The Anatomy of a Stylized Photo Shoot {Pillow Fight} Crissy Field

This shoot was one I had in my mind since February 2015. And it was finally executed in August 2015 with all elements in place!!! Behind the scenes | crissy field golden gate bridge | bed feather pillow fight | stylized family photo shoot | diy how to stylize a family photo session | brooke bryand photography | sarah arimura photography

This series of photos made up our family's holiday card shoot this year and I've had several questions as to how we got a bed onto Crissy Field.

NOTE: All family photos were taken by my fantastic sidekick, Sarah Arimura. Follow her here!

Quick answers:

  • Yes, it was a total pain in the rear end!
  • Yes, I had permission from the Presidio Trust/people that give out photo permits.
  • No, I couldn't do it alone (Sarah was a HUGE help in bringing this together!).

So here is how it worked including costs and time investment in case you'd like to recreate too:

1) Buy a bedframe on CraigsList: $80.00 (used) - 2 hours (after several people flaking out for the sale) I chose the Leirvik because it was fairly non-descript but white.

2) Put together frame in garage to see how many pieces were missing (several) and then time yourself to see how long it takes you to put it together.: $0 - 3 hours Then take it apart again (because, unless you have a giant pick-up truck, this ain't gonna fit in your trunk!).

Behind the scenes | crissy field golden gate bridge | bed feather pillow fight | stylized family photo shoot | diy how to stylize a family photo session | brooke bryand photography | sarah arimura photography | ikea leirvik bed frame

3) Purchase 3 bags of 14g of "turkey flats" (i.e. feathers): $19.00 - 30 minutes I used these as the inside of the pillows so we could have a true feather pillow fight. They were surprisingly easy to pick up off the ground after!

4) Procure & test double/queen air mattress: $0 - 30 minutes We happened to have an old one in the garage that had a hole in it, but would stay "up" for about 30mins at a time, which was perfect for our purposes!

5) Procure white sheets and LOTS of pillows: $0 - 30 minutes Our friend happens to have all white bedding and was generous enough to lend it all to us for the shoot. NOTE: If you borrow from someone, be fully ready to have to dry clean or replace their items if mud/grass/kids mess them up!!!

So after buying the bed, putting it together and taking it apart in our garage, my assistant Sarah and her husband then hauled the bed and air mattress to Crissy Field and put everything together (blowing the air mattress up at Sports Basement). When I arrived, I had a particular vision of where the bed should be so that the photo was framed by the Golden Gate Bridge perfectly. I then walked her through what I had in mind and she shot the entire series of family shots. When that was complete, I photographed the kids myself and the compilation of those two sets of photos together were what made up our session!

The entire session took 25 minutes and materials cost about $100.

The planning, purchasing, set-up, break-down, editing, etc took approximately 7 hours.

Behind the scenes | crissy field golden gate bridge | bed feather pillow fight | stylized family photo shoot | diy how to stylize a family photo session | brooke bryand photography | sarah arimura photography

Behind the scenes | crissy field golden gate bridge | bed feather pillow fight | stylized family photo shoot | diy how to stylize a family photo session | brooke bryand photography | sarah arimura photography

Behind the scenes | crissy field golden gate bridge | bed feather pillow fight | stylized family photo shoot | diy how to stylize a family photo session | brooke bryand photography | sarah arimura photography

Behind the scenes | crissy field golden gate bridge | bed feather pillow fight | stylized family photo shoot | diy how to stylize a family photo session | brooke bryand photography | sarah arimura photography