I always get super excited when I get in inquiry for newborn, even more so when mama specifically requests a boho session. As soon as I found out what kind of session her mama wanted, I got busy making props! I made some floral rings to hang from the backdrop, I ordered new headbands and backdrops and got busy shaping this session. I had everything laid out for her consultation on what I was planning and I got a very excited nod of approval. I made some final touches on the teepee by adding some flowers to the top the morning of the session.
I was so excited I had butterflies in my tummy.
Mama and sweet baby arrived in an insanely warm studio with snacks and drinks laid out for them. And then we dove right in.
And sometimes when daddies can’t be here, we FaceTime. And this one was just too sweet to pass up!
In my travels of finding and curating the most gorgeous props for my studio I am always drawn to the floral bonnets. They’re always SO CUTE!!! I have one from Whippoorwill Nest and I absolutely love shooting with it! Every child I’ve put it on looks so adorable and my clients love their images. Her quality is gorgeous and the price tag is steep. But like all things, you get what you pay for. I am very willing to spend over $100 on one single prop that is as lovely as that. But when the busy season hits I just don’t have the time to stalk her website to make sure I get the exact one I want. Hers sell out insanely quick because, like I said, they’re gorgeous and very well made. I’ve spent the last couple weeks researching and looking for more vendors and I have found some absolutely amazing vendors and I still plan on purchasing them. I have a model coming into the studio in a few weeks to model for a few etsy shops that I work with for product photography. While none of the shops are sending floral bonnets, I figured now was the time to take the leap and make my own while I had a model.
I am not selling any of the bonnets that I made at this time. Like I said, there are other vendors out there that make insanely better products that this quick tutorial I am going to be showing you. If you are wanting to purchase a bonnet instead of making one, please check out some of my favorite vendors!
On to the tutorial!
Your supplies are pretty minimal. Depending on sales and coupons and how aggressive you decide to shop around you can get all these supplies for under $20 per bonnet. I shopped around and did large flowers to keep the cost down. I do want to explore smaller flowers for a daintier look in the near future. The cost will go up depending on how well you fill your bonnet. I like full and lush and lots and lots of textures. The yellow bonnet I am showing here has six different textures because I like the look of it. I picked up a fantastic moss sample bag at Joann’s for $5 that was perfect for this.
And I do have to apologize for the quick cell shots that were taken at night. I will redo this with properly lit and shot photos if needed.
1/4 yard of thin fleece (there’s the thick stuff and then thinner stuff. You want the thinner stuff so it’s a bit easier to work with when sewing)
1/4 yard of matching or contrasting chiffon or cotton for the ties (I did matching chiffon but I think a print in matching cotton would look adorable too)
Flowers of your choice (all mine were 40% off at Joann’s)
Hot glue gun
Hot glue sticks (I used Gorilla Glue sticks because I didn’t want the bonnet to fall apart.)
Tapestry Needles with sharp points (mine were rounded and I needed to make a tiny cut in the fleece to get the needle through)
Foam ball (I’m not sure the size I got. I have used these for several years to store and display my bonnets but they worked in this case to make one!)
Start by cutting your fleece into 17×7 inch rectangles. You need two of these.
Then fold your chiffon in half the long way, fold again and again until the piece is about 3 inches wide. Now cut two 1.5 inch strips. These will be your ties. I like the edges all wonky and not perfect. I might even fray them slightly once they’re cut.
Once your ties are cut, grab two and cut in half. Now you should have four total cut ties. Two will be for for front of the bonnet to tie around baby’s face. The third will be to tie up the back to make the bonnet adjustable for many different baby ages. The fourth, just set aside to make another bonnet.
Pin your ties to two of the corners of your fleece. You want them to be two wide corners on the same side.
Put your two fleece pieces together with the ties sandwiched in between.
Sew your fleece together leaving a 3 inch gap on one side to turn it once your done. Make sure to not sew through your ties except at the corners. I bunched mine all up in the middle and then checked them every turn I made to make sure they were not close to the edges where I was sewing.
Once you’ve sewn it all the way around except for your gap, clip your corners and turn it right side out. Make sure to push your corners out nice and neat.
Your ties should be at the corners and it should look like a rectangle with straps.
Grab your foam ball and tie your rough bonnet onto your ball. I found it easier to work with it tied to the ball but you might find that your prefer it not. Flip it around to the back. We are going to start making it look like an actual bonnet. I stuck mine in a bowl to keep it from rolling around while I was working on it.
Take your super awesome tapestry needle and thread that third piece of chiffon tie onto the needle. Using long basting stitches, sew all the way around the back of the bonnet as close as you can to the edge. I had to move farther into the bonnet than I wanted to because my needle was not sharp. I had to make tiny cuts in the fleece to get my chiffon to fit through the hole the needle had made.
Once you’ve sewn all the way around the back, grab both sides of the ties and pull the back until it fits the ball how you’d like. Tie the chiffon in a cute bow leaving it long enough to retie for an older baby. You should have a pretty simple bonnet at this point. I forgot to grab a photo of this but here’s what the back looks like finished.
Next, grab all your flowers. Using wire cutters, cut the flower heads and leaves off the wire stems. I used one large bundle of flowers that had about eight or nine large flowers on it, two sprays of smaller flowers that had about fifteen small flowers, a spray of the faux berries, a flat moss and the bird’s nest type moss.
I start in the center of the bonnet and then just add the largest flowers first and balance it all out. Then I start adding the other textures and filling in empty spaces. There’s no real right way of doing it. I also caught myself at the store second guessing every choice I made in the flowers. I started feeling like it was all going to look like crap because I chose the wrong ones. I finally had to tell myself to JUST PICK ONE ALREADY. If it didn’t turn out, I would try again. Everything ended up looking fantastic no matter what flowers I chose. I definitely love all the textures so that’s what I focused on when choosing flowers and add ons.
I didn’t like the look of the back of the bonnet because you could see all the stems and hot glue mess so I added more flowers and moss to the back of the bonnet to round it out and make it look amazing no matter what angle I shot from. I made all three of these bonnets in one day. The first one was the dark pink and green one and that one took me about two hours to figure out the pattern and how I wanted to do it. The yellow one was the second one and took me about an hour. The pink peony one was even less time than that.
I’d love to see your creations from this tutorial, so please share them!!
I absolutely love shooting at new locations that I find in my travels. This one was no different! I found this place randomly and I knew instantly that I needed to use it for a family. I asked this sweet family if they would be open to try it and they jumped on board!
I have to say, I feel that with the outfits that mama chose and the gorgeous location, it was just perfect!!
Something really awesome happens when a family trusts me to document their baby’s first year. I get to personally create memories of this special time for them. And because I am a full service boutique photographer, I have outfits that match your set perfectly. This little guy isn’t so little! He’s huge with the best baby rolls! His expressions were AMAZING and he’s one tough little man with how many times he toppled over!
Dad is a huge Green Bay Packers fan and we’ve incorporated a die hard fan cheese head in every one of his sessions. This time was super adorable since he could sit up and show off those amazing rolls of his!
Every time I set off to a new destination I am always filled with a sense of awe and wonder. It sounds cliche to say it that way but there really isn’t another way to describe it. I shot this session in Las Vegas, Nevada and it’s nothing short of magical.
I’ve had this idea on my heart for about six months and it was finally time for it to become a reality.
I had the gown and crown created and made by Sew Trendy Accessories. I wanted something very specific for this session because of one shot I imagined. I described my idea to my mom. She’s the one in these photos and when I got the nod of approval, I got busy planning.
Her make up artist is Tammy Grossman of Vogue Salon out of Las Vegas. When my mom went in for her session, I got a phone call from my mom and she wanted me to explain exactly what I wanted this hair and make up to look like. Words…you guys, the words just failed me on how to describe my feelings when I received the photo of the completed work from my mom. Gorgeous, stunning, perfect…pick one it would fail to accurately portray it.
This is the shot that I envisioned that started this session. My mom comes from a long and gut wrenching history of sexual, physical and mental abuse when she was growing up from the people who were supposed to love and protect her. Between facing that alone, watching her best friend be murdered right in front of her and not knowing how to mentally cope with these things, her struggle was a silent one. An invisible one. One that controls every aspect of your life.
She accepted Jesus as her Savior when I was a child. Her soul was saved. It was redeemed. It was safe. Now the real journey started. It was one that twisted her inside out and forced her to look at those parts of her that she’s locked away tight from prying eyes. But instead of crushing her, it began to transform her. She started giving herself away to those around her and looking for ways to serve and give back to the community. My brother and I are both prior military, with my brother retiring last year. Her dad served in the United States Navy. What better way for her to give back than with wounded heroes?
She started a non-profit called VIP Warriors. This non-profit is a support system of other wounded veterans with compete in extreme sports together. My mom is their coach and encourages them to get out there and take on mountains bigger than themselves. She trains them to compete in Tough Mudders, Spartan Races, marathons, Ironmans and triathlons. You guys, many of these veterans are amputees, paralyzed or have severe brain injuries. Some of their wounds are invisible, like PTSD.
The photo above represents freedom. The freedom to move past the junk piled into your soul. It’s freedom to get rid of the garbage inside you that scares the crap out of you. The stuff that no ones sees. The freedom to forgive yourself and those that hurt you and it gives you permission to heal. Freedom in every sense of the word.
The rest of her session can be found below. I am absolutely thrilled with these images. She’s only seen a few of these before she crashed into bed. Please show her some love for being so willing to be extremely vulnerable to a whole lot of strangers.
This is a full session of images. I thought it might be awesome to show an entire gallery since the general public very rarely gets to see a full and complete gallery. Please enjoy my heart and my mama’s heart.