05 Nov

Sweet Marvin, NC Family Photography | Fall Memories

Sweet Marvin, NC Family Photography | Fall Memories

Toddlers are special little people, they notice everything and are so easily amused by the littlest things.  I love how the fall background enhances the warmth and love of this young family.  This session reminds me of when my kids were toddlers, they were very much like this sweet girl and had to examine each and every leaf!   We, too, would spend warm fall days taking long walks and creating special family memories.


Sweet Marvin, NC Family Photography Sweet Marvin, NC Family Photography with Autumn Family Portraits by Carolyn Ann Ryan Sweet Marvin, NC Family Photographs by North Carolina Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan


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


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

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

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

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



11 Sep

Charlotte, NC Child Photographer | Tiny Tuesday – “Someday we’ll tell you what this all means . . .”

Charlotte, NC Child Photographer | Tiny Tuesday – “Someday we’ll tell you what this all means . . .”

On a rainy day in August, and we traveled to Jersey City and spent the morning at the Liberty Science Center.  But upon leaving, we found the sky had cleared, and I wanted to visit the Central Railroad of New Jersey historic train station located inside Liberty State Park.  It was a short drive from the museum and I knew the kids would enjoy seeing a view of the NYC skyline up close.

But when we got out of the car, my husband and I quickly glanced over and saw the Empty Sky Memorial.  Of course, we immediately remembered that day 11 years ago, and our hearts grew a little heavier.

We first ventured into the train station and looked around, and then returned outside to see the skyline again.  I have a bunch of images that I love from that afternoon (I’ll post more tomorrow), but as we turned to head back towards the car, we decided to walk through the beautiful Memorial standing tall between us and the parking lot.   It was so elegant and peaceful.  It deserved a quiet respect.  As my husband took my smiling three year old son’s hand and began to slowly walk through the Memorial, I heard him whisper, “Someday we’ll tell you what this all means . . . “.

I paused for a moment with my daughter.  In front of me I saw a man with a heavy heart, clutching the sweetness and innocence of childhood right at his side. When I saw their reflection in the side wall, I had to capture the moment.  And yes, someday we’ll tell our children what it all means, but not just yet.

Today’s Tiny Tuesday post is in honor of all of those who lost their lives, especially the heroes who gave their lives to help save others.

10 Sep

North Carolina Family Photographer | Ocean Daydreams

North Carolina Family Photographer | Ocean Daydreams

Earlier this Summer, I traveled down the Garden State Parkway to meet old friends for an extended family portrait.  I was contacted in December by a friend from elementary school that was looking to purchase a gift certificate as a Christmas present for her mother.  She knew right away that the ideal time for family portraits would be during the family’s annual vacation in Long Beach Island in the Summer.

It was a special treat to be reunited with a childhood friend, her mother and sister, and also to meet their entire family – husbands and children.  The weather was perfect and we began shooting right outside their vacation home before we journeyed down to the beach for extended family portraits as well as sweet moments with all the cousins having fun in the sand.  Some of my absolute favorite images are the ones that capture the giggles behind silly moments with a family.

Here is a little opportunity for you to remember those lazy days of Summer . . .


North Carolina Family Photographer Beach Portraits Extended Family

North Carolina Family Photographer Extended Family Portrait Session on the Beach

15 Jun

Charlotte, NC Family Photographer | Happy Father’s Day!

“A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.”  ~Author Unknown

For all of you amazing Dads out there, I hope you have a wonderful weekend filled with lots of hugs and sweet moments with your children!  Enjoy your day!

Charlotte, NC Family Photographer | Happy Father's Day!

Charlotte, NC Family Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan celebrates Father's Day!




06 Jun

Marvin, NC Child Photographer | My little girl . . .

Marvin, NC Child Photographer | My little girl . . . 

It’s hard to imagine that first grade is almost over.  It’s even harder to believe that my little girl is not so little anymore.

During a school vacation day around Memorial Day weekend, I took my daughter out for her own fashion portrait session.  We did a couple of different outfits, sparkly headbands, and more.  It was our own mini-styled shoot.

Here are the many faces of my sweet, sometimes serious, but mostly giggly, goofy, and curious little munchkin. (And feel free to add your own descriptive words like stunning and beautiful, too!)

17 Apr

Charlotte, NC Family Photographer | Published! {The Indie Tot}

Charlotte, NC Family Photographer | Published! {The Indie Tot}

Isn’t it just fitting that my first published family portrait session is with one of my absolutely wonderful clients that I have been working with for the last two years!

Today I have been published on The Indie Tot blog featuring an adorable Fall family portrait session in Historic Richmondtown. Everything about the session was just wonderful – the weather, the location, the family, and the giggly smile of their adorable little man.

Check out The B Family on the The Indie Tot here and please don’t forget to show them some love and comment on the post!!

About The Indie Tot: The Indie Tot features the best of the best for kids! We love the people who excel at creating great products for children – whether they’re handmade, eco-friendly or simply of awesome quality.

09 Apr

Waxhaw, NC Child and Family Photographer | Family Life is . . . .

Waxhaw, NC Child and Family Photographer | Family Life is . . . .

If you visit and read my web site, you’ll find that I describe family life as “sweetness, love, craziness and chaos all rolled into one.”  Well, that statement comes directly from my experience with my own family – my kids, my nieces, cousins, and more.  Sometimes you have to embrace the craziness and chaos and just have fun with it.

I love taking Easter Portraits of my kids and my nieces, and I typically hunt for the perfect Easter outfits for my kids.  But taking portraits of my own children can be quite entertaining.  But I absolutely love the images we made yesterday.  The craziness, chaos, sweetness and love are all here.  It was completely nutty, but I wouldn’t change a thing.


PS Special thanks to my cousin, Billy, for his willingness to participate in the chaos.


Waxhaw NC Child and Family photographer - backyard shoot


Shannon – Dress: Gap Kids. Headband: Kids Kuts in Westfield
Jack – Shirt, Pants and Hat: Janie & Jack