Posted by: larnymackblog | December 8, 2008

Turning a summer shot into Christmas and becoming a Hero

As the title says, I turned a project photographed during this last summer into a cover for the December issue of San Diego Home and Garden. To me, it wasn’t that big of a deal. I simply placed a Christmas tree in the living room window. But it was a great marketing opportunity and a chance to be a hero to my client.

The publisher wanted a “Christmas-y” cover. They already had a montage designed and ready but he just wasn’t happy with it. I got wind of their struggle when I got a call from the remodeling contractor, and my client, GDC Construction. Scott said he got a call from the home-owner who had a conversation with the editor, Wayne Carlson, (Stay with me now) about the December cover and wanting to use this project, but according to the home owner, there was nothing in the shot that “spoke to” Christmas. They suggested that he call me. It’s always nice when someone you haven’t even met recommends you.

The homeowner suggested to Wayne that I could somehow make the shot look like Christmas. When I got the call from him he commented that “Boy you sure have a reputation for making things happen.” And suggested I speak to their graphics designer. Laura said the publisher just wanted a little hint of Christmas. He didn’t want a bunch of hanging lights and decorations and, by the way, we go to press tomorrow. After reviewing the photo in question I suggested a Christmas Tree. I told them we can simply do it in post production. I did a quick sample and sent it over. They happily approved.

Now, what I mean by simple is, if you have 12+ years of Photoshop experience, know the intricacies of placing an object behind glass, at night, with lights, and place a reflection of it in the pool. I completed the project in about 3 hours. The magazine met their deadline, my client gained the coveted cover and I was a hero to all. That’s marketing and branding at its finest.

Be sure to look for the December issue of San Diego Home and Garden on newsstands (Barnes and Noble and Borders). You can see it (cover only) at It’s a great article.

Incidentally, this home was originally built by famed architect Henry Hester. The remodel was well executed by GDC Construction with V.P. Scott Murfey, personally managing the project.

For more photos of this project go to my gallery.



  1. Wow, I never would have guessed that tree was not originally there! Congrats on the cover shot!

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