Holiday Portraits to Support the Humane Society of York County

Just a quick video to share that we have mini sessions available November 14th and 15th at The Faires-Coltharp Cabin at the Anne Springs Close Greenway

This is a fun mini session event to benefit your favorite 4 legged friends awaiting their forever homes at the Humane Society and having fun Holiday portraits created of your kids and pets for that Christmas card.
2020 is definitely the year to send Holiday cards to the family since the pandemic has limited travel and visits with the most vulnerable.
Plus I know a few of you adopted Covid puppies like we did. This is a great opportunity to show off that new best friend to the family and support a great cause.
 
$99 books your holiday portraits spot and includes the first set of printed Holiday cards!
 

the best things happen unexpectedly : warrior mom

waiting for you to arrive:

This is my husband (Tyler) and my first baby, and expecting a little man! My husband and I met in an internship program (for the same company we both now still work for) in summer 2017 and it’s been a fast paced love story ever since. This baby was a bit of a surprise (we just got married in October) but it has been THE BEST surprise ever. Even though 2020 is supposedly the worst year ever, we’re about to get to the best part for us ;)

We like to imagine a long, healthy life for our son doing what makes him happy!

newborn baby of warrior mom, Fort Mill, SC, Charlotte, NC, York, SC

I hope we raise a good, kind, strong person who sticks up for what’s right and leaves a light wherever he goes. 

Since he will also be half black, I hope others judge him for the content of his character and not the color of his skin. Especially during this time, this has been heavy on our hearts. 

Those are the biggest things that come to mind for what we want for his future…though his dad might add D1 athlete ;)

The most important thing I want him to know is that I love him very much. I’m not perfect but I will always try my best to be the best for him. I’ve worked very hard to be where I’m at in my career, but I will work harder to make our family life a priority. I also have the best mom, so you’re lucky in the grandma department :)

black and white collage frame newborn baby, Fort Mill, SC, Charlotte, NC, York, SC

Anyone whose given birth, going to give birth or a mother during this quarantine is a special type of warrior.

All mothers during this time are dealing with isolation, uncertainty of safety and economic turmoil on top of growing/raising little humans. 

I think the most encouraging thing I can say is even if this is the hardest thing we ever do, we will come out stronger. Closer to our partners/families. Well rested (hopefully, or at least better) because we’ve taken a break from running around and overcommitting ourselves. Spent more time with our partners/kids/doing self-care than before. 

Yes, we’re having virtual baby showers, birthdays and celebrations. Postponed vacations and outings. Stressed family members and friends. Even stressed and anxious ourselves. It all will come to an end eventually, and we’ll look back and go wow…we made it.

Image box newborn baby of warrior mom, Fort Mill, SC, Charlotte, NC, Rock Hill, SC

I’m a warrior, and if I get through 2020 I can get through anything.

Besides being quarantined since mid-March we’ve had some interesting stuff happen. The biggest thing that’s happened is we’ve only owned one car since we got engaged, and we FINALLY got Ty his truck in April before baby got here. One night our cars were parked out front of our house, and a drunk driver crashed into both totaling mine and causing over $6k in damage on his truck we had for less than a week. Thankfully the driver was insured, but now we’re back to one car. On a positive note, since both of us have been working from home and not going anywhere we haven’t needed two cars. If it was going to happen this was the “perfect time”.

Happy news that’s happened during quarantine: one of our best friends had a healthy baby girl in March!

family embrace black and white portrait newborn baby of warrior mom, Fort Mill, SC, Charlotte, NC, Tega Cay, SC

Feelings after you arrived:

Finally seeing and holding him was incredible. Looking at his face and talking to him made the rest of the room stop like no one was there. I was taken aback he was already opening his eyes to look at me like he was studying all my features like I was studying his.

I had a natural birth, so I think my biggest surprise was how out of it I really got towards the end. My husband likes to tell me the details I don’t remember, including being upset when he got Bojangles for dinner. Apparently I made him throw away the trash outside the delivery room.

newborn baby, Fort Mill, SC, Charlotte, NC, York, SC

The best part of being a new mom is the baby snuggles!

I love how he’ll nudge his head right under my chin and lay there completely content. I also love learning his mannerisms and personality as it starts to show.

The hardest part of being a new mom just when you think you have it figured out, something changes and you have to adjust. It’s a lot of trial and error learning what works for your baby and you. I think the hardest part of that is sometimes not knowing what to do to console him when he’s upset because we’ve tried everything, or when he’s in pain. In those moments I wish I could snap my finger and make it go away for him, but all I can do is stay strong and comfort him.


I’m surprised by how smart babies are when they’re born. He’s already figuring out different things including attempting to kiss our faces when we go to kiss him. Also the amount of wipes we’ve used is a lot more than I thought!

black and white family portrait with newborn baby of warrior mom, Fort Mill, SC, Charlotte, NC, Tega Cay, SC
I’m honored to know this Warrior mom

and to have been able to capture these precious memories for her family. Stay tuned for more from this beautiful family as we follow their journey through the first year in the Little Love Stories Series.

Little Love Stories series is meant to capture the newness of the beginning, how small and innocent and the amazing changes that happen over the first year. Capturing the baby stage is a wonderful gift for your child.

If you’d like to learn more click the ‘apply now’ button below and I’ll ask you a few questions to be sure we’re the right fit.

Apply Now

 -alicia

Family is Everything: Hope during a pandemic

Little intro you may have read my earlier blog with the newborn love stories and I loved the results so much that I added the questionnaire to my next family portrait sessions. Below are the questions and answers I asked of this momma of 4 before and after her portrait session. Hope you love learning more about this beautiful family as much as I did. -alicia

Family is everything, Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC, Charlotte, NC, Anne Springs Close Greenway

Tell me about your family! 

We are a family of 6! My husband and I have professionally worked with families and youths for almost 20 years. He is a 15 year Army Veteran and we are also new Pastor’s in the Charlotte area.

What is your favorite thing about being a parent? 

Teaching and equipping our children to leave the home and seeing those skills performed while in the home.

How has being quarantined with your family affected your relationship with them (good or bad)? 

It has been great. We are a homebody type of family. It doesn’t feel that much of a difference other than Wingfield Academy beginning.

What are some ways you hope to maintain the closeness this has brought your loved ones once you return to your busy life? 

We will continue to remain close. We’ll probably get out more once things begin to look normal.

Family is everything, Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC, Charlotte, NC, Anne Springs Close Greenway

What is the one thing about your kiddo’s childhood that you want them to remember? 

Finishing Kindergarten, Second grade and Fifth grade at home with us.

What would you like your children to know about YOU? 

How much I really love them!

What are your hopes for your children’s future? 

To remain loving, compassionate and caring adults.

Why are beautiful photos important for you and your family? 

We love pictures!! They capture moments of time we will never get back.

Family is everything, Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC, Charlotte, NC, Anne Springs Close Greenway

What is your favorite part of being a mom?

I love to watch my children learn, grow and get excited about what they experience.

What is your favorite thing about your spouse?

How much he is intentional about making me happy.

If this stage in your family was the chapter of a book what would the title be?

New Beginnings, New Experiences….same Tribe!

Hardest part of being a mom?

The hardest part of being a mom is that one day, and at any time, my children can do the opposite of what I’ve taught them and it can be detrimental to their lives.

Favorite trait of each of your children?

A: How compassionate and aware of things he is. J: Her nurturing abilities. LR: How loving he is. T: His ability to make everyone smile and feel happy.

2 year old, Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC, Charlotte, NC, Anne Springs Close Greenway
kid portrait Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC, Charlotte, NC, Anne Springs Close Greenway

Any predictions on their futures? future scientist, youtube star?

A will be the next soccer playing businessman dealing with architecture. J will be the most loving, happy-go-lucky, singing teacher. LR will be the most compassionate Pastor and animal loving zookeeper. The jury is still out with T. But I bet donuts to dollars he will be smiling while doing it!

Family is everything, smilin Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC, Charlotte, NC, Anne Springs Close Greenway
kid portrait Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC, Charlotte, NC, Anne Springs Close Greenway

 

 

Family is everything, Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC, Charlotte, NC, Anne Springs Close Greenway

Chris, Denisse and Liam – The Story of a Miracle Baby  

miracle baby, lake norman, nc Fort Mill, SC, Charlotte, NC

Once upon a time, Denisse and Chris decided to give themselves the opportunity to find their soulmate through match.com. Chris was living in Florida and Denisse in Costa Rica, after having a long distance relationship for a couple of years Chris proposed at the foot of a waterfall in Asheville, NC, they got married and moved to the Lake Norman area in NC.

After being married for 2 years Chris and Denisse decided to start trying to have a baby. Little did they know that It would take them 3 years of fighting against infertility (3 medicated cycles, 3 IUI and 1 IVF), they went through multiple miscarriages until they were able to conceive a viable pregnancy with their miracle rainbow baby Liam S. McCoy (baby #5). 

miracle baby, fort mill, sc, Lake norman, nc

The pregnancy was smooth and enjoyable for the most part, however during the 1st trimester Denisse experienced multiple bleedings and the last 2 weeks of pregnancy she had high blood pressure, which forced her to delivered her miracle baby at 39 weeks. Liam came to the world after a good and fast labor without any complications.

Liam’s story is the story of a warrior, despite all the odds, 3 years of his parents fighting against infertility and a pandemic in the mix he came to the world at 3am on June 5th. 

Miracle baby boy in blue, Tega Cay, SC, Charlotte, NC, Lake Norman, NC

Denisse said:

The first moments with Liam were magical and unforgettable, happy and joyful tears came out of my eyes when I saw him for the first time, we did skin to skin and I couldn’t stop admiring his cuteness, enjoying his nice smell, looking at his beautiful blue eyes, blonde hair, little hands and feet. I was in complete awe by his perfection.

We are blessed to have Liam in our lives and we are treasuring each minute with him.

We are looking forward to getting to know him, who he becomes, what he likes and dislikes. We would love for Liam to learn about his diverse background (Costa Rican, American, Danish, Scottish and Irish). We would like for him to travel and explore the world, get to know different cultures and ways of living.

Miracle baby boy in blue, Tega Cay, SC, Charlotte, NC, Lake Norman, NC

We would like for him to enjoy this gift called life and have fun throughout the journey.

The best part of being a mom is the unconditional and profound love that you get to feel for a little tiny human and the blessing to enjoy new experiences with my miracle baby boy. The hardest part is to silence all the outside noise of how to raise a child and follow your intuition through this soul journey. I am learning that each day with a newborn is completely different and embracing the learning opportunities that each brings is key.

To all the moms out there “Treasure every moment, every experience, every second with your kids, they are a treasure, they are a miracle. Get to know your kids, have fun learning who they are and what they want to do with the gift you gave to them, the gift called life”

Oh little boy these photos are proof that fairytales come true, looks at us we have YOU. 

Little Love Stories Series

little love stories, baby's first year, image collage, Fort Mill, SC, Charlotte, NC, Tega Cay, SC, newborn, pregnancy, crawling baby, sunglasses,

WANTED: NEW MOMS AND MOMS TO BE

I’m creating a movement to celebrate our most precious new babies and I need your help!

I’m looking for 10 new moms or expecting moms to feature in my “Little Love Stories” project, a celebration of new motherhood and babyhood and a journey through the first year. 

Let’s create beautiful mom and baby portraits for all the expecting moms whose babies have been or will be born during the pandemic. This is for all the moms who couldn’t have in person baby showers, family barbecues and fun baby clothes shopping with girlfriends.

The final photographs will be part of a little love stories blog series. ✍🏽

If you’d like to know more click the ‘apply now’ button below and I’ll ask a few quick questions to make sure we’re the right fit.

Apply Now

Remember there’s only 10 of these little love stories sessions available and I know they’ll go quickly! 

Motherhood is messy and the first year is harder than those pampers ads let on. I think it’s high time we share the real stories of the first year with a baby.

So let’s work together and create a blog series following your baby’s 1st year journey. We will share the joys, the fears, the highs and the lows.

Let’s create a space for new moms to be real.

Join my little love stories first year experience today.

My goal is to show how much moms and babies change over the first year.

And following your journey with real stories from real moms just like you will make a much bigger impact on our community than a blog post with just the pretty pictures. This is an invitation to share your journey with the world. My intention is to have moms share the milestones such as smiling, sitting, crawling, and standing. And with each session asking about how it’s going, what’s new, what was unexpected, etc. Sharing those responses along with updated images so folks at home can follow your journey. Ideally I’d like mom to be in a few images at each session also. So as a photographer I also want to help you create some amazing keepsakes along the way that you and your child will cherish for a lifetime. 

The Little Love Stories series is meant to capture the newness of the beginning, how small and innocent and the amazing changes that happen over the first year. Capturing the baby stage is a wonderful gift for your child. Showing them, how much they are loved, waited for and cherished! 

Apply Now

Newborn Love Stories

mom with her newborn
charlotte, nc

Newborn Love Stories: Mission

During this time in your life when things are changing, and your baby is growing inside you. I’m on a mission  to capture their true selves, the newness of the beginning, how small, innocent and amazing at a time that seems to race by. Capturing the newborn stage is a wonderful gift for your child showing them, how much they are loved, waited for and cherished! But it’s also hugely important for you to have a way to remember and connect with your child. What would you tell your baby now before she is born about your hopes and dreams for her future? What do you want to show her as she grows and changes throughout her childhood?

If you are expecting a baby, I would love for you to apply for the Newborn Love Stories Campaign. In exchange for sharing your story and helping you connect to your baby now and in the future. For your participation you will receive a complimentary newborn portrait session and your favorite image printed professionally as a thank you for participating. Click the button to get started.

Everest’s Story

“This is my first baby and his dad left a week before I found out (after 5 years) and since then I have truly learned who my friends and family are during this pregnancy and that family isn’t always blood related. A few close friends have become so much closer. Some who I would have never thought have been the most supportive.”

Is there an encouraging message you would like to share with other expecting mothers? “You realize how strong you really are even if you feel weak”

When I imagine my child’s future, I hope he is happy and successful at whatever he wants in life. “Although he was never expected, he is very wanted now. I’m a travel addict and have always wanted a travel buddy. Hopefully he will enjoy traveling the world with me.” Ironically or intentionally her nursery decor came from the Adventure awaits collection. Seemed fitting for a new travel buddy doesn’t it?

Real Stories from real moms

My mission to share real stories from real moms was uplifted just by hearing this mom’s story. Knowing that sharing her strength and determination to make a beautiful life for her child can help others is an amazing addition to the newborn Love Stories mission.

His birth story

When I asked about her birth story and unexpected cesarean delivery she shared this with me” My epidural was wonderful but the dr came in and broke my water the infusion didn’t help. Every time I moved on my left side his heart rate dropped!” How scary!

After he arrived safely and we spoke during her portrait session she told me “I don’t think I’d know how to care for this baby without google!” I’m sure she would do fine, Mom seems to have a great support system around her. Because of the threat of Covid-19 we did an in home lifestyle newborn portrait instead of my normal posed in studio sessions. She had groceries and everything she needed for herself and baby Everest thanks to caring and supportive friends. Adventure awaits these two in the future and I hope they enjoy every minute of it.

-alicia

Custom Family Illustrations just in time for Mother’s Day

Custom Family illustration just in time for Mother’s Day!

Celebrate Family.

Illustrated works of art celebrating your most important people. 

Made from your reference photo, illustrations make great social distancing gifts. 

Start Shopping

A unique Mother’s Day Gift to celebrate family and home. While we are forced to be inside and stay home with our families right now. What better way to celebrate our loved ones, than to invest in a custom family illustration of your loved ones?

  • Select your Background
  • Order your Package Online
  • Email a Reference Image to me
  • Receive your Fine Art Print (matted & ready to frame) in the Mail
background choices, Tega Cay, SC, Custom family illustrations
Step One Click the link, login and select your background
Image of the shopping cart, Fort Mill, SC, Custom family illustrations
Step Two purchase your package online!
Family portrait, reference photo, Charlotte, NC
Step Three Email me a reference photo!

It's your family illustrated!
The final steps are handled for you, family portrait, Fort Mill, SC, Charlotte, NC, Tega Cay, SC, Custom family illustrations
It’s your family illustrated!
The final steps are handled for you and include illustrating, 
printing and delivering to your door!

 Order Now!

 

Want to create something amazing for Grandma?

Choose a package including the grands or the whole extended family! Custom Family illustrations for the whole crew will make any Grandma’s day.

Grandparents in the custom family illustrations, Charlotte, NC, Fort Mill, SC
Include the grandparents!
Room view of a matted custom family illustration, Fort Mill, SC

Still have questions? Contact me here

Belly cast: The best newborn portrait prop

newborn in mom's belly cast, Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC, Charlotte, NC newborn baby portrait

Did you know I offer a free belly cast to all my expecting moms? Do you know what a belly cast is? No, check this out. Now I assume you are thinking well why do you offer these? They don’t look amazing in maternity portraits. And you are correct I don’t love them for maternity sessions. But for a newborn session, your belly cast makes a swoon worthy prop!

Newborn portraits are my jam but add in a belly cast prop and I’m in love all over again. A simple white cast of your pregnant belly makes the most amazing vessel to hold your tiny newborn baby. It’s simple, elegant, unique and just perfect for your baby. The cast itself can be a fun add on to your maternity session and it because an heirloom you can share with your child when he or she is older. But that is just an added bonus on creating a one of a kind prop that’s just for you and your little one. 

Just check out these portraits of little miss Ruby and tell me do you love the look? Is this something you’d like to try for your baby portraits? Just let me know.  Creating a cast takes about 20 minutes at the end of your maternity portrait session or your newborn consultation appointment. 

 

Last thing I’m working on a newborn blog series, for more information check out my previous blog post. If you are expecting a baby, I would love for you to apply for the Newborn Love Stories Blog Series. As a gift for sharing your story you will receive a complimentary newborn portrait session and your favorite image printed professionally as a thank you. Click here to apply.

Newborn Love Stories: Expecting

newborn love stories expecting, charlotte, nc, maternity, pregnant mom

Waiting for a baby while watching your belly grow day by day is the most amazing time in your life. It’s full of wonder, joy and some days worries and what ifs  too. I’ve made it my mission to share your true beauty and the start of your journey into motherhood. It is my belief that all babies are miracles and the time before birth should be honored and celebrated for you and for the baby. Maternity portraits are a wonderful gift for your future child and for you to share how much your baby is loved, wanted and cared for before he or she is born. It’s a gift to connect with and remember a time that goes by way too fast and the reason I’ve started the Newborn Love Stories: expecting series.

If you are expecting a baby, I would love for you to apply for the Newborn Love Stories Blog Series. In exchange for sharing your story you will receive a complimentary maternity portrait session and your favorite image printed professionally as a thank you for participating. Click here to apply.

Her Story

Amber’s enthusiasm and excitement for her newborn love stories: expecting session was contagious even after we had to reschedule the first appointment. She never lost any of her initial excitement for her portrait session or for her plans to come to life. 

She shared with me her hopes for her daughter “That her life will be bright and filled with success!!” Something she wants her kids to know “That I love them so much and I’ll die for them! I’ll do anything to make sure my kids always feel good!!”

Creating amazing images that mom loves was my honor and privilege. These portraits of mom to be, her baby girl will cherish being able to see how mom looked with her in her belly, growing, waiting and hopeful for the life she will lead. 

Her Message for expecting moms

Amber has this encouraging message for expecting mothers “Enjoy the journey and enjoy your little ones bc they won’t always be so little! One day they will grow up and you won’t be able to hold them anymore or smell the fresh scent of a baby anymore 😩”

Most moms come in for a maternity portrait a little nervous and unsure of themselves. While she told me later she wasn’t comfortable posing in the studio I never would have guessed that during the actual photoshoot. She appeared confident, comfortable and prepared for the portraits.

She came ready for fun and even brought a family member to help with her portrait session. Family and friends are always helpful to me when I want a real laugh or serious expression. Be ready I may ask for your assistance if you come with a friend for morale support ;) Family knows your stories and what will get your true expressions better than anyone else.

She left this fabulous review for me on facebook!

“I had a wonderful experience with Alicia!!! She took her time and guided me through every pose which made me feel super comfortable!! She was extremely friendly and welcoming!! The pictures I seen so far look amazing and I can’t wait to see the finals!! I will definitely be booking with her again!!!” 

Here is what she had to say after her reveal appointment with me “Alicia these are absolutely beautiful!!! I’m so in love with these photos!!! My favorite would have to be #6 but OMG!!!! You did such a wonderful job guiding me bc I’m so awkward at poses!! Lol” 

Newborn Love Stories: waiting for baby


During this time in your life when things are changing, and your baby is growing inside you, I’m on a mission to capture your true glowing beauty and the beginning of your journey into parenting. I believe all children are miracles and the time you spend waiting for baby should be celebrated and remembered for them and for you. Capturing the pregnancy stage is a wonderful gift for your child showing them how much they are loved, waited for and cherished! It’s also a wonderful way to remember and connect with your child by looking back at a time that went by much too fast.

What would you tell your baby now before she is born about your hopes and dreams for her future?

What do you want to show her as she grows and changes throughout her childhood? 

Andrea participated in the Newborn Love Stories and she had this to say about her journey to motherhood  “She is my dream, my best gift; what I have longed for all my life is my. I’m going to love her forever unconditionally.” Mom is very joyfully waiting for her baby girl to arrive.

She believes beautiful photographs are important for her family “because they are the way to remember a moment that for many will be unique, wonderful and when I felt beautiful and different.” She said her desires for her child’s future are that it would be “Full of blessings, full of the love of God, and for her to be happy and healthy.”

If you are waiting for a baby, I would love for you to apply for the Newborn Love Stories Campaign. In exchange for sharing your story you will receive a complimentary maternity portrait session and your favorite image printed professionally as a thank you for participating. Click here to share your story.