ERIN MCBRINE PHOTOGRAPHY
MASSACHUSETTS FAMILY & WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
DIY RUSTIC CARROT PHOTO PROP HOME DECOR PIECE
Welcome back to the blog peeps! Today’s blog is going to focus on a fun diy project. If you love crafting keep on reading. If you know me you know that I love crafting and doing diy projects! Most of the time it's cheaper for me to make a prop myself rather than go out and buy it especially when I can get my materials from none other than Dollar Tree!
Almost all materials used in this project were purchased at Dollar Tree! I did use greenery that I already had at home but you can absolutely find various types of greenery in the floral/craft section of your local Dollar Tree. These adorable rustic carrots can be used as a prop for photography or for decor in your home or office. Below is a list of items you will need to do this project.
STEP 1: PREPARE YOUR FLORAL FOAM
If you can find a larger block of foam to use for this project I would highly recommend it. It will make this process A LOT easier. My Dollar Tree only had the smaller blocks of foam and so that is what I got! If you have a larger block of foam you can skip ahead to step 2. First, I started by gluing together the individual sections of foam to make 3 cohesive blocks. Each package had 4 pieces of floral foam. I knew that I wanted 3 different sizes of carrots so I used 5 blocks of foam on the largest carrot, 4 blocks of foam on the medium sized carrot and 3 blocks of foam for the smallest carrot. You can make any size carrot you would like. Mine ended up being 8 inches, 6.5 inches and 5 inches without the stem. If you are gluing make sure it dries completely before moving onto the next step.
STEP 2: CUT YOUR FOAM
I started by first marking the middle point of the bottom of the foam block. This will end up being your pointed end of our carrot. Next, you want to draw a carrot shape onto the foam on parallel sides with the pointed end directed toward the same end you made the middle point on. This will give you a general guide as to where you need to cut. I cut a pattern on a piece of paper to make sure they were the same on both sides but you can wing it if you are comfortable. I knew that I wanted my carrots to be oversized and chunky so I chose to draw an exaggerated shape. Next, you want to grab your utility knife and start chipping away. I cut my foam over a large tupperware container to catch all of the cuttings. I started at the corners first. I recommend making smaller cuts because you can always make your carrot shape smaller but it's harder to fix if you take off too much. Try to get it as smooth as you can but it doesn't need to be perfect. You want to do this very carefully. Watch your fingers and cut away from your body. I did also wear a mask because the debris from the floral foam cuts can be very fine and I didn't want to breathe it in.
STEP 3: ATTACH YOUR GREENERY
Next, I attached my greenery. The greenery I used was wired so all I did was stick the wire end into the rounded top part of the foam carrot form and secured it with a little hot glue. If the greenery you use does not have a wire, you can simply take a tool like a wood skewer, pencil or screw driver and make a channel for the stem to sit in and secure it with some hot glue.
STEP 4: WRAP YOUR FOAM CARROT FORM IN JUTE CORD
After you have attached your greenery it's time to start wrapping! Take the end of your jute cord and secure it with some hot glue at the top of your carrot. I wrapped it around my stem first but you can certainly start at the pointed end. Then you want to work your way down the rest of the carrot by placing some hot glue and then wrap the jute cord around and around your carrot form. You don't need to wrap the cord perfectly and don't worry if you have some hot glue that bubbles out between your wrapped cord. I wouldn't leave large gaps in between wraps but it's not a big deal if you can see some of the foam through your wrapped cord since you will be painting it anyway. Once you make your way all the way to the opposite end of the carrot you can cut your jute cord and secure your end with some more hot glue.
STEP 5: PAINT YOUR CARROT
Simple as that. Take your paint and your paint brush and brush on the paint all over your wrapped carrot. You will want to use a pretty thick coat as the jute cord can absorb the paint. I wanted the rustic look so I only did one thick coat of paint so that some of the jute cord color would pop through. If you want a more solid orange color you can do multiple coats of paint. If you want a lighter shade of orange you can mix in some white paint until you have your desired shade. If you want your orange to be darker you can do the same thing with black. If you don’t have orange paint or can't find it at the store you can simply mix red and yellow together to get an orange color.
And there you have it! An adorable piece of Easter decor! You can add any kind of finishing touch you would like. You can leave it as a bare carrot or dress it up with a bow. I finished my carrot by tying a few strands of the jute cord into a bow. I plan on using these carrots in my upcoming spring mini sessions along with a little furry friend! This year's spring mini sessions will feature an adorable bunny provided by my friends at Channell Homestead here in Hanson, Ma.
I hope that you enjoyed this diy blog and even had a little fun! I Look forward to sharing many more diys with you in 2021.
MASSACHUSETTS FAMILY & WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR FOR MY PORTRAIT SESSION?
Hey there folks! I hope you are all enjoying your February and had a love filled Valentine’s Day. Whether it be love from your partner, your kids, family members, your pets or just by loving yourself. February has always been the month when I start to get a little bit busier after a quiet post holiday January break. This is the time that all sessions start to book up for the coming year. It's a great idea to book your session earlier rather than later since it gives you ample time to plan and to ask any questions you may have. One of the most common questions I get is “What should I wear?”. Which is a really great question since your wardrobe plays such a huge part in the look and feel of your photos. Here I would like to share some DO’S AND DONT’S as well as some tips as to what you should wear for your portrait session.
DO wear solid colors. Muted colors are best. Think muted gem tones, earthy tones, white, beige, soft blues and soft pinks. I would stay away from anything fluorescent or bright. Also keep in mind that darker colors tend to slim while lighter colors tend to add a sense of lightness. It's also a great idea to make sure that you and anyone else in your photos are coordinating colors. You don't need to all wear the same outfit but it's a great idea to wear colors that compliment each other.
DO stay away from busy prints and patterns as they can be distracting. Simple patterns or plaid are certainly ok but the aim is to keep the focus on your face. We don’t want a complicated and loud pattern taking away from the true beauty of your expressions and character of your face. Also solid colors make the editing process much easier!
DO wear something comfortable and easy to move in. You want to wear something that is great for sitting or standing. When wearing dresses, it's better to wear a dress that is below your knee or full length so that when you sit there is no problem keeping you covered. For younger children short dresses are certainly easier for them to move around in. So, in that case I will always recommend some bloomers or diaper cover. Other pieces of clothing shouldn’t be too large or too tight. Wearing something that compliments your shape no matter your size is always going to make your images look their best. If you look good you will feel good!
DON’T dress too casual. It is important to dress comfortably but not TOO comfortably. I know we are all so used to wearing our quarantine sweatpants and hoodies these days but it’s a good idea to leave those for lounging on the couch. Some other items I would suggest leaving out of your photoshoot wardrobe would be: Anything with a logo or large lettering, baseball hats, sunglasses, or anything with a character or cartoon on it.
DON’T over accessorize. The more accessories you have on, the more they will need to be adjusted with every movement. If it is your strong will to wear a lot of accessories I will certainly not stop you. Just keep in mind their position may need to be adjusted when your pose changes. It’s best to stick with one or two accessories or no-fuss elements to your wardrobe. Below is a great example of how to accessorize in an effective way.
DO spend time on your hair (and make up if you wear any). You don’t need to go out to a salon and get prom hair and make-up done but I wouldn't show up with a messy bun either. The more thought and effort you put into your hair and make-up, the more it will show in your images. If you like the way your hair looks with a soft beachy wave. Do that. If a straight look frames your face just right. Go with straight hair. Shorter hair cuts should be well coiffed. A comb and a little hair product can go a long way. For Make-up, a more natural look is best.
DO be mindful of what is in your pockets. The most frustrating thing to see in a beautiful portrait is the dreaded cell phone popping out of your pocket or making a cell phone shape on your pant covered leg stand out.
worry about your shoes. If you don't like the look of your shoes or they don't match your general look- just take them off!
One thing to never forget is that I also have a select wardrobe for you to choose from. In the studio wardrobe I have a selection of gowns/dresses for Maternity clients. These dresses are very forgiving size wise, solid color, simple and very easy to put on and take off. I have a wide variety of newborn outfits, stretch wraps, hats and headbands for newborns and babies. I do have a small selection of outfits for younger children as well. The studio wardrobe keeps growing every year. I hope to have a larger variety of pieces for adults and older children in the future.
I hope that this list has helped you in your wardrobe choices! It can be a daunting task to figure out a wardrobe for yourself and your family but the best rule of thumb is to keep it simple, comfortable and something you feel great in! What is your favorite thing to wear for our portrait sessions?
ERIN MCBRINE PHOTOGRAPHY
MASSACHUSETTS FAMILY & WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION
Welcome back to the blog! The 2021 outdoor portraiture season will be here before we know it! Once all this snow clears the grass will be back, the trees will be full and flowers will be abloom. Here are some tips on what you and your family should do to prepare for your upcoming session!
DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS
Don't be afraid to ask questions before your session. I promise I don't bite! Chances are if you have a specific question, somebody else has had the same question and I have answered it. I am here to make sure that you and your family have the most comfortable and enjoyable family portrait experience possible.
THINK ABOUT YOUR WARDROBE
I will dig into this topic a little bit deeper in my next blog but it is important to put some thought into you and your family's wardrobe. You want to make sure that you and your family are dressed comfortably yet confidently. You want to wear something that makes you feel good with colors that either coordinate or compliment each other. It's also a good idea to bring along a brush/comb or hairspray (if you use it). Just in case your hair gets a mind of its own, we can tame it back into place.
LOOK AT THE WEATHER
Pay attention to the weather if you are scheduled for an outdoor session. I obsessively watch the weather during outdoor portraiture season but it's always a good idea to reach out with any concerns you may have regarding the weather. When weather is concerned the only times I will reschedule a session are if it is down pouring rain, thunder & lightning or if its dangerously hot to be outside for an extended period of time and of course blizzard or hurricane conditions. A slightly overcast day is the best lighting conditions for my style of portraiture.
TRY YOUR BEST TO BE ON TIME
I completely understand that things happen. Especially for those with young children, it can be so difficult to get out the door in one piece never mind on time. Coming from a former chronic late comer, you will feel so much more relaxed if you leave your house even 5 to 10 minutes early. If you are super stressed it will show in your pictures and we definitely don't want that. If something beyond your control happens that is going to make you a little bit late just simply give me a call.
RESEARCH YOUR LOCATION
Chances are you have either picked your own location or I have recommended one to you. If you are unfamiliar with the location of your family portrait session it is important to either do some research or ask questions. I like to give a brief overview of parking and the general aesthetic of the location when confirming with you prior to the session. But there may be details that I may assume you know, so it's always a good idea to ask any question you may have. If we are headed to a location that we are both unfamiliar with, I will more than likely stop by to check it out before your session or do my own research.
Bring snacks with you if you have children. It's been my experience that a kiddo with a little something in their tummy is a happy kiddo. And is much more apt to cooperate and even smile. Or you can use it as bribery (lol). Either way, this is a judgement free zone! Normally I do have some wet wipes on hand to wipe away any crumbs but it’s also a good idea to bring some of your own along just in case I don't have any on hand.
BE POSITIVE, RELAX AND GET READY TO HAVE FUN!
It is my goal to give you the best portrait experience possible! I aim to make your session as easy and comfortable as I can. If you are open to having a positive and fun experience it makes my job so much easier. If your kids see you having fun they will be more comfortable and have fun themselves! So, don’t stress if you don't like being in front of the camera. 10 years from now you are going to be so happy that you have these images to look back on.
I look forward to seeing you all this upcoming outdoor portraiture season! If you haven’t booked your session yet- don't worry- there's still time you can BOOK HERE
Hey guys! I’m back! Happy 2020! I hope you all had a warm and joyous holiday season. The holidays can be a whirlwind but I hope that you were able to slow down a bit and enjoy some time doing the things that matter most to you (even if only for a day).
I am incredibly grateful to have had a fantastically busy holiday season with both work and family. It was my first holiday season as a FULL TIME photographer and I am so grateful to have been so busy. Holiday mini sessions were fully booked and I got to work with 20+ amazing families. Some I have had the pleasure to work with in the past and some I worked with for the very first time. We tried to stay as warm as possible while getting some beautiful images and having as much fun as possible.
To every single family I worked with this winter and all year round- Thank you for your continued support. I am humbled and gracious that you chose me to photograph your family. Because of you Erin McBrine Photography is really beginning to bloom and grow into everything I had hoped it would be.
So basically…. you make my dreams come true.
After a quiet and revitalizing month of January I am refreshed and ready to knock this year out of the park and make it my best yet. This year I will be focusing on establishing a clearer voice and solid style to my images. Simple, natural & emotional are the words that keep popping into my head when I think about what I want my art to portray. I want to try some new ideas and really push my imagination to its outer limits. I have some exciting things in store!
Since it's February and the greatest day in the whole year will soon be upon us, I have decided to create a soft & simple boho themed shoot for….you guessed it…. Valentines Day! Many of you may know that Valentine’s Day is also my birthday so I have always had a particular affection for the day if you will. I LOVE my birthday. Yes, I’m getting older. Closer to 40 blah blah blah. But growing older is a luxury that not everyone is afforded so yeah ...I live for my birthday (and you should too).
Lets jump right into this year’s Valentines Day Session with none other than my amazing kiddos Finna & Ronan!
These kids have had a camera in their faces since the day they were born. Now..they haven't always been so enthusiastic about being in front of the camera. In their earlier years there were plenty of tears and pout-pout faces but the older they get...the more they seem to enjoy it! Sometimes they even ask “Mama, can we have a photoshoot today?” Well of course we can!
This year's Valentines session was shot in the first week of February. We were so lucky to have had fantastically warm weather that week. Yes we even went barefoot! Now it certainly wasn’t a toasty July-like day but it was around 50 degrees (F) outside and for February that's like a heat wave! Ok well maybe not a heat wave but we made it work.
The swing was created from some white birch logs, some rope and artificial flowers purchased at Michael’s Craft Store. Someday I might do a sort of diy tutorial for projects like this but for this particular project I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. Making this swing was a series of trials and comedic errors. There were a few different versions I had put together but finally settled on what you see here in these images. It was pretty and sturdy enough to hold my 40lb children safely so that was good enough for me. I got up on my ladder and tied the rope to the tree branch and we were ready to go.
I picked up the kids outfits on Amazon. I buy a lot on Amazon. Not only camera gear but I do find a lot of my backdrops, props and outfits on there as well. I wish I weren't so dependent on Amazon but the convenience of it at this point in my life is key. I do try my best to support small businesses when I can but I know I can be a bit better. Maybe a good goal for 2020 will be to shop locally and buy more from small businesses.
I did expect Finna’s dress to be a bit more creamy colored but it is beautiful nonetheless. It is really great quality and was reasonably priced. Her flower crown was perfect. It fit her exactly how I wanted it to. Finna LOVES getting dressed up and feeling “fancy” so she felt really pretty in this dress. As a whole I was very happy with this outfit. Now how do you get a girl to smile this pretty when she is sitting on a swing, outside, barefoot in the beginning of February? Well ...a fart joke of course. There you have it folks. My secret weapon for producing such glowing smiles such as these-fart jokes.
Ronan’s linen jumper was also purchased from Amazon. The color was perfect. The fit was a bit snug but we made it work with some adjustments. If I were to ever order this jumper again I think I would size up one. Overall I loved the general look of the jumper with a simple white t-shirt underneath. In typical Ronan fashion he wasn’t too impressed or displeased with the outfit. Normally he’s just pretty happy when his Mama is happy. And I thought he was just adorable. My sweet little Mama’s boy surprisingly isn't always the easiest to persuade to look at that camera and make him smile at that. If a fart joke doesn't work (which lets be honest- it usually does) I simply just say “I have a secret”. That’s what I did here to get this coy little blue-eyed boy to smile.
We finished off this speedy session with a few sibling shots. By this time they were pretty “over it” but managed to smile and laugh at each other a few times before the wrestling and whining started!
Though the entire shoot was only about 15 mins, all in all, I feel like this shoot was a great success. We had so much fun dressing up and getting outside with barefeet in the winter.
It’s these simple pleasures in life that ignite our happiness.
I'd like to end this blog post with a quote from Maya Angelou. I hope to let it inspire my life and decisions on this next crazy trip around the sun.
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
Hi! I’m Erin. I am a married mother of two and the Owner/Operator of Erin McBrine Photography. My husband rocks my world and my kids keep me on my toes but all three fill the otherwise empty spaces in my heart with love and joy. I say the “empty spaces” because they are the pieces that finish the puzzle that is my life. The other pieces are compiled with self love, my drive to create, my purpose, health, family and friendships. All of those things make me who I am. Sometimes I take the puzzle apart and the sizes and shapes of the pieces change, sometimes I even lose a few but they are always there...somewhere... waiting to be found.
If you follow me on social media or you are a part of my daily life you might know that recently I took the plunge and left my full time job to become a full time Photographer/Entrepreneur. What I am hoping to accomplish with this blog is to tell you my story. The story of how I came to the realization that I needed to change my life and my journey along the way. I will be talking a lot about photography, my family, my travels, the dynamics of being a full time entrepreneur and everything in between.
After working a “9-5” type desk job for the last 15 years I finally realized that that career,that life, was not for me. I was eating too much. Sitting too much. Worrying too much. I was dulling my emotions. I felt myself losing touch with humanity even. It was exhausting in the worst way. Day in and day out I would go through the motions just to get through the day and hope that by the end of it I would have the energy or the will to enjoy my time with my family. Being confined to a desk for 8 hours everyday was not serving my physical health, mental state or my constant urge to create. I wanted to be a better mother, a better wife- a better me. I felt myself yearning for more out of life.
I know in my heart I was not born to sit at a desk. I was meant to explore and create. I was meant to move. I was meant to see (and I mean really see)all the beauty the world holds. I am an artist after all.
Life can get so busy that often our own ambitions can be clouded by the pursuit of success. Growing up I was always taught to strive for success. I came from two good hearted, hard working people who sincerely wish for all of their children to live a secure and successful life. My dad used to say “ I don’t care if you want to play tiddlywinks. I want you to find success in life”.
What is success?
Everyone has their own definition. For a long time I defined success as making money. Plain and simple. I thought that if I could make enough money to pay my bills and live a somewhat financially comfortable life then I was all set! But what about the rest of what life has to offer? What about passion? What about fun? What about happiness? Happiness. Have you ever told yourself “ I just wish I were happy”. I have said that to myself more times than I can count.
So one day I woke up and decided to change my definition of success. For me- now -living a successful life is to live a happy life. I finally have realized that my happiness and therefore my success is created by me and only me. It’s all in my attitude, my actions and how I see the world around me. Life is full of possibilities and opportunities if you are open to finding them.
Why not take control of my life and really see what the world has to offer? I deserve to live a life I love. My family deserves to have a wife and mother who wakes up every day ready to
LIVE. If I could teach my children anything-it’s to be brave and to love themselves enough to know that they deserve to live a happy life too. Whatever that means to them. Life is short but can be oh so sweet if you just let it.
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