One of the unexpected necessities (and fun bits) of being a picture book author is the occasional photo shoot. Luckily for me, my neighbor Rick Gerrity is a photographer. Four years ago (Sheesh, where did the time fly?) he graciously took a few book flap/publicity shots of me at home – on the porch, on the stairs and with our sweet pooch, Sophie. The front porch picture now graces the book flaps of my first two books.
Now, four years older and with two more books coming out, it seemed about time to update those photos. Rick, once again, said he’d be happy to take the pictures and really went above and beyond in brainstorming new settings that would capture the picture book spirit. He’s the one who had the idea to visit Donaldson’s Farm in Hackettstown, NJ, a beautiful fourth generation family-owned farm, and one of only five in New Jersey that grows sunflowers for the Audubon Society!
Our morning began with a tour of the farm given by the lovely Katie Donaldson. In addition to growing 40 acres of sunflowers, they also cultivate umpteen varieties of tomatoes, asparagus, peppers, lettuce, pumpkins, peaches, apples, berries and more! After the tour, it was time for the photo shoot. =)
I hope the photos below give you a sense of the magic of the day. My daughter came along and Rick let her use one of his fancy cameras. Thus, the shots captured below are both hers and Rick’s. Thank you Rick, Katie and Miss A. for helping make this such a special and memorable day!
The sunflower field we used was at its peak with about 22,000 sunflowers! Breathtaking! First, we took a few shots by the edge.
Then I stepped into the field… further and further! What fun! We took shots with the hat and without.
Next, it was time for books to have their time in front of the camera. The pumpkin patch seemed a fun setting. It was a little tricky getting the books to balance!
When the sun disappeared behind the clouds, we dashed back to the sunflower field for a few more shots. All in all, I think Rick took about 100 pictures! There were many good ones, but my favorite is the one I’ve saved for last. Happy Monday, all!