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Updated: Apr 28, 2021

There is this wonderful ficus tree in my backyard, its whimsical vines curling and twisting to form roots and branches; the branches burdened and hanging low with the greenest of leaves. It was one of the reasons we bought the little house we call home.

Naturally, I've been wanting to incorporate it into my photography and so it was with great delight I decided to use it as the back drop for our Alice in Wonderland photoshoot.

Step 1

Find some cheap decorations online.

A few hours scouring Amazon proved fruitful; my paper props were on their way.

Step 2

Visit Goodwill to find a blazer with a funky color for Trent's Mad Hatter costume.

We found a light pink blazer that fit him perfectly for $3. A ceremonial jig was performed after every jacket was tried on. It was actually the most fun we've ever had shopping. We didn't have much luck looking for a scarf, as the store was closing and we had dinner to pick up.

Step 3

Find a cute teapot and cupcake stand.

Home goods delivered, I got the teapot I wanted for $12 (not a Royal Albert but it'll have to do) and a marble cake stand for $29.

Step 4 -

Day of photoshoot.

Saturday came and I opened the packages from Amazon. To my disappointment, I had to make the paper pom poms by carefully separating every single tissue paper. I rebuked myself for not reading the reviews; apparently I like to live on the edge. After two hours of irritation, I was done making perfect, very cute paper pom poms. I felt somewhat accomplished but undeniably duped.

Step 5

Incorporate help of willing (or unwilling) husband

He was a sport, frumiously dragging a ladder to the backyard and not so patiently hanging pompoms and string from the branches of the ficus tree. Wiping his brow and trying to smile through gritted teeth when I directed, "Not there, I think it looks better on that bough."

Step 6

Hang all the fun signs on the tree.

Tape did not work, as it was a windy day. Thank goodness we had some thumbtacks handy... not really, my husband ran to the store to get some. Bless his heart.

Step 7

Gather the children and force them to don hats, pretty clothes and pretend to be happy.

This is the hardest step, sometimes children just aren't into posing for photographs. I spent quite a bit of time trying to keep my children on the set, this inevitably leads to ornery children. We ended up with some great shots nevertheless.

... but that's none of my business.

"We are all mad here!"

On the rarest of occasions they smile; It's really quite splendid when they do.

Dare me, she could slay the jabberwocky with that glare!


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