Thursday, March 31, 2011

Clothing and Props for Children's portrait sessions

"What should I bring to my session?"

Please bring your children! Seriously, what else do we need? I know what you are really asking. What about clothing, props and things to make them smile. I have lots of things for making them smile and a lot of props but here are ideas for clothing and other things that you might consider bringing to the session
I have a small but growing collection of clothing just for children's portrait sessions: hats, vintage clothing are the focus at this point but I am adding more all the time. Avoid logos and bold graphic designs. Solid colors are best and if this is a sibling or family portrait, color coordination is essential.

0-12 months
I have always loved naked babies so for the under one year crowd, I always believe the less clothes, the better! I love seeing their toes, rolls and that skin as soft as velvet. It is nice to have an attractive diaper cover available and it becomes essential once they start walking. I keep a few on hand, so don't stress!

I love vintage clothing so that cute outfit that your mom or grandma packed away from your babyhood is a great idea. If you have an outfit that you love and want to be sure to use, let me know.

Keep it simple. Running around with just a cute diaper cover still works for this age but they are transitioning into older children so consider ideas from my suggestions for preschoolers.
Boys: jeans and no shirt, plain polo shirt and khakis, dress up like a cowboy, fireman, etc.A sailor suit is a very formal look from days gone by or think about other vintage clothing.
Girls: Dresses are always a great look. They can be frilly and formal, vintage, or a simple white sundress. Consider a twirly skirt or dress up clothes.

Older Kids
As the kids get older, so do the styles. Take your cues from the fashion industry but try to stick with solid colors, particularly with group portraits. We will want to match the clothing to the background or theme for the portrait so let's talk!

We have lots of props that are great for children's portraits but if you want your portraits to be like no one else's. Let me know ahead of time about what you are bringing. Here are some ideas:
  • Vintage items or things that have special meaning. Family heirlooms like an old wagon are great!
  • Like Mommy or Daddy items that will tell a story: firefighting props if Daddy is a firefighter, makeup if Mommy sells makeup, stethoscope and lab jacket if one of the parents is in the medical field.
  • Theme portraits like a pirate with a chest of gold, eye patch and sword can be fun. Or try carrying out the theme of a nursery rhyme or fairy tale.
 Let's work together to make some fabulous portraits!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Listening to God

Well, here it is Sunday morning and I am up early to do a little writing before rushing off to church and then my mother's birthday party (She is 90! More about that later...)

Rush, rush, rush. So much of my life is about rushing around from one thing to the next. Lent is a time when we are supposed to be more contemplative and think about the divine but what am I doing about that? Forcing myself to slow down isn't easy. All too often slowing down involves putting on a movie and falling asleep in front of the TV. Rarely does that bring me closer to God!

I have been doing two intentional things this Lent. First, I have been attending Wednesday Lenten service at St. Mark Lutheran in Salem. Thirty minutes of song and prayer around the cross. Surely I have time for that. Secondly, I have been reading Lenten reflections called "Renewed for Life" by Henri J.M. Nouwen. I think I can make time for three paragraphs a day.

As I crawled into bed last night, I picked up the slender booklet and thumbed through trying to remember if I should be looking for the first or second Saturday in Lent. I suppose if I had been faithful about reading every night this wouldn't have been such a challenge. Maybe I should do two readings night to make up for lost time. I remind myself this is a journey, not a race and settle on the first Saturday because it was the first one I came to.

Four paragraphs don't take long to read but  there is a surprising amount to think about in just four short paragraphs so I read and reread the devotion. Two statements stood out: "To pray for one another is to acknowledge, in the presence of God, that we belong to each other as children of the same God......We are brothers and sisters, not competitors or rivals." How often have I succumbed to petty jealousy. I try not to say them out loud but the thoughts well up unasked for, and sometimes with a close friend, I have so much fun gritching and complaining about that person who is annoying me!

I guess Henri Nouwen is gently reminding me to pray rather than gritch.

"To pray is to listen." Those words jumped off the page at me. My prayers are full of asking for this and that, full of me talking but very little waiting for the reply. A few times I have gotten a reply and, I can tell you, it is very unsettling. Maybe that is why I am not such a great listener. It is easier and safer to just keep talking. And keep busy. And keep rushing.

"Today, I will examine my many worldly compulsions and how I cling to them. Help me, Lord, to cut free of them that I may listen to your Spirit of love." I don't think I can do that alone. Thankfully, I am not.

My Mother's Birthday
I am so blessed to have my parents still around to talk to. My father is 92 and Mom just turned 90 on Friday. Mom tires easily these days so we celebrated with a small family gathering at my sister's at noon. Here are a few random memories of my mother from my childhood:

She always wore poly-cotton house dresses with a narrow belt at the waist. She would write notes to herself on little slips of paper and tuck them in her belt as reminders.

She was an avid reader and instilled a love of books in all her children. I loved the way she read Winnie the Pooh and the voices she had for all of the characters.

I remember her standing at the kitchen counter with her hand on the electric butter churn to make sure the top didn't vibrate off the base. She would read as she waited for the butter to form.

She was passionate about her volunteer work with 4H, the League of Women Voters,  the Mental Health Association, and assisting my father when he was in the legislature. She wasn't always home when I came in from school but there would always be a meal in the oven with the oven timer set.

She still loves crossword puzzles, Scrabble, and children's poetry.

Happy Birthday, Mom.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Something Old, Something New.......

I love old, interesting and quirky things.

This is why I love antique malls. They are full of all kinds of interesting things from an old carousel horse (I almost bought one today....I may have to go back and get it), to flapper dresses (also tempting), a vintage couch with claw feet, antique toys, and the list goes on and on!

In case you were wondering, I visited the Albany Antique Mall today. It has 20,000 square feet (Wow!) and came home with this very pink chair. It is also very shabby but that just adds to the charm. It is going be awesome with a senior girl draped over it. I think it is going to get hauled to fields, railroad tracks and alley ways. I either need to start working out or find an assistant that is in good shape!
If you like browsing antique malls like I do,  2nd Street Antiques in Independence is another place that I love. I bought a ladder there this week and I think I am going back to get a table for the conference room at the studio.

I am having too much fun!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cool Chick of the Week (Haugen's Children's Portrait Contest Continues)

I have been photographing Lindzee since she was a baby and now she is getting ready to turn six! Love her, her mom and grandma to pieces!

I interviewed her recently for this exposé and here is what she had to say:

Favorite Color: purple
Favorite stuffed animal: My little kitty named Cokey
Favorite Doll: Molly. She is an American Girl Doll.
Favorite Cartoon Show: Jake and the Neverland Pirates
Favorite movie: The Wizard of Oz
Best Friend: Audrey
My favorite Things to do: I love to use my imagination and pretend. Today I was making dragon potion. Mom says I am a great helper. I also love to cuddle and think it is really fun to be tickled.

She really, really wants to win the Children's Contest this year (no pressure, Mom!) so would like everyone to vote for her  by making a donation to Operation Backpack in her name as soon as her photograph is posted on the voting site. Keep checking this link as new photographs are being added each week.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Children's Contest Kicks Off, Featuring Baby Portraits, and Children through 12 years old

Baby Photography in Monmouth Oregon sets the stage for Haugen's Children's Contest.

"Hi, my name is Vienna. I like sitting in my Bumbo seat and eating Little Puff's baby snacks.

"My favorite person? I have a lot of special people in my life: Mommy and Daddy, of course, and Grandma and Grandpa are very cool, and let's not forget my sissy, Callia.

"My favorite body part is definitely my tongue. I can stick it out really far!

"I think everyone should vote for me for the Children's Contest because I have an adorable tush and a sweet personality."

To vote for Vienna, go to the Children's Contest website, click on Vienna's portrait and "order/ prices" in the upper right corner. Then you choose the amount of your donation. All of the money goes to support Operation Backpack which purchases school supplies for needy school children. No prints are included with your donation although you can purchase prints with the family's permission by contacting Haugen's.

More contestants will be appearing as the contest progresses, so check back, often! If you haven't scheduled your session yet, what are you waiting for? Send us an email.