Behind-the-Scenes at the Avenue Gift Guide Shoot

Long before the December issue is released, we’re hard at work putting together our gift guide. Here’s a look at how it’s done.

Things start to take shape as photographer Julya Hajnoczky slowly and painstakingly arranges each miniature and each gift to create the scene. She then checks each shot on her computer to make sure each element is clear and well lit. As you can tell by the summer clothing, this shoot took place in a particularly summery week in September.

We always try to outdo ourselves here at Avenue. Last year’s gift guide featured a family decked out in their holiday best interacting with their presents in a beautifully decorated home. This year we wanted to take you closer to the gifts and show them close up.

We asked the very talented photographer and artist Julya Hajnoczky to collaborate with us and share her vision of using miniatures people to create scenes that relate to the gifts.

After hundreds (maybe thousands) of emails, hours of scouting props and sourcing products, many deliveries and even more product pickups the shoot began. It spanned four days with a cast of dozens of miniature people.

Here’s a glimpse of how it all went down.

Things start to take shape as photographer Julya Hajnoczky slowly and painstakingly arranges each miniature and each gift to create the scene. She then checks each shot on her computer to make sure each element is clear and well lit. As you can tell by the summer clothing, this shoot took place in a particularly summery week in September.

Photographer Julya Hajnoczky used ambient lighting for the shoot. Avenue art director and photography assistant Dana Prediger use the flashlight functions on their phones to illuminate a section of the tableau.

Several gifts were tested for each shot. Here Julya Hajnoczky is fastening a watch to a block of wood so it hangs just right.

Gifts are arranged in antique wood crates and placed behind a salvaged window to create a winter street scene. Miniature families walk by reveling at the beautiful gifts displayed within.

Avenue art director Venessa Brewer finesses the artful bow on the gift featured on our cover. Luckily she is very patient, because two versions of the December cover were shot, taking about 8 hours.

To see the finished product, visit our gift guide.

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