We walked down to the studio, it was less than a half mile away. They immediately knew who we were since there aren't that many white people that show up and we had a reservation. They never even asked who we were, lol. They gave us a catalog with the different kimonos at different price points in it. Jeff and I each picked a kimono and then they showed us the options for Wren. Because she is so tiny the didn't have anything that would fit her but it seem like with the babies they put them in these rather large looking kimonos but they are actually rather small at the waist and don't wrap around that far, they are just long and have enormous sleeves.
Once the outfits were picked out, Jeff watched Wren while they got to work on me ;-). First they had me put on the equivalent of Japanese underwear, a thin white cotton robe that ties. Over top of that I put on a pink dressing gown type robe. Then then started working on my hair and makeup. One lady did my makeup at the same time another did my hair. I'm not sure how they didn't get in each others way, it was pretty impressive.
Once they had me painted and polished they got me dressed. The first step was to smoosh my chest and then pad out my middle so that I was as cylindrical as possible. An hourglass figure is not what you want in a kimono. All my efforts to loose my pregnancy weight were wasted for this outfit, haha! They literally wrapped two hand towels around my waist to make me more columnar. Once I was all padded up they put on the under kimono. This has a fancy collar that is visible. On top of that went strip of cloth that looks like 3 other under kimonos but is just 2 inches of layered cloth. The kimono goes on top of that. The length is one size fits most. They adjust the kimono so that the bottom is the correct length and put a tie around the waist. They then arrange everything so that it is smooth, add a few more ties and then the obi (the wide belt). They used a really fancy tie to that there were 3 parts to it and the whole thing went around me a couple times. The whole process is really quite impressive.
Once I was all dressed, it was Jeff's turn and I watched Wren. They gave him a special t-shirt to wear and then some padding over his chest and stomach. On top of that went an under kimono, a kimono-like robe with an obi and a skirt-like thing that went over the kimono. A second robe went on top (that reminded me of a graduation gown) and it had a fancy chain that went across and connected the two sides. We both had tabi socks and sandals to wear.
Once he was dressed we got Wren dressed up and they started taking pictures. They did a really good job of trying to get her to look at the camera. It's so hard with such a young baby, she isn't even 7 weeks yet. They took a couple pictures of us outside, and then inside with two backgrounds. The strange one was they had me sit on a stool, they clothes pinned the kimono so that it looked perfect and then they put this big cushion on my lap and tied it behind me. They then put a little chair on the cushion and put Wren in the chair and had me hold her head up. They took the kimono that she was wearing earlier and then tied the whole thing around me and her so that it was up under her chin. I couldn't move at all. It was a strange way to do things but it didn't look bad when we saw the pictures. Still not my favorite.
Once we were done with all the pictures we expected to take, they asked if they could take some of just Wren. We couldn't really argue with that. They put her in two different outfits. One was a little fairy dress with wings and the other was a little dinosaur type outfit which was a hood and diaper cover that were green with colored spines. It was adorable.
After all the photos were done we got back in our regular clothes. I counted 27 pieces of clothing as they were helping me undress but it's possible there was more since they took it all apart so quickly. It was a rather impressive pile when they were done.
We then got to look at all of the photos. Our original plan of just getting one was quickly tossed as they really turned out cute and the ones of just Wren were fantastic. The photo studio asked if they could use the photos of Wren in the studio (they had pictures of other kids hanging up, too) Jeff and I said that was fine. I don't think they get that many blue eyed cuties so I think for them it was a bonus to get to use the photos.
All in all, it was a fun time and the pictures turned out great. Wren was a really good sport about the whole thing. She has been super tolerant of the goofy things we have asked her to put up with. We pick up the professional photos in 2 weeks and we also get a digital copy so I will post them once I get them. In the mean time, I hope you enjoy these lesser quality photos that Jeff and I took.
|Jeff and Wren, so Cute!!!|
|Me and my little girl|
|I was talking to Wren in this one and Jeff caught me|
|Wren in the little monster costume|
|Almost a smile...|
|She kept getting lost in her hood and like checking out the inside of it, it was really cute|
|The ladies taking photos of Wren, it took a lot of people to keep her happy and looking the right direction. They had far better luck than I did when taking passport photos, haha!|
|Hmmm... This one is out of order but too sleepy to fix it. This is the full view of Jeff's outfit. It was pretty classy.|
|They had a little mini-crib on wheels that was super handy for having a place for Wren to hang out and for getting her clothes and diaper changed. They also had a ton of fluffy little girl dresses. You can see some of them behind Jeff.|