I recently produced and wrote a how-to article on topping pumpkins with succulents, for Country Gardens magazine. The designer we featured is Laura Eubanks, who originated the idea. The magazine sent photographer Ed Gohlich, who came to my home with his assistant, Matt. Ed does many of the Southern CA (and beyond) articles for Better Homes & Gardens’ publications. It’s amazing to watch him work. Like GGW’s Saxon Holt, Ed’s a master at manipulating light. That day, he contended with harsh sun and deep shadows. And Laura…well, poor Laura. Those squash got heavier and harder to hold the longer she stood, smiling bravely beneath my arch, wearing my borrowed hat (which was a bit too large for her).
Do you see the worn wood table on the cover? Like the straw hat, it’s typical of the “Country Gardens’ look.” I just happened to have a weathered table in my basement, too. Ed liked its rustic appearance, so we used it. But first, Laura arranged succulent cuttings on burlap for the “materials shot,” below. The light must have been good in my driveway, at least at that moment.
Also from my basement we unearthed two wooden fruit crates that date back to my parents’ avocado ranch. Here, Ed’s doing a tight shot of the project while Matt evens out the light.
Laura’s teenage daughter, Hannah, sat on the driveway and watched.
Below, Ed’s shooting the “beauty shot” of the finished pumpkin, which is on a table in my garden. I provided glasses that glisten. Trust me, this looks a lot better in the magazine!
Here, per Ed’s instructions, once again Matt’s manipulating the sun. The other side of the big rectangle is shiny. Good thing it wasn’t windy that day, ha.
To get the right angle, Ed shot the tabletop from midway down the slope. Hannah, though sitting at the table, wasn’t in the shot.
I hope you’ll look for the magazine when in line at the supermarket, and that you’ve enjoyed seeing this bigger—but by no means better—picture of what went on behind the scenes. Also, we’d love to know what you think of the finished article!