A Day of Whimsical Happenings was a day of a limited number of mini creative sessions. Each session had props and a setting that catered to each child and what they liked.
STEAMPUNK WITH A WOODSY TWIST
Tui has an artistic soul and her colouring really suits the autumn, colours of nature. I chose to do a Steampunk theme based on one of my favourite books as a child, The Faraway Tree, by Enid Blyton.
The Faraway tree was located in The Enchanted Wood as was full of fantastical creatures. Through the Enchanted Wood ran a train that went all the way to Toyland. I think trains and Steampunk go well together, so that became the base of my idea. A Steampunk creature waiting at a train depot in the Enchanted Wood. A little Steampunk Fairy.
I made a no sew tutu made from coloured cheesecloth and lacy fabric. I had a leather top to go underneath. The wings shape was based from a pattern OxEyeDaisy. To make them more steampunk I added a tie up corset/harness. These were made from a vinyl from Bunnings Warehouse with nuts and bolts. The embellishments were from A Dozen Ideas.
On the day my husband asks,
"Why are you taking our clock down?"
"Because I'm going to nail it to a tree. Where's the hammer?"
"Why are you nailing it to a tree?"
"Because that's where the train stops".....
Husband's face is comical with his 'shouldn't have asked look'.
THE BUTTERFLY SISTERS
These 2 sisters like pink and purple, tutus and butterflies.
I made heaps of butterflies from scrapbooking papers, and put them on wires, buntings and bluetack. I made no sew tutus and I had coloured cheesecloth as tops / underdress. The headpieces were from Cotton On.
THE SECRET GARDEN
Ngawai is friends with the Butterfly Sisters, so she wanted to do something similar to them. Next to the location of the butterfly tree was this pretty flowering nook. It reminded me of the story "The Secret Garden" which was my inspiration for her. To top it off a little NZ native bird, a Fantail, kept chatting and flying around us for the photo session. It was very sweet and magical.
As the flowers were purple, I put her in the purple cheesecloth and tutu.
THE PIRATE BOY
For the 3 year old boy who loves pirates, my son and I had great fun making things for his shoot. A raft made out of pool noodles and little cork boats on string. My son had to try out everything to make sure they worked. There were a few fails. We found out paper boats look great in the sand but flop very quickly in the water. We also found out that pool noodle rafts will barely hold up a big 12 year old lad in the water. It may have held our 3 year old pirate, but to be safe we kept it on the sand. We gave the pirate boy choices in pirate hats and patches, and the ones he is wearing is what he chose. Also had to throw in some pirate balloons and chocolate gold coins.
I enjoyed this day so much. I do want to do it again.
To see where I get help in photo prop creating, go check out my Pinterest board : Calico Jo's Photo Prop creating board
PHOTO SESSION BRIEF: To get some lifestyle family portraits to showcase a bit of Rotorua. Photos to be sent to family overseas.
LOCATION: Lake Tikitapu
CAMERA: Canon 50d with Canon 24-105mm lens and natural lighting.
Also did some photos in the Redwoods, Waipa Mill side.
"Families are like fudge - Mostly sweet with a few nuts"
THE BRIEF: To get some promotional photos for the Japanese Summer Festival, and I wanted to do some portraits with the Wisteria covered bridge in Kuirau Park while it was still flowering.
CAMERA: Canon 70d with 24-105mm lens
LIGHTING: All natural light with a sunny day with cloud, Spring.
Settings: F/4.5 - 1/200 - ISO 160
Below camera settings: F/5.6 - 1/200 - ISO 160
I really enjoyed this photo shoot and am totally in love with the Kimonos I've seen and the fabrics they are made in.
Miss Amanda Miles and the Rebel Rambler
PHOTO SHOOT BRIEF: Full length and head shots, vintage pin up style for Amanda Miles portfolio, (actually a Mrs Amanda Miles).
Photos will be used in vintage pin up competitions.
CAR: Rebel Rambler owned by Amanda and husband Phil
HAIRSTYLE: By Miss Jessica Mae of Kulture Shock
MAKEUP: Shaquille Baker
LOCATION: Hamurana, Rotorua, New Zealand
WEATHER & TIME: 1-2pm on a hot sunny day
LENS: Canon 24-105mm
Photos below with Canon 50d and reflector
F 4.5 - 1/250 - ISO 160
Photo below with Canon 70d
F 4 - 1/1250 - ISO 125 - natural light
Photos below with Canon 70d and natural light
F 4 - 1/200 - ISO 500
Photos below with Canon 70d and natural light
1/250 - ISO 400
full length F 14 - head shot F 4
Photo below with Canon 70d
f 4.5 - 1/250 - ISO 400, natural light with reflector
" Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world" - Marilyn Monroe
" I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide.
Is a wild call and a clear call, that may not be denied.
All I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the seagulls crying."
- John Masefield - Seafever -
The Sea Maidens photo shoot was almost a year into the making. Conflicting schedules and a busy summer season, meant it was towards the end of winter before we could all meet up. We made a date and said rain or storm we were still going to do it. The location was Mt Maunganui, the place that is always bathed in sunshine and warmth..... except the day we were there. The weather called our bluff and it was so stormy! I had them in their winter coats huddled under a tree until I had them in front of the camera. My camera was enclosed in a plastic grocery bag, and it was so stormy I didn't even attempt a lighting setup.
The dresses were inspired by the ocean. They were made of cheesecloth that I bought on a roll. I like using cheesecloth because it is already a cloth tube, so it is just a matter of cutting holes and ties in the right places to make a no sew design. They were also embellished with seashells, twine and beads.
Here are some notes and inspirations for each of the designs.
The camera used was a Canon 50d with a 24-105mm lens. Natural cloud storm lighting around mid day.
Makeup was done by Danielle Sutton.
Model: Amy Stephenson
Amy was my most experience model, so she got the most difficult outfit to model. She was my Queen, with a big crown, and her dress was inspired by the waves and whitewash with a big long trail. I also designed some twine netting to represent fishing nets.
Camera was set at 1/250 shutter speed, ISO 250, with F stop either f/9 or f/5 depending if was a scene or more cropped in shot.
Model: Judea Amarige Taratoa-Arthur
Judea's dress was inspired by sea creatures, squid, jellyfish. She had to be plaited into it with a french braid all the way down it's back.
Model: Preslee Stevens
This was Preslee's first modelling shoot. Talk about baptism with fire with the weather, but she did really well. Her outfit is inspired by nets.
"The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible,
but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore."
- Vincent Van Gogh -
Jo, what shall I get everyone to wear?
A family lifestyle photo session, is a very personalised photo shoot. It is about who you are, where your heart and homebase is, what you love, and a showcase of the family bond. The clothing you wear, should also reflect you and you should be comfortable in them. Here are some pointers to help bring those styles and personalities into a cohesive family portrait.
Matching outfits can look a little contrived and unnatural for a lifestyle type session, unless it's a multiple birth scenario and wearing matching outfits is the norm. You don't have wear the same colours, but it is nice to have clothing from the same colour pallette. In the photo above, everyone wearing their style, and the colours are in the greys, and blues range.
There are things in a photo that catches the eye and can make an individual stand out from the rest.
Sometimes this is wanted if there is person the family session is based around, e.g. Grandma and Grandad are celebrating 60 years married, the family get together at the family home to celebrate and have a family photo. If everyone was dressed in plain muted coloured clothing, the Grandparents could be wearing something more colourful or more patterned, so they stand out more in a family photo.
Generally though most lifestyle family photos are about the whole family, so here are some things to be aware of.
RED in a photo catches the eye. If there is red in a photo, your eye is drawn to it and it becomes a focus point.
Writing on T shirts, signage in a setting, will draw the eye because you automatically go in to read it. Home names and welcome signs are okay when they are part of the family story, but a slogan on a T shirt can be distracting...... Unless you are all Dr Who or Star Trek fans and then you have my understanding and blessing.
Bold contrasting colours can work if everyone is wearing mainly one particular colour. One person wearing bold contrasting colours will make their clothing stand out.
Heavily patterned clothing can also draw the eye. It is usually okay if the colours and pattern don't clash and blend in with the rest of the family. There are some patterns that make the camera go a bit crosseyed, you know those 'I'm going to hypnotise you with my eyes can't settle anywhere' type patterns.
I take a lot of black and white photos in my lifestyle family photo sessions too. In black and white there is no colour to contrast, so sometimes the clothing can blend in with the background. That should be something the photographer will pick up on though. Just if you a planning a black and white lifestyle session in the snow, don't wear all white.
Feel free to add any pointers in the comments you might have, on what to wear in a family lifestyle photo session.