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

11 Apr

Professional Charlotte NC Family Photographer – Pretty Packaging

Professional Charlotte NC Family Photographer – Pretty Packaging

As a professional Charlotte NC Family Photographer, I want to make the experience of working with me for a portrait session to be as full service as possible, and the delivery of beautiful printed products is the final culmination of that experience.  So, when my clients receive their products, I want to add to the excitement of the moment when they finally get to see everything that we worked together to create.   We’ve had our initial call when they decided to book their session with me, our pre-session consultation when we prepared for their session, we worked together on their portrait session day, and met for their in-person ordering appointment where we selected their wall prints and products.  Now the moment is finally here – the moment they see the end result!

I want my clients to feel like a child on Christmas morning that can’t wait to open their presents (and many have told me that they do feel this way as they open up their pretty boxes).  Therefore, not only do I choose beautiful, high quality printed products from the best print labs in the industry, but I also want my packaging to reflect everything about my business and the experience of working with me.

So, I absolutely love working with Rice Studio Supply for my print and product packaging.  They have been my primary vendor for over 4 years, and have always delivered high quality products with phenomenal customer service.  My favorite products include the Cocoa Artisan Portrait Cases for larger prints along with the Espresso Presentation Boxes for smaller prints, in addition to the white Kraft Shopper Bags paired with orange tissue paper.  All of these items have my logo imprinted in Bright Copper to coordinate with my branding.

The final piece that ties off my branding is a beautiful die cut ribbon that I purchase from Noble Gift Packaging.  The flower in the ribbon is the perfect complement to my logo and helps tie everything together (forgive the pun).

If you are a photographer that is looking for a vendor to help deliver beautiful packaging products to help finish and pull your branding together, then I highly recommend reaching out to Rice Studio Supply.

Thanks for reading!

Professional Charlotte NC Family Photographer shares Packaging Vendors

09 Mar

Experienced Charlotte NC Family Photographer | On the Go

Experienced Charlotte NC Family Photographer | When Your Child Is Always On the Move

So you want to update your family portraits, but your tiny little one is active and mobile, and you are worried that they will not be able to sit still for a portrait session. Maybe they recently started crawling or walking, but now it seems they never want to sit still.

Does this sound familiar?  No worries at all, and you are not alone.  Little ones between the ages of 8 months and 3 years old almost never want to stop moving (but, hopefully all that moving gets them so tired that they sleep well each night).

So, how do I photograph little ones on the go and still deliver beautiful family portraits for my clients?

If you want a happy, smiling, giggly child, you definitely do not want to force them to sit for photographs. You honestly don’t want to force them to do anything.  Instead, we want to make sure they are happy and having fun!

Here are some tips to help prepare you for a family photo session with toddlers and little kids, so you know what you can expect from your portrait session with me:

  • Chairs, Benches, Fences, or even fake tree stumps (yes, I own a fake tree stump)
    Some little ones will find these props amusing and entertaining and will voluntarily choose to sit on them. Yay!   But we always follow the safety first rule when photographing children.  When using any seating that is elevated off the ground, I always keep parents within arm’s reach of their child, but just outside of the frame of my camera, to prevent falls and keep their tiny little ones safe from harm.

Professional Charlotte NC Family Portraits by Carolyn Ann Ryan

  • Pick them up!  
    This is one of the many reasons I love family portrait sessions and including parents in photographs! When children are young, they generally enjoy being held by mom or dad, plus it can give them a sense of security at the start of the session.  So we use that to our advantage and I have parents hold or pick up their children for a a snuggle, a quick spin, a toss in the air, or a shared giggle!  Plus, I can photograph you with them AND I can also zoom in close and photograph just your child!  Would you guess that these first two little ones were being held in Mom’s or Dad’s arms?

Skilled Charlotte NC Family Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan

  • Hold their Hands and Walk or RUN!
    Little ones that are just getting started with walking or cruising LOVE to hold their parents hands and take a few steps and the smiles and giggles just naturally appear! It’s a perfect time to grab a few portraits!  And the bigger ones love to run and almost always starting laughing when Moms and Dads join in their fun!

Skilled Waxhaw NC Family Photographer

  • Tickles and Tackles
    Plain and simple – “who wants to tackle Mom? ”  You can count on Moms and Dads know their little ones’ ticklish spots to bring on the big giggles.  But I just adore when munchkins run and tackle Mom or Dad.

Experienced Waxhaw NC Family Photographer keeps children happy by encouraging tackling of parents

  • On the move
    Sometimes, children just want to spin, walk, march or run!  And we just want smiles, so during the session we let them do what will make them happiest!

Professional Marvin North Carolina Family Child Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan

  • Toys, Bubbles, Leaves or Hats
    When my clients bring toys or props for the kids, I typically leave these for the end of the session, simply because I never want to be the person that needs to take something away from a child during their portraits (because that can bring tears).   But bubbles, stuffed animals, or even something as simple as a leaf or a big sister’s hat, can provide enough distraction and entertainment to keep them from moving away!  And sometimes, they are just SO excited to hold something in their little hands! I can almost hear the squeals in these photographs!Professional Charlotte NC Family Portraits
  • Most importantly, just have fun. (And maybe throw some leaves!)
    If my clients simply focus on having fun with their children, you never know the moments that will just happen and that is the BEST part of photographing family portrait sessions!  I absolutely adore the moments we create together and look forward to creating beautiful images with your family!

Experienced Charlotte NC Family Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan

 

 

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

 

 

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

02 Feb

Charlotte, NC Family Photographer | November Rain

Charlotte, NC Family Photographer | November Rain

From the moment we first discussed family portraits, this Mom knew she wanted beautiful Fall Foliage, and I couldn’t wait to see what Charlotte, North Carolina had in store for us during my first Fall season in The Tar Heel State. But, unfortunately, what October and November had in store this year was rain – lots and lots of rain.  So, that not only meant lots of rescheduled portrait sessions for almost every photographer in the area, it also meant that most of the leaves fell off the trees before they even finished turning colors.  It was just that kind of season.  But after a few weeks of rain, the sunshine finally came along with a  few warm days to enjoy it.

Now, I had to find a location that still had foliage. One of the first things I had to do in relocating was find new locations for my family sessions.  I met with fellow photographer friends and I even did some scouting on my own. But, after checking my favorite spots, the foliage just wasn’t there anymore. I had asked friends and even my husband, but it just wasn’t around.  And then, another client had a suggestion and when I visited this new spot,  I rejoiced.  The park was situated just below street level near a few office buildings and the leaves were still on the trees.  It was shielded from the winds, and it was the perfect Fall family portrait session location.  In all my travels, I had missed this gem of a location.  But thanks to my client – we found it – and it was hiding just one block away from my husband’s office!  He could probably even see it from his office.

Now we had a beautiful location, a gorgeous day, and it was time to work the family portrait photography magic.  I hope you enjoy the photographs from this Charlotte, NC Family Portrait Session.

Charlotte NC Family Photographer, Carolyn Ann Ryan, photographs family in Fall Portrait SessionSibling and Family Portraits by Charlotte, NC Family Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan

Portraits by Carolyn Ann Ryan, Charlotte, NC Family Photographer
Outfit Suggestions for Family Portraits photographed by Carolyn Ann Ryan in Charlotte, NC

 

29 Jan

Marvin, North Carolina Family Photographer | Little Boy Blue

Marvin, North Carolina Family Photographer | Little Boy Blue

It’s family portrait sessions like this one that make my heart simply melt right from the start.  I met this family before we even arrived in Marvin, North Carolina and with our common New Jersey backgrounds, we were instant friends.  But those little boys with their blonde curls and adorable cheeks, just melted my heart every time I saw them.  When I arrived at the home to begin photographing the family, Mom apologized that the boys weren’t dressed yet, but I begged her to wait just a few more minutes before putting on their button-down shirts.  Standing in the doorway with their jeans, gel in their hair and the white t-shirts, I had to get started right away.  Just a few quick photographs and I let Mom finish getting them ready.

First we stayed right at the home finding perfect light on the lawn, and I loved the laughter as the boys sat together in the grass!  Next, we headed to their country club and then to the park to get photos in front of the barn!  I just love being a family photographer in North Carolina because the locations and settings are awesome!  The nearby park has a barn!

The ending of this session was just as good as the start with gorgeous light, an adorable family, and those curls and cute cheeks!  The photograph of the boys in front of the barn was just the perfect image for above Mom’s fireplace in her home.  Can it get any sweeter than this?

Enjoy!

 

Family Portrait Photographer, Carolyn Ann Ryan, creates adorable portraits

Carolyn Ann Ryan photographs families Marvin, NC Family Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan creates family portraits at their favorite locations Family Photographer in Marvin North Carolina

 

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

 

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

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

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