through the lens of a camera…

Marian ParsonsKitchen, Photography69 Comments

I did a proper photo shoot in my kitchen last week and there was something therapeutic about it.  It was my first “real photoshoot” where I styled everything (removed the unsightly stuff like the toaster), used a tripod, tethered the camera, etc.  There is something about taking a picture of something that makes me love it more.  Well, maybe it’s more than just taking a picture, but taking my time taking a picture.  Or a few dozen pictures!

I’m not sure how to explain it, but I have always felt that way about antiques I find, furniture I paint, places I visit, and the rooms in my own house when I photograph them.

The process of making sure everything is clean and aesthetically pleasing, seeing it through a camera lens, capturing it from angles that I hadn’t noticed before, etc…  it just changes how I see it.

I suppose I’m spending unhurried time adoring my subject and that helps me take notice of the best features.

Here are a few of my favorite shots…

I’ve long thought of my camera as a critical part of my business.  That and my computer are my bread & butter.  But I never really acknowledged how it helps me see and appreciate things that I may miss with the naked eye.

Well, I am now.

through the lens of a camera…

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69 Comments on “through the lens of a camera…”

  1. Beautiful kitchen!
    How did you hang the platters? I received an antique platter for Christmas and would like to hang it in my kitchen. Pointers, please?

    1. I just use the wire plate hangers you can find at hardware stores, etc. I think they are the most “trustworthy” of all of the hanger options out there.

  2. So pretty…I noticed your new faucet. Do you like it now that you’ve used it a few days? Also, do you like the big sink, verses a double sink?
    You are a great photographer. I’ve always loved your styling. I’d love to put my toaster oven in a closet, but it gets used almost everyday. Those are hard to disguise. Blessings!!

      1. I was going to ask about that! I live in Seattle now, but I’m originally from Illinois. I have an artist made plate painting of a field of crops hanging in my kitchen. Every time I see it, I am rocketed back to acres and acres of corn and soybeans. Very fond memories!

  3. Whoops! You do have a double basin sink. Just caught that fact as I going back for a second look at your pictures. I’m trying to choose, and am getting opinions on double versus single basin sinks.

  4. These are photos of a real kitchen – congrats and kudos! This kitchen tells the story of a family and also of a person who lives life, not someone who makes rooms perfect. If I needed a professional designer, you’d be the one to be hired. Really, really well done.

  5. I spy one of your paintings and i love the frame that it is in. I am on the hunt for a frame for mine that i was sooo lucky to get. I need it to be just perfect. Does your frame have a pane of glass? It looks like it does not. I also have to say i wasn’t a big fan of the glass knobs, i didn’t feel that they were “kitchen” enough but I am really liking them now. : )

    1. Generally, you don’t put glass over an oil painting, so it can “breathe”. So, no, this one doesn’t have glass over it.

  6. Lovely shots. I totally understand what you mean by”rediscovering” something beautiful in your your home. It happens to me too.. usually when I look at it from a different angle and perspective….😊

  7. What a beautiful kitchen. The shelves on the end of the island look wonderful with your dishes. What is your plan when young children come to visit? I’m wondering if you have a vacant spot where you can quickly stash those treasures.

    1. I will admit that our house isn’t really baby/toddler friendly any longer. But we can always adjust things, if we ever need to. Yes, I would just move them to a safe spot, if necessary.

  8. Your kitchen has come along so beautifully. You are so right about how the lens captures things we don’t see that are right in front of us. I know you eventually want to change out the countertops to marble but your granite countertops still looks so nice. I would personally put that project down on the list and maybe work on changing out the carpet in the dining room to hardwoods matching the kitchen and foyer.

  9. Lovely. Thanks for sharing.
    Your shoot is a success! Love the fresh flowers.

    Waiting for the blinds in the studio and drapes!!!!! Need your guidance to make both! Both projects are a good winter task.

    Appreciate your feedback to questions in comments. Please keep responding!

  10. Perfection. I am so glad you changed out those pendant lights. Didn’t want to say anything before. What are
    your plans for lights. Over my stove I have a framed NY license plate with my father’s tag EE-79 c. 1942 the year I was born. I still have that tag plate on my car as well as other relatives to honor him. Hmmm. I think I am going to
    do what you with your utensils. Have to go shopping in my own basement. I would love to shove my microwave
    anywhere except where it is taking up too much real estate. Your every day email is appreciated here
    and I look forward to it always.

  11. Absolutely gorgeous Marian, love how you turned a contemporary kitchen into more of a farmhouse kitchen. Just proves you can do anything 😊💓

  12. Astoundingly beautiful shots. A dream kitchen. You are without debate a gifted designer who ranks right up there with Sister Parrish and all those big-name designers. Triple Wow.

  13. I feel the same way, as a blogger, that the photography is almost as important as the words. Especially in the days of Pinterest and Instagram. You do such a beautiful job of styling your photos, and I have learned a lot from how you zoom in on objects and get things from various angles. I like your new kitchen! And I also agree that taking time with photos makes you appreciate the items more. Nice post, as usual!

  14. It looks so lovely – clean and crisp! Are all the plants real? The flowers and the 2 plants? Definitely looks like a House Beautiful spread!

  15. What a thoughtful post… Thank you for sharing your reflections about photographing things in your own home. You’ve given all of us a tool for getting a new POV on our own decorating efforts.

  16. I notice that your backsplash at your counter to wall does not come up to the tops of your cupboards as so many magazines and displays are showing. My kitchen, that I inherited when I bought the house does not have a back splash and I have bravely hung things on the wall like you did your picture. So you just have drywall there between your granite and the bottoms of the cupboards?

    1. We will be putting in a full tile backsplash when we replace the counters. Right now, it’s just drywall, which isn’t good behind the stove.

  17. Your photos look like a spread in Country Living…absolutely beautiful! Could you post a closeup of your painting? I love the gold frame.

  18. Can you share how you keep the hardwood clean? My hardwoods look greasy all the time no matter how I clean them.

  19. I love your kitchen!! I mostly love that stove! Would absolutely put one of those in my house… Awesome. Hope you like it and wondered how you like not having the clock, controls behind the burners. Next oven I get will not have all that stuff on it. BEAUTIFUL SPACE!!

  20. Lovely kitchen, Marion! And while I’m not the best chef in the world, I am in LOVE with that oven.. WOW!!!! 😉

  21. Could you recommend a camera for someone (me) who needs to take pictures of refurbished stuff to sell online and use for a blog that will be set up in the near future. I’ve put it off for so long but need one.

    Thank you.

    1. It depends on your budget. I would suggest getting the nicest camera you can for the money and buy something refurbished. It’s very common, even for professional photographers, to buy used gear to save money. Just buy from a reputable place (B&H photo, Amazon) that will offer a limited warranty on refurbished gear. Also, make sure you’re buying a US product and not “gray market”. Usually, if there are two identical products and one is dramatically less expensive, that’s why.

      I have always shot Nikon, so I would suggest something along the lines of a D7000. (I’m not sure the latest model equivalent, but that will get you looking in the right direction.)

  22. Do you have dust where you live? I love my antique cookie jars, cake plates and pitchers on display…but trying to keep up with dusting is getting the best of me.
    Your kitchen is lovely.

  23. Beautiful photos, Marian! I enjoy your posts so much and they inspired me some months ago to begin taking photos (with my phone) in my own home. I never realized how a photo can show me things I don’t see with the naked eye. Maybe its because a photo zeros in on the subject and blocks out all the distractions around it. I don’t know, but the process has caused me to rearrange items on shelves, add something here and there, take away when there’s too much and generally enjoy playing with my “treasures” 🙂

  24. I love your home, it’s so cozy and inviting! I especially love the scale on your island, can you tell me where you got it and what type and brand name of scale it is?

  25. I use “Disc Adhesive Plate Hangers” (just google) to hang my plates and platters on the wall. You might want to consider them. Different sizes available for different size plates.

  26. I, too, love these photos and your blog post. I have a question about using ironstone as a flower pitcher. I bought myself an ironstone canister recently and used it as a vase for fresh flowers. When I went to change the water, my tablecloth underneath the canister had a brown stain and the ironstone also had brown staining on it. Does the iron actually leach out when there’s sustained moisture in it? The stain looked like rust. I was so disappointed about the staining on my canister.

    1. That does happen with some of them, but not all. I think it’s when the glaze is crazed enough that water can seep into the “clay” of the pitcher.

  27. What does it mean when you ‘tether a camera?’
    Your pictures are beautiful.
    Also, I have used Disc Adhesive Hangers(on the recommendation of Yvonne Pratt, Stone Gable blogger) and had them turn loose. Perhaps I didn’t apply them correctly, but I’m not willing to risk my precious ironstone pieces again.

    1. To tether a camera means to connect it to the computer with a cable and take the pictures from software on the computer. I use Lightroom for that. The advantage is that the images are sent right to my computer, so I make sure I get the right shot as I’m working.

    1. I used Advanced Paint by Benjamin Moore in a custom white (Satin finish.) The white was matched to Farrow & Balls All White, but I was told it’s very close to Chantilly White. It’s a bright white without being stark.

  28. Very pretty! 🙂 I’ve been wondering… It seems the house you’ve moved into might be quite a bit larger than the house you left. If so, how is that going for you? Do you feel like you have the right amount of space or too much? I know you needed and wanted studio space, and I think it’s clear you love that part. 🙂 I’m mainly wondering about the kids’ spaces and living room and family room areas. We live in a 3-bedroom house that’s just under 1700 square feet (no basement) and have three boys, ages 13, 8, and 2. We have been talking about moving for a few years. We often feel like we are on top of each other with no place to escape, but we also spend a lot of time together, and I wonder if we would miss that in a bigger home. We’ve lived in our house for 17 years, and could just about pay off our mortgage with the amount of money we would put down on a bigger house. It’s really hard to know what to do. Sometimes, I wish a job change would force us to move to a new town, but then again, I love the area we live in… Sigh. 🙂 Anyway, just curious how the (possibly) bigger house feels to you, and if you have any thoughts on that.

  29. Where did you purchase the runner you have in the kitchen ? Is it wider than most runners that are 2’6”?

  30. Love the white cabinets with the wood Flooring and wood tones. Beautiful. I wish I could keep mine clean longer than an hour. 2 dogs and 2 cats keep me busy cleaning. LOVE my animals but hate the fur/dust that’s left behind.

  31. Love, love your “glassware” handles on your kitchen cabinetry!! These beautiful handles elevate your kitchen design…. where might one find these?

  32. I love your new home!!! I have the same kitchen cabinets and I love how you painted yours white. Thank you for sharing all you paint colors and I can’t wait to see your new backsplash! My backsplash is a white-bead board. hmmm….. I can see a change coming…..;)

  33. I love following along with all the changes you have made and will make to your new home. Love the white cabinets and all your blue accents, so subtle and fresh. One question. Where do you find the time to do it all??? And you have so much to dust and clean. I love seeing it but must admit I would be overwhelmed by it and need less clutter in my home. Love looking at yours though. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

  34. Hi Marion,
    Love the pottery stored on the island. My question is ; do you use much of your collections when entertaining or everyday? It’s lovely and I hope you are. 😇

  35. What color are your cabinets? I just recently purchased pearly white to paint them and I’m wondering if I should have gone more traditional white…thank you!

  36. Not sure how you manage it but although there is lots in your kitchen it does not look cluttered! Admire your style and boundless energy.

  37. I love how your ironstone collection is placed around the kitchen. Each spot holds a treasure! Every morning I enter my kitchen and the first thing I see is some of my ironstone. Makes my day start happy!

  38. Your kitchen is stunning! I’ve recently moved into a new home and have been agonizing over how to make it my own. I’ve gotten so many great ideas from your blog. Thank you for sharing your talent with us! Could you please tell us where you found the glass/lucite pulls on your cabinets? They are exactly what I want but I can’t seem to find them anywhere. Thank you!

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