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

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!

What is an au pair?

Alright friends new this year I am going to be featuring some guest posters to talk about things I think you all may be curious about. First off we have Marcela Zacharova from Cultural Care Au Pair to tell about What an au pair is and what they do. I personally did not know all the details of an au pair and was curious to know more, so without further ado!

What is an au pair? 

An au pair is a young adult from overseas who lives with your family on a legal visa for up to two years to provide childcare in exchange for room and board and an opportunity to become part of an American family. Au pairs can care for your children on a schedule that works for your family’s personal needs, making it a very flexible option. They can also help with household duties related to your children, including laundry, cooking and room pick-up. Au pairs can work up to 45 hours a week, no more than 10 hours per day. The extra set of hands an au pair provides is often just what busy families need to make their lives more manageable- and more fun!

What's an au pair infographic

Our program works best for families who like the idea of welcoming someone who becomes an extended family member into their homes and who have a genuine interest in cultural exchange. Your au pair will share her own culture and language with your whole family and will also want to learn more about America. Most host families and au pairs keep in touch beyond their au pair year and often visit each other again in the U.S. or overseas.

Au pair program is regulated by the Department of State and only few agencies can bring au pairs into the US. We handle all of the logistics and paperwork.  Many parents are surprised how affordable and flexible au pair childcare is. 

If you would like to learn more about hosting an au pair, please fill out this interest form www.culturalcare.com/mzacharova or call/text Marcela 571-296-6910.

Thanks so much Marcela for sharing about au pairs and how they can help your family. I’m more informed and it sounds like a great service for busy moms. Marcela’s website link is here if you would like to learn more.

-alicia

what's an au pair

Genuine Family Portraits Denver, NC

Genuine Family Portraits Denver, NC

When I first found out this gorgeous family was moving away I was sad and very surprised. They had a sweet baby boy and they were moving so far away. You know I get kind of attached to my tiny babies. Something about holding a newborn when they are only a few days old makes you want to protect them and watch them grow. Then when I found out he was having a little sister so very far away I was down right depressed. Momma was a stunner with her first pregnancy. Fast forward a short time and I get a phone call out of the blue. This beautiful family is moving back. And the first thing mom did after landing back in the area was call me for a family portrait session.

I am honored and humbled to be the first call and to be chosen as their family photographer! I was so excited to catch up with them and meet their sweet baby girl. And that precious baby boy has grown into a handsome little guy who loves cars, tractors, throwing rocks and playing bashful.

We had a great outdoor portrait session.

Below are a few ideas for wall collections I created for their inspiration gallery. The family image in that simple cream frame is just classic. “Your family is a work of art. Frame it!” Which option from these genuine family portraits speaks to you?

Nina 3 months

Nina 3 months

Sweet Little Nina seems like you were born just yesterday. You are still a tiny little thing at 3 months old. Your older siblings and cousins will always be there too take care of you and they will teach you to be a strong little bird. You are now smiling and laughing and watching your big sister like she is the most amazing thing in the world. I look forward to watching you grow and mature in front of my very eyes. Being your aunt is a privilege I hold most dear. Next time we meet in the studio you will be sitting up and taking in the world from a whole new perspective. The world is your oyster sweet miss Nina and I cannot wait to see what new tricks you have in store for our next milestone portrait session.

-alicia

Ten tips to take better Halloween Photos of your kids

ten tips to better halloween photos of your kids

Everyone wants cute Halloween photos of their children. But lets be real, parents are busy and on Halloween kids are even busier. If they aren’t running away from the costume they picked out and insisted you buy, Or bouncing off the walls with anticipation Or crying because the dress is itchy Or the dragon costume is too hot – I unfortunatly can’t do anything about the costume debacle and in truth my toddler will probably go as himself this year (he refused to be spiderman for our first photo shoot attempt.) But what I can do is offer you a few quick tips to take better Halloween photos of your kids this year.

ten tips for better halloween photos of your kids
Refused to wear his spiderman costume but is still precious.

  1. Camera setting tips: raise your ISO in low light, settings between 400-1600 are your best bet. Above 1600 you are going to get a lot of noise in your images. Some cameras are better than others at higher ISO’s but to be very safe stay at or below 1600. Shutter speed is a big one with kids. The rule of thumb is to never photograph anything without a tripod below 1/60 of a second. For me, in practice, if you are photographing a toddler don’t go below 1/125 of a second. Two year olds are fast and they are never still. Quick side lesson: the smaller the number, 1/125 in this case, the faster the shutter opens and closes and the more it freezes the action.
  2. The easiest way to get great Halloween costume photos of your kids is to take them before dark. I know that probably won’t work for a lot of parents or kids. But like @it’s always autumn suggests. Do a dry run before Halloween. This even gives you a chance to make sure everything fits and works for the door-to-door trick or treating. Plus it is a great way to get awesome Halloween photos without competing with trick or treating.
  3. Take a lot of close ups. Find your focus. By that I mean find the subject of your images and cut out the clutter. Grab those cute expressions all in furry cat ears or vampire makeup and crop out the background noise.
  4. Don’t forget to take some images without the mask on. There is nothing worse than looking back at family photos and thinking I’m not really sure who this little spiderman is.

    ten tips to better halloween photos of your kids
    finally got this kid in costume
  5. Avoid on camera flash if you can. If you are taking photos indoors or hanging out at a Halloween party this tip is especially for you. Yes I know your camera came with a flash, and you are asking yourself aren’t I suppose to use the tools I’m given. Yes and sometimes on camera flash is the only choice you have.

    ten tips to better halloween photos of your kids
    bounce flash at dust

    But for those of you inside turn off that flash or manipulate it. The easiest manipulation for on camera flash is to bounce it off of a white surface. The ceiling or a white 3×5 card and tape are both easy cheap options. In the cases where you are outside and the only way to get the image is with flash soften, diffuse, or scatter the light so you can avoid the red eyes, glasses glare and harsh shadows like in this photo above. Softening the light can be just as easy and cheap as using a Kleenex and a rubber band to soften the flash. Or you can get something more fancy like this on amazon for under $10.

  1. Use available light when ever possible. By this I mean move those kiddos under a streetlight, or a porch light, photograph them looking into candles or playing with glow sticks. This adds interest to your Halloween images and avoids the dreaded flash.
  2. On that same note don’t forget about your flashlights. 95% of the time ghoul lighting is not what you want in snapshots of your children. But at Halloween dressed as actual monsters ghoul lighting is fun and fitting.

    ten tips for better halloween photos of your kids
    Ghoul lighting with a flashlight on Ironman
  3. Carved pumpkin tip. If you are taking photos and want to see that light from inside your pumpkin shine through this tip is for you. First add more light. Most times for a carved Halloween pumpkin one candle is typical, but for photos add a couple more. Or consider a battery-operated light. I’m thinking led will be my best bet and I tried it here. ten tips for better halloween photos of your kidsUse backlighting when possible. For example a dim porch light or side window light will help if it is totally dark outside. An even better idea is to take them at dusk. If you can do this before or after the big night, that way you can get the good light without missing something else photo worthy. The idea behind photographing your pumpkins at dusk is that the outline and orange color will still show. And the beautiful light of dusk won’t over power the candlelight. (Which flash will do).
  1. More of a reminder than a tip but don’t forget to check your camera batteries. Nothing like grabbing your camera on the way out the door and realizing it won’t turn on or you don’t have the right size battery in the house.
  2. Last tip take tons of photographs. Don’t be afraid to try different angles, different perspectives even having the kids turn away from the camera can make for a fun and interesting image. It’s a holiday for kids so have fun with it. The beauty of digital is that we can delete all the bad frames. woohoo!!

-Happy Halloween Alicia



Sweet Siblings in Studio Fort Mill

Sweet siblings in Studio

These sweet siblings came to see me in my home studio forever ago and somehow I never got them on my blog. So sorry S & L. lets make up for that right now. This family was one of my first portrait clients back when I was just starting out. I believe the first portrait session we did together was a maternity session before S was born. Seems like yesterday I was a there home photographing his baby session. I still remember the Winnie the pooh nursery. I’m sure the kids don’t remember that but their parents always will. And I am so thankful that his parents gave me a chance as a photographer way back then. I know they have their own memories from the baby portraits but for me they are extra special. For S it was my chance to break out on my own and start Insley Photography. Then when L was first born she was one of my first newborn babies when I decided to specialize in newborns.

Now look at them both big kids in elementary school. These two sweet siblings are always full of smiles and laughter. They are also the best of friends. It is truly inspiring to watch these two interact. I predict these kids will be world leaders one day. I can’t wait to see you guys again soon.

-alicia

3 year old head shots

3 year old head shots

My sweet three year old boy in his handmade vest. Doesn’t he look handsome for his 3 year old head shots? Grammy made the vest for him of course. And he just loves to wear anything made by Grammy! I have to do some more portraits of him soon since he got glasses a few weeks ago. I just couldn’t not post these for the Grandparents to see how handsome he is. Gosh I could just eat him up with a spoon. He certainly keeps things entertaining around here. He wanted to take pictures of me while I photographed him. Silly boy didn’t understand why I wouldn’t let him cover his face with a camera the whole time.

-alicia

 

Holiday Family Portraits | W family

Holiday Portraits

Having been friends with the W family for over ten years, it seems like an understatement to say I just love these cats. Could their two babies be any cuter? They are just little blonde angels in my portraits, hmm theme for next year maybe. In truth they are very active and very happy preschoolers who want nothing more than to run and play all day. Which makes them a joy to photograph each and every time especially for these holiday family portraits. I still remember older sister’s newborn session like it was yesterday. I really think the best part of my job as a family photographer is watching the babies grow up. Just being a part of their lives for so many years is an honor and a privilege. Thanks again to the W family for supporting me all these years. I love you guys.

-Alicia

 

Maternity Portraits | Waiting for baby girl

Maternity Portraits | Waiting for baby girl

Maternity Portraits | Waiting for baby girl

My dear friend asked me to photograph her third and possibly final pregnancy for her. I of course was honored and jumped at the chance to take her maternity portraits. They are expecting a sweet baby girl to arrive this week. I cannot wait to meet her and hold her for Mom for a little while. And also to take her newborn portraits while I am visiting of course ;)

On the day of our portrait session everyone was in good spirits. We had a great session and I am really happy with how they came together. Thanks to her two kids for participating, for those parents reading, you know how young children can have a mind of their own. I just love the colors she chose for the family session, so bright and beautiful. Even dad got in on the action.

It truly was an honor to photograph your beautiful family again. Thank you for asking me to create you maternity portraits.  I am waiting with baited breath for the news that your sweet baby girl is here.

If you are expecting and would like maternity portraits made please contact me early so I can add you to my calendar!

-alicia