Monday, December 15, 2014

Stylizing a Christmas Photo Shoot

Hello and thanks for stopping by today! I am doing something a little different than my normal sewing related posts with todays post; I am going to talk about stylizing a photo session!  Photography is another one of my obsessions hobbies and I have always intended for my blog to include it as a topic area but, alas, I tend to have great intentions and not a ton of time to carry them out.  Well, that ends today!

A few months ago a friend of mine (Jenn from Candid Moments Wedding Photography) approached me about doing a few stylized sessions with her and I was thrilled, flattered and terrified...all at the same time.  Although I aspire to be an accomplished photographer, I still have some ways to go, so a chance to work with a real life pro (who I also happen to like and respect-double bonus!) was just too good to pass up.  We met at a really fancy office (local coffee shop) and hashed out the idea of what we wanted to do.  I am a list writer and storyboarder, so I drew out our plan in my Big Book of Fabulous Ideas; which is a notebook I carry around and scratch my kindergartner-esque drawings of ideas I have for projects.

We did a lot of pinterest searching and brainstorming, a lot of digging through our houses and a little shopping for the perfect accessories...but I think we pulled it off!

The center of our session was a hot chocolate stand that Jenn had built and added a chalkboard sign to.  It was adorable with hand lettered "hot chocolate" across it and turned out just perfectly.  The girls at the shoot had a blast drinking their hot chocolate in the stand.  

With the exception of a few small items, all of the props were items we had around our houses or in our christmas stashes.  We brainstormed various items we wanted to bring (and brought way more than we ended up using) and filled in around the center stand with a reclaimed chalkboard, a bench and stool, and wooden crates and stands.  Then we added authentic hot chocolate fix-in's and some fresh baked goods for beautiful and delicious bribes treats for the girls.  

Mason jars filled with peppermint chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate chips, peppermint sticks and colorful straws were added as filler around jars of marshmallows and hot chocolate mix.  I made little spice cupcakes with maple buttercream frosting and added chocolate filled cookie straws to make them look like little whipped cream topped hot chocolates.  Not lying-I had to buy the cookies at a local coffee shop on the way to the shoot because I ran out of time to make them, but they fit in beautifully and the kids certainly did not mind.  The adorable sweater clad mugs were one of my only purchases because they were just too cute to pass up.  

The location we found was beautiful and had huge evergreen trees in the background, so we just filled in with a few other trees, wreaths and garland to give it a little more seasonal greenery. 

Of course, for me, no photoshoot is complete without a few handmade clothing items in it, so I sewed up the skirt and knickers my girls are wearing. I talk more about the patterns and clothes over at the Pattern Revolution Blog.  

We took some posed shots and some candids. I adore this shot of the girls behind the stand, but I also just love the candid photos of the girls grabbing their treats and just having a good time.  

I had such a great time collaborating with Jenn and all of the fabulous little ones who volunteered to come out and let us try the set up on them.  They were troopers and did a great job as little models.  We plan to offer some more stylized sessions in the future with various themes and I cannot wait to help come up with different scenes and ideas for those!  

Photo sessions certainly don't have to be as propped out as this one is, but adding some themed props and coordinated items to a shoot definitely gives it a whole different feel.  I loved doing this and will branch a little more out of my comfort zone to find new locations and props for my shoots in the future!

Thanks again for stopping by...until next time...

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