11/2/08

playing dress-up


At this stage of our relationship, I had a longing to do a mama/baby photo shoot of the two of us.
I've seen some really lovely ones.
My sister-in-law and her family did a gorgeous one recently.
I thought it was time for us.
But when it comes to visual imagery, I'm very picky. When I was a kid, my parents (both artists) made pretty much everything by hand. If I wanted a specific toy for Christmas, my father would often carve it from wood with his own hands...quite expertly. One year a Thelwell pony, one year a mother and baby seal, one year a sailboat, carved from fruitwood and polished to the nines, with a linen sail and a working rudder.
My mother once made me an entire miniature horse stable, with shingled roof and tiled floors, split-rail fencing and shuttered windows, each part moveable and perfectly fashioned by hand. I still can't quite believe she did that! And when I was obsessed with the Chronicles of Narnia or the Lord of the Rings, she would sew costume pieces for me - once, a velvet cape lined with satin, and a handmade silver broach with a tourmaline at the neck (she was also a jeweler at the time).
Suffice to say, they set the bar high!
To this day, when I want something done, I have a very clear vision of how I want it to look, and a need to do it myself.
...that, and I really just couldn't justify the cost of a good professional photo shoot at this point in time.
So, I made the props by hand and set up the photo shoot at home.

Many people have made fun of my attempts to avoid the Princess stereotype. Once QQ was home, my determination to avoid the color pink quickly dissolved. And, to my surprise, my husband was the first to give in on the subject of princesses...long before QQ ever thought of craving the image.
In fact, she has been nothing if not a tomboy (see dump-truck images).
But I have to admit that the minute she and I donned the satin gowns and paper crowns I'd created for the photo shoot, her eyes widened and sparkled with delight.

I did it at home. I did it with my own camera that our LaoLao gave us. I did it at no expense except for the garlands that I got on clearance at the craft store.

...and I have never seen the QQ's face light up quite the way it did at this moment.

M. says that she'll now crave dress-ups and princess crowns.

Well...so be it. As long as it's unique and made by hand...not the product of a media franchise directed at sucking money from a toddler.

This is us...at home.

Just playing dress-up.































OOXX - Mommy and Q.

15 comments:

tiffany said...

Princesses and pirates work very well together you know. :) Oh and I have favorites. The one of you kissing her (as princesses) and the one of you holding the hat (not princess) above her head. Fantastic shoot. I love how you are enjoying that girl!

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

I read a ridiculous amount of your entries, so captivated by this story - of a tiny Chinese girl and her adopted family. So lovely.

PS I have volunteered with Operation Smile here in Morocco:)

Yoli said...

What a beautiful love affair. The photos are so much fun. You both look stunning.

Snowflowers Mum said...

you put the rest of us to shame

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

Love it all... see... you do have the Princess in you... it isn't such a bad thing... hehehehehe...

kerri said...

Magical, you both are enchanting...
You can never take enough photos, they grow so quickly...

Vivian M said...

What great shots! And I think QQ may like hats and head toppers after all. Even if they are tad princessy.

operationtigerlily said...

Simply gorgeous.

Lost and Found said...

Every girl needs a mother to give her a princess crown. So very sweet.

Cavatica said...

I love it! Did she go for her dumptruck when it was all over? I see her as a well-rounded princess.

Julie said...

Absolutely beautiful!

Jan said...

Oh Maia...Simply, beautifully adorable!!!!

Heather said...

Gorgeous! I love how QQ is moving in most of them!

My Heart Beats In China said...

LOVE THESE PHOTOS!

CAN I PUT YOU ON AND QQ ON MY WEBSITE? I LOVE YOUR PHOTOS.

I'M GETTING A NEW CAMERA. SHHHH DON'T TELL MY HUSBAND...IT HAS A HUGE PRICE TAG! BUT DON'T THEY ALL..................!

IVY

Andrea said...

Unspeakably beautiful. QQ is so lucky, and she has no idea yet (or maybe she does). Do you still have the toys your parents made for you? Would be amazing to see them. I'm nowhere near this stage in life yet (I'm only just now engaged), but I am so inspired by you and your family.