Behind the scenes at a Community Playthings photoshoot

Rocking chair photoshoot

I always look forward to the day when a new product is in production and it's time to photograph it for the Community Playthings catalogue. We roll out the white paper for the backdrop and make sure all of the props are ready. In the morning our photographer shows up with the lights and studio camera and we are off. Although photoshoot days are hectic, the saving grace is that we are working with children. I was a teacher before working at Community Playthings and miss my days with the children. In an area off the set we keep the children happily occupied until the lights, furniture and props are adjusted to everyone's satisfaction. Then the best part begins as we bring in the children. To avoid dusty footprints on the paper we often lift them over the lighting wires and into place. As the images come up on the screen we wait for that perfect shot. These are not models posing; they are children – alive, moving, sometimes funny – and all sorts of quirky things happen. We want to see them engrossed in their play, not smiling at the camera.

The project this time was our new child-sized rocking chair. We asked Mary to tell Dae Mun a story so we could show two children communicating while using the new rocking chairs. Well, we all got to listen to the story and Dae Mun became so interested in the story that he forgot to rock. So that's the story behind one of the hundreds of pictures that never made it into the catalogue.

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