Design in Depth: On This Particular Day it Was Snowing

August 7, 2013

By Stacy Kunstel

Photography is an amazing thing. Sure there are people who could use every Photoshop trick to turn me into a supermodel or into a Model T, but for a photograph to give you a feeling of something that really isn’t there, well, that’s creativity.

Think about today. When you walked outside this morning the air was already feeling sticky and warm. You could feel the sun on your bare arms and had sunglasses at the ready.

That’s exactly how I needed a story in our current Cape & Islands issue to look and feel. I needed it to be a convincing July even though it was shot in February on Nantucket…while it was snowing!

Photos by Michael Partenio

Could you have guessed that it wasn’t shot in the height of the summer? Want to know how we did it? First of all we started with one of our great New England Home photographers. In this case it was Michael Partenio. I told Michael it had to feel like Nantucket during the busiest time of the year—light-filled and as if the homeowners just left for the beach. I did my part by bringing what flowers and props I could that felt like summer—watermelon from the local Stop and Shop and flowers from the Southern Hemisphere in yellow and green tones that reminded me of golden rod and sea grasses.

Of course add an American flag and it instantly feels like the Fourth of July.

Thanks to interior designer Charlotte Barnes we also had a house with a built-in summer feeling.

Yes, it did snow that day and during a break between flakes we ran outside to snap an exterior of the front of the house. I ripped dead plant material out of the urns flanking the front door and stabbed fresh-from-Argentina hydrangeas around the bottoms of scraggly pines. In the end, the exterior didn’t fly and didn’t appear in the magazine, but you can’t fault us for trying!

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