"You Better Not Laugh" 07.28.11

How do you get those natural smiles (vs. "the cheese face")? This is a question I'm often asked by parents. The answer is simple. Sessions are fun. We play games. Lots of them. Depending on the ages of the children, they can range from anything to peek-a-boo to Simon Says to one of my new favorites (thanks to my genius friend Lesley) "You Better Not Laugh". More to come on that later.

I photographed Mady and Max last month in NOVA, and it is one of my favorite sibling sessions. I just adore them, and the pictures. This is just a sneak peek of the whole shoot, and I hope they bring a smile to your Friday. Happy viewing, and happy weekend!

Meet beautiful 5-year old Mady.

And her very handsome 7-year old brother Max.

I could post and post...

Because these kids are so photogenic...

And they love each other so much. Precious!!!

I think that being a parent myself has helped me become a better children's photographer. I know that capturing great portraits isn't just about what your kids "look like".

It's about their perfect little features, like their freckles (LOVE them!)...

And of course, their darling personalities. This is the game, "You Better Not Laugh". First it was Max's turn, and Mady had to try really hard not to laugh at him.

Obviously he succeeded in being silly enough for his sister. Priceless.

Then it was Mady's turn. Max is trying really hard. How cute is that face?!

Yep, she got him. :)

In the middle of all those candids, we managed to get some more really sweet portraits...like this.

And this. Candids that become wall art (like a canvas) are my favorite type of pictures.

Could they be any sweeter?!

Courtney and Sam, thank you so much for asking me to photograph your little cuties! It was so much fun meeting your beautiful family and I hope you love these as much as I do. ~Kristine

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Elizabeth and Chad's Wedding 07.25.11

What kind of bride calls you at 11 pm on her own wedding night to tell you that you left your tripod behind - and then mails it to you within 3 days?!? THIS kind of bride; my kind of bride.

I first met Elizabeth & Chad last July when I was photographing Megan & Brent's wedding, and Elizabeth was a bridesmaid. They weren't even engaged yet (though it came soon after), and Elizabeth said something to me like, "You've got to photograph my wedding when the time comes." And, she hadn't even seen their pictures yet! That was just based on the fun experience she had as a bridesmaid in her friend's wedding. Now that just makes me melt.

Anyway, after Elizabeth got engaged, and after she saw Megan's pictures, she told her parents that she "had to have Kristine" (as her Dad told me) take her wedding photos. And now, here we are. Last month I traveled to my old hometown of central PA to photograph her and Chad's gorgeous wedding.

This couple is seriously movie-star beautiful, but after knowing them now for a year, I can honestly say that they are more beautiful on the inside and I know their family and friends will agree. To use the color from their wedding, they have hearts of GOLD. I can't wait to share a bunch of early favorites as I'm editing their entire wedding. Enjoy!

I showed up to find Elizabeth's stunning dress...

And all the girls helping her get into it.

Soon after it was time for some girl pics. Loved her flowers...

And the girl holding them -- all I can say is jaw-dropping beautiful!

A full length shot...

And then it was time for some fun shots with the bridesmaids.

Could they be any more adorable?!!

A couple more of the bride...

Belongs in a magazine.

So knowing that Elizabeth could "pull off" the serious look, I asked Chad if he could try it too. Yep, he totally nailed it.

We got some modern shots of the guys...

And I seriously couldn't choose faves so this is my best attempt.

Who ever said family portraits weren't fun? That is Chad's mom and one of his 3 brothers.

Gotta show a smiling shot of the handsome groom, who couldn't wait to see his bride!

The ceremony was held inside the State Capitol building.

Here comes the bride...

One of my favorite moments of the ceremony was when Elizabeth and Chad's parents came up front to read them their own words they had written.

It brought everyone to tears...

Especially Elizabeth and Chad.

Exchanging vows...

A prayer...

And they're married! Such joy!

Portrait time again. Love it!

Their wedding party seriously rocked!

Then it was time for some of the newlyweds -- (ok actually a bunch due to extra time built in by Elizabeth and Chad).

We did a few inside...

But soon we were off to City Island in Harrisburg to do a bunch more.

Here are a few more...

Ummm, could you be any prettier Elizabeth!?! :)

Reception time!

All the details inside the National Civil War Museum were amazing.

Just look at those centerpieces!

The first dance.

Love this one and the camera flash going off in the background.

A couple of shots that make their wedding unique. There was a sweet speech from the bride and groom.

Then, individual tables serenaded them during dinner. Cute!

At the "golden hour" we snuck outside for a few more pictures with the mountains.

These are definitely some of my favorites.

We took just a couple in about 3 minutes flat but I know these will be plastering the walls of their new home.

Happiness defined.

Back inside. Gotta love dancing bridesmaids.

They always help get everyone out there. I had so much fun focusing on all the couples -- of course Elizabeth and Chad...

...but also Elizabeth's grandparents who "won" the anniversary dance, married 59 years. Could it be any sweeter?? This is priceless!

And last but not least, Megan & Brent, whose wedding I photographed last year when Elizabeth was a bridesmaid. Thanks Megan for referring me your sweet friend!

Everyone had the best time...

And Elizabeth and Chad closed down the dance floor surrounded by their family and friends.

What can I say you two, except that I loved every minute of being your photographer and I will always remember you as the couple who: (1) called me on their wedding night to tell me I forgot my tripod; (2) walked on a scary floating dock over the Susquehanna in the name of good photos; and (3) were supermodel beautiful with even more beautiful hearts. Thanks for being such rock stars! Hugs, Kristine

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Engagement + Wedding + Lifestyle 07.20.11

I have done all 3 "types" of sessions for this beautiful family. First an engagement shoot, then their wedding on December 27, 2008, and most recently, a family lifestyle session last month. We actually did their family session in the same location that we did their engagement pictures 3 years ago (Fort Hunter Park in Harrisburg), and as we walked around shooting and talking and laughing, I kept thinking about how much I adore my clients and my job. My "clients" are more like friends, and I am so lucky to be able to document their story through my lens.

First comes love...

Then comes marriage...

Then comes Antonio in the baby carriage. Kelly and Mike are the cutest and proudest new parents of ADORABLE 1-year old Antonio.

He is way too cute.

And he LOVES the camera! His parents trained him well. ;-)

First we did some portraits like this. Mommy's little boy.

And then we got some that were more candid like this.

And this. Kelly, you were a gorgeous bride, but you are even more so as a Mom.

Antonio had the best time during our session.

Literally, he just ran around and giggled non-stop.

His faces were so priceless...

But then again, so were those of his parents. Love it!

Just a couple more -- because I can't resist those perfect smiles!

I think this is "patty cake" - what a little ham!

Kelly and Mike, I am so glad I had the chance to meet Antonio and to see you both again too! He is so darling -- and what a personality! Thank you so much for asking me to do these pictures of your beautiful family. Hugs! ~Kris

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A Certain Realness 07.18.11

Last month, I did a lifestyle session for a friend from college who I hadn't seen since graduation. That was a long time ago. Brooke and I reconnected through Facebook, and when she asked me to do a family shoot for her family of 5, I was so flattered. And honored. And excited to meet her 3 kids.

Brooke sent me a message on Facebook and asked if I would travel to Wake Forest, NC to shoot her family. She told me that my images had "A Certain Realness" to them that she wasn't able to find in any photographers in her area. Wow. What a compliment. REALLY?? Love. (Thanks Brooke and Jeff!)

I, of course, said that I'd be happy to come to her (which was only 2 hours from my new home-to-be in Richmond), and I am so glad I did. Their session was pure magic, and I can't wait to share a few (okay maybe 25??) favorites. Enjoy!

Meet 6-year old Ryan.

He was a camera ham the second I met him. What a handsome little guy!

His little brother Andrew was the same. Sooooo cute, and so photogenic!

And then there was 2-year old Josie. A total beauty. But totally shy in front of the camera.

These were her first professional photos, and every now and then she would peek out at me...but I wasn't having too much luck with the smiles in the beginning...

So, for the first part of the shoot I focused on the boys.

There are a whole series of these and I love them all! Best friends - so sweet!

While the boys were playing baseball...

And soccer...

And catching bugs...

And throwing rocks...

I started to bond with Josie over girly things...like picking flowers...

And chasing butterflies...

Soon enough, she was all mine. Angel face! So pretty!

Her brothers were so proud of her! (Wall canvas anyone??)

We captured some candids with Mommy...

With Daddy...

And with both. Love.

I captured some portraits of the girls...

And the boys. So cute!

These portraits are great to have, and in my opinion are must-haves, but my clients really hire me for images like these. The pictures that have "A Certain Realness" that Brooke described upon booking me.

There it is. Definitely not contrived or forced. Just, realness.

Towards the end of of session, I said I wanted to get a few more of the 3 kids together. First we got this...

And then it happened. One of those really happy moments. We got THIS. :)

Brooke and Jeff, thank you so much for asking me to do these pictures for your beautiful family! It was so great to see you Brooke and to meet your husband and kids! This was a blast and I hope you love the "little" sneak peek as much as I do. xoxo Kris

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Olivia: 10 Days Old 07.13.11

First I have to say that I adore this family -- parents Sarah and Jason and their 2 beautiful girls, 10-day old Olivia and 2-year old Abby. I had never met them before, but upon pulling into their driveway and seeing all their Hokie flags and license plate covers, I knew we'd get along great. And we did. It felt like I was visiting old friends and making new friends at the same time.

Second, I have to say that I adore their photo session. Newborn sessions can sometimes be tough. Even though I've learned a TON of "tricks" over the years, many of them don't apply to newborns. I'm pretty sure 10-day old Olivia wouldn't have smiled for me if I made a silly face or sang her favorite song. But it must have been my lucky day -- because she smiled anyway, in response to her Mommy. It was amazing!

There are so many things that make this session one of my favorite newborn sessions, but rather than typing them all here, I'll just narrate as I go. Here are a few that jumped out at me as I'm editing all of their photos. Enjoy!

Meet darling 10-day old Olivia. She is such a little doll baby, with the most perfect eye contact.

Her 2-year old big sister Abby loves her so much. It was precious to witness, and I'm so glad I could capture it with my camera for them.

Mommy and Daddy, of course, are totally smitten too.

I mean, seriously, who wouldn't be? Look at that little munchkin!

While I was taking a bunch of pictures of Olivia, big sister Abby had fun playing with bubbles.

And while she played...

Olivia just slept away. We got some pictures with Daddy...

And some with Mommy.

Love this.

And of course this. Abby is such a gorgeous and sweet little girl.

Just when you think a session is going really good -- this happens -- and you secretly do a happy dance. Olivia woke up, gave me some more perfect eye contact, and Abby decided to forgo bubbles in order to snuggle with her in the hammock. LOVE!

Back inside where it was cooler, I made sure to focus on Olivia for a few more awake shots. She was so calm and alert...

And then THIS happened! Who ever said that 10-day old newborns don't smile in response to their Mommies never saw this. Amazing!

Miraculously, in the last few minutes I was there, Olivia drifted back off to sleep and we were able to get her to do this -- hands down one of my favorite newborn shots ever. And what great taste her parents have in decorating!

Sarah and Jason, thank you so much for asking me to take these photos of your beautiful and growing family. I had so much fun and look forward to working with you all again when Olivia is 6 months! See you soon! Hugs! Kristine

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Pearce & His Play Mat 07.11.11

My main website says that I take both relaxed portraits and candid moments during a lifestyle photography session. To me, that is the best way to capture the true essence of a baby, child, or family. It also kinda just fits my go-with-the-flow style of shooting. Sometimes things are directed by me; other times, the kids are running the show. And that's how I like it. It keeps it fun, and definitely unpredictable, which results in images that -- I have been told -- have a realness to them. That makes me happy. I love to think that I can tell a little story through my lens, even with the very youngest of subjects, like precious 3-month old Pearce. Here are a few of my favorites from our afternoon together. Enjoy!

I showed up and found Pearce in one of his favorite spots. His new play mat.

He was mesmerized by his new "friends".

I had so much fun taking his picture from all different angles...

Though I think this is my favorite. Love.

So knowing that Pearce's parents wouldn't want every picture to be on his play mat, we moved him to another favorite spot. Mommy's lap. There he would smile and coo non-stop...it was melting my heart.

There I was, documenting milestones -- like Pearce mirroring his Mommy's expressions. I've said it before, but my job is pretty darn rewarding.

So glad I could get his attention for a split second -- what a handsome little man!!

We tried some tummy time, but that made him kinda crabby. ;-)

So Mommy picked him up and I was able to capture all of his sweet little features. I love the back wrinkles that new babies have...

And who can resist sweet baby feet.

I normally don't take feet pictures from the front, but I just love this.

Precious baby boy.

He's wrapped around their fingers.

To the beautiful "O" family -- thank you so much for welcoming me into your home to take these photos of Pearce. It was so fun and he is beyond adorable!

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Little Miss Smiley 07.06.11

I recently had the chance to work with the sweetest family -- parents Chris and Rob and their BEAUTIFUL 7 month old daughter Katherine. Chris was referred to me by a friend of hers and client of mine (Thanks KB!) and though she lives in NOVA, we did her family session here in Charlottesville. Chris attended the Darden school here at UVA, and she lived in C'ville for many years before getting married and starting a family. So, it was a natural choice for their first family photos, and I'm so excited to share some of my favorites of their little miss smiley!

Hands down, Katherine is one of the happiest babies I've ever met.

She literally smiled non-stop. What a gorgeous little Gerber baby!

In typical fashion, we got some portraits done first. Beautiful family!

Love this.

Then we moved on to some that were a little more candid.

Look at that face! Precious!

The grounds at UVA were a perfect spot for pictures.

This one with the fountain is one of my faves.

Though so is this one. Katherine loves the camera and it loves her too!

After a little catnap and a car ride, we ended up at Jefferson Vineyards.

Love love love.

Rob and Chris said she is pretty much little miss smiley all the time.

How lucky for me! I could have stayed there taking pictures of them all day.

At the end of our session, we took a few pictures of Katherine in the antique pram stroller I found last fall.

Though since it was red, it didn't match her pink and purple dress. So, I changed it.

I'm normally not into photoshop "special effects", but in this case I'm so glad I learned how to do this -- makes the pram even more fun knowing I can make it any color. :)

Chris and Rob, thank you so much for asking me to document your sweet family. I totally adore your smiley little girl! ~Kristine

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King Family Vineyard Wedding: Beth & Chris 07.05.11

On Saturday May 21st, I photographed Beth and Chris's beautiful King Family Vineyard wedding. It was the first wedding I had ever done there, and wowee was it awesome. The setting, surrounded by all the mountains, is so amazing it almost looks fake. And Beth and Chris, well, they were just the icing on my photographer cake. They are so fun, so sweet, and sooooo easy to photograph. I just adore them!

Along with me for this wedding was my adorable intern Jocelyn. This was the FIRST wedding she had ever photographed, and I am so proud of the images she captured. So, in addition to my own images, I am blogging some of hers in this post to show not only what a fantastic job she did, but also to show how much her angles and perspective add to the whole collection.

Choosing images to blog is always hard, but here are a few favorites (okay, more like 50!) that I wanted to share as I'm editing their whole day. Enjoy!

We showed up at the winery and were greeted by sunny skies and perfect spring temperatures -- it was going to be a good day!

Ummm, yeah. I wasn't kidding about the setting. It rocks!

Beth's gorgeous dress.

And shoes.

And bouquet.

And Mrs. Gorgeous herself. Beth, you (and your wedding!) belong in a magazine. I'm working on that part. ;-)

Hello lashes.

Love this shot that Jocelyn captured of Beth's veil.

Lovely ladies! I love my job, and I love that I'm able to make the experience of having wedding photos taken one of the many fun moments of the entire day.

Chris, the handsome groom.

The programs doubled as fans for the guests. This is one of my program shots...

And this is one of Jocelyn's. My girl's got it!

Another program shot. I think I took about 20 as we were waiting for the ceremony to start.

Couldn't ask for a better view!

If anyone saw me laying on the ground, this was why. I loved blurring the rose petals in the aisle.

My version of the first kiss...

And Jocelyn's version. She got some amazing shots from the side.


Love this! Such happiness!

Beth and Chris's friends were awesome.

Seriously, they had so. much. fun.

Not sure if Jocelyn meant to get me in a photo, but I love that I have one behind-the-scenes shot. Thanks Jocelyn!

After family and wedding party shots, it was time for some of the newlyweds alone. They gave us lots of time to be creative...

I have a feeling there are going to be some big prints going on their walls.

This was Beth's idea -- smart girl!

This is what I'd call a "relaxed portrait". Beautiful!

I can't choose favorites!

Diamonds and wine -- what's not to love?!?!

Time to party!

The carriage house at the vineyard looked so pretty.

And I absolutely adored their entry into the room -- priceless!

The first dance...

...that opened the dance floor for lots more dancing.

Gotta love a shot of the bride's parents like this -- so sweet!

The cake. Simple and elegant.

My angle...

Jocelyn's angle. I love that Beth and Chris will have both perspectives.

Love a good bouquet and garter toss.

It always makes for great photos.

I have to give Jocelyn kudos for this shot...because having a second photographer isn't JUST about different angles. See that head on the bottom left with the bride -- that's me. Not sure what I was doing, maybe just helping Beth get up or something, but while I was doing that, Jocelyn was doing what any GREAT photographer would do. She kept her eye on the action and kept on shooting.

Beth and Chris had a photo booth -- I had the best time sneaking in there when least expected. Hilarious!

Then it was time for the big exit -- to sparklers.

It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.

Beth and Chris, congratulations and thank you for asking me to be a part of your wedding day. I had so much fun getting to know you and I hope you love the little preview as much as I do. Hugs! ~Kristine

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