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My favorites from the UDH shoot

New photos for my blog are finally done! Woohoo!

Around this time last year, I had my sister over to take a few photos of me and Charlie in front of the house. While the real goal was to commemorate our first house together (considering I’d never taken the quintessential “I just closed!” photo when I first bought the Ugg-Duck), I realized I’d also been hiding behind the camera a little too much.

I’ve been making a little bit more of an effort this year to post a few more photos. Between photos of me and Charlie, or the mud runs I’ve participated in, or the Haven conference, I am doing much better at my goal. And not surprisingly, my comfort with being in front of the camera is growing stronger (grad school is helping with it, too since I have to give presentations in front of the rest of the class on a regular basis).

During Haven, I attended a photography class taught by Layla and Kevin from The Lettered Cottage. The tips they gave have been tremendously helpful (I have been meaning to take the Shoot Fly Shoot online tutorial but haven’t yet found the time – it’s a must!) – but during the class, I was also reminded of the profile photo Layla uses for her various social media accounts. Kate from Centsational Girl spoke briefly during the class – and between the two of them, I realized that my own profile photo (originally taken when I was still in college) is very much in need of those newfound photography skills.

My IRL friend Lindsey (aka Redhead Baby Mama) is a hugely talented costume designer, so I went to her for advice. Our first thought:  paint. It’s on my tagline for a reason. I may have posted a New Years resolution to look a little more put together this year, but at the end of the day, I am still disheveled most of the time. I wanted a profile photo that would look a little more suitable for the blog, but still show more of my personality if possible. So, Lindsey and I scheduled a photo session for Sunday afternoon, and I brought a huge arsenal of props just in case.

DIY blog shoot props

We also created a quick backdrop out of an old sheet using a garmet rack. I got the idea originally from The DIY Showoff – but as you can see, I didn’t take any time with a steam iron.

setting up a photo backdrop

When we got started, I wasn’t sure how things would turn out, and I was extremely nervous about smiling like an idiot for such a cheeseball reason. But since Lindsey has her own blog, I was thankful to have a close friend who would just get it – and even better, she would consider it something fun.

reluctant face
Worst. Pose. Ever.

The girl knows how to direct a reluctant subject – I was somewhat lost with how I should pose. But since she and her husband are in the entertainment biz, I was relieved to be able to rely on her expertise. For the first two or three photos, I pretty much just sat there. When I asked her to sit in my place so I could change some settings on the camera, the girl did about four poses in a row to show me how it’s done.

great pose

See what I mean? But when the camera turned back to me, things didn’t always go so perfect. I have quite a few of these in the set:

blog shoot photos - funny

I’m not even sure about the one with claws. At some point, someone said “You’re an animal!” and I had an Austin Powers moment. Thanks to Lindsey’s direction though, we managed to get a few usable ones:

blog shoot photos - good

We tried a few different things – at first, my poses were more serious, but after loosening up a little more, we brought out my tools and other props. We didn’t use many of them simply because they didn’t make practical sense (what was I planning to do with those clamps?), but then… we got to the paint.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint - Greek blue

Originally, Lindsey suggested I use Elmer’s glue to fake paint in my hair, but I thought it couldn’t hurt to try out the real thing. Annie Sloan chalk paint came in my swag bag from Haven in a perfect shade of Grecian blue – and since the paint can even be diluted for a washing technique, I figured it would be the easiest paint to use in my hair (with the ultimate goal of washing it back out again, of course).

Annie Sloan chalk paint in my hair

Turns out, I was right. And the extra punch of color from the “war paint” we added to my face and hair livened up the photos quite a bit!


All in all, the entire sesh was a fun learning experience – and an excuse for two busy friends to finally catch up offline. I don’t know that I have a perfect photo of the bunch, but perhaps that’s true to the blog – it’s all a little good, a little bad, and a lot of “the Ugly girl.”  Expect to see these photos around the site soon. And a big thanks to Linds!

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  1. Sarah – the photos are really awesome – I don't see a bad one in the bunch! You look mah-velous! You are right – it is great to see people in front of the camera (I am horribly camera shy but you've inspired me!)
    The Painted Pear

  2. Love the new creative shots Sarah! My blog photo is a few years old and I need an update. Thanks for the inspiration to get a little whimsy with them.

  3. Who loves these? ME And I love that we got to spend some time together. Easier said than done when you have school/jobs/baby/opposite sides of the city. You're awesome!

  4. oh yes!!!! i had a similar photo shoot with a friend who “gets” it, but it was actually unplanned, and darnit, we didn't have any props! but i had to get a bit dressed up and do ALL my make-up for a video we were shooting for church. when we finished, i said, he, can you take a couple pics of me? it was REALLY hard to smile nicely at a camera. i CAN'T DO IT! so right before she clicked the camera every time, i would sneak in a stupid face! but my best pics started rolling in when my husband called, not having any idea where i was or what i was doing. i was just listening to him talk about WHATEVER and started making silly faces, mischevious silent cackles, etc and he still had no idea. it was so funny to my friend and i that i loosened right up and we got some good shots! once he was off the phone, we only had about a minute of the magic moment left before it was gone and all the fun left the scene. but we got enough!!

    now listen, what are you going to “CALL ME IN FOR” with these pics?!! making new ads? yay!! it's so hard to make ads for people without great personality or a strong “branding” or photos in their blog. it would be my pleasure to help you out! let me know!

  5. Thanks, everyone for the comments. This shoot (& posting it) was outside of my comfort zone, but I'm getting over it and pushing myself to go a little farther!

  6. I absolutely love these photos! The paint was the perfect excessory to really make the photos pop! Not to mention your awesome personality!!! I honestly think these might be my all time favorite blog profile pictures! Nicely done!

  7. I love the new pictures, Sarah! Paint is the perfect accessory! So fun! I swear every time a camera lens makes an appearance, the dork in my appears and it's all downhill! lol! Someone needs to invent a filter for that! ;)

    Thanks for the shout out too! What a sweet surprise!

    Have an awesome weekend and best of luck with the motivation (I loathe drywall sanding too. Any type of sanding actually!)

  8. Super excited to find your blog over from ATL FB group! New Follower Too!
    Hugs, jen

  9. Okay you are too stinking cute! I love these pics! And now I kind of want to take some. ;) P.S. Are you still freaking out about your Pinterest followers? I AM! Hope you had a nice weekend! XOXO

  10. Great photos, they fit perfectly with your blog. I know what you mean about hiding behind the camera. I did too, then I realised, how much more I identified with a blogger when I could see what they looked like, and it was easier to remember a particular blog, there are so many. I did a photo for my header which involved my kids and a ladder, very precarious!

  11. I love your photo! It makes you so memorable….I saw you on the Pinterest Challenge and I was like, “yup that is my kind of girl”.

  12. Those pictures with the paint are adorable and perfect for your blog.

    Sorry, my comments are so belated! I just found your blog and have been reading from the beginning.

    1. Awesome! I try to go back and clean up old posts when I can; love that you’re reading stuff from the beginning!