Top 10 COVID-19 Resource Guide for Pregnancy, Childbirth and PostPartum Mothers

Times are tough. These days, none of us really know how to navigate the waters but for Pregnant Moms right now, this is scary. We are being told that we may have to deliver alone, we are worried about our children’s health (and our own) and we are constantly adapting to new policies and learning to accept the changes being made for us. There has been too much disappointment for Mamas that are being forced to cancel their baby showers and go it alone at appointments.

I am currently 7 months pregnant with our second child and I cannot begin to tell you all the fears and worries that have crossed my mind during this shelter in place. I was beginning to feel a bit lost and then I remembered something that my sister in law told me when she was going through her infertility journey. She said that a friend had told her “If you cannot control your own situation, I want to encourage you to try and help someone else.” So, this is my attempt to help other Pregnant Mamas out there who are dealing with all the “what-ifs” right now. The following list is compiled of ten resources that I hope will aid Moms in finding some sort of relief during this time.

#1 The Natural Mama Book

This was my Go-To Guide during my first pregnancy. A friend recommended the book and although I had a feeling that I would not be taking the all-natural birth route, it was nice to have all the information. In reality, you never know what is going to happen when babies decide to make their way into the world. My birth plan most definitely involved wanting an epidural or some kind of medical relief but this book prepared me for the possibility of delivering without any interventions. I also loved this book because it had a week by week guide to pregnancy (and was pretty spot on). My favorite part of this guide was the positive affirmations laced throughout the text. Those excerpts were just the boost of confidence I needed to get through each trimester.

mama natural

#2 LouLou and Company

Do yourself a favor and splurge on this one baby item. Head to the LouLou and Company website and get yourself a knotted Newborn gown. Styled for both boy and girl babies, this is all we dressed our first baby in for the first few weeks of life and I promise you this purchase is worth every penny!

The gowns are super soft, designed to dress baby from the bottom up and have little cuff fold overs to prevent those tiny scratches. Dads will love the knot at the bottom for middle of the night diaper changes and Moms will love that Dads are letting them get a few extra minutes of sleep. The founder/creator of Lou Lou, Karen, was a NICU nurse and is a mom of 4 who designed these gowns with moms and babies in mind so each detail has been meticulously designed for comfort and ease! I love all their products but this gown is my go-to for that 4th trimester!

lou lou and company gown

#3 Join your local Hospital Facebook Group

I delivered our first child at a North Texas Health Resource Hospital and I found that the Texas Health Moms Facebook Group has been a huge support system. Whether I needed consultation on lacatation, recommendations for registry items, fitness routines or simply questions about sleep patterns, this community provided answers and resources that Could not be rivaled. In fact, I have found the best advice to come from other Moms that are in the same stage of life and this group was a game changer for me.

#4 Dive into the magic that is Kati Terek’s Birth Story Blog.

Her Birth Story chronicles autobiographical encounters of real live birth stories from courageous women who chose to spill the tea on their experiences! Some of these birth stories are fairy tale-come to life retellings, some are harder versions to swallow but all of them are a beautiful ode to the process of bringing new life into the world. Each story has a different purpose. For some women, informing others is transformative. For others, simply to unburden the trauma or stress is therapeutic. The “Her Birth Story” platform’s purpose is to spread awareness and help Mamas prepare for everything from that first positive test to the tender days of newborn life.

Admittedly, Kati Terek says that her birth experiences were, although beautiful, quite scarring and she wanted an outlet. If you are a first time Mama and you want to read up on real birth stories instead of diving into YouTube videos, this Blog is your go to! And, did I mention that Kati is a talented birth, Fresh 48 and Newborn Photographer who loves nothing more than to capture those raw and real first moments with your bundle of joy. If you are a Pittsburgh native, Kati is your girl to go to for documenting those first moments. She captured her own Fresh 48 photos when her little guy made his appearance in the spring of 2019 and was kind enough to let me show them off below! Check it out! Her rates can be found at www.londynnkate.photography/.

#5 Sign up for Diaper Delivery Mamas.

A few I love and have used, Amazon, Hello Bello or Honest Company will deliver both wipes and diapers for every stage (even split sizes for Mamas with kids in diapers at different stages). Save your selves the time and energy (and cash) by ordering a Diapery Delivery service! Every month, they just show up. No carrying the boxes out of the store or having to remember when to go grab them at a PickUp. Trust me, this is worth it.

#6 Use your Natural Birthing Technique Experts!

A sweet friend of mine, Hannah Laboon, is a certified doula and has made her self available for questions from you Mamas that are worried about having to deliver alone due to new hospital visitor policies or how to conquer Home Birth, Natural Birth and all those crunchy Mama ideals!

She has sent me so many positive affirmations, information on prenatal yoga classes that are live streaming (@mamatotoretreat), support groups focused in coping skills (@forwardwellnesscounseling) and placenta encapsulation benefit details! She recently said “We [as women] are divine, feminine oracles of the universe” and hopes to help you come to terms with that truth! Find her on Instagram at @hannapropaganda or reach out on email at hannahschultz@ymail.com. She wants Mamas to know that they can reach out for support simply because she is a woman wanting to help, honor and support other women. Her goal is to provide pressure free communication and be a pillar of support in the birthing community. 

doula

#7 A Quicklist of Postpartum Items that will make your life so much easier when you bring that sweet new baby home!

Every Mama and each baby has different needs but I know that these items are the ones we will have ready to go when our second baby makes his way into the world!

#8 Tips for Taking your Own Newborn Photography!

Having a baby during a pandemic doesn’t make your birth any less special, it just kind of puts a meter on the amount of joy you are supposed to feel and that isn’t fair! New moms are having to cancel their baby showers, forego perusing the aisles of Buy Buy Baby and worst of all, are being forced to cancel their Newborn Sessions.

I cherished my Fresh 48 session with our firstborn and it has made me terribly sad thinking that I won’t get to have this experience with our little guy this summer so trust me when I say, I feel you! Those first few weeks with your babe is time you simply don’t get back. Once that baby leaves your belly, they just keep on growing and capturing those first details are such a sweet reminder of those crazy newborn days and the abundant amount of joy you feel when you bring that baby home.

Well, I found a solution for all you Mamas out there who are bummed about missing out on this milestone. Sabrina Gebhardt Photography, out of Fort Worth, Texas, has come up with a beautiful guide for Spring and Summer Mamas being forced to forego Newborn Photos. Check out her Photos below and you will see exactly why I am recommending you read her Guide! Her guide gives you tips and tricks for how to take your own Newborn Portraits. All you need is a squishy babe and some sort of camera and yes, your phone will do! sabrina-gebhardt-fort-worth-texas-documentary-at-home-family-photographer_2104-1022x1024**Photo Credit: Sabrina Gebhardt Photography*

#9 Meal Train

Oh Mamas, there is nothing worse than worrying about what’s for dinner or how you are going to concoct something when your new baby is having a fussy day. If your family or friends are looking for ways to help you/sneak a peek at your new baby through a window or door, please suggest meal train. Meal Train is an American crowdsourced platform designed with the intention to help schedule and organize home-made meal giving for those in need.

How does it work? Someone sets up the account (dietary restrictions can be included) and then that person sends out the invites to your loved ones who can then schedule a day to provide a meal and drop it off. Everyone who signs up can see what you are bringing and what day and time you will be there so no one overlaps! Dare I say this is a Must Have service for those first few weeks!

meal train

#10 For many families dealing with COVID-19 repercussions, Financial Resources cannot come soon enough.

This pandemic has stolen livelihoods and replaced any sense of security with fears about where their next meal is coming from or how their mortgage will be paid. If you are one of those people, please let me know. There won’t be any questions asked. You can simply email me at therustienailhead@gmail.com with the COVID BABY subject line and I will do my best to provide you with the help you need.

It would be my pleasure to unburden the load of worry from your shoulders. If I can help in any way, I will. I can try to provide you with information on how to sign up for WIC, where to find a food bank, how to seek religious/mental health counseling, safe shelter, gas for your car or diapers for your little ones. Whatever I can do, I promise that I will advocate for you. It takes a village and I will do my best to provide you with the information you need to build up that village for your family.

 

Cover Photo Courtesy of @StefanieRosePhotography 

 

DFW Newborn Session: Meet Eleanor

Y’all this little girl is about to steal all your hearts. Meet Eleanor Kate Hamilton! Born on March 15th, I had the great pleasure of meeting this sweet baby girl on Day 11 for her first photo shoot. I am beyond thrilled to share a first look at Brenna and Jeff’s little peanut!

This particular set of photos was my favorite because this family just rocked it. Brenna has the brightest smile on her face and Dad, Jeff, cannot take his eyes off of their first born beauty. They all just seem so relaxed, right at home with their new baby!

I had the great pleasure of meeting this little lady’s Mama a few years ago through a mutual friend and way back then, I photographed her sweet pup, who now is long gone but still very much in Brenna’s heart. In fact, in the years since that shoot, Brenna has added a new pup to the family, Piper and this big sister is just smitten with the Hamilton Family’s new addition!

Weighing in at a solid 8 pounds, this little chunk was born with a full head of hair and what appears to be the prettiest blue eyes. So far, Mom and Dad say that her favorite thing to do is eat! Oh, and sleep! What a life!

Brenna and Jeff (and the new Grandma who was there to help) totally trusted my vision and invited me into their home to capture this lifestyle inspired newborn session. We kept it sweet and simple. I made sure to include lots of Mama loving on her baby girl and a ton from the perspective of little Ella in Daddy’s hands, as well as a few of Piper checking out her new roommate.

We had gorgeous light throughout the entire session and I love that each room in their house flooded with natural light in the afternoon. We managed to time feedings and shoot time perfectly. Not one tear was shed though we didn’t really give her a chance. If Eleanor looked even the bit sad, either Mom, Grandma, Dad or I would pick her up and give her hugs before she had a chance to get upset.

We ended the session by letting Eleanor just chill in her crib in her new nursery. Layered in pink lace ruffles and white bow, Eleanor Kate proved that she is in fact “more precious than rubies” and for that, I am thankful. Not only that this job allows me the pleasure of meeting and documenting such sweet baby’s first days in the world but that I know the joy their presence brings each family, especially the Hamiltons!

ELEANOR-89

For information on how to book an in home newborn session or a Fresh 48 Session, message me, Angelina, at therustienailhead@gmail.com and we can discuss package details, due dates and dreamy baby poses.

Newborn Session: Baby Ellie

Just a little over a month ago, first time parents, Jesse and Carly welcomed this little lady into the world and while visiting back home in Pennsylvania, I got the chance to spend some time with Baby Ellie and her sweet Mama, Carly! We met on a dreary Wednesday morning at their home for baby girl’s first photo shoot!

I loved the black and whites of this munchkin’s shoot. Every single image looks so timeless and her little face, those pouty lips, those chubby toes, she just looks so perfect. This little one is going to be the cause of some major baby fever!

We propped her up on a bean bag in front of their dining room windows and Baby Ellie just napped the afternoon away basking in the sunlight. She was smiling during her dreams and giving us the biggest yawns. Props to Mama on her bow and diaper ruffle too. This Mama had all the right ideas when it came to dolling her baby up!

Once we wrapped up the indoor photos, we decided to bundle Ellie up in fur vests and swaddles and venture out into the yard for a few natural light photos. I always love this part of the shoot. I wanted to make sure to get a photo of Carly and her little love in front of the house, especially with all those leaves changing around their property. I just love the idea that one day, 20 years from now, Carly and Jesse will be able to show their daughter pictures of the house they first brought her home to that fall in 2017.

And can we talk about how fabulous Carly looks?! I may be prejudice because I adore redheads but this Ginger Mama is simply stunning! You can tell that Motherhood definitely agrees with her in all the right ways. She has all the right moves to calm her baby girl down in an instant all the while making it look so effortless. And that hair, seriously, both these babes are gorgeous! And yes I am still crossing my fingers that little Miss Ellie will sprout some ginger locks any day now!

Though the weatherman was calling for some pretty nasty stuff, we managed to get all our outdoor shots in with only a small drizzle coming down. We didn’t want to keep Ellie out too long anyway so once we had snapped a few photos in their front yard, we headed inside to see the nursery. Ellie’s room was adorned with butterflies and blankets embroidered in shades of lavender, perfectly fit for a princess.

I had so much fun with these babes that we decided to extend our shoot so Daddy could join in on the fun! Stay tuned because Part II of Ellie’s Newborn Shoot is up next!

NEWBORN_ELLIE-24

DFW Holiday Mini Sessions slots are still available to those of you who are interested! Inquiries about booking your unique session can be emailed to Angelina at therustienailhead@gmail.com!

Coming this October: Baby Capaccioli

You read it right! Now that the cat is officially out of the bag, I can share this adorable pregnancy announcement. My good friends, Gian Marc and Emily, are expecting their first child this October! For those of you who don’t know them, get ready to meet the sweetest couple in the world. Or should I say Trio?

The Capacciolis are an easy gang to please. When it came time to pick a location for their big announcement shoot, they left it up to me so I choose the Fort Worth Water Gardens.  The clean lines make for an exquisite downtown backdrop. Surrounded by brick buildings and glass towers, this place is a peaceful corner for Texans to enjoy an afternoon listening to the water rushing over the expertly engineered falls.

They arrived shortly before sunset and we immediately headed down into the largest water feature. Though an architectural feat, the massive steps down into the falls were a little daunting. They had joked upon arrival that surely I wouldn’t make them go down into the thick of it. Hahaha

Once we were on the biggest platform, I realized how loud the water was! I could barely hear them nor could they hear me. This was going to be a challenge because I usually shout out poses and direction while I shoot. Since that wouldn’t be happening, I told them to just go love on each other. After a few sweet kisses and snuggles in front of the waterfalls, Emily busted out Baby Capaccioli’s first picture, their latest sonogram!

DEZmondCAPACCIOLI-23

This urban sanctuary is divided into 3 refreshing pools; the quiet, the active and the aerating. We visited all 3 that day but while walking around, I asked Em to write a little something on a chalkboard. The picture above is Emily doing just that. We laughed as they fought over who had better handwriting. It was cute to see them so excited about just writing their news down, let alone sharing it with the world. That’s what I love about these two. They live and love in the little moments.

I met Gian Marc 2 days after I moved to Texas, FIVE YEARS AGO!!! His family owns Piccolo Mondo Italian Restaurant, a staple here in Dallas-Fort Worth, and they hired me just days after arriving here. Over the years, this place has become a home. A home filled with amazing friends, like Gian Marc and Emily. Little known fact, Russ and I got engaged on the same day as these guys. I was so caught up in the fact that Gian Marc was about to propose to Emily that I had no idea Russ was about to bend the knee. To boot, Gian Marc had been in on it the whole time.

It’s so fun knowing that our lives are coming into fruition in a weird sort of unison. We’ve got to celebrate our engagements, our marriages and now, I am photographing their announcement that they are bringing a Bambino/a into the Capaccioli gang! Thank you guys. It was an honor to say the least. Life is good y’all!

 

Kaison’s First Christmas

Hey guys, Happy Friday! I hope you all are getting into the holiday spirit as we approach the celebration season. Yes, I am that crazy person who has already watched Home Alone (1 &2), Christmas Vacation and my lights have been up outside since the middle of November. Christmas is such a magical and joyful time in the Norris household. To get into the holiday spirit this year, I started off my Mini Sessions in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania. My first session didn’t disappoint either, this shoot was full of love, laughter and a happily ever after.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting my new favorite little dude, Kaison. His momma and daddy just so happen to be some of my very best friends in the whole wide world and I have been impatiently waiting to meet their handsome baby boy for months now. You may remember this guy’s parents from their last photo shoot. Kelly and Kendrick’s Maternity Shoot was featured on the Blog days before this guy made his debut! At eight months preggo, Kelly was a trooper and Kendrick proved to be quite the cheerleader as we made our way through the fields of Kelly’s grandfather’s farm.  Their beautiful baby boy finally made his way into the world not even a month later and these two have been wrapped around his finger ever since.

And as for me? Auntie Ang? She has been down in Texas just dying for the chance to come and snuggle this chubby cheeked butterball!! Finally, the time had come for me to kidnap their bundle of joy for a few hours and I was literally jumping for joy. Kelly’s Family joined us at the very location of our first shoot, their Grandfather’s farm. We headed out into the field to get the family shots first of everyone. As I split them up into smaller groups, they all took turns passing the baby around like a hot potato! And, I will never forget the look on Kelly’s Dads face when I asked him to take a photo with his wife “prom style”. And Kelly’s face when her Dad planted one on her Mama. These guys had me in stitches.

After the family photos were finished, we headed to the front of Kelly’s parents house. There, we set down a blanket and just let Kelly & Kendrick love on their baby boy. The leaves could not have been a better color and Kel’s scarf matching Kaison, so much awesome coordination. Long before he made his arrival, Kelly and I would sit around and talk about what his name would be and how we thought he might look. Every little detail that we dreamt up doesn’t even come close to how perfect this baby is. It’s so weird too! I’ve known Kendrick since we were 5 so looking at this kid and that butt chin, he is unmistakenly my buddy’s baby. But, he’s got Kelly’s big beautiful eyes and her smile. What a perfect combination of these two incredible people. It has been such a joy seeing your love story blossom. Good for you guys. You love each other, you are so smitten with your son and you continue to grow with one another. That’s so important. Crucial, really. So, cheers! Ya’ll are killing it! Now, come to Texas and be my friend and bring Kaison because I wanna eat him!! 🙂

For Information on how to book your unique Portrait Session, shoot me an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com. Throughout the month of December 2016, I am offering $150 Mini Sessions in the Dallas Fort Worth area. These sessions include a 45 minute session within DFW, 15-20 Digital Images delivered in an Online Downloadable Gallery and Print Release. Perfect for Christmas Card Photos, Surprise Holiday Proposals and even Gifts. You can buy this deal for a limited time as a Gift Certificate in 2017!

Lainey’s Newborn Session

The Pierce Family is making another appearance on the Blog! Over the summer, I had the opportunity to meet with them at White Rock Lake and capture a few photos of them while they were still a family of 3. Though 8 months pregnant with their second child, Lori waddled around the Filter Building with her 2 favorite guys! We made sure to capture both Mark & Lori with their little guy, Xander, and we managed to get a ton of Lori’s adorable bump! To check out our day in Dallas shoot, head here. This session would be totally different! In the months since our first shoot, the Pierce Family has welcomed a baby girl, Lainey Ruth Pierce! Since I was itching to see this tiny princess, my husband and I made our way down to Austin over Labor Day Weekend to catch up with our favorite blonde headed little boy and his baby sister.

After stopping in Hico, Texas at the Koffee Kup Kafe for a few slices of pie, Russ and I meandered our way into the Live Music Capital of the World. We took our time getting through the hill country before arriving at the Pierce Family Home. First thing on our list of to-dos, give their bundle of joy as many hugs and kisses as possible and man oh man, is she a beauty or what? I was kind of glad that we had waited until she was 3 weeks old to do the shoot because I love seeing how active and alert newborns can be at that age. Lainey just kept looking up at me with those big blue eyes and giving me the sweetest smiles! Words seriously cannot describe how much I love snuggling this little bug! She looks so much like her big brother and you can tell that Mark & Lori are just smitten every time they glance her way.

Xander, though preoccupied with books and toys and dogs, is so in love with his baby sister. He was proudly showing her to me and kept giving her kisses on the cheek! We started the shoot indoors, keeping it fun and fresh while Xander played in his room. We read books and sang “pop-goes-the-weasel” and once Mommy was done feeding baby, we worked our way into Lainey’s adorable nursery. After raiding her closet, Lori explained that so many of the outfits were actually her own. Even the dress that she had brought her home in had been the dress Lori herself wore home from the hospital. I loved this little tidbit and thought how sweet of Lori’s mom to hold onto all those dresses for her! After we played dress-up with my new favorite cousin, we decided to head to the park next to their house for their Family Portrait. The cacti and bright yellow lantana were the perfect backdrop for this newly-branded Family of Four.

Though this shoot was supposed to be all about Lainey, I was excited to capture this special time for them as a whole family. Both Mom & Dad are always so kind to trust my vision and I am so happy that they get to see what we all see when we look their way. Mark and Lori are 2 people who fell in love and continue to do so everyday when they look at their children. They are 2 people who put trust in God’s plan and choose everyday to roll with the punches. Little to no sleep + a rambuncious two year old wildchild + a hungry newborn can make for some pretty crazy days but I am happy to say that these guys are thriving on the chaos. Lori actually said to me at one point, “Watching people go ga-ga over your kids is a whole other kind of joy.” As you can tell, we’re all a little “ga-ga” over these precious babes and I am so glad that they trusted me to capture these first moments with their bundle of joy.

Do you know someone who is expecting or wanting to make that Baby Announcement, send them our way. For more information on how to book your unique Maternity or Newborn Session, shoot me an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com or just give me a call 724 216 8185. We have multiple packages and prices including our Milestone Sessions, a series of photo shoots that captures Baby’s First Year! Currently shooting in Dallas-Fort Worth and the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania but we have lots of travel dates set up for the rest of 2016 and 2017. I cannot wait to fill you all on in where we are heading to next! It’s a doozie! Where would you like to see The Rustie Nail travel to next?

Jackson’s Newborn Session

Meet Jackson! The Moreno Family reached out shortly after bringing their baby boy into the world and asked if we might help them capture these first few moments as a family of 4. I’m not gonna lie, Newborn Sessions just might be my favorite kind of shoot. I love snuggling the little ones and capturing those first sweet moments with baby.

I had the pleasure of meeting this family a little over a year ago when I shot their daughter Paton’s First Birthday Shoot . Mom, Dad and I spent a whole morning chasing their little princess all over Bear Creek Park. Paton donned a pink tutu for her “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” themed shoot! And again, in the fall, the Moranos joined us for our Fall Mini Sessions. P kept us on our toes as she danced her way around the ranch in her kitty costume, complete with another tutu, green this time around! It’s no secret that the Mama Bear of this group is a fashionista! Everytime I see Paton, she is dressed in some adorable outfit and matching bow. I was sure that this go around would be no different. Jamie and Christian donned their little ones in Sailor outfits. The navy blue and white were the perfect contrast to their contemporary style!

After timing out feedings and naptime between kiddos, Jamie and I agreed to do a morning shoot! This would be my first time doing a newborn shoot at the client’s home and I was so excited for the chance to meet this little guy. I arrived at the Moranos to find that, like their kids, Jamie and Christian have created a beautiful space to call home. I was blown away by how they had styled their home, specifically Paton’s Fairytale bedroom and Jackson’s adorable nursery! There is something so fresh about doing a photoshoot at home. I was so humbled to be invited into their house and I could tell that they were comfortable with me roaming from room to room for good light.

Jackson is the sweetest. He is tiny with long toes and a mischievous smile when you tickle his chin.  Jackson is quiet and very snuggly. You’ll notice in all of the portraits that Jackson goes out of his way to put a hand on his mama. You could tell that he was soothed by her touch. I took turns with each parent, seeing that we had individual shots of Mom with baby and Dad with his little man. Time management was essential seeing that Paton was not very interested in having her picture taken. So while we shot photos of Mommy and Jackson, Daddy watched Frozen with P, and vise versa. It was a pretty clutch system and we ended up snagging a few of Paton reading in her bedroom and coloring on the sidewalk outside. It is crazy to see how big she has gotten over the last few months. She loves her books, Olaf and pretty much, all things pink unless you are talking about her baby brother! She loves to kiss on him and reminds everyone to “shhhh” when baby Jackson is sleeping.

What a great day with such an immensely blessed family. Congrats guys! Sending lots of love and prayers for loads of sleep your way! Thank you Jamie and Christian for inviting me into your home to capture this special time and I hope we get the chance to meet again soon! 🙂

If you are interested in booking your Newborn Session or a Family Portrait Session, shoot us an inquiry at therustienailhead@gmail.com and we’ll chat about how to set up a booking! I hope we get the chance to work together soon!

Gender Reveal: It’s a…

During my last visit back to Pennsylvania, I managed to sneak in a little time with a few of my favorite people, the Robb family. This fun trio has been featured on our Blog before. Last fall, I had the pleasure of snapping a few pictures of their little guy, Ben. Check out his session here. This go around was a little different. I found out a few weeks before my arrival that this wild and crazy bunch would be growing by two feet. Yep, they would be adding another Robb to the brood. I was jumping for joy at the idea of them bringing another little guy or girl into the picture and even more thrilled when they asked me to take their family portraits. I was under the impression that we were going to be taking Maternity photos. Little did know, they had a surprise for me. This portrait session would double as a gender reveal! I was so touched and beyond excited when I found out I’d be among the first to know what they were expecting.

After a few snafus with the location choice and timing, we managed to meet at Legion Keener Park in Latrobe, PA. I’ve known Derek and Lizzy since we were kids and I wanted to keep our roots intact to the locale of the shoot. With that in mind, I began to dream up some ideas of how to announce their bundle of joy in a fun way. When Derek and I were kids, we spent many a summer night hanging out by those tracks above the Loyalhanna and I knew it’d be the perfect location for their shoot. The graffiti below the bridge and the train tracks following alongside the lush fields of green created the clean backdrop for these photos. We started about an hour before sunset, making our way from the tracks to the bridge that towers over this creek.

This was a totally different shoot than their first for many reasons. Since the last I saw him, Ben has a grown a foot and gained an adult vocabulary. It freaked me out at first. How could he have grown up so much in the short 4 months since I last saw him? He is so smart and kind. Loaded with his mother’s sweet demeanor and his daddy’s gangsta sense of style, this kid is bound to be a lady killer. Honestly, who doesn’t wanna love on him when he is rocking those sweet glasses? He is going to make for a very cool older brother.

Speaking of his soon-to-be younger sibling…these guys are happy to announce, in the most adorable way, that they are expecting…a baby boy! Due a few days after his big brother’s birthday, we are impatiently awaiting the arrival of the newest Baby Robb!

Thank you guys so much for letting me play a small part in your announcement and I look forward to meeting the newest munchkin! See you guys soon!

If you are looking for a photographer to help you document your next big announcement, shoot Angelina an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com. Whether you are expecting your first or third baby or just recently got engaged, Angelina is sure to make your Session a personalized and unique experience! For inquiries about pricing and packaging for Portrait Sessions, send your questions our way! 🙂

Maternity Shoot: Baby Bolish

Meet Kelly and Kendrick! Days away from the arrival of their first born baby, these two lovebirds asked me take a few photos of them before their baby boy, Kaison makes his debut. This shoot, in particular, will always have a special place in my heart. See, Kendrick and I had the privilege to grow up together. We were bus buddies in elementary school, neighbors almost all our lives and somehow managed to get ourselves into trouble more times than I can count over these last 20 years. It’s been a wild ride to say the least. About a year ago, Kendrick met Kelly. I literally could not imagine a better ride-or-die chick for my childhood friend. From the minute I met her, I knew Kenny’s hunt was over. He had found this beautiful soul who could put up with his crap, someone that he would happily share his life with. To boot, Kelly and I are pretty much soulmates. So you can imagine how much I love that Kendrick choose to spend his life with someone that I instantly had a connection with. They recently tied the knot and I could not happier for them.

On top of celebrating their nuptials, Daddy’s new hunting buddy should be making his appearance any day now. About a month ago, I flew home over Memorial Day weekend to attend Kelly’s baby shower and snap a few maternity pictures before they officially become a family of 3. Her shower theme matched Kaison’s nursery; all things wildlife, from bears to foxes to deer so we had to incorporate a little bit of that into the shoot, hence the cute little fox. We waited until after the shower before Kelly and I set out into the fields near St Vincent Grove. This sweet mama graciously trekked her way through the tall grass, in the pouring rain, to snag the most adorable pictures.  Dressed in a coral and white floral dress, this mama bear rocked her bump through the mud looking as relaxed and beautiful as ever.

After taking a few shots of Kelly, we headed to her grandfather’s house. His backyard was the perfect spot to watch the sun go down and capture this sweet family in all their glory. Her grandfather’s backyard had sweeping views of the Laurel Highlands and the most perfect lighting. What I love most about this shoot is that one day Kaison will be able to look back and see how stupid in love his parents were. They were loving on each other and kissing and laughing. I gave no direction. Their natural poses were much better than any advice I could have given them. These guys reek of affection, their love is the infectious kind, the kind you can’t help but see and smile at. Seriously, it was an honor and a privilege to photograph this time in their lives and I can’t wait to get that sweet baby on the other side of my lens. Keep snappchatting me all the baby goodness guys! 1800 miles stands between me and snuggling your sweet boy but I cannot wait to meet him. Congratulations to the Newlyweds and Best Wishes as you bring your son into the world.

Are you expecting? For information on pricing, packages and how to book your Maternity Session or Family Portrait Session, shoot us an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com. All inquiries welcome! Follow our work on Instagram @therustienail for everyday updates and sneak peeks for Special Portrait Session dates!

 

Kessa’s Newborn Session

Heading home for the holidays is always bittersweet. You learn to prioritize your time with who you need to see. Catching up with Jessy and Jacey is always one of my first stops when I get off the plane. I’ve known Jess since we were in diapers, though our friendship really came to a head when we reached junior high. We’ve run the gammit, as far as best friends go. From slumber parties and homecoming dances to weddings and babies, we’ve done it all at this point.

I can remember staying up all night when Jess went into labor with Jacey. I was worried about Jess and how her labor would be and I was excited to meet this awesome little human who had been growing in my bestie’s belly for the past 9, almost 10 months. Seeing Jace come into the world was life affirming in so many ways. The girl I knew, who had only ever talked about being a mom, would finally have the missing piece to her puzzle. Jacey Sunshine Ray came into this world on March 15th, with a full set of lungs and a heart filled with joy.

Watching Jace grow up has been an adventure and reality check for us all. Every time I come home to visit, something about this child has changed. She is taller than the last time I saw her and her vocabulary seriously blows me away. She is smart, sweet and wild, just like her mother. She has kept us on our toes all these years, which is why I was a little worried when Jess said, “Baby No. 2 is on the way”. We all wondered how Jace would respond to sharing the spotlight with her soon-to-be baby sis.

Princess Kessa made her way into the world one day shy of being my birthday buddy. And oh what a gift! I bummed my way through the holidays, counting down the minutes until I could fly home and snuggle this munchkin. Though Jacey would always be my girl, Kessa had stolen a little bit of my heart from the minute I met her. She is so tiny and she resembles Jace in way I didn’t think possible. Doing this newborn shoot has been such an experience for me. Not only because I got to spend some alone time with Jace, but because I got to see Jess with her newest little bundle of joy and photograph these first sweet moments with baby. Much to my relief, Jace, as you can tell, is thrilled to have a baby sister.

Though I wish I could say these portraits were for Jess, Jamie and their respective families, I can’t lie. They are for me, for my own personal catalog of awesomeness. They are to remind me of how little they once were and how much I miss them every day. In a way, these portraits were done to capture this moment in time, something that I feel flies by way too fast nowadays. Being away from them means missing birthday parties and ballet recitals, but it also means, I get to monopolize time with these kiddos when I am home. One of my greatest joys is to be a part of their lives. My saving grace is knowing that no matter how near or far, I am only a phone call or plane ticket away from playing Barbies or learning how to tie-dye.

So until then, I’ll keep snapping away and put all these pictures in my keepsake box. And in 50 years, when Jess and I are living it up at the Senior Center, we will look back and think, “What a great day that was and look at how far we’ve come.” I love love love Jessy Fisher but I must admit, I love these girls more. They are this beautiful extension of my oldest and best friend. I am sure, that one day soon, Jace and Kessa are going to cause just as much trouble as Jess and I did back in the day. Unfortunately for them, we’ve done it all so Good Luck getting one past us! Love you guys so much! Counting down the days until our next play date.

If you would like to book your upcoming Newborn Session, please feel free to email therustienailhead@gmail.com for pricing and details. Oh, and Happy New Year!