to take 30 pictures before I get the right shot!  The wind can be brutal but that is the price I pay for shooting outdoors. 

The stool is used to put all my stuff while I’m setting up.

Oh and the icing on the cake!  Many times I go out there in my pajamas.  Because we all know a blogger’s uniform is pajama wear!  I hope the neighbors have not been spooked. 

the pallet as backdrop, A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com
And let’s not forget the stuff I have to drag out there, if it’s a complicated vignette like the one with the antique cauldron. I spent the good part of an hour going back and forth trying different ideas till I got that one right. It was so worth it in the end!
pretty shot of cauldron on drunken table, A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com

Peek #7 – The Painting Area

This is the other side of the balcony.  In the summer it is all nice and pretty.  We usually have meals out here. 
balcony table with chairs, A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com
But right now it looks like this.  Whenever I am doing a big paint job, this is where I come.  In this case I was painting a chair and I figured why not hoist it up on that glass table and play Russian roulette with the glass top of the table. And of course in my enthusiasm to do the paint job I just shove everything else to one side. 

Oh I’m planning to get to those copper dishes…one day!  But for now they stay there as a reminder.  And the chair is done!  

balcony table used for painting, A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com

Peek #8 – Where Have All the Books Gone?

And for those of you who are still curious about the photo of the perfectly styled bookcase.  This is how things originally started out. 
Bookcase before, A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com
This is the pretty shot which highlights the bookcase and allows you to see the work that has been done. 
bookcase Pretty after picture, A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com
And this is what it looks like in real life. The reality shot!  You cannot see as much of the pretty as before but that’s okay.  It is still nice and functional. And you can see that the mirror has replaced the picture frame collage. 

My son really does love his books!  He placed all of his non-fiction books here. 


bookcase reality shot, A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com
The fiction books are here in the living room. Although, knowing him, he probably has a few more by now.  Time to find another bookcase! 
bookcase with rest of books, A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com
And that ought to answer everyone’s question about “where the books have gone to” among other things.  You can see that the reality of a blogger photo shoot is very different from what you would expect. We get ourselves into crazy situations. And we have to fight off severe weather conditions in order to create the “pretty” in the photos. 

Sometimes we show you the pretty because, really, who wants to see all the rest?  So trust us when you see a pretty!  The ugly ought to stay hidden! 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this special post behind the scenes peek of the boondocks blog.  Now scroll down to see what my super talented friends have gotten themselves into. 

a look at what really goes on behind those pretty shots on the blog, A Behind the Scenes Peek at The Boondocks Blog www.theboondocksblog.com

​If you like what you see, share it with your friends, or save it on Pinterest.  Above is a Pinterest worthy image!

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And now it is time to visit or hop on over to my friends and see their “Behind the Scenes” shenanigans! Just click on the images. 
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Cyndie Arnold

Monday 28th of August 2017

Thank you, Mary. I thought I was alone in cropping all the creative mayhem out of my shots. I, too have a wayward iron in a handy but not put away place. This is the most honest and uplifting blog I have ever read. I'll keep reading.

Mary

Wednesday 30th of August 2017

Aww thank you so much Cyndie. It's always good to show the reality, we don't want our readers to think that our lives are perfect. Far from it and I think it is important that they can identify with us after all, we are all the same. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Debrashoppeno5

Monday 17th of April 2017

I can really relate. My garage is an organized mess. I know where stuff is but anyone looking in is absoutely appalled. As I am working on a project it spills over to the house. So for a beauty shot the rest of the house is chaos.

Mary

Monday 17th of April 2017

Debra you understand. It is a never ending battle to keep the piles of mess out of the shot. One of these days I promise to get organized. ;)

Greg Navage

Monday 17th of April 2017

I'm glad we're not the only ones living in chaos, Mary! It's good to see that we're all up to the same tricks :)

Mary

Monday 17th of April 2017

The struggle is never ending Greg!

Angie ~ ambient wares

Monday 17th of April 2017

Mary, this is great! I was smiling, like BIG smile the entire time, shaking my head up and down in agreement because while it's a different home than mine, it seems to operate the very same. Like, why is the iron in the living room? Thanks for including me!

Mary

Monday 17th of April 2017

This post just confirms what we never suspected. We are all so alike it's not even funny! Just like we swapped homes.

Marie|The Interior Frugalista

Monday 17th of April 2017

Yessss, another blogger who works indoors and out clad in pj's. I swear the courier drivers have never seen me dressed in real clothes. These reality shots are awesome, Mary - they truly depict the life of a creative. So smart of you to keep them (I sadly deleted most of the shots that didn't make the blog). The lengths we will go to get that trophy shot!

Mary

Monday 17th of April 2017

Haha! I have a whole collection of pajamas! And half of them have paint stains too! And yes we will bend upside down, twist and turn just to get that shot.

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