Tuesday, October 18, 2011

One Year Pictures!

As you can probably already tell, we recently had some family portraits taken. I figured it would be a good time to do a blog redesign with some updated photos and colors too.

You might remember some of my portrait brainstorming posts from few months ago (here and here).

For the family photos, I wanted something cute and coordinated, without being super matchy matchy. I think it looks cheesy when everyone in the family is wearing the exact same outfit or even the exact same shades and fabrics. I did want a color theme though so I settled on yellow and white. The only problem with that is I was shopping in late August/ early September for these clothes; Yellow and white clothes aren't exactly all over at the very end of summer. I managed to make do.

   1. Hubby was the easiest. He had some nice white Nautica cargo shorts that he has owned for a couple of years already so no money spent there. I found a pale yellow polo shirt from Target on sale for $12 so he was set.

   2. Mine was much harder. I wanted to wear a dress, but finding a yellow/white summery dress was definitely where the seasonal issue really came into play. I found plenty online, but I don't like buying clothes for myself online since I can't try things on. I went to several stores and didn't have much luck finding anything, let alone something that was flattering. I was willing to spend a decent amount of money on a dress since it could be a good all purpose dress. I got desperate and considered some $100+ ones, but they didn't fit well enough to justify the price.
After several failed attempts I decided to check out Nordstrom Rack. There were a few options at a variety of price ranges that I tried on, but none really impressed me. I was about to head out of the store when I passed a clearance rack in the juniors section and there it was. A pale yellow, cotton dress marked down to $15. I tried it on and it was perfect! I definitely scored with that price. I decided to give it a little more interest by pairing it with a wide brown belt from Express that I already owned. 

   3. I decided that the birthday girl needed a pretty dress too. Just like my own predicament, yellow dresses were not easily found in stores. I don't however, have issues buying kid clothes online so I found a nice dress on EBay (new with tags) for just under $18 shipped.

   4. Little Dude was the hardest because I was way too specific about what I wanted for him - I was persistent though and managed to make something work. Since hubby had a yellow top and white bottoms, I wanted the reverse for Little Dude. Turns out, yellow toddler boy shorts are much harder to find than yellow dresses. I searched all over only to find some $40 Ralph Lauren ones that would be closer to $50 shipped. Not willing to spend that kind of money on shorts (that he may very well not fit into next year), I gave up and bought some white shorts on clearance at Nordstrom Rack. They were Hurley shorts and were only $8.

I was going to buy him a yellow polo shirt when I came up with the idea to dye the shorts. I had already dyed a birthday onesie a few days prior so I decided to give it a go. I bought a packet of iDye for synthetic fabrics in yellow. The synthetic fabric dyeing process is done on the stove top in a big pot versus in the washing machine. It was an interesting process, I was worried I would burn the shorts and be back at square 1 with nothing again, but happily they turned a nice, even, lemon yellow. I already had a white polo in his size so the dye (~$2 with coupon) plus the shorts came out to $10.

Here is a shot with all of us in it in our yellow and white:
The kids didn't cooperate much in the smiling department
for the family shots, but they are cute none-the-less.

I think the color theme turned out great. It doesn't look cheesy to me, and we had some great yellow flowers in the background of some which played in perfectly with the outfits.

Since these were Baby Boo's 1 year portraits, I got her 2 other outfits to wear.

I wanted a vintage inspired theme, and had been eyeing the petti rompers that have been popping up all over online. I was particularly inspired by this photo that I found via Pinterest:

Source: Fluffy Tuffies Etsy store

I purchased a mauve romper from Pretty Petals on Etsy. For $24 it came with a matching silk headband that is simply beautiful. I then raided my mom's jewelry stash and grabbed all the light colored pearls I could find. Our photographer had a gorgeous antique-looking chair that we used in the scene:
I absolutely LOVE the results!

For the final scene I wanted the popular smash cake photos. I wanted the pictures to be truly about the birthday girl and the mess she would make with the cake so I went with a very simple outfit. My inspiration for this I also found via Pinterest:

I wanted a simple colored diaper cover and matching bow. My mom and I headed over to Joann's, bought $2 worth of fabric, and my mom sewed everything together for me. The day of the portraits I made a ruffle cake to match the color of her outfit. Check out Birthday Cake Love for a how-to on the ruffle cake; it is much easier than it looks really. These photos also turned out amazingly:
Baby Boo did her part by enthusiastically destroying her cake:
In the end, all the planning and shopping paid off. We have some fantastic family portraits that I know I will cherish once the kids are grown and I am old. I managed to do everything on a  budget, but there really isn't a price I can put on the photos themselves.

Here is the budget breakdown not including the photography itself:

Hubby's outfit (yellow polo) - $12
My outfit (yellow dress) - $15
Baby Boo's outfit #1 (yellow/white dress) - $18
Little Dude's outfit (yellow shorts) - $10
Baby Boo's outfit #2 (petti romper and headband) - $24
Baby Boo's outfit #3 (diaper cover and bow) - $2
Ruffle cake supplies - $5

Total - $86 {Not too shabby!}

I'll leave you all with a slideshow showing several of the photos from the shoot:
Check it out here if the slideshow isn't working.

The photography was done by SuzanneJean Photography. I can't recommend her enough for anyone looking for a photographer in the Twin Cities area.

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