Is your DSLR stuck on Auto? Are you missing amazing shots of your kids? Not sure how to capture them best? Unlock your camera’s full potential with Carolyn Ann Ryan’s Photography workshops! Designed specifically for parents (and grandparents) these workshops will teach you how to use your camera and capture better images of your kids.
Capturing stunning, authentic images with your DSLR takes more than the push of a button.
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 . . .”
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.
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.
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.
As my own daughter grows into her tween years, I have a funny feeling I’ll see my photography business growing into to photograph tweens as well. The tween years can be a difficult age, but hopefully one that gets easier with a few good friends by your side. I loved photographing my daughter and two of her new friends recently, and these giggles just warm my heart.
Outfits: sweaters, jackets, hats and accessories purchased at Target.com
Charlotte, North Carolina Family Photographer’s Valentine’s Day Gift Idea
Valentine’s Day is less than two weeks away. It’s amazing to realize that we are already into the second month of 2016, and I just finally started remembering to use 2016 instead of 2015 on my checks. But now it’s time to think of Valentine’s Day presents. While I’m not ready yet for myself, as a Family Photographer in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, I do have an amazing idea for all the Dads and Husbands out there, and I’m so excited to share it!
What does a Mother love more than anything else in this whole word? It’s not chocolate, jewelry, flowers, and it isn’t even wine (although, wine can sometimes be a good friend).
It’s her family!
So, this Valentine’s Day, give her a gift that will surprise and delight her. Give her the gift of Memories. Give her the gift of Family with a gift certificate towards a Family Portrait Session.
This is a gift that won’t just last this year, but when she orders beautiful family portraits for the walls in your home, she will see them everyday and always remember the Valentine’s present she loved so much!
Now, 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?
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 reducing the stress of a family portrait session. We’ll discuss everything to help you and your spouse 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 packaged gift certificate all ready to present (no wrapping needed)
a $100 print credit to use towards your print order (special offer valid now through February 120th)
on the day after Valentine’s Day, your spouse will receive an email with our online booking calendar to select her session date
How do you get one?
Simply call me at 704-256-7270. I look forward to working with you and your family!
Charlotte NC Family Portraits | Focus on the Moments
One of my favorite wedding photographers is constantly reminding photographers that photographing a wedding isn’t about capturing and documenting the shoes, rings and table cards, but it’s about capturing the moments of the day. I think the same can be true in family portraits. It isn’t about photographing a styled session and showing photographs of children holding berries or pinecones (while I will admit these can be beautiful images and wonderful accents to a gallery), but it’s about documenting a family together for an afternoon. It’s about the squeezes and hugs, the way they look at each other, the giggles and laughs, and the stolen moments of pure adorableness. And it’s about remembering the couple of hours they spent together just enjoying each other’s company and being happy. But sometimes, my favorite part of these sessions is remembering the moments that triggered that perfect giggle or smile and what might have been happening behind the scenes to create those seemingly perfect moments. If the viewer of the photographs only knew how we did it. Because yes, maybe the giggles were generated by the tiniest family member singing a song about poops while the family walked together holding hands. As you can imagine, that might just cause the rest of the family to crack up with real, genuine laughter and for me – it becomes the perfect moment. I just love those moments. They are my favorite.
Charlotte Family Photographer | The Gift of Memories
One of my favorite things about this session is that Dad had purchased a gift certificate for Mom for Mother’s Day. He knew she had wanted family portraits for awhile, and he knew she loved my work, so he took a phenomenal opportunity to surprise her and give her the gift of memories for a very special present! Not only did he make her happy when she opened the gift certificate, but I know she was thrilled with the results from the portrait session and the beautiful prints that are now displaying in her home on her walls. This is such a beautiful family and the boys had so much personality!
This is truly a gift that Mom will treasure for many, many years to come! Great job, Dad!
Charlotte, NC Family Photographer | Beauty Multiplied
I really have a special place in my heart for families that have four girls. While I also love families with 1, 2, 3, 5 or more girls, there is just something about the magic number 4. Maybe, it’s because my only sister has four beautiful daughters and my nieces are some of the most awesome kids I know. There is something so amazing about their sisterhood and friendships – words can’t even describe it. It is so evident in the way they support each other in everything they do. And well, my sister is the equivalent of a superhero in my eyes. I absolutely have no idea how she does all that she does, and in the midst of what could be chaos for some, has created an incredibly loving and crazily fun home and family.
And so, I have a crazy amount of respect and love for parents with four daughters, and I have so much spending time with their families and seeing the family dynamics. This family was no exception, and I saw the same crazily awesome feeling of sisterhood existing in this four beautiful girls, and it was such a pleasure to spend an afternoon with them. But I think all in the family would agree, that the littlest munchkin absolutely STOLE.THE.SHOW! We just couldn’t stop giggling at the amazing and sometimes hilarious expressions she provided. It became evident that she just didn’t love sitting in the grass, especially as she would hold her legs up in the air while Dad was trying to sit her down. And then, she just kept us smiling throughout the day. These images not only gave us beautiful photographs for wall portraits and holiday cards, but we were also able to create the most perfect Thank You card for the littlest first birthday party!
Marvin, NC Photographer | Back to School Portraits
Tomorrow will be the first day of school for my oldest child. As we relocated from New Jersey to Charlotte, North Carolina earlier this Summer, tomorrow’s Back to School brings excitement and a little nervousness. We are entering a whole new world tomorrow, including the world of school uniforms. We were so excited that we couldn’t wait for the official first day (tomorrow), and took advantage of last night’s beautiful light to capture these Back to School Portraits.
Wishing this girl a wonderful day tomorrow and can’t wait to hear about all her new friendships and the adventures that await her this year.
Mom Photographer Tip: Some of the best smiles and giggles from our brief session came when a fly buzzed my ear and I jumped around in a circle trying to get away from it. I’m sure it was an amusing and entertaining sight and I’m happy it wasn’t caught on video. My daughter thought it was hysterical! But that is definitely something that can be faked while photographing your own kids that is bound to bring a few giggles.
Charlotte, NC Family Photographer | Waves and Curls
From the moment I stepped out of the car, I melted for her red hair and those tiny little waves and curls. Then came the smile with just a couple of little teeth and it made me giggle. And it’s no wonder that her parents are just mesmerized by this tiny little person in their life. She was curious and silly and happy and filled with sugar and spice and everything nice. I just couldn’t get enough of those grins and giggles.
North Carolina Family Photographer – Sunshine on a Cloudy Day
It might be cold outside, but inside the studio, the smiles and giggles can just warm your heart!
This smiling munchkin made us giggle so much during this session. Little guys are always very curious, and that was true for this baby in blue, intently taking in the new surroundings, new people and new things to get his hands on. Mom was prepared and brought some of his favorite ‘loves’. These photographs can be such a special keepsake for the little ones when we incorporate their favorite toys and books and truly capture their personality at this stage in their life.
the size of his smiles that we had a wonderful time!!
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.
Westfield, NJ Family Photographer – Best of 2014 Portraits Winners
The Best of 2014 Portraits Contest is closed and we are so thrilled to announce the winners! Thanks so much to everyone that took the time to vote in our contest and we loved reading all of your comments too! This was a very close race, and I received so many compliments on all the beautiful images of these wonderful families, and in my eyes you are all winners!!!
The Top 3 Images with the most votes are:
First Place: 16×20 canvas print (valued at $445)
Thumb Wrestling Champion
Second Place: 11×14 mounted print (valued at $175)
Christmas Jams in Christmas Jammies
Third Place: DVD Music Video Slideshow ($175)
I will be in touch with each of the winners today to help claim your prizes!
Thanks again to all of our wonderful and amazing clients – it has been a pleasure working with you!
It’s that time of year again, and we are so proud to host the Best of 2014 Portraits Contest. So much happened in 2014, including the Grand Opening of our very first portrait studio in Westfield, and I am so honored and blessed to have worked with such incredible clients!
I’d like to say thank you to last year’s amazing clients and showcase my favorite images from 2014! But we just couldn’t choose our top favorites and we need your help! It was hard enough to select just ONE image from these sessions. Sometimes, it’s the sweet adorable face that we can’t resist, or maybe it’s the one that makes us laugh, or maybe it’s the image that tugs at our heart! Which one will you choose?
The Top 3 Images with the most votes will WIN PRIZES, including:
First Place: 16×20 canvas print (valued at $445)
Second Place: 11×14 mounted print (valued at $175)
Third Place: DVD Music Video Slideshow ($175)
Voting begins today on Friday, January 23, 2015 and will close on Friday, February 6th at 11:59 pm. Winners will be announced on the blog on Monday, February 9th. You will only be able to vote ONE time. Anyone caught tampering with or violating the rules will be immediately disqualified.
Use the radio buttons at the bottom of the page to enter and submit your vote to the contest.
Additionally, since we would like to share the fun and gifts of the contest with everyone, if anyone books a WINTER STUDIO PORTRAIT SESSION while the contest is running, they will receive a $100 print credit towards their print order! Call us at 908-232-2336 to discuss your session options and book your session for a February or March Winter Studio Portrait Session.
Best of 2014 Portraits
1. Communion Day Giggles
3. You Can’t Give a Hug, Without Getting A Hug
4. First Steps
5. Daddy’s Little Girl to Have and Hold
9. Sunshine Day
11. Sunshine and Smiles
12. Cutie Pie
13. College Bound
15. Summer Days
16. Hugs for Mom and Dad
17. Thumb Wrestling Champion
18. Saturday in the Park
19. Sweet Dreams
20. Communion Day
21. Brotherly Love
22. Whenever I See Your Smiling Face
23. True Companion
24. Two of a Kind
25. Best Friends
27. We’re in This Together
28. Belly Laughs
29. Just Married
30. Mom Makes Everything Better
31. Sweetness and Love
32. Puppy Love
37. Christmas Puppy
38. Day at the Beach
39. Her Little Loves
41. Be My Valentine
42. Through the Years
43. Double the Love
45. Group Hugs
46. Three of a Kind
47. Soft and Cuddly
48. Kissy Face
49. Christmas Jams in Christmas Jammies
50. So Happy Together
54. Pretty in Pink
55. Three Plus One
56. Sparkling Smiles
57. All Together
58. Little Boy Blue
59. Best Days
61. Summer Breeze
62. Walk in the Park
Rules and Eligibility
Contestants must be at least 18 years of age and a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident. Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography employees and their immediate family members are not eligible. Immediate family includes only spouses, parents and children. Contest entrants include all Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography clients that completed sessions and orders in 2014. Voting begins today on Friday, January 23, 2015 and will close on Friday, February 6th at 11:59 pm. Winners will be announced on the blog on Monday, February 9th. You will only be able to vote ONE time. Anyone caught tampering with or violating the rules will be immediately disqualified.
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!