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  • Writer's pictureTina Witherspoon

Interior Photography: The Cottage

I grew up in rural New England and although I prefer to live in urban areas, I still love exploring small towns. My husband and I bought our first house north of Seattle, and for those 10 years I spent weekends driving through all the small towns in the area visiting thrift stores, antique malls, vintage cafes and run down bars. One of my favorite spots was Main Street in downtown Bothell. I say “was” because it has been growing by leaps and bounds in the last decade or so, and although it's technically a city, it still feels like a small town.

Main Street is still worth a weekend visit — it remains a 2-lane road (although drastically improved with landscape elements and new parking spaces) lined with mom and pop, brick-and-mortar shops to explore. A few years ago Board & Vellum was hired to design the interior of a new artisanal coffee shop that was slated to open in the area, and it’s one of the first projects I got to photograph for the company's portfolio. Working alongside another photographer who captured the wide angle shots, I focused specifically on lifestyle interior detail images and I think the resulting collection of photographs really complement each other.

The first thing I was drawn to was the cozy seating area: the cool color palette, the warm fireplace, the vintage inspired tin ceiling tiles and the grand crystal chandelier. I grabbed a latte and got to work. Just before this photo shoot, I had acquired a 50mm prime lens and I was obsessed with the way it created detail shots. This photo of the coffee mug with the fire in the background inspired me to keep shooting wide, creating snippets of moments around the space. I love how they feel somewhat moody but still inviting.

This was also the first time I attempted to use people in the background — I asked one of the staff to be my model for the day and placed him strategically at one of the cafe tables with a book to add to the ambience of the space. I’ve loved shooting coffee shops ever since!

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