31 Oct

Engaging Charlotte, NC Family Photographer | Happy Halloween!

Engaging Charlotte, NC Family Photographer | Happy Halloween

Halloween is a time to together with your friends, dress up in costumes and get as much candy as you possibly can.  Today the costumes are more elaborate and creative as ever, gone are days of clowns and witches – now you have kids dressed up as a bowl of spaghetti or a bag of groceries.  But the one costume that has always been popular and will probably always be popular are your superheroes!  Spiderman, Batman, and Superman – I think every boy dreams of having those super powers and there’s no better time to fulfill that dream than Halloween!

Engaging Charlotte, NC Family Photographer

30 Oct

North Carolina Family Photographer | Moms

North Carolina Family Photographer | Moms

Moms have the hardest job on the planet.  We are constantly pulled in different directions and feel such pressure to be great at every role we are given.  We strive to give our children everything and as a result our lives become one big complicated schedule.  As I look back on this misty, rainy, cold day what I remember most is not the pink beach, the wet sand or the deserted boardwalk but this special mom and her strong bond with her adorable son.  She’s raised a boy who loves to play, explore and be free!  I love how we put those schedules aside and just enjoyed the day and each other!


North Carolina Family Photographer NC Beach Portraits Carolyn Ann Ryan Family Photographer 2 NC  Family and Child Portraits Carolyn Ann Ryan



04 Oct

Professional North Carolina Family Photographer | Giggles and Smiles

Professional North Carolina Family Photographer | Giggles and Smiles

This sweet family of four is full of happiness and giggles!  We spent this beautiful afternoon enjoying nature, smiling and lots of exploring.  As I sat back watching this family interact with one another, I wondered what were they thinking about as they laughed and whispered in each other’s ear.  What were these boys smiling about as they sat in the warm, green grass?   I just love to see the awe and wonder in young faces ; it always reminds me that I need to appreciate and enjoy the little things in life!


Professional North Carolina Family Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan

Professional North Carolina Family Portrait Session with Carolyn Ann Ryan

03 Oct

The Carolinas Family Photographer | Christmas & Holiday Cards and Your Clothing Selections

The Carolinas Family Photographer | Christmas & Holiday Cards and Your Clothing Selections

Yes, the Christmas music is already playing in my car.  About two weeks ago, as we drove home from a doctor visit, my 4 year old little man wasn’t feeling well, and I needed to cheer him up. So I asked Siri to play “The Chipmunks”.  Now every morning on the way to school, I get to listen to The Chipmunks versions of “O Christmas Tree”, “All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth” and “Jingle Bell Rock” along with a few other classics sung by the high-pitched little animals.

But Christmas and the holiday season have been on my mind for many months already.  As a portrait photographer, one of my favorite products to deliver to my clients is beautiful Christmas and Holiday cards.  I’ll start designing card ideas for clients in April and May, because the photographs from their portrait session can always make a beautiful card to share with their friends and families.

Recently, a client was curious about her outfit selection, and wondered if their holiday outfits would work nicely with the Fall Foliage in the parks during this time of year.   So, I thought it would be a great idea to share a few examples of holiday card designs from previous sessions as inspiration for future portrait session clients.

While some clients specifically choose to dress in holiday outfits for their portraits, I have found that almost any selection of coordinated outfits will pair nicely with the variety of Christmas and Holiday Card templates I have acquired over the years.  My clients have even used images from their Spring and Summer portrait sessions for their cards, and most of the colors in my templates can be adjusted to match the color palette of my clients’ outfits.  And honestly, I personally love traditional holiday outfits photographed outdoors with the beautiful Fall Foliage.  The colors work well together and complement each other nicely, especially when you included the beautiful, golden Fall sunshine.

After completing one session last year, one of my clients clapped her hands with excitement and said, “Yay! I can’t wait to have my very own Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography Christmas cards this year!”  It seriously makes me smile every time I think about that moment and realized my cards were “a thing”.


The Carolinas Family Photographer shares samples of Holiday Card Designs

The Carolinas Family Photographer, Carolyn Ann Ryan, shares samples of Holiday Card Designs for clients


And I just love cards that include images on the front cover, inside and even the back of the card.  While I will include my logo on the back of all of my cards, I still love including a sweet and storytelling image on the back of my clients’ cards (and my own too).  Sometimes, the back of the card is my favorite.  Here are a few of my favorite Back Covers from last year’s holiday cards.

The Carolinas Family Photographer shares samples of the backs of Holiday Card Designs for clients


Hope these cards help to inspire your next portrait session and I continue to look forward to creating more cards for my incredible clients!!!

Vendors: Christmas and Holiday Card Templates from Design Aglow


02 Oct

Charlotte Metro Family Photographer | A cutie pie!

Charlotte Metro Family Photographer | A cutie pie!

OMG!!  This one year old boy is such a cutie pie!   I don’t know what I love the most – the red shoes, the images of his hair blowing in the breeze, the cute vest or the checkered bow tie!   He is clearly a budding model already demonstrating he can handle  multiple locations, wardrobe changes and props!  This family is as sweet in person as they look in these photos – I’m smiling right along with them.  Oh and let’s not forget this all takes place in my favorite city, New York City.

Wait til you see these images, you’ll be saying … “OMG!”


Bowtie and Tie: William & Sally on Etsy



Charlotte Metro Family Photographer photographs adorable cutie pie and his family

Charlotte Metro Family Photographer features urban uptown family portrait session

Charlotte Metro Family Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan shares cute family portraits

04 Sep

Weddington, North Carolina Child Photographer | Growing

Weddington, North Carolina Child Photographer | Growing

A few weeks ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to photograph one of my 2012 newborn clients for his first birthday!  I just love watching my little clients grow and photographing them with their families.  This one year old man was just adorable and astounded us with all his words and we loved watching him walk, giggle, and play with his parents.  And seriously, how adorable is his tuxedo shirt?


Weddington, North Carolina Child Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan photographs an adorable little man Weddington, North Carolina Child and Family Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan captures portraits of an adorable family Weddington, North Carolina Child Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan

10 Jun

Weddington, North Carolina Family Photographer | Ivy League

Weddington, North Carolina Family Photographer | Ivy League

Earlier this Spring, I had the incredible opportunity to photograph an adorable family portrait session right on the campus of Princeton University.  The campus was just gorgeous and the day and the light was beautiful, so add in a super sweet little boy and his wonderful parents and I might have been in photographer heaven for a few hours.  I have so many favorites from this session, and I loved just stepping back a few times and letting this family have fun together.  And I loved incorporating the beautiful buildings from the campus into this family’s portraits, as Mom is currently an art history professor at the university and therefore it has a special place in all of their hearts.

Hope these make you smile!  Enjoy!

North Carolina Family Portraits Weddington

Springtime Family Portrait session with Weddington NC Family Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan
Weddington, North Carolina Family Photographer


03 Jun

Charlotte, North Carolina Communion and Family Portraits | Formal and Casual

Charlotte, North Carolina Communion and Family Portraits| Formal and Casual

When parents contact me for Communion Portraits, I always suggest booking a day separate from your actual Communion Day and turning the portrait session for your child into an opportunity to also capture family portraits too.  On Communion Day, families are often hectic and can feel rushed.  There is usually a tight schedule, and not as much time as they wish they had for photographs. When we book a separate day, we have all the time we want and need.  We have a chance to photograph the child that received their Communion, as well as their siblings and the entire family in their formal attire, but then as special treat, everyone can change into casual clothes, and that’s when the fun really begins!

And so I loved my Communion sessions this year, especially this one.  We started out with our formal portraits, and then the family changed outfits and drove to one of my favorite spots in Watchung Reservation. I love the outfits Mom selected, and the pop of color against the early Spring backdrop of the park.  I know Mom can’t wait to see their adorable images on her walls, and they’ll be arriving at her home very soon.


Child Photographer, Carolyn Ann Ryan, photographs Communion Portraits in Charlotte, NC

NC Child and Family Photographer, Carolyn Ann Ryan, captures beautiful family portraits in Charlotte, NC


30 May

Charlotte, NC Child Photographer | First Communion

Charlotte, NC Child Photographer | First Communion

Cherry Blossoms and Communion Portraits just seem to go hand and hand.  For this sweet girl’s Communion Portraits, I met her, her older sister and their mother at Roosevelt Park in Edison and we found a few beautiful  cherry blossom trees to line our backdrops.  I love all of the expressions and personality of this giggly girl that you can see in these photographs.

Believe it or not, it was a rainy day, and was even drizzling as I drove to the park for the session, but the skies cleared briefly and a beautiful portrait session followed.  After formal photos of this sweet girl and her older sister who received the Sacrament of Confirmation this year as well, the girls changed for a fun and casual portrait session together.

Both girls loved being models for the afternoon.


New Jersey Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan photographs sweet girls for their Communion Day Blog Collage-1369888821747

28 May

North Carolina Child Photographer | Tiny Tuesday – Bubbles

North Carolina Child Photographer

I love the magic hour just before sunset when the sun is low and just sparkles on everything.  It can make something as simple as bubbles look like fireflies dancing in the sky.

This portrait of my daughter was taken just this weekend at a friend’s Memorial Day BBQ.  The sound of children filled with the air with laughter, giggles and yes, the occasional screech, scream, and squeal (often coming from my own children).  But it was a gorgeous day to be with friends, and the children just loved a great day to play outdoors while the parents enjoyed good food and good company.

Even my 7 year old couldn’t resist a chance to play with bubbles, and I just fell in love with this photograph of her. She looks mesmerized by the bubbles, or maybe she is enchanted by her own reflection in my lens.  Either way, the light was beautiful and this is my Tiny Tuesday favorite photograph.


Marvin, North Carolina Child Photographer captures girl blowing bubbles at sunset

15 May

Charlotte, NC Family Photographer | Extended Family

Charlotte, NC Family Photographer | Extended Family

I believe in family portraits and I love, love, love getting parents into the photographs with their children – regardless of the age of the children. Therefore extended family portraits have an absolutely special place in my heart!

I was so excited when my client booked this portrait session with her sister as a gift for their Mom. We now have all of Mom’s loved ones in one photograph, along with many others to complement and surround her full family portrait.

The family did an amazing job with color coordinating their outfits for the session after our consultation. When I arrived, I was so excited to pair their style with the beautiful morning light and the leaves that were just starting to appear on the trees in the park.

But would you be believe it was just 40 degrees that April morning! It was quite the chilly start to our day! We rotated family members in and out of the portraits so they could each put their jackets on for a few minutes and keep warm!  But you would never know looking at the smiles on their faces how cold it was that day!  I think they were just so happy to spend a weekend together.

The entire family was just wonderful.  Everyone needs a beautiful full family portrait with grandparents, parents and children all together!


Extended Family Portrait Session by Charlotte, NC Family Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan Charlotte, NC Family Photographer captures extended family portraits for Spring

14 May

Marvin, NC Child Photographer | Cuteness

Marvin, NC Child Photographer | Cuteness

I love watching my little clients grow.  I’ve been photographing this family since their older little man was just a tiny newborn baby. And last year, we welcomed their second little guy. It was so wonderful to meet my clients at Historic Richmondtown in Staten Island once again this Spring to photograph their oldest child’s 3rd birthday portraits along with Easter portraits of both little guys.

During our consultation, their Mom and I talked about how much we love Janie & Jack outfits and I just can’t resist a little boy in a hat, so Mom made sure to get some adorable little hats for these munchkins.  Their outfits were just perfect for the day, the season and location.

While we were wandering around Richmondtown in Staten Island, I noticed a few new buildings. These new additions are part of the set for Boardwalk Empire which occasionally films in this area.  We loved incorporating the buildings into our photographs.

I hope you enjoy the irresistible cuteness of these little brothers and I can’t wait for the little man’s 1st birthday session later this year!


Marvin, NC Child Portraits Brothers Marvin, NC Child Portraits of Brothers by Carolyn Ann Ryan

19 Mar

Charlotte, North Carolina Child Photographer | Pure Happiness – Tiny Tuesday

Scotch Plains, New Jersey Child Photographer

It’s been way too long since I’ve shared a Tiny Tuesday post.  On Tuesdays, I like to share some of my favorite images from client portrait sessions or sometimes of my own children.

This image was taken on a day that just felt like the perfect day.  I absolutely LOVE the Fall season, and this session was around mid-October.  The sun was warm, the leaves were almost at their peak color and this particular park was full of beautiful yellow.   The sun was still high up in the sky, but just twinkling perfectly through the leaves in this particular area.   This adorable girl was just so sweet throughout the session and cooperating for every moment – we had giggles, laughs, hugs, runs, cartwheels and more!

I wanted an image that just highlighted and captured that smile and her abundance of happiness!  I wanted to capture the sweet innocence of childhood and the happiness that comes from spending a beautiful day outdoors with your family.  That perfect childhood laugh is found right in her adorable smile.  The best way to capture this was to come in close to that adorable giggle.   You don’t need to see her whole face to feel her happiness – you just needed to see her whole smile and that’s where all the emotion is contained in this image for me.



Scotch Plains Child Photographer captures Pure Happiness with adorable giggles

22 Feb

North Carolina Child and Family Photographer | Favorite Fridays – Trendy Ties

North Carolina Child and Family Photographer | Favorite Fridays – Trendy Ties

As a North Carolina child and family photographer, I often find adorable, little online stores for clothing for children, as well as cute props and accessories!  My latest find is this adorable online store, Trendy Ties!

As you might imagine, they make adorable ties and bowties for our favorite little men! But now they also make cute little skirts for our favorite little ladies, as well as matching hair ties!  I just received my order today of a sweet tie for my son in the Spring Blue Gingham with a matching skirt and hair tie for my daughter for Easter.  I cannot wait to photograph my children in their coordinating set, and will definitely share photos when I do!

These sets will also be adorable for your children for your Spring Family Portrait Sessions, so I recommend checking out their site and placing your order soon, as these are custom made.

For today’s Favorite Friday, I wanted to introduce my clients, fans and friends to Trendy Ties, as well as let you know that I have a special coupon code that I can share with clients.  So, if you are a current or past Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography client, and would like to place an order with Trendy Ties, then please email me at carolyn@carolynannryan.com for your special coupon code.

Enjoy your weekend!




North Carolina Child and Family Photographer shares trendy ties web site



21 Feb

Charlotte, NC Family Photographer | Pretty in Pink

Charlotte, NC Family Photographer | Pretty in Pink

I absolutely loved this family portrait session and could not have asked for a better day with more beautiful light.  It was mid-October, and the foliage was just a little early this year. The beautiful yellow leaves in Watchung Reservation were the perfect backdrop for this family session.  And I loved how the Mom pulled all the colors together for the session and gave a beautiful color pop with the pink dress her daughter was wearing.

But nothing was better than the beautiful giggles and smiles of this sweet little girl!



Charlotte, NC Family Photographer capturing Fall Family Portrait Sessions

Charlotte Family Photographer, Carolyn Ann Ryan, capturing adorable giggles

Charlotte Photographer, Carolyn Ann Ryan, captures sweet family moments