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. 

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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.



When we aren’t feeling a photoshoot day…

The thing about working with kids is they are unpredictable, you never know what you are going to get with littles. One day she might come in and play and do anything we ask her. The next time she might think I’m crazy, not have gotten enough sleep or just decide she isn’t interested in anything her mom and I had planned. And you know what? That’s ok with me.

Pivot is the name of the game with littles. You have probably seen that episode of friends when they are trying to move a giant couch upstairs and into the apartment. And poor Ross is yelling Pivot! like that will fix everything. Just in case https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=n67RYI_0sc0

Some days working with kids feels like this. A lot of days parenting feels like this. That plan to make a healthy dinner that they turn their noses up at feels like this. Ok new plan peanut butter jelly sandwich again! Or when you get everyone all dressed up to play in the one snow we get around here, and five minutes in their feet and hands are wet and they are miserable. Ok new plan. Pivot is my mantra with my boys and I bring that mantra to the studio. Especially for kid portraits. If they aren’t feeling a plan we have to try something else.

For this little one I tried all the tricks, all the chairs, all the toys and all the games. She wasn’t feeling it, she wanted mom and nothing else. So what’s a photographer to do you ask? Give her sugar of course ;) A lollipop and we got her back in the game. My plan with kids is always fluid, always open to new ideas and never give up on a toddler until she refuses candy.

alicia

Why you just need to show up and relax

Now I know you are thinking what is she talking about just show up and relax? Im talking about newborn portrait sessions. Moms tell me all the time that they didn’t do newborn portraits because they just kept putting it off or thought it was gonna be a ton of work. I’m here to bust that myth today. I make it easy for moms. All you have to do for great newborn portrait sessions are come with baby and relax.

Ok, ok I know you are saying it can’t be that easy.

And you are right there are a few things we need to discuss before it can be that easy. The day of your session though it really is that easy. Get up, grab baby (maybe feed baby) and then head over. I can literally take care of the rest food, coffee, hair and makeup (ok that’s my awesome make-up artist queens), baby whispering we’ve got all that covered!

Ok so now your asking what do I need to do before the portrait day?

It’s really pretty simple. We have a conversation where I ask a bunch of questions to find out what you really want your portraits to look like, feel like and what medium you will want them displayed in the future. If you choose a home visit I can come and make suggestions for wall art locations, style to fit your home. Portrait needs check

I even help with clothing, color choices and send you a style guide before your session.

If you want to work with a stylist I can arrange for one to come visit your closets. She will help you pick the family’s portrait day outfits. Speaking of clothing we have a closet full of gowns for moms to feel glamorous and not have to buy a dress. How’s that for easy? Clothing check

Spouse and kids, I know you have concerns

I know poor husbands get a bad rap, it’s not their fault really they are trained to act foolish about emotional stuff. Let’s be real portraits are full of emotions and feelings. But don’t fret I’ve got a few tricks in my arsenal for your spouse if they aren’t into long portrait sessions. Most adults can be reasoned with and if that doesn’t work I can always act like a bratty kid and get them laughing. Usually when I explain I need them to smile, participate and have fun for 20 minutes and then they can leave. They almost always agree.

Kids are a bit more complicated than I can explain in this post, but again trust me I’ve got tricks, jokes and last resorts a plenty. It all boils down to planning. I’m gonna ask questions about their ages, likes, personalities etc so I can be ready to get them to participate. Also for newborn sessions with siblings I always have a helper, they make great comedians, tickle monsters, and toddler chasers.

Have more specific questions?

Leave a comment, send me a message or just call 803-336-5125 and I’ve got an answer. Let’s collaborate and make your newborn portrait session perfect for your family. Let’s create a plan. So you can just show up and relax on your new baby’s portrait day.

Begin with a plan

Begin with a plan that keeps the end in mind!

You know you want to have a portrait made to celebrate the birth of your baby, but what are you going to do with it? Before I pick up my camera to capture those tiny little features, we need to discuss what is most important to you. How do you want to remember your new baby?

newborn baby boy in belly cast pure simple white Fort Mill, SC Tega Cay, SC Charlotte, NC

Do you have a spot above the crib all picked out? Are you a mom with two older children, and you need to add to a family gallery wall you’ve already started in the playroom? Or do you need some inspiration? I am here to guide you! Your personal planning consultation will help me fill your unique needs and create a tailor made plan just for you. This is how we begin with a plan.

detail shot of tiny baby toes, Fort Mill, SC Tega Cay, SC Charlotte, NC, begin with a plan

The Details: Planning Appointment & Design Consultation

Meeting in person to start your portrait session plan is the first step. Getting to know your family and also answering all of your burning questions — probably a few you didn’t even know to ask! What should I wear? Should we bring extra clothes? What will it cost? How should we prepare?

We will also schedule a portrait date based on baby’s due date; this usually gets changed a bit but assures you space on my calendar. Getting all the details, and finding out what is most important for you and your family, ensures we have an amazing portrait session.  Planning out your wall designs, your clothing choices and your backgrounds ensures everything will look and feel amazing in your home.

behind the scenes at a newborn portrait session belly cast, Charlotte, NC, Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SCPortrait Session

Now that we have made a plan together it is time to create your beautiful baby’s portraits! I work hard to capture your new baby’s tiny toes, lovely lashes and that button nose, everything that makes your baby the one of a kind miracle she is. Capturing all the details that will become cherished memories for a lifetime.

Viewing and Ordering Appointment

After the session you will come in to view a slideshow of your portraits. Mockups will be created with your portraits displayed on your walls. If you’ve expressed interest in albums, album mock-ups will be ready too. Every viewing and ordering appointment is customized to create artwork your family will love for a lifetime.

wall mock up design of kid room baby room, Fort Mill, SC Tega Cay, SC Charlotte, NC, begin with a planDelivery and Installation Appointment

Installation of your wall art is included! This is all part of my personal service to you! I can’t wait to meet you and start a plan for your newborn portrait session.

 

Ready to Begin with a plan? Just pop a contact number in!

Mom and Daughter Portraits, Fort Mill, SC

mom and daughter share joy Fort Mill, sc, Tega Cay, SC, Charlotte, NC

Do you want a pause button for your fast growing kiddo? Many people think I offer portrait services, but what I’m really giving you is a window back in time. You see, when you buy a photograph from me you get to stop time for a second and take that memory with you forever, and that, my friend, is priceless.

These are just awesome for mom and daughter. Imagine in ten years how much these will mean to mom! Imagine what these will mean to this little one in a few years. She will look back at these and see how much mom loved her and how much she loved her mom as a toddler.

Simple, classic mom and daughter portraits like these are treasured memories when this little girl is an adult. Mom of course will cherish these forever. And on the tough days these portraits will bring her so much joy. And isn’t that why we take family portraits in the first place.

Share Joy my friends!

Customer Service for photographers needs work

Customer Service for portrait photographers has been on my mind lately and it makes me really sad how much we as a group haven’t been serving our clients.

I lump myself in to this group because I was there in the beginning of the digital photography wave and am totally guilty of giving just digital files. Which equals horrific customer service. That is for sure my biggest pet peeve but we’ve been over that on a previous blog post. Check that out here for my feelings on the disc being all you might have in ten years. The disc is the worst offense because it puts all the work on busy moms and as a mom of two I know Moms do not have time to organize, backup, cull, print, deliver, frame and hang their portraits. 

Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC, Charlotte, NC real kids studio portrait

We have to stop showing moms 1,000 and one images, she’ll get a headache

But this brings up more point where we photographers have been failing our amazing clients. Culling, don’t know what that is I’m sure it’s an industry word, sorry. Culling is basically looking at all the amazing images from your portrait session and picking the very best ones. I know I know moms want to see all the cutest ones and pick the best smiles, and they love laughing at all the crazy outtakes. But seriously we are here to save moms time, not give them 150 images to choose from on the reveal day. Science says too many choices lead to paralysis

Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC, Charlotte, NC real kids studio portrait, customer service

We’ve all been there.

We go to the store for a birthday card and 20 minutes later we are still reading cards! What gives? Choice overload makes our brain work so hard it becomes more impossible to make a decision. So let’s all agree moms make ten thousand decisions a day for her kids. We need to give her the absolute best of the best for her family portrait wall options. This is just good customer service and should be a priority.

This is where to pre photoshoot consultation comes in handy!

Asking questions before ever picking up my camera makes this culling process so much easier. Knowing that mom wants a photograph to go over the fireplace or couch and that she is leaning towards one amazing image tells me she needs a horizontally oriented image and that I need everyone looking their best. This means I need to narrow down to the best of the best and not even shoot any vertical family portraits.

Asking moms if they loved posed images or prefer candid family interactions is another great question. If mom is looking for everyone to be smiling at the camera then those sweet tickle shots with Jimmy’s eyes closed tight are great for social media. But they are not going to be mom’s choice for the wall. So just take them out of the decisions for the fireplace wall. I’m not saying to delete those wonderful portraits. I’m just saying moms need us to do a better job of listening and making it easier to make these decisions. This should be an industry standard customer service practice from all of us.

Wall Art, Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC, Charlotte, NC real kids studio portrait