It was December 21, 2015, exactly one year ago today. I was dropping off Subie, my trusty Subaru Forester (yes, my car has a name) at the dealership for routine maintenance when I received a phone call from Chelsea at Mobile Bay Magazine. I had not finished my Christmas shopping and had a million things to do before Christmas Day. So when she asked if I was available to photograph a party on suber-duper short notice, as in later that evening, I almost said no. I wasn't 100 percent sure my car was even going to be ready for pickup that day and I thought to myself, "when in the world will I get my Christmas shopping done?" But the party sounded intriguing and I found myself saying yes and asking her to send me further details.
Later that night, when I pulled up in front of the cutest little cottage on South Georgia Avenue, I knew I'd made the right decision in saying yes to the shoot. I felt like the house was from a movie because it had such personality. You could tell immediately that generous and welcoming people called it home. The front porch was aglow with white Christmas lights and the family's tree a shining focal point from the front window that looks out onto the street. It was a chilly and damp night, but the house exuded warmth. Inside I met Julia and Gray Fobes and I was not one bit surprised at how welcoming they were.
The first thing I noticed when I walked into the house was how amazing the food smelled. Gray is a chef and perishable specialist at Greer's (Julia's family owns and runs the local grocery chain) and so of course the food not only smelled amazing, it also looked fantastic and was presented beautifully! The second thing I immediately noticed was how Julia and Gray have infused their personalities into their home. Julia is an artist and floral designer and her talents are perfectly showcased by the decor in her home. Every room had a focal point, but as I began to take in all the details, these little vignettes would catch my eye--a wooden nativity scene nestled among a stack of books on a dresser, glittering snowflakes hanging from a chandelier, glass ornaments mixed with natural textures--all of this incorporated seamlessly along with the art that hangs in their home year-round and perfectly suited to the character of the house. There were so many fun, funky and beautiful details to capture! In short, it was a photographer's dream!
My assignment was to photograph the South Georgia Avenue Progressive Dinner, an annual Christmas tradition for the historic street. Each course of the dinner was to be hosted at a different home and guests would walk between the houses for each course. I was scheduled to photograph the dishes and holiday decor at Julia and Gray's home, where the appetizer course was being hosted. It's not such a natural thing to be doing a magazine shoot during someone's private dinner party, but Julia and Gray were so relaxed about the whole thing and all their guests were so accommodating and interested in the shoot. I felt like I was a guest at the party, rather than working!
Since the shoot was held in December, the plan was for the party to be featured in the magazine this December. Unfortunately, as it sometimes happens in the world of publishing, the story ended up not being printed. I did, however, get the go-ahead to share some of my favorite photos from this festive party on my blog. This was one of my favorite shoots from 2015, so after a long, long wait, it's fun to finally share them and to share them during the Christmas season! Enjoy and Merry Christmas!
I loved experiencing the South Georgia Avenue Progressive Dinner! I think it's such a fun tradition! What are your favorite Christmas traditions? Tell me in the comments below! :)