Congratulations, Sammie – Class of 2013

Senior Portrait

I have been dying to share this session here and show off some of the gorgeous senior portraits of Miss Samantha Kruse!  I have known the Kruse family for many years, as Melody has been my Mary Kay consultant for about 8 years (or more?) and daughter Jessie has been our babysitter extraordinaire for almost as long.  Sammie has occasionally joined in for some tag-team babysitting with her sister, but planning and creating her Senior Portrait Collection was really the first chance I’d had to spend time with her and get to know her better.

As most of you know, my primary focus in the studio is on younger children but it is so exciting to step out of the box once in a while and I couldn’t have been more excited about working with Sammie.  Sammie and I, along with her mom, exchanged lots of ideas by email and phone before meeting in person to look at clothing and chat about ideas.   By the day of the session I felt like we were prepared to capture some lovely images celebrating Sammie’s accomplishments but I was completely unprepared for the amount of laughter and fun we had!  Sammie was a trooper through all the clothing changes, background changes, and my really lame jokes – by the end of the session we were all exhausted but I knew we had created something special together. The image at the top of this post is my absolute favorite but so many of them just make me smile, so I hope you enjoy them too!

Sammie, thank you for sharing so much of yourself with me and allowing me to capture this special part of your life.  Congratulations on all you have accomplished and best wishes and much laughter in the future.

Senior Portrait

Fall Family Portraits in the Park

Copperlight Art

Fall Family Portraits in the Park will be held on October 13 and 14, 2012.  Mini-sessions are designed to be a quick and easy way to fit a portrait session into your busy schedule.  Create a wonderful keepsake for your family – book your mini-session now!  Call the studio or email for available times – 919.597.0259.

Alexander | Baby portraiture

After a super-busy Holiday season, I’m finally able to take a quick moment to update the blog and want to share a few favorites from Alexander’s session.  At 7 months old, he was already quite interested in the world around him and I really enjoyed getting to play with him in the studio.  I loved his curiousity and happy smile (despite the teething!) and how laid-back he was during his entire session – what a cutie!

baby portraiture


Ben at 3 months | Baby Love Collection

I have been dying to share a few of my favorites from baby Ben’s 3 month session, but I wanted to wait until Mom and Dad had seen them first.  Please bear with me while I gush over these images and tell you how much I love this family!

babyLast year I had the pleasure of photographing the lovely Miss Abigail at Duke Gardens (see portrait below) and creating a keepsake coffee table book for her family, along with a wall portrait of one of my most-favorite  photographs to date.  She recently became a big sister and I have been eagerly awaiting the chance to photograph baby Ben ever since.

Not about to be out-done by his sister, Ben turned on the baby charm full blast during his session with me and I honestly don’t think I’ve seen a 3 month old with quite this many different expressions!  Looking at his portraits just makes me happy and I hope his family feels the same way.  I’m looking forward to photographing Abigail and Ben together  soon and I know there will be lots of smiles and laughter then, too… and not just from the kiddos, either.


Birth Announcements | baby photography in NC

Did you know that I design and create birth announcements for many of my newborn and Baby Love Collection clients?  I’ve been working on announcements for several clients recently and wanted to share a few design examples with you today.  I love creating these cards, because it gives me the opportunity to design something very special and unique that shows off a beautiful image or two from your session and makes it super-easy for you to share your favorites with friends and family in print.  Cards are professionally printed on either a satin, lustre or pearl cardstock, which provides a high-quality look and feel you’ll love.

Birth Announcement DesignThe design process is simple – you choose a favorite image or two from your session, share any color preferences you have (maybe the colors used in your nursery or colors that coordinate with your selected images) and a general idea of the style you like:  do you want something classic, sweet, modern, or fun?  Then I create a few design ideas for you to choose from – minor adjustments can be made from there.  This same process can be used to create any type of card you have a need for, such as birthday invitations, Holiday cards, or even custom family note cards and it makes for a really special keepsake for family and friends!

These days there are many ways to order birth announcements, either from an online site or a local printer, but you are usually limited to choosing from mass-produced templates.  If you’re looking for something a bit more creative and personal, my custom-designed boutique announcements might be perfect for you!

Family Friday | photography tips

This week’s Family Friday tip:  Get in closer!

The next time you’re photographing your kids anywhere, doing anything, try getting in a little closer – to the action, to their faces.  Whether you simply use the zoom on your camera or you physically move closer, try filling the frame a little more with your subject.  There are times when it’s great to capture the background, especially when you’re traveling or at a special event – in those cases the background can give some relevance to your photo – but many times the only thing that matters is the little faces in front of you, so let them steal the show!photography tips

Here’s a little side-by-side comparison as an example – neither of these shots would be considered technically perfect, they were just quick snaps we took on vacation a few years ago, but I love the one on the right because it looks more relaxed and spontaneous  – it captures Jillian and Zander happy together.  These were taken only a second apart, but zooming in made all the difference.  Give it a try!



a portrait in words | Word Cloud

Wordle: portrait of a photographer

I love playing with word clouds and thought I’d share the cloud made from my “about me” page here on my blog – this is just from the section where I describe my style of photography.  I love it!

Word Cloud designed by Wordle

Spring Blooms | Outdoor Sessions

Announcing the “Spring Blooms” Portrait Event for Children – May 2011children's portraits

Come celebrate the magic of childhood with beautiful outdoor mini-sessions designed to be quick and easy… and FUN!  Sessions will be held May 20-21 at the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh and May 22 at Sears Farm Rd Park in Cary.  I promise this will be way more fun than wandering the aisles of Target this week-end or teaching your kids to share the family game console – and you get to check off the “get updated portraits of kids” part of your to-do list.  All sessions are available by appointment only and your session fee of $65 will be applied towards your choice of 3 print packages.

Check out the details and let me know if you have any questions!

Mother’s Day | Top 10 List

In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought it would be fun to share my Top 10 list of “Things You Don’t Realize Until You Become a Mother” (and sometimes not until you’ve been a mother for many years…)

motherhood portraits

10.  Mother’s Day should really be a whole weekend!

9.  Deep sleep is just a dream you once had… you know, when you used to sleep deeply.

8.  Toilet paper should always be bought in bulk.

7.  You certainly can’t protect your children from everything, but no amount of hearing that phrase will ever change your instinct to do so.

6.  There is a big difference between ‘asking” and “telling”.

5.  Socks really do mysteriously disappear in the dryer.

4.  No two children are alike, and some aren’t even like themselves half the time.

3.  Laundry day is a misnomer.

2.  Getting out the door takes an additional 15 minutes per child, more if your husband is helping.

1.  There is nothing more powerful, heart-filling, soul-shaking, mind-bending, ever-lasting, or beautiful than the love a mother has for her child.

I wish every mother on the planet a wonderful Mother’s Day full of warmth and laughter and special, cherished memories.  We may each speak different languages, celebrate different holidays, make different choices, or have different parenting methods but we are united by this gift of motherhood and I’d like to think we all cherish it in our own ways.

And to my own two children… Jillian and Zander, you have been the most amazing things to ever happen to me and I am without words to express how much I love you both.  To the moon and back, again and again…

family photos

Beads of Courage at NC Children’s Hospital

Click for full imageI was recently asked to photograph a Beads of Courage training event at NC Children’s Hospital for Striving for More, Inc (one of my favorite non-profits to help!)   For those of you not familiar with Striving for More, they are a local non-profit organization founded by Cary resident Diane Moore after losing her daughter to cancer in 2008.  Witnessing first-hand the true lack of emotional support services in place for most families dealing with childhood cancer, Diane established this organization to encourage and fund services such as the Beads of Courage program.  Beads of Courage is a non-profit organization that encourages children to use colorful beads to document their own personal journey with cancer including their treatments, procedures, and hospital stays.  There are only 3 other hospitals in North Carolina that currently have this program in place, so it is very exciting that Striving for More has helped bring it to the NC Children’s Hospital in Chapel Hill!  I am sharing a few of my favorite images from the training sessions held in February.

Approximately 12,500 children are diagnosed with cancer annually in the United States.  Please take a moment to visit Striving for More online and read more about Diane’s story at her blog.  You can learn more about the Beads of Courage program online as well – please share these valuable resources with family and friends who may be in need of such support.

Striving for MoreBeads of CourageNC Children’s Hospital