Ending my 2014 Christmas season are three families near and dear to my heart! A close friend, a co-worker and my family!
Being a close friend of mine means that the Lake family has their pictures taken with me a lot more often than normal. (Maybe normal for other people but for me, it’s not enough!) Sometimes I just text Alexis and ask if I can come over for the afternoon and take pictures of little Katalina!
We met again at this special park of mine in Southport and even though it was a cloudy day the pictures still came out so beautiful! Then we ended the session back at their house in front of their Christmas tree for some “first Christmas”/ 6-month shots of Katalina! And I have to say, with each session both Jeremy and Sam are slowly getting more accustomed to smiling nicely for the camera! We’ll get there someday, Alexis! 🙂
I met the Sandoval family at Brunswick Town because Savanna was looking for a place with lots of mossy oak trees that this area is famous for and Brunswick Town has it! Not to mention, unless you go on a day they are holding an event, there’s practically no one around so it’s the perfect spot to take pictures with some really awesome backdrops. Both sets of grandparents were there also to give Raylan lots of hugs and kisses! We basically walked the entire loop of the historical site and ended just before dark, getting lots of family photos in between. Raylan was not feeling like being a model that I know he is so we did a lot of candids, squirrel and dolphin hunting and acorn throwing to get his attention. He is the coolest, sweetest boy ever but he’s got a serious face that’s great for Ralph Lauren catalogues!
My last Christmas card session of 2014 was the Pridgeon family. As always, one of my favorite families to photograph. It’s hard not to love every picture that’s taken of Nate because he is so stinking’ adorable! He was feeling a little under the weather and at that stage in life where he’d rather be exploring and doing other fun things than having his picture taken. Luckily, being my nephew, I knew exactly what would perk him up so I whipped out my phone and played some fun dance tunes to get him smiling and focused on staying in one spot! I also knew that cookies and milk at the end would be a hit with a cookie monster such as himself!
Part two of the Christmas sessions picks up with another Morris family. This one with three energetic children and a puppy! It was tough getting a posed picture so we went with the candids at the park so the kids could enjoy the wide, open spaces and I enjoyed getting a work-out running around them clicking away! Luckily for a Christmas card, you only need one or two great photos to send out and that’s really all we strived to get! Nichole warned me that photographing her family was going to be difficult but with a little bit of patience we managed to make it work!
Ralph’s presence was requested again for my next rustic, country-inspired family session with the Caseys. Ralph is straight out of 1950 so driving
him in him scares me! My husband wasn’t around to bring him to the park again so I found the courage to crank him up and drive him over to an empty wooded plot of land right next to my house. I had no idea it was actually such a great backdrop over there!
The Casey family came to my house to start the session with the truck and then we went over to the park where we could take advantage of other country backdrops like old wooden fences, big field of tall grass and of course, that great enchanted forest! (You should really see this place after an ice storm, then you’ll know why I call it ‘enchanted’!) The day was beautiful and the sun created gorgeous lighting for this beautiful family! Take a look!
The Johnson family was the second of six sessions that I had in this one particular week of December. I did their pictures for last Christmas and their boys have grown so much in one year! I could not get over it, not to mention how adorable their youngest boy was! How was this the same little baby I saw last year?? I don’t think I’ve ever fallen in love with a little boy’s smile like his. Look for yourself – you may just want to eat him up!
When I pulled into the parking lot before the Bennett’s family photo shoot I got so excited because of what I saw. They had an old red wagon and lots of Christmas decorations and the little elf inside of me couldn’t wait to get started! But waiting it what we had to do because in my Christmas joy, I accidentally locked my camera with my only set of keys in my car. YAY! And the Bennett family practically drove up from Florida just to do this session with me. Double YAY! In between frantic calls to my husband who was 45 minutes away with family, I tried to miraculously unlock my car with my keypad entry that hadn’t been programmed (I was hoping the previous owner had an easy pin code that was still usable!) and Anna tried using maybe a pocket knife of some sort to unlock my door. Finally, my husband was able to call a friend who just happened to be on the same street as us, with the means of safely breaking into my car. It seemed hopeless but after a 30 minute delay we were finally back on schedule! YAY!
Lesson learned; get a spare key and program my keypad! But it was worth the wait because as always we got some really cute family pictures for Christmas cards and had time for other sessions which will be blogged about in a separate post!
In the middle of Christmas card photo sessions I did family portraits for the Morris Family. Sheila emailed me and said her family had recently moved to the area and she saw my photos using my husband’s truck, ol’ Ralph, and really wanted to use that in their session amidst some old oak trees. Now, the Southport area has a ton of big, beautiful mossy oak trees BUT they are all surrounded by houses and other buildings. I took a few hours one day and drove around with Bear in search of a public area, not surrounded by buildings, where this sort of picture could take place. I almost gave up hope until I remembered seeing signs for a park down the road from my house. We went and I fell in love. Within the first minute I came across a wooded entry to some kind of enchanted forest (for real, folks!) and there was a big, beautiful oak tree standing right at the entrance. PERFECT! We continued to explore and walked around the entire park and then I ran home to email Sheila to let her know I found the perfect spot!
We met a few days later on a beautiful afternoon and had our session with Ralph, under the big tree then changed scenery to the beach 5 minutes away. This beautiful family has some new beautiful pictures to hang on the walls of their new home in Southport!
My most favorite but hectic season is the Christmas card season! I love, love, love Christmas so being able to spend my time working on holiday themed family portraits is a delight! Especially since I get into the mood by listening (and singing along) to Christmas songs while editing! This year I squeezed 12 family sessions into a four-week period. That was fun!! But each session was so unique and fun, I’m already looking forward to next year!
Let’s start with the Mullis Family. This session was just before Thanksgiving and it was the first dose of cold that we had in NC so far this year. It was a very cold 40 degrees and they had a 2-month old braving the cold for some beautiful (first!) family photos! We met at a cute little park inside a neighborhood in Wilmington. Maintenance was setting up lights for Christmas and lucky for us, they started a roaring fire in the outdoor fireplace! Perfect photo op when we were feeling really chilly! After about 20 minutes little Max was telling us it was time to go, so we went back to the warmth of their home and finished some really Christmas-themed shots of him!
My next sessions took place at Brunswick Town with Briana, John and Peyton. Every time I photograph this family, Peyton just gets cuter and cuter! This day was also very cold and Peyton was being so adorable and patient! She didn’t complain once about it, but would just shiver in the cutest voice ever and then giggle about it. I want to just eat her up!!
My next session with the Boldt family was rescheduled initially due to cold weather and the day we met, it was so warm on the beach you could comfortably wear flip flops! That’s NC weather for ya! The biggest roller-coaster of temperatures on Earth! Well when I met them on the beach, I was greeted by the cutest little toddler all dressed up in a cute Christmas outfit. Over the summer when I first met them, their baby was just barely starting to walk, and now she was running around, as cute as ever! And they had a super cute idea for their Christmas card we even had total strangers stopping to take a picture of the set up!
The next family was the Steelman family and I went to their lovely home in Wilmington for their family photos. This was their baby girl’s first Christmas and both sets of proud grandparents were present for a full-family session! It was another cold morning so we did a very quick session outside in a neighbor’s nicely landscaped backyard then went back inside for photos with the Christmas tree! My favorite pictures of all are the ones of little Charlotte inside the Christmas present. I took so many and it was so hard choosing just a few because she is the cutest baby!
On a beautiful day at the end of October, the sweetest little angel named Caswell was born. I was asked to come to the hospital hours after she was born to take a few, literal newborn pictures and to document her older brother and sister meeting her for the first time. They were so excited! Instantly, they were both so in love with their baby sister. Everyone in the family has a name starting with a “C” which is why in some of the pictures, Caswell is holding a necklace with three “C” charms; one to depict each child! Enjoy the cuteness!
As most of you know, I lived on Cape Cod in Massachusetts before moving to NC and I had quite the list of clients that I sadly left behind. Well, when Anj and Pater were planning their Cape Cod wedding, Anj asked if I would come up for the weekend and photograph their big day (with my mom, as a team!). In her words, she said, “maybe you would like the idea of coming back to the Cape!” Ummm… YES! I didn’t even have to think twice. Going back to Massachusetts at the end of September meant not only seeing my family and friends but seeing the wonderful New England fall foliage that I’ve missed EVER so dearly and make a trip to the Big E! For non-locals, the Big E is short for The Big Exposition which is an annual 3-week long fair that hosts all 6 New England states and their vendors and what each state is famous for, plus typical fair stuff like carnival rides, horse shows and big name entertainment (this year Darius Rucker was one of the many!). It takes place in West Springfield which is 10 minutes from where I grew up so of course I went almost every year. Going home for this wedding was a no-brainer!
Anywho….. back to the wedding! I ended up being the second shooter for this wedding with my mother, Lani Giguere, owner of Heritage Photography being the lead photographer. We’ve done a few weddings together and each one just get better and better! It wasn’t hard to get a beautiful picture during this day. Everything was perfect from the weather (upper 70s in late September?!?) to the ceremony and the goooorgeous sunset before the reception! What made this wedding truly unique is the blend of cultural traditions that both the bride and groom brought to the day. The bride Anj is from Germany so her entire family and a lot of friends were presents and the groom, Peter, his mother is from Sweden so their Swedish family were also present. So the wedding incorporated many German customs such as playing games during the reception and the cake was a special German wedding cake made specially by Anj’s sister. Also, after the ceremony there was a cake reception where every guest brought a dessert and mingled until they eventually caravanned over to the reception for a cocktail hour.
During the ceremony, Peter played a song that he wrote just for Anj for their wedding day and while he played his guitar and sang, beautiful pictures were displayed on the screen behind them. The groom’s father, brother-in-law and friend each spoke during the ceremony, and Anj’s friends sang beautiful songs. There were many tears (of happiness) throughout the guests and you could just feel the love that these two have for each other and for everyone who was present.
I could go on but I’ll let my pictures do the rest of the talking! Enjoy – and Congrats to Peter and Anj MacDonald!