So it seems that while we wait for the arrival of our 4th blessing, my husband and I have a case of “nesting.” That’s right I said BOTH of us are nesting. Yesterday my super talented hubby built a wrap around sofa table to go behind our sectional! He’s tops when it comes to the interior design of our home. He did grow up learning from his mom and she is queen of design, crafts, and all that I wish I was! So…this time I thought I would get my creative juices flowing and have a go at designing the one last boring wall in our home! I’ve been searching through pins for inspiration for months and this is my finished product…
Truth be told that this has been MONTHS in the making. Apparently I’m a slow learner. My Gallery Wall Project started way back in May with Mother’s Day! My super thoughtful husband bought me a fancy camera. When I say fancy, I mean one of those “smart” intro SLR models. This camera rocks my life! I LOVE it! On my quest to being more “artsy” with my photos I decided that for Father’s Day I would surprise him with a gallery wall of photos, taken by me, of our children. He loves having pictures hung up all around our house of our family. I will take pictures of his interior design work and post them soon!
I started by sneaking the 3 kids off to a local park in our neighborhood with props, outfit changes and lots of water for our hot morning in June. Typically my husband works from home but this day he had to go into the office for a few hours. It was the perfect opportunity to get out without him knowing what we were up to. I had each kiddo wear a backpack filled with our props, snacks, and candy for bribes. Every mom knows that when kids have been smiling for the umpteenth picture that candy works well for bribing them to push on. We arrived to the park after our little “hike” through the neighborhood and got straight to work!
I decided to begin on the west end of the park by the little kid railroad tracks. My husband’s favorite movie of all time is “Stand By Me.” It’s a family favorite and one that was dear to him and his father. I spotted the perfect place to line the kiddos up on the railroad tracks and start recreating scenes from the movie. I made sure they all had matching white shirts and khaki bottoms, similar to the kids in the movie. I simply followed them up and down the tracks until I was sure I had captured enough photos.
The second set of pictures I took were related to my husband’s love of football. Before leaving the house that morning, I scoured their closets for football jerseys. I decided on 2 ASU jerseys. Since we didn’t have 3 to match, I shot the kids individually so that my daughter could share the larger jersey and get in on the fun too! I absolutely love how these still shots with the park in the backdrop turned out. It made me realize how fast my kids are growing up!
It just hit me that I really should use my new camera for my blog photos. My camera phone just isn’t cutting it!
My third idea didn’t go as smoothly as planned. That’s what happens when you have a 4 year old that starts to smile like “Chandler Bing” after the hundredth picture. They all were troopers but I insisted on this idea borrowed from the internet. So, the final product isn’t what I planned, but still cute enough. I had all 3 kids sit on the ground in a line, facing me with toes up. I wrote the message, “We love daddy,” across the bottoms of their feet and snapped about 50 pictures. It was very difficult to get all toes pointed up, while also having genuine smiles on their faces. At one point they began telling each other jokes to make our 4 year old crack a natural smile instead of his “scary smile” as we began to call it. All in all, this was the most exhausting part and fun at the same time as I listened to their cute belly laughs due to their silly jokes.
Our final photo session of the morning was taken with some ideas I borrowed from Pinterest! In keeping with the “Father’s Day” theme we brought some props from daddy’s closet. I had them all wear one of his ties and a pair of his shoes. My only plan for this setting was for them to stand against a solid wall as the backdrop so that we could focus more on their cute “daddy attire.” Once we took those shots, my eldest son said, “Mommy, can we play on the playground like daddy’s do?” I didn’t really understand what he meant by that. I decided to just go with it! I followed him over to the playground to see what he meant. All of a sudden something wonderful happened! I watched as they all climbed up onto the playground equipment and began posing and playing like daddy’s do only they’re dressed for work too! I captured some of my favorite, organic shots of the kids on the playground that morning wearing daddy’s ties. It was so fun!
After capturing over 300 photos! we had a snack and ran through the splash pad as a reward. Did I pack bathing suits? Nope! I let them run through the splash pad fully clothed. This was a time when the reward was greater than having all my ducks in a row. Little did I know that I was about to capture a few more fun shots of my kids being awesome. We had such an amazing, exhausting morning. I couldn’t wait to get home and plug in my camera to my PC and do some editing.
After editing, and printing our photos I set out to find some deals on picture frames and gallery pieces. Let me tell you how hard it was to only print 10-15 pictures for my final product. I just couldn’t capture our entire experience to share with daddy on Father’s Day, so I opted to include a photo album for him with those shots that didn’t make it in a frame.
I took advantage of deals at Michael’s Craft Store, Hobby Lobby, 50% off coupons, and clearance items to keep the costs down. I wanted this project to be special without breaking the budget!
We presented daddy with 2 large gift bags on Father’s Day morning filled with our photos in gallery frames, individual frames, photo album and decor pieces to showcase our photo session. He was so surprised and thrilled that I was the one who took all the photos with my new fancy camera!
While it took a few weeks for me to actually hang the pieces on the wall…I am so proud of the work I did and am happy that I too played a part in decorating our home!
I LOVE how our new gallery wall completes our dining room!