musings & recent work

Breakfast with the Frandsens

Last week we had a rare snow day which left me with a house full of kids and a day of cancelled plans. So what did we do? A photoshoot of course! Recently, I’ve been updating my house and the pictures on display in it and needed something new for the frames that hang above our kitchen table. I’ve found the artwork I have in my kitchen gets enjoyed more than any other spot in my house, so these frames are prime real estate as far as I’m concerned. I was thinking I’d just pick my favorite shot of each kid from this past year, but I love when they coordinate and I was having a hard time finding similar shots of everyone. So I decided we needed new ones, but knew they couldn’t be ordinary. Enter our breakfast theme.

This past summer I was inspired by “The Hall of Breakfast” exhibit they had at the Gateway Mall. Hopefully you went to the exhibit and saw for yourself the party that it was, but if not, I’m sharing the album spreads from our visit below. I am positive this will be one of my all time favorite family albums. What it lacks in perfect lighting it makes up for in personality and the experience of actually taking them. My kids had a ball and wanted to go again and again. (Who knew art could be so fun and interactive!?) But before you get to our Hall of Breakfast album (or if you’ve already seen the images from facebook) let me tell you some more about our breafast cearel shoot.

So I had this idea the other day to use cearel boxes and their bright colors but wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do or how I wanted them to look. I think some artists are able to sketch out an exact image in their mind and then bring it to life. But that’s not how my mind works. Rather I get a general idea for props or location and then just show up and see what happens. So I hopped in my van to run and buy cearel, on the hunt for boxes that would display a rainbow of colors and match my kids personalities. With an assist from neighbors out shoveling their walks (because of course I got stuck in my driveway) and Hazel at the grocery store helping me make the final selections I had all the supplies I needed. I bought two black poster boards to use as a background (assuming I could remove the black as needed via photoshop though in the end I don’t think that was the best choice but I’m not really on top of the compositing game so I had to learn the hard way) and had the kids lay on top of these on top of my kitchen table. I knew if we tried to do it on the ground someone would get stepped on… Hazel went first and humored me as I played around with her holding the box, the cearel out of the box, adding in a bowl and spoon, etc. until I was happy with a shot. And then my task was to recreate something similar but different with each subsiquent kid. They were all semi-cooperative so in the end it worked out well. Viv wasn’t feeling good so she’s rather somber but she definitely has a serious side so I don’t mind that her image reflects that. Plus her kitten showed up for the session so everybody wins. Anyway, what we created might not be award winning material, but it makes my mom heart super happy and I think it will make for great dinner conversation everytime we entertain guests. My prints should arrive tomorrow and I can’t wait to get them in those frames!

On a random sidenote, when I went to figure out what they were going to wear I was stumped. I finally concluded that maybe I could get a large white t-shirt and just have them all wear it. And THEN I remembered they had these matching white pajamas from our Santa session last year (which I still need to share with you) and I was so dang happy about that. (Perice and Viv hadn’t worn there’s since the santa shoot so they were even clean!!) Of course if you’re laying in cearel you should be doing so in your p.j.’s. No brainer!

Anyway, on with the fruits of our labor. I plan to hang these in rainbow order as pictured above. Had Jordan taken a snow day as well I might have bought him a box of Apple Jacks so he could be our missing green, but really, there’s no room for a sixth frame on the wall, so our greenless rainbow will just have to do. And if you’re new to my blog, allow me to briefly introduce you to my breakfast crew because it’s better that way:

Hazel Elizabeth, my rainbow girl with a big, kind, artist’s heart who loves all things unicorn and happy. She’s super responsible with things that matter, and carefree and daring with things that don’t. I love that most about her. Lucky Charms were a natural fit. I love everything about this image and how it fits Hazel like a glove.

Sienna Le, a spicier version of Hazel, equally artistic, but a little more particular and dramatic at times. She’s keeps her room pristine and is my best helper around the house. She’s very thoughtful and loves to sing. She loves to pull faces and chose this one for the wall. It’s one of her favorite cearels and I love how it matches her brown eyes and burnt sienna colored name.

Peirce Jordan, our resident boy captian whether he wants the title or not. He’s tender hearted, full of energy, loves numbers and cuddles and jumping on the trampoline. He’s Sienna’s best friend and the best big brother she could ask for most* days 😉 He’s saluting just like the captain.

Ella Noel, my math genius, resident old soul and fiercely loyal friend. She was worried about glasses glare in her picture but I wanted her signature look (she’s had glasses since Kindergarten) to be on my wall so we compromised and let Tony wear her duds and I love it so much. I think her glasses often mask her beauty but not today!

And last but not least, Vivienne Annice, my baby and my little friend. She’s a doer, an animal lover, and always up for a dance when there’s a beat to be found. Her favorite side kick in Granite our kitten. I love the trio of Viv, cat & bird in this shot!

On Sunday I told my mother-in-law she needed a breakfast nook so she could hang these in her home and then we decided what she really needed was a cereal picture of each of her grandkids (not just my littles), so I’m going to make that happen this year hopefully. How fun will that art display be on her wall!?

There were so many outtakes and other expressions for each of the above shots that I will definitely have to put them into a book in the future. I snapped this shot with my iPhone afterwards when they were all eating their new cereals and I think it sums up why I photograph them individually as often as possible…

Now, time for our Hall of Breakfast trip. I should photograph the actual album to show you how beautiful it is with the fabric/cover image combo because it matches perfect, but below I’ve included my photoshop mockup that I used when ordering it so you’ll get an idea. Nothing makes me happier than holding tangible photographs in my arms. It is SO my happy place. Imagine yourself holding a big, fat colorful album and there you go. Now let’s flip through the pages shall we…


This end family confetti shot sits framed on my new makeup/primping station I put in. I see it everyday and it brings me joy. I’m like a broken record I know. It’s all about the joy. And breakfast. Come over and I’ll feed you Frandsen family baked oatmeal and warm banana muffins and then you will understand.

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