Having Faith When Your Family Feels Like a Hot Mess

This one is for my mamas with littles. If you’re dreaming of a family portrait session but worry about how it’ll work with your little kids, I have you covered! Let me share how you can have faith even when your session may feel like a hot mess. You’re not the only one worrying about this, so let me put your mind at ease. 

As a mom of two and a family portrait photographer, I’ve seen it all! I’ve had toddlers running around my studio, having big feelings, or simply not showing any interest in cooperating. I have every trick and tactic in the book up my sleeve to capture that perfect family shot no matter what (even if we need to bring in the PhotoShop Magic gods). Family and motherhood photography is important to me because I want mom to be in the photo with her children. 

Let me share some tips to prepare your kids for the session so you can keep the faith!

How to Prep Your Kids for the Session

1. Talk Up the Session – In the days leading up to the session, talk it up like it’s the most fun thing ever. Tell them that your friend Alicia is going to take your family photos and she can’t wait to meet you. (or see you again)

2. Full Bellies – Trying to get a hungry toddler to go along with photos will be a huge challenge. 

Try to make sure your kids are fed and watered before the session. That goes for you too, mom! If everyone’s fed, we can avoid any hangry outbursts. If they won’t eat beforehand snacks are always welcome in the studio. Please bring your favorite snacks. 

3. Let Me Run the Show – You will be pleasantly surprised at how much your child will listen to me. I’ll let you know if I need any help. Otherwise, sit back and let me work my magic to get the best smiles. Some days if it’s us against the parents together (playfully, of course), kids will think it’s a fun game 😉

I have one more tip for you that might just be the most important one….

How to Keep the Faith During a Hot Mess Family Session

Okay, my last tip is for you, mom, to relax during your family session. Your children will feed off your energy, so the more relaxed you are, the more relaxed they will be. If your children are running around, take a deep breath and loosen your shoulders. It’s really okay! Just pretend the running isn’t happening like you don’t even see it. As I said before, I got this for you. I will let you know if I need some backup, but more likely than not, I can wrangle them where I need them. I use goofy props, ask them questions, and you’ll probably hear me make the silliest sounds to get them to stop and give me the best smile. If we have to sing silly songs or take a dance break just go with it. Sit back and relax, mom. We’ll get more beautiful portraits for you. 

Charlotte Family Photography 

Your family portraits are something you will treasure forever. I want to make the entire portrait experience enjoyable and stress-free by handling all of the details for you. You can trust me to plan your session so that you end up with the portrait artwork of your dreams. The best part? I’ll even hang it up for you. If you’re interested in learning more about a portrait session, please send me a message.

Why is Motherhood Photography So Important?

Gorgeous Motherhood photography

This is for the mom who loves her children dearly. The mom who would do anything for her babies, whether they’re 2 or 42. This is for the mom that just wants photos of her children and doesn’t want to be in any of them.

Let me introduce you to motherhood photography. Motherhood photography is simply photography that documents motherhood. That could be maternity, newborn, family, and on and on! Motherhood photography is a beautiful way to capture mom in her happy place: with her beautiful children. If you’re unsure what this is or if it’s something you’re interested in, I invite you to keep reading!

Five Reasons Why Motherhood Photography is so Important 

I could go on and on about this topic. But will keep it to these five reasons why motherhood photography is so important. 

1. Tells Your Family’s Story – No matter the size or shape of your family, motherhood photography tells your family’s story through images that you can look back on and treasure forever. 

2. Captures The Love You Have for Your Children – Of course, we love our children (even when they drive us crazy), but motherhood photography offers the ability to capture the love you have for your child(ren). It’ll be a snapshot of your relationship and what you mean to each other. 

  

3. Captures The Love Your Children Have for You – You are your child’s favorite person in the whole world! Sometimes, I have a mom hesitate to take photos with her children. She only wants to frame photos of her children, right? But being able to see how much your children love you is such a precious gift. 

4. Get Mom in the Photos

The fact is that you probably have hundreds, no, thousands, of photos of your children on your phone. How many of those photos are you in? I know, sometimes we aren’t feeling our best. We even don’t think we look good enough for a photo. (Trust me, I’ve been there!) The truth is that you are beautiful just the way you are, and your children want these photos of you to look back on for the rest of their lives. Here’s the thing that no one talks about. In 20 years, you will look back at these and think how young, beautiful, and strong you looked. Those small imperfections won’t matter one bit. Time doesn’t really wash away those imperfections, but it does clarify what matters most. And the love between you and your children that’s what matters more than your perfect haircut or losing ten pounds.

5. Family Portrait Artwork – This one is the biggie. Motherhood photography offers the ability to document your family’s story and capture the love you have for your children. Printing your family portrait artwork and displaying it in your home will bring you joy every single day. It’ll be your happy reminder of the beautiful family that you’ve built. 

Charlotte Motherhood Photographer

As a mom myself, I know exactly how you’re feeling. Your children are growing so fast, and you’d do anything to slow time down. As your motherhood photographer, I want to help you document this journey with your beautiful family. I want to capture the smile you share with your son or snap photos of you laughing with your daughters. Those are the images that you can treasure forever. Finally, I want to be able to help you display these portraits in your home so that they make you happy every single day. If you want to schedule a session with me, send me a message here.

Why Milestone Photography Sessions Are So Important During Baby’s First Year

Happy baby girl smiles during her milestone photography session

I know that it probably goes without saying, but the first year of your child’s life will go by so fast! From the day they’re born to their first birthday, your child will grow so much. In just twelve months, your sweet, sleepy newborn becomes a curious and energetic toddler. That first year is truly a beautiful blur, and it can be challenging to stop and enjoy each stage with your growing baby.

This is why milestone sessions are so important during your baby’s first year. Milestone sessions capture each major point during baby’s first year of life. 

I’ll share each of the major milestone sessions, and which one(s) may be right for you!

Milestone Photography Sessions for Baby’s First Year 

I’ll walk through the major milestone photography sessions during your baby’s first year, but know that all babies develop differently, and that’s totally fine. 

Maternity – Of course, maternity is part of the milestone sessions! Documenting your pregnancy is a beautiful way to celebrate and remember this special time between you and your baby. Find out which maternity portrait session style is right for you here. 

Newborn – Those sweet toes, long eyelashes, and precious sleep expressions are some of my favorites to document! Most importantly, I love capturing the love your family has for your newest addition. Learn how to prepare for your newborn session right here. And remember we try to create newborn portraits between 5-14 days old.

2-4 Months – between two and four months old, your baby is no longer a newborn! Your baby is now a happy infant. Baby is (hopefully) enjoying tummy time and learning more about the world. This session captures baby’s first real smile and movements. 

6 Months ish- Also known as the “sitter” session, around six months is when your baby starts to sit on their own. This is a very exciting time for parents and baby as she or he starts to interact more with their world! 

9 Months – On the move! Around nine months is when your baby starts crawling. Whether or not baby is crawling, they are definitely moving and grooving. It’s fun to document this time before baby starts walking and really talking. 

12 Months – One whole year with your sweet baby! Some babies are walking by their first birthday, and some are not, and it’s all normal. No matter what, taking first-year portraits is an important milestone to capture for you to always remember your new toddler. This is a fun time to do that cake smash session if you are interested.

Which Milestones Sessions Are For You?

Now that you know the major milestone photography sessions that you can do during your child’s first year, you may be wondering how you can fit this all into your busy schedule. My goal is to make it as effortless as possible for you so that all you need to do is bring your child to the studio! 

Charlotte, NC Milestone Photographer 

Together, we can plan which milestones you want to document and schedule when it’s convenient for you. I’ll handle all of the planning and ordering so that at the end of your baby’s first year, you’ll have professional portrait artwork on display in your home without lifting a finger. Send me a message here to start planning your milestone sessions today.

Fort Mill SC Child Photographer| Kids Joyful Holiday Photoshoot

BOOK YOUR HOLIDAY KIDS PHOTOSHOOT NOW

 

ARE YOUR READY FOR THE HOLIDAYS?

I know these kids are ready, It’s time to update your kids photos with a kids holiday photoshoot here in Fort Mill, South Carolina. I’m offering limited kids holiday photo shoots December 8th, 9th or Saturday December 18th to celebrate your kids in a fun way. 

Grab your matching jammies or holiday best! And let’s create some magic this Holiday Season.

BRING IN YOUR GOOF BALLS, YOUR PARTY ANIMALS & YOUR SHY LITTLE ONES, ALL ARE WELCOME!

Now is the time to capture this stage before they grow anymore! only 3 dates available. Remember you’ve only got 18 summers with your kids before they grow up and leave the nest. 

BOOK YOUR HOLIDAY KIDS PHOTOSHOOT HERE

Yes that’s me with my boys because I couldn’t resist jumping into the shoot with them. If you haven’t had an Insley Photoshoot before you and your kids are in for a real treat. We are all about capturing their true personalities and getting those great expressions for your walls. 

How do I do that you ask?

Simple I’m going to ask you all about them and use that information to connect with them at the studio. It’s going to be me and the kids against you. And I mean that in the best way but it’s all about fun. We make break some normal house rules like standing on the furniture or jumping inside but it’s all in the name of a good time. Because the best way to get your kids to smile is by capturing them having fun. Now don’t worry if you have a wild child or a naughty little one. Those are my favorite nuts to crack. And trust me my youngest is a tough nut when he wants to be. As a mom of two boys with 14 years photographing littles ones,  I’ve learned all the tricks to get the best expressions. Remember all are welcome. This isn’t a time to be serious, we can do that for a family shoot. This is a time for them to let loose and share with the world that child like JOY! Are you in?

BOOK YOUR HOLIDAY KIDS PHOTOSHOOT HERE

 

Got questions give me a call or send me a text at 803-336-5125 Alicia

A little magic to remind us to be thankful

a little magic to remind us to be thankful, Charlotte NC, Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC

I was introduced to this amazing girl by the Charlotte chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma society. Talia was the 2021 Charlotte Girl of the Year Honoree and honored hero! They shared this about her story

“In June of 2018, Talia had her tonsils removed in hopes of fixing frequent headaches and Sleep Apnea. Her doctor sent her tonsils out for a biopsy that soon revealed that she had T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. Now, when Talia isn’t doing treatment, she loves to read, play basketball, and spend time with her three younger siblings. We are so inspired by Talia’s bravery on this journey!”

 

a little magic will get her there, Charlotte NC, Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC
her future is bright, Fort Mill SC
basketball, charlotte player

Talia has an infectious smile. And man does she have plans for her future. She reads any chance she gets, she practices for her basketball career in the immediate future. Plus she’s already preparing for a future in medicine. This young woman is going places and taking names. Talia has a bright future and I can’t wait to see how she changes the world for the better. 

When I asked about her favorite things and she mentioned a few book series she loves. You know I had to create a fun portrait with a little magic 😉 Might be my favorite book series also. Wingardium Leviosa 

-alicia

Charlotte NC Fun Family Formal Portraits: Announcing 1st ever Artist Project

fun formal family portraits, finished portrait, wall artwork, fort mill, sc, Charlotte, NC, Tega Cay, SC, mom and daughters

I turn forty in just over a week and I want to celebrate the love and compassion I’ve been shown as an artist with some fun artist projects. So these are a double win, I get to feed my creative side and you get a great piece of artwork for your home. 

Project One: Fun Family

Formal Portraits

Ok this is one of those things I’ve always wanted to offer and never had the right models for the idea. I’m thinking Suits for the fellas, fancy dresses for the ladies, a simple, high end commercial feel for the lighting and final product. 

Have you always wanted to have that perfect fun family formal portrait for the den? Yes, let’s do this. Fill out the form below and I will give you a call to get started.

Here is a Pinterest board I created as inspiration ideas

Check these out and see if this is something you would love

https://www.pinterest.com/ainsleyphotography/artist-project-formal-family/

-thanks for sharing in my fun birthday ideas

Alicia

 

Thinking about wall art for your next family portrait session? Check out what my professional photographer friend Nani wrote about choosing the right sized art piece for your space here!

Charlotte NC childhood photographer| Cancer Has No Place In Childhood, Now Is The Time To Act

Man & Woman of the Year supporting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

 

This month, we celebrate kids with fun portrait sessions and support Brandi Jansen. Brandi has been nominated for Woman of the Year with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This fight for her is personal.

Cancer tried to steal her little girl when she was just 3 years old.

Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC, Charlotte, NC Real Kids portrait session, fighting childhood cancer

 

Brandi shares “We were lucky we got to keep our girl, so I keep fighting back for our friends still fighting, those we lost and those yet to be diagnosed. I am incredibly honored and determined to raise $430,005 by June 5, 2021, for the 43 children a day diagnosed and the 5 children a day who do not survive.

I wasn’t ready to be a cancer mom, but I was built for it.”

studio kid portrait child screamingLittle Wren endured 2.5 years of harsh chemotherapy by mouth, intramuscularly, via her port, and pumped into her spine and brain, but that was not enough. Wren also received radiation therapy to her little developing brain 10 times, to make sure they got all the cancer. Wren reached the end of her treatment in December 2018 at 6 years old. She fought a beast and will have life-long battle wounds from her experiences. 

With your gift, you will be saving lives by supporting research to fight (and one day end) cancer. Your gift will also provide families with education and support during a cancer battle.

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

Your gift will also include a fun portrait session experience for your child(ren).  What could be better? You get to support an amazing charity, lift up a cancer mom fighting for our children and give your kids an amazing experience and create artwork for your home that you will cherish forever

 

collage of boy having a blast

Still have questions send me an email alicia@insleyphoto.com and I’ll get right back to you.  

Thank you for your support!

Fort Mill Newborn Photographer | Love Stories: Mission Surprise 17%

17% newborn love stories, never give up, baby boy blue, indian land, SC, Rock Hill, SC

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 back to a time before. What would you tell your baby now before he is born about your hopes and dreams for her future? What do you want to show him as he grows and changes throughout her childhood? Is it important for him to know you never give up hope?

mom and new baby boy, indian land, SC, Rock Hill, SC

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. You will receive a complimentary newborn portrait session and your favorite image printed professionally as a thank you for participating. Click the button below to get started.

Never give upnew parents baby boy, indian land, SC, Rock Hill, SC

Never give up on your goals or plans, it’s ok to pivot and roll with the curves life brings.  Sometimes just making a new plan can help open up the opportunities to achieve your goal differently.

17% boy was she surprised

Mom was given 17% chance of conceiving with in vitro, and no chance with natural conception. After years of working with fertility doctors to conceive his parents decided to go with the adoption option. Not long after contacting an adoption service Mom learned much to her surprise, she was pregnant!

Oh my goodness she had a ton of fun and personal ideas and plans for her newborn portrait session. We had a great planning and preparing session at the studio and a big list of images she wanted for his portraits.newborn baby boy, indian land, SC, Charlotte, NC

Again we talked about this for her maternity session but she continued in her newborn session with her calm, confidence in being a new mom without any nerves or concerns.

Finally we were able to create some fabulous portraits of baby Adrian. Our goal to remember and celebrate his newness, his birth and his future to come. But even more importantly we capture the love and connection between his parents and their joy to have a child of their own.

nursery collage for new baby boy, Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC

 

Apply Now

Rock Hill SC Family Photographer | Hope during this 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

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.

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.

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.

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!

 

 

Newborn Love Stories: Expecting | Fort Mill SC Photographer

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”