HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY TAKE PICTURES WITH A TODDLER

Okay, so, the title of this blog post was clearly click bait, lol, figured I might as well confess and keep it honest from the jump. Let’s be real, there is no right way to take a pic with a toddler and there is no successful way to take pics with a toddler. For toddlers, it’s a whole new world for them. For Charlee, she just started walking on her birthday and she’s been on the move ever since. She wants to see the world, touch things, taste things, look at everything and do it all over again the next day. She’s curious, she’s energetic, and persistent; I’m sure some of these adjectives fall in line with many toddlers out there.

Look, I have no magical secrets to getting content with my little one, but here are 6 tips for getting what I would consider to be decent, instagramable shots. I’ll be the first to say, I’m no expert, I’m learning as I go, but so far I think things are working and though I’d do a dedicated post sharing some tips and tricks to make pics with your little just a bit easier .

KEEP SNACKS ON HAND

Kiddos, are still growing, which means when they are hungry, they need to eat right away. In Charlee’s case, she eats every few hours. What this means is that when they are hungry your photoshoot is not important, period. I like to make sure Charlee is fed prior to a shoot or has had a hardy meal an hour or so before a shoot and I always keep snacks on deck just in case. In fact, for this shoot, she scarfed down a half a PB&J right before and was happy as a clam and ready to party afterwards.

NAPS ARE ESSENTIAL

Plan your content days with the little one around their nap time. When they are fully rested, you’re more than likely to get better pictures and a kiddo who is more cooperative, full of energy and ready to take some pics. This can be hard sometimes with all of life’s other demands, but a full rested kid will make for a much easier shoot day.

IT’S ALL ABOUT LOCATION

Some little one’s don’t like to be in the car seat a long period of time, so try to plan shoot locations well in advance or shoot closer to where you live. Additionally, pick locations that couple as a fun place for kids to explore and entertain themselves. Those candid shots of them taking in this big new world make for perfect content and it’s even better when it’s a location that is specifically for kids.

KEEP IT CANDID

Sometimes, the best shots are the ones you catch off guard. This polka dot shoot was mostly a liter of candid shots, because Charlee just started walking, she looks down at her feet most of the time. I just embrace that and try to capture pictures of her enjoying this new found skill of hers. Most of the time, Charlee has no clue what’s going on when we are shooting, she just wants to explore the new location and the shots we often capture of her enjoying the new space are always the most enjoyable for me to edit and share with family and friends.

DON’T FORCE IT

Kids are more intuitive than we think. If they see you stressing, they’ll stress too. Just be natural, smile, laugh, play with your kiddo, enjoy the space and help them and join in on exploring the location with them. They want to be free to wander, but they also want you to share in the adventure too. Most of the photoshoots I have with Charlee involve me helping her discover all our shoot locations have to offer. When it’s natural and you’re just spending time with your kiddo, you’ll forget the camera is there and that’s when the real magic happens and you truly get authentic shots I think your audience will enjoy. When you force it, it really will show in the pictures. Have patience with your little one and remember that not every shot will be perfect, but when you’re being yourself and letting your kiddo be themselves, every shot will always be you!

PLAN OUTFITS AHEAD OF TIME

Getting a toddler ready takes a bit of time, getting a toddler ready for a content day takes even more time. I like to get my outfit(s) and Charlee’s outfit(s) out a day or so before the scheduled shoot and I always bring an extra outfit or pieces that can mix and match with what she is wearing just in case she spills food or has an accident. There is nothing worse than having a cute outfit for your little one and then it gets ruined right before it’s time to shoot so with a backup, you’ll always be prepared.

So there is no right answer for how to take perfect pics with your toddler, but I hope my tips are a great way to at least avoid a complete photoshoot disaster. Just remember, no shoot with a little one will be perfect, in fact, it might flop, I’ve had a few of those if I’m being honest, but just know, your kid is learning, growing and exploring and what better way to reimagine the world by learning and growing with them. I always look at content days as an adventure, it’s so rewarding to see Charlee grow and smile and learn about all the new things around her. Shoots are different these days because of it and it only makes motherhood that much more enjoyable. 😃

P.S. big shoutout to Chris Dalton the lovely muralist responsible for this lovely colorful polka dotted walk located in downtown Sanford, NC. Thanks for making Sanford so colorful! 🙂

Till next time.

Sincerely,


Deidra Marie


8 WAYS TO WEAR A BLACK MAXI DRESS

I love a good black maxi dress, especially for the summer. I think it’s one of those basic pieces every woman should have in their wardrobe. There are days where I don’t feel like glamming up, but still want to look professional, that’s when a black maxi dress is in order. It’s a piece that can be mixed and matched with so many things and worn so many different ways.

All that said, I got the cutest, softest, sleeveless black maxi dress from Sozy and wanted to share 8 ways to style it. So here it goes.

Add a Denim Jacket

A denim jacket is another piece I think should be in everybody’s wardrobe. It’s a classic and instantly adds life to a simple look. It’s so easy to elevate a look with a denim jacket. You can roll the sleeves up, pop the collar, button it up, tie it around your waist, wear it around your shoulders. Get my drift? 🙂

Add a Funky Scarf

I have so many scarves from years past. I went through a serious scarf phase where I felt like every outfit needed one, the black maxi was not exempt from this. One thing I love about adding a scarf to a black maxi dress is that like the denim jacket, it can be styled different ways. I know at least 5 different ways to tie it around my neck and about 3 different ways to tie it on my head, and if you’re feeling extra fancy, you can tie it on your purse and decorate that up a bit. I’ll do some posts in the future about all of this at a later date.

Add A Classic White Button Down

Sleeveless dresses are great, but around this time of year where I’m from, the weather isn’t always that consistent, adding a white button down to a sleeveless black maxi is a great transition look. It says that you’re not quite ready for spring yet, but you’re looking forward to it. Adding a white button down takes this look from casual to a bit more formal as well. Lastly, if you’re not feeling the hostess look, you can always wear it over the maxi dress as opposed to under, which is what I’ve done here.

Add a Funky Blazer

If you’re like me, most of the pieces in your closet are bright and are crazy prints. These types of pieces go well with a basic black maxi dress. It’s a great way to elevate your look and make a statement at the same time. I added a simple braided belt for just a little extra, but the blazer alone would do perfectly fine.

Add Textured Sweater

Sometimes mixing textures adds a little extra boost to an otherwise blah look. Like I said before, where I’m from, the weather this time of year is a bit unpredictable, so the way I’ve been adding texture is with spring transitional sweaters. This pretty lavender sweater is a fuzzy texture, sort of cropped, a spring color, simple, but still cute enough to make a statement without overpowering the dress. I also like that wearing the sweater over the dress almost makes the dress look like a skirt.

Add a Kimono

Once upon a time Kimono’s were trending on the fashion scene. Not sure if that’s still the case, but I’m not one to follow trends. I just wear what I fee like wearingl. Like my scarf phase, I went through a major kimono phase, and to this day I wear them to dress up simple pieces like my new black maxi from Sozy worn in this post. Kimono’s can be pieced together with a statement purse, necklace or belt as well.

Add a Funky Sleeveless Blouse

It’s no lie that I own the craziest printed tops and blazers. It really works to my advantage because they go so well with simple pieces. I decided to keep this blouse unbuttoned and do a beach tie. I call it a beach tie because I feel like this is how some people wear their beach cover up’s at the beach. I don’t know, just an assumption, this is how I rock my top cover ups at the beach, so I’m calling it a beach tie, end of discussion, LOL. 🙂 Note: If you don’t have a sleeveless button up printed top, you can easily pair your black maxi with a regular top or tee shirt.

Add a Belt

This is for sure the simplest way to elevate a black maxi and there are so many different types of belts you can pair it with. Need I say more.

I hope these 8 ways inspire you to add little flair to your black maxi dress.

Loving my black dress from Sozy? Click here to shop it and other comfortable, stylish pieces.

Till next time!

Sincerely,

Deidra Marie


3 WAYS TO STYLE A BLACK LEATHER JACKET

A leather jacket, specifically a black leather jacket is a closet must have. It’s a classic piece I think every stylish woman should own because it never goes out of style and can be styled and worn in so many different ways. I got my leather (pleather rather, lol) jacket on super sale at a Marshall’s several years back and am just now getting the chance to really mix and match it with other pieces in my wardrobe. I kept thinking to myself, why in the world didn’t I wear this sooner. Styling a leather jacket is so easy and takes you from blah to glam in no time. Don’t believe me, keep scrolling for the 3 ways I styled it for my black and white color combo series on my Instagram feed last week.

This is definitely my favorite way to style a leather jacket. Mixing the dainty vibes of a white prairie dress with the hard core vibes of a black leather jacket then adding a punk feel with vintage black leather boots is a whole mood. Also, this is a great way to easily transition into your spring wardrobe. It also helps to add a pop of color to your lips to really drive the point home that you’re so ready for spring!

Black mini skirts are so versatile and work very well with a black leather jacket. Since it’s still a little chilly out here, it’s not really all that great of an idea to go out bare leg, so I’m a sucker for some black sheer tights too, add black leather combat boots and layer with a black sweater and white button up and voila! You have a nicely put together look you can rock out with your friends at brunch or wear after hours for a hot date night and depending on your office environment, you may be able to get away with this at work.

And just when you thought styling a leather jacket couldn’t get any easier. Pairing a leather jacket with a statement t-shirt is definitely an easy way to look effortlessly stylish. I feel like I have a 1,000 tee’s and one of the ways I really get some wear out of them is to pair them with a cute blazer or jacket. I feel like a leather jacket glams up a blah tee with minimal effort on your part and with the ever changing weather situation, having the option to put on and take off a chic leather jacket is nice. Who said tee’s can’t be glam and cool. Hopefully this inspires you to dust off that old t-shirt you’ve been using as pj’s and dress it up with a nice leather jacket for a night out on the town.

Here’s to black leather jackets and all the many creative ways you can rock it!

Till next time.

Sincerely,


Deidra Marie