Photo shoots with kids are always dicey. Over the years, I have been involved in my fair share of shoots jampacked with little toddlers, babies and grade schoolers. When I was in my 20's - I really didn't have a clue how to make it work - little kids were a mystery to me. Now, over 25 years later and after living through a kid, I know their little quirks. Some kids just aren't interested in having their photos taken even though their parents want them to be in the photo. Some kids can be coerced with a bit of bribery. Some kids have a photo shoot time of availability of about 5 minutes. And then some kids are stellar models. Now that I take so many photos of Julia for this blog, I have learned to be really fast. I check her mood and bribe her with ice cream bonuses (and now some cash!).
Color by Kristin had been in the works for way over a year before the photo shoot happened. I knew I wanted to include two sweaters for kids in the book - one zippered cardigan and one pullover. They were both modeled on drop shouldered colorful designs that I have been knitting for Julia since she was an infant. I designed a striped pullover and had it knit up to fit Julia in shades of Geranium, Rock Henna, Chartreuse, Golden Honey, and Espresso. It was the first design I did for this new book. I figured Julia could model it. And then she grew..... it was over a year later and of course that happened - what was I thinking?. A month before the shoot, I designed a second pullover variation and had it knit big enough so it would fit Julia. And it was - then. Sadly she has grown some more and now it doesn't fit anymore. I sent it off on the Color by Kristin Trunk Show and it may be coming to a store near you.
As the photo shoot drew near, I knew I had to find a second model to show off the other little sweaterl Luckily, Julia's little friend Bridget fit into the first sweater and so I had two - slightly willing - models. Bridget and Julia are the best of pals so I kept my fingers crossed that magic would happen. I picked the kids up at school, brought them home and helped them change into the clothes Julie The Stylist had left for them. This was dicey to say the least - they weren't much into changing out of their own clothes into clothes that they couldn't keep. Somehow I talked them into it.
Out the door they went. And then they promptly refused to have their photos taken. I must admit, it must be a little scary - two strange men holding big black cameras and enormous white scrims, one nervous mother, and an Art Director dressed all in black from NYC.
Luckily John Gruen, The Photographer, is a Dad and is great with kids and tells funny stories. His assistant was a Dad too so we had a chance. We set the girls up in the doorway. This is Julia's crossed arms position - "No Mommy, I'm not going to do that" even with a smile on her face.
Next, we asked them if they were friends. "Oh yeah, we are Best Friends." And that's where the name of the sweater duo came from - the girls named it "Best Friends Pullovers."
The girls were warming up and becoming comfortable in front of all the equipment. Next we tempted them with kittens.
Things were getting better but the kittens covered up the sweaters.... I asked them if they wanted to take a little walk. The sun was starting to get low in the sky and the light was awesome. The brightly colored sweaters popped against the gray November day and scenery. They were warming up a little more.
Please girls, walk slowly. Oh, yeah - like kids will slow down..... But they did and magic happened. Here's my favorite photo of the day.
Aren't they just the cutest little girls? And the sweaters are quite nice too....
I'm going to Stitches in Hartford tonight and am teaching classes on Friday and Saturday. I don't have any book signings set up but if you want me to sign a book, just ask. I should be hanging around the Westminster Fibers Booth in between classes or looking around the market. The last few times I have done signings at Stitches they were pretty poorly attended. It's quite embarassing to sit in someone's booth and have noone come - bad for the booth and no fun for me! I think there is just too much stimulation there for knitters to even think about having a book signed.
If you aren't going to Stitches, you can order a signed book from my website here.