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.