my life as a new mom has been nothing short of a whirlwind, leaving me little brain space (or energy) to think bigger than a single instagram post at a time… but today i finished editing our halloween photoshoot (shot by the brilliant @laurenanzevino) and i was so taken aback by how gorgeous these pictures are that i had to share them all ASAP. not only are they beautiful to look at, but they got my wheels turning about baby’s first halloween and what it means to me as a creative, and as a mother. as it’s quickly approaching, read on for some last-minute halloween inspiration. this isn’t a “DIY costume” post or a “how i did my makeup” tutorial…. this is a blog post on making an everlasting memory with your “first timer” that goes beyond the traditional.
i recently had a conversation with my own mother about all the digital memories that we keep on our cell phones and laptops in this day and age. we were brainstorming ways that you could save, store and display photos from years past without having them stashed away on external hard drives. i was advocating real hard for photobooks – like the kind you’d find on chatbooks or snapfish – as a modern day version of a classic photo album. perhaps one for every year of the child’s life? or one for every milestone event? that conversation got me thinking about what actually constitutes a milestone event – and more importantly, the effort we put into them that makes them ‘photo-worthy’ to begin with.
let me preface this by saying that everyone’s different, and that for some there’s beauty in the candid… there’s beauty in the ‘mess’ of childhood. to some extent, i agree wholeheartedly. but if you’re anything like i am… a sucker for all things highly aesthetic… elevating milestone moments to their most frameworthy potential feels so incredibly satisfying.
now that i’m a mom, i am witnessing in real time the insane, rapid, mindblowing changes that my daughter is making on a daily and weekly basis. i’m seeing her sprout up right before my eyes, and i know that someday in my (very near) future, she’s going to want to go to party city to pick out a silly kid costume with all the bells and whistles she can find. she’s going to want a birthday party theme featuring whatever disney movie is most popular at the time. she’s going to want to pick her own (beautifully mismatched) outfit on school picture day. she’s going to develop her own opinions and desires and my influence will be fleeting.
so while i can, i have chosen to relish in the moments that i can freeze as art, and i am trying to create art in every possible milestone moment of indie’s first year. and that brings me to her first halloween.
when it comes to this family costume (not pictured are a dad and two dogs, all of whom have fox ears behind the scenes) i opted for something simple and ethereal. a vixen fox and her cub. a costume that would never outdate. a costume that wasn’t really even a costume at all. a costume that could hang on the wall, framed in black and white and still evoke the ooh’s and aah’s that i sighed when i first flipped through this album. indie’s outfit is something she’d wear again, and her native fable bonnet is an artisan-made one of a kind creation that will double as her winter hat as the weather continues to turn. my outfit is an everyday look – minus the fox ears – with a face full of makeup i already owned.
what makes this moment and this costume so special is not just that ‘we match’…. it’s that the creatures we are emulating feel, on some level, the exact same bond that we do. i have chosen to use this milestone as an opportunity to showcase that bond in a unique and exquisite way, and i hope that this alternative ‘take’ on halloween is something that might inspire my readers… especially if you’ve been eager to make something more of your holiday memories.
you don’t need a professional photographer or a handmade hat or the ability to copy youtube makeup to achieve something that’s beautiful… it’s all in choosing a theme or costume that resonates with you and your family. then, baby’s first halloween will be a memory that lives in your home and in your heart – far away from your external hard drive.
when i look back at photos from indie’s first halloween, i will remember her exactly in this very moment – how her feet wobbled on that log, coming a step closer to being able to balance themselves. how she tugged at her hat strings. how she reached for the lowest hanging leaves. the curiosity in her eyes, and the innocence in her soul. and you know what? when the time comes, i’ll love her ‘party city costumes’ just as much – but there’s something about this first halloween that i’ll replay in my mind every single solitary year. that’s how i know my mission has been accomplished.
thank you to lauren anzevino for capturing my vision (a week before halloween!) and if you haven’t yet… keep up with us on instagram @lizeidelman for more where this came from!