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Fall What to Wear, Part 1 (what we’re wearing for our family pics, anyway)

I could have taken pictures of everything but for some reason I decided it would be “easier” to lay it out in a video blog. I will start off by saying that this post is not for the uber fashion-forward.  You guys already know what you’re doing.   This is for the average client who just wants some direction and to put together something with a single trip to the average city mall.

First, a quick overview of what we’re wearing for our upcoming pictures – our colors are violet/purple, gray, and camel.  Nothing groundbreaking. A pretty neutral palette.  We wanted heavy emphasis on the energy in our family session – not as much on our style sense (although I do love those family portraits that showcase a great sense of style).  We shopped at Target, Forever 21, H&M, and friends’ closets.  Yes, putting together clothes costs money.  It’s very unlikely you are going to find everything you need for the family to coordinate in your existing closet, although you can probably find the basics.  For fall, put the new clothes into your kids’ school clothes budget, or plan to make it part of your overall picture budget.  But whatever you do – don’t spend more on the clothes than on your precious images. In the end, the whole point of this is to capture great photos of your family to treasure – not to sink money into a depreciating asset like clothes.  No one ever ran out of a house fire screaming, “grab my riding boots!”

Our outfits (watch part 2 for more in-depth):

What you may already have in your closet that you should use:  Mom/Girls: dark denim skinny jeans or dark trouser jeans, riding boots, Mary Jane flats (little girls) and leggings, Hoop Earrings, stacks of bracelets, great nailpolish   Little boy: dark denim, corduroy, neutral shoes.  Dad: who cares?  Just kidding.  He’s easy.  V-neck sweater or sweater vest or button-down, corduroy or dark denim, loafers or boots.  These are the basics.  You’ll shop for the pops of color you intend to add.

(next post: my in-depth analysis of all things skinny jean.)

save some for the horse. (rocky mount, nc photographer)

Things I love about this family:

  1. We all know Picture Day is usually not Dad’s favorite day, but this Dad was down for anything.  “You want me to spontaneously laugh?  No problem. Just sit here and have a chill conversation with the kiddos?  Sure!”  Love that.
  2. Mom is a Stella and Dot consultant.  I guess I live under a rock.  I’d never heard of the brand before she introduced me to it but it’s beautiful stuff and is *the* costume jewelry choice of the stars.  Check it out!
  3. Their dimples.  The whole family has adorable dimples.  I’m a little jealous.
  4. Both kids are gorgeous.  Luke could care less.  But Olivia, in particular, said she is just waiting to be discovered as a model.  Apparently she was pretty impressed with being one of the images in my coffeeshop display last year.  Awesome.
  5. They brought wine.  Again, I was a little jealous.   They saved a glass to cap off the end of the session, but alas:

and little man makes three. (rocky mount, nc, photographer)


From my chat with Amy, new to this little guy, but not at all new to parenting:

Have you had the “oh my goodness did I leave the baby at home” panic moment in the car yet? Yes, I had to ask Will (the four year old) if he could see his feet in the car seat.

For a little while at least, logistics with three can be an issue.  Do you ever feel outnumbered? A few times.  I’ve found myself nursing in the back seat on several occasions

What thing do you look forward to in the coming months? Sleep.  Is that bad?  I don’t want to wish away the time with the baby but I daydream about sleep.

How do you feel about three? Whole.  I had no idea we had a missing piece until I brought him home. As soon as I got home from the hospital and all my children were together I had that overwhelming feeling that we were finally … complete.

Katie Rutledge - SO beautiful, Crystal! Love them!

Amanda - These are so sweet and beautiful! Absolutely gorgeous photos of the adorable baby boy and his family!!

Amanda LEATHERBERRY - These are beautiful!

r + g (rocky mount, nc photographer)

I wish upon wish I could take a page from this client’s book.  Everything seems so laid-back and easy-breezy for this family.

I showed up and Mom was all, “The kids are outside, wandering the yard.  Just take pictures of what you see. ”  Really?  Just like that?  Do you know how many prayers I say before every shoot with my kids?  Prayers that they’ll cooperate.  That Ashlyn won’t be grumpy and Evyn won’t cheese out and Cam will be okay…and that I, dear Lord, will just calm. down.

So I ventured out to where they were.

Robert showed me his awesome fishing skills:

Gracie showed me her Cat Impression.  Apparently this is her favorite thing to do these days.  Honestly, she does a good hissing cat:

We went inside, where Gracie played with her Ipad and Robert his toys.  And can you believe they fed me breakfast, too?

Mom told me Gracie isn’t a fan of looking at the camera.  But I promised to play an Angry Bird game with her if she’d look just this once:

Robert was down for whatever.  We had some laughs.

We chatted over coffee for a bit, finished off the rest of breakfast, and I was on my way.

As I pulled down the long path I saw Gracie on a walk with her babysitter and I had to stop:

Thanks for an easy summer morning…

Mom - Oh my. She reminds me of Lynn B. (who taught you how to knead bread when you were 3 years old). Me? I wasn’t this laid back with ONE child, let alone TWO! lol :) (I had to chuckle at the fact that like your Ashlyn, Gracie isn’t a fan of the camera — but you still got great shots — love love love the one with the hogpen — memories of my Grandpa Brown’s farm!)

I’ve moved, sort of ( a.k.a. I MISS YOU ALL!

Ashbday&Evyn 054web

You've probably noticed I haven't been around for a while now. Sigh. I love this blog. For so many reasons. A journal of our time in war. A catalog of some of my favorite moments with the kids. A place to tell on myself. A spot to park all those fun tutorials. And a way to purge my grief.

And then life got crammed. With photography. Clients, CHILDREN + new baby. A new schedule of schools, gymnastic, dance. So. Much. Stuff to manage. Add to that the fact that Facebook opened up a whole new way to document life – even if in snippets.

And this somehow fell by the wayside.

BUT I MISS IT. I miss my readers, writing and chatting about choices, consequences, fears, hard lessons.

But here's the thing. I can't be EVERYWHERE at the same time. Photography alone almost requires three online presences – Facebook, Blog, and Main site. phew. Who can keep up?

So – for now at least – I'm moving to my photo blog. Well, sort of. The thought of baring all on a site meant for clients will be interesting. But I've thought about it. And I'd like clients to know me better. And me is – well, always right there at the surface. I don't hide much – even from strangers.

So visit me, won't you? WWW.CRYSTALBUTLER.COM/BLOG. I'm also on Facebook.

NON-Superwoman - Just a friendly FYI. Your “visit me” link at the bottom is dead…looks like you combined this blog address with the new one.