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. 

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.

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.

 

 

 

How talking about your family helps create amazing family portraits, Tega Cay, SC

Family Gallery Wall, Tega Cay, SC Portraits, Fort Mill, SC, Charlotte, NC

Family Wall Gallery

The C family came to see me for family portraits and asked me to create a family wall gallery series for their home. I love to help families prepare for their family portrait session. It’s so much fun to sit down usually with Mom and talk about their family dynamics. Who doesn’t love to talk about their kids, right! But why you may be asking do I want to know all about your family. Well so I can learn what makes them laugh, smile or what gets their attention. There is nothing better than making a little one smile and knowing the topics she cares about ahead of time makes it so much easier!

How to make it easy!

Can you imagine for instance if your little one is into my little pony and loves to read about horses? Now imagine we are in a portrait session and she and I are talking about ponies and how they love to run. Can’t you just see her face light up? Now lets think about this same scenario a little different. Say I didn’t ask those questions ahead of time and we are already in the studio trying to get this little one to smile. And all I keep talking about is Disney princesses. Well she could care less about Cinderella or Ariel,  see where this is going? While I have enough experience to try something different, if I know ahead of time what she’s into the process goes much faster and more smoothly. 

And even easier!

What else can make the process even easier you guessed it, didn’t you? Well if not here’s a hint. Knowing what dad is into? I mean come on if I’m all did you see the Panthers last Sunday and he’s a baseball fan I’ve lost him already. But if Dad likes to rebuild old cars and I can ask him about his latest project. You know I’m gonna get his best smile. So when you are ready for your next family portrait remember I’m gonna ask you all about what your family loves and the more you share the better the outcome!

Leave the C family some love in the comments.

You can see it in the photographs these girls were all about laughing and having a great time! Thanks again C family for letting me capture your little miracles and create your family wall gallery. 

-alicia

Fall Family Album by lake Wylie

Fall Family Album by the lake Wylie album slideshow Lake Wylie, SC Fort Mill, SC Tega Cay, sc

Fall Family Album by lake Wylie

Just a sweet little slideshow of this Family’s album. Hope you love it as much as I do. Can’t wait to see this baby in print. 

-alicia

 


Studio Maternity Portraits, Fort Mill, SC

fall studio maternity portraits Fort Mill, SC Tega Cay, SC Charlotte, NC maternity portrait

Studio Maternity Portraits

Aren’t these guys just the cutest? Two dapper young men are ready to add to their crew. One more little man is joining this adorable family. It was so much fun to celebrate this time in their lives for them. Pregnancy portraits can be a little nerve wracking for expecting mommas. I totally get it and aim to make all mommas feel super comfortable in my studio. And you can see that here she looks comfortable and happy doesn’t she?

Creating wall portraits for her family was awesome these portraits just naturally fit together in and cohesive story telling way. Telling the story of her family is the goal. Are you ready to tell the story of your pregnancy and your journey? Get in touch and let’s have a chat about your story.

-alicia

PS want to learn my 8 best tips for new parents? Grab my free guide.


 

Why I could kick myself for selling just digitals! Print, print, print!

framed cd on the wall no one wants this fort Mill sc photography

Why I could kick myself for selling just digitals!

Back when I started out on my own in 2004 digital was still kind of new. Everyone assumed digital was archival. I mean we could back it up and make unlimited copies. Archival is a term often used by photographers meaning a print or film can last in the archives. For reference those color prints your parents got at the department store when you were kids should last at least 50 years if properly stored and cared for. The newer papers and printing processes used today are guaranteed a bit longer. Most about 100 years if properly stored. That digital file I started out selling on CD back in 2004 is a big old question mark ? Because there are so many factors. First off that CD we used to give digital files on is lasting 8-10 years. If it was written on with Sharpie or printed on with an adhesive label more like 5 years. Why so short? Well as it turns out the ink from that sharpie actually eats away at the CD material. Ok so I’m human I screwed up. Now we use USB drives. Well those things just keep changing. eHow says a usb drive may last ten years depending on how many times it is used. So really not much better than the CD was. Crap. So the moral of my intro here is Print, Print, Print. The only thing we know will last at least until your baby is an adult is a print. The best part about prints they can be copied. They are the only guarantee. But hey as a new mom on a limited budget I know you might be thinking well I just need it to last until I get back to work or we can save to print them later. But let me just tell you about my slap in the face wake up call I got this year. 

framed cd on the wall no one wants this
Is this what you want for your memories?

The slap in the face!

Now she didn’t mean to do it and I totally thanked her for my wake up call. But here is what went down. I went to visit my friend who shall remain nameless. She lives 4 hours from me and has several kids that I have been photographing for ten years. I even photographed her maternity session before her first was born. But we haven’t lived in the same town since college. So visits have just gotten more and more chaotic the more kiddos we had. But my latest visit I came alone with just my gear for updated family and kid portraits of course. And after the kiddos went to bed we were sitting in her new living room talking. And she lamented to me “I’ve just been so busy I haven’t hung up any photographs of the kids in this place!” So I said “Well I’m here to help where are your frames (I’m thinking they are still in a box) lets hang some up!” And she said here comes the slap in the face part! “oh they are all on CD or flash drive. I’ve never printed any of the photographs you’ve given me.” Wait What?!?! I wanted to die right there on her couch. But instead I had an epiphany. I’ve been photographing friends and clients alike for years and just giving them digital files. I thought I was helping my friends by gifting them the files and letting them print what they wanted. And my clients I thought I was giving them what they wanted, what they had been asking for. Boy was I wrong. 

No one wants to come for a portrait session and leave with homework. Especially homework they don’t have time to do!

My clients newborn clients or worse, those who are expecting a baby and thinking about the millions of things they need to do to get ready. They don’t need or want digital files to do-it-yourself print as homework. They just end up tucked away in a drawer or maybe even downloaded to a computer that may or may not work in a year or two. What new moms really want is a beautifully framed print of baby hung on their nursery wall. Or a framed canvas collection of baby’s first year decorating the stairwell in their home. Let’s get real what new mom do you know that has time to order a print online, wait for it to arrive, take it to the local frame shop, along with baby and  baby’s older brother who refuses to ride in the cart, get it framed, come back in a week to pick it up and then wait some more for dad to have time to hang it, once she has finally decided where it should hang?

No mom I know has time for that.

Ain’t no body with little kids got time for that. And putting together a photo album online, no body has time for that ever. I’m changing my ways as of right now. No more diy, homework feeling digital only packages from me. Photography studios provide a service, right? For Insley that means planning, creating and printing your beautiful artwork of your family. And installation of your artwork is always included!

framed baby portrait sitting up boy black and white
Or does this help you remember when he learned to sit up on his own?

Are you ready for a different photography experience? One where we do it all for you? Are you tired of leaving your memories in a drawer? Are you ready for archival prints? Are you ready for a better way? Get in touch today. 

-alicia