Mother & Daughter: 1984 & 2009

This is probably one of my FAVORITE projects to date! I am fascinated with photo-recreations, especially generational ones. There are so many images I have from my childhood that I want to replicate, and I've done a few for friends in the past. One of the newest trends is to take a photo, and photograph it in the same spot. This is another way to mark an occasion, but for those who like to go the extra mile, here's how this came about!

In 2009, Littles was turning 3, and a week prior her mom turned 28. With a 25 year gap and birthdays so close, it's always neat they will get to celebrate their birthdays together. Her Mom had a photo of herself at 3 years old, posing ever so 80's with a parasol. It's pretty epic. With Littles turning three,I though what a perfect gift it would be to recreate the image and put them together in a double frame. Little's grandma was my partner in crime, and thank goodness for her. She brought me an original 8x10 of the image, so that I could really get the details of the dress and duplicate the image.

First thing, I ordered a parasol. The print was hard to find, but this one was close enough, and the woman said she would next-day it for no charge. The tough part was putting together the outfit. I had scoured some of my favorite thrift shops, and while I found an abundance of drop-waist dresses that were "close", none matched the original. So, after picking up shoes and socks that were close enough, I decided I was going to have to pick up fabric and make the dress myself. I brought Little's along with me to the shop on one of the nights we had her, so that she could help me decide. It was a blast having her pick out the right kind of thread, trim, and watch how to match fabric. We scored the perfect items, and made our way home. I had a two evening window to finish, since we still had to go out and take the photo before her birthday party that weekend.

Luckily I was sewing for a small person, so the only thing I really had to focus on was making sure the dress would photograph similarly, and the details lined up as much as possible.
One of the best things was Littles' "attempt" to keep it a secret. Bless her heart, she tried! She had let it out to her mom before the party that "Lorney is making you a dress, Mama!" I'm sure the confusion level off the charts! It made for an even funnier story after she got her gift.

Once the dress was finished, Littles and I had that day to book it to the local arboretum before sunset, and take a photo near the flowers. I wanted to re-created the backdrop as much as possible. Since the original photo was taken against a canvas backdrop in a studio, matching lighting and the print was going to be tough. Instead of just taking a photo outside and leaving it at that, I decided to shade it as much as possible to replicate the studio image. this would make the two images much more similar. I brought a yard of some fake grass so that it would mock to the one in the photograph. The next step was just having Littles look at how her Mom was standing, and do the same. She did great, by the way! the rest was up to me to shade the image enough to look like the other.

The next day, family and friends all gathered to celebrate her third birthday. Those who helped make the photo happen were excited to finally see it! I was thrilled to gift it, and even more precious was Littles helping her Mama open the wrapping. It couldn't have been revealed any better!


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