Portraits, Gardens and Children

Thrilled to announce a special collaboration with the traditional smocked dress children’s brand Charlotte sy Dimby!

Create a garden fairytale, picture your child in a Charlotte sy Dimby dress among the flowers and get the chance to win a portrait valued between $14,000 - $16,000. The portrait will be 30” x 40” or a comparable size, depending on the composition. It will be painted from the winner’s photo with a blend of classical realism and impressionism from your photo by Shari Ford. The top five photos will also have the chance to be featured on the Charlotte sy Dimby journal.

Inspiration Picture your princess standing in a beautiful arbor. Her beautiful eyes are looking directly at you, every detail of her lovely face visible. Her Charlotte sy Dimby dress swirls about her as her hand delicately rests on one of the roses. Maybe your princess has just come back to her castle with an armful of lavender. Her lovely dress spreads out around her as she sits regally on a settee with her bouquet beside her, graceful hands like butterflies on the flowers. Another princess could be dressed in a delicately embroidered Charlotte sy Dimby creation, flowers loosely woven in her hair, smiling gently like Botticelli’s “Primavera”.

Subscription process Share your best photo on Instagram with a little text about your enchanted floral world. Tag and follow @sharifordportraits and @charlotte_sy_dimby to take part!

Subscriptions are open until the 30th of August 2021.

If you are not on Instagram, you can also take part by email. Please send to info@charlottesydimby.com or info@shariford.com

Step by step guide 1. Dress your child in her favorite Charlotte sy Dimby dress. It can be a dress from the summer collection, a former one or a Bows & Blue collaboration dress.

2. Find or create a beautiful setting with flowers.


3. Have photos taken of your child (only one child per photo) among the flowers making sure the smocks or embroideries of the dress are clearly visible as well as the details of the child’s face. Gentle smiles with no teeth visible are preferred.

4. Write a little presentation of your enchanted floral world.

5. Submit your photo and text by posting it on Instagram. Tag and follow @sharifordportraits and @charlotte_sy_dimby

Photography tips The quality of the photo is very important.

*Photos should be taken with a camera, preferably with a telephoto or portrait lens to reduce distortion and improve image quality.

*Stand as far away as possible, zooming in to get the shot. Never use a flash. Pay attention to the light on your child's face. Make sure she doesn't have the sun on her face. Ideal lighting is late afternoon or just inside a doorway or large window.

*Professional photos are accepted with the permission of the photographer, who will receive recognition for their work. You can also ask a friend with a good eye for photos.

*The picture focus should be on the child’s face and her dress. Arms and hands should be relaxed. Eyes either looking at the camera or only slightly gazing away.

Please feel free to share about the challenge with all your friends and family. “Happiness held is the seed, happiness shared is the flower.”

For questions please send an email to info@shariford.com


Charlotte sy Dimby dress All Charlotte sy Dimby dresses are available on the brand’s e-shop as well as their Parisian boutique L’Île aux Fées 66 rue Notre Dame des Champs 75006 Paris. The brand ships worldwide.


Handmade within their own atelier, dresses come in very limited edition to make each child feel unique and special.

For advice, please send an email to info@charlottesydimby.com or a DM on Instagram. To ensure a good fit, check out the brand’s size guide.



It has been wonderful seeing all these beautiful children and getting glimpses into these lovely moments! There are so many potential portraits here and I could not make the final call, so I will be having three judges to help me! We will carefully study each photo and will reach a decision in the next few days! I will announce the winner here and on Instagram. I can't wait to get started on the portrait!




Joe Bowler Tea Party 16" x 20"

CONTEST UPDATE! Tag 10 friends on Instagram and add another child to your tea party!


Enter a photograph of your child for a chance to win a 16" x 20" impressionistic oil portrait, worth $6000, painted from your photo! The contest ends on April 15th.


How to enter:

1. Find a beautiful dress and tea set

2. Have photos* taken of your child (only one child per photo unless you tag 10 friends on Instagram! Then you can have tea for two!) having a tea party with her dolls or a stuffed animal.

3. Submit your photo by posting it on Instagram with the tag @sharifordportraits and #teapartyportrait.


*The quality of the photo is very important. Photos should be taken with a camera to reduce distortion and improve image quality. Professional photos are accepted with the permission of the photographer, who will receive recognition for their work.


By submitting, contestants are giving Shari Ford Portraits permission for the reposting and use of their photos.


This contest is not sponsored by or associated with Instagram.



Photography tips:


DON"T HAVE THEM LOOK AT THE CAMERA! Have them offering tea to doll or stuffed bunny or bear or looking down as they pour the tea. (Or a sibling, if you tag me to 10 friends on Instagram!)


Don't worry about the background of the portrait. Less is more! A darling girl, a beautiful dress, a doll or stuffed animal and of course, a tea set, is all you need! Outside on a small quilt or blanket works well. The background doesn't matter! If you want her in a beautiful garden with hydrangeas, I can paint that!⠀


If you aren't an amazing photographer, have a friend who has a great camera and a good eye take the photos!


Throw a tea party with friends and split the cost of a professional photographer! Set up a quiet little area away from the party with a tea set and props for single subject photos.


If you want to take the photos yourself, use a portrait lens and stand as far away as possible, zooming in to the get the shot. This cuts down lens distortion. Never use a flash. If photographing inside, a great way to get good lighting is to set up in front of an open front door or any door that leads outside. Taking photos off to the side can give lovely shadows. If outside, pay attention to the light on your child's face. Make sure she doesn't have the sun on her face. An ideal shot is late afternoon with the sun at their back, making a halo effect. Then with a large sheet of foam core (found at art and craft stores) bounce light back on their face.


If you have any questions, email me at info@shariford.com!