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.

05 Nov

Vibrant Waxhaw, NC Family Portrait Session | Childhood Enclosed

Vibrant Waxhaw, NC Family Portrait Session | Childhood Enclosed

Lately, I find myself constantly saying how much I love my job.  When you get to see smiles like these on a regular basis, how could you not love what you do?

A few weeks back, I met this adorable family and we had a wonderful afternoon.  The sun was warm and shining in early October, and the light was just perfect everywhere we went. We started at their home in the backyard, which gave the family dog an opportunity to jump in a few images, and then we headed to a park in Edison, NJ after a quick clothing change.  I love watching a family just have fun together.  You can see the happiness and smiles just shine through in these photos!

Vibrant Waxhaw, NC Family Portrait Session by family photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan

27 Sep

Waxhaw, NC Child Portraits | All Smiles

Waxhaw, NC Child Portraits | All Smiles

Have you ever seen a photo of your children that you just kept going back to look at it over and over because you loved it so much?  A photo that just makes you smile really big everytime you see it?  You know, the photo that makes you stop and say to yourself – “Wow, these guys are mine and I love them so much!  They may drive me nuts sometimes, but just look at them, they are awesome.”

Sometimes, all it takes is just one image to give you that feeling, and I was so happy to capture that one image for myself this weekend.

These guys love to run. They squeal and giggle as they are running, and I think this image just shows my munchkin and pumpkin at their best – happy together.

This is why I do what I do. Because, sometimes, you get a picture that will just make you smile everytime you see it.  I love when it happens for me, but I also really do love when it happens for my clients, too.  There will be more to share from this session, but for now, here was favorite.

Waxhaw, NC Child Portraits - All Smiles

21 Sep

Lovable Marvin, NC Family Photography | Nieces

Lovable Marvin, NC Family Photography | Nieces

I am blessed to have four beautiful, little nieces living not too far away.  They are my daughter’s best friends, and we just love spending time with them.

I think my sister loves having a photographer in the family, but I don’t mind. It is a pleasure to spend a few hours with these girls and capture their beautiful smiles and watch them grow.
This year, some of my favorites are of my youngest niece, because she made me work for some of those smiles as you can see below, but capturing all of her personality (including the “fake” pouts) was just so much fun. Sometimes, those are the images that make me giggle most when I’m post-processing the session on my computer.

Here are some highlights from our End of Summer session last week.  {Thanks girls for being so wonderful and fun!}

Lovable Marvin, NC Family Photography highlights adorable portraits of her nieces

26 Jul

Joyous Charlotte NC Family Portraits | One Reason I Love My Job

Joyous Charlotte NC Family Portraits | One Reason I Love My Job

Last week, I had the opportunity to hang a family portrait on the wall of someone very special to me.  As you might expect, I’ve photographed my older sister’s family almost as much as my own.  She has four beautiful daughters that are full of spirit and energy. And while I have many beautiful images of them, this one has become one of my all-time favorite photographs.  They are a family that is always on the go, and always having fun together, and this image just captures who they are as a family.

Joyous Charlotte NC Family Portraits by photographer 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)