Casual or Dressy?

November 13, 2008

Help!!! I need the opinions of my blogger friends!!

I thought I was so ahead of the was all planned out....we were going to take a family photo on the beaches of Cape Cod during our summer vacation. I was shopping the week before our trip and found a cute navy and white dress for soon as I had it in my hand I knew it would be the perfect dress for the photo. All I would need to do is pack jeans and white or navy tops for the rest of us.

Well, day one of our trip, Sarah took a tumble down the stairs of the back deck and ended up with a big brush burn on her we figured we would wait until the end of the week in hopes that her face would heal. Thank goodness for the ocean air, because in three days, you could barely see the mark.

The very last night of our trip, the entire "Gaelic" side of the family headed down to the beach......I know this sounds like an easy task, but it was not. I think in total there were about 19 of us and we were trying to get photos of each individual family as well as a large group shot. We ended up playing beat the clock....the sun was setting and there were dark rain clouds moving in. We took as many pictures as we could as fast as we could........
Needless to say......I took one look at the pics and said NO WAY, PLAN B!

My dreams of having many months to write out and plan the perfect, pretty family Christmas card were not going to come true.

So here it is the second week of Novemeber and I still do not have the picture I want to use for our Christmas Cards....and time is running out. At this point, I have nixed the family picture idea and decided it will just be the kids this year.

I am pretty sure that you all have noticed that photography has become a passion/obsession of mine, so I wanted this years picture to be extra special....last year we went to a studio and had someone else take the picture....this year, I want to take the picture of the kids.

Because the weather is not the best this time of year, I was comtemplating indoors or outdoors......and after last Friday's pictures in the park.....I have definitely decided it will be an outdoor picture.....I have two different locations in mind.

This brings me to the last decision or dilemma.....Dressy or Casual???

I have gone back and forth over this....I love to see the little girls in their fancy little dresses, but there is part of me that wants this pic to be very casual....almost natural kind of shot....but still celebrating the Christmas/Winter spirit. I do have a fancy Christmas dress for Sarah that could be used for the photo, but I really wanted to save it for Christamas Eve.

Today my lunchtime mission was to find a coordinating casual look for both Nick and Sarah, keeping in mind that it was going to be done outside and it will probably be cold.......this is what I found.......
I fell in love with this little outfit for Sarah......It is hard to see in the picture but that little plaid shirt is a satin material with black velvet trim...the jeans....don't even get me started on the jeans....if they had them in my size I would wear them......and the shoes are red and sprarkly........Nick will be wearing the red sweater with a shirt underneath.....I am sure I will find something to match if I dig around in his closet!

So the final question....Do I use this outfit and go with the casual Christmas look.....or fancy it up?????

Photoshoot is Sunday!!!

PS...It is friends and family at G@p, Old N@vy, and B@nana Republ!c......that means 30% off until Sunday.....just thought you might want to know:)


Polar Bear said...

I am ALL about casual!!

Love, Love, LOVE the outfit you found for Sarah!! I think both of them will look adorable -sorry Nick will look very handsome- I heard my 13 year old nephew saying boys don't look adorable. :o)

Casual is my vote!!!

a Tonggu Momma said...

My humble opinion is that children should look comfortable in photos, especially holiday photos. So dress your children in whatever feels comfortable to them. If that is casual, or dressy casual (as a compromise between siblings), then go for it!

I plan to always have casual photo shoots, but the diva... I mean the Tongginator... may one day put her foot down and demand dressy.

Kathryn said...

Those outfits are just adorable. I love casual, I'm all about the casual look!!!!!!!!!!!!

(As you can tell I'm tired of blogging about the adoption, need to regroup. I resigned from my job and took the other one, I think this was a good decision!! I'll focus on that for a while now.)

Jboo said...

Looks great -- I love the casual look! Cute outfits! I am sure they will look adorable! Good Luck!


Shelly and Family said...

Oh Lisa...I so know what you are going through...we are in the SAME SITUATION (doesn't look like we'll get that family photo done either....again only the kiddos this year). I so love the outfits you have purchased today. I think you should just use what you have. I think too much is over-kill...and Sarah's outfit is adorable and I know Nick is going to look so handsome in the red...

Can't wait to see the finished product (sorry I didn't get a chance to talk to you today...Annabelle has had a fever of 101 or higher all day long...and now I am feeling the "funk" too)

Kim said...

I say go casual...LOVE those outfits..
Have a Great Time..
Can't wait to see the pictures..
We still haven't done ours either..
We always do our pictures..but havent' figured out where ...
Hugs girly..

Football and Fried Rice said...

I LOVE these 2 outfits - gorgeous! This IS dressed up to me :)

Kayce said...

I too am all about the casual. I love the white t's and jeans on the beach. The outfit you picked out for Sarah is so cute, both the kids will look great in the picture.

I can't wait to see the picture you choose, I'm sure it will be beautiful!

Tonya said...

I'm LOVING the casual look too! Sarah's outfit is just PRECIOUS! (I have SO MUCH FUN dressing up my little niece!) =-)

Oh, the beach photo is GREAT too. We also set out to do beach pics this summer when we went down, but the ONE afternoon I tried to do it, a storm blew up. I did get a couple of good ones, so I couldn't complain. =-)

Have a GREAT weekend!

fleur de lis cottage said...

Love what you found on your lunchtime mission. I would go with those outfits...too cute!

Michelle R Photography said...

Oh, I LOVE these outfits. If it's outdoors, I definately vote for this one!

I can't wait to see your final pick!

Shell in your Pocket said...

I love to do something new each year..that outfit is just adorable and fun!! Go for pretty and sassy!
-sandy toes

ZONE F DG TEAM said...

CASUAL all the way!!!

I hate formal shots. They remind me of mannequins in a store window.

"Hello... It's Me Again..." said...

Red is my favorite color so I really love these outfits! If you find the jeans in momma-size, let me know where!!! :0

Kam said...

Lisa~GO CASUAL!!! Love the outfits! They will be spectacular! I can't wait to see what shots you come up with! They will no doubt be beautiful! Have a fabulous Friday!

Briana's Mom said...

Oh my gosh! You HAVE to use those outfits! They are adorable!!!

I am totally freaking about Christmas cards too. I have no pictures of Briana yet. I have to get on it!!!!

Sherri said...

Sarah's outfit is adorable! I think the card will be perfect in the outfits you chose.
I can imagine by her smile, Sarah saying "cheeeeese" in the picture at the beach....You have a gorgeous family.

Aspiemom said...


Anonymous said...

I vote casual!!!

Kate said...

Hey Lisa!!!

The settings...are THEY casual or dressy??? THe clothes can definitely help set the tone...but you could certainly go dressy in a cas setting or vice versa....just something to think about!

The outfits are tres groovy!! :-)

Can't wait to see the finished product!

Jennifer said...

Love the Holiday casual picture idea! I got Katie the dress at Gap that looks just like that shirt for Christmas. We are planning on doing a photo shoot this weekend too. I am hoping for nice weather. If I don't get any pictures I like then I will use one I already have.


Anonymous said...

Oh Lisa, I love, love the outfits that you have picked out. I absolutely love casual pictures. I think they will turn out wonderfully. We have done both, casual and dressy Christmas pictures in the past. I always seem to really like the casual ones better.


Shari said...

OMG that outfit is to die for.
Totally go casual. I was going to say put Sarah in the dress you had her in last week and Nick in a brown sweater.

We have our Gap 30% off coupons and were planning to go to the Outlet Mall on Saturday, but we're supposed to have 50 mile an hour winds...we may have to rethink that trip.

Jodee said...

I, too, vote for casual. I love, love, love the GAP outfits. They are both festive and perfect for pictures!

I hope you have a fun photo shoot!

Gail said...

Casual....they will look amazing in these outfits. I'm sure it will all go very well!!!

Missy said...

Casual, just because I LOVE the outfits you chose! I love the jeans...too stinkin' cute!

I always try and have a thematic picture...I am cheesy that way, and this year is no exception. Every year our friends look forward to the new theme from the Lemleys : )

I can't wait to see your final product! Don't forget to send me your snail mail address! : )

Marla said...

OMG, those jeans freaking ROCK! Definitely go casual, I think we're doing the same, last week was F&F at Gymbo and I went nuts!

Can't wait to see the pics, I'm sure they'll be gorgeous!

day by day said...

I say casual, too. These outfits are perfect for outside photos! I hope the weather is cooperative for you on Sunday!!! Good luck with the photoshoot.....I know they can be a little stressful sometimes...

Have a great night!

Jennifer said...

I LOVE the outfits! They are just perfect!
I always vote casual/comfort, my boys always seem more comfortable that way.
Good luck, cannot wait to see the final product :)


Heather said...

I could have written this post. I hear you and I feel your pain and I am terrified that my perfect picture will not happen. I do have a back up picture from the beach, that I like, but I have always wanted some semblance of red, black or green in the Christmas pictures. We shall see:)

I love the outfits you chose - I am a GAP junkie and love that coordinating is made really easy there - our kids may be dressed similarly!

I wish you well for Sunday!!


Kerry said...

Lisa- great choices. The Gap has some great outfits right now. I too made some purchases there this week! The kids are going to look adorable!

I do like a formal Christmas photo for the house- but usually go with a festive but casual shot for my cards.

Good luck and hope all goes well this weekend.

Naturally Caffeinated Family said...

Those outfits you picked out are ADORABLE! They will look cute no matter what you put them in! I love those cute outfits though :) and thank you so much for you sweet comment today!!

Steve and Kailee said...

I think the casual look is the way to go. I love the outfits. They look awesome.

Robin said...

I love it and you could do a card and use two pictures. We had four different shots on ours last year that really captured the sprit of it all.

We will use more than one this year too!!


Jo said...

I think I may be odd man out on this one ~ I'm more of a traditional dressy Christmas person. I love the outfits you have picked out (and would keep them for another event), they are very cute.


Keisha said...

Ohhhh, I love what you found. Go with it girl!!
Can't wait to see the pics!! cuz, you got skillz!

Amy said...

I'm a casual girl! I love the everyday look of families on Christmas cards. It feels like a little peek into their every day lives, versus a more "formal" photo.

But, please let me say, your family will look beautiful whether casual or dressy.

God Bless,

Laura said...

I'm ALWAYS a casual girl but at Christmas time, I like the fancy look. I know that whatever you choose, it will be beautiful, adorable and handsome. Can't wait to see the finished product!!!!!!!!!

Aspiemom said...

Off subject, but why aren't you a participator on the Mamarazzi site? I would think you would be. Or are you and I missed it?

Yoli said...

Girl you have great taste. Those photos are going to be gorgeous! Came by your blog via Danielle's site.

I love the red shoes!

Dawn said...

LOVE the casual...I am all about jeans. Lucy just might be getting those same cute! Have a great weekend, and good luck with the photo session. I better get busy and get my Christmas pic figured out too!

mommy2davin said...

I love that outfit.
I also do not have a picture for the Christmas card.
My husband never wants to take family pics so it will just be my boy...and maybe dog.
I have got to get moving!

CC said...

We always do casual because (cough cough) that's all we've got!

I cannot for the life of me find clothes that coordinate for our kids. Especially since I don't buy kids clothes (just get hand me downs). It gets frustrating!

M,R,J1,J2 said...

I vote for casual/relaxed type photos-if you know what I mean. Very nice outfits (I know boys don't wear outfits, my bad).
Enjoy your weekend. We're still in shorts/t-shirts. IMO, it's too hot for mid-November.

Sit A Spell said...

Casual for certain! I love those jeans and would sooo wear them, if I could, that is. :)
Our Chistmas pictures were taken outdoors this year in casual attire.

Belinda said...


Oah what super fantastic jeans you found for Sarah.. so cute! I say go for the casual. The outfits you found are so cute and will be darling on both kids!

Special K said...

Love that outfit for Sarah. I think the pics will be absolutely adorable no matter what. But I think the kids will look more natural if they're comfortable. So I say go with this. It looks very holiday-ish.

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

Casual!!! I ADORE those little outfits for the kids. It has to be casual. Plus, think about how much easier it will be to get photos of the kids if you are not worried about Sarah's dress and Nick's slacks and all that can just capture them being kids. I love the idea! Good luck! :)

jennifer said...

I love the outfits!! Definitely casual!! Less to argue with the kids about:)

Thanks for the heads up, I'm going shopping right now;)

Lori said...

Oh good luck with your picture! I love the little casual outfit you found, it's adorable! We still haven't even done our picture, so I think we're in trouble this year...I just can't seem to get motivated. :)
I think we're going dressy this year just because we did the beach thing last year. :) Good luck, I'm sure it will be gorgeous!!
Your new header is beautiful, love it!!

Ivy Shaffer said...

Hi Lisa,
I love that photo on the beach...nothing like the reminders of a warm summer during the cold winter to make one feel warm hearted! Does that make sense!

Your photos of the family are beautiful. Just like me, your too critical. I would take that first pic in a minute! Very pretty. Casual, seems comfortable. I was thinking of a family pic with Elmo and Bigbird!


Those piggies on Kira are just too funny! Thanks for being so sweet.

Steffie B. said...

I think these outfits are darling....go for it! ;)