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

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!

One Year Cake Smash Portraits Tega Cay, SC

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

Cake Smash Portraits

These fun themed first birthday sessions always turn out so adorable! I mean who doesn’t love a cute baby, a fancy pink outfit, pearls and a cake! It is truly a recipe for fun and over indulgence.

Birthday Buddies

This little lady and I just happened to share a birthday so of course when her mom mentioned a birthday session I was super excited. I don’t need cake or presents for my birthday just bring your babies over to the studio and let me create a magical portrait session for them! That is the perfect birthday present for yours truly. ;)  Continue reading “One Year Cake Smash Portraits Tega Cay, SC”

When you tell the kids to scream! Snow Magic

When you tell the kids to scream! Snow Magic, Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC, Charlotte, NC

When you tell the kids to scream inside of a portrait studio what do you think their first instinct is? 

Did you guess scream? Did you guess hesitation? In my boys case it was hesitation. I’ve also had kids turn and look at me or just smile like crazy. Smiling like crazy is always good but in this case we also actually wanted the screaming. It’s so funny when you expect one reaction and get a different one. Kids are the best aren’t they?

What do you get when you add a couple of over dressed boys and a little digital magic?

A whole lotta fun! We live in South Carolina so creating a snow filled winter wonderland is never a promise I can make with Mother Nature in charge. If we get snow it won’t be for a while yet, and it’s never guaranteed. 2016’s big snow was about an inch and really not deep enough for any sledding. My little guy has been talking about when it snows and when the snow comes for months! So I thought why not create a magical winter wonderland portrait of my boys. And guess what they loved it. What do you think? Would your little ones just love seeing themselves in a Winter Wonderland? I’m planning for ours go over the fireplace for the Holiday season and maybe use this as our Holiday card as well. 

When you tell the kids to scream! Snow Magic, Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC, Charlotte, NC

Would you like to create some Snow Magic for your kids? Contact me and we can have them screaming in no time! Seriously though let’s make some magic for your kids. 

-alicia

704-313-5125 or alicia@insleyphoto.com to grab your Snow Magic Appointment before the end of November!

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

Grateful Heart Maternity Fort Mill, SC

You guys this momma was so excited about her pregnancy it was contagious. Her joy her grateful heart and attitude, are just such an inspiration. After being a boy mom for years, 3 boys to be exact, she is expecting a little girl. And she is capturing this special occasion with Maternity portraits for her room.

I am so grateful she chose Insley Photography to help her create such a special wall display for her home. Her maternity portrait and baby girl’s newborn portrait will make a great before and after for the wall in her home. Personally I can’t wait to see how it will all turn out. Of course now we just have to wait patiently for her little one to arrive. 

-alicia

New Baby Boy Portraits Fort Mill, SC

mom and baby black and white newborn sweet connection Fort Mill, SC Tega Cay, SC Charlotte, NC

New Baby Boy

Baby J’s mom contacted me in response to a maternity model call. You may notice these are new baby photographs and not maternity ones. Poor mom sent me a message and not an hour later sent me a new one saying her doctor didn’t think she would make it to a photoshoot. Her doctor was right Sweet Baby Boy J was born the next day! 

Babies have a mind of their own even before they are born. If you are thinking about having maternity portraits created or maybe you know you should document your pregnancy in some way please, please, please don’t delay call me today and lets get you reserved on my calendar. And don’t forget to ask about your free belly cast as well.

Ok enough jabbering about maternity photos and let’s talk about this sweet new baby. Isn’t he just precious? He loved being swaddled, he was happy to be in his birthday suit and he had no problem being moved to the bowl either. Saying he was chill little man would be an understatement. 

And what about the wall collection I created for them? Don’t you just love it? That’s not their home of course. But I can create and show artwork on the walls in your home. Thanks to some pretty fancy software I can create mockups of your sweet new baby’s artwork on the walls in your home true to size. This makes your decision making process so much easier. No more trying to visualize what a canvas or framed portrait will look like in your living room. I can show you exactly how it will look. isn’t that amazing?

If you are expecting just give me a shout 704-313-5125 or send me a message and lets plan ahead before your sweet new baby arrives alicia@insleyphoto.com 

-alicia