Harper’s 3rd Birthday Portraits

Wow!! I cannot believe this kiddo is 3 YEARS OLD already. Harper Lee was one of my very first clients. He was just about to turn one when I started this business so he actually became the first baby to make the blog. I think it is very fitting that we keep up with the tradition of Birthday Pics!

His first birthday pictures took place at a Baseball Park in Keller, Texas. Looking all dapper in his Rangers gear, we spent the afternoon giggling over a box of Cracker Jacks! To check out that 1st Birthday Session, head here.

The next year, we headed to a large mural wall in downtown Keller. With a bag of peanut M&M’s in tow, we set up in front of a Dr Pepper advertisement and then headed to a field nearby to watch the sunset and practice our Harry Potter spells! This session is still hands-down one of my all-time favorite shoots just because Harper had such a good time. That, and listening to a 2 year old try to yell “Expeliarmus” always makes for a good laugh. That shoot and all the #bts are on Harper’s 2nd Birthday Shoot Spotlight. HARPER3YR-16This year, we jumped in the car with no plan whatsoever and decided that for Harper’s 3rd birthday pictures, if we saw a fun spot to play, we would pull over. Our first stop was in North Richland Hills near a small pond located just outside a community neighborhood. Harper had packed his fishing pole in his back pack and I had the camera ready just in case this little guy happened to catch anything interesting.

After playing in the pond for a little while, we worked our way back to a nearby flood plain. This location would be perfect to let Harper play with his jets and rockets. He spent the next ten minutes playing “BLASTOFF!!”, a game comprised of throwing the jets near, but not quite at, the camera.

More than anything, I found myself in awe of his vocabulary. Though he has always been a vocal little guy, none of it had made much sense until recently. It was like out of nowhere, his jibberish turned into a full blown conversation. He was telling me all about his toys and telling Mama, Tiffany, how much he loved her. Harper, quite literally, left me speechless.

HARPER3YR-40

His Mama and I became fast friends after a short stint at a flower shop here in Texas. I knew right away that I liked her. Tiffany’s passion and zest for chasing life’s dreams are inspiring. She is always the first one to jump on board one of my crazy travel “work” trips and she has made this entrepreneurship journey such a fun experience. Did I mention she is a total boss babe? A few years ago, she started her own floral design business, Wanderlust Florals. Her unique vision creates the most amazing arrangements for weddings, anniversaries, you name it. If it involves flowers, this girl is in. Follow along on her Instagram (@wanderlustflorals) for all the #bts of her creative work.

And because of our crazy journey together, I have ended up with the most unexpected best friend ever in Texas. Gosh, am I thankful for this girl and more importantly her little dude too. Harper is like my favorite little buddy here. Problem being, these guys just moved to Florida and I am definitely missing this sweet girl’s smile!

HARPER3YR-45

But, it is looking like I may have to head to the beach for his 4th Birthday pics and that is nothing to complain about! Or maybe…dare I say…the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Don’t even get me started.

Seriously though, I miss these nuggets so bad but I can’t even begin to express the amount of joy I am sending her way as she tackles this new adventure. Best of luck to you sweet girl and make sure HarpDog remembers his Nina. We’ll need a FaceTime sooner rather than later! Happiest of Birthdays to this blue eyed baby boy! I hope 3 is your best year yet little man!

HARPER3YR-61

To check out Tiffany’s latest floral design work, remember to follow along on her Instagram. While you’re at it, head over to @therustienail for our Travel Updates, Mini Session Specials and Fall Portrait Session Availability!

The Kramer Family Portrait Session

Hey guys! I’m back at it again with another adorable Family Portrait Session. This time around, I met up with the Kramer Family in Grapevine, Texas to snag a few family photos. Meet Joey, KD, Joss and Emily!

You may notice this little girl, Josslyn. She has been featured on our blog before during the Waters Family Portrait Session. That shoot was all about cousins, brothers and sisters but this shoot was all about the immediate Kramer Family, just Mom, Dad and their sweet baby girls.

KRAMER -28We initially met in downtown Grapevine near Tolbert’s to take a few pictures of Dad, Joey. He was in need of a few headshots for his up and coming chiropractic office and we both thought Main Street would provide the perfect backdrop. But more about those Headshots later…

After Daddy’s photoshoot, we headed to a section of shoreline called “Katie’s Woods”. Located near the boat ramp at Grapevine Lake, the cypress trees lining the small beach front would be perfect for blocking out that harsh morning light. Both babies were all smiles.

KRAMER -37

KRAMER -38After a few test shots, I was ready to start posing these guys. But, they were all about play. Joey and KD lovingly tossed their little ladies in the air while each of them giggled endlessly. These 2 photos pictured above are my absolute favorites from their session. You can see how stoked the girls are by just looking at the huge smiles on their faces. Pure Joy Y’all!

Once we all had calmed down a bit, Joss was all about loving on her baby sister, Emily. She kept reaching over to tickle her and give her kisses on the cheek. KD and Joey have some heartbreakers on their hands so they better watch out!

After we managed to get a few of all 4 of them looking at the camera, Dad headed back into work for a little bit while mom, KD, stayed behind to grab a few photos of just the girls! While KD changed their outfits, I got a small blanket out so we could set Miss Emily down without getting her all dirty.

Does this girl have the prettiest blue eyes or what? And man oh man was she a happy little girl. She kept smiling at her Mommy and not once did she try to take her headband out of her hair. She even let me love on her for a little bit. While KD was changing Joss into her 3rd Birthday tutu, Emily and I bounced around in the shade.

We managed to get a few of the girls together but it was getting pretty hot out by then so I didn’t want to test their patience. We had started at 7 AM and it was nearing 8:30 when we realized how high the temperature outside had raised. Luckily, the breeze blowing off the water kept everyone in a good mood.

KRAMER -63Or maybe my iPhone playing Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” on repeat kept them in a good mood! Seeing that Joss is a Trolls fan, like so many of us have been or are, I figured this song might help Princess Poppy with her twirling!

We ended their shoot by letting Joss don her 3rd Birthday tutu and wand! With that big pink bow in her hair and the colored pom-poms on the inside of her rainbow colored tutu, Joss proved to be just about the cutest 3 year old in the whole wide world! I had a blast shooting this family’s session and I look forward to seeing lots more of these guys in the future!

For information on how to book your unique Portrait Session, shoot me an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com or head to our Instagram page (@therustienail) to follow along with upcoming events, mini session and travel dates!

Garden Party with the Foley Sisters

Hey guys! I am just getting back from another whirlwind vacation home to the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania and I am so excited to share a few sneak peeks of the Portrait Sessions that I crammed in during my visit. My first session was a long overdue play date with my younger cousins, Kaylee and Ryan! Their Momma is my first cousin and we have been trying to work her family into my books for months now!

We decided to meet at one of our family’s favorite restaurants, Rizzo’s Malabar Inn. In fact, Russell and I had our Rehearsal Dinner here. Settled into the quaint, country farming community of Crabtree, Rizzo’s has grown and evolved over the last 75 years from a small sub shop during the coal mining days into a fine-dining establishment with a massive banquet hall and outdoor patio!

After initialing launching Bar Rizzi, the company chose to adapt the space to fit the needs of their clientele. They turned the Bar into a Banquet Hall. Weddings, company meetings, baby showers and many other events have graced the adjacent ballrooms but the staff still felt like something was missing. Just this year, Rizzo’s chose to add on an outdoor ceremony site, a gorgeous water feature and they even added a Fireworks Package for those who book the space.

Because these little girls have a Daddy with a major hookup at Rizzo’s (He’s one of the longtime chefs!), we were able to sneak out onto the property and use this location as our shoot site! I must say, Rizzo’s has done a fantastic job with the space! The pergola is simply decorated with Boston Ferns and the water feature was exquisitely designed making this site a perfect backdrop!

We spent the first half of the morning frolicking through the freshly planted flowers and practicing our best dance moves! Kaylee was her usual self; quiet, reserved yet silly and polite at the same time. From the time that she was little, she was always good at taking direction and this shoot would be no exception. She patiently waited for instruction and followed them meticulously. You could tell that she has come into herself over the years. She knew which side was her “best” side and which smile was her “best” smile. She has become quite the little lady and I am so proud of her for being so responsible all the while maintaining her childlike wonder!

Ryan, on the other hand, is Kaylee’s opposite. She is crazy and wild and has a short attention span. I guess that’s the way it goes with sisters. Ryan is constantly moving. Whether she is exploring a new place or telling a story, there are always a lot of ideas running through her little mind. She told me all about her summer plans and how NOT excited she was to go back to school in the fall.  Ryan is a handful, in the best of ways. Even when she was a baby, she could find a way to keep the whole family in stitches. We are kindred spirits in that sense and I am so happy to see that someone else on the Miller side of the family, besides me, got the “wildchild” gene.

We ended our shoot by jumping in the water. I had promised them in the beginning that if they were good, I would let them get dirty and play in the water feature. Both girls were so excited when I told them it was time to make “Martha Washington” hair! They built houses with the rocks they found in the riverbed and even tried to climb into the massive water bowls at the base of the fountain. We ended the shoot by drying them off and giving them both their first photography lesson. I let each of them have a turn at taking a few photos! I loved getting to spend some time with my baby cousins and I look forward to seeing them every time I come back to visit!

For more information on this location or how to book your next event at Rizzo’s, head to www.rizzosmalabarinn.com. And for information on how to book your Portrait Session or to learn about our Pennsylvania Travel Dates, shoot me an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com.

Mommy & Me Mini Session

My favorite little ladies are back up on the Blog this week! Last week, my good friend, Pida, stopped by with her little ones, Zoee & Paizlee, to set up their Mother’s Day shoot! Every couple months, these girls participate in our Mini Sessions and I swear each session gets better and better.

We started the shoot at one of my favorite locations, Bear Creek Park. In all season, this space provides ample light and gorgeous backdrops. This time would be no different. We headed to the park and immediately made our way into the Spring Wildflower patch. Full of Indian paintbrushes, blue bonnets and sweet pea, this spot would be perfect for the girls to run around!

I was a little nervous about heading deep into the flowers. Last time I headed out with these girls, we ended up in a sunflower field. Though the photos turned out adorable, it was definitely a nightmare shoot. Though now we laugh about it,  all of us were badly bitten by chiggers as we made our way through the flowers. For the whole story on how my husband came to the rescue, head to their Summer Session.

After taking a few quick photos in the wildflower patch, we decided to head into West Lake. A short drive up the street led us to a series of water features located on a walking trail near Vaquero. The girls were loving it. They immediately jumped right into the overflowing pond.

We ended the shoot at a series of columns near 121. As the sun set in the west, Mama Bear, Pida, jumped in for a few pictures with her monkeys! They were sweet as ever. It’s always so cute to see them battle for their Mama’s attention. Zoee just snuggles in, always wanting to be closest while Paizlee waits for their Mama to give her direction.

It is always a joy working with these sweet girls. They are always flexible and Pida is the best stylist I’ve got. Her girls always come dressed to the nines. I learn more and more about each child’s personality after their shoots. I’m also learning more about their relationship together.

Watching these sisters love on each other is something I look forward to doing year after year. Each time they surprise me and each time, I find myself loving them a little more. They are so comfortable with me taking their photo and they seem to thoroughly enjoy being a part of the process. In fact, at the end of every shoot, we have a small photography lesson and I let the girls take a few photos with my camera! I hope we keep this ritual up and one day, these girls can become my assistants/stylists!!

If you would like to book your Mommy and Me Session before Mother’s Day, shoot me an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com. I am offering a 20-30 minute portrait session within Dallas Fort Worth for just $100! I’ll include 15 hi resolution images and special surprise for Mom!

***Special note for all the dads out there, I will honor this price and package in the form of a gift card if you want to surprise your special lady this Mother’s Day!

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!

 

Laurel Highlands Portrait Session

These 2 goofballs are back up on the Blog! Their first official photo shoot took place at a waterslide at Linn Run State Park in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Today, we are not going to talk about the shoot. You guys know the speal, We took pictures in a park and it was super awesome. Instead, we’re gonna chat a little about having these buttheads for baby sisters and the wild ride it was been.

The first thing you should know is, my sisters are 18 and 16 years younger than me.  I’ve been out doing the whole college-marriage-adult thing while they have been dancing on stage at the Palace and learning to play the saxophone. In the past, the girls would talk about my brother and I to their elementary school teachers and they’d laugh and think “How long have I been teaching?“, knowing very well it had been more than over a decade since a Greece had last sat in their class. It’s amazing how kids can do that to you. Abbie actually asked me one time what Saved by the Bell was and Gabbie has no idea how truly awesome NSYNC’s Christmas album is. They have no sense of 90s culture and it breaks my heart. But, they have taught me about Vine, Snapchat, Instagram, Ed Sheeran, Zac Efron, Ruth B and about a million other things.

My sisters have also taught me that life is this huge circle and and we just keep going round. It’s true what they say. Time flies. It feels like just yesterday that they were swimming in the baby pool with Reyna (my pup) at my old house on Tollgate. They loved that little pool. We pretended Reyna was the shark and she was gonna get them and we ate popsicles and pretended the Barbies were mermaids. And, then I blinked. Now it’s all Twenty One Pilots and Harry Potter, Selfies and Makeup. The world was much simpler back then.

 Truth be told, getting to be there for all their stages of life has been one of the greatest joys of mine. It’s all in the little things. Like, how they love to sing old Stevie Nicks jams in the car or how they are in constant search of their Troll dolls and how they always wanna go to the Skate Hop. I mean…deja vu much? Guys, this is stuff we all did, 20 years ago!

It is crazy to think that I used to worry about our age gap. Schmage Gap! I’m hip. I’m cool. Or, at least I’m gonna try to be because I always want these girls to know that they can come to me with anything that is weighing on their mind or peaking their interest. That’s what it’s all about, right? Being their role model is something that I was never prepared for but somewhere along the way, I found a rhythm that worked. Abriana and Gabriella have taught me to look at the world with a different set of eyes and I am thankful for them. In a way, they have always kept me grounded yet always looking towards the future.

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DON’T KNOW ME: My name is Angelina Norris. I am natural light photographer based in Dallas-Fort Worth, with roots in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania. I specialize in family and lifestyle portraiture with an emphasis on real moments. I believe that the best portraits are a combination of  genuine intimacy and playful experience. I live for the opportunity to test out the waters of new shoot locations and discover new places all around the globe. If you would like to book your unique portrait session, shoot me an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com.

Donovan’s Christmas Shoot

Over Thanksgiving break, I had the most amazing opportunity to hang out with a few of my favorite people and help them work out a surprise for this little guy’s Grandma! This Christmas, Donovan and his aunt Casey had the idea to surprise his MeeMaw with some good old fashioned portraits. After months of waiting for the right chance to pull this off, we managed to pick a perfect time, light-up night in Ligonier, PA. The diamond in Ligonier has served as the epicenter for this quaint town in the hills of Pennsylvania since the days of George Washington. A long sought after attraction, Fort Ligonier, brings thousands of visitors  to this serene town in the mountains each year. And their Christmas display is something out of the movies. Actually, this very scene is found in many a movie including the recent holiday hit, The Coopers. Check it out folks!

As Casey and I discussed her vision, I knew that this would be the best place to start. I even brought my sisters along to keep Little D in a good mood! Though I won’t lie, he seemed pretty excited to be a part of the photos, an uncommon trait found amongst even the littlest of fellas. With his friend Elfie in tow, we made our way from the Gingerbread House to the Letters for Santa Box and finally onto the tree in the gazebo! It was perfect. Donovan smiled and giggled and when he started to wander, my sisters were just the right thing to pull him back into the shoot. They were directing him and posing him. I literally love that this business of mine is slowly but surely becoming a family business. Seeing my sisters work so hard to produce the image they want is a reminder that they have so much of me in them. Poor girls…lol

After we finished up at the Diamond, we made our way to Rolling Rock Farms for a few pictures near a creek and up to Linn Run State Park to let the kids run at the playground at Adams Falls. Casey was so sweet and had though of everything. She had brought reindeer ears, an beautifully colored blanket (that I just might steal) and even a wreath with a big red bow. This shoot was definitely all about Christmas but you can totally see the family undertone in these images. Though a usually shy kid, Donovan was totally into being a part of the photo shoot. He loved his outfits and kept telling me how comfortable he was. Which is huge because it is so hard to dress a kid so he can run around and play and look good enough for photos too.

This shoot was a complete team effort. Casey had brought things to keep this guy smiling and had dressed him in a way that allowed him the freedom to play. My sisters were essential. They were singing songs and tickling him. Having them there totally took the shoot up a notch. It was perfect. From the way that Little D wanted to surprise his Meemaw to the fading leaves of fall, this shoot was full of Christmas cheer!! And we hope you are too! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from everyone here at The Rustie Nail! We hope that 2017 brings you loads of love and laughter!!

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!