Just over a year ago, following a shoot and film for MADE.com, out of the blue and unconnected, I received an email from IKEA Family Magazine. They wanted to feature our home and our family in their globally printed magazine as well as online. I replied immediately with a picture of me holding my IKEA book in our studio, it was a resounding yes!
I guess this admission won’t come as a surprise; I am fascinated by brands. It’s what I more formally studied (after graduation) and it’s what I love to read about, from books detailing Stellios and Easyjet right through to the creative couple Rich & Rosa behind Cereal Magazine. I love creative branding and IKEA have cleverly transitioned throughout the decades.
Rachel, from Family Magazine, explained we were being shot for s/s 17 but the photos would actually be taken in a/w 16 over a series of consecutive days. In advance I was sent pieces to assemble ahead of the team pulling it all together.
As a family we’re getting more and more used to working with external brands (and teams) coming into our home. And Stanley definitely revels in having a captive audience.
Like most families, we rarely get photos of the three of us, especially in our home and never by a talented photographer like Polly Wreford.
Jules Rogers, the Creative Director, instantly put us at ease with her Geordie wit and humour. Throughout the shoot copywriter, Alice Freeman, took opportunities to ask questions and really understood what made us tick.
Styling definitely doesn’t come naturally to me, so I quietly observed Carl whilst he effortlessly worked and simultaneously kept Stanley amused (he was a big hit).
The team ate with us and quickly felt like part of the furniture. The cats also felt at ease – with Gareth trying to make an appearance on most photos.
On the final day, the sun made an appearance, but just when it wasn’t needed. This created some dramatic highlights which albeit beautiful weren’t consistent with the previous days.
The magazine was launched across the world at various intervals so it was pretty exciting when I got sent DMs on Instagram from people who spotted us in the magazine in other countries. Seeing the text translated into different languages made the whole thing seem very real.
Last month we were filmed and photographed by Mahabis, so we’re very excited to see the project come together.
I feel very honoured to have our journey captured by such talented individuals. I really appreciate how lucky we are to have such a rich journal of our life and home.
Words and photography by Fiona Burrage.