19 Sep

Priceless Charlotte Family Photography | Unique Portrait Experience

Why Book a Portrait Session with Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography?

Have you ever done a portrait session with the goal of printing photos for your walls, but then never got around to figuring out the best photos, the right sizes or the best ways to organize your pictures into a gallery or cluster?

This can be an overwhelming and daunting task for some, and therefore it may be put off til tomorrow, then next week, and before your know it – next year.

Unique Portrait Experience

Charlotte Photographer Wall Display Ideas 10

When booking a family portrait session with Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography, I want to help remove the overwhelming and daunting feelings that come after the photos have been taken.  I want to do everything I can to make the experience as full service as possible – all the way down to the part of helping you choose the best images to display on the walls in your home!

I absolutely love photographing my family clients and I do everything I can to help my clients enjoy having their photos taken, BUT the MOST enjoyable part of the process for me has been helping my clients choose the beautiful moments and classic photographs from their session that will become wall art in their homes.

Using special software, I can help you visualize exactly how your printed photos will look sized to the scale on the walls in your own home, so you can order your prints with confidence.

Here are a few examples of the real displays my clients have purchased for their homes:Family Photographer in Charlotte creates a Unique Portrait Experience

 

Unique Portrait Experience in Charlotte NC

I would love to help you get your photos printed and onto your walls as well! I am available for family portrait sessions in the South Charlotte area and would love to chat with you about your own session and booking the perfect date. Please call my studio office at 704-256-7270 to book your family photo session.  Need more inspiration?  Visit www.carolynannryan.com

13 Sep

South Charlotte Photography Workshops for Parents

Is your DSLR stuck on Auto?  Are you missing amazing shots of your kids? Not sure how to capture them best?  Unlock your camera’s full potential with Carolyn Ann Ryan’s Photography workshops!  Designed specifically for parents (and grandparents) these workshops will teach you how to use your camera and capture better images of your kids.

Photography Workshops for Parents in Charlotte by Carolyn Ann Ryan

Details:

Capturing stunning, authentic images with your DSLR takes more than the push of a button.

In our Level I workshop, we’ll cover:

  • Fundamental DSLR elements
  • Exposure, aperture, & shutter speed
  • Depth of field & background blur
  • Essential lenses & focal length
  • Tack-sharp focus
  • Essential lighting techniques
  • Compositional strategies for exceptional images

 

Dates/Times for Level I Classes:

  • Thursday, October 5, 2017 10 am-12 pm
  • Wednesday, November 8, 2017 10 am-12 pm

Location: Carolyn’s Home Studio, Marvin, NC 28173

Class Size:  Limited to 6 Participants

Investment: $99

Click Here to Register

Spread the Word!

The only thing better than taking a Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography workshop is taking it with a friend! If you know of someone who might like to join you, we would be so grateful for your referrals!

Questions?

Feel free to call the studio office at 704-256-7270 or email carolyn@carolynannryan.com to get more info and sign up

11 Sep

Charlotte, NC | Fall Family Portrait Session Style Guide

What to Wear for Your Fall Family Portrait Session

So your fall family portrait session is coming up and you don’t know what to wear. This is always a big challenge for my clients, because they know they are investing in the portraits and they want to love them. These are the photos that they will use for their Christmas and Holiday cards, and also to display in their home for many years to come and send as gifts to close family members.  Visit my previous Gift Guide Blog Post here.

Charlotte NC Family Photographer shares What to Wear guide for Fall Family Portraits

So, where to begin?

The first thing I suggest to my clients is to look around their home, look at their walls and think about where they want to display their photos. They should consider both the style and decor in these rooms along with the colors.  Is it a casual family room or a formal dining room or entry way?  This will help determine how casual or dressy they would like to get for their session.

For the colors, I always suggest that my clients use complimentary colors instead of having everyone completely matching. You want your family portraits to represent your personalities both individual and as a family. Incorporating the accent colors used to decorate your home will help your photos look best on the walls in your home.

Stylish Charlotte Photography

Accessories and Layers

Weather can be unpredictable, especially during the Fall when the temperature swings can be pretty dramatic. The temperature on your session day could be 85 degrees or 55 degrees, and that can make a big difference in keeping your family members comfortable and happy.

So, I ask my clients to think about layers for their outfits. Are there jackets or sweaters than can be added where you would still be happy displaying the photos on your wall (which often means not their typical winter jacket or fall rain jacket). In the same respect, if you are planning for sweaters and corduroy pants, do you have a backup option if the weather is 88 degrees? It is difficult to keep children and adults happy if they are overheated on session day, so being flexible with outfits can be important.

I LOVE accessories! Whether it is hats, suspenders, vests or ties for little boys or hair bands, bows, hats and pretty shoes for little girls, the outfits can really make the photos stand out! Use accessories to show your child’s personality and to help tie your outfit selections together!

Stylish Fashion Tips for Charlotte Portrait Sessions

But what about my Christmas/Holiday Cards? Should we wear holiday colors?

You really have two options here:

  • You can simply wear your regular outfits and I can adjust the color and design of your card to match your clothing OR
    Holiday Card Designs highlighting Stylish Charlotte NC Family Photography Stylish Charlotte Photography Family Portrait Fashion
  • You can do a clothing change halfway through your session.  Because yes, children are stinking cute in their holiday pajamas and your friends will just melt when they see your card!
    Most Adorable Christmas Pajama Portrait Session
08 Sep

Best Charlotte, NC Family Photography – Holiday Gift Ideas

Ready to begin holiday shopping?

Fall is definitely the busiest time of year for family portrait photographers, especially in the Charlotte area of North Carolina.  Most parents book their Fall Family photography session because they want updated photographs for their annual holiday and Christmas cards.  But I love showing my clients beautiful, unique and thoughtful holiday gift ideas for family members using their moments captured during our photo session together.

Here are a few of my favorite holiday gift products, but just make sure to include a pack of tissues when presenting to Grandma, because these items have been known to make her cry:

Print Gallery Stands

Best Charlotte NC Family Photography Holiday Gift Ideas 2

Why I love this product

These are such a great gift for grandparents or parents.  The print comes complete on a wood stand with easel, so there is no frame purchase required and therefore the print truly stands out on a table or desktop and will match any decor.  Grandparents will love adding these beautiful display pieces to their tabletop filled with photos of their grandchildren.

 

Accordion Booklets

Charlotte NC Family Photographer Holiday Gift Giving Ideas

Why I love this product

We all know that grandmothers love having small photos on hand in their purse to show all their friends at the spur of the moment? Out to lunch with friends – look at my beautiful grandchildren!  The accordion booklets have 10 wallet sized images on the inside and one on the cover and it’s a great way to get a bunch of your favorite images from your session.  And since the accordion booklets come in sets of 3, there is always an extra for Mom to keep one for herself.

 

Classic Modern Frames with Torn Edge Prints

Charlotte NC Best Holiday Gift Ideas

Why I love this product

This is a beautiful fine art print with hand torn deckled edge paper that is mounted in a deep float-style frame with a white-on-white mat.  The presentation is stunning and your image is truly the focal point.  This is not your standard print in a frame and will make a treasured addition to the walls in either your own home or a grandparent’s home.

 

Wood Framed Ornament

Thoughtful Charlotte NC Photography Gift Ideas

Why I love this product

These handmade Organic Bloom wood ornament frames are adorable and unique.  Choose from either reclaimed wood or the custom painted frame to match the colors of your outfits. Whether hanging on your own tree or ordering for grandparents, aunts or uncles, these adorable frames will stand out among the many ornaments on display!  Each year, as you begin to decorate for the holidays, these adorable photos and frames will bring you back to the beautiful moments we created during your session.

 

Magnetic Monthly Calendar

Thoughtful Charlotte NC Holiday Gifts

Why I love this product

Personalized with 12 of your favorite photographs from your session, your magnetic monthly calendar can stick to the fridge, a file cabinet, or wherever pulls you. It has a month-at-a-glance view displaying one photo per month.  This is another great gift idea for grandparents or Mom that will tug at their heart strings every time they walk by or grab a glass of water from the fridge.  I have had one of these on my own refrigerator for the last 3 years, and my fridge would be incomplete without one.

 

Ready to Book Your Portrait Session

We are now booking Fall Family and Holiday Portrait Sessions!  We would love to chat with you and help schedule a session for your family!  Please visit our web site at www.carolynannryan.com and call us at 704-256-7270.

 

21 Jul

Genuine Charlotte Child Photography | Top 12 Moments of Joy

Top 12 Moments of Joy

“Make a joyful noise”

Earlier this week on the blog, I shared my Top 10 Sibling Hugs from previous client family portrait sessions.  Today, I want to help kick start your weekend with great big smiles and joy, therefore in today’s post I’m sharing my Top 12 Moments of Joy! These open mouth smiles from the youngsters are genuine moments from my portrait sessions and have always brought sunshine to my days.

Can you almost hear the happy squeals of joy and giggles from these little ones? My goal for a family portrait session is always to make it as fun as possible while capturing some of the best images my clients will have for years to come.  I can only hope that these adorable little faces represent the true experience of what it means to work with Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography for a family portrait session!

I wish that your upcoming weekend will be filled with moments containing this much joy and happiness.  If only we could find a way to bottle up the joy of childhood and share it with everyone.

12. Joy of Childhood Photography

11.Charlotte Child Photography Joyous Moments

10.

Genuine Laughter Photographs9.Joyful Charlotte Child Photography8.Genuine Charlotte Child Photography Moments

7.Joyful Portrait of Siblings in Charlotte NC

6.Giggles and Joy by Charlotte Child Photographer

5.Joyful Family Photography in Charlotte

4.Moments of Pure Joy Charlotte Child Photographer

3. Top 13 Joyous Moments in Child Photography

2.Genuine Charlotte Childhood Photography

  1. Genuine Charlotte Child Photography
19 Jul

Heartwarming Charlotte Family Photography | Top 10 Sibling Hugs

Top 10 Sibling Hugs

“You can’t give a hug without getting a hug”.

There is something about a photograph of a hug shared between children that just warms my soul.  And I love how asking kids for a simple pose during a family portrait session can often turn into truly endearing and heartwarming moment.

Over the last few days, I have been going back through images from the last few years of family portrait sessions, and I have truly enjoyed remembering these treasured moments.  With each session, there are a handful of images that have become personal favorites.  It could be a funny moment, an adorable giggle, or an incredible hug that just takes me back to the moment I clicked the shutter of my camera.

I’ve started organizing these precious moments into categories and I would love to begin sharing my favorite Top 10 images for each category on the blog.

So, today I’m starting with my favorites in Top 10 Sibling Hugs.  All of these images were captured during a family portrait session with my clients from the last few years.  I hope you won’t be able to resist smiling while viewing this list of photographs, and may it warm your heart as much as it does mine.

It is said that hugs are like vitamins for the soul, and looking at this list, I completely agree.

Here are my Top 10 Favorite Sibling Hugs from Family Portrait Sessions

10. The Sibling Squeeze

There is no greater friend than a sister.  Even when sisters don’t see eye to eye, they will still always have your back and always be there when you need them most.
Heartwarming Charlotte Family Photography by Carolyn Ann Ryan

9. The Sibling Squeeze Part II

When you squeeze so tight, you have to close your eyes too.
Sweetest Hug Photo in Heartwarming Charlotte Family Photography

8. The I adore my big brother hug

I love that you can just see the adoration on this little man’s face and you can just tell how much he adores his big brother.   Charlotte NC Family Photographer shares adorable hugs

7. The Sneak Attack Hug and Kiss

Older siblings adore their little siblings too.  Big sister can’t resist giving her little sister a kiss on the cheek with her hug.
Heartwarming Charlotte NC Family Photography

6. The Giggle Hug

These two sweethearts were super giggly during their entire photo session.  I remember that my cheeks hurt from smiling so much on the other side of the camera. Heartwarming Charlotte NC Child Photography

5. The Simplicity Hug

These boys just have the perfect, simple and sweet smiles to draw you into this moment.
Charlotte NC Family captures Heart Warming Sibling Hug Photos

4. The Face Press

I love getting my clients’ faces close together for family portraits and these girls definitely have the right idea.  Adorable Hug Photo by Charlotte NC Child Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan

3. The Peekaboo

I love hugs like this one between siblings.  I certainly remember the stage of my own children’s life where my daughter always hugged my son around his neck and you couldn’t see his face.  It’s just how they hugged at that age.

Heartwarming Hug Photos from Charlotte NC Family Photographer

2. The “I never want to let go” hug

Big sis loved this little guy so much.  You can just see on her face that she never wants to let go of his adorable hugs.  It’s photos like this that make you want to stay wrapped in a moment forever.Charlotte NC Family Photograph Heart Warming Sibling Hugs

1. The too adorable for words hug

This session was photographed in front of the client’s home in North Carolina.  And if these boys weren’t already cute enough, when I asked them to hug, they just leaned into each other as if they could take a nap all curled up on each other. Adorable Brotherly Hug by Charlotte NC Family Photographer

 

My own Munchkin and Pumpkin

It’s not fair to list in the Top 10, but I will forever love this moment and this hug and have it framed on my wall. This photograph is already almost three years old and as my children grow older, I want to always remember this perfect sweetness. And I just want to scoop them both into a great, big forever Mom hug and never let go.

Endearing Sibling Photograph by Carolyn Ann Ryan

 

13 Mar

Tips for Being the Most Prepared Family Photographer

Tips for Being the Most Prepared Family Photographer

I strive to be the MOST prepared Family Photographer for my clients, and with over 8 years of experience photographing families, I thought I knew everything I should bring in my car and camera bag to a family portrait session.   While there is very little I am unprepared for, after each tiny mishap or snafu over the years, I have added to my personal photographer toolkit, so I am prepared for the next time.

But when I decided to write blog post with tips for other photographers, I decided to reach out to a handful of my fellow members of the National Association of Professional Child Photographers (NAPCP) to see if they had additional suggestions for items to pack in your camera bag and/or car before you head out to meet your clients.  They had a few interesting stories to share, and a few additional tips for keeping your car and your camera bag stocked and ready for the your next family portrait session:

For your car/trunk:

      • Gas Tank
        Fill up your gas tank in your car the night before your session.  My dear friend, Willy Wilson, from Life Unstill Photography in Colorado, shared this little tidbit recently.  We won’t confirm or deny if Willy was ever so worried about almost being late for a client session, that she pulled away from the gas station with the gas pump nozzle still attached to her car!  Either way, save yourself a bit of worry and make sure that gas tank is full before you venture out to your location.
      • Portable Toilet Seat
        When you are on location with young children in a park or field, a toilet situation might arise, and there isn’t always a bathroom near.  Don’t let poor parents get stuck in this situation.  I keep a small “travel potty” in my SUV for these emergencies!  I love this one on Amazon, and includes simple zip closure bags for easy clean-up.  Keeping a fresh stock of baby or cottonelle wipes in the car is also critical for these situations, as well.
      • Small Scissors (to remove gum from hair?)
        I once arrived at a session, and as I was unpacking my camera equipment, I hear a Mom shout, “WHAT is in your hair?”  I lean over behind my car, and the mom simply says to me “Gum.  In the hair.  By any chance do you have a pair of scissors?”  Thankfully, it was not in the child’s bangs, and I was also grateful that I happened to have a small pair of scissors in the car.  (It’s a mom car, so there are days I think you could find anything in it).
      • Ice Packs and Band-Aids
        Well, boys will be boys sometimes.  As Sheena Magnesen from SMM Photography shared that her clients once bumped heads during a leaf throwing incident and one poor little boy got a bloody nose.  Sheena acted quickly and grabbed the nearest item possible to help prevent the blood from staining her  little client’s new clothes, and I’m sure this little man still remembers the day he had to hold a (clean) diaper under his nose at the end of his family’s portrait session.
      • Changing Room in your Car
        Beth Seliga from 3 Cats Photo in Virginia always keeps a spare sheet and clips in her car, so she can create a personal on location changing room with privacy for clients in the back of their car.  This comes in very handy for Senior portraits sessions.

South Charlotte's Prepared Family Photographer shares what is in her camera bag

For your camera bag:

      • Bug Spray and After Bite Spray
        Sometimes, the bugs just start too early!  I think this upcoming Spring and Summer will be especially problematic due to the mild winter in many states, so definitely keep those handy.  I personally LOVE the OFF Deep Woods Towelettes as they are small enough to toss a couple in my ShootSac and you don’t have to worry about them spilling.  And this year, I’m going to try a chemical free product from PureStella Skin Care – The Bug Off Lotion Stick!  And if a bite does occur, I LOVE the Benadryl Cool Relief Gel.  This particular product, unlike most benadryl products, is free of diphenhydramine hydrochloride, so it is safer for younger children ages 2+.  But please, ALWAYS confirm with parents before applying and ensure children do not have particular contact allergies.
      • Dryer Sheets
        Sheena Magnesen from SMM Photography also keeps dryer sheets in her camera bag because you never know when you need to remove static cling!
      • Small and Medium Binder Clips
        Binder clips are not just for presentations, apparently.  Angela McLaughlin from Tiny Touch Photography always makes sure to have a few in her bag for clothing adjustments for her clients, and finds they are so much easier to use than safety pins, so you are not risking poking your client with a pin! (Have to admit, I used these on my last 2 headshot sessions! Thanks for the tip, Angela.)
      • Alcohol Swabs
        When little ones arrive on location for their family session with temporary tattoos on their arm from the street fair the day before,  you will be so happy that you had a handful of alcohol swabs in your bag for easy removal.  They also come in handy in case of minor cuts and scrapes.
      • Small Snacks
        Most of the photographers noted they kept small nut-free snacks in their bags.  With parent permission, these can really help with a needed boost halfway through the session.  Included suggestions: Smarties, Welch’s fruit juice treats or graham crackers.
      • Whoopie Cushions and Bubble Machines
        Every once in a while, it may take a little more effort to get a shy or stubborn little one to open up and give us their best smile and giggle. Kimberly Tank from Kimberly Tank Art & Photography is so excited to use her whoopie cushion this year to encourage a few bursts of laughter!  I can’t wait to see the photographs that result from this addition.
      • Lint rollers, hair spray, bobby pins and more
        Angela, Willy, Sheena, Kimberly and Beth all suggested keeping a small pouch in your camera bag that included lint rollers, hair spray, bobby pins, stain remover wipes and more.  You never know when you will need this emergency kit, and your clients will love that you are prepared for anything.

I know I have a few purchases to make to stock up my car and camera bag kits.  What will you be adding to your kit this year?  Did we miss anything?  Please let us know in the comments!

17 Feb

Most Loved Charlotte Family Photographer | Thank You for Your Votes!

Voted Most Loved Charlotte Family Photographer AND Best Photographer by TWO Charlotte Family Newsletters

Earlier this week, I received notification from TWO local family email newsletters that their readers have voted Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography as their Favorite Family Photographer in the South Charlotte area for 2017!  I can’t thank my clients and friends enough for taking a moment to vote in each of these newsletters.  Your votes mean so much to me.

 

Recent Local Awards Received
Most Loved Charlotte Family Photographer
Previous Local Awards

I absolutely love my job and have truly enjoyed working with my clients, and I thank you all so much for choosing me as your Favorite and Most Loved Photographer.

If we haven’t worked together yet, and you would like to learn more about booking your family’s portrait session with Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography, then I welcome you to visit our web site, join our email list to learn about upcoming session options and dates, and call us at 704-256-7270.

12 Jan

Charlotte, NC Family Photographer | PPA’s Family Portrait Month

Each year, PPA Charities organizes Family Portrait Month in support of Operation Smile. During the months of September and October, a portion of all of my session fees were donated to this charitable event to help at least one child obtain a new smile with the help of Operation Smile’s amazing doctors.  Over the last six years, Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography has helped at least six children obtain new smiles, and I am so proud that we can continue to help and support these organizations and children thanks to my clients.

This family is one of the many families I had the opportunity to photograph during this past Fall season, and I just loved everything about the session.  The fall foliage was absolutely perfect in the middle of November, and the temperatures were amazing!  When the sun shines, so do my clients and so do I!  The sparkling yellow leaves look like gold that day. For this session, I love that the grandparents were able to join us for the session, and we were able to capture special photographs with each of them and the grandchildren along with the entire family together, which makes them a perfect highlight for Family Portrait Month.

PPA Family Portrait Month in Charlotte NC

Carolyn Ann Ryan participates in PPA Family Portrait Month by photographing families in Charlotte NCAward winning family photographer, Carolyn Ann Ryan, participates in PPA's Family Portrait Month

Charlotte, NC Family Photographer, Carolyn Ann Ryan, participates in PPA's Family Portrait Month

11 Jul

South Charlotte Family Photographer | Voted Best Photographer by South Charlotte Weekly Readers!

Voted Best Photographer by South Charlotte Weekly Readers!

This afternoon, I met my husband for lunch at Einstein Bagels in Ballantyne.  We placed our order and proceeded to find seats.  Jim mentioned that he was going to grab a copy of The South Charlotte Weekly for us to read.  On the cover of the newspaper I saw that this issue contained the announcement of the Best of The South Charlotte Weekly Awards for 2016.  I sighed to myself, and immediately flipped to the Professional Services section to see which photographer was voted Best Photographer.

And suddenly there it was – my name was right there in the middle of the page: Best Photographer  –  Carolyn Ann Ryan.  I squealed and showed my husband, and I was so thrilled he was there to share that moment with me!  Next, I glanced below my name to see my daughter and son’s Irish Dance school, Rince Na h’Eireann School of Irish Dance,  had been voted Best Dance School!  It was a double win!

On the drive home, I couldn’t help my excitement.  We have only been in the Charlotte area for one year since our relocation form New Jersey.  Not only was it difficult to leave our family and friends behind, but it was equally difficult to walk away from the business I spent six years building in New Jersey.  I had to relocate my business over 630 miles and I did not have any contacts, friendships or relationships in my new area.  While my skill level and business knowledge haven’t changed, I am essentially starting this business all over again.

And yes, there are days where I wonder if I can really do it.  Do I have really have what it takes to build this business twice?  But then there are days like today where my clients, friends and family remind me how much I love what I do for a living, and I really can’t imagine doing anything else.  Thanks so much to everyone that took a couple of minutes of their time to vote for me!  I can’t thank you enough for your votes to help me earn this honor!  I am so very grateful, and I look forward to working with more families in the South Charlotte area this year and for many years to come!

Thank you all so much!

Carolyn

Carolyn Ann Ryan was voted Best Photographer in South Charlotte Weekly Best of Awards

11 Apr

Professional Charlotte NC Family Photographer – Pretty Packaging

Professional Charlotte NC Family Photographer – Pretty Packaging

As a professional Charlotte NC Family Photographer, I want to make the experience of working with me for a portrait session to be as full service as possible, and the delivery of beautiful printed products is the final culmination of that experience.  So, when my clients receive their products, I want to add to the excitement of the moment when they finally get to see everything that we worked together to create.   We’ve had our initial call when they decided to book their session with me, our pre-session consultation when we prepared for their session, we worked together on their portrait session day, and met for their in-person ordering appointment where we selected their wall prints and products.  Now the moment is finally here – the moment they see the end result!

I want my clients to feel like a child on Christmas morning that can’t wait to open their presents (and many have told me that they do feel this way as they open up their pretty boxes).  Therefore, not only do I choose beautiful, high quality printed products from the best print labs in the industry, but I also want my packaging to reflect everything about my business and the experience of working with me.

So, I absolutely love working with Rice Studio Supply for my print and product packaging.  They have been my primary vendor for over 4 years, and have always delivered high quality products with phenomenal customer service.  My favorite products include the Cocoa Artisan Portrait Cases for larger prints along with the Espresso Presentation Boxes for smaller prints, in addition to the white Kraft Shopper Bags paired with orange tissue paper.  All of these items have my logo imprinted in Bright Copper to coordinate with my branding.

The final piece that ties off my branding is a beautiful die cut ribbon that I purchase from Noble Gift Packaging.  The flower in the ribbon is the perfect complement to my logo and helps tie everything together (forgive the pun).

If you are a photographer that is looking for a vendor to help deliver beautiful packaging products to help finish and pull your branding together, then I highly recommend reaching out to Rice Studio Supply.

Thanks for reading!

Professional Charlotte NC Family Photographer shares Packaging Vendors

09 Mar

Experienced Charlotte NC Family Photographer | On the Go

Experienced Charlotte NC Family Photographer | When Your Child Is Always On the Move

So you want to update your family portraits, but your tiny little one is active and mobile, and you are worried that they will not be able to sit still for a portrait session. Maybe they recently started crawling or walking, but now it seems they never want to sit still.

Does this sound familiar?  No worries at all, and you are not alone.  Little ones between the ages of 8 months and 3 years old almost never want to stop moving (but, hopefully all that moving gets them so tired that they sleep well each night).

So, how do I photograph little ones on the go and still deliver beautiful family portraits for my clients?

If you want a happy, smiling, giggly child, you definitely do not want to force them to sit for photographs. You honestly don’t want to force them to do anything.  Instead, we want to make sure they are happy and having fun!

Here are some tips to help prepare you for a family photo session with toddlers and little kids, so you know what you can expect from your portrait session with me:

  • Chairs, Benches, Fences, or even fake tree stumps (yes, I own a fake tree stump)
    Some little ones will find these props amusing and entertaining and will voluntarily choose to sit on them. Yay!   But we always follow the safety first rule when photographing children.  When using any seating that is elevated off the ground, I always keep parents within arm’s reach of their child, but just outside of the frame of my camera, to prevent falls and keep their tiny little ones safe from harm.

Professional Charlotte NC Family Portraits by Carolyn Ann Ryan

  • Pick them up!  
    This is one of the many reasons I love family portrait sessions and including parents in photographs! When children are young, they generally enjoy being held by mom or dad, plus it can give them a sense of security at the start of the session.  So we use that to our advantage and I have parents hold or pick up their children for a a snuggle, a quick spin, a toss in the air, or a shared giggle!  Plus, I can photograph you with them AND I can also zoom in close and photograph just your child!  Would you guess that these first two little ones were being held in Mom’s or Dad’s arms?

Skilled Charlotte NC Family Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan

  • Hold their Hands and Walk or RUN!
    Little ones that are just getting started with walking or cruising LOVE to hold their parents hands and take a few steps and the smiles and giggles just naturally appear! It’s a perfect time to grab a few portraits!  And the bigger ones love to run and almost always starting laughing when Moms and Dads join in their fun!

Skilled Waxhaw NC Family Photographer

  • Tickles and Tackles
    Plain and simple – “who wants to tackle Mom? ”  You can count on Moms and Dads know their little ones’ ticklish spots to bring on the big giggles.  But I just adore when munchkins run and tackle Mom or Dad.

Experienced Waxhaw NC Family Photographer keeps children happy by encouraging tackling of parents

  • On the move
    Sometimes, children just want to spin, walk, march or run!  And we just want smiles, so during the session we let them do what will make them happiest!

Professional Marvin North Carolina Family Child Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan

  • Toys, Bubbles, Leaves or Hats
    When my clients bring toys or props for the kids, I typically leave these for the end of the session, simply because I never want to be the person that needs to take something away from a child during their portraits (because that can bring tears).   But bubbles, stuffed animals, or even something as simple as a leaf or a big sister’s hat, can provide enough distraction and entertainment to keep them from moving away!  And sometimes, they are just SO excited to hold something in their little hands! I can almost hear the squeals in these photographs!Professional Charlotte NC Family Portraits
  • Most importantly, just have fun. (And maybe throw some leaves!)
    If my clients simply focus on having fun with their children, you never know the moments that will just happen and that is the BEST part of photographing family portrait sessions!  I absolutely adore the moments we create together and look forward to creating beautiful images with your family!

Experienced Charlotte NC Family Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan

 

 

13 Feb

Charlotte, NC Tween Portraits | Valentine’s Day

Charlotte, NC Tween Portraits | Valentine’s Day

Last month, I attended the National Association of Professional Child Photographers Retreat in Georgia, and I returned home with so many wonderful ideas.  After watching a Senior Portrait Styling and Lighting Workshop, I immediately wanted to come home and photograph my daughter in a similar style with a Winter/Valentine’s outfit.  But then I thought about how fun it would be to include her friends in the session, and so I reached out to a few Moms. We visited our local Target store’s clearance for a few key finds and here is the result of our Tweens Portrait session.

I love photographing girls at this age, especially with their friends.  These girls will be finishing elementary school this year and starting middle school!  It makes me so nervous for my daughter from a social perspective, especially because I remember how tough middle school was for me.  I always wanted to be popular, and wanted to be liked and have a ton of friends.  But now I’m old enough to look back and realize, my true friends were the girls that didn’t care about my popularity status or that my mother was the secretary in our school – they were the friends that liked me for me.  All girls need to have those friends.  Right now, I’m so happy for my daughter to see her with these sweet girls and I love the quality of the friends she has already made since our relocation to this area, and I hope these friendships continue into middle school.  I do feel we are very lucky, because some of the closest friendships I have developed since moving here are the parents of the my daughter’s new friends.

It’s the friends that love you for the person you are that will be the most important friends to keep in life.
Charlotte, NC Tween Portraits by Family Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan

Charlotte, NC Tween Portraits by Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography Charlotte, NC Tween Portraits photographed on location by Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography

Clothing: Target.com

 

 

 

11 Feb

Charlotte, NC Child Photographer | Chocolate Dreams

Charlotte, NC Child Photographer | Chocolate Dreams

Growing up, Chocolate Milk was one of my favorite foods.  It was my breakfast before school (nutritious, right?), and I’d have a glass when I arrived home from school and another before bed.  I do wonder how my parents allowed to occur.  I’m pretty sure I drank about 5 glasses of chocolate milk per day between the ages of 12 and 18.  I had even decided that when I grew up, I would have two dogs – both Chocolate Labrador Retrievers and I would name them Nestle and Hershey.

Well, I don’t have the dogs yet.  But this is what happens when a family photographer that doesn’t cook much takes a food photography class at the NAPCP Retreat with Lauren Carnes. I needed to practice what I learned, so this was the easiest scene I could create and one of the first that popped into my head.  My glasses of chocolate milk never looked this pretty when I was a kid.  And I am pretty certain my children will be requesting to recreate these images this weekend to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Charlotte, NC Child Photographer practices food photography

 

Milk Bottles: Target

Valentine’s Day Decor and Candy: Target

Food: Hershey’s Syrup and Reddi-Whip Whipped Cream

09 Feb

Charlotte NC Tween Portraits | Valentine Style

Charlotte, NC Tween Portraits | Valentine Style

Hard to believe this beautiful, young girl is in her tweens, right? There is just something classic and simple about her beauty. We had such a great time styling a session for my daughter and her friends recently, and this is just one of the many photographs we created.  The styling was simple and classic – a jean jacket, furry boots, and a scarf and voila!

Enjoy!

Charlotte NC Tween Portraits styled for Winter and Valentine's Day