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.

 

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

23 Feb

Charlotte, North Carolina Photographer | All in the Details

Charlotte, North Carolina Photographer | All in the Details

There are days that we have so much going on that we get wrapped up into the tiny details of life, work, or school.  But sometimes, it’s nice to get wrapped up in other tiny little details. It’s nice to take a moment and focus on the details of the tiny little people occupying our homes.  Just look at their hands, eyelashes, cheeks, eyes, lips, nose.  These details won’t be tiny for very long.  Take a moment today to enjoy the tiny, little details.

Charlotte North Carolina photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan focuses on tiny little details

 

 

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

03 Feb

North Carolina Family Photographer | Valentine Gift Idea

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 and Mom Portraits Charlotte North Carolina Family Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan North Carolina Family Photographer Gift Certificates

21 Jan

Charlotte, NC Family Photographer receives International Awards at WPPI Competition

Charlotte, NC | Award Winning Family and Pet Portraits

I am beyond thrilled to announce that Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography recently earned four Silver Awards in the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) Second Half 2015 Image Competition . Each year, I submit a handful of my favorite images to the top Image Competitions in order to have my work reviewed and critiqued by some of the most talented photographers in the industry. And I’m not alone in this effort as thousands of entries are submitted by photographers around the globe and every entry is critiqued and scored by the panel of judges.

I’m ecstatic to have multiple images recognized by the judges, and with these awards I have earned the title ‘Associate of WPPI‘.  All of the images below were created during portrait sessions with my clients, and I am truly honored and grateful to have had the opportunity to create each of these images.  Whether photographing an adorable family of six or a family’s new puppy, I have truly loved being a part of each of these moments.

 

Charlotte NC Award Winning Family Photographer wins silver award from WPPI

Together is All We Need

 

Charlotte NC Family Portrait Photographer Award Winning Cat Photograph earns silver award from WPPI

Lost in a Sea of Green

 

Charlotte NC Family Photographer Award Winning Mother and Son portrait wins silver award from WPPI

Sharing Secrets

 

Charlotte NC Family Portrait Photographer Award Winning Pet Portraits wins silver award for puppy photograph titled Wanna Take Me Home

Wanna Take Me Home?

 

28 Oct

Charlotte NC Family Portraits | Focus on the Moments

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, NC Photographer, Carolyn Ann Ryan, photographs family portrait session in Spring Charlotte NC Family Photographer takes photographs of Moms and Dads with their children Charlotte NC Child and Family Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan creates beautiful family portraits

16 Oct

Charlotte, NC Family Photographer | Beauty Multiplied

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!

I hope these make you smile today!

Family Photographer in Charlotte NC photographs four daughters Charlotte NC Family Portrait Photographer creates beautiful portraits in the summer Charlotte NC Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan photographs one year old during family portrait session

12 Oct

Charlotte, NC Family Photographer | Even when they are not so little . . .

As a family photographer, I truly believe there is never a bad time for family portraits. It doesn’t matter the age of your children, younger or older, it’s always a great time to update your photographs.  Children deserve to have tons of beautiful images and photographs with their parents that they will keep and treasure years into the future.  When children are teenagers, it’s awesome to remind them of the importance of family and the closeness they share with their family members.  As children get older, they often start to realize that their parents are their best friends and their biggest fans and champions.  These relationships are so fun to capture in images for both parents and children. During this particular session,  I especially loved showing these  beautiful girls just how stunning they really are, and my favorite photographs from the day were the ones we created  of the sisters together.  Their incredibly close friendship just shines right through in these photographs.  Through thick or thin, these sisters will forever be each other’s best friend.

 

Charlotte NC Family Photographer photographs teenagers and parents

North Carolina Family Photographer, Carolyn Ann Ryan, photographs clients on location in a historic village. Charlotte North Carolina Family Photographer creates beautiful images of sisters

 

18 Aug

Marvin, NC Photographer | Back to School Portraits

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.

Marvin NC Family Portrait Photographer photographs Back to School Portraits

Charlotte NC Family Photographer takes Back to School portraits for first day of school

 

19 Mar

Charlotte, NC Family Photographer | Waves and Curls

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.

She’ll melt your heart too.

 

Charlotte NC Family photographs taken by Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography for family's first portraitsCharlotte NC Family Portraits for first birthday

19 Jan

Future Charlotte, NC Family Photographer – The Road Ahead

Getting ready to move to Charlotte, NC

Carolyn Ann Ryan, Family Photographer from NJ, gets ready for relocating to Charlotte, NC

 

 

As we have been packing away the holiday decorations (and yes, we are definitely delayed on that task), the reality of the next six months is sinking in more and more – and our upcoming move to Charlotte, NC is almost here.   If you are a subscriber to my monthly newsletter, then you probably already saw the news a few months back that my family and I will be moving to Charlotte, NC in June 2015.  My husband is being relocated for his job, and so while we are excited about this opportunity, we are also going to miss our family and friends in NJ, and I will certainly miss my wonderful clients.

I’m definitely a sentimental person, and therefore with each holiday and milestone, I can’t help but realize that this is our last Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s in our NJ home.  When we purchased this house, we thought it was just a starter house and we would probably only live here for a couple of years.  And here we are, 10 years later, and this house has truly been our home.  We have loved this town, our friends, neighbors and this whole community.

But I also have been keeping my thoughts focused on the road ahead.  These will be exciting times for our family with new home construction, new schools for the kids, new friends to make, warmer weather to enjoy (really happy about this one), and many new adventures for all of us.

What does this mean for Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography?  I’m still in business in NJ until the end of June, but the last sessions in NJ will be held around mid-May to ensure that all images are processed and all ordering appointments are complete before we move.

I will unfortunately be unable to donate gift certificates to Tricky Trays and Silent Auctions in NJ this year, but if you know schools in the Marvin, Weddington, Ballantyne, Matthews, Wesley Chapel, and Pineville areas in North Carolina that will be hosting fundraisers in the late Spring, please let me know and I may be able to provide a gift certificate.

Additionally, if you have friends in the South Charlotte area, near Marvin, Weddington, Ballantyne, and surrounding neighborhoods, then please let them know that Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography will be re-launching in the Fall and I’m looking forward to working with families in the area!

We still have six more months to go, but just wanted to give a special thanks to all of our wonderful NJ and NY clients!  It has been a privilege to work with you and your families, and thank you for making me part of your moments and memories!  If you are ever in the Charlotte, NC area, then please get in touch!

 

 

 

17 Jul

Playful Charlotte, NC Family Portraits | Ready, Set, Leaves!

Playful Charlotte, NC Family Portraits | Ready, Set, Leaves!

I just love how the fall season creates a beautiful backdrop for a family portrait session. It’s the combination of colors, lighting and cool breeze that make it my favorite time of year, and this session highlighted everything I love about the season.  Mother Nature provided all the fun we needed.

While I am so excited that the summer is here and we get to have great beach days, lots of ice cream cones and have the kids stay up way past bedtimes, images like these remind me that just around the corner is my favorite time of year.  After the hot and humid weather disappears, there is still so much more fun and excitement to look forward to and so many fun sessions on the way!  And now is a great time to think about booking that Fall family session!

Playful Charlotte, NC Family Portraits in Autumn Carolyn Ann Ryan photographs Playful Charlotte, NC Family Portraits Charlotte, NC Family Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan photographs playful and fun family portrait sessions