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

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

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” 

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.

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!

Planning ahead for baby photography – Fort Mill

planning ahead for baby portraits, wall artwork, fort mill, sc, Charlotte, NC, Tega Cay, SC

When you are expecting baby number three it’s easy to think oh I got this I know what is coming next. Moms who plan ahead are my spirit animal. (serious over planner here).  Plan ahead moms make their life and mine so much easier. I distinctly remember chatting with this mom about where she wanted portraits to be displayed in her home.  How she wanted them to feel and how having a photograph of the three kids together was so important to her.  

Why newborn portraits matter in the grand scheme of things

Having photographs of this special time is a once in a lifetime opportunity and something this mom didn’t want to forget. The newborn stage goes by so fast and it’s easy to forget the small details. Having newborn portraits on the living room wall will remind her that she was wanted and loved!

Great Job Mom

Shout out to mom on her clothing and styling choices for this session. I feel like she could teach other moms how to style a family and make it look effortless. These kiddos always look put together yet casual for portrait sessions. But don’t let that fool you it’s never as effortless as it looks. I recall tears from little D last year when he had to take off his batman shirt for picture day! 

Perfect little sister

Little miss was a dream baby model, I’m not sure she cried the whole session. And only woke up to eat near the end. She seems to be an easy going little sister and that will help mom out immensely with two active older brothers. 

Are you planning ahead for baby at home?

Check out my best baby soothing tips here.

 

 

 

Have you heard about Charlotte Aquatics’ Baby Bonding Class?

baby bonding class in action Charlotte, NC, Charlotte Aquatics

I had not either, my friends and neighbors rave about the swim lessons and how Charlotte Aquatics taught their kids to swim like fish. But Charlotte Aquatics’ baby bonding class seems to be swimming under the radar. Since I spend a ton of time with new moms and babies I thought we should talk about the baby class today!

Sensory experience and infant development

Did you know that proper infant development and growth require sensory experience and movement? One of the most important sensory inputs for the development of the brain is touch. Skin-to-skin contact and touch enhance bonding between parents and baby. Babies crave contact with their parents. They need physical contact to build trust in their parents, and the world around them. Self esteem and trust that baby’s needs with be met, is built through contact with parents and caregivers.

The science behind the class

“Scientists now believe that to achieve full development of the mature brain, stimulation in the form of movement and sensory experiences during the early developing years is necessary. Neuroscientist Carla Hannaford, author of Smart Moves:Why Learning Is Not All In Your Head, explains that beginning in infancy, physical movement plays a vital role in the creation of the nerve cell networks that are at the core of learning. The more children move, the more information they are gathering about their environment and themselves.”  In addition, the hydrostatic pressure of the water magnifies the sensory stimulation that your baby receives as they move through the water.

The Baby Bonding Class helps you get baby moving while having fun!

Getting babies out of car seats, strollers and carriers is essential to their development in today’s busy go -go world. A fun way to get that critical skin-to-skin contact and provide optimal stimulation is to join a Baby Bonding Class at Charlotte Aquatics. 

Babies and parents alike will enjoy the class and the company of other new parents. Allow your infant to experience touch and movement all while having fun in the water! 

baby bonding class in action Charlotte, NC,  Charlotte Aquatics

To learn more about Charlotte Aquatics’ Baby Bonding Class call (704) 341-9673 or learn more at https://charlotteaquatics.com

Real Kids Portrait Session

Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC, Charlotte, NC real kids artwork for your home, all the kids, puppy, playroom

Mister serious here isn’t the most serious little guy I’ve met but he is one of the most polite. He is growing up to be a well mannered, fun loving guy. His parents are doing a great job with him. It was an honor to create his portrait in our Fort Mill, SC studio. He came in with his little sister to help create a special art piece I had in mind during this real kids portrait session.

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

She was all smiles for her portrait day. Also just as polite as her big brother and happy to try any pose or prop I suggested. Her outfit was so fun! Sequins and a big bow are great to accessorize and show off her personality without distracting or taking away from her sweet expressions.

Real Kids create Art in the Studio

The idea behind our art piece was to show off the fun of all the kids not just the Human kids! So we had to bring in the furry littlest sister for the portraits. She did such a great job for being so young and full of energy!

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

Just a few images from this fun #Real Kids studio portrait session!

Had a blast with these three kids creating some fun portraits for their parents and making an art piece for the home. Creating custom wall art pieces of your family to enjoy for years to come is the goal of our real kids portrait sessions! Having fun while creating them is one of the many reasons I love what I do. When the kids leave with smiles on their faces and talking about what fun they had then I know I’ve created a positive experience for the whole family! Portrait photography is supposed to be a fun time. Art is fun, call me today if you want a positive experience from your next photo day!

-alicia

Mini-Session event to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

fort mill, sc Charlotte, nc Tega Cay, sc girl kid portrait Let me be Me mini sessions to support LLS
two girls being themselves

“Life should not only be lived, it should be celebrated.” 

You’re their first cheerleader…

Their first friend….

And their biggest supporter, as their mommy.

They are your whole world.

But we moms soon forget that they used to LOVE meowing instead of speaking or had a huge fascination with airplanes. Or that picking out her favorite outfit before school was the best part of her day.

To celebrate the littlest baseball star or tiny fashionista in your family, by creating a fun portrait experience that’s all about them at this stage of childhood. 

I’m working on an event just for kids to raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

For just a $100 donation, you can schedule a 15-minute mini-session on May 18th with me at the studio, and we’ll create great images of your kiddo all about his or her favorite things. 

It’s a bit different than the usual larger session we do every few years, but the focus is just on getting a few images of your child to capture what makes her special.
 

I’ll gift you a metal desktop print of your favorite image from the session.

I only have space to do 12 of these mini-sessions so I wanted to be sure you know before it’s too late.

Call now to book 704.313.5125!

See you soon!

Alicia

PS. Tega Cay Concert Series will have a fun Photo Booth this Saturday 6-10 at Runde park I will be there taking donations for the great cause. Come see me.