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    The Making of a Breast Pump Bag: Photograph

    The Making of a Breast Pump Bag: Photograph

    I am often asked about the process of bringing my small business to life, from, "how did you design the bag?" to "what is it like to do a professional photo shoot?"  I thought it would be fun to share some behind-the-scenes scoop and pictures.  This post will focus on the professional photo sessions; I'll pull together additional posts soon to tell you about other aspects of starting the business!

    Our photo shoots were broken down into two parts: 1) shooting the bag by itself and 2) modeling the bag.  Of course, I thought, taking pro pics of my bag when it's just by itself on a platform will be super simple.  Boy was I wrong!  I have such a profound respect for professional photographers.  Product photography is very complex.  Certainly it is easy to manage the bag by itself in terms of focus and energy as it doesn't have to pose or doesn't get tired, but the lighting and showcasing aspects of the bag are challenging.  For instance, you want to photograph the inside of the bag,
    but don't want a hand in the shot.  It takes a bit of magic to prop things up, hold them apart, etc.  I think one of the coolest insider tricks is using fishing line to hold the handles of a handbag straight up.  The fishing line is so transparent, it is very easy for the photographer to remove in the final phase of editing and leaves you with an awesome picture.  

    We spent about four to five hours shooting photos of the bag by itself, with a number of hours ahead of time to prepare (researching possible angles and setups for pictures) and significant time afterwards in the final editing phase.  The product photography shoot was the most interesting in terms of technical complexity.  I learned a ton about lighting.  It was also neat to see the photogapher rig things together to get my bag doing what we wanted (like using various clamps to hold it open at certain angles, or in the photo here, using a tall ladder to shoot the bag from above). I stood there watching my amazing photographer thinking about how much time, effort and hands must go into shooting all of those pictures in magazines!  Or an entire collection of clothing for just one season.  Amazing!

    The second day of our photo shoot was the most fun!  I have a wonderful friend from college, Jessica, with modeling experience, who agreed to work with me on this project.  Jes is a mom to two beautiful children and works in large communications company; she is simply gorgeous inside and out.  The model shoot took a lot of preparation; clothes, shoes and jewelry to choose, hair and makeup to consider, and of course, all the lighting and staging complexities.  Plus making Jes comfortable and creating great energy in the studio!

    We brought many more outfits than we would end up needing, but that is critical; some things that seem like they will work well don't look great under the lights, or don't convey the scene you are trying to create. The prep work also included pulling out the outfits and accessories, matching things, steaming out the wrinkles and trying them out on Jes.  

    Jessica is such a talented model; it takes a little time to warm up (I mean all these people are staring at you and you want to do an awesome job!) and she quickly got into the swing of things.  Some of the posing is a little more firm, like, "hold the bag on your shoulder, smile and stay in that same spot," while other poses
    were more relaxed and fun (dancing around, kick up your heels, make some funny faces!).  While the photographs were taken, we did have to pause at times to fix Jes's hair, touch up makeup and reposition the bag.  

    My photographer had his camera connected right to his computer, which made the entire process so much easier (within a split second of snapping a picture it was on the computer screen).  Looking at the model live with your own eyes is a little different than seeing how it translates into a digital photo.  It was helpful to have the computer pictures to provide Jes with guidance on poses, to fix any flaws, like flyaway hair, as well as move on to a new outfit if it wasn't working for us.  I also found it much easier to choose the final photographs I wanted because we deleted bad pictures right then and there, before the editing phase, reducing the number of photos to review afterwards.

    It takes a lot of hands just for one shoot with one bag and one model!  We had the photographer there of course, the hair/makeup stylist, the model, myself and an assistant (who just so happened to be my amazing fashionista sister, Annie).  We shot both the product and the model photography at a local studio, which had hair/makeup rooms, offices, a runway, small platform and this really cool seamless "cyclorama wall" which gives the illusion of there being no real "sides" in the photograph.  

    The end results of our two-day product and model photography shoot for Sarah Wells Breast Pump Bags ROCKS!  You can see for yourself below and on our website.  Photography does involve a bit of magic; the lighting, the setting, the post-editing; they all contribute to a fantastic picture.  But I also learned through this experience that you have to have the right foundation: a great product, a beautiful, charismatic model, an amazing team of photography/production experts and a lot of energy and creativity.  

    Photographer was Luis Aragon
    Hair and Makeup by Kathy Aragon
    Photographs Shot at Studio 400
    Modeling by Jessica C. of Maryland
    Thanks to Annie B. for Assistance!
     

     

     

    Meet Laura! 10 Questions for a Fashionable Mom

    Meet Laura!  10 Questions for a Fashionable Mom

    Q. What is your first name, age and profession? 
    A. Laura, 31, stay at home mom and political consultant

    Q. Is fashion important to you?
    A. Fashion has always been important to me. I am the first to admit that it can be much more difficult to stay fashionable now that I am home with my girls (I mean, yoga pants are just SO comfy!) but I definitely feel better about myself when I "dress up." When 

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    Meet Theresa! 10 Questions for a Fashionable Mom

    Meet Theresa! 10 Questions for a Fashionable Mom


    Q. What is your name, age and profession?

    A. Theresa Tibbetts, Illustrator, 42

    Q. Is fashion important to you?
    A. Yes fashion is important to me, I studied it for my degree! However I would say it has taken more of a back seat since I became a mum. I think I spend more money and effort dressing my son Arlo now. It's a form of artistic expression though for me and has always been a big part of my life. Apparentely I started picking out my outfits to wear from the age of 18 months! If my son follows in my footsteps I have a mere 2 months left of dressing him how I like!

    Q. Describe your fashion style, likes/dislikes prior to becoming pregnant.
    A. I like a relaxed/boho/slightly cool style. Not too dressy, I love jeans and a funky jacket with a really stylish bag and cool ankle boots. I spend a lot of money on bags! Accessories can make or break an outfit and turn a plain T shirt and jeans into something special and stylish. I'm not a girly girl and can be a bit tomboyish

    Q. What was your maternity style like?
    A. Pretty much the same as I dressed before becoming pregnant! Apart from finding really high heels impossible to wear. I wore a lot of skinny jeans with loose tops and and a nice leather jacket or blazer. In the summer maxi dresses were comfortable with a flat gladiator sandal. I didn't spend much money on maternity clothes just a few pairs of jeans. I spent quite a lot of money on a nice baby change bag though, I figured I would use it every day so was worth the investment.

    Q. Since becoming a mother, how would you describe your style? Has it changed?
    A. 
Obviously I have less time, hats are great when you haven't got time to do your hair! Not many high heels going on either as I walk a lot. Still love skinny jeans though and am back to my pre pregnancy weight without doing anything drastic, just walking with my son in his buggy everywhere!

    Q. My favorite clothing brand or brands are:
    A. I love Top Shop, French Connection, Whistles and All Saints. For a splurge I love J Crew and Marc Jacobs for bags 


    Q. Name up to three celebrities/notable moms whose style you admire.
    Sienna Miller, Miranda Kerr and Nicole Richie

    Q. Is your child/children’s fashion important to you?
    Very! I spend a lot on clothes for him and love putting cool outfits together for him. Although it saddens me at the moment that he has taken a dislike to wearing hats especially as I've bought him so many great ones that are now just tossed out of the buggy!

    Q. Sarah doesn’t think having a baby means the end of a woman’s time as a stylish, modern woman. Do you think moms can be fashionable and practical at the same time? What are your best tips?
    A. Like I said before, hats! When you're rushing out the house and can't blow dry or even wash your hair, put on a hat. A sensible heel, so cool ankle boots or converse are great and skinny jeans. A funky necklace or scarf can be quickly put on and really jazz up a simple outfit. All practical things but they can be stylish and of course a really great bag! I'm not just saying that either Sarah, a great bag finishes off an outfit :)

    Meet Hannah! 10 Questions for a Fashionable Mom

    Meet Hannah!  10 Questions for a Fashionable Mom


    Q. What is your name, age and profession?

    A. Hannah – 33, Artist Relations at APA Talent Agency-Nashville, TN

    Q. Is fashion important to you?
    A. I appreciate fashion however I do not live and die by it. In the music industry there is an “anything goes” dress code so I can make my own choices. However, I always here my mother in my head while shopping and getting dressed saying “dress the part Hannah!”.

    Q. Describe your fashion style, likes/dislikes prior to becoming pregnant.
    A. Day to night looks with versatility.

    Q. What was your maternity style like?
    A. Second time around I was very uncomfortable with my pregnancy. Comfort was my top priority! I LIVED in my maternity leggings, flats, and anything comfortable and cute.

    Q. Since becoming a mother, how would you describe your style? Has it changed?
    A. 7 months post-partum and I am really just starting to feel like my swagger is back. However, washable clothing is key due to the baby that is usually on my hip. Clothing that has a little stretch and also slimming is ideal. Currently I’m shopping for some new staples for the wardrobe that can be mixed and matched with fun accessories.

    Q. My favorite clothing brand or brands are:
    A. INC for Macy’s, Express, Rachel Roy.

    Q. Name up to three celebrities/notable moms whose style you admire.
    A. Beyonce, Sandra Bullock and Jennifer Garner

    Q. Is your child/children’s fashion important to you? 
    A. I love letting my 4yr old pick out her outfits (ok, I don’t really have choice). She recently has
     been putting together some pretty wild looks and has become a trend-setter at pre-school! Letting her express herself gives her a lot of confidence. My 7month old is stuck with whatever I pick out! Which is much easier on me in the mornings. We like to keep it fun and durable at the same time.

    Q. Sarah doesn’t think having a baby means the end of a woman’s time as a stylish, modern woman.  Do you think moms can be fashionable and practical at the same time?
    Q. What are your best fashion tips for moms?

    A. Finding cuts and styles that flatter you and make you feel good are extremely important. If you love something – buy it! At this point in my life I have found that you have to pay a little more to get the quality of fabric that highlights and forgives at the same time. Also, I am on the hunt for attractive loungewear for when I am home. Looking like a slob all weekend is not OK (well not ALL the time), so I am shopping for clothes that look nice and are comfortable for being in the home/grocery store/running errands ect. Perception is reality!

    Meet Elizabeth! 10 Questions for a Fashionable Mom

    Meet Elizabeth! 10 Questions for a Fashionable Mom

    Q. What is your name, age and profession?
    A. My name is Elizabeth and I am 29 years old and am employed in human services and recently took on the new title of "Mom."

    Q. Is fashion important to you? If so, why? If not, why not?
    A. Fashion is important to me, although I often don’t feel that I am aware of what the current trends are (living in a small town can be to blame!) When thinking about clothing and fashion, I first focus on what makes me feel confident and good about myself.

    Q. Describe your fashion style, likes/dislikes prior to becoming pregnant.
    A. Prior to becoming pregnant I had lost about 30 pounds and was at my ideal weight for my age and height. I really enjoyed wearing form fitting clothing that would show off my figure and helped me feel confident and proud of the hard work I had put into losing weight. I really disliked wearing baggy clothes or clothes that didn’t fit me correctly.

    Q. What was your maternity style like?
    A. Being pregnant with twins it was tough to find maternity clothes that were large enough and also flattering. Near the end I relied heavily on maxi style dresses, and conveniently it was the end of the summer so it looked okay. I struggled throughout pregnancy with not feeling attractive or that I looked as cute as other pregnant women due to the size of my belly!

    Q. Since becoming a mother, how would you describe your style? Has it changed?
    My style has changed drastically as I am struggling to fit back into my pre maternity clothing. Right after giving birth I spent the majority of my time in sweatpants and pajamas. Now I am starting to be able to get back into jeans, and I really enjoy wearing leggings. I find that my body is a completely different shape so I have to think differently when trying to shop and find new ways to flatter my figure.


    Q. My favorite clothing brand or brands are:
    A. New York and Company, and I also buy a lot of clothing at consignment stores! 


    Q. Is your child/children’s fashion important to you? 
    A. I like my children to wear feminine matching outfits. I don’t like being asked if they are “boys” or  “girls” when we are out in public! Of course, it is most important that they are comfortable and warm.

    Q. Sarah doesn’t think having a baby means the end of a woman’s time as a stylish, modern woman. Do you think moms can be fashionable and practical at the same time? What are your best tips?
    A. This is something I’m still working on and exploring for myself! I think that Moms can definitely be fashionable, but that society and the clothing industry need to create more products that are geared for real mothers. I think the Sarah Wells bag does a good job with being fashionable and Mom friendly!