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
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

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

20 Apr

Sweet South Charlotte Family Photography | Springtime

Sweet South Charlotte Family Photography | Springtime

Springtime has arrived, and already the temperatures are climbing!  But I’m loving the warmth and sunshine especially when it reminds me of sweet family portrait sessions like this one!  I just adore the sweet smiles from these beautiful girls in their Easter dresses!

Sweet South Charlotte Family Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan South Charlotte Family Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan Sweet South Charlotte Family Photography

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

04 Mar

Dreamy Charlotte NC Family Photography – Spring is Coming

Dreamy Charlotte NC Family Photography – Spring is Coming

The weather forecast next week is hinting at temperatures near 80 degrees and on this 50 degree afternoon, I’m yearing for more and more sunshine.  So to kick off the weekend, I will simply share beautiful, dreamy Spring Family Portraits to get you as excited for Spring as I am.

Enjoy and have a great weekend.

Dreamy Charlotte NC Child Photography Dreamy Charlotte NC Family Photography Dreamy Marvin NC Family Photography in Spring

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

 

 

 

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

08 Feb

Classic Charlotte NC Family Portraits | Cranberry Hues

Classic Charlotte NC Family Portraits | Cranberry Hues

The styling and outfits for this session made this just the perfect, classic family portrait session for Charlotte, NC area in the Fall.  It was simple, but coordinated and the colors just fit perfectly with the Autumn hues.  It’s subtle coordination from Mom’s cranberry red sweater and jeans, to the daughter’s matching cranberry hairband and denim skirt to Dad’s blue plaid shirt with jeans.  In my eyes, it was something as simple as a hairband that pulled all the colors and style together.

But nothing is better for me, than the happiness of a little girl spending quality time with Mom and Dad.  From the sparkle in her eye right down to the crinkle in her nose with her giggles in the last image, this session was one of my favorites from 2015.

Enjoy!

Classic Charlotte NC Family Portrait Session in Ballantyne area

Classic Charlotte NC Family Portraits by Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography Classic Charlotte NC Family Portraits near Ballantyne Corporate Park

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

08 Jan

Charlotte, NC Family Photographer – Hearts Galore

Charlotte, NC Family Photographer – Hearts Galore

Isn’t it bizarre how a simple outfit can change your mood and make you so happy?  Isn’t it true that when you feel good about the way you look in a particular dress or pair of jeans, it can make your whole day?  This adorable young lady looked so sweet and happy in this perfectly pink and red dress.  We just had to capture this moment.  As a parent, there are times during your children’s youth when you want to be able to remember how adorable they are and this was one of those times.  It was around Valentines Day when we photographed these images (hence the jewelry and hearts!)  and Mom wanted to capture that feeling –  when she saw her daughters smile in the most perfect little dress.  Transforming you back to those special moments –  PRICELESS!

Westfield, NJ Family Photographer photographs young lady in portrait studio for valentines day carolyn ann ryan photographs young lady in westfield portrait studio

20 Nov

Dreamy North Carolina Newborn Portraits – Sleepy, Happy Baby

Dreamy North Carolina Newborn Portraits – Sleepy, Happy Baby

The joy that comes from capturing images of a peaceful, sleeping baby in my newborn sessions will forever be something that I can cherish as a photographer. I know from watching my own children when they were young, how overwhelmed with emotion you can become as you can find those quiet moments to steal away from the everyday bustle of parenthood.  I am so happy to provide this young family with that same memory each time they look at these images on their walls.  And as their sleepy, happy baby grows in to a young toddler always on the go they can stop and look at these images and smile.

Dreamy North Carolina Newborn Portraits - Sleepy, Happy Baby newborn portraits photographed by family and child photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan

30 Jul

Cheerful Charlotte, NC Child Photographer – Smiles, and Laughter and Minions- Oh My!

Cheerful Charlotte, NC Child Photographer – Smiles, and Laughter and Minions- Oh My!

Any photographer will tell you that you need to be prepared for anything, and for the first time in a long while, I was taken off guard by this little man. The reason why is simple – I didn’t know I could fall in love more than I already am with this little Minion. I had prepared a day for my son and I to capture a few special moments for his upcoming birthday party invitations designed around his favorite character. I have to admit I was prepared with the outfit and hat, but what this little guy did for me when it all came together, was remind me of how NOT so little he is anymore. And that took my breath away for a moment. He is truly “one in a minion!” The beauty of capturing images of your family is that you can look at a photograph and you are instantly takes you back to that moment and you feel the rush of love all over again. THAT is why I love my job!

Cheerful Charlotte, NC Child Photographer Birthday session with Carolyn Ann Ryan Carolyn Ann Ryan captures amazing smiles in studio Charlotte, NC Child Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan photographs 5 year old boy in Charlotte NC