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.

 

02 Aug

Creating Authentic Family Moments | Top 11 Family Walking Together

Creating Authentic Family Moments in Charlotte

One of the lessons that I learned in my early years of family portrait photography came during a session with my own sister and her family.  The lesson:  As easy way to set the stage for creating authentic family moments with just a little instruction and a whole bunch of fun.

It was my very first year photographing families outdoors, and my sister and I scheduled a late Summer session.  We had already spent two hours in a park and the kids were getting tired.  But I wanted a truly amazing photograph for my sister of her whole family.  My sister looked at the hill nearby and said “If you want a photo of all the girls smiling, let them run down that big hill over there”.   I looked to the hill and I saw the light, and I mean literally – the light was stunning.

So, I sent the whole family up the hill while I laid down in the grass at a distance.  The whole family went running hand in hand down the hill and the smiles and giggles followed and an authentic family moment was created.  This photograph was created in September 2010 and a beautiful canvas print of this image still hangs on my sister’s wall in her family room.

Real Moments Charlotte NC Family Photography

As I have been compiling favorite moments over the last few weeks, I realized that some of my favorite photographs from my clients’ sessions are created in a very similar way.  But as you scroll through this list, you can see how a simple idea can highlight a family’s unique personality and create a beautiful and even magical moment in a classic photograph. So here are my . . .

Top 11 Favorite Photographs of Families Walking Together

Authentic Family Moments Charlotte NC Photography

11.  I love how happy this family looks together. And their outfits paired perfectly with the beautiful rust colors of the foliage.

 

 

Authentic Family Photographs by Charlotte NC Photographer

10. Running through a field in the fall can certainly bring smiles to the little ones. This photograph has occasionally been featured on my business cards.

 

 

Authentic Family Photography Charlotte NC

9. Beautiful spring session with hair blowing in the breeze and Dad making everyone laugh.

 

 

Authentic Family Portraits in Charlotte N

8. The wonder of childhood. I love how Mom and Dad adore these little guys.

 

 

Authentic Moments Charlotte NC Family Portrait

7. I have always loved how the expression on this little man’s face, as well as how the whole family focused right on him. I wonder if he still loves to steal the show.

 

 

Delight Family Portraits Charlotte NC

6. If you have been to my studio office, you are familiar with this family and the cluster of photographs on the walls. I adored their energy and spirit. So much fun and giggles, despite the November chill in the air.

 

 

Dreamy Charlotte NC Family Photographs

5. There is a sweet dreaminess to this photo, and I’m just waiting to see the enchanting young lady begin her twirl.

 

 

Enchanting Family Photography Charlotte NC

4. I love the outfits, the balloons, that beautiful pop of color against the sunlight and the incredible connections captured within this sweet photograph.

 

 

Funny Authentic Moments Charlotte NC Family Photography

3. Sometimes, you gotta go your own way.

 

 

Creating Authentic Moments Charlotte NC Family Photography

2. And yes, this little man agrees and he will choose to lead, not follow.

 

 

Uptown Charlotte Family Photography

  1. As I relocated to Charlotte two years ago, this one holds a special place in my heart. The family was one of our first Irish Dance friends after relocating and I love how much their adore their sweet girl. And while I don’t normally love having other people in the backdrop, seeing a person in a Panthers T-Shirt truly fits this city. Charlotte loves the Panthers, and Charlotte is home.

 

If you enjoyed this list, please check out my Top 12 Moments of Joy and Top 10 Sibling Hugs.

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!

27 Jan

Favorite South Charlotte Family Photographer | Vote For Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography

Favorite South Charlotte Family Photographer | Vote For Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography

It’s that time of year again – when I feel like I’m campaigning to win a middle school student council election. But truthfully, I’m extremely honored to be nominated in TWO local newsletters in their categories for Favorite Family Photographer and would be truly ecstatic if my business got your vote!

So if you have loved working with Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography OR if you just love following along with our Facebook and Instagram feeds to see adorable photographs, then would you please take a moment to vote for Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography as Favorite Family Photographer in:
* Hulafrog’s Most Loved Awards 2017 (Deadline: February 3rd) AND
* Macaroni Kid’s Gold Daisy Awards 2017 (Deadline: February 8th)

Thanks in advance for your time and for all of your support! And thanks so much for your business and continuing to follow along with Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography! I greatly appreciate it.

 

Vote for Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography as Favorite South Charlotte Family Photographer

Vote for Favorite South Charlotte Family Photographer

19 Jan

Experienced Charlotte Family Photographer | Siblings and Personalities

Experienced Charlotte Family Photographer | Siblings

I absolutely love hearing the following words from my clients: “You’ve captured each child and their personality perfectly!”  When a mother can look at a photograph of her child, and not just see how cute he or she looks, but their entire personality shines through and she feels that you have captured exactly who they are as a person at that point in time – that’s gold!   It’s truly music to my ears, and lets my heart know that I did a good job for that Mom – I did MY job.

Our children grow so fast, but inside each one is so unique and distinctive.  They may have similar physical features on the outside, and it may be easy to tell when three boys are brothers, but their likes and dislikes are all their own.  This is one of the reasons why I love doing pre-session consultations in advance of my portrait sessions.  It’s a chance for me to find out which child loves cars or trains, and which child loves playing basketball or baseball.  Believe it or not, it’s important to know if your little man loves Team Cap or Team Iron Man, because it helps them warm up to me, and their eyes start to light up when you start talking about their favorite things.  And it’s equally important to know what might make them giggle or laugh, which I will fully admit, when it comes to boys that can often mean potty sounds and noises.  So, yes, I might need to ask your child which member of the family has the loudest or smelliest farts.  (But I only ask these questions with mom’s permission and that’s another important part of her pre-session consultation).

It’s all part of the job, and getting to know the adorable, unique personalities of  little boys and girls makes my job so much more enjoyable and fun!
Carolyn Ann Ryan, experienced Charlotte Family Photographer loves photographing boys and their moms

Experienced Charlotte NC Family Portrait Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan takes photographs of siblings

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

04 Oct

Enchanting South Charlotte Family Portraits | Secret Garden

Enchanting South Charlotte Family Portraits | Secret Garden

Every once in a while, you find a location that feels like a secret garden that enables you to create enchanting family portraits, and we found one right here in South Charlotte.  I just adore this first photograph with the old tree and bird house on the side, and adds to the feeling that this family is just alone in a special place having a beautiful and heartwarming chat with their little girl.  The sunlight sparkles through the trees behind, illuminating their story.

And just a few feet away we found a brick path with a beautiful bench and grassy field to create a perfect setting for their daughter’s family portraits.  She truly looked like a princess strolling through the enchanted garden.

 

Enchanting South Charlotte Family Photography by Carolyn Ann Ryan Enchanting South Charlotte Family Portraits photographed by Carolyn Ann Ryan Carolyn Ann Ryan creates enchanting South Charlotte Communion Portraits Carolyn Ann Ryan creates enchanting Family Portraits in South Charlotte, NC

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

03 May

Charlotte, NC Family Photographer | Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Charlotte, NC Family Photographer | Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Still looking for a few amazing gift ideas for Mother’s Day?  I am so excited to share this Mother’s Day Gift Guide that we prepared with the help of fellow North Carolina members of The National Association of Professional Child Photographers.  We teamed together this year to bring you a handful of suggestions from our favorite stores, and we also featured our favorite gift idea inside.   You’ll have to visit page 7 to read all about it!

This guide was prepared with the  assistance of Jeannie DeSena from Words & Pictures by Jeannie DeSena, Jody Dixon from Jody G Photography, Sara Brennan from White Box Photo, and Erika Rigger from Erika Rigger Photography, and I can’t thank them enough for their contributions.

I hope you enjoy and if you use any of the ideas within this document, please let us know in the comments!

Enjoy!

 

North Carolina Mother's Day Gift Ideas from NAPCP Photographers

North Carolina Mothers Day Gift Guide 2016

27 Apr

Engaging Charlotte NC Family Photographer| National Tell-A-Story Day

Engaging Charlotte NC Family Photographer| National Tell-A-Story Day

Today is National Tell-A-Story Day and I thought this photograph of a Mom and her little man sharing a story was the perfect image to share today.  Isn’t amazing what happens when we open a book to read to our children? All Mom had to do was open this book to read to her son, and this sweet moment just happened.  I love how he just cuddled into her arms ready to read with his Momma.  It’s the simple, classic moments in life that are filled with memories.  They bring us back to childhood and to our favorite places.  Being a mom now, I love reading time with my kids and this photograph speaks to my heart as I remember all those nights with my own little munchkins snuggled into my arms and lap ready to read a good story together.

From National Day Calendar, it says “On National Tell A Story Day, it does not matter if the story is a short story or a long story, fiction or nonfiction, a tall tale or folklore. This is a day for them all.  We encourage you to tell your stories and even share them on social media using #NationalTellAStoryDay.”

Engaging Charlotte NC Family Photographer for National Tell A Story Day

10 Apr

Classic Charlotte NC Family Portraits – National Siblings Day

Classic Charlotte NC Family Portraits – National Siblings Day

As you may have heard, today is National Siblings Day and I love taking a few moments on this day to share some of my favorite portraits of siblings from the last year.  Siblings are your instant best friends, biggest supporters, shoulders to cry on, and they will be a special part of almost all of your childhood memories.  And yes, they are also the people you will likely fight with the most, but regardless of the fights, teasing, or competing, they are the people that will always be there for you when you need them. They will be in your biggest cheerleaders in life, and even your defenders should you ever need them.

There is just something amazing that comes with being and having a sibling, and it is definitely something to celebrate. It is unconditional and everlasting.

Having a sister myself, I have always loved the song “Sisters” featured in the movie White Christmas.  ‘Sisters, Sisters, there were never such devoted sisters . . .”

Charlotte NC Family Photograph shares classic sibling portraits for National Siblings Day

 

While many of these are classic portraits of siblings, I think the last image at the bottom may be one of my favorites showing the silliness of siblings working together in opposite of their parents. That image was not posed or requested and was just a natural moment from an adorable family session.
Classic Charlotte NC Family Portraits shared by Carolyn Ann Ryan for National Siblings Day shared by family photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan

 

And below, here are some favorite images of my family members.  On the top left is my four beautiful nieces, which my daughter jumping in.  On the top right is a photograph from a family party showing my father with his eldest brother along with my aunt and my mom. The brother two images highlight the sibling goofiness and friendship of my own two children.  The bottom left photograph was taken by my talented friend, Annette Goodman, from Annette Goodman Photography during our family portrait session last year.

Classic Charlotte NC Family Portraits shared by Carolyn Ann Ryan for National Siblings Day

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

 

 

25 Feb

Communion Portraits | Charlotte, NC Family Photographer | Tips for Scheduling Your Session

 Communion Portraits | Charlotte, NC Family Photographer | Tips for Scheduling Your Session

It’s almost Spring which means it’s almost time for First Holy Communions at many churches.  This is such a special event in a child’s and family’s life, and family photographers are often called to help capture those precious memories with Communion Portraits.

Most of the time, families inquire about hiring a photographer for the day of the Communion to meet at the Church and capture portraits of the child and the family.  But, I typically suggest to my clients that if they are truly interested in portraits, that they should schedule their portrait session before or after the Communion Day.

Communion and Family Portraits Charlotte North Carolina

Here’s why:

  • Communion Day can be stressful, but your portraits shouldn’t be.   If scheduling immediately before the ceremony, we are often limited on time.  And if you are running late, your portrait session will be shorter, because you need to arrive at the Church.
  • If scheduling immediately after the ceremony, there will be a ton of other families also taking photos of their children inside and outside.   This can make it difficult to get the ideal location and lighting needed along with having clean backdrops without people walking through your photographs.
  • Additionally, many families schedule a party on the same day as the Communion, and your brain will likely be filled with thoughts of party preparations, arriving on time to your party, and more.
  • Another consideration is the weather forecast and rain.  If you truly want photographs on the day of the Communion, if it rains, our only alternative is to photograph inside.

First Communion Portraits by Carolyn Ann Ryan in Charlotte NCNorth Carolina Communion Portraits

 

But if you schedule your session on a different day, you won’t have any time constraints and will be more relaxed arriving for your session.  If the forecast calls for rain, we would simply reschedule for another day.  You won’t have to worry about keeping your child’s outfit clean (although I promise to do my best to avoid getting Communion outfits dirty).  And you will have more flexibility in outfits, so I remind my clients, you have my time, so let’s also photograph your casual family portraits too!  You could even complete your Holiday Card portrait session – in April or May!

With less to worry about, you will be able to focus on simply having fun with your children, and your photographs will be beautiful.

Charlotte NC Family Photographer photographs First Communion Portraits

Child and Family Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan shares First Communion Portraits

I’m always willing to work with my clients to discuss their needs for their portrait sessions in order to capture the photographs they want.  If you are interested in booking a Communion and Family Portrait Session, call our office at 704-256-7270

Links:
The beautiful Communion Bowl displayed in these photographs can be custom ordered from Clarey Clay Works