Central Park Photo Shoot Details

April 29, 2009

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.

I said it before, but I have to say it again: I couldn’t be more pleased with how the photos turned out. A perfect souvenir of New York for my family. Thank you Candice and Brenda!

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Hazel's Mommie (aka liz) April 30, 2009 at 12:18 am

…. and your fabulous shoes?!
the pictures are fantastic – thanks for inspiring my family to try one of our own!


2 Faye April 30, 2009 at 2:57 am

Thanks so much for sharing all the details..all the time and effort you put into sourcing and putting the outfits together was so well spent as they really make the photos.
P.S You have a really beautiful family :) Faye


3 Lindsay April 30, 2009 at 7:26 am

I LOVE how they turned out! Candice is my ward, and she does amazing work.


4 Alison April 30, 2009 at 9:06 am

The photos (and your family) are beautiful. Thank you for sharing the details of your clothes. I was admiring them and like to know they were affordable and attainable! Thanks again for sharing. Best wishes on your move.


5 Jen April 30, 2009 at 10:41 am

Yes, please share where you found your lovely shoes!


6 Adventures In Babywearing April 30, 2009 at 12:11 pm

I was hanging on to your every word in this post! I loved hearing about what went on behind the scenes. This color story was absolutely dreamy.

Hope your move is going well!



7 Heather April 30, 2009 at 1:26 pm

The photos are gorgeous! I expect to see them soon in Cookie Mag!


8 ashlynn April 30, 2009 at 3:06 pm

love it … i hope Jcrew calls you because it completely looks like it should be in their magazine … YOUR family is perfect.


9 Oz April 30, 2009 at 4:49 pm

I love that picture. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.


10 stephmodo April 30, 2009 at 10:26 pm

I love the mix of “old” and “new”. It’s a wonderful reminder to try and use what we have first, before heading out to fill in the gaps.

LOVELY pictures…


11 Be Like the Squirrel, Girl May 1, 2009 at 12:38 am

I also want to know about your shoes!


12 Design Mom May 1, 2009 at 8:12 am

Oops! Sorry I forgot to add my shoe info. I just edited the post with the missing info.

Thanks for all the kind comments!


13 Kristin May 1, 2009 at 9:12 am

How fabulously stylish everyone looks!


14 Sweet Greens May 1, 2009 at 11:38 am



15 sarah hawley/mockingbirdpr May 1, 2009 at 1:44 pm

i twittered about this – love the picture! the colors are amazing and not overpowering. so gorgeous. and i’m still reeling that maude sewed her own skirt. can she come help me sew my kitchen curtains??? :)


16 Chris & Paige Evans May 1, 2009 at 2:25 pm

Just found your blog as I was peeking over an employee’s shoulder, which is funny because we know Sarah who knows Candice…small world. Anyways, this is the best photo shoot of a family I’ve ever seen! LOVE the colors. So inspiring.


17 Cable Car Couture May 5, 2009 at 10:47 pm

How stinking cute! This sneak peak so far is adorable. Can’t wait to see more!


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