• Lenise Willis

Go Behind the Scenes of GDA’s June Cover Photoshoot Where Crowns and Animals Abound

Managing Editor Anne-Marie Earl’s nursery will make its debut as the backdrop of the magazine’s June cover, its first-ever original photoshoot.

Our team took the term, “working from home” to a whole new level this month when we caught wind that our managing editor, Anne-Marie Earl, has one adorable, photogenic nursery for her 2-year-old baby girl, Clementine.

Our lead feature for the June issue is on baby giftables, so we knew we wanted a cover that would set the tone. Lucky for us, we have a Pinterest-driven modern mom on our staff who didn’t mind us invading her personal space. It was easy dressing up her already fashionable little girl’s room with a few plush bunnies and sheep, puzzles, books and other top baby giftables that we’ve been seeing in the boutiques.

“As I’m getting adjusted to being the new editor in chief of GDA, there are a few things I’ve been wanting to do to spruce up the magazine, both online and in print,” said Lenise Willis. “Part of that refresh is doing more original photoshoots so we can stage and combine products that we’d like to highlight each month. This will give us more artistic freedom in our product choices, color schemes and context that better reflects the content of the magazine.”

This might not have been an option with some co-workers, but GDA is lucky that it has a tight-knit team that works well together….and has fun doing it.

“We were hard at work, of course,” Willis said. “But it was fun getting so many people involved in the cover and letting everyone express their creativity. I think it’s important to give team members different tasks that are outside of their day-to-day to see how they can blossom. Plus, we just have a lot of fun together. We laughed at mistakes and even took the time to play a little dress up.”

Throughout the photoshoot, it was easy to see that the products we were playing with for the shoot would be a hit with both kids and adults. We couldn’t keep ourselves from snuggling with the stuffed animals in between shots.

”I researched nurseries for months, trying to catch that whimsical feel,” Earl said. “My daughter’s room is easily my favorite of the house, and I’m so glad that our team thought it would be a good backdrop for the cover.”

Be on the lookout for our June issue of Gifts and Decorative Accessories so you can see the final product, plus check out our lead features, including Baby Gifting, Doing Good While Doing Business, Best Hostess and Housewarming Gifts, and, of course, our special section: Gifted Women, in which we honor nine amazing women in the gift industry.

Lenise WillisLenise Willis | Editor-in-Chief

Lenise Willis is a graduate of the Journalism School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has experience in education reporting, feature writing and content marketing. She enjoys painting, reviewing plays and creating videos and other multimedia. She brings both print and digital skillsets to GDA and is excited to be a part of the gift industry.

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