Inspired By A Clementine - CNY Photoshoot

January 24, 2011

Clementines BLOG IT
About two weeks ago, while walking through the grocery store I spotted clementines in the produce section. They looked and smelled so good, so I put a giant bag in my shopping cart.

The next morning, I peeled one and shared it wtih Reagan. The two of us were instantly hooked and we have been devouring them daily.

Late Saturday afternoon, Pat said he was going to do the grocery shopping (don't ya love a man who offers to do the food shopping) so I asked him to put clementines on the list.

About an hour later, Pat walked through the door with all the bags and we began to help him unpack. A few minutes into our unpacking and we turned around only to see that Reagan had made her way to the clementines. She was sitting there with the entire crate and she was trying to eat them.... peel and all!

Seeing her with those clementines made me think about Chinese New Year, which is just around the corner:)

I believe that tangerines and oranges are part of the traditional Chinese New Year celebration. I don't think clementines are, but I figured they were close enough....they are in the same fruit family.

Last year was the first time we officially celebrated. I bit the bullet and tried my hand at homemade dumplings. THEY ROCKED.... but they were a lot of work. We will be celebrating again this year, but I think we might be ordering take out. I don't know if I have it in me to cook like that again this year.

So as I began to think about what we are going to do for CNY, I remembered a few things I bought while in China.

I went into Reagan's closet and brought out a Chinese outfit to make sure it was going to fit and then it just kind of snowballed from there........

The clementines, the adorable outfit, a pair of red chopsticks, a big red bowl, my camera, and of course........sweet baby Reagan!

Together these things made for the perfect Chinese New Year Photoshoot.

Looking at Sarah up the steps BLOG IT
"Ummm... Are you going to let me eat the entire bowl?"
Freeze BLOG IT

An Orange For You2 BLOG IT
"Here Mommy, you can have one too!"

Bowl on angle 2 BLOG IT

Crossed Chopsticks BLOG IT
If the clementines were not enough to hold her interest, we added a little fun by giving her a set of chopsticks.

Look Out I have Chopsticks BLOG IT
"I've got chopsticks and I'm not afraid to use them!"
Smiling with the chopsticks BLOG IT

Tipping the bowl over BLOG IT
After a few minutes she decided to see if she could dump the bowl.

Kneeling at the bowl BLOG IT
"I have a better idea......"

Caught in midair BLOG IT
"I'm just going to throw them!"

All of this..... Inspired by a clementine~

After I downloaded these photos last night, I realized I should have pulled back and taken a shot so you could see my set up. I know when I did her 1st Birthday shoot with the cake, I had a few people ask how I accompished the look. It was done with white foam board in my foyer. I propped the front door open to let in some more natural light.

When I get back from work today I will try to recreate the set up and snap a photo so you can see how easily anyone can turn their home into a little studio.

UPDATE: I took a shot of my little makeshift studio tonight just before dinner. Of course at that hour the sunlight was not good. It was beginning to get dark, but it should give you the general idea.
The makeshift studio set up BLOG IT
Foamboard #1 has a white stool behind it to hold it in place.

Foamboards 2&3 are lying on the floor and I usually push them together so that you can't even tell there is a seem between them.

Foamboard #4 is used as a reflector to bounce the light coming in from the doorway on to the subject. I actually had to angle it in a little more than this photo shows in order to bounce the light properly. If you have a child sitting on the foamboard and you point #4 or a reflector towards them, you should see their face illuminate.

I have a round reflector that I usually use on location for shoots, but because it is round, it does not stay in place unless I have someone hold it. In this case, I opted for the foamboard since I could easily manage it and prop it without having that extra set of hands.

Hope this was helpful.
If anyone has any additional questions, let me know:)


Number 6 and no more counting! said...

wow, what a way to start of my Monday! These are just adorable Lisa! A D O R A B L E!



Love Letters To China said...

OMG...she is so precious! I love the idea of the clementines, bowl and chopsticks. They really came out great. Reagan is growing up so quickly. Love the double chin. ;-)

Looking at these makes me want to grab a clementine right now!


Courtney said...

I love this photo shoot. She is just soo precious.

DiJo said...

Fantastic Lisa!!!! I wish you were close to inspire me!!

Gung Hay Fat Choy!!


Steffie B. said...

seriously????? These are just too cute.....great creativity! I love the ones with the chopsticks too! Just darling! ;)

Have a great week...

Unknown said...

those are beautiful shots! every single one is precious and perfect!

ok what is she sitting on and is that a backdrop??? gorgeous :-)

hugs and much love!

Denise said...

Love this, I was just thinking about doing a CNY shoot with Maggie! Talk to you later~

paige said...

looking at these images of a happy little girl who obviously is transitioning well, it's hard to believe she is actually here!!
i know you must still be pinching yourself!
so happy for your happiness my friend

jennifer said...

So cute! I love the idea. When we were in China last year, they were beginning to decorate for CNY. There were trucks full of manderin trees everywhere!

Anonymous said...

Love it!!! That was a super cute photo shoot!

Formerly known as Frau said...

Perfect shots.....and so dang cute! Love them all!

Dita said...

What have you done with Baby Reagan? She is getting so BIG...I could just nosh on those little calves of hers. I can't help but smile when I see that gorgeous face!

Love the CNY shoot...beautiful outfit!!


Ani said...

Great pics! And such an adorable baby girl!

Marla said...

Hehe, I just love her expressions in these, you can totally tell she was having a blast. SO freaking cute!! Love her sweet little curled toes in that one shot too!

Freckles & Dimples Photography said...

great photos! We have been on the clementine kick in our house, too, and are totally befuddled by how some of them have seeds and some of them dont...but, they are like a burst of sweetness!
have a great week :)

3 Peanuts said...

So cute!!! These are beautiful photos. I did a clementine shot last week or the week before for my failed 365. I love the way they photograph BUT I did not have a cutie like Reagan pose with them:)

I love how when you really embrace photography your eyes see the world differently and so many things become inspiration.

Brooke said...

I was SO excited to read your last paragraph. The whole time reading this post I was thinking, "The is SOOOO cute!!! I wish I knew how she set it all up!" Haha!! Can't wait to find out!! As always, LOVE reading your blog. Happy Monday! :)

Michelle R Photography said...

These are adorable!! I love the use of the clementines in the red bowl. And Reagan looks like she is a little drummer girl - too cute! Such a great idea!

Marla said...

what a great way to start my monday! one talented mommy and one very cute Reagan!

Anonymous said...

Love these - Reagan is so adorable!

Anonymous said...

These are beautiful! Can't wait to see your set-up - thanks for sharing!

Carolin said...

these photos made my day! She is sooo cute Lisa! Love the shots!

Gail said...

Oh my gosh, these are all fabulous Lisa!!! Love how you used the clementines in these shots. And Reagan just gets prettier and prettier!

Have a wonderful week!!



Kayce said...

These are beautiful pictures Lisa!!! Love CNY and I am so looking forward to celebrating this year as I'm sure you are too!! :)

Andi said...

You are an amazing photographer..I envy you. You have inspired me to take photography classes. Would you mind sharing your dumpling recipe? I made dumplings last year for our CNY celebration, but am looking for a different one this year.

Colleen said...

Ohh Lisa I just LOVE these!!! They are amazing! Of course you have the perfect little model too!:) I am so excited about your post to come on your photo set up!

Rosie Grey said...

So beautiful - I love your photos! Isn't it great to get so much inspiration from clementines?!

Wanda said...

Fabulous!!! Giggled over your narrative and oohed and aaahed over this spectacular setting. (Which I can't wait to actually see - cause I can't figure out where you must have been standing other than out the door - the lighting is so even.)

This just makes me smile remembering last years CNY and now seeing your adorable Miss Sweet Cheeks sitting there so happy. I just love it.

Have a great week!!

Casey said...

Um, Lisa. I think you are in trouble. She looks like a serious drummer / rocker in those photos. You might need some earplugs in the future!

How CUTE! Fave is her offering you the orange. Too cute!!

Where Em was born, it is primarily a ag community who grows oranges. We are thinking about trying to get David a grant so he can do a post-doc there in the same area where she was born. Maybe when she is a little older. He works with honeybees, so it seemed fitting.... lol.

Anonymous said...

smart (and pretty) girl, nothing quite like clementines!! We devour them by the case around here!

Mei Mei s and Mayhem said...

Oh my love these!!! She is getting so chubby, love the double chin!! ha

Wonderful colors and beautiful subject. Cant wait to see a pic of the set up, was wondering the same thing!!

Do share!

Everything Beautiful Shay said...

Adorable photos! Love that you are so ahead of the ballgame with CNY pics already taken. :) LOVE her outfit. My girls have one very similar. Reagan is just so sweet!!!
Blessings and Joy!!!

Sharon said...

These turned out GREAT! I really love the ones that were taken once the chopsticks were added in.

Tara said...

What beautiful pictures! I've got to take some of Anna! Scott is going to China for work in the spring so he's got orders already to stock up on Chinese dresses! Reagan has changed since her first pictures. I love how she looks so happy. Does it still take you by surprise that she's home? Enjoy your first Chinese New Year TOGETHER! tara

Briana's Mom said...

LOVE these pictures! So festive and beautiful! We are big clementine lovers in this house.

ellieshine said...

those toes. sigh.

I love all these - and that a clementine inspired them :) the colors are so yummy. and those toes. and cheeks. sigh.

thanks for the reminder that it's time to think about CNY!

xo ellie

jade said...

Sigh indeed, you two rock, as always! If only my daughter would stay in the same spot for two seconds, I might try to set up a studio now and then, but what's the point - really... the clementines alone would not have had the same effect, now would they? (and how can you keep your front door open if you need a ski outfit to go outside?). Looking forward to the next post already!

Anonymous said...

You are so talented! When you have time, can you share how you display all your gorgeous photos? Also, do you print them and scrapbook? Thanks!

Virginia said...

I LOVE these pics of your scrumptious little Reagan. Those cheeks look so kissable. And I can almost smell those clementines.

Gin =)

Aleasing said...

....sweet baby Reagan for certain ^_^

She is going to have so much fun looking back over these moments in a few years...almost as much as Mom and Dad!!!

Beautful post.

Mimi said...

Thes are stunning, Lisa.
I gasped when I saw them.
The colours, the look on her little face, the whole thing is stunning.
My hubby does the shopping too, it's wonderful, cos I hate the supermarket!
I remember those dumplings from last year, wondered at the time how you got around to all that cooking. But the important thing is the celebrationand the spending time together, more so than what you eat. Go take-away, give yourself a break!
P.S. Clementines in Grand Marnier are a lovely (adult) dessert - ssh!

Heather said...

I just love you! I love that you share your secrets to a good photoshoot. I love that you share these happy times with your precious kiddoes...just love every single bit! Reagan is so sweet!!

Thank you for sharing.

Number 6 and no more counting! said...

I had to come back and look again! really, really, really, cute!


Anonymous said...

OMG too cute. Thanks for sharing the pix. Love all the stories

Laurie said...

Lisa, These are some of my favorite pictures of yours ever! So adorable.

Wanda said...

Thanks for the update Lisa. What a perfect little makeshift studio. (I just bought a large,round reflector for a week-end shoot I did but had to bring Dahlia with me to hold it. Foamboard does stand up by itself so much better.)

jenny said...

Great pictures!! Reagan is growing so quickly. Just a little tip, if you want more light reflected in, you can cover the foamboard in foil. A trick we used as poor college students. :) Keep up the good work!

M3 said...

Love the pics, and LOVE your shot of the setup!! Awesome.

Tiffany said...

My daughter(all my kiddos) loves clementines, we especially like the ones from Spain. I have pictures of her at 18 months on the floor with....the clementines! Love the foam board for photo shoots works great:)


Kim said...

These shots are magical!
And yes ... we are enjoying our clementines in China this time of year. Tangerines, oranges, and clementines ... we eat them all this time of year for "good luck"!
Happy CNY!
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,

Kim said...

These shots are magical!
And yes ... we are enjoying our clementines in China this time of year. Tangerines, oranges, and clementines ... we eat them all this time of year for "good luck"!
Happy CNY!
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,

snekcip said...

OH MY DARLING CLEMENTINE!!!! These are the most precious pictures!! "ORANGE" you glad that you have the most beautiful little subject to work with!! PRECIOUS! PRECIOUS! PRECIOUS!!!

snekcip said...

*came back to add* Thanks for the PHOTOSHOOT info!! I gotta head out to get some FOAM BOARDS!!!

jade said...

Dear Lisa, I do have an additional question: How do you get Reagan to sit on the foam boards for more than two pictures???

Alyson and Ford said...

Wow and Wow! Great shots, great ideas!
We have red envelopes, fortune cookies, Panda Express coupons and tangelos (that grow on our tree) to take to AA's classroom next Wednesday, so loved your photos!
Happy Chinese New Year!

Alyzabeth's Mommy

The Byrd's Nest said...

Oh my heavens...I love this child! ha ha...she must have the best personality!

I LOVE clementines....I wish they had them here in Mexico...I don't even think I have seen oranges here? Strange....

The 5 Bickies said...

Is that a double chin I see?
Gorgeous set up and photos...thanks for the info on the set up and foam boards. So interesting!

JMCS said...


These are darling! And thanks for the pullback of your set up. I just want to eat Reagan up. She is such a good little model! :)

Jenney said...

As I was reading you post I kept thinking A) SOOO cute B) how did she get that "look"?????
THANK YOU for sharing your tip...I need to budget in 4 foam boards...

Dita said...

Awesome....thanks for showing us just how you accomplished this great shoot!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update! Do you use this same set-up for Nick and Sarah too? How do you adjust for taller people? Thanks!

Buckeroomama said...

Oh my, Lisa --these are BEAUTIFUL!! Thank you for sharing with us how you did the shots. I am so inspired... and will have to try to attempt this one of these days. :)

Have fun planning for CNY! I'm busy planning a little CNY getaway, although I might have left it too last-minute... :(

Susan said...

Oh wow, this was so good. Thanks for this great idea.

I'm going to give it a try!!

Your daughter is just precious♥

Jodee said...

Adorable pictures! Reagan is just precious!

a Tonggu Momma said...

With the way little miss R is using those chopsticks, I have to ask... wanna buy our drum set? (just asking)

Inga said...

Amazing photos!!! Foam Board, who would've thought. Wow!~!!!

Stepping On Cheerios said...

Uh...FANTASTIC IDEA!!! I'm going to try this!!!

DiJo said...

Doing a little photos shoot with Sienna and Ruby today for NYC at the indoor studio I have found here. I will be thrilled if I get a couple good shots.. I love this tip! I need some Form Board!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa,
What do you use for Nick and Sarah who are much bigger? Thanks, Jen