Sometimes my brain surprises. Why in the world would I create an entire one year session based upon on of America's classic television shows? While every other photographer is photographing unicorns and fruit baths, I'm photographing Sophia Patrillo. (Cue "Thank you for being a friend.") I have always had a passion for "The Classics," so any chance I can incorporate them into a session, it's always something special. Venturing off the beaten path, and paying homage to one of the 80's classic TV shows, we decided to do a Golden Girls themed session because well... why not?!. Planning any session is such a fun experience, but it really takes time and in this case, multiple vendors to put it all together. Today, I'm sharing how I created these images, and how the creative process worked! Happy reading or skip ahead to see the cuteness!
Some television sets are easily recognizable by their appearance such as The Office, All in the Family, Big Bang theory, etc. However, finding a backdrop for that set is pretty much impossible. My solution was to set the scene with a palm tree print. Similar to the wallpaper in Blanch Devereaux's bedroom, I found this Tommy Bahama fabric at a Pat Catan's in Delaware, OH while visiting my aunt. With the exception of having to iron the folds multiple times, I really liked working with this fabric. I paired it with white paper from Savage Universal so the cheesecake could get smeared and not ruin any of my other drops. Savage seamless paper has been a godsend to cake smash sessions. Use it and then cut off what's been used. It's just that simple. I thought the backdrop really set the "Miami" feel despite it being busier than my normal go to backgrounds, but I knew I wasn't finished.
My studio has several props that I like to pull from for each session. I had this cute mini sofa from Newborn Studio Props that I thought gave a living room feel to the set as well. I love their props; they are so well made and this particular model even has a little storage area. The mini sofa is perfectly sized for sitters, so I can't wait to purchase another!
I needed something more though- enter Etsy. I found the pennant on Etsy from a Poppy and Quail Shop. They were very responsive to any messages I sent, and made sure it arrived before my session. The "Stay Golden" quote I thought really grounded the images to the Golden Girls theme. The green felt matched the background colors and the gold lettering and flowers really popped. The pennant was beautifully made, and I am so glad I found this shop!
With the backdrop, mini sofa, and pennant ready to go to finish the set, I just needed to get a small cheesecake (because how could you not have cheesecake for a Golden Girls theme?!)
Some characters have easily recognizable costumes. Jeanie, Dwight Schrute, Lucy Ricardo or even Andy Griffith all have iconic looks. The challenge with this outfit was differentiating Sophia Patrillo from really just an elderly lady. It would all come down to the details. One of my all time favorite vendors is Puddy Pads Designs. The owner, Chelsie, really has been instrumental in my work. I can message her with my crazy ideas, and she always goes above and beyond my expectations. She created the wig as well as the felted purse that I knew had to be with the little Sophia. The purse even had the beaded details and opened up! No Sophia Patrillo costume would be complete without vintage sunglasses, and once again Etsy delivered. I found these from Vintage Specs NY. I know I use the word "perfect" often, but really they were perfect for this look. The onesie was made by Manchester Baby with the famous "Picture Sicily" quote. Both shops had fast shipping and fast response time to messages. I will definitely be a return customer for future projects
Putting it All Together
With the set ready to go and the outfit ready for baby, it was just a matter of getting the baby here! Linden actually is from Granite City, Illinois. Her parents have been lifelong clients and made the special trip to Vine Grove, Kentucky for her one year session. She did fabulous. The cheesecake was pre-sliced, so that made it super simple for her to pick up a piece. Lots of little smiles and giggles made for one happy Golden Girl. I used a Paul C Buff Alien B400 with a large 86" plm umbrella with diffusion panel. The large light really is my favorite. I have so many more projects coming up.
If you're interested in booking your baby's session just fill out the form! I'll be sharing more session designs, so stay tuned!