We completed a fun job recently for Richmond Magazine‘s RHome, and the issue just hit stores and mailboxes.  We were asked to illustrate five of the “Readers’ Favorites,” local business representatives that were singled out in a survey, in a dollhouse environment.  The task was to basically “shrink” 5 people, and squeeze them into a modern style dollhouse.  No prob.

 

            First step was to test the dollhouse for lighting and angles that would properly tell the story, and work with the digital addition of some real life-sized human beings.  Rich graciously stood in during this step, and bravely faced my shrink ray.  These test images were run by the art director, and decisions were made about lenses, lighting, and angles that worked for us.

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All photos ©Jeff S. Saxman

 

            Next the final dollhouse shots were made with proper lighting.  The entire house was photographed for the intro shot, leaving space for copy and the “giant” hand, which I decided should be placing one of the people into the set.  Additionally, close ups of the various rooms for the individual photos were made with a longer lens in order to flatten the rooms a bit, which I felt help with the sense of scale.  Lastly, the “living room” was photographed tight with a wide lens, in order to open the space up and put the viewer inside.  This was shot was used for the cover.

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All photos ©Jeff S. Saxman

 

            A few days later, we had arranged for each of the 5 individuals to come by the studio.  We photographed them on white sweep, being mindful of the lighting in the rooms in which they would appear.  It was also necessary to “rough in” elements that they were to be interacting with:  the steps, the wallpaper, the ceiling from which light fixtures were hanging, etc.

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All photos ©Jeff S. Saxman

 

            As the shoot rolled along, I rough cut the images into the room shots to make sure we were hitting our target.  Minor adjustments were made where warranted, but the preparation done ahead of time ensured these were minimal.  This also gave our subjects an opportunity to see where this was leading, and they were al pretty excited to see it happen.  I forget sometimes, when I have something like this in my head, that my subjects may not have knowledge of the process, and very often are wondering just what the hell I am doing.

 

            Also on this day, Ann lent us a hand, literally.  We photographed her hand with the intent to have her place Mike into the set.

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All photos ©Jeff S. Saxman

 

            The photography and rough edits done, it was time to turn over the files for processing to Rich Nashette, who does the bulk of the digital imaging work.  He is a great “pixel jockey” (his words) and makes me look good.  Not sure exactly how many hours he spent on this, but he walked around with his head cocked about 30 degrees for a couple weeks afterward.

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All photos ©Jeff S. Saxman

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All photos ©Jeff S. Saxman

 

            The folks at the mag were pretty pleased, I think, and Rich and I are happy to have had an opportunity to work on a project that was interesting and fun, and that turned out well.  It’s a good day!

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