Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Readers Speak WWLW: Styling Photo Sessions

We know, the title of this post may sound confusing... but let it soak in and by the end we think that you will be a little excited!!!!

Today's guest is our lovely friend, Karen, who sadly just moved five hours away for a wonderful new job opportunity. We miss her tons!


Where do I even begin?!  To give a bit of background about how this came to be—I had nothing else in the world going on, am glutton for punishment, so I took a job five hours away from my family on October 1 and left my family in College Station with plans for them to move over the Christmas holidays (after I moved, started a new job, bought a house, and traveled back and forth every other weekend).  No big deal, right?  While I was willing to let a number of things fall through the cracks in that time, like the cleanliness and health of our house & children, I was absolutely NOT willing to sacrifice an outstanding Christmas card.  ( we know how to pick friends, or WHAT!? Y'all... she is devoted to sharing the magic and the merry of Christmas. #priorities)

So... before I proceed, let me show you our finished product:

Who: Justus (7) and Delaney (3)

Location: Clayton Williams Jr, Building; College Station, TX

Props: Awesome burlap wrapped R, made by the Fabulous Merry Momma K and burlap Santa sack purchased by the same MM (at HobLob)

Clothes: Y'all - I have no idea... because it was taken care of for me! :) Luckily, the Mommas do... Justus - Macy's; Delaney - Little Trendsetter (exact dress here and here) Target (similar coat in black here)

Comments: We have been blessed for years to have Sarah Giles (Butterfly Chaser Photography) and Nichole Quick (Quick Designs) to help us with cards so I had the resources I needed.  However, in the midst of everything, I knew I could not be responsible for clothes, props, etc. and NEEDED help.  Enter the Merry Mommas.  I have been friends with these amazing ladies for years, and I have always admired their cards and their love (and immense talent) for designing a photo session.  I have ambitions to be like them when it comes to preparation, but my photos session prep generally goes something like this:  make appointment with Sarah months in advance; pin the heck out of pictures on Pinterest in my spare evenings while I accumulate fabulous ideas and swear “this time I will be different and it will be amazing!;” get side-tracked with life; and then the week or two before the session, I remember said session, and scramble to at least get matching clothes for the kids.  It’s an unfortunate cycle that I can’t seem to break. 

So, accepting this personal fault, I reached out to the Merry Mommas when I realized I was going to need Christmas cards and had no way of personally managing the endeavor.  I put the entire project in their exceedingly capable hands—everything from concept to clothes purchase to location.  Katy would text me ideas or pictures of clothes and ask what I thought, I would yay or nay and they would plug along.  She also even communicated in advance with Nichole to discuss the card concept, knowing it was going to be tight on time.  The day of our photo session arrived with horrible weather in tow (I had picked a late November Sunday afternoon that I was actually going to be there so I could be somewhat useful/involved in the process) and we couldn’t do the pictures, so we rescheduled for a weekday, which I definitely was not going to be able to attend.  Y’all, Katy even secured a new indoor location and went to the shoot and helped!!  It may or may not have been because I expressed serious reservations a tiny concern about how my husband, left to his own devices, would know which clothes to put them in, what props to use when, or most importantly, how to do Delaney’s hair.  Turned out amazing, right?!

Designer:  Nichole Quick, Quick Designs

Photographer: Sarah Giles Burns, Butterfly Chaser

Favorite Thing:  There is nothing I don’t love about this card because I was so worried about it getting done and I adore the final result.  If I had to choose though, I would say the fact that it was made as a dual purpose Christmas/moving card is my favorite thing because it saved me the trouble of sending out a second card about our move.  I love the look of this card.  Several people have told me the kids look like magazine models.  Don’t get me wrong, I think my kids are definitely adorable, but I’m sure the styling genius of the Merry Mommas contributed to the extra twinkle in the eyes that makes them stand out as extra precious.  I can’t think these friends enough for all their help and work.    They have a unique skill that I would encourage anybody and everybody to enlist.  I am so envious of it, but am blessed that I can rely on it because they are now sharing this treasured talent with others.


Mommas' Favorite Thing: Picking just one thing is impossible. We love the story behind it. The fact that there is a dora pillow inside that burlap sack. That it was freezing outside but the kids' smiled through. We agree that the dual purpose card is so smart and we are thrilled with how this came together. But mostly, we LOVE that we were able to help a friend during a stressful time. Opening the final result was so much fun and we are honored that Karen trusted us so much!!

In fact....We loved it so much that after lots of chatting and brainstorming we have decided to offer styling sessions to you - dear readers!!!

And because we also love we are giving away a "Merry Makeover" to one of you! All you have to do is leave a comment below telling us about your next planned photosession and what you want help with! Easy peasy!

Thanks so much, Karen for letting us be a part of sharing your merry! 

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  1. I am at a loss trying to make any decisions about Emmarie's third birthday photos. I usually pick out clothing in colors that correspond to her birthday party theme, but we are having a swim party this year. I don't have a starting place as a guide, and I would love some inspiration! :)

  2. This could be me in trouble with the husband...does the package come with the Merry Husbands helping my to know how to just smile, nod, and go along with all the fabulous ideas! :)

  3. I would love help with the next family photo shoot! I'm great picking out clothes for the girls but the entire family overwhelms me... maybe a fun summer shoot!

  4. My next photo shoot is tomorrow...Merry Makeover in less than 24 hours?!?!?! Haha JK, but could definitely use this for our next shoot in pick me!!!


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