Monday, October 3, 2011

Tee Pee in the Garden

So anyone who follows this blog may have noticed that I am really trying to veer away from the cookie cutter shoots and get clients to be more creative with the way their photos capture who they are, what they love or just something fun and different. Well, I haven't planned any play dates for the kids since they started their new schools since I wanted them to settle in first, but the result has been that they are often disappointed that there are no plans after pick up. So the other day, when they started to bicker out of boredom, I said let's do a photo shoot and I couldn't believe how excited they were. Indigo had just changed out of her uniform into a sweet little American Indian styled dress (thank you Caroline and Ava!) so I said let's make a tee pee. They were so excited and we all rushed around looking for things to make the tent with and for what they could wear. The golden hour of light was just arriving in the garden and we pulled it together just in time. It is amazing what you can throw together in half an hour.

We strung up a rope (several actually and when we ran out of rope, we used old phone wires!) from a tree to the house and I draped some fabric over the top. Oslo dragged the carpet from the playroom outside and we threw in a few cushions. I draped more fabric down the back of the tent to close it off and propped up chairs behind to could hold the pillows in place. The firewood pile provided logs for the stability we needed to keep the fabric taut and I love the way they add to the rustic feel of the scene. Then we whipped out a few items from the house to use as props and voila - a tee pee / tent in the garden!

Since it was Indigo's dress that  started us off with the Indian idea, she was almost set but still needed some extra details to make it look more special. I twisted her (very knotty) hair and pinned a necklace in place with the medallion on her forehead like a crown - I think they called them circlets in Medieval times but since this is not even one of those, we just called it her Pocahontas crown. We dug up her winter books that have a sort of mocassin look and I unearthed up some bits of leather I had been saving for a craft and tied them around their arms. We twisted a beaded necklace on Indigo's wrist for a turquoise bangle. Oslo found some feathers in the garden and we just stuck them into one of his bed head dreadlocks in the back of his hair that hadn't quite found it's way to a brush that morning. We tied his piece of amber in more leather and then added some beads so he didn't look too bare . He wore an old bit of maternity-belly-stretchy-stuff from a skirt I had worn while pregnant with both of them and we pulled out a belt I never wear that was beaded with shells to perfect for his look. Don't they just looked so amazing.

The corn from the fridge was so fun too - gave them something to do and made it look all the more authentic, like hard working little children helping with the homemaking!

When Ben saw these two images, he nearly cried. He just kept saying it was so Indigo - so them. That she is so proud of her big brother. I love that - when I take the pics, it is hard for me to have distance and be objective. I can see that I love them, but not necessarily why. But Ben was able to enjoy them the way a client might and I loved that.

The spontaneity of this shoot was so fun and the bonus is that it was wonderful for their imaginations to see what we could put together to create the look we were going for so quickly just by searching for what we already had around the house. We didn't need to buy anything - all we had to do was be creative in our thinking. And although they only had the patience for a few photos, they had loads fun playing in the tent after I stopped snapping.


  1. LOVE THIS! Everything about it! The last two are to die for!!! Soooo happy that you did this project...what a fun way to spend the afternoon with your babes, and get the most AMAZING photos to treasure forever. They will LOVE them when they're are older and have babes of their own. love, love, love this!!! Christine xo PS...oh, and double bonus....this will no doubt excite your clients and get them thinking they want something fun like this for themselves. Yay all around!

  2. Another great photo story! Thanks, Sacha!


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