22 Nov

Priceless Charlotte, NC Children’s Photography | Tiny Tuesday – Mother’s Love

Priceless Charlotte, NC Children’s Photography | Tiny Tuesday – Mother’s Love

Today’s Tiny Tuesday post is from one of this year’s Fall portrait sessions.  I LOVE this moment and so does this little man’s Mommy, and it might be our favorite image from the entire session.

When we started the session, this little guy was being shy and just wanted to stay very close to his Mom and also his stuffed animal, George.   But even though he was being shy, there were still moments to be captured.

I love this image because you can feel the tenderness.  You don’t need a smile, a giggle or laughter to show the love that exists between a parent and child.   For me, this image shows sweetness, comfort, security, love and curiosity all rolled into one.  And I’m just completely mesmerized by those adorable eyes.

Enjoy and I hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Priceless Charlotte, NC Children's Photography  shares precious and heartfelt photograph


19 Nov

Favorite Friday – Laurie Berkner Band

“F-A-M-I-L-Y, F-A-M-I-L-Y, F-A-M-I-L-Y, FAMILY.”

“My Family” is one of my children’s favorite Laurie Berkner Band songs.  But that is just one of many, many favorite songs.  I find that half of my iTunes Playlists for my children include songs by The Laurie Berkner Band, and so today Laurie Berkner and her adorable music is my Favorite Friday pick for kids.

We were first exposed to The Laurie Berkner Band a few years ago when my oldest started watching Jack’s Big Music Show on Nick Jr.  Laurie would make guest appearances in many of the episodes and we loved those songs including “Under a Shady Tree”, “Let’s Samba” and more.  So, we purchased a few of the CDs through iTunes, and it became a family music staple at home and in the car.  I have to admit, there are still many days that we will listen to Laurie in the car on the way to school and then I’ll run errands after dropping the kids off, and I caught myself still listening to and singing Laurie Berkner songs in the car.

Laurie Berkner was even my daughter’s very first concert.  A couple of years ago she performed at Lincoln Center in NYC and we brought Shannon to see the show around age 3.  It was absolutely adorable – lots of little children dancing in the aisles and all of the parents joined in to sing the songs too.  If your children enjoy her music and she is performing in your area, I highly recommend bringing them to the show.  Her 2012 touring schedule is available on their web site.

You can learn more about The Laurie Berkner Band at their web site Two Tomatoes and you just might find yourself singing Laurie’s “Victor Vito” as you serve a spaghetti dinner or “Goodnight” as you get your kids ready for bed.  It’s children’s music that parents can enjoy, too.

Have a great weekend.


15 Nov

Charlotte, NC Child Photographer | Tiny Tuesday – Thanksgiving Inspirations

Charlotte, NC Child Photographer | Tiny Tuesday

This week’s Charlotte, NC Child Photographer Tiny Tuesday post is about more than just a photograph of a cute little girl.  This story is about how this sweet little one inspired her parents and many others to do good in their community around the holidays. With Thanksgiving approaching next week, I felt this was a really sweet story to share and I’m including my favorite image from her portrait session last October.

Olivia’s parents wanted to teach their daughter the true meaning of Thanksgiving and what it means to appreciate and give back.  In November 2010, they set a goal to help feed four families a full Thanksgiving meal with all the extra trimmings. But after chatting with Olivia, she increased their goal from four to ten families.  Olivia’s philosophy was simple and sincere: “If we are going to help people, we should try to help more people.”

So, Olivia’s father launched an effort through friends and family and in just two weeks, they were able to raise enough funds and collected enough food to feed 34 families a full Thanksgiving meal last year!  They had funds come from New Jersey, New York, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico and England. This year, Olivia’s father increased their goals, is working with more families, and had even offered to chat with others to help them get a similar effort going in their own community.   Based upon his personal experiences, he notes “you will certainly receive so much more than you give.”

I’m thrilled to say that my family contributed to their effort last year and again this year, and we are hoping to join them this weekend as they gather and sort all the food into boxes for distribution on Monday and Tuesday.  And it’s all because of this adorable little smile below.  This little sweetheart has inspired a whole community to give thanks in a wonderful way and help other families that couldn’t afford to enjoy Thanksgiving, celebrate with a wonderful feast.

So, now I’m curious, who else will this little girl inspire?  If you can, please consider donating to your local food banks or other charities this coming week and help others enjoy this holiday.  It doesn’t take much.  It just takes a start.


Charlotte, NC Child Photographer Tiny Tuesday

12 Nov

Favorite Fridays – Hallmark’s Jingle All The Way

I’ve always been a Hallmark fan. Maybe it’s because I spent two years working in a Hallmark store during my high school years.  I’ve always loved the cards, the holiday ornaments, and the commercials have been known to make me teary-eyed at times.

And now, as the holidays approach, I wanted to share one of my favorite items from last year’s Christmas season – Jingle the Husky Pup and his interactive story book, introduced by Hallmark.

You may have seen the commercials, as you read the story, the stuffed animal pup will bark and respond to different lines in the book.  You sometimes have to read them a bit louder, but the responses are quite cute.  But it was the story, Jingle All the Way, that captured my heart last year.  The images are beautiful and the story is very sweet, and again, Hallmark knows how to bring a tear to my eye and make my heart smile.  I loved reading this book to my kids, and they loved hearing Jingle respond.  My little guy especially loved carrying Jingle around the house last year and giving him big hugs.  We all loved Jingle.

I’m looking forward to purchasing the next story in the series for this year, Jingle’s Snow Day.  One of the ladies in my local Hallmark noted that our current Jingle stuffed animal will respond to lines in this new book. And I just saw on the Hallmark web site that they have an animated TV show coming up soon on November 25th to the Hallmark Channel.  I’m looking forward to sharing that with my kids.

If you have little ones, consider this as an early present to bring in the holiday season.  Hopefully Jingle will bring a few smiles to your home.

*None of my Favorite Friday posts are sponsored or advertised.  These are honest favorite items from a Mom with two kids.


08 Nov

Waxhaw, NC Children’s Photographer | Tiny Tuesday – Favorite Moments

Waxhaw, NC Children’s Photographer | Tiny Tuesday – Favorite Moments

Today’s Waxhaw, NC Children’s Photographer Tiny Tuesday post has two images.  These were taken in July 2010 while my family was visiting a friend in Pennsylvania.  Our friends had beautiful light in their backyard and thankfully I brought my camera.

Photographs don’t always need to show little ones looking at the camera smiling.  In this case, you don’t even need to see faces.  For me, the first image captures a moment.  My little guy gives amazing hugs.  And when he runs around, he’ll run right up to one of us, grab our legs, bury his head and squeeze real tight.  Just looking at this image, I can feel his amazing squeeze.  And I just love watching moments of my husband being a cute Dad.  While this may be a moment that happens often during these toddler years, it’s a moment I love to see again and again, and I’m thrilled to have captured it in this sweet photograph.  Someday, when our little guy is bigger, maybe even as tall as his 6’3″ Daddy, he’ll love this image, too!

The second image is just a sweet portrait of a smiling Daddy and his little man. I love the little one’s eyes and the beautiful light in this image. These are my favorite men.

Waxhaw, NC Children's Photographer shares Tiny Tuesday - Favorite Moments

07 Nov

North Carolina Family Photographer | Fall is in the Air

After a brief appearance of Winter last weekend, it was wonderful to have such beautiful weather this weekend, and I was even more excited to make it a triple header portrait session weekend. Yes, I was lucky enough to have family portrait sessions scheduled on Friday, Saturday and Sunday that paired perfectly with the crisp air and gorgeous sunlight!  One session was rescheduled from last weekend, and I’m sure they are thrilled that we waited for better weather!

It was also an honor to see two returning clients this weekend. I’m so excited to watch my little clients grow, that seeing them again and spending time with these families for their sessions feels like getting together with old friends! It warms my heart.  Thank you to my wonderful clients!

Here are a few sneak peeks to share and I hope you had the chance to enjoy the beautiful weather, too!  Do you think these kids were having any fun?

05 Nov

Vibrant Waxhaw, NC Family Portrait Session | Childhood Enclosed

Vibrant Waxhaw, NC Family Portrait Session | Childhood Enclosed

Lately, I find myself constantly saying how much I love my job.  When you get to see smiles like these on a regular basis, how could you not love what you do?

A few weeks back, I met this adorable family and we had a wonderful afternoon.  The sun was warm and shining in early October, and the light was just perfect everywhere we went. We started at their home in the backyard, which gave the family dog an opportunity to jump in a few images, and then we headed to a park in Edison, NJ after a quick clothing change.  I love watching a family just have fun together.  You can see the happiness and smiles just shine through in these photos!

Vibrant Waxhaw, NC Family Portrait Session by family photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan

04 Nov

Favorite Fridays – Lunchbox for Toddlers

This week begins my first favorite Friday post where I will share some of my favorite things for kids. This might include toys, clothes, local stores or services and other items.

My first Favorite Friday item is the Pottery Barn Kid’s Classic Lunchbox for Boys or Girls.  As a parent of children that attended daycare as toddlers, I found we would go through insulated cooler bags quite frequently.  We always had to send at least one or two sippy cups of milk for their days at school, and it would often spill into the bags and get into the creases and seams. This was nearly impossible to clean.  It was inevitable that within just a few weeks, a new bag would begin to smell inside (sorry, but they did).  I was always embarassed by this, and found myself replacing bags more than I wanted.  I tried nearly every bag sold in the nearby children’s superstore, but ultimately had the same problem no matter how well we tried to keep them clean.

When my daughter started Kindergarten, we purchased a brand new backpack and lunch box from Pottery Barn Kids, because I wanted her to feel all grown up. I loved the patterns and how cute everything paired together. Yes, we purchased the matching water bottle too.

As we continued through that year, I had no complaints with the quality of her lunch box, but probably purchased 4 insulated cooler bags for her little brother who was just 2 years old.  One evening, after yet another bag was a mess within just two weeks, I wondered why we went through bags so quickly for him and not for my daughter.  I inspected her lunch box and realized that the interior was molded into one solid piece – no seams or creases for milk to get stuck. It would be easy to clean!

Although I had not wanted to spend the money on a PBK lunch box for a two year old, I realized that it would be better to spend the money once, instead of every 2 – 3 months. About 9 months ago, I purchased the classic lunch box for my son along with a matching preschool backpack.  The pair works nicely together because you can attach the two pieces via clips making it easier to carry.  I can put his blanket, extra clothes and anything else we need into the backpack, and I usually put his water bottle on the side of the backpack, too.  Then all cold items are stored inside the lunch box.  I do wish the lunch box had a little more space, but it really was a great purchase.  And now he also loves to wear his own backpack down the hallway to class, and be a big kid just like his older sister.  I love watching my little man walk proudly with his big kid backpack that is perfectly sized for the little ones.

I recently had a conversation with a mom of a child in my little guy’s class, and we discovered that the spilled milk and smelly bags was a common complaint from the other mothers and soon I was getting inquiries about where I had purchased our easy to clean lunch box.

So my Favorite Friday share is the Pottery Barn Kids Classic Lunch Box that is easy to clean and therefore, will last longer for your toddler!




01 Nov

Union County, NC Family Photographer | Tiny Tuesday – Fun with Leaves

Union County, NC Family Photographer | Tiny Tuesday – Fun with Leaves

This week’s Tiny Tuesday share is one of my favorite images from last Fall.  People often ask how I get such natural smiles from the children during my sessions, and the trick is to just let the kids be kids.  These guys were having a blast just running around their own backyard and making a piles of leaves for jumping.  I played along and was just a bit silly myself and I was able to get this absolutely adorable smile from this little man.  It may not be a photographic competition winner for technical reasons, but this little guy most certainly wins hearts with that twinkle in his eye.  The background tells the story and shows exactly what was happening as his sister adds more leaves to the pile, and this little man was simply off running to grab some more.

For me, this image is pure happiness.  It is capturing smiles like these that make me love my job.  After my sessions are over and I’m sitting down at the computer to post-process these images, I get so excited when I see all these little smiles. Smiling is contagious, and so I get to smile while I work.

Union County, NC Family Photographer