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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Singing in the Rain 06.23.11

Our shoot got rained out once in April, so we rescheduled for May. As they say, April showers bring May flowers. In our case, April showers brought more May showers, or should I say...ahem...downpours. But it didn't matter. Luckily the first 2 hours of our shoot were dry, and the last hour, well, it rained, but I honestly don't think anyone cared. Or noticed. We had a covered bridge to work with, and I am so thrilled with the results. Even more fun was that Evie had her umbrella in the car, so at the very end I was able to capture some photos of her splashing in the big puddles that the rain left behind.

I have been photographing Evie since she was 6 months old. I adore her family and over the years we have definitely become friends. Now, she is 3 1/2. Don't get me started on how fast time flies. That is another blog. At this most recent session last month, her parents Kristi and Mark decided they wanted to do a typical family lifestyle session of their immediate family, but also some of the people they love most. So, we included Kristi's Mom (Grandma), Kristi's sister Aimee, and Aimee's 3 beautiful kids (the cousins). The shots we were able to capture are priceless and I know they'll become family heirlooms for generations to come. Enjoy!

Meet Evie. A camera ham in every sense of the word. Love her!

After a couple shots indoors and lots of checking the forecast, we headed outdoors to the park...

As usual, we got some portraits first.

Love getting these...no shoot would be complete without them.

My favorite family shot. Adorable!!!

Though we got quite a few that morning...

Evie thinks I'm funny...especially when I sing. Kristi and Mark will know what I mean. ;-)

After I knew we had some good portraits, it was onto the candids. Like this.

And this.

These are the kind of images that will remind Kristi and Mark what their daughter was like at age 3.

Totally adorable.

Love her.

They tickled Evie and she tickled them back. Too cute.

Pretty girl.

Evie loved playing on monkey bars...a right of passage for 3 year olds I think.

I could post all day, but I have to move on to the 2nd part of their shoot. This is Evie's Grandma, Kristi's Mom.

I was lucky enough to take the only professional photos she has with her grandkids. My job is so rewarding.

So to make sure that Grandma got a shot with all 4 of her grandkids, Kristi's sister Aimee brought her 3 kids along. Beautiful!

Sooooo sweet!

A shot of all 4 grandkids with perfect smiles. I am smiling looking at it and I know Grandma will be too!

I captured some shots of her with each grandchild...

And then this portrait of all of them. A framer for sure!

Remember I said about the puddles?!? I wasn't kidding! It really rained, and I am so glad Evie was willing to splash for me! Kristi and Mark, what can I say?? I hope you love these as much as I do and can't wait to send you the disk with all of them soon. Love, Kristine

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Harbor: 1 Year 06.20.11

Harbor. She is the daughter of Amanda, one of my best friends, and she is the sweetest, most easy-going, beautiful girl. Just like her Mommy. Last month I took a trip down to the Outer Banks for Mother's Day, and while there I got to see little miss Harbor who had recently turned one. We didn't really do a "session", but of course I had my camera with me and snapped away as our children played together. I didn't know if I was going to blog these or not, but after looking at them the other day, I told her they were too cute not to share. Enjoy!

Last time I photographed Harbor was during our September Labor Day vacation to the Outer Banks -- she was 6 months old then.

Amanda and Johnny have lived in the OBX for many years -- they LOVE the beach, and our last session totally captured that.

Babies change so much in 6 months. Now Harbor looks like such a big girl, and she is as beautiful as ever!

She is so smiley - LOVE her!

And she is getting her Mommy's (and Daddy's) curly hair.

I know Amanda will love this shot because it captures Harbor at age 1.

She loves her fingers and her bunny foo foo. I love this image as shot this way...

Though I love cropped like this too because of her amazing lashes! A & J - I think you are in trouble! ;-)

So I said that these were totally impromptu while our kids played...BUT, Amanda did throw a few things into her diaper bag just in case. Sooooo precious!

Harbor was ready for bed....or maybe she just wanted to be out in the water further with all her friends.

This is what was going on while I was trying to get a few photos of her. My 2 daughters and their cousin Viv were having the time of their lives!

No worries, my daughter Elsa came to the rescue trying to make Harbor smile again. Hahahahaha!

Hey, it worked!

When we got back to Amanda and Johnny's house, we threw all 4 girls in the tub, or should I say 5?! I love how much my friends love my kids and how much I love theirs.

See you next time everyone! xoxo

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Pregnancy is Beautiful 06.08.11

I have been doing a LOT of maternity sessions lately -- so many that I desperately need to update the maternity gallery on my main website and add a "maternity" category to the blog categories above. So why are so many women doing these (myself included)? Simply put, it's because pregnancy is beautiful, and Sharon is the perfect example of that. She is GORGEOUS! Her husband convinced her to have some photos done of her baby bump, and though I haven't met him, I think he's a really smart guy. :)

A little side story -- Sharon contacted another photographer whose work was on display in her OB's office, and that photographer told her that he only photographed pregnant women at 6 months or less. Really?! I was surprised. That just seemed a little early. Now, I have been known to tell women that the best time for pregnancy photos is generally before about 33 weeks, so I have to admit I wasn't totally sure what to expect when Sharon called me and told me she was 37 weeks along. Yes, 37. A point at which many of us who have been pregnant can remember as being swollen and uncomfortable. And I just kept thinking that I hoped I could still make her feel not only comfortable, but also beautiful and sexy.

Well, I have to say that after being unsure if she would end up liking these (and really doing them more for her hubby), Sharon loves them and so do I! We'll be doing more sessions with their sweet baby boy in the future, but for now, here are a few favorites from our session a few weeks ago (blogged with permission). Enjoy!

Sharon, you are stunning. Congratulations and can't wait to meet your little bundle of joy! To Sharon's husband Todd, you have a beautiful wife, inside and out. Thanks for "persuading her" to do these pics. ~Kristine

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Happiness is... 06.05.11

Beth was a sorority sister of mine at Virginia Tech, and though I didn't know her too well because she graduated before I did, she learned about my photography business through Facebook -- and voila! Here we are. When she asked me to do a session for her family, I was honored. Especially since she told me it was their first professional photo shoot since her and her husband Brendan's wedding. I love my job. I am always getting to see old friends and make new ones, and I get to give people memories that they'll cherish for a lifetime. That makes me happy. These photos make me happy too, and I hope you enjoy looking through them as much as I enjoyed that afternoon with Beth and her beautiful family.

Beth and Brendan have 3 BEAUTIFUL kids.

Katie who is 4...

Kevin who is 2...

And baby Sean who is 3 months.

In my usual style, we got a few portraits out of the way first. Gorgeous girls!

I adore these kind of relaxed portraits...

And that is why I make sure they are part of every session.

But if you've done a session with me, you know that my favorite kind of images are the kind that really capture the essence of a family. The kind that truly convey what happiness is all about.

Happiness is.... baby feet.

...and tickling them.

It is eskimo kisses from Mommy...

and shoulder rides from Daddy.

It is watching your husband make your new baby squeal with laughter...

Or watching your wife cuddle him til he falls asleep. (Seriously, my heart is melting over little Sean sucking his thumb at 3 months).

Happiness is watching your oldest child gain a sense of independence,

without venturing too far from her younger brother as she explores the world.

He really really loves her.

And happiness is knowing that you taught them how to do that.

Happiness is...THIS.

Beth and Brendan, thank you so much for asking me to photograph your family. Beth, it was so great to see you after all these years and to meet the people you love most. Congratulations on your newest addition and on raising 3 adorable, sweet kids! Hugs! ~Kris

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With Arms Wide Open 05.24.11

Chrissy (or should I say Mul?!) is a friend of mine from college, and I have photographed her family a couple of times now. Our most recent session was a few weeks ago at Meadowlark Gardens and it is hands down my favorite one yet. Chrissy "warned me" how much energy her 2 boys have, and I was like "bring it on". I love it! We all ran around in the sunshine, and I got to capture real life. "With Arms (and Hearts) Wide Open" -- I couldn't imagine more joyful moments to document forever. Enjoy!

Meet my friend Chrissy, her husband Rob, and their 2 beautiful boys.

They are really really really gorgeous kids!

Ben is 6 years old now. Sigh.

He loves the camera and it loves him. Every picture I took of him looked like a magazine ad.

Equally adorable, but way less interested in the camera is his 2-year old brother Zach. We tried to get him to pose by the mini-fence, but this is what we got instead. ;-)

No worries, I knew I'd catch him smiling at me when he least expected it. Love.

Precious boy.

Cutie patootie.

Beautiful mommy and her little loves. We got some portraits...

And some that were more directed candids, like this...

And this. So so sweet.

I love the images above, but I also really wanted to get some images that were TOTALLY real, as if I wasn't even there. So I invented a game and it became the title of their blog.

"With Arms Wide Open" - the boys LOVED playing this game, and as they literally ran into their parents arms, I was almost tearing up behind my camera.

These are the type of images I strive for. So natural.

So fun.

The love just jumps out of them.

I can't believe how much these boys have grown since the last time I saw them. Chrissy and Rob, your boys are precious and so so sweet.

You are blessed, and I am blessed to be your friend and photographer. Love you guys! ~Krissy :)

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Afternoon Adventures at Maymont Park 05.20.11

I went to high school with Rob, and through Facebook, he learned that I was a photographer. He sent me a message a few months ago saying that he and his wife Stacy wanted to get 1-year old pictures done of their little boy Reese, and I (of course) was so excited to have the chance to "work" with them. We wrote back and forth and eventually decided to do the pictures at Maymont Park -- what a great decision -- love that place. Really though, when you get a beautiful family and an absolutely adorable baby, a great location and perfect weather are just the icing on the cake. Here are a few favorites from our fun afternoon together. Enjoy!

Beautiful family +

Absolutely ADORABLE baby +

Amazing scenery = a recipe for a realllllly good shoot.

Reese didn't nap that day, but you'd never know it by these photos. He was as happy as could be. This portrait is Stacy's FB profile picture.

We got a bunch of portraits and a bunch of great candids, like this...

And this. So so sweet.

This is one of my favorites of Reese. Those eyes!

And those eyelashes! Precious!

Happy boy! I still can't believe we did our session from 3-5 pm and Reese had zero nap that day. He was definitely having fun!

One of his favorite things was going up in the air...

So we used that to our advantage. Baby goes up. Baby smiles.

Baby goes on lap and it looks way too easy. ;-)

At the very end of our session, Reese got to play with his toy car.

I love these because they are just so him at 1-year old.

But I think this is my favorite of them all. What a beautiful family! Stacy and Rob, Reese is too cute for words. Thank you so much for asking me to do these special pictures for you. I hope you love the preview as much as I do. Hugs, Kris

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