Superman and Perfectionism

Hello, I’m Hannah, and I’m a recovering perfectionist.

“Hi, Hannah.”

When I had a third child, my supermom veneer cracked (shattered). These amazing and tiny creatures (especially the tiniest one) can empty the bookshelves, the dishwasher, the kitchen cabinets, and every dresser drawer in the time it takes me to say, “Please don’t lick maple syrup off the floor,” or “Oh, you found mommy’s fingernail polish,” or “I’ll explain that a little better when you are older.” When they band together, they are a formidable force. A formidable dirty-laundry-creating force.

Mostly, I’ve learned to run with it. I like adventure, I like my kids, and I love a challenge, so I’m pretty much set for the ride (if I could only find the car keys that the baby threw away).  But sometimes there is this little part of me that decides it’s my way or the highway and throws an (internal) tantrum worthy of the terrible threes (worse than the twos) when things don’t go as I’d envisioned.

I’m sure you’ve seen the Superman pictures all over Pinterest. Who hasn’t? Everyone has done them now, and they’re all just completely adorable, but Zach and I had this great idea that we were going to take it to the next level by ADDING Lois Lane in, and we were going to do it downtown at the Mercedes Benz museum, and we were going to blow up the internets with our awesomeness DOT COM. The problem is that our gorgeous Saturday suddenly turned rainy and the kids fell asleep in the car on the way, and we got stuck in traffic, turning a 30 minute drive into an hour, and when we arrived, Superman had his knickers in a (kryptonite-ish) twist, and “How did we forget the flash?” happened, and Zach finally said, “Should we forget it and do it another time?” and I was all, “After all we’ve been through? Heck, no!” And so we proceeded.

Since Lois Lane was the only amiable member of our party, we took her photos first.

Finding Storybookland

And then we showed Superman all the cute ideas we had in an effort to cheer him up.

Finding Storybookland

But it didn’t work. He did not want to smile. Period.

Finding Storybookland

Being in a rather stubborn and determined mood, I decided to enroll our new little understudy so we could just get the pictures taken already. Costume switch!

Finding Storybookland

Oh goodness. So cute.

Finding Storybookland

Do you think we can get him to do the same thing as that boy I saw on Pinterest?

Finding Storybookland

No? Okay. Still cute.Finding Storybookland

Wait, what are you doing with my baby?

Finding Storybookland

Oh, brilliant! How high do you have to throw him for me to be able to crop you out and not even need to photoshop the picture?

Finding Storybookland

And that’s a wrap, you adorable little guy!

Finding Storybookland

 

So not too bad, huh? But, I’m ashamed to say, once we got home and I looked through the pictures, I was bummed that we hadn’t really even touched my “vision” for the shoot. And I couldn’t find a good processing setting for them. And WHY hadn’t I chosen a better angle or remembered the flash, or combed Lois Lane’s hair or a dozen other things. So I sat on these pictures for nine months, not really sure what to do with them because they didn’t really meet the standard I had set for them, and I didn’t want to show all the people on the internet sub-par pictures.

And you know, the truth is that I love these pictures. Life happened, and they weren’t what I’d dreamed up in my head, but they are pictures I love of the people I do life with. And no moment (or picture) with these sweet babies is ever a waste. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I need to check on the living room remodel they’re working on.

Christmas Elves Children's photo shoot tutorial from findingstorybookland.com
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Elf Hat Video Tutorial

Late, but as promised, I finally made and posted a video tutorial for the hats I made for our Christmas Elf Photo Shoot.

In the interest of full disclosure, there are no baby bloopers this time (sad emoji here) because we filmed after the kids were in bed (which made the whole process so much more efficient, but less adorable).

 

Christmas Elves Children's photo shoot tutorial from findingstorybookland.com
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Christmas Elves

Guess what? We made it past Halloween AND Thanksgiving, so that means it is now okay to go into all-out Christmas mode. And for the first time in forever, I do not have a tiny baby, am not pregnant, and am not moving, so it really does feel like Christmas this year.

Watch out: I’m going to do all the Christmasy things I pin this year. Just kidding; I only wanted to see if you were paying attention. However, I did make salt dough ornaments with my kids last week. Once we ran out of things to cut out, we made little tiny fruit shapes- bananas and strawberries. My son insisted that we paint his banana brown (“It’s a really ripe banana!”), and I can’t wait to see which of our friends comment first on the ornament that looks like a… well, a sparkly bit of poo.

Anyway, all that to say I’m definitely in the Christmas spirit this year. Zach and I wanted to do a really magical photo shoot with the kids, and in his brilliance, he suggested we dress them as Santa’s elves. The ideas evolved for a couple of weeks, as did the costumes (I will post an elf hat tutorial tomorrow!). We collected and wrapped empty boxes, accumulated Christmas ornaments, and let the kids make a paper chain and a North Pole.

(Of course, just in case you think everything always goes perfectly, my baby was teething some serious molars, refused to be costumed, and screamed throughout the photo shoot in his stroller. So this is a two-child photo session. You win some, you lose some.)

OMG. These pictures make me so happy. Better than I dreamed. All the magical pretend, none of the commercialism that annoys me.

Here’s wishing you and yours a VERY merry Christmas!

 

Christmas Elves Children's photo shoot tutorial from findingstorybookland.com

Christmas Elves Children's photo shoot tutorial from findingstorybookland.com

Christmas Elves Children's photo shoot tutorial from findingstorybookland.com

Christmas Elves Children's photo shoot tutorial from findingstorybookland.com

Christmas Elves Children's photo shoot tutorial from findingstorybookland.com

Christmas Elves Children's photo shoot tutorial from findingstorybookland.com

Christmas Elves Children's photo shoot tutorial from findingstorybookland.com

 

COSTUMES:

-I made long vest-jackets for the kids (eliminate the sleeves, people, and you eliminate quite a bit of time on the project, which can be better spent attaching a million buttons to it), belts, hats, and shoes (which will not be featured here as I am not particularly proud of them).

PROPS:

-Oh, I’m laughing right now. I wish you could have seen us trooping through the woods–like, a quarter mile to our location– hauling huge tubs of ornaments, wrapped boxes, decorations, and a North Pole. Not sure what all the people walking past us thought. But to the point, we brought all things Christmas, several wooden toys and tools (the idea was for the children to pretend to build the toys, but that never really materialized into shot), a little drum, a pipe, ribbon, and snowflake confetti.

LOCATION:

We shot this one at the forest sofa our children use with their kindergarten. It is completely rustic and awesome. HONESTLY, if I were going to re-shoot or do a series of minis, I would probably make this one a studio set with a black backdrop. It would take the guesswork out of the weather, the dampness off the feet, and it would be so much easier to set up.

PROCESSING:

This set was extremely Photoshop intensive. We took the pictures in the daytime and tried several different settings before reaching our “aha!” moment when we turned it into a “nighttime” set. I’m hoping Zach will have a chance to detail many of the things he did to make these pictures awesome.

Additionally, we used the same snow effect he created for the Frozen photo shoot we did a while back. You can download it for free!