Flower Girl Inspiration for the Modern Bride

One of the things we love most about photographing kids is that they love anything creative and fun. We get the freedom to push the limits with hair, wardrobe and styling and they love every minute of it. When Monbebe Couture asked us to do a flower girl inspired shoot, we knew that we wanted to push the limits and “re-imagine” the flower girl. We know that it’s technically the bride’s big day, but what better way to build up the anticipation for the bride than with an adorably fly flower girl walking down the aisle? We’ve pulled together some of our favorite ideas to incorporate for your flower girl on your wedding day.

Get creative with props
Mix it up!  Think outside the traditional flower girl basket and try unique props such as confetti, flower adorned balloons, or even floral rings. The sky is the limit and here (bonus – it’s one less thing for the flower girl to have to remember to do!) 

Add flair to the hair
Kids love fun/cool hairstyles so don’t be afraid to add beautiful florals to hair (and even skin) in a creative way.  You can add floral stems to hair for a floral puff or bun or even have your makeup artist use a little eyelash adhesive to attach flowers or jewels to skin.  The options here are limitless!

Incorporate fun shades
We all love a good photo op and it should be no different for the flower girl.  Instead of those silly photo booth props, try creating some glammed up couture sunglasses using florals or jewels to kick it up a notch.

Crown Her
If you decide to ditch the flower basket all together, props such as beautiful crowns are an inexpensive alternative.  Remind the flower girl that she is queen in the making.

We hope that these ideas inspire you to get creative while planning out your flower girl look and allow your little cutie to shine with you on your big day!

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Parents book shoots with us for a variety of reasons – some are in need of updates for their child’s modeling portfolio, but we now get tons of parents who just love the artistic photos and want their child to see themselves in a different light.  Anya and her parents moved to Germany from the US a few years ago.  Since then, Anya has struggled with embracing her natural curls since there is not much in terms of representation and diversity in her new neighborhood and school.  Anya’s mom says, “We decided to book the shoot with CreativeSoul because of their message to our young girls.  The message that you are beautiful, fierce, confident and everything in between with your big hair.  These photos embraced everything about what we are trying to teach our young girls.”

They decided to travel from Germany to Paris to experience our AfroArt sessions.  When we found out that they were traveling in, we invited them to participate in the Natural Hair Academy event that we were attending the same weekend in Paris.  We knew that it would be a great experience for both Anya and her mom to not only see positive diverse images, but to also learn to learn of various ways to deal, comb, cut and style her hair.  “She was in awe of how many girls/women looked liked her.  She experienced beauty on a variety of levels that she had never felt before.  She made so many friends that we’ve actually kept in touch with!  One her absolute favorite moments was meeting the book author and learning the story of how the author had to learn how to like her hair.  Anya was once again in awe, that she knew someone like her.”

We are proud to see how the “village” came together in Paris to help this young girl embrace her curls and culture.  Check out the video below for a recap of Anya’s experience at NHA and our AfroArt session in Paris.


 

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NYC Recap with Taj Mirage

We are so used to being behind the cameras that it is rare that we have a great peek into the behind the scenes process of our shoots.  We were thrilled to see these beautiful behind the scenes photos captured by photographer Cris Sanchez at our recent NYC sessions.  We had the opportunity to join creative forces with the talented Taj Mirage and Natural Hollywood to make magic in the big  apple.  We’ll let the photos do the talking so check out the magic below.  BTW – we’re dropping new travel dates soon so be sure you’re on our mailing list if you want to catch us when we come to your city. 

Finally, here are some of the final photos captured in NYC.  <3

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The Kids of Whokanda

“Maybe Christmas means a little bit more..” 

We’re often asked where we find inspiration in our photos – and the answer is everywhere!  We find inspiration from everything around us from movies to fashion to music.  For years, we’ve been wanting to put our own spin on one of my favorite Christmas movies of all time – The Grinch!  We’ve always been intrigued by the hairstyles and fashion of the people of Whoville – the whimsical, animal-like creatures who live in pumpkin-shaped houses, known for their warm hearts and welcoming spirits.

Along with our resident froslayer, LaChanda Gatson we decided to reimagine what Whoville would look like in our own little world of WhoKanda.  In comes Zion Lou Who, Maya Who and Naomi Who  to spread a little bit of Christmas cheer.  Edges laid, fros slayed, and little bit of #blackgirlmagic describes he kids of WhoKanda who are just out here trying to live their best lives.  Enjoy some of our favorite pics below.

 

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Jakayla and Layla

 

 

 

JaKayla and Layla are the daughters of very dear friends from our days in the Pacific Northwest.  Our friend had been wanting to do an AfroArt style session for years, so we were so happy to finally meet her girls and make it happen.  The girls had been learning Mandarin from a very young age and recently took their first trip to China.  They wanted to incorporate Chinese culture into their AfroArt session. The girls both enjoyed their time on set and even came up with a few ideas of their own by the end of the shoot.  Check out our interview with Layla and JaKayla below.

Questions-  

 What challenges did you encounter when learning the Chinese language? 

JaKayla: “I had a problem with the tones, but got better in 3rd grade.”

Layla: “I struggled with the tone and got better half way through 3rd grade.”

What is your favourite element of the Chinese culture? 

JaKayla:”I ‘loves the seafood on a stick, such as squid. I first tried it at a street market in Tianjin, China.”

Layla: “My favourite elements are the legends like Confucius” Confucius was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician and philosopher.  His teachings, preserved in the Analects, focused on creating ethical models of family and public interaction and setting educational standards.

 

What was your most enjoyable part of the Chinese culture?

JaKayla: “I love the Chinese art in the temples. We visited the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, and the Lama Temple.”

Layla: “Visiting the Great Wall of China. It was very long and you get a great workout.”

 

 

How do you feel embracing your natural hair, did you feel empowered? 

JaKayla: “People always comment that they have to pay to get hair like mine and I don’t. *said with a big smile* I don’t like to get my hair combed, so my favorite style is in one ponytail, pulled back out of my face, and flowy.”

Layla: “I love the different shades of my hair color and that I look different from everyone else.”

 

How was your experience doing a professional photo shoot?  

 

JaKayla: “My favorite part of the photo shoot was coming up with ideas for the photos (like using the fan over my face)”

Layla: “It was awesome. I enjoyed having my hair down, putting on earrings, and getting dressed up. I would like to model for fun.”

 

Despite not having much experience in a professional modelling environment both girls came out of their shells and allowed us to create stunning images which evoked the Chinese culture as well as their own personalities.  The images turned out amazing and we can’t wait to see them up on the walls of their home.

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So for those of you wondering where in the world we are now, we are currently wrapping up our week long tour of Kenya for our upcoming AfroArt book. I must admit, this book is turning out to be pretty epic and we cannot WAIT to see it all together. We kicked things off in Europe and are now taking it to the motherland with a visit to Kenya, South Africa and Ghana. We were very lucky during our Kenya stay to have been hosted by an amazing travel agency, Bountiful Safaris. If you’re one of those millennial do-it-yourself travelers like me you’re probably used to the AirBNB/Uber/Taxi life when traveling. I typically find that travel agencies are a bit too cumbersome, pricey and not flexible enough for our needs. So I was thrilled to find that we were able to get amazing travel deals and the flexibility we needed through Bountiful Safaris. Their staff is amazing and were so accommodating to our needs. Here’s a quick recap of our Kenya tour…

After a (long) 20 hour flight, we arrived late in the evening and made a quick late night pizza run.  Our visit was in Kenya’s winter so the weather was typically in the low 70s each day and low 60s in the evening. Coming from the south, this weather was great for us, but our Kenyan friends considered this blizzard weather! ha!  Our friends were also not amused by our pizza choice, but it was actually great to us, lol!  What more can you expect from a midnight pizza run? 🙂

We arrived at our hotel, the Azure Towers and were thrilled by our accommodations.  The hotel had a nice restaurant, a free full buffet breakfast, lounge area, pool and more.  We found that it had everything we needed and more (including little details like a universal outlet which made life a little easier.

Before even visiting Kenya, I knew that my very first stop needed to be one of the Maasai markets.  Saying I was in heaven would be an understatement! There were so many amazing jewelry pieces, clothing and crafts that I had to restrain myself to not take everything there.

The next day we met with our amazing team here in Kenya to get ready for our big production for our AfroArt book.  We can’t give away too many details but all I can say is that the shoot was indeed epic.

Who else gets to hang out with cows for their day job?  🙂

After the pressure of our main shoot was over, we decided to do a little safari exploration and shoot to see the other side of Kenya.  Our little models were so happy to see the animals and for the safari tour. Do you guys remember Maya from our AfroArt series?  The last time we photographed her, she was visiting LA but this time we got to photograph her in her own home town along with her BFF Hazel.

Bountiful Safaris arranged for a driver to pick us up and take us around to Nairobi National Park and the Giraffe Center in Nairobi.  He was very knowledgeable and patient enough to allow us to shoot along the way.

I will admit, I’m usually not a safari type of girl, but after doing one I can’t go back to seeing animals “behind bars” at the zoo.  Seeing them in their natural environment is SO much more exciting and amazing.

Afterwards, the girls literally twirled around Kenya in their beautiful custom made dresses by Alexandria Olivia.  These two were showstoppers everywhere we went.

Our very first trip to Kenya was everything we had hoped and more.  We are already trying to figure out our return plans so that we can visit again soon.  For my friends in the US – yes, Kenya=Wakanda.  😉

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This past weekend we had a fabulous time in NYC.  We were there for what was mostly a personal visit with my niece but took the opportunity to get in a few shoots while we were there.  Several clients signed up for our popular AfroArt sessions and were able to experience the fun first hand.  This time we fused two different themes (pop art and colorful tribal) into one fun day of creative goodness.  See some of our favorites below.  These CreativeSoul kids are seriously stying and profiling!  Love them!

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Diamonds

They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, so what better than a Diamond themed editorial? Nothing!  Khynija and her mom traveled all the way from Florida for her big moment in the spotlight.  They wanted something unique for this teen’s portfolio that would stand out from the crowd.  We decided on a diamond theme because of it’s many meanings – we love the fact that they take time to grow and develop until they become a beautiful diamond loved by many.  We felt that this was the perfect theme for Khynija as she develops into womanhood.  We are in LOVE w/the images captured during her session.  Check them out below.

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Sketched Editorial

Doodle-bombing anyone?!  We’ve always loved the style of doodle-bombing where you overlay doodles on an existing image.  Jada is a fabulous little model out of NY who wanted some creative style images to add to her portfolio.  We came up with a quirky doodle-bomb theme and were thrilled with the results.  See more over on the Junior Style London blog here.

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Afro Art: London

It’s been almost 2 years since we’ve been back to London and we were SO excited to return again. As we did in 2016, London was the first stop on our international AfroArt tour. We were able to capture so many fantastic images for the amazing little models there.  Check out a few of our favorite images below.

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