The feedback on the family photos in Central Park has been wonderful. Thank you! I promised a followup post with more details and I’m ready to deliver.
How it Came About
Candice Stringham (the Brooklyn-based photographer) contacted me a few weeks ago. She teaches online photography classes and wanted to build her family photo portfolio for an upcoming class. So she offered to take photos of my family in Central Park. I took a peek at the work on her blog, thought it was fantastic and said: yes, please.
Candice liked the idea of doing either a pastel English tea inspired color scheme, or a more colorful Kate Spade/Crewcuts inspired color scheme. She pulled Brenda Barrett Taylor on to be the prop stylist and they decided to go with Kate Spade/Crewcuts. My assignment was to come up with outfits in this color palette: navy blue, crisp white, grass green, cherry red and mustard yellow. I didn’t keep to the palette in every case (my skirt is royal blue, for example), but I did my best to keep to their vision.
While I took care of the clothes, Brenda and Candice provided all the props. The picnic. The teacups. The books. And the cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery. Brenda is an incredible stylist. It was a treat to get to see her in action.
What We Are Wearing
I worked hard on the outfits. Dug through closets. Borrowed, begged, bought. Recruited friends to help shop. Overbought just in case. Kept tags on anything new until I knew exactly what we were going to use. I used my bedroom floor to gather outfits as they came together and get a sense of what colors we still needed more of. The night before the shoot I had the kids try on different options until we narrowed it down.
We brought additional clothing to the shoot in case the photographer wanted to mix things up — a mustard jacket for me by J.Crew, a green check button down for Ben, etc. But we ended up shooting in exactly what we were wearing. Amazingly, we didn’t need to buy that much. And everything we did buy is very useable.
Betty wore an adorable dress from Ses Petities Mains. It wasn’t new (she’s owned it since December), but it still looks great. Her red cable sweater is by Ralph Lauren, a hand-me-down from a friend. Her yellow sandals are by Salt Water Sandals, from Zappos.
Oscar wore plaid shorts and a blue oxford button down from Old Navy. His tie was picked up at Gymboree (score: $6!). I actually had a different tie picked out for him with wide, diagonal mustard and navy stripes. But he wouldn’t wear it. The one he did wear worked out just fine. His shoes were picked up last summer, classic boat shoes by Perry Topsider.
Olive wore a white eyelet skirt by Ralph Lauren, borrowed from my friend Kathryn Carmona. Her mustard shoes are also borrowed from Kathryn. They are European and beautiful. I can’t remember the maker — Kathryn, if you’re reading, please share. They were actually a size too small for Olive, but she manned up and wore them anyway for the photo shoot — without complaint I might add. Olive’s red stripe shirt is several years old from Old Navy. Her red flower was a lucky last-minute addition. I picked it up at H&M; last summer.
Maude wore a gorgeous mustard jacket from Ismodern. On sale. Grab one while you can. The dark denim skirt she made herself at sewing class last summer. Her red stripey socks were borrowed from Ralph — all stripey socks in the photo are from H&M;, and were found in Ralph and Oscar’s stockings this past Christmas. The flower headband was made by Olive last Christmas as a gift. Edit: Forgot Maude’s shoes — purchased at Target last month in the boy’s shoe department.
Ralph wore a green Lacoste polo shirt. Found at Lord & Taylor. Pricier than I would normally go for a polo shirt, but it was 25% off and was the exact perfect green. His navy blazer is by Gymboree (another score: $18!). His jeans he already had from H&M.; His sneakers were new — but weren’t bought for the photo shoot, he just needed new sneaks. By Adidas, from Zappos.
I wore a blue lamp-shade pleated skirt from Banana Republic. I already owned this. The white shirt is from H&M;, also already owned by me. The green cardigan was bought for the shoot and was found at Old Navy. Edit: Forgot my shoes — I bought the adorable gingham peep toes at TJ Maxx last summer, I believe the brand is called Unlisted.
Ben wore BR jeans he already owned. Lacoste sneakers he already owned. A tie he already owned. We picked up the blue check button down at Old Navy.
What The Shoot Was Like
The shoot was 90% awesome and 10% Oscar throwing tantrums. But really, the kids were great. Candice was patient. The weather couldn’t have been better. The whole shoot took about 2 hours but felt like a few really wonderful minutes.