A Teddy Bear Picnic

Yes – I’m still here (are you? – I wouldn’t blame you if you weren’t, I’ve been such a bad blogger!!)

Whenever I get ready to release a new Wall Display product I sort of go into lockdown mode.  It’s just the only way I can get it done and out the door. Unfortunately, (depending on how you look at it!) it’s also been crazy busy season photography wise. The long winter is finally over and everyone and their brother wants family photos all of the sudden. Normally that would be a good thing, but there’s only one of me and so little time so even just the last two shoots I’ve done have pushed me over the edge of having NO time to get everything done!

PLUS we have a lot going on at home too,  not the least of which is that we’ve decided to sell becoming-home (or try anyway in this crappy market) so there goes any remote hope of a free second I might have.

But, before all hell broke loose I was a woman on a mission.. a mission to find and do a photoshoot in a field of the beautiful yellow dandelion flowers before they turned into actual dandelions. This was easier said than done – I saw them every day on my way to work in the median of the highway, but had the hardest time finding a safe place to shoot with kids that also had them until I struck gold at a little field next to my gym parking lot!

Now, what to shoot..?  Somewhere along the line I came up with the idea of a teddy bear picnic with Jasper and his friend Peyton.  When I was little we used to have a these amazing Teddy Bear picnic illustrations that hung first on my walls and later my sister’s.  We were fascinated by them.  And of course you know about Jasper and his Bear, so it all seemed perfect.

I had to go out and buy the picnic blanket and basket from homegoods, but I’m pretty sure I’ll use the set up again with clients. The bears of course we already had!

The outfits were the part I worried about the most, but I bought them together at H&M so I was able to get something in a similar color story. The tricky part was making them early spring proof- it wasn’t yet all that warm around sunset, so I couldn’t have Peytie sleeveless and Jasper in short sleeves!

It was pure luck that Jasper happened to have a bright turquoise long sleeve shirt that matched and I was so lucky that Peyton’s mommy went out to BRU and picked up up just he right shade of fuchsia little cardigan for her. I was very happy with how the styling came out.  In fact, if I could only ever do concept shoots like this for myself I would be totally content.. it’s so much fun!

Also, I highly recommend this sort of thing for the 2-4 age group – like the valentine’s day cookie shoot, this picnic shoot gave them something to do (cheers your glasses, eat an animal cookie!) which really helped keep them on the blanket instead of running around wild which things DID deteriorate to at the end, but not before I got the shots I wanted!

And finally – here are the pics!

Picnic in the Park

Picnic in the Park

Picnic in the Park

Picnic in the Park





Picnic in the Park


Picnic in the Park

Picnic in the Park

Picnic in the Park

Picnic in the Park


I shot all of these with my canon 70-200 II (of course, I LOVE that lens!) and the processing was something totally new for me. I don’t usually go for that vintage look – but it totally felt right for these images, and gave me an excuse to finally try out Florbella Collection actions. It was fun to mix and match the different effects (I think I used Hibiscus, Swoon AND Mademoisella all at ~ 20% opacity plus the pastel tints and hazes.)

Now, since these are photos purely for me and don’t need to be prepped and delivered to the client, what do with them? I was happy with how them came out, so I want them to have a life beyond the jpg..

First I decided to order the second to last image of Peyton standing with her bear as a 16×20 canvas from H&H as a gift for Peyton’s parents.

It was actually the first time I’d ordered canvas from H&H and it TOTALLY blew me away.  The colors of course were fabulous, but what I couldn’t get over was the backing. I seriously didn’t know canvas could be wrapped that tight or perfectly, or the back finished so impeccably.  And what was even more amazing was that they totally bent over backwards to get it to me for mother’s day. I seriously love H&H and I’m so so proud to be working with them to have my wall guides and their clusters be compatible (same names, sizes etc.)

The other product that I recently found and am totally in love with is Oh Snap Boutique. I don’t know where it’s been all my life but along with Angie Monson’s Simplicity Designs, this is my new favorite source for cute, whimsical album templates. You have to check it out!  I went on a bit of a buying spree during the mother’s day sale and scored this “Whimsy Garden” template that is perfect for the bear picnic shoot:

and I couldn’t resist the accordion mini template:

or this one..

and I had to have the own one of course!!!

Well, you get the picture. I have a LOT of new studio samples to make – and of course no time to do it!

Next blog post (if anyone is still reading) will be about my first twins shoot.. yikes!

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Kristy says:

How adorable! The kids look amazing! Of course, now I have the Jerry Garcia song in my head… Good luck with the house, maybe you will inspire us to move! Be nice if you moved to Nyack!

ariana says:

Yes- staying in Rockland..we are thinking Nyack!

Thanks Mrs Brown.. I don’t know -I mean yeah, I’ll do a post that it’s for sale! And we can mention something about the blog in the listing. though I don’t know what exactly :)

Mrs Brown says:

While I’m being nosey…. would you reuse Becoming Home to blog your sale and house hunt? I LOVED that blog. Especially for decorating our nursery.

cristina says:

love the pics and the oh snap boutique. LOVE their style. Very angie monson but incredible prices. Thanks for sharing. I’ll let them know you mentioned them:)

Cole says:

So cute! Are you looking to stay in Rockland?

Rose says:

I love those pictures you are amazing for getting your son to take such beautiful pictures

ariana says:

You’re welcome Tamsen, yeah I forgot to mention the prices are amazing!

Thanks JB – we are DEFINITELY going to need it in this market!!!

jbhat says:

That picnic and those pictures are ADORABLE. OMG.

And okay, great, you answered my question about why you are wanting to sell. Good luck!!


tamsen says:

THANK YOU for sharing Oh Snap Boutique! I have a very specific style, and they have the most amazing stuff! I am so excited, esp cause their prices are so reasonable :)

ariana says:

Hi Mrs Brown, like I ever hold anything back LOL.. several reasons. But mostly because it’s just too small for us. IF we are lucky enough (stupid enough?) to have another baby, we would be out of room. I also really need a studio space, I just can’t deal with all the unloading and loading of my newborn stuff anymore. Otherwise I’m not doing them. Plus we just don’t have enough room to store all my props etc. Another big reason though is that we are scared to invest more in our neihborhood. We sort of already have the nicest house on the block – if we dump more money in we will surely never get it back, so we are sort of living in this weird limbo!

Mrs Brown says:

I know this is none of my business, but since this is the internet, I’m going to ask anyway….

Why are you selling? You worked so hard on the house!