Books and Cookies owner Chudney Ross and her friends agreed: there were not enough occasions to dress up their little ones in their most adorable outfits. So Chudney decided to throw a bash in her daughter’s name, “Baby Callaway’s Fancy Dress Valentine’s Party.”
Right after their regularly scheduled Saturday morning Move & Groove class, the Santa Monica shop opened up to a Real Princess leading stories and songs, a crafts table guided by UrbanSitters, cookies & snacks, free play for the kids, a pop-up jewelry shop by Dabby Reid for the moms, and a simple “photo booth” to capture the cuteness (hey, Pics or it Didn’t Happen).
You’ve probably seen photo booths at all kinds of parties these days, and it’s not always the old-fashioned, all-enclosed kind where you cram inside, draw the curtain and wait for the strip-of-four to come out. The kind I set up is a 4-foot-wide backdrop, a single light, and in this case, a 4×4’ floor that was smooth, splinter-free hardwood-looking vinyl, glued to plywood underneath for sturdiness.
Here’s a photo of the set-up:
The Books and Cookies space is super-kid friendly, and the room we were in has a 3D mural on the wall and soft grassy-green carpeting. But when I thought about the final photos, I wanted the kids in their special clothes to be front and center, without competing with any other colors or designs, so I chose a white-paper backdrop and the look of a light hardwood floor.
Getting the shots:
Parents and kids wandered in, and out, and back again; sometimes it took coaxing for the younger ones, while the older children came in ready to pose and perform. I only spent a couple of minutes with each subject, though sometimes they toddled over to the set-up more than once. It was really laid back.
Everyone loves a freebie:
It didn’t cost anything to participate; parents could take my card and/or give me their email address, and Chudney had asked me to post the images on Facebook so all the parents could see and share them easily. I had a separate website set up for ordering prints and high-resolution files, which was completely voluntary.
The whole event lasted 90 minutes, and guess what? Only the photos remain!
Chudney Ross, owner of Books and Cookies and Mama to the fabulous Callaway Lane (17 months, above in polka dots and floral headband) said, “The families were all excited to capture precious moments of their little ones dressed to the nines and Stephanie was friendly, sweet and talented in capturing sweet moments of the babies and toddlers who move so quickly! I was so happy with how all the photos turned out and I ordered multiple prints of my little one!
And Sarah, a parent, said, “The pictures you took are STUNNING!!! I’m in love with these pictures, they are all awesome!”
I hope to do it again soon in our new location — we’ve just moved to Atlanta, Georgia! Details to follow!