Vacation Family Portraits - 2015 Beach Recap

Bald Head Island

I always love a trip to Bald Head.  A nice country drive to Southport followed by a short boat trip.  Just give me some music to listen to and that's a great commute.  And it's always nice to get picked up by golf cart upon arrival to Bald Head.  After pickup we headed to the Shoals club to start some family portraits on the beach.  Fun golf cart images are always important to catch along the way.

Bald Head Island Family Portraits by Angela Piccinin

Bald Head Island Family Portraits by Angela Piccinin

I had photographed this family a couple years prior so the boys were familiar with me and they are so fun.  We even had ice cream when they returned me to the ferry.  If I have another boy, I want my set of boys to be like this cute duo.

Fort Fisher 

I have quite a few portrait sessions in Fort Fisher since it has so many different backdrops to work with.  You get pretty trees, beach, rocks, gazebos and river views all in about a 1/4 mile.  With so many areas to work with as well as constantly changing island weather, each family can get their own original look.

Fort Fisher Family Portraits by Angela Piccinin

Fort Fisher Family Portraits by Angela Piccinin

This last shot was the first time I had found this little nook at Fort Fisher.  Depending on the sunset it can look like it's straight out of The Lion King, just watch out for the sand burrs!

Working with large groups can be challenging but I tend to find it to be helpful.  The more adults behind me trying to get a baby's attention, the better.  This group of 15 was super helpful which meant we got the big group images and all the smaller family shots too.

Fort Fisher Family Portraits by Angela Piccinin

Fort Fisher Family Portraits by Angela Piccinin

Another factor to keep in mind when planning a shoot is the tide schedule.  There's no way to get a nice long shot of the family walking together in the waves if it's high tide.  

Carolina Beach

While I usually recommend sunset for portrait sessions, sometimes the models have bedtimes.  That's no problem, we need our models at their best.  I can come to you as early as you can be ready to shoot.  I'm up early, I have a baby too.  This was a morning shoot where the sun came out bright and ready to go. 

Carolina Beach Family Portraits by Angela Piccinin

Carolina Beach Family Portraits by Angela Piccinin

One thing I always like to do is get a few shots of parents without kids.  Not that we don't love our kids, but sometimes you need a shot of just the grown-ups.  Parents are people too.

Wrightsville Beach 

This was another early morning shoot.  The rain was threatening but was nice enough to hold off until I was on the way home.  These girls were the sweetest and reminded me of Ariel and Belle, like tiny little Disney princesses.  I love shooting at the south end of Wrightsville Beach.  My suggestion is to meet at the Oceanic to get a few pier shots.  A 2 minute drive down the road takes you to the very south end where you can get more beach shots or head through the sweet dunes over to the intracoastal.  

Wrightsville Beach Family Portraits by Angela Piccinin

Wrightsville Beach Family Portraits by Angela Piccinin

Surf City 

I love piers!  Especially the ones in Surf City.  The first pier featured is from the south end.  The beach is nice and wide and the dunes are super tall which gives a good variety of backdrops.  

One more thing I love - when the sun comes out of the clouds like a raging ball of fire at the end of a cloudy day.

Surf City Family Portraits by Angela Piccinin

Surf City Family Portraits by Angela Piccinin

This second pier is the main one when you come over the bridge to Surf City.  It's super tall at low tide and is great for jumping pictures.  You wouldn't think your family would like a jumping picture but they will....

Surf City Family Portraits by Angela Piccinin

Surf City Family Portraits by Angela Piccinin

A short walk from the pier takes you to the intracoastal where there is a long winding boardwalk where the sun just happens to set.  Thanks Surf City.

If you're interested in booking a session, email me or just call, 954.240.0479

Catching up - New mom life - And cell phone pics

2015 was the year of change for the Piccinin-Alvarez household.  Amongst the many weddings and family portrait sessions, we brought a baby into the world.  I shot our last wedding of the spring at 34 weeks and shot our first family session of the summer just 2 weeks after his arrival so some things fell through the cracks, like this blog.  With our son in tow for this ride of life, I know our new theme for life will be "catching up" while time inevitably flies by.  So here's to catching up!  Tonight, I tell you why I'm behind(uhh, its the baby).  Later in the week, I'll catch you up on my 2015 work.  

But for now here's Oliver! The beginning...

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My husband and I planned to shoot my maternity portraits at 37 weeks.  The day of our scheduled shoot I was sent to the hospital due to high blood pressure.  It was confirmed that I had preeclampsia and it was time to induce.  Don't get me wrong, I'm super happy to have a healthy baby but as a photographer I was crushed that I wouldn't get my pretty beach belly shoot.  Luckily I have are my cell phone  images that at least track the progress of my growing belly.  Lesson learned: Schedule my belly shoot earlier in the next pregnancy! 

Our chunky monkey was born on May 23 and has become my most favorite subject. We were given a classic set of blocks and those have been one of my favorite props to show his age in his monthly shoots.  He doesn't always enjoy his photo shoots but I love his fussy faces too.  I call them emotion wrinkles.

Oliver monthly photos

While I love to pull out my 'big' camera and lights for his photo shoots, they're are not always handy or time conducive.  I find my phone to be a huge help in capturing his growing face and super cute outfits.  I like to find a receiving blanket (aka spit rag) that coordinates with his onesie of the hour and lay out a portrait.  I think it's important to be square above him so I can get the attention of his giant eyes.  I NEVER use the flash on my phone.  Instead I will either move to a window or turn on all the lights in the room.  My LG G3 is pretty good but it can't take a clear picture in dim light and the flash on my phone creates a harsh light that usually makes him squint.

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These portraits have been a huge theme on my instagram account and make a great timeline printed out in his photo album.  Since I would literally be snapping like 20 pics in a row(to capture all those emotions of course) I had plenty of leftover pics and I found I enjoyed them in a series as well which is where my piccollage account became important.  When I was still breastfeeding I would use some of that time to play with those images in either instagram or piccollage.  So I guess that's one more breastfeeding bonus; a free hand for cell phone picture management. 

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I really really hope he doesn't get tired of the camera(fingers crossed) and I hope I've given you a few tips for taking quick daily pics of your little ones.  

Beach Family Photos - The Paredes Family

We've known Kate and her family for years now and had the honor of taking her son's baby portraits back in August.  When the holidays rolled around and all the family was in town we planned a shoot down at Fort Fisher.  We started under the trees and then made our way out to the beach.  In each location, I made it a point to do the whole group as well as smaller groups of family and individual couples.  As long as we've got the right lighting, it only takes a minute to switch up the groups and that provides my customer with lots of options for printing.  I gotta say that Lily the puppy was quite the cooperative model so after we caught the family formals and some candids on the beach, Lily deserved her own little portrait.  Below is a just a few of the many shots we captured on that beautiful sunny day. 

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The Awkward Friends Holiday Photo - 2014 Version

We know Daniella and her husband Matt not just because we shot their wedding last year but we also shot their Awkward Friends Photo in 2013.  As you can probably guess this is based loosely on the Awkward Family Photo book.  But they do it up big.  Last years theme was American Denim, this year she messaged me to let me know they would be going with a Ski School theme.  Yes! I love the 90's and any horribly wonderful film made at that time.  

They always show up ready to go - Aquanet, fluorescents and all! I shot them against a white seamless backdrop and then they pretty much let me have creative freedom with the backgrounds.  They'll give me suggestions and then I search Google for theme appropriate clipart.  I gave them over 50 images, all of which make me laugh, but below you can see some of my favorites. 

We started with the group shots. They always ask for direction, but honestly, they don't need it.

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Next we shot couples.  They wanted to look like they were on a ski lift so I pulled out a wooden chest for them to sit on.

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And every year we do individuals.  This year made me really feel like "Glamour Shots by Deb".

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And here's just a few more of my favorites.  Happy Holidays!

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Kelli's Mother and Daughter Maternity Shoot

I've known Kelli for many years now, from back in the days of beaches, bicycles and bars. Since she's been expecting baby number 2, her daughter likes to think she also has a baby in her belly.  So Kelli came to me with a particular idea in mind and we made it happen.

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I also gave her these shots in black and white but I love color so much more.  Then I threw in some other ideas.  

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We still had some sunlight so we headed outside for a few quick outdoor shots.  I'm always into getting as much as we can out of one session. 

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Her daughter had a flower girl dress that we wanted to get some shots with, you know, as long as she still fits into it.  Love her fun faces.  She's such an animated little chick.

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Congratulations on your new little addition!

The Posey Family - Fall Family Portrait Session

I've worked with this family multiple times now, from Charlie's birth announcement (featuring his crochet booties) to his first baby portraits and Travis' marine homecoming so Charlie is pretty used to me by now.  Nicole wanted to get their family portraits done with a fall background so we decided to meet at the Poplar Grove trails.  Plenty of trees, and I could always up the fall colors in Photoshop if nature wasn't going to provide them, which I ended up doing.  We decided to meet at 8am, when Charlie would be well rested, yet wide awake. 

They brought along their adorable dog Jethro, what a great little model.  He definitely earned his many treats that day.

We worked in a few outfits so they would have some variation.  I really dig the father and son matching WVU hats.  

Thanks for being such a great model Charlie!

The Walsh Family - Topsail Beach Family Portrait

Kristin's sister had asked me if I could make her a gift certificate as a birthday present - Totally! 

So that's what brought me to meet the Walsh Family.  I ended up meeting them before their portrait session since she hired me for Matt's Marine Homecoming, which was great since I think their son was used to me yelling his name by the time we got to the portrait session, lol.  It's always funny shooting small children, I get Danny holding key's and calling names behind me, we've got to get those eyes in the right direction.  For this session, we met them at their home in Topsail and headed out to the beach nearest to their home.  We brought along the dog and tried to get her in a few but she was pretty fast.  I like to get as much variation as we can so I even had Danny hold the baby so we could get a few shots of Kristin and Matt alone together.  I figured it was good training for Danny since we're expecting a baby in June. 

topsailbeachfamily

The Kropp Family - Christmas Card and Portrait Session

Lori first contacted me back in September because she had a specific idea in mind for her daughter's first christmas card.  No problem, I can make it happen!  We planned the shoot for November so I would have a week to get everything edited and she would have plenty of time to get her cards printed.  Oh babies and their faces, everything is so new and exciting.  And the hat that Lori found on Etsy is just too adorable.  

We tried a couple of other christmas setups but she was most comfortable peeking out over my beanbag chair setup.  I do love the shot with her in the gift box.

After we got the christmas shots done, we had time for some family portraits.  We did some in the studio and then headed out behind the studio for an outdoor look.  Don't be fooled, the area behind the our studio is not this pretty, good old photoshop helped me out with that. I just needed that grassy knoll to get me started. 

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Can't wait to shoot this happy family again!

Courtney & Brian's Wrightsville Beach Engagement Session

Courtney and Brian had recently moved to Wilmington from Philadelphia, what a small world!  Danny and I loved living in Philly! It's a great city with awesome food, especially in the Italian Market.  They knew they wanted the beach look so I suggested my favorite place in Wrightsville - starting at the Oceanic Pier and then heading to the south end where we can use both the ocean and intracoastal views.

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You should have seen me trying to work out the 'L-O-V-E' with my hands before they met up with us.  It looked like bad west coast signs but we figured it out.  So happy with the way it came out, I had seen it on pinterest but just hadn't used it yet.  

As a side note, I love graphic design and often try to include some graphic elements in engagement sessions.  Of course I give them the photos without the fonts, but I love fonts! So I use the sessions as an excuse to play with them.  

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After the pier, we headed down to the south end and started our walk around the little peninsula that sticks out down there.  Ocean to sand dunes to intracoastal, just in time for sunset. (And yes, I always bring my scrabble pieces.  Its a good thing we don't play scrabble much at home.)

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Courtney and Brian also brought their Philly jerseys, so a quick outfit change and we got those in too.  I think Courtney and Brian were laughing at Danny and I since we were wearing scarves, gloves and hats from the get-go but we assured them that a couple of years in the south would wear down there cold tolerance.  

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Congratulations on your engagement Courtney and Brian!

Another side note: This poor little butterfly was just hanging on a sea oat.  Pretty little guy.

Melissa & Parker's Church to Beach Wedding

We first met Melissa and Parker when we did their engagement photos back on a chilly spring day.  The chill followed us to the wedding day and the passing storms kept us inside no matter how hard we tried to get out.  But that's no problem, a beautiful church is a fine background.

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I was loving her blue shoes.  

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Flower girls often forget to pass out the petals so this ball of flowers is a super cute option.  And she definitely swung it around enough that petals were falling.

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For the ceremony, I was stuck in the choir loft but that's what telephoto lenses are for.  It's also important to move from left to right and sitting to standing so not every shot is from the exact same perspective. 

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We took all the family shots and some bridal party in the church following the ceremony.  I was tracking the weather radar on my phone but those green patches kept rolling in.  We headed to the reception site on Wrightsville Beach since it had some balconies we could work with.  I still love this shot of the bridesmaids protecting the bride from the rain, and their umbrellas totally worked with the color scheme. 

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On to the reception for dinner and dancing. Her grandmother made the cake, so sweet!

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This has to be the quickest sparkler "LOVE' shot I've ever set up.  Way to go! to my volunteers. 

And Congratulations to Melissa and Parker!

The 1/6 Homecoming - The Walsh Family

Kristin contacted me about a week before her husband was scheduled to come home.  We were happy to go up to Camp LeJeune to photograph the event.  Their son was born just two days before Matt was deployed so it had been 9 months since he had seen her or her son.  We got up there early because homecomings are never at a guaranteed time.  So we took advantage of the time we had to wait and got some shots of Kristin and her son together with the signs around the base, then we ate cookies and drank Kool-Aid while we waited for the buses.  (I forgot how good Kool-Aid is.)  It's always very humbling to be a part of a homecoming.  The time that these people sacrifice away from their families is huge and I couldn't imagine being away from Danny for that long.  But we have been pretty much attached at the hip for the past 12 years.  

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Thanks for letting us be a part of your day!

Kristen & Danny's Shell Island Resort Wedding

Kristen and Danny were married at Shell Island Resort in Wrightsville Beach.  They also chose to get ready there so we took advantage of every photo opportunity, including getting the bridal parties out on the decks without letting them see each other. 

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First we ran from room to room to capture their wedding gifts. 

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Then we spent some time with each bridal party in and around the hotel.  Texting made sure that the bride and groom wouldn't see each other.

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How cute are these flower girls?  The oldest was definitely leading the way. 

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Following the ceremony we kept everyone out on the beach to get some group shots. 

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Time for the reception!

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I had cleared it with the bride and groom to step outside during the reception for sunset.  The best time of day for photos!

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Congratulations Kristen and Danny! And special thanks to my second shooter of the day, Hayley Peters Warren of Hayley Warren Photography.  My husband had to go out of town and she was absolutely fantastic to work with!

Jack & Christine's 20th Anniversary

Jack and Christine were in town on their first childless vacation in many years.  They were celebrating their 20th anniversary and had contacted me to take some portraits of them.  We decided on downtown.  They were taking advantage of their time with their kids in tow and doing things they wanted to do.  While touring Bellamy mansion the day before our shoot, they emailed me to see if we could start out there in the morning.  I was happy to start there.  And since we started at 8am, we found a back gate that wasn't locked to get in.  

Hey, it didn't say 'no trespassing'. (That's the only sign I really look for.)

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The Bellamy mansion has beautiful grounds and we took full advantage of them.  After we finished there we took a walk downtown and to the river.  It was a bit chilly but we made it work. 

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Happy 20th Anniversary Jack and Christine!!!

Heather & Steven's Thalian Hall Wedding

Heather and Steven had their ceremony and reception at the beautiful Thalian Hall downtown.  We took advantage of the cool backstage area to get ready.  I loved the Hollywood style lights. 

The ceremony was held in an upstairs ballroom that would double as the reception area.  We took a few quick pics of the bride, groom, bridal party and family after the ceremony and then headed outside while they flipped the room for the reception. 

Outside, we took advantage of all the cool steps that surround the hall.  Out front there was one movie poster that was left blank.  I love to create graphic elements so I photoshopped in my own ad for their wedding nuptials. 

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Drapes. velvet and bold bold red - whats not to love?  Heather and Steven took it upon themselves to make everyone'e wedding favor - caramel apples.  I love the bride and groom versions they made for their table. 

Sisters always have the most fun, proven by the Thriller themed dance they made up on the spot.  

I had been dying to take the whole bridal party into the theatre for group photos earlier in the night but Peter Pan had been rehearsing in between the ceremony and reception.  Since I knew there was no way we could get the whole bridal party during the reception(let's face it, boys lose pieces of their tuxedos quickly), I just stole Steven and Heather away for about 20 min.  We got some awesome shots on the stage and around this classic background.  So much red velvet, I love it!

The festivities ended with a sparkler sendoff. Congrats Steven and Heather!!!

Heather & Steven's Engagement Shoot

On the day we were scheduled to shoot, the skies were not cooperating.  I watched the radar like a hawk all day and from my local knowledge, I know that it is rarely raining in Carolina Beach when it is pouring in Wilmington.  I let Steven and Heather know my thoughts and asked them how they wanted to proceed.  We decided to shoot and the skies agreed.  We met at the very end of Fort Fisher and I brought along a few props.  Below you can see a frame that I dismantled from my house.  Something I often do. 

I knew I could get a few different backgrounds in this area so we started in the boat ramp area and then worked our way around to the tree where they originally got engaged. 

If you've been to Fort Fisher, you know what tree I'm talking about.  It sits at the top of a sand-dune-hill and the roots have been exposed over time.  It's a pretty awesome tree.

We went back to the car for a quick outfit change and headed over to the beach area where we made use of the logs that roll on shore like giant driftwood. 

When we got closer to the actual time of sunset we headed out onto the rock jetty.  It's a great backdrop and the clouds opened up just enough to give us some light color. We didn't venture out too far since the day was pretty wet and the rocks were a bit slippery.  Danger aside, they were totally worth it. 

Lindsey & the Carolina Beach Boardwalk

I'm way behind on blogs so here goes...

I wanted to do a shoot, for fun, at the carnival in Carolina Beach.  They have, or rather had, a great arcade there with super fun colors but it just happened to burn down about two weeks after our shoot, so I'm super glad we got this in.  I've worked with Lindsey before, she is fantastic model! And super stylish so she provided her own wardrobe.  We started off in front of a few rides and then worked our way over to the arcade.  Here she is killing it in front of the ring of fire. 

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Once we got inside of the arcade, we got some tokens and took turns playing and shooting.  I love pinball!  I also love shallow depth of field and reflections.  Can you tell?

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My very favorite shot of the night came from the skeeball.  Lindsey's attitude + the color of the games + the color of her shoes = awesome-ness!

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You can tell this girl knows how to pose.  Sexy, crazy, fun, she's got it.

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We took a minute to turn in any tickets we had and Lindsey got some glow in the dark bugs for her nephews.  I'm so sad this place burnt down but I heard they are planning on rebuilding so any fun couple that wants to do an engagement shoot hereā€¦..I'm in.

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Carolina Beach also has some 'photo op' areas so we took advantage of those too.

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One more outfit change and we were onto the carousel.  I wish I would have hit up the carousel about 20 min earlier, when the sky wasn't totally black yet.  And I would have saved more tickets for a few more times around, although Lindsey may have gotten quite dizzy for that.  My only other regret from this shoot was the ferris wheel.  They wouldn't let us ride one to a cart so the shots I wanted to get just wouldn't work out.  But safety is important I guess.

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Our last stop was the cotton candy stand.  Again, I wish it wasn't quite so dark yet but that's why I practice. You gotta play to learn.  Hope you enjoyed!  And thank you Lindsey!

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Gigi's Bridal Shoot

I first met Gigi while photographing boxers for the Carolina Boxer Rescue calendar.  (Her super cute puppies won the cover!)  And I also photographed products for her website, Beach Love Boutique.  I had put up a model call on my Facebook page as I wanted to practice some new ideas and Gigi was the first to respond.  She said she didn't care if her dress got wet and was totally able to shoot on a weekday night.  She had been married for 4 years but wanted to get some shots in her dress while it still fits, lol.  She met me at my studio and then we headed out to Greenfield Lake to get started.  I always bring a few props along and on this night I had a rocking chair, a giant hair flower and a small stool.  We started with the rocking chair.

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Of course, I brought my speed light and we only used one for the duration of this shoot and Danny once again, is the best light holder/aimer ever.  After we got some shots with the rocking chair we moved over to the water.  Gigi and Danny spotted an alligator but I chose not to look since I was standing in some marsh area and didn't want to scare myself.  Gigi was not scared and climbed up on some branches to get up over the water. She's cleverly hiding her walking stick/balancing stick behind her.

I had brought a small stool to sink into the water so it would look more like she was standing over the water.  Next time I need a taller stool.  I underestimated how deep it gets a foot off shore.  I will also need a pair of rain boots for myself.  But that's why I practice these things.  

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 I love the reflections of the water behind her.  Our last setup was at this little brick bridge.  It was getting dark but we were able to get a few more shots in.  

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So the best shot of the day goes back to our first set-up in the woodsy area.  And I'm very happy to announce that it ail be on the cover of the Fall issue of The Perfect Wedding Planner!

Thank you Gigi!!

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Hello Michael! - baby's first shoot

Hello Michael!  

Michael was just one week old we did this in-home newborn shoot.  With newborns, the sooner the shoots, the better as each day they get new little muscles going and can fight us more on posing.  One of the most important things for me to capture in a shoot like this is the little details.  And by little, I mean those adorable tiny toes, teeny fingers and 'wittle' wrinkles.  I like to use natural window light for these shots when possible.  Mom and dad can take turns holding the baby and I can lean in and get shots without baby even knowing I'm there.  Totally love the blue and white star blankie and mom's crochet sleeves, nice soft details to frame out baby.  

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While I schedule newborn shoots as a 1 hour session, it's not uncommon for them to stretch into two hours.  Babies need breaks.  I'm sure Marykate and Ashley got plenty of breaks.  We can't have our new to the world subjects upset.  They've been wrapped up in the womb and now blankets, and here we are peeling back the layers and ooing at the cuteness of their little baby bodies.  All for the sake of capturing it before they inevitably continue to grow.  So in short, breaks are a must.  I love the shot below of Michael drooling after one of our eat breaks.

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Whenever I shoot in someone's home, we're always looking to incorporate props and blankets from babies room.  They had a pillow printed with all his birth information which coincidentally matched the amazing rug in the entryway.  Then I paired a laundry basket with an heirloom yarn blanket.  (We left the diaper on.)  And finally there was a blanket made from grandpa's old plaid shirts. (Love the floors in their home.)

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Now everything we attempt doesn't always work out.  They have an amazing dining room table made from reclaimed wood and we tried to get a shot of Michael and his little ivory body on there but he was not having it.  Next time Michael, next time.

I'm normally partial to color but I also include a few black and white images, especially with the use of window light. My favorite b&w are below. 

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Welcome to the world Michael, can't wait to shoot your family pics!

(And Lily, you're a great watch dog.)

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End of Summer Family Shoots

Well, summer's over! But not without a last push of family portraits.  The recent weeks have been busy with families, all on vacation, soaking up the last rays before school started again.  Vacation is a great time to schedule a shoot.  Everyone's relaxed after a day at the beach.  There's no commutes, no deadlines + everyone has a nice tan.  When I was a kid, we would drive from Windsor, Ontario to Carolina Beach every summer.  The 16 hour drive in a car with 5 other humans was long and cramped but totally worth it.  Lucky for us, my Dad was quite the photographer and always brought his camera + the telephoto lens.  Smile!  

With my family photo sessions, we schedule an hour time slot.  This gives us time to get a more formal posed look as well as candids.  I usually start with a formal portrait while the little ones are totally into it.  They will lose interest, they're kids.  We'll walk to another area and capture candids along the way, this gives them a little break.  And no worries if everyone can't get their eyes to the camera at once.  I use the magic of photoshop to make it happen.

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Surf City Family Portraits

After spending our last few shoots re-scheduling due to rain or extreme wind, it was nice to have the weather cooperate.  However, we had one little guy who did not want his picture taken.  So I had to be quick and clever.  Quick comes with the three or so shots I fire off at each formal pose.  This ensures I've got everyone looking in 1 of 3 that I can stitch together.  Clever comes from the candids.  Hide behind people or give my second camera to Danny so he can grab a few when attention is diverted by a willing adult.  But I have to say I really enjoyed his I-don't-want-to-do-this face.

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Family Shoot at Private Rental in North Topsail

I got a message while we were on our way to North Topsail Beach that they had another family staying with them that also wanted photos.  Could it happen?  No problem, I can do it.  We gave them slightly different setups within the same basic location.  With small children this worked out well, it gave each family a chance to run around between setups and plenty of chances for me to grab candids.  Have I mentioned how much I love sun flare?

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Family Portraits in Landfall's Temple Gardens

We had been discussing beach portraits but eventually decided to shoot within Landfall.  I was super excited for this.  I love to check out the gorgeous homes in this gated community.  The grounds are so well kept and the architecture is so, forgive me saying this, soap opera awesome.  As we were driving in, I kept naming the homes to Danny - classic Adam Chandler's, glamourous Erica Kane's, sensible Tad's.  (I watched aLOT of All My Children with my mom growing up.  In fact we all did, at lunch-on vacation-in Carolina Beach.)  

So anyway, we met at Temple Garden in Landfall and of course there were plenty of beautifully manicured gardens to use as our backdrops.  This meant we could quickly get large groups and small groups with plenty of variation just by moving to the left or right.  

They also wanted some shots by the water.  Danny and I had driven around to scout out locations for that so we suggested a small park with a clearing to the water/sunset.  It also had this sweet twisted tree that we were able to use even though it was getting dark.  With groups that have older children, it's much much easier to arrange more dynamic poses.  (2 year olds just can't sit still, my niece is super fast.)  

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Thanks to everyone for choosing us to capture your family portraits!

Colette & Brian's Courthouse Nuptials

Colette contacted me about a week before their wedding and I was happy I was free that Friday morning.  This was my first wedding in the New Hanover Courthouse and I was excited to photograph a new environment.  We planned on meeting outside the courthouse about an hour before the scheduled ceremony.  This gave us time to get some portraits outside the original courthouse.

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And inside the original courthouse.  Big beautiful windows!  Colette and Brian were stylin' - her chic cocktail dress and his light ensemble (plus the socks) totally went with the downtown ceremony vibe.  And her accessories really set off her city style dress - chandelier earrings, nude shoes, a chunky bracelet and then her short hair! I could go on and on.  Chic, chic, chic.

Side Note #1:  If  you check out the decals on the doors to the historic building, they currently say "Sleepy Hollow Police Department". lol

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The magistrate was flexible with where they conducted the ceremony, so after going to find her in the New Hanover County Judicial Building, she came back to find us at the New Hanover County Superior Judge building.  It's such an elegant backdrop for the ceremony. 

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After the ceremony and some group shots inside, I took them down to the river for a few more outdoor shots.  They were headed to Chops Deli for lunch(how cute are they?) so I tagged along to get a couple of shots outside.  

Side Note #2: If you go to Chops on a Friday and they are serving Sloppy Chops, get it! If it's not Friday, my favorite to suggest is the Bordeaux, rare roast beef and brie with a mushroom gravy that I could eat as a soup.  Sooooo good. 

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Congratulations Colette and Brian!!