Photographer Transforms Newborns into the Cast of 'Friends' & Nails Every Detail

Mandy Penn Photography
Mandy Penn Photography

If you've found yourself anxious, sad, or even depressed over how much everyday life has changed over the last few weeks, you're far from alone. But we're willing to bet this story will definitely put a smile on your face, even if only for a few minutes. It's all thanks to Colorado-based photographer Mandy Penn, who recently staged an EPIC Friends-inspired newborn shoot that will have fans wanting to binge the beloved series from the very beginning.

  • Penn tells CafeMom she's been photographing newborns for the last three years but had never attempted a themed shoot like this one before.

    To pull it off, Penn says she teamed up with her friend and mentor Melissa Stynski, and went with Friends because it's one of her all-time favorite shows.

    Um ... can you say: Nailed it?

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  • "I am a HUGE 'Friends' fan!" Penn admits. (You know, in case it wasn't already obvious.)

    The idea first came to her around the time she found out her friend -- who's also a major fan of the television show -- was pregnant with twin girls.

    "Since I was just starting to do newborn [photos] I ran the idea of a Friends-themed photoshoot for her girls past her," Penn tells CafeMom. 

  • From there, the idea started to snowball, as she got a little "extra" (her words) in creating the backdrops.

    For starters, there would have to be The Couch, and of course the backdrop would be Central Perk, the New York City coffee shop where whole gang would hang out (and never actually drink coffee).

    "I searched everywhere for something remotely close to the Friends couch, and the closest thing was a brown couch," she says. 

    It was also $200 and didn't exactly evoke those Central Perk vibes. 

    So, she decided to call up her good friend Danielle Shunk, who owns the furniture and home design business Sincerely Danielle Shunk.

    "I asked if she had any ideas of where I could find a couch," Penn recalls. "She goes, 'What if I just made it from scratch?”

    And just like that, Penn got the perfect mini replica of The Couch. (You can check out how it was made right here.)

  • Next, of course, came casting.

    She already had two baby girls on board, but she needed four more babies so could have have one for each role: Ross, Rachel, Joey, Chandler, Phoebe, and Monica.

    At the same time, she wanted the shoot to be a bit of a surprise, if possible.

    "I didn’t want anyone to know the theme before I put it out there, so I just did a basic model call for four more babies," she explains.

    When the parents finally arrived with their babies ... let's just say, it was a hit.

  • There was a mini Chandler Bing -- who slept soundly next to the beloved foosball table he enjoyed with Joey.

    Chandler Bing
    Mandy Penn Photography

    ... as well as those handcuffs he infamously wore when Rachel's crazy boss Joana cuffed him to her desk. 

    Behind him is a card bearing one of his most famous lines: "I'm not great at advice, but can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?" 

    Why yes, yes you can, Chandler!

  • And then there was pint-sized Ross Geller, who was expertly swaddled in pleather to symbolize those truly horrifying leather pants he once wore.

    Ross Geller
    Mandy Penn Photography

    (You know -- the ones that wound up covered in baby powder on the Date from Hell?)

    He also came with a mini Marcel, some faux dinosaur fossils (he WAS a doctor of archeology, after all), and a card bearing what's probably his most iconic line: "PIVOT!" 

    Actually, scratch that -- his most iconic was definitely "We were on a break!"

  • Speaking of ... baby Rachel Green was also all sorts of adorable.

    In addition to her Central Perk apron and a mini lobster (awww), she also sported her very own knitted wig, styled like "the Rachel" we all knew and loved in the '90s.

  • Meanwhile, Monica was, of course, surrounded by all her favorite cleaning and cooking supplies ... 

    ... not to mention that amazing turkey hat, made by Penn's talented friend Denise DeFilippo. 

    But Penn would have been remiss if she didn't represent Mon's most infamous line: "7 ... 7 ... 7 ... SEVEN!" (If you don't already know it, do yourself a favor and watch the episode titled, "The One With Phoebe's Uterus.")

  • Baby Joey's favorite catchphrase also played a prominent role in his photo: "How YOU doin?"

    As did his favorite foods of choice: pizza and Toblerones.

    Also, we kind of can't get over the multiple ties he's sporting. (Remember the time he wore all of Chandler's clothes around without any underwear and then started doing lunges? DYING.)

  • And who could forget the lovable, wacky, and truly one-of-a-kind Pheebs?

    (aka Regina Phalange!)

    Penn made sure she was surrounded on the couch by all of her most beloved items -- such as the guitar she wrote "Smelly Cat" on and even a mini replica of her taxi cab.

  • There was even an appearance by the Holiday Armadillo!

    Penn says she became a Friends fan later in life, because she wasn’t allowed to watch it as a kid.

    Once she was old enough, she bought all the seasons on DVD and watched them whenever she could. 

    "Now because I’ve seen them so many times, I turn them on when I’m doing other things because I know what is going on in the episodes," she says. 

    Penn also thinks of the show a lot during everyday life -- even sometimes when she's photographing weddings. During the ceremonies, she says that if the officiant says "anything about GIVING and RECEIVING and HAVING and HOLDING" she tries to remain out of view, because she will "grin and chuckle" just thinking about Season 7, Episode 16 (aka "The One With the Truth About London.")

    Picking her favorite character is a toughie, but ultimately, it would probably be Rachel. (Though she also has a soft spot for Chandler, who is "basically" her husband.)

    As for her all-time favorite episode? It's a toss-up between "The One Where No One Is Ready" and "The One With the Embryos." 

    "Those two always can bring me back to life and laugh even when I’m sad," she shares. 

    Now, she can add these Friends-inspired images to the list of things that'll cheer her up when she's feeling sad. (And luckily, so can we.)