“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
Jane Austen is like an internet BFF: someone I’ve never met, but I’m pretty sure she understands my soul (unless it was all a hoax and “she” turns out to be a old man, in which case…. I still applaud him for his understanding of women.). In the interest of full disclosure, Jane and I had a brief falling out during Mansfield Park, and we drifted apart during the episode at Northanger Abby, but that’s normal, right? We spent a lot of time together when I was single, and she was there for me every time I needed her, always giving me hope that my own crusty but kind, quirky, and glorious knight in shining armor would someday appear. Frankly, I haven’t kept up my end of the relationship in years, but a piece of my heart still belongs in Austenland.
So in tribute to one of my favorite books and authors of all time, we set upon this photo shoot the instant we made plans to visit England for the 4th of July. I made a dress, hot glued fabric and lace and flowers to a sun hat for a simple bonnet, and set about assembling the bits to make a tiny Fitzwilliam Darcy happen. My own Knight in shining armor (who did, in fact, appear in my life at just like Jane assured me he would) helped me choose a lovely manor house in England to use as our location.
Once we had ourselves set up for success and raised our own expectations on how this shoot was going to turn out, we inserted our totally unpredictable kids. Turns out they weren’t nearly as interested in our pompous poses as they were in throwing off their top hats, jumping over the creek, and having a dance party. We went with it:
Once we let them wiggle around a bit, they interspersed play with some of our poses. We played a game called 1-2-3- Dance Party! We posed them and they held it while we ran back to our cameras and yelled “1-2-3-Dance Party!/Hat Off!/Silly Face!/JUMP!” And then they got to do the sillies, which worked out for everyone.