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

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

31 Jul

Dreamy North Carolina Childhood Photography | Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Dreamy North Carolina Childhood Photography | Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

It’s Christmas in July!!!  Or maybe it’s just me trying to catch up on sharing some of last year’s portrait sessions.  I do love twinkling lights in the backdrop of a portrait session.  I also love capturing the bond between sisters – one that is truly irreplaceable. My sister and I have a bond that no other could replace, and the same is true with these two special ladies.  I’ve had the privilege to watch these little girls grow over the last 4 years through my lens and photographs.  This was our 5th session together (and I’m looking forward to their sixth session already booked for this Fall!).    These girls came prepared, as they always do, to show me their stuff- their sassy sister poses, their giggles, their hugs, and especially their fabulous dresses and accessories (thanks to mom!!).

Dreamy North Carolina Childhood Photography Charlotte Uptown Session Dreamy North Carolina Childhood Photography Park Session by Carolyn Ann Ryan Dreamy North Carolina Childhood Photography Urban Session by Carolyn Ann Ryan

18 Jul

Enchanting Waxhaw, NC Child Portrait Session | Somewhere in a historic village . . .

Enchanting Waxhaw, NC Child Portrait Session | Somewhere in a historic village . . .

My little girl will soon be one year older, and we are starting to plan her 6th birthday party, which will take place just a few days before she begins first grade.  Earlier this year in her Kindergarten class, her teacher read the book “The Wizard of Oz” to the class, and my little munchkin (which has been my nickname for her for years) absolutely loved the story. Although she is still too timid to watch the movie, she loves the story of Dorothy.

So, she picked “The Wizard of Oz” as the theme for her birthday party.  For the last few years we have included her birthday portraits on her invitations, because I love being able to look back each year to see how much she has grown.  This year we decided to include the theme of her party as part of a very special portrait session for her.

Believe me, being a photographer does not make it easier to take my own children’s portraits.  It’s sometimes harder, because I’m not a new or interesting person to them and they already know all my secret, special tricks for making children giggle and smile.

But this year, I made her birthday portraits a full day event complete with costume, hair appointment, red sparkly shoes and a stuffed animal puppy in a basket. We talked about this special session for two full weeks, and I blocked off my calendar to create a special day for just the two of us.
My little girl was completely swept up in the magic of this day from the moment she woke up that morning, and came rushing into my room with eager anticipation. We started early at Anthony Michael Hair Salon in Westfield, where the wonderful Pam Sestito created the braids that would start my little girl’s transformation. We then journeyed about 45 minutes away to Historic Richmondtown in Staten Island to give our session a complete period look with historic homes, barns, fences, and gardens.

Of course, twenty minutes into the actual portrait session, the heat of the day and the itchiness of her costume was causing her to pout, so that’s when I used my bribery plan and explained that if she cooperated for the remainder of the session, then we would get ice cream afterwards. I’ll let you guess which image below shows her reaction to that announcement.

Sometimes portrait sessions might seem stressful and frustrating, because we are trying to get our children to cooperate and do something for us.  But, I’ve learned that by turning a portrait session into a fun day that is all about the children, and becomes something they WANT to do, then it becomes much easier to get their cooperation during the session.  And if you choose to use bribery, don’t tell them about the rewards until you really need to use it.  The pictures are worth it!

My daughter and I had a wonderful day complete with ice cream for lunch (something I would never do on a regular day), and we have these beautiful images of our little girl growing up. I love my job and I love being a Mom to this wonderful child. Thanks to my little munchkin for all her cooperation, and her beautiful smile.

(Now I have to brainstorm a special day with my little boy!)

Enchanting Waxhaw, NC Child Portrait Session

Costume: Chasing Fireflies

Hair: Anthony Michael Salon (Westfield)