Behind the Scenes

We asked Abi to give us her lowdown on pulling a photo shoot together, from conceptualizing weeks in advance to the actual day.

Usually shoots take place in my pad and sometimes and occasionally we go on location.

A beautiful textured sculpture and a wireless glass lamp styled on a book.

With so many products continually landing we are generally photographing every other week.

  • If you’ve ever wondered about the process (and FYI it usually takes place weeks before the actual shoot) here’s a little behind the scenes gander of what goes on. Oh and just to warn there is a lot of schlepping, organising and cleaning involved.

  • Abigail Ahern styling a lamp in a dark painted room
Abigail Ahern and her sister styling a chair for a photo shoot

Firstly...

I’ll kick start the whole process off by drilling into each and every product and then begin to conceptualise a dialogue between the product and the props that will sit alongside it. 


  • I’m all over the spreadsheets that the buying team have organised telling me what products land when. With so many products across so many categories and all in production at different times, I can never remember what lands when.

  • So the logistics team and buying teams are invaluable for keeping a tight control of factories, lead times, delays and any setbacks all of which get entered into one great big master document.  

It might look like all our lovely products casually land as and when they do but its meticulously planned out. Sometimes new products sit a good few months in our warehouse before launching to co-inside with not only how they would sit and look on site but also the marketing activity surrounding them.

The process of how I style every shot begins with an idea.

This could come from a movie, magazine, book or a stroll in the park with Werts and Monkey. I have almost a photographic memory with interiors and the back of my head is like this internal great big rolodex of reference points.

  • All the products need to sit on the page beautifully with nothing jarring and that involves constant awareness of backgrounds, colour palettes, materiality, scale, tension, pattern and texture. 

Sometimes I’ll pull together a moodboard but more often than not it’s just a series of notes.

Quite often and in the moment, I will go off grid from my own brief but just knowing that I’ve written down and visualised how every product is going to be shot and exactly what is going with it brings me comfort on the day.

The day before the shoot it’s a whiz to the market to prep/shop any backgrounds, buy beautiful fruit, veg, candles, and so forth. On shoot days I get up at 4.30 clear and clean the house and get all the products which the team will have unboxed out and we are ready.


  • Abigail Ahern artificial plant on a gold table next to a freestanding bath
  • Abigail Ahern artificial plant succulent
  • Abigail Ahern artificial plant succulent on a gold table with cowshed products
Abigail Ahern natural shot of a side table with an artificial trailing succulent plant and cream curtains in a light space

We shoot with natural daylight and love cloudy days where the light is so soft (and dread bright days) where the light is super harsh although we have screening.

For every shot we change it all up and move things around constantly.  We run all over the house from the kitchen to the bathroom, outdoors to in all while a running commentary runs through my head. 

  • I don’t like the shots to feel too staged or forced, but natural, effortless and like the composition just happened. Which of course it never does you just have to make it look like it does.

  • Abigail Ahern glass lamp with artificial succulent plant
  • Abigail Ahern messy house after a photo shoot behind the scenes
  • Everything then gets boxed up and couriered back to the store or warehouse and the house which is in complete disarray has to be cleaned and put back together and 13 to 14 hours later I’ll plop on the sofa with a glass or red done in but happy.

  • Abigail Ahern messy house after a photo shoot behind the scenes