Emily Ulmer Photography

emily ulmer photography

Meet Emily Ulmer Photography

This post is so long overdue it’s not even funny!  We did this interview last year and life, as it tends to do, interfered and thus it sat un-posted for months.  But now we are oh-so-pleased to introduce to you Emily Ulmer Photography.  We first encountered her work on another blogger’s site, where her unique take on photographing children had spawned many different opinions.  We for one found her work intriguing, as it captures a side of children not often seen: that side of them visible in between moments, in the silence during an intake of breath, when energy is in a state of stillness immediately prior to bursting forth once more.  Or in those moments where they find themselves lost in thought…take some time to browse her work here at EmilyUlmer.com and take in her impeccable style and thought provoking view of childhood.

Once you’ve had a chance to absorb her work, come back and read our brief interview with the artist herself.  Savor the experience, and take a peek inside her mind, incidentally 7 months in the making…

Tell us a little bit about yourself, how you got started in photography, any favorite shoots you have done, any particular photos from your latest collection?

I was born and raised in Southern Caliornia. When I was about 18, my grandfather gave me his old 35 millimeter and I began documenting my younger sister in her teenage years.  And from there I began photographing my friends, trying to capture that delicate period between adolescence and adulthood. I’ve been shooting for years but it wasn’t until very recently that I found the area I love in photography. Sometimes it takes a long time, I guess! As far as favorite shoots, it’s hard to choose, as I feel so close to all of them.  But some of my favorite recent work is the series of the two sisters, Josephine and Oona. There was an inherent maturity and soulfulness in both of them that was so inspiring to capture. And they loved having their picture taken which is not often always the case with children!

How did you get started with this current theme of photography? What was that initial inspiration that drove you to photograph children with your particular style and themes?

About a year ago I took some pictures of a friend’s four year-old son. There was something different in those photographs that felt much more pure than my portraits of adults.

It felt like an obvious gravitation as I’d always tried to capture the innocence in young adults. From there I began shooting more children in their own environments, attempting to show them in their most natural state, when they are most comfortable. I’m trying to show childhood from the perspective of the child, which is not often done.

The clothing in your photography definitely has a very vintage look to it, where do you find/how do you select it?

The clothing does play an important role in my pictures. I generally go through the children’s own wardrobes and choose pieces that are timeless and best suit the child’s personality. The simpler the outfit, the better. I’m beginning to collect vintage children’s clothing which is a lot of fun to search for.

I worked in fashion for a bit when I was younger and developed a specific aesthetic with the clothing that I use for my portraits– which does contribute a lot to the overall feel of my pictures.

Your photographs have a unique look and feel to them, is there any special equipment or techniques you employ to achieve your specific style?

Now that I’m shooting digitally mainly (as you have to take a lot of frames when you’re shooting children!), I’m very conscious of having my pictures look as though I’d shot with film.

Color has always been incredibly important to me as I printed all of my earlier work on my own. I’ve always leaned more toward ‘warmer’ colors, which is also why I only use natural light. So I spend a lot of time playing with the tone and colors as I edit my work, to achieve the look I’m going for.

Lastly there have definitely been a lot of contrasting opinions on your work. Many have felt that there weren’t enough smiling faces, or that some of the imagery had dark overtones. Do you have anything you would like to say in response?

I know, it was very surprising! I had no idea that there would be so many people that would have such strong reactions to my work— both positive and negative.  There are definitely those out there that feel that children should only be photographed laughing and smiling, etc. There’s a lot of over romanticizing in children’s portraiture. People want to think that kids are always happy and bubbly. But they also have a serious side to them, however young, which I find very beautiful.

Of course some equate the seriousness with dark overtones. But I’ve never looked at my work as dark. It’s the quiet moments that I’m trying to capture and in those moments they are typically not smiling nor jumping up and down. And I always let the overall mood of the child dictate the feel of the shoot, as I’m trying to show them for who they are.

What the what?!

Thanks everyone for sticking with us during our hiatus, life is a crazy, volatile thing, and we’ve been riding the tidal wave hoping we wind up on a nice beach somewhere!

First and foremost, in June we will be welcoming a new member to our family, a baby girl!  That means when we can keep our eyes open after all the late night feedings, you’ll be seeing as much fresh style as you can handle :)

In the mean time we have a fresh shipment of style headed our way, courtesy of Zulily, and that means more hands on reviews!

xoxo petit vogue

Keep Your Hands Off My Books!

banned booksTop ten frequently challenged children’s books and reasons why

1. The Merriam Webster and the American Heritage Dictionaries-Defines oral sex ,unsuited to age group
2. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig-Portrays policemen as pigs
3. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.-Author has same last name as an obscure Marxist theorist. Nobody bothered to see if they were the same person. Pssstt…their not.
4. James And The Giant Peach-Ronald Dahl-Obscenity and violence
5. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer-Sexually Explicit, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group
6. Witches by Ronald Dahl-Sexism and devaluing the life of a child.
7. The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank-Sexually explicit and homosexual themes.
8. Little Woman by Louisa May Alcott-Offensive to feminism(character marries a much older very boring man)
9. A Light In The Attic by Shel Silverstein-Promotes disrespect, horror, and violence.
10. A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle-Promotes religion,magic overtones,disobedience

*I have read myself and read to my child every one of these books.*
** Reasons stated for challenges and banning are not mine and do not reflect my own thoughts and opinions.**

When petit vogue asked me if I’d like to guest blog I was very flattered. What to talk about? Fashion, kids, home, life, books? Yea…books. :)
When I wrote this it just so happened to be National Banned Book Week so I decided to talk about books. Banning books to be exact. I’m not trying to start a free for all nor offend anyone. I just want to talk about books. Children’s books and my thoughts on censorship.

Banned books are a sore subject with me. As an avid reader and book reviewer I do tend to get a little perturbed when I am informed that someone I usually do not know and would probably never want to know has deemed it necessary to take mine and my child’s freedom of choice away by banning a book. While I can understand the need to monitor your child’s reading material-at what point are you doing your child a disservice taking all literature out of their hands that have a word or  subject that makes you uncomfortable? To often we coddle our children, wrapping them in metaphorical bubble wrap until they are 18 at which time we then rip off the protection and expect instant maturity. By narrowing your child’s experiences to match your own limited views, you restrict them. While we don’t have to subject our child to all the evil in life, it won’t go away by ignoring it either. If you cannot have faith in yourself, at least have faith in your child. As a parent myself, I do monitor what my child reads. But only my child. I would never presume to know what is best for your child and I resent the fact that you do not give me the same courtesy.

“Not every book is right for each reader, but we should have the right to think for ourselves and allow others to do the same,” said ALA President Roberta Stevens. “How can we live in a free society and develop our own opinions if our right to choose reading materials for ourselves and our families is taken away? We must remain diligent and protect our freedom to read.”

Unlike me, my child stays within her age level for reading. One way she does this is through her school library. The school has color coded dots on each book. Certain colors demote certain grades and age levels. My child is considered a blue dot. Should she want to check out something in a higher age level then I have to send approval by written note to the librarian. I like this option. It makes the choice MINE and HERS which is how it should be. She recently wanted to read Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone. Her library doesn’t carry it due to 1 *GASP* parent’s complaint. I bought her the whole set and sent the first one to school for her to read. Am I thumbing my nose at the parent? Certainly not. What I am doing is asserting my right and my child’s right to read what she wants. VERY IMPORTANT POINT here.  Banning books doesn’t STOP people from reading them. It just makes them pursue other avenues in which to procure said item.

As I was saying, my child reads age appropriate (by choice) while I have always read beyond my age group.  By the time I was her age, 9, I have already read Huckleberry Finn & Tom Sawyer. By 10 I had read Flowers in the Attic by VC Andrews & Forever by Judy Blume. By 12, it was Alice’s Diary by Anonymous. The best gift I ever received from my mother was she told me to read what I wanted but to always remember she was there if I needed to talk about it. She also reminded me that unless the book was non fiction, the story I was reading was NOT real and to treat it as such. By reading these books I gained an appreciation for the classics and also gained an appreciation for those different from me. By reading Tom Sawyer I never once had the urge to become racist. A Wrinkle In Time didn’t have me questioning my religion. Nor did James And The Giant Peach suddenly pepper my speech with curse words.

Oscar Wilde said it best when in he said, “The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.” So ask yourself why, and be honest, the next time you find a book offensive. The answer my surprise you.

Thank you Tori for a for today’s guest post!  Read more of Tori’s book reviews and musings on her book and fashion blog

Mudslinger Giveaway Winner Announcement

Congratulations Renee, #50, Random.org chose you!  We will be in touch to deliver your winnings!  Thank you to everyone who entered, make sure you keep checking back for our other giveaways while we wrap up Boys Fashion Month (which by the way is actually spilling over into October thanks to our many generous sponsors!)

Boys’ Fashion Month Starts Next Week!

Boys fashion monthBoys:

a little rough around the edges, prone to storing treasures in any and every pocket they have, and no doubt apple of their mother’s eye.  Somehow getting themselves into and out of trouble with the same mischievous smile.  Motoring about like wind-up toys during the day and crashing hard at night into angelic little sleepers.

When it comes to boys’ fashion it can be hard to break free from the sea of khakis and puppies and sports-themed apparel that flood the boyswear sections in most stores these days.  Finding clothing as unique as your boy, with personality to match, can feel nigh impossible at times.  In fact, that was the inspiration behind petit vogue in the first place!  To make a long story short, we were unaware of the width and breadth of children’s fashion until working with a client who happened to own a children’s boutique.  As you can see, it quickly became an obsession and brought us to where we are today.

To help all of our fashion-forward friends out there with boys, we are pleased to introduce to you Boys Fashion Month, a month long celebration of clothing that lets boys be boys, without sacrificing style.

But what does it all mean?!

Well, a celebration wouldn’t be a celebration without presents, right?  Yeah, didn’t think so.

Here’s what we have lined up:

  • Giveaways a’plenty
  • Designer interviews
  • A whollllle lot of boys’ fashion, all month long!

Also, if you are feeling like sharing the love and want some extra giveaway entries, we made a little badge you can use on your blog to tell your readers that you are all about Boys Fashion month at petit vogue :)  Or if you write a post, feel free to steal the big image at the top of this post!

We’ll be announcing the giveaways for the month next week, so stay tuned-

xoxo petit vogue

Friday link love: A little mommy bloggin’, DIY, and cloth diapering madness

We’re all about sharing the love here, so we’ve decided to start a Friday tradition (much akin to Follow Friday on twitter) where we’ll write up a few of our favorite links from the week.  These could be people we’ve had a great time chatting with on twitter through the week, a new designer we found, another fun blog, pretty much anything!  So here goes:

Mommy Wears Heels – Blog of the Week

Okay, we are slightly biased here because she contacted us for a quick interview and wrote up a very flattering blog post about us…but I think we can all agree she has a great authentic voice in her writing that we can all relate to at one point or another!  On top of that, we’ve had a great time going back and forth on twitter, another activity we highly recommend :)

Follower her on twitter and facebook.

Brassy Apple – For the DIY addicts

Another great blogger/twitterer here!  Lots of cool DIY projects, some of which caught us completely off guard with their simplicity and style.

Follow her on twitter

Monkey Snuggles – Etsy of the Week

Okay, well she’s migrating away from Etsy for her main store, but you can still find one of a kind items and whatnot there.  We’re pretty big into cloth diapering, and hers are pretty much fabulous.  We’ll leave it at that for now, you’ll be hearing a lot more about her from us in the coming weeks :)

follow her on twitter and check out her cloth diaper store

HAPPY FRIDAY!  Make it a good one ;)

petit vogue

June Giveaway #2 – a dash of Paul Frank-Closed

Sorry, this giveaway is now closed.  The lucky winner has been chosen and contacted.

Continuing the celebration of the alpha launch of our childrens’ fashion sharing community,we present the 2nd of the 4 adorable pieces of clothing we’re giving away during the month of June.

Julius long sleeve tee by Paul Frank – Size 3-6 Mo valued at $25

Julius Tee in pink by Paul Frank

This time around we continue our journey into PINK with this cute little long sleeve tee by Paul Frank.  Featuring the usual monkey business, this shirt is made in the USA from delightfully light cotton with a dash of spandex for a little stretch.  Envelope style neck for easy on and off when you’re getting your little monkey dressed in the morning.

Size: 3-6 months
Value: $25

entry rules

As before we have multiple ways to enter:

Required: Post a comment here and tell us your favorite thing to eat with bananas :)  This MUST be done before any extra entries count.  If you do not complete this question, your other entries will not count.  Please include a valid email address with each entry so we can get in touch with you if you win!

1 Extra entry for each of these you do (remember to write a separate comment for each!)

  • Become a fan of petit vogue on Facebook (or if you are already a fan on Facebook, comment and tell us) and leave your name and last initial
  • Follow us on Twitter, and leave your username in your comment
  • Tweet this message (link to the tweet in your comment please)
    “Win cute girl’s clothing all month at @petitvogue – Paul Frank hot pink tee (PLS RT) http://bit.ly/pv-giveaway2”

3 extra entries – special bonus round:

Sign up as a member of the petit vogue childrens’ fashion sharing community and post an outfit!

Good luck! Winners will be chosen using random.org and announced 1 week from now, on Monday, June 14th!

US Residents only, please!

xoxo petit vogue

Winner of the Ballerina Pajamas!

The great and wise Random.org provided us with a true random number generator, and out of all our lovely commenters and Facebook fans, Kristen – commenter number 11, is the lucky winner!  We will be in touch so we can get your address to send you your goodies :)

Thank you all for entering, stay tuned for the next giveaway starting later on today!

GIVEAWAY Pt. 1 – Ballerina Pajamas by At Home

As promised: it’s giveaway time.

To celebrate the alpha launch of our childrens’ fashion sharing community,we have 4 items to give away during the month of June.  We thought it would be more fun to spread the fun out over a few weeks and have four winners instead of just one!  So, without further ado, this week’s giveaway item:

Ballerina Pajamas set by At Home – Size 12mo.

Ballerina Pajamas by At Home

We’re thrilled to offer this adorable set of pink long sleeve pajamas to keep your aspiring ballerina warm and cozy for those chilly nights.  They are sized for 12mo, but it’s never too early to start the ballerina obsession!

3 ways to enter

We like choices, variety, and all that, so we have 3 ways to enter:

  • Become a fan of our facebook page
  • Tweet the following message
    “Win cute kid’s clothing all month at @petitvogue – this week: ballerina pajamas by At Home (PLS RT) http://bit.ly/petitvogue-giveaway ”
    (of course we’d love it if you’d follow us on twitter too)
  • post a comment on this post

Each one gets you one entry, so you could get your name in the hat up to 3 times :)

The winner will be announced 7 days from now, Monday, June 7th!  Good luck!


the petit vogue team

petit vogue: fashion sharing community preview

Is it bad luck to show a work in-progress?  We’re not sure, but we knew we couldn’t wait any longer before showing off a bit of what we’ve been working on lately.  As you know, we’ve been working hard on our fashion sharing site.  Basically a social network of sorts for people to gather, share, and discuss their kids’ outfits with other style-minded parents.  With so many people posting photos of their kids’ outfits on their blogs or on twitter we thought, hey, what if we could all come together and do this in one place?  And so petit vogue was born!

How about a quick tour?

The site right now revolves around posting outfits, and creating collections of outfits.  Think of an outfit like a photo, and a collection as an album.  Create collections of your own outfits, for example, organize them by year and season, or create a collection of other user’s outfits, like “My best of 2009 list”, and share that with the community.  Other users can comment and “like” your outfits and collections (similar to facebook), and you can follow other user’s updates as well.

Keep on reading for a quick tour of some of the site, but remember, it’s still in the early development stage, we’re still tweaking the design and interface!


Browsing Outfits

This is pretty much where you’ll start out after you’re first signed up, looking at the most recently posted outfits.  You’ll be able to filter them by the brand of clothing in them, gender, season, age, and tags to help narrow down what kind of outfits you’re looking for.  When you’re logged in you’ll notice the user bar along the bottom of the screen there, that’ll have links to your outfits, your collections, your dashboard, as well as a quick link to create a new outfit or collection.


Browsing Collections

Just like with outfits, in this area you’ll be browsing through the most recently added collections. If you really like the taste in clothing that a particular user has, you might want to follow their updates, and keep an eye on their collections for fashion inspiration!


A closer look at one of your outfits

When you’re viewing one of the outfits you’ve posted, it looks a lot like what you see when you look at another user’s outfit, with a couple of important differences.  When you’re looking at your own outfits you can add and remove clothing tags from the outfit.  For example say the centerpiece of the outfit was an adorable checkered dress from Hula Mula with a well-matched pair of black leggings.  You’d add them here and that way other users can see just where it is you find such excellent clothing.


Notifications and Activity

See what the people you follow are up to with the notifications and recent activity tabs in your dashboard. See who started following you recently, who commented on your collections and outfits, who likes them, and more!


Find friends

It’s easy to find friends on petit vogue, either by searching for them or check out featured users!

So when will we be able to join?!

We’re burning the candle from both ends to get the site ready for everyone, but we don’t have a firm date yet for launch.  The first launch will be by invitation only, specifically to those who pre-registered for it.  You can do that here.  Shortly following that we’ll be distributing a certain number of invites to various blogs that we’re working with for the launch. Follow us on twitter, we’ll be tweeting more about that when the time comes!

Thanks for reading! Let us know what you think on Twitter!