Brothers: An Afternoon of Portraits and Moments 11.28.10

Modern portraits and real moments, that is. In the "About section" of my main website, I talk about capturing both modern portraits and real moments during a session.

To me, a modern portrait is taken with a wide-open aperture using natural light vs. flash, and it is "posed" in an unposed way so that it has a relaxed and a sort of catalog/editorial feel. It is definitely not forced or stiff. And a real moment is just that. It is totally candid, yet such a great moment that you want to remember it forever. That is what I strive to capture during every session, and I feel like this session is the perfect example of both. I showed up at Kelly and Kevin's beautiful home in Richmond to find the 3 most adorable little boys, Brandon, Brady, and Josh (or Joshy as the older 2 called him). They had such a great time, and Kelly just sat back and relaxed on the back patio. Well, she was probably working, but still. Afterwards, she emailed me to tell me how un-stressful it was, and that made me smile. Here are a few favorites.

First we have Brandon. At 8, he is the oldest of the 3 boys and he is so so handsome!

There is something so kid-Abercrombie about this picture. I LOVE it, and I couldn't resist the "Old School" finish. Seriously, Kelly is going to have a hard time keeping the girls away in a few years!

Next we have Brady, the middle brother. He is so so cute with those big blue eyes, and though this is a more serious face, he had the most perfect smile for every picture.

See what I mean. I adore this full length shot.

Last but not least, we have adorable 3-year old Josh. Look at that pose!

And look at that smile! After a bunch of individual shots of the boys, we moved onto group pictures.

I had to post this funny one first because I can still hear their conversation. Brandon is like, "Come on, let's get a good shot and then we can play."

So here is our "good shot" which I love love love...

And here is the playing, which I love even more.

One of these in color would be amazing on a Christmas card.

Though for their walls, I was still loving the Old School/half sepia look.

While Brandon took a break and read a book...

Brady and Josh were still hamming it up for me...

So we did a quick outfit change, and I hoped we'd get one more great portrait. When I got this, I was a happy happy photographer. Kelly and Kevin, thank you for asking me to photograph your handsome little boys. They are so so sweet! I hope you love these as much as I do and I can't wait to see your Christmas card! ~Kris

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Kerrie and Ryan's Wedding 11.24.10

On Saturday October 30, 2010, I photographed the amazingly beautiful wedding of Kerrie and Ryan at The Cavalier Golf and Yacht Club in Virginia Beach. Everything was perfect. The bride was gorgeous, the weather was so awesome that I heard people asking if they had "ordered it", the food was so amazing that I had to remind myself that 20 pictures of the food would probably be enough, the catering manager/wedding coordinator was so super sweet, as was everyone in attendance, and the bridesmaids were, well, pretty smokin' hot -- and just as one more bonus, one of them included my
good friend Amy. Here are a few favorites as I'm editing the whole wedding. Enjoy!

I showed up to find a gorgeous gorgeous bride getting ready.

She had the most beautiful dress...

And she wore it so well! Stunning stunning stunning! No flowers in this shot, but there were hydrangeas everywhere you looked.

The colors were vibrant and so great for pictures.

A favorite -- I always do a shot of the bride holding the bouquet (which we did do) but I thought I'd change it up this time. Love the purple tie too.

The handsome groom -- ready to see his wife-to-be.

Onto the ceremony. It was outdoors -- on the water -- and it was amazing.

Some giggles.

Here are the parents of the bride. There was just enough room in front of the tent for me to sneak around the front, while being careful not to fall into the water! I love that I could do this because it gave me a perspective that I don't often get. I was able to capture the love and admiration in the parents' faces as they watched their children get married...

This is the mother of the groom -- love this! Her husband stood at the altar next to Ryan...because...

Ryan chose his Dad (far left) to be his best man. I think that says a lot about the family-oriented personalities of Kerrie and Ryan, so I blogged some family shots for that very reason.

I always do a traditional portrait because I think you just gotta have it. More modern ones to come later.

They had a BIG wedding party and I had so much fun working with them.

Love this candid in-between moment as I was asking Kerrie and Ryan to kiss and the ring bearers were covering their eyes.

I can't say the bridesmaids were hot and not post a picture. I have so many I love, but this one is just so super fun. By this point (after the ceremony) they were way comfortable with me and my camera.

Can't leave out the guys! Love this shot too!

Onto some more of the bride and groom. This is where the ceremony was held and would make such a cute thank you card.

Love!!! Kerrie and Ryan - you two are amazing!

I mean foreal -- look at that light!

Reception time.

The room was so picture perfect.

First it was the first dance.

And then, time for dinner.

Kerrie and Ryan had stations the food was almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

For dessert, of course there was traditional wedding cake...

But there was also a fabulous dessert table, complete with chocolate fountain. Yum!

Can't show a wedding without a little dance floor fun. Everyone had such a good time, and I feel like I just kept seeing hands everywhere.

See what I mean. A sure sign of a good time.

Another favorite. The bride and groom gettin' down in the circle.

And last but not least, the big exit. Kerrie and Ryan's guests threw lavender at them as they headed to their honeymoon. Kerrie and Ryan, thank you so much for asking me to be part of your wedding day and congratulations! It was a blast and I hope you love the little preview as much as I do! Hugs! ~Kris

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At Home with Will and Caroline 11.22.10

A few weeks ago, I did an "At Home" session in Richmond with 2-year old Will, his brand new baby sister Caroline, and their parents, Kristen and Kap. I had been doing so many shoots at various parks and gardens, and this one really reminded me why I love shooting at clients' homes. As I share a few favorites, I'll give a few reasons why. Enjoy!

First, and most obviously, an "At Home" session is really personal because you can incorporate your home. I was greeted at the front door by ADORABLE little Will, and I knew our shoot was going to go really well.

Second, you get that amazing window light that I love so much. This is 7-week old Caroline and she is absolutely gorgeous. Just like her mommy.

I mean seriously, look at that little bundle! Love her!

After just a few indoors we headed outside. And another reason - you get both indoors and out! Love Will's big blue eyes!

We started with a few portraits, like this...

And this...

And this. I was amazed at the eye contact I was getting from Caroline. Happy day!

Then we got those tear-jerking fleeting this...

And this. So, a little side story. Kristen and Kap told me that Will didn't really like to touch Caroline. He wasn't very "tactile with her yet". So I'm thinking to myself, "Hmmm, wonder how we're going to get a shot of the 2 of them together. Stay confident. It'll happen." So here he is warming up - touching her piggies - and I adore it!!!

Back indoors. Will loved showing me his toys. Speaking of, incorporating toys is a great reason to shoot at home.

Knowing that these are Caroline's first professional pictures and her hands and feet will never again be this small, I made sure to capture that.


During a little break, I managed to get a few of the "older kids".

Couldn't think of a better reason to have the session at home. Dogs are way more comfortable in their own are kids.

In an attempt to get a shot of both kids ALONE together, we climbed onto the bed. First we got this. ADORABLE!

And then, Kristen worked her Mommy magic and got Will to give Caroline the most perfect kiss. Even with eyes shut. Amazing!

Kristen and Kap, thank you so much for asking me to do these photos of your beautiful family! Hugs! ~Kris

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10 Years and 3 Kids Later 11.17.10

I have photographed Kim and Mark's family more times than I can keep track of. I think it's five. What. an. incredible. honor. Even more so because Kim is a good friend of mine. Another sorority sister from college. I feel like the official Tri-Delta photographer these days -- I even have an awesome DDD engagement shoot to blog soon. Anyway, Kim's family was the last family (the 7th!!) I photographed during my NOVA marathon weekend about 3 weeks ago, and they have been patiently waiting for their blog. It's tough going last! But, it does have some perks. One, I had six AMAZING shoots before theirs, and I was pretty pumped up. Two, by that point I knew Meadlowlark like the back of my hand and knew exactly where I wanted to take them. Three, we were shooting at the golden hour -- and we had the most amazing light. I could go on...but I have a gazillion images to share from my favorite shoot of theirs yet. Enjoy!

If you've seen my main website, you might recognize this picture. This is from our session last year, when Shane was 3 and Avery was just 18 months.

What a difference a year makes -- at 4 and 2, they no longer look like babies...and we no longer needed a wagon to contain them! Hehe! ;-)

Instead, they look like a big brother and a big sister. Baby Trent was born in August, so he is 2 months old in these photos.

Shane and Avery are so smitten with him.

Really though? How could they not be? Look at that little love!

Kim and Mark have BEAUTIFUL kids.

Really, really beautiful.

They just celebrated their 10-year wedding anniversary, and this session was a great way to document their love for each other...

For their family...

And of course, for their newest addition. So so sweet!

We did their shoot at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, which is where they got married 10 years ago. Kim told me they have a "walking away" shot on this very bridge, so we did it again. This time 10 years and 3 kids later. Love.

After getting the kids to do that, they played around a little more. Shane hammed it up, as usual...

Avery had some tea parties with Mom...

And baby Trent just giggled for my camera. Way too cute.

Mom and her gorgeous boys...

Their adorable little princess...

And their beautiful family. Kim and Mark, what can I say but THANK YOU for being such great friends and clients too. I love that you trust me to do your family pictures every year, and I can't wait to see your amazing Christmas cards and newsletter this year!!! Hugs! ~Kris

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Celebrating Luke, and Remembering Matthew 11.15.10

Almost exactly one year ago, I sat on my couch hugging my very pregnant belly, and I sobbed. Buckets. I couldn't believe what I just read on my computer screen.

Lori is a sorority sister of mine from college, and though I didn't know her that well because she graduated a few years before I did, I knew I'd always remember her contagious laugh and her beautiful smile. People like her are hard to forget, even after many many years. Lori and I are friends on Facebook, and one day last fall she sent me a message that said something like, "Too bad we'll be delivering babies around the same time because I'd love to have you do newborn photos for Matthew." I remember writing back and saying I couldn't wait to do pictures for her, when Matthew was a little bit older.

Lori's due date was November 24th, and I checked her Facebook wall shortly after that so that I could congratulate her and John. And that is when my heart got so heavy. Instead of seeing a bunch of congratulatory notes, I saw all these messages that said things like, "I am so sorry for your loss." I was in shock. Lori and John's beautiful son Matthew was born on November 28th, 2009 and he died on November 29th. If you want to know more, you can read the entire birth story on her blog.

I started reading Lori's blog after hearing about Matthew, and I can't begin to tell you how much she has made me a better person, especially a better Mother. Any time I've having a hard day or night with my girls -- (the terrible twos and a teething infant can mean lots of crying) -- I think of Lori. I think what she wouldn't trade to hear those cries. And then I hug my babies and thank God for them. Lori's own grace and gratitude has given me so much. I take these words from one of her blog posts...

"I am so, so, so grateful for every second I was given to carry my son. I am grateful for every intimate and sacred moment only I got to share with him. I am grateful for his life and the lives he has touched in only the few hours he was born. I am grateful for his very existence and I am grateful for every gift and blessing I've known because of him. No matter what, I cannot help but be on-my-knees grateful to God for giving me the miracle of motherhood to a most precious, precious boy. Make that two precious boys."

Yes, you read that correctly. TWO precious boys. As we go into this holiday season, Lori and John have a BIG (and getting bigger by the minute!) reason to smile. His name is Luke, and he will join their family in early January. When I saw this news on her blog, I sobbed. Again. This time tears of joy. And then I thought, "The pictures are going to happen this time. Maybe we'll start with some maternity pictures." And that is what we did. Spending an afternoon with Lori and John was amazing. They are so in love with each other, and with their precious son Luke, who will be born in just a few short weeks. This maternity session was about celebrating that. The wiggly swift kicker inside Lori's belly, who has his Daddy's chin and big feet.

Lori is 27 weeks pregnant in these photos, and she defines a glowing Mommy.

I didn't have to "remind her" to smile once during our session.

In fact, we all laughed. A lot.

After our session, Lori posted one of her usual touching blog entries, and this is a small excerpt. "John and I are SO NOT the "Look at each other lovingly" couple but that turned out to be just fine because in our attempts to do so, we laughed and laughed. Laughing has always been one of my favorite things, and it's so nice to be able to do so. I miss laughing without feeling guilty and yesterday was a day that I had lots of that--a day to remember our blessings and enjoy the sweetness of Luke. To feel guilty about that is just not fair to Luke and certainly not disrespectful of Matthew."

John is probably thinking, "Stop laughing and kiss me already!" So so cute!

There were a few tears though, like when we did some pictures in remembrance of Matthew. These are Matthew and Luke's "loveys".

And this necklace has Matthew's footprints on it. He will always always be on their minds and in their hearts.

Such a beautiful couple. Such amazing parents. Such strong, inspiring individuals.

Lori, you are so beautiful.

Love the little black dress.

Had to throw in a "traditional portrait". After all, Lori and John have been together for 17 years -- since college -- and this is "their pose". :-)

They were so patient waiting for the geese to leave so we could get a perfect reflection.

So in love with each other.

And with Luke.

In just a few short weeks, they will hold their precious miracle in their arms, and I couldn't be happier for them. Lori and John, thank you for the privilege of doing these photos for you and for being such a constant source of strength and inspiration to so many. Lots of love always ~Kris

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Party Shoes in the Playground 11.13.10

Jackie and Jay were referred to me by another one of my NOVA clients, and we booked their October shoot last spring. We did some planning over email, and I couldn't wait to meet them. Jackie told me this was the first time they've ever had pictures done outside of a photo studio, and I was so excited. I couldn't wait to introduce them to "on-location" photography, and how fun and relaxed it can be. We started the session at their BEAUTIFUL new home, and we ended up at a nearby park. I had a blast photographing their family, and as we were finishing up they were already talking about next fall. I guess that means they had fun too? I think the pictures will tell the answer to that. Just wait til you see Emma in her party shoes at the playground. Enjoy!

I walked into their home to be greeted by beautiful 4-year old Emma in her brand new purple bedroom -- complete with her adorable purple dress and "party shoes" -- her favorite.

Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! It had been awhile since I'd taken any photos indoors, and it reminded me how much I love window light.

After a few indoors, we walked down the street to find some good light. We weren't heading to the playground just yet.

We wanted to make sure we got some good shots with Mom...

With Dad...

And of course the whole family. So so pretty!

A shoot wouldn't be complete without those candid moments that everyone loves so much.

I adore Emma's smile here as she is getting tickled.

Okay, off to the playground. I think this is one of my top 10 favorite playground images ever. The colors are amazing, and of course, so is little Emma. What a beauty!

And a little ham! This is all her -- she really does love those shoes! Watch out Jay! ;-)

So super fun.

We did manage to lure Emma away from the playground to get a few more portraits. There is something very "Anthropologie Catalog" about this one that I love. It's the serious face -- and the funky grass.

Jackie and Jay, thank you so much for asking me to do this session for your family. It was such a pleasure, and Emma is a doll! I hope you love the little preview, and I hope to see you all again next year! ~Kristine

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A Walk in the Woods with Sam 11.11.10

The first time I photographed this family, Sam was 7 months old and just beginning to crawl. Now he is 14 months and running around everywhere. Where does the time go? Sam may be growing and changing by the minute, but some things never change. Like the love that Paige and Mike have for their precious son.

Before I I took their photos the first time last spring, Paige emailed me and said she would much rather have some great candid moments than a bunch of staged photos of everyone looking at the camera. I told her I couldn't agree more -- that is what I'm best at, and that is just what we did. I loved that I could freeze moments for them with my camera and forever document their beautiful family interaction. This time around, we took a little walk in the woods to do much of the same, and it was perfect. PERFECT. And so relaxed it just felt like an afternoon with friends. Here are a few faves.

We did start out with just a few portraits, and I love this one.

But within minutes it was onto playtime. Look at those gorgeous eyes! And that smile.

Sam had so much fun climbing in trees (don't worry, Dad was right there just in case, and his hands were "photoshopped out")

And he really loved playing peek-a-boo from behind them.

I adore this playful shot of the whole family.

So so sweet. Sam loved exploring and finding leaves...

And pinecones too. SUCH a cutie!

This is one of my favorite shots with Dad...

And one of my favorites with Mom. Watching them laugh together nearly took my breath away. These are my favorite kind of images.

Paige proudly wears this necklace that Mike got her for Mother's Day, and I love that she'll forever have this image of Sam's tiny hands holding it.

When we thought we might be nearing the end of our session, we tried throwing some leaves on Sam. LOVE.

It doesn't get any more adorable.

And I had to end with this one. Hello gorgeous light. Hello fall leaves. Hello cute baby who looks at me in mid-air and smiles. Paige and Mike, thank you for asking me once again to document your beautiful family and the obvious love that you have for each other. Hugs ~Kris

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Little Models 11.09.10

I feel like a broken record. I'm always saying, 1. I love my job, 2. I love my clients, and 3. I get to photograph the world's cutest kids. But it is all SO true. I am reminded of these things at each and every shoot. During my session with Ava and Jacob (my 3rd NOVA marathon weekend shoot from a few weeks ago), I couldn't help but think how lucky I am to "work" outdoors in some of the most beautiful places, with the most beautiful families.

This was the 3rd time I have photographed Ava and Jacob, and they ran up and hugged me like I was their favorite Aunt. And then they asked if the baby came out of my belly and where she was. Too cute. They remembered how big I was during our session last fall. So I explained to them that my 2 babies were home with their Daddy, and that I would take pictures of them later. Right now it was time to take pictures of Ava and Jacob for their Mommy and Daddy, because pictures make Mommy and Daddy happy. I didn't even have to use the "we're just gonna play" line -- because Ava and Jacob knew exactly what they were there to do (even though we definitely played and had a blast looking at the huge turtles and fish), and they exceeded my wildest expectations. So I called this shoot "Little Models". And you will see why. Enjoy!

Ava and Jacob are 16 months apart and they are best friends. I adore this sibling shot, though Jeni and Matt are going to have a hard time choosing one for their Christmas card this year because there are so many more adorable ones to come.

Little Miss Ava. I adore her. She is the sweetest little girl. Can you believe this pose?!?

Or this one?!!? My goodness. Jacob has heart breaker written all over him.

Love love love.

Though I love the more candid version too.

There is nothing fake about these smiles.

Best buddies.

A quick outfit change. Here is little model number 1.

And little model number 2. I can't believe he is only 3.

Ava's green sweater really made her green eyes pop.

I seriously could have picked almost any picture from the entire shoot to blog. They are all THAT adorable.

I thought I'd end with this fun image of them in the big tree. Jeni and Matt, can you believe we've come from singing "Sponge Bob" to make them smile to THIS?? You have the most beautiful children and family, and I'm honored to call you clients, and friends. I look forward to getting you all in front of the camera again next year. Hugs! Kris

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The Wild Man and the Princess 11.08.10

If you've read my blog or seen my website, then you probably recognize these faces. I have photographed my friend Katrina and her husband Scott since before their daughter Alexa could walk, and now she is getting ready to turn 5! She is the most beautiful little girl -- definitely their little princess -- and her adorable younger brother Brody is their little wild man. I adore these kids!

So a funny story. Our session really couldn't have gone better, but we did have a few mishaps, like Brody running right into the lake. Yes, I'm serious, and I am blogging a photo to prove it! But with Katrina's preparation and organization (for those who know her, this will come as no surprise), the shoot was absolute perfection. She had "treats" for the kids, and a huge bag that contained zip lock bags of accessories for each outfit. Like belts and shoes and purses, of course. This made outfit changes take about 3 seconds flat. Katrina, you rock, ESPECIALLY for bringing along an extra pair of pants for your little wild man! Here are a few favorites.

So in typical photo shoot fashion, we started with a few sibling shots...(SUCH CUTIES!!!)

Then we moved on to a few individual shots. Alexa's curls are more gorgeous than ever, especially with the sun shining on them.

Brody's smile and eyes just melt your heart. Things were going so well and I was so excited!

And that's when "it" happened. I was all like, "You wanna go see the water??" I guess Brody took me too literally, because he ran for it and jumped right in. Scott was running after him with one of those drawn out "NOOOOOOOOOs" but there was nothing stopping him. His pants were soaked and we were dumping water and mud out of his shoes.

But that's okay. Thanks to an extra pair of pants in the same color (notice he is in cords now), this is what we got next. Right back on schedule. We started with some family portraits...

Then we got those moments that could make you cry.

Photos like these are not about the clothes anyway.

They sum up the relationship that Katrina and Scott have with their children, which is an amazing one.

They are always doing things as a family, whether it's Disney, trips to NYC, or just hanging out closer to home, they are so involved in their childrens' lives and I'm so glad I could capture a little part of that. By the way, I think these 2 laughing images need to go side by side on a wall in their home. Gorgeous!

Time to get into a holiday outfit. Love this one and how it's just slightly candid. Very catalog-esque.

And I really love this one of Alexa jumping for joy over her red purse. Brody was just excited to be along for the ride. Love him!

We even got another great family shot.

In the last few minutes, Alexa got to wear an outfit that was "totally her". One that had more girly colors and wouldn't coordinate with something that Brody would wear. She looked like a little model and one of these will be featured on her 5-year old birthday party invite.

And of course, this one is all about Brody and his love of fire trucks. He wanted to lay on the pavement, so we rolled with it. I LOVE it!

Last but not least, a great shot of Mom and Dad. These are hard to get when you have kids, I know, and I'm so glad we did a few. Katrina and Scott, thank you for letting me be your family photographer. I love being able to capture your family year after year, and I hope you love these as much as I do. XOXO

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The Tradition Continues 11.07.10

Two weeks ago, I did one of my "marathon weekends" in Northern Virginia -- meaning I photographed 7 families in 1 weekend. It sounds like a lot, and I guess it is, but I really love these weekends, and I think it is the best way to squeeze in so many families before the holidays. I have been doing this for a few years now, and I am already booking up for next fall. Crazy. And lucky. But it just goes to show how many amazing repeat clients I have, and the Harvey family is the perfect example.

They were my first shoot of my NOVA marathon weekend this year, and it was so great to see them again. Last year we did their session here in Cville at UVA, and this time I met them at their beautiful home. Despite it being earlier than their teenage boys wanted to wake up, we got some truly awesome pictures. (thanks Anthony and Marcus!!!)

I titled this blog "The Tradition Continues" because I can't help but mention how Janice and Ken have done family photos EVERY single year since the boys were born -- and now they are 19 and 17. One in college, the other a senior in high school. Coordinating schedules with college classes and exams, work, and football is definitely challenging, and I love that this family still makes annual family photos a priority. As Janice said last year, everyone looks forward to their Christmas card, and I am truly honored to be the one to help them make that happen. Here are just a few favorites from our early Saturday morning together.

We started with one on the front steps of their home. Gorgeous.

And then we moved into the yard. We did some shots of Marcus and Anthony with Dad...

Some with Mom...

And some of the whole family. This one might be my favorite, though it is so tough to pick!

Because really, they are all SOOOOOO photogenic. This is 19 year old Anthony, and he is as sweet as he looks.

This is his younger brother Marcus, who is equally as sweet and is a major trooper since he was up til midnight the night before this session playing at an away football game.

And this, of course, is their BEAUTIFUL Mom, Janice. I adore her. Like in a major way. I thought we should do a headshot or two of her, one because she owns her own design company and thought she could maybe use it on her website, and two because every woman deserves a nice picture of herself. Jan, you are gorgeous.

Seriously, I mean, seriously gorgeous. But even more so on the inside. I have done this kind of shot a bunch of times for weddings, and I think it is so fun with a family.

The rents. Marcus and Anthony are so lucky to have such a wonderful Mom and Dad.

This is truly an awesome family -- they have all accomplished so much, but I have to say this. As a photographer, a wife, and a mother (albeit with 2 children much younger than their boys), I think that THIS is their greatest accomplishment. Not the picture itself, but the FAMILY that's in it, and the "years of preparation" that went into it. To Janice and Ken, thank you from the bottom of my heart for asking me to photograph your beautiful family once again. I hope these are cherished for a lifetime, and I know they will make amazing Christmas cards. XOXO ~Kristine

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