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
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

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

26 Feb

Charlotte Child Photographer | National Tell A Fairy Tale Day

Charlotte Child Photographer | National Tell A Fairy Tale Day

Today, February 26th, is National Tell A Fairy Tale Day!  So, to help inspire you to tell your children a fairy tale this evening, I dug through my photographs to find a few that just might have a story behind them – but I challenge you to decide what that story might be and share it with your loved ones this evening!  Have fun and enjoy!  And feel free to come back and comment here with your fairy tale ideas and let us know which image inspired you!  We would love to hear them!

Charlotte Child Photographer Fairy Tales Charlotte NC Child Photographer fairy tale 2

 

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

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

 

 

 

21 Feb

Childhood Photographer Charlotte, NC – What are you wishing for this year?

Childhood Photographer Charlotte, NC – What are you wishing for this year? 

If I asked this question right now, most people in the Northeast would answer with warmer weather, sunshine, Spring, Summer, etc.

Have you ever wondered what a child was thinking when you asked them a question?  I just love the sweet expression in this first photograph when I asked her “What are you wishing for this Christmas?”  You could tell there was a long list running through her head, and her eyes twinkled and sparkled with happiness as she thought about Christmas morning.

The rest of the session was filled with happiness and giggles as we spent a beautiful afternoon in the Fall enjoying the outdoors.  Here’s hoping your wishes come true this year.

 

Child and Family portraits by Carolyn Ann Ryan Photograhy in Charlotte, North Carolina
Childhood Photographer Charlotte, NC - Childhood moments captured by Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography

31 Jul

Dreamy North Carolina Childhood Photography | Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Dreamy North Carolina Childhood Photography | Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

It’s Christmas in July!!!  Or maybe it’s just me trying to catch up on sharing some of last year’s portrait sessions.  I do love twinkling lights in the backdrop of a portrait session.  I also love capturing the bond between sisters – one that is truly irreplaceable. My sister and I have a bond that no other could replace, and the same is true with these two special ladies.  I’ve had the privilege to watch these little girls grow over the last 4 years through my lens and photographs.  This was our 5th session together (and I’m looking forward to their sixth session already booked for this Fall!).    These girls came prepared, as they always do, to show me their stuff- their sassy sister poses, their giggles, their hugs, and especially their fabulous dresses and accessories (thanks to mom!!).

Dreamy North Carolina Childhood Photography Charlotte Uptown Session Dreamy North Carolina Childhood Photography Park Session by Carolyn Ann Ryan Dreamy North Carolina Childhood Photography Urban Session by Carolyn Ann Ryan

10 Apr

Charlotte, NC Sibling Photographer | National Sibling Day 2014

Charlotte, NC Sibling Photographer | National Sibling Day 2014

Siblings. They are 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.

For National Sibling Day, I wanted to share some of my favorite photographs from recent years of siblings just being siblings. And I wanted to give a special thank you to my sibling, my big sister for always being there for me when I needed her.

Charlotte, NC Sibling Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan shares favorite sibling portraits Charlotte, NC Sibling Photographer shares adorable portraits of brothers and sisters National Sibling Day Portraits shared by Charlotte Family Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan

24 Feb

Union County, NC Family Photographers | Tickled Pink

Union County, NC Family Photographers | Tickled Pink

Photo sessions with babies can sometimes be unpredictable.  We have to coordinate meals, snacks and sometimes naps!  Some days you just never know what you’re going to get, but this sweet little girl was a true pro – she posed, giggled and laughed.  We did photos indoor and outdoors, had wardrobe changes and even the dog looked picture perfect.  Can’t get much better this!  And I just can’t get enough of the beautiful dresses and headbands that her mother coordinated for this day! This little lady is truly pretty in pink (and purple too!)

 

Union County, NC Family Photographers

 

Union County, NC Family Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan Union County, NC Family Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13 Dec

Charlotte Photographer shares The BEST Christmas gift idea ever for your wife!

Charlotte Photographer shares The BEST Christmas gift idea ever for your wife!

Dads & Husbands of all generations,

When it comes to Christmas shopping for your wife:

  1. Are you still trying to think of that amazing gift for your wife for Christmas?
  2. Do you want to give her a gift that will surprise and delight her?
  3. Do you want a gift that will show her what an amazing woman and mother she is for your family?
  4. Do you want something that will make her smile nearly everyday for the entire year and many years to follow?

Then look no further, I have the answer for you.
What does a mother love more than anything – more than jewelry, vacations, food or even more than coffee?  The answer – her family! So give her the gift of family by giving her a gift certificate for a family portrait session so that together we can create absolutely beautiful images of your family spending time together.

Still not convinced?
I know what you might be thinking.  Are you envisioning a torturous family session where you are desperately trying to get your kids to smile? Why would you sign up for that? But that’s where I come in and make that part of the process as painless as possible. With years of experience, I have the secrets to successful and painless family portrait sessions, and we’ll discuss everything to help you and your wife prepare for the day during our pre-session consultation call.  When you arrive at the session, the goal is simply to have fun while spending time with the ones you love the most.

What comes with your gift certificate?

  • a beautifully wrapped gift certificate all ready to present on Christmas morning
  • a $100 print credit to use towards your print order (special offer valid now through December 23rd)
  • on the day after Christmas, your wife will receive an email with our online booking calendar to select her session date
  • your session fee will be booked with the 2013 session rate (session fees will be going up in 2014)

How do I get one and finish my Christmas shopping TODAY?
Call me at 908-889-5416 and you enjoy the rest of season stress free!

Charlotte Photographers shares the BEST Christmas Gift Idea ever from Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography

10 Dec

Playful Marvin, North Carolina Family Photographer | A Wish

Playful Marvin, North Carolina Family Photographer | A Wish

Throughout our lives we wish for different things.  As children it’s typically a toy, as we get older it’s a car, then as we become adults, it’s a family.  Family is where we feel the safest and can truly be ourselves.  I was honored to capture these special moments where mother and son could let loose, be themselves.  There is such a special bond between these two, and I enjoyed watching them have fun together – isn’t that what family is all about?

 

Playful Marvin, North Carolina Family Photographer | A Wish Staten Island Child and Running Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan Playful Marvin, North Carolina Family Photographer Smiles Giggles and Fun with Mom and Son Staten Island Family Photographer

28 Nov

Dreamy Waxhaw, NC Family Portraits | Give Thanks!

Dreamy Waxhaw, NC Family Portraits | Give Thanks!

Thanksgiving is about eating, laughing and most importantly spending time with your loved ones.  It’s a time to GIVE THANKS for all that we have.  Life is busy and sometimes we forget our greatest treasures are the people right in front of us.  During this session, this beautiful family of four took the time to celebrate their family and give thanks for each other.

Today, I’m so thankful for my amazing family and friends that support me, even through the busiest of seasons, and also thankful for every moment that I get to spend doing something I love.  Thank you to my husband, children, parents, sister, sister-in-law, my entire family and all of my friends and clients!

Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels to be with the ones you love!

Dreamy Waxhaw, NC Family Portraits by Carolyn Ann Ryan with Thanksgiving Theme Waxhaw NC Child and Family Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan Wahxaw NC Family Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan shares dreamy family portraits

13 Nov

Delightful Waxhaw, NC Family Photography | Feet

Delightful Waxhaw, NC Family Photography | Feet

Feet are funny! In those first few years they are so adorable and cute.  I love how babies and toddlers are always fascinated by their feet but what makes me smile about these twins is how he seems more interested in his sister’s feet than his own!  It was just instinct for him to grab his sister’s foot as soon as she kicked it forward.  It speaks to the connection between them, and I really I hope that connection simply grows, as they grow up together.

 

Delightful Waxhaw, NC Family Photography | Feet Delightful Waxhaw, NC Family Photography Twins First Birthday Portraits Delightful Waxhaw, NC Family Photography Twins First Birthday Portrait Session