Challenging Myself….

I really wanted to challenge myself this time. Sometimes I look at my Instagram feed and I am a little bit bored…I will admit. All I see are close up head shots and a lot of laying down shots. Don’t get me wrong, I love them but I am craving more. I love looking at other people’s feeds on Instagram and love how a lot of the shots aren’t so much about the people in them, but the whole scene. From the pictures hung on the wall to the toys spilled on the floor…I love the scene that is captured in these shots. I love how the shots are about interactions and not posed (maybe there are posed, but they are fooling me at least). Okay and I kind of like all the white mid-century modern kitchens, dark wood floors, flowers, and baskets that make each photo that more appealing. I honestly think that is one reason I have shied away from stepping back and capturing more of the scene. My house is nice but the finishes are dark and the lighting is horrible. I could have floor to ceiling windows on every wall and still the light would trickle in.

Well my house is going to stay the way it is…for a while anyway so I had to find another location that was full of light and full of style. So what did I do? I researched hotels in the area that were considered modern. See what I was doing here?  I was getting the job done but also treating myself…I mean family to a luxurious night away from home..bahaha! For what seemed like hours, I scoured the internet for pictures that met the look I was going for, but honestly…hotel room photos lie!!! Some were a million dollars for one night, some weren’t available, and some were definitely not kid friendly. I finally came up with one that was moderately priced, the pictures were convincing, and was available. So on Saturday we packed up the kids for a staycation photoshoot.

When we arrived at the room I opened the door slowly, afraid that I was duped once again by the magic camera skills of most hotel photographers. To my surprise however, the room was perfect. It wasn’t white by any means but it had the coolest mid-century lounge feel. I wished we could have stayed longer than one night. The kids had a blast lounging and watching movies together on the couch, swimming, and ordering room service. I knew they needed this afternoon and night time to themselves because tomorrow I was going to bombard them with picture taking galore.

This time I let them do what they wanted instead of telling them how to sit and where to look. I stood back to capture more of my surroundings and tried to refrain from zooming in my lens. The hardest part was not telling them what to do. When you pose a shot you feel like you are getting just what you want. You see it, like it and push the button. It was definitely different and I was really worried that I would have nothing once I downloaded them to my computer. In the end though, once all of the photos were downloaded, I was happy with the results. I was able to get some natural shots as well as stay true to my style, and get some posed portraits.

These photos would not have been complete without the help of Shan and Toad.  Just a bit of history about them and their brand…Shana Laub had always been passionate about fashion.Then she had 3 little girls and shopping for children’s clothes became quite the hobby which prompted her to open a children’s boutique…Shan and Toad.

This amazing shop is definitely the go-to for the fashion forward . There is no other shop that carries such a wide range of beautiful crafted and unique pieces.The clothes we used for this shoot were pure perfection.Kaitlin is wearing amazing pieces from Paade.  Charles is wearing a super stylish line called Cavalier.  Finn is looking super cute in MSGM Kids.  And the twins…mainly Emma becasue Mila was a little under the weather is wearing beautiful designs by Popecha.   Head over to shop now and get 15% off your order with coupon code: overourwall15.

Location Location Location…

I thought all week about where I wanted to shoot this blog post.  I have a lot of places that I love to go, but they aren’t always exactly kid friendly….not that that has ever stopped me.  However, nowadays I have the twins and it’s just a little bit harder to pack ’em up, drive, and then frantically try to take a bunch of pictures before I am asked to leave or asked what in the world I am doing there.  That stressful situation usually just makes me scream at the kids and then they protest the entire shoot.  Thankfully on Saturday night my husband and I were forced to take a detour on the freeway.  It directed us to an area of town I had never been, yet was fairly close to our house.  I decided to go back the next day and ask if the property owner would mind if I took a few pictures in front of their house.  I have done this before and although it may seem crazy, I am always received well – if I say it’s pictures of kids!  I think most of the time they like the thought that they have a spot that is appealing to others.  When I got out of the car, where my husband and kids were patiently waiting, I was greeted by a huge pitbull.  Honestly, I was super freaked out and just stood there yelling, “hello?”  Luckily the owner heard me and came out.  He seemed confused, but after I nervously got my question out, you could tell he thought the fact that I wanted to take pictures in front of his house and chicken coupe was kind of cute.  This long explanation is to tell you not to limit yourself.  When you are driving to work, to the grocery store, keep your eyes peeled for spots that capture your attention.  You can always ask permission to take pictures pretty much anywhere.  Okay, so now that I told you all of that…we got to the location and only spent about 5 minutes there before we packed up headed to one of my “go-to” spots.  The yard was filled with crab grass, thorns, and ants.  If you haven’t noticed, I like to do shoeless laydown shots, so this wasn’t exactly the spot to take two little babies and a 6 year old.  But that’s not to say I didn’t get a few shots before Finn ever took his shoes off.

and the babies weren't out of the car before he had his first melt down and wanted to go home...I may have promised ice cream cones, packs of gum, toys, endless game downloads..okay you get the point. and the babies weren’t out of the car before he had his first melt down and wanted to go home…I may have promised ice cream cones, packs of gum, toys, endless game downloads..okay you get the point.

So we were off to a place that I knew well which was super close to home; the cool brick walls of the nearby auto repair shop.  It was Sunday, so nobody was going to ask me what I was doing right?  Nope, a lady actually pulled into the parking lot and drove around to the back where we were and asked if I need help because Mila was crying….to say I wanted to die and felt like a horrible mother is an understatement….But she left and I carried on.   I’m glad I did because in the end I got some great shots in the most amazing little outfits on earth.

This shoot was beautifully styled by Wee MondineWee Mondine brings you a lovely, international selection of cool, comfortable clothes for your kids.  Their online atelier could be a shop in New York or Paris, filled with gorgeous, fun clothes and they deliver that experience right to your door.

The owner behind this sweet shop is Elizabeth Crosby.  While expecting her first child, she began to scour West Village baby boutiques to find the best in clothes and products for her new addition.  Interested in soft, organic clothes she found that her choices were limited.  She wanted clothes that were fun, beautiful and would last through several kids could be past down to future generations.  Over time, she learned a lot and fell in love with some amazing brands.  A month before her daughter was born, her family moved from Manhattan to Connecticut.   She found herself forced to buy all of her favorite brands from on-line retailers.  She needed a website where she could find all of her favorite brands in one place…Hello Wee Mondine!!!!!

All of the clothing pieces and stuffed dolls can be found in her shop right now…so go check it out.  Finn is wearing Nico Nico and Emma and Mila are wearing Oeuf Layette.  The cute bunny is Hazel Village which can also be purchased at Wee Mondine.  She is also offering our readers 15% off their entire purchase.  Use CODE: OVERTHEWALL15 Happy Shopping!!