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Saturday, September 6, 2014

· Polka Dot Day! ·

Three years ago, Kathryn, Tara, Gretel, and I decided to start doing the "Decade Project"- an excuse to get the 4 of us dressed up in the same decade and make an occasion out of it with a photo shoot and ice cream. :-)

Our plan was to start at the 1950s and work back a decade each year.  Last year was the 1940s, however a few members *ahem* of the group are a little reluctant for the 1930s and our plans for a winter shoot never worked out.  But after looking at our 1950s pictures from 3 years ago, we felt like we could improve upon it in several ways. (of course, we feel like that with our 1940s pictures too, but I think that will happen with every shoot!)  We felt like we should just keep going with the original schedule, but when we all had 1950s polka-dot dresses and were already all in one place, it just begged to happen anyway. ;-)

The first stop of the day was Steak 'n' Shake, due to their period-inspired decor! :-)  We had quite the captive audience when we walked in, unsurprisingly. ;-)

After our burgers and fries we needed our traditional ice cream, so we ordered milkshakes up at the bar!  They were so good, and we all had a blast!

(Got to love that photo-bombing waiter!  He wanted to be in on the fun. ;-))

And then it was on to the next part of our outing, and the part we had been planning for a while!  When we do photo shoots, we typically can't think of poses so we decided to take our inspiration from period sources. ;-)

For the remainder of the Decade Project we had decided to go with more historically-accurate posing, so we looked up era-appropriate ads that featured 4 people from the 1950s.  It ended up being not too terribly difficult to find more than enough!  Yet another reason to love Pinterest.... ;-)

This picture was hilariously accurate of our personalities, so it was a must-recreate!  Tara has a dog, Gretel is OK with dogs, but Kathryn and I both have a marked disdain for all canines.  The fact that we were supposed to look unimpressed only required partial acting. ;-)

The downside to these photos was that it was just the 4 of us out there.  Consequently there was a lot of running back and forth (in heels....) to start the camera timer!  Lots of bloopers were the inevitable result. ;-)

We also only had a phone to look up the reference images, so if hands are slightly off or eyes are looking in the wrong direction, I blame that. ;-)

We just used whatever areas we could find around town that were out of the way, so this one was a bit of a challenge!  The staircase was a bit narrower than the original, so we really had to squeeze in!

All in all, it was a fun experiment and I look forward to doing it again and honing our technique. ;-)  Also, a photographer and a posing assistant would be most welcome additions!

When Gretel and I were up visiting Kathryn and Tara in June, we first noticed the Polka-Dot Dress Phenomenon that had struck us all.  Gretel's and Kathryn's were already complete, I had brought my navy dress to finish, and Tara had aqua fabric and red ricrac that were waiting for inspiration!  Coordinating 1950s polka-dot dresses positively beg for a photo shoot! ;-)

I think it's fun that we all ended up serendipitously having different colors AND different sized polka dots!

The best of friends. :-)  Thanks for doing such fun stuff with us!!!

Aaaand, if that wasn't enough fun for one day the local cruise night started up just as we were finishing our photos!  Naturally we stopped by and looked around.  And took photos next to our favorites. :-)

Loved the detailing on this one, and it was such a pretty creamy yellow color!

We had lots of car owners wanting to take our pictures with their cars, but sadly no one offered to give us their car as a present...  Maybe next time. ;-)

· Photos by Kathryn ·


  1. Love all these photos!!! I especially love your photo shoot at Steak and Shake and the ones where you're all copying poses from old ads! Looks like great fun too!!! <3 Too cute!

  2. Loved the pictures! Particularly the the Steak 'n Shake and the car ones... What a day and what an absolutely incredibly fun time!!!! :-) ...And I haven't commented for a while :(, but I do hope all has been going well lately! ;-)

    1. Nice to hear from you again, Heidi! :-) Life has been marching on at a rather rapid rate of late.... Lots and lots of travel, and plenty of work to keep me busy while at home! :-)

  3. What a fun time! Your dresses are all lovely! That's pretty funny about the cars. ;)

    the Middle Sister and Singer

  4. OMG these pictures are the best! You all look FABULOUS and your hair all looks FABULOUS and the pictures are great! I can't even begin to pick a favorite. You look like you all had a great time (how could you not?)! Thanks for sharing! I hope you do more!


  5. Yes yes yes!!!! I ADORE period image inspired photo shoots!! These totally made me giggle with delight!! Love the images you chose to emulate! Whoever posed you did a truly wonderful job of making sure you looked perfect!! ha! What fun you must have had!! I love every single one of these pictures! Job exceedingly well done!

  6. This looks SO fun!! I love all those poses - you guys did a wonderful job!! I wish I had friends to do this with!!! Can I come next time? ;) I love all of the dresses!

  7. Oh what fun!! I'll pipe in with the commenter above and ask if I can come as well, the next time you girls get together? :)

  8. Oh goodness, this is adorable! What a great idea, and how wonderful to have friends that share your love of vintage!

  9. These are great photos! I love that you recreated old photos and ads, how fun. :) You all look so lovely. The photos at the Steak 'n' Shake are my favorite. We have a 50s style dinner here in town which makes me want to do a similar photo shoot.

  10. Oh, I looove polka dots. I love the recreated poses too.

  11. Thanks everyone, we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves indeed!! :-)

  12. Wow, this looks like it was a lot of fun and I love the dresses. I would love to take my family to an event like this! How did you hear about it?

  13. Hello Lily,

    This is absolutely wonderful and so creative! I love the idea of copying poses from vintage photos - to steal a phrase from Mary Clancy in Trouble with Angles, that was a "scathingly brilliant idea!"

    My sisters and I would have LOVED to do something like this when we were young.(We would love to do it even now that we are nearly all in our 50s as well, but we all live too far apart.)

    What a fantastic place to take photos - and have lunch - Steak 'n' Shake, and then just happen upon a car show! God must have been smiling down on you girls that day :)

    I look forward to seeing more posts like this.




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