The book is scheduled to come out on April 23 and I had a very specific vision that I wanted for this book. It is my first offering to the non-fiction department, so it is completely different than my last release.
The book itself is basically a collection of questions that couples can use to connect or re-connect if the avenues of communication are failing. I am convinced that if couples keep an open line of communication thereby creating a deeper level of trust and intimacy, they can work through most issues.
So the pictures that I had in my minds-eye, had to reflect that.
I immediately went with Shaun Kneemiller. He is relatively new to the photography scene and is so laid back that I knew with out a shadow of a doubt that he's the one I wanted for this delicate shoot. I wanted the pictures to be sweet. Intimate and tender. Not look nasty or dirty or in any way lead the reader to think this book was about anything but love-based, strengthening of couples. A fine line to be sure when the shoot is taking place in a bed... with pillows... and jammy-clad figures.
Shaun lined up immediately with what I had in mind and was very patient while we tried to get just the right shots. I am super picky about what I am looking for creatively and he delivered. We balanced back and forth with my ideas and his and then he accepted ideas from on-lookers with graciousness as we got as much done on our limited time schedule. While he kept the environment light and easy, you could tell he never lost focus on his next shot. I loved watching inspiration come to him while we were working on something. We worked together well and I am so pleased with his work. I hope that you will be too.
Not only will these pictures be used in the actual book, but they will also be used in promoting it and for future articles. So there was a lot riding on this one shoot!
Which meant I had to choose just the right partner. My first thought went immediately to my very good friend, Eric Rowlett. We have been friends for such a long time that we have developed a deep respect for each other and a sincere love that can be seen whenever we are in the same room together. It was my hope that the same look/ feeling could be captured on film. He agreed and immediately my mind was put at ease.
Okay, not immediately. I love Eric to pieces. Every part of him. Which happens to be covered in body art... tattoos. This gave me a bit of trepidation because so many people are prejudiced against tattoos. So, I could choose some one else, who I wasn't as comfortable with or I could allow the world to see the real person that Eric is with all of his uniquely- Eric art work. Now, I will be the first to admit that if they interfere with the focus of the shot, I am not opposed to editing them out. But he is who he is and I love him just that way and I hope the public can see that and appreciate the photos as an example of closeness, intimacy and one-ness.
During the actual shoot, when I was tense, Eric calmed me. He made me laugh and we were completely comfortable in every angle Shaun wanted from us. He was patient and loving and I can't say enough nice things about our day together. I believe it shows in the pictures. I am so glad that Eric decided to sign on to the Pillow Talk team, tattoos and all. It means the world to me and since we never know what the future holds, it makes me happy that we will have these memories and if they start to get a little faded, all I have to do is find the nearest copy of Pillow Talk!
Location, location, location... My friend Paul Arthur has this adorable little spare bedroom in his basement and the moment I saw it (this was way back when Pillow Talk was still in its pencil stages...) I knew it was the perfect setting for the photo shoot. I am so grateful that he was willing to open up his home to this barrage of strangers running around in jammies taking over his basement for the sake of Elizabeth's "vision"! It really was the perfect spot! Perfect size, perfect color and the sheet set? Perfect.
Mary Spezia of Sweet Note Styles was in charge of hair and make-up. She has taken care of my face many times for my public outings so she was my first choice when my face was going to have "permanent" placement on the cover of my book and splashed all over the media! She gave me that soft, not-overly-made-up look that I was wanting. Of course that's what I ALWAYS look like when I just wake up and am running around in my jammies.... so her job was relatively easy, right? teehee!
Joey Felps was in charge of the behind-the-scenes shots! I love these!! Not sure if they will all get public exposure, but I am so glad that they were captured for my own personal pleasure if nothing else.
And luckily, Shaun is perfectly comfortable taking photos of pets because, my Great Dane, Meera wanted to get in on the action as well. She is usually camera shy but Shaun even got her to participate and got a few pics of her good side!!
All in all, It was a good, good day. I am so very pleased. I have a lot of work to do ahead of me as we go through the eliminating and the editing and the the narrowing down and the the CHOOSING!! I may be locked in my office for the next few days!!
Thank you to everyone involved. It was a long day but I think it will prove to be a success! (Let's hope so anyway because I don't think I could get Eric or Meera to do it again! lol)