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

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

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.

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!