The Windowbox and Southern Living

Ralph Anderson, senior photographer, SOUTHERN LIVING; me; Micah Leon, photographer NEWSCHANNEL4; noticeably absent: Gene Bussell (aka, 'Bubba') , Garden Editor,  SOUTHERN LIVING

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have your home or garden photographed for a major publication?  Do you imagine it wrought with anxiety over weather conditions...the exasperation of dealing with temperamental arTISTE-y stylists and photographers...poor syncopation of bloom...not living up to editorial expectations...discord over presentation, and, most disturbingly (if you're in the photo), a really bad hair day?  

Well, if you did, you would be so.......WRONGGGGGGG! (Except, of course, for the stress over having a bad hair day).

Now I can't speak for most shelter magazines, but I can attest (after four shoots with them) that working with SOUTHERN LIVING is an absolute joy.  I would even go so far as to say that I have become good friends with them (Bubba, Ralph, RR.....ummmmm, am I speaking out of turn? :) An expression of southern warmth, I might add, unique to SL and their staff.....and not unfrought with risk... as it is hard to tell a friend that their gorgeous photo shoot might not make it to print...SIGH...)

But I digress.  Bubba, SL's Garden Editor (not unlike a vampire), absolutely refuses to have his image recorded under any circumstances, so no pic of him on this blog....anywhere.  Despite this character flaw, Bubba is an amazing gardener and creative photo stylist with a memory for all things horticultural that is quite intimidating actually (sorry, Bubba).   He is also a great shoulder to cry on when Oklahoma weather drives me to drink or I have run out of good reading material.  Or I'm just antsy and need someone to bug about nothing in particular.

Ralph, oozing Southern charm with a suave, slow drawl to match, has unwittingly taught me quite a bit about photography.  He can make any weather condition and light quality work.  Not just work........sing.  Scale any rickety ladder, muck through any poor-draining flower bed, he will, to get that perfect shot.  My potager isn't exactly NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, but still...

Anyhoo, the whole experience is fun, not at all stressful, very educational for me, and bad-hair-anxiety notwithstanding, a rollicking good time.  Especially since, when all of the shots are in the can, and the hair-gods have spoken (fair or ill), we celebrate at my house with lots of good food (this year:  brisket, arugula salad, squash casserole, wild rice and chocolate cake....oh, and copious amounts of red wine...),  and recap the wisdom imparted, artistic genius expressed, and disasters averted during the shoot.

Don't believe me?  Then watch NewsChannel 4 at 4:30 on Tuesday afternoon.  Linda Cavanaugh wanted to see for herself, so she interviewed Ralph and Imeabout the photo shoot and why they like coming to Oklahoma City.  Oh, and about the window box; the reason they came, after all.  I'll show you some tease pictures tomorrow, with a compositional how-to on 4 Your Garden at 4:30 on NewsChannel 4 this Wednesday.

Of course, if you want to see the entire story and images...well, you'll just have to get a subscription to SOUTHERN LIVING now, won't you?  It never hurts to plant a little plug for good friends, you know?  :)

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