For the past four weeks, we have been having some radiant child yoga classes at out house. I love the approach of this style of yoga, especially the way of guiding the children through the experience with a story. I want to apply this concept to kids photography, and with this project, will create styled photo shoot adventures with the kids. I was largely inspired by Shannon Sewell, who creates craft projects with her kids to be props in her shoots and in this style, captures the magic of childhood :)
This adventure started with the first yoga class that was butterfly themed. The kids painted big pieces of folded paper, on one side, and then folded it to make a symmetrical painting. They each did two paintings so later we could construct them into wings for them to wear in a photoshoot out with the flowers. It took about four weeks to make them.
I was so inspired by these amazing wings over at the cardboard collective, that I tried my best to recreate them. One day, a couple of the moms and I got together while the kids ran around the house and together, we did the bulk of the work. We cut out shapes from cardboard, glued string in cell shapes on to them, and then covered with the painting that the kids made. The kids helped glue for about 15 minutes, and then the moms continued for about another 4 hours! Another day, we painted the edges in a brown paint I had laying around and polka dotted the edges (there is something so magical about white dots on brown paint). Some even got glitter. Next, I glued it all together, and then fastened with oval butterfly body shapes, glued and left to dry overnight weighted down. Lastly, I drilled a line of holes on either side of body, and laced fabric strips of an old batik i made (i just ripped it into strips) through them to make the straps.
We had a pizza party after yoga the night before the shoot and made flowers for the butterflies to find and drink nectar (juice boxes) out of. The kids loved painting the flower shapes cut out of the pizza boxes. I was so inspired by how beautiful cardboard looked painted on, and how easy it is. For the last 2 pairs of wings for the toddlers who didn't paint their own wings, inspired by the flowers, I painted right on the cardboard, which was much easier.
The photo shoot adventure started with a yoga class in which the kids went through the life cycle of the butterfly. After that, they each "got their wings" in a beautiful little nook, before they set off as a kaleidoscope flutter onto a trail to look for nectar. Each had a proboscis (straw) and could use it to drink nectar (juice) from the flower. After the kids were energized from that, we did some butterfly dancing down the trail our ceremonial dancing ground by the ocean, where we had a dance and then closed in a circle.
I am looking forward to more kids photo adventures to come! I have a growing list of ideas. Being on a gorgeous little island, we have so many amazing settings to shoot in, and a lot of themes to work with. Stay tuned !