fall porch photoshoot

by | Sep 6, 2016 | Artistic Endeavors, Photography, Running a Business | 9 comments

Thursday morning, I hit the snooze button a few times and then lazily scrolled through Instagram with one eye open until I felt like I could function enough to coax myself out of bed.  My throat had been sore for a couple of days and now I could feel that I didn’t just have a dry throat from the A/C running or from a couple of short nights of sleep (from getting up to check blood sugars and make corrections in the middle of the night) I was getting sick.  I had slated Thursday for a fall porch freelance photoshoot, but I just didn’t think I could swing it.  The sky was threatening rain on top of my stuffed sinuses and it seemed like everything was pointing to rescheduling.  Netflix, soup, and pajama pants were beckoning.

Well, I tried my best, but I couldn’t fit it in another day to shoot before my deadline, so I had to stick to the schedule and push through it.  I gave myself a pep-talk, noting that there are worse things to have to push through whilst fighting a cold.

Kriste and I scrambled and sweat (it was really humid and gross) and by the end of the day, we had two gallery photoshoots (a gallery of “beauty shots”) and one tutorial completed.  I was whooped by the end of the day, but it was well worth it and I’m really pleased with how everything turned out.

For the gallery shoots, we “borrowed” one of my friend’s front porches and her yard.  She has great stuff, too, so we were able to use her furniture, which saved us from having to cart over more stuff from my house and the studio.  The van was already pretty maxed out.

mums and pumpkins | fall porch photo shoot | missmustardseed.com

We did have a little company while we were shooting…

family dog | fall porch photo shoot | missmustardseed.com

Their two dogs “volunteered” to be subjects.  Sometimes, they were willing and helpful.

cute dog | | fall porch photo shoot | missmustardseed.com

And other times…

unwilling volunteers | fall porch photo shoot | missmustardseed.com

Well, not so much.

It was a lot of fun, though.  Given that I was dragging, the dogs provided some energy and comic relief.

In addition to the fall porch photoshoot, we photographed a fall buffet in a pretty field.  When I was styling this table, I raided my house to use things I already had, much like someone would do if they were setting up a buffet in their own yard.  I don’t like to add a bunch of seasonal decorations, but rather rethink pieces to make a pretty display and add in some fresh seasonal produce and flowers.

fall buffet | fall porch photo shoot | missmustardseed.com

And, of course, yummy things.

candy apples | fall porch photo shoot | missmustardseed.com

These photoshoots, as well as the apple orchard picnic, will be available in their entirety on HGTV.com.  I try to link to all of my articles when they are live, but I don’t always keep track of it.  If you ever want to find an article, though, you can search my name and find them under my HGTV professional profile.

You know, I was looking at some old tutorials I wrote for them when I first started and I couldn’t believe I have been freelancing for them since 2011 and have written well over 100 articles.  I lost count a couple of years ago.

And I still get a little thrill when I see my work featured on their site.


(The top row, left and right images, are both ones I did.)

I still vividly remember the day I received an e-mail from one of their editors, asking if I would be interested in writing an article for them.  I was stunned and elated all rolled into one.  It’s still such an honor and a fun thing to be a part of.

Sometimes we need to stop and look back for a minute and take in the view of the trail we’ve climbed before we press forward.  I think you appreciate things more when you celebrate how far you’ve come.  I often forget to do that.

Anyway, I hope all of you had a wonderful long weekend!  I’ll share all about mine tomorrow…


  1. Karen

    Beautiful shots! I can’t wait to see the feature. That angry pup reminds me of my dog, 20 pounds of cute fluff who turns into Cujo when approached by strangers lol. It’s so embarrassing.

  2. Michelle

    The pictures are beautiful and I look forward to reading the articles. I knew that you wrote for HGTV but to be honest I never read any of your articles until now. Looks like I have a lot of reading to do.

    On a totally different subject, I was shopping Saturday and I saw you in Hobby Lobby. I really wanted to introduce myself to you and tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog and what an inspiration you are but I didn’t want to interrupt your family time. I also thought maybe you would think I was being a little bit of a stalker. As soon as I got in the car I called my husband and said, you will never believe who I just saw? His response was, who that mustard lady! Gotta love him. At least I know he is listening to me.

    Hope you are feeling better and have a good week.

    • marian

      How funny! Oh, you should’ve said hi. We were there buying some art supplies for my boys who really wanted to pick out some of their own watercolors and brushes “like mommy.” 🙂

  3. paige.rose

    Your photography, home & blog are just so bright & lovely! Such a cute simple fall porch & the first picture of the little dog…I mean how CLASSIC is that?! Adorable!!!

    Happy Tuesday!


  4. Erika

    This makes me excited to decorate my porch and I must admit a little excited for fall, but don’t tell that to summer. Pretty pictures and hope you feel better!

  5. Kristine Puzel

    Love the shots of the dogs — they sure do keep everything real! I am looking forward to heading to HGTV!

  6. Summer

    Everything is so beautiful! And the dogs are so cute ♥


  7. Lisa R

    Hope you’re feeling better! Being sick this time of year is no fun? Love all the pictures!

  8. Teresa

    Oh my goodness, I am craving one of those candy apples! Beautiful shots and the dogs are so sweet. Seeing the Fall Photo Shoot pictures really has me looking forward to some cooler temps as we are still having Summer like weather here in Central VA.


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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