Hands down, one of my favorite sessions, to date! Jaime of Lonigro Photography and her sweet husband, Tony, welcomed a baby girl this spring and because Jaime has been one of my biggest cheerleaders, constantly encouraging and influencing me to chase my dreams, I just knew that I had to gift this sweet couple their first family portrait session. In years past, Jaime has collaborated with me on a few shoots and I couldn’t think of a proper way to thank her so pictures with their new little love seemed like a good way to show my appreciation for all her hard work.
With Mother’s Day coming up in just a few short days, I knew that this session would be the perfect one to share in celebration. Kristi and her sweet boys, Jack and Miles, have been coming back every April for photos with The Rustie Nail and this year was no exception. Just in time to celebrate Mother’s Day, these guys put on their best shirts and biggest smiles so their Mama could document a memory of just how little or big they are!
Each year, Kristi and I discuss a different vision and try to bring that to life. One year, we took the boys to play in the mud with their Tonka trucks by the Trinity River and last year, we waded in the shores of Grapevine Lake. This year, we would tackle the Fort Worth Stockyards and then a more laidback shoot at Doc’s Record Store in Fort Worth.
We met early in the morning on Good Friday. Lucky for us, we beat the Easter crowd and had a good portion of the Stockyards to ourselves! Kristi and the boys danced their way down the cobblestone paved corridors and boys took turns riding mechanical bulls, gazing through store windows at the barrels full of candy and hugging on their sweet Mama.
We made our way around the old cow pens and took some time to just let the kids run amuck. Thankfully, Kristi is a boy mom and by that I mean, she doesn’t sweat the small stuff. She let them run and play, not worrying about if they would wrinkle their shirts or fall and skin their knees. She could have cared less so long as they were both smiling and happy. She seriously is the coolest Mom y’all. When faced with a scheduling conflict because of my daughter, Kristi suggested I bring her along and her family loved on sweet Lucy throughout the entire shoot.
Towards the end of our shoot at the Stockyards, I made sure to snap a few pictures of both the boys with their mom individually. Jack is her big boy. Strong and tall, he made sure to wrap her up in a big hug and spin her around the room. I am still in awe of how grown up Jack is. Miles, on the other hand, is all too happy to play the part of Mama’s baby. He was so content in his mother’s arms and it was the sweetest moment. Case in point, I watch her Snapchats sometimes and Miles can be seen serenading his Mama with the cutest little songs.
We moved onto our second location, Doc’s Record Store in Fort Worth, Texas and Kristi’s sweet sister, Claire, made an appearance in this set! The sisters tried on fur coats and danced around in the vintage backdrop. I was in love with that pink wall and the records hanging up behind them. The Sade and Killers shirts were an all too cool look as well. The boys even jumped in on the fun. Jack was rocking a Bowie shirt and Miles his Rolling Stone tee. Paired with their vans, these guys looked every bit the part of Funkytown locals.
One of my favorite parts about this hidden gem near Montgomery Plaza is that Doc’s has an amazing back alley full of graffitied artwork. I had mentioned this to Kristi during the planning stage and with that, she was sold. We headed back there and the boys were in awe of the local talent.
Both Jack and Miles killed their individual shoot times. They were perfect gentleman, even offering to push Lucy around in her stroller since she made an appearance for this shoot, and made sure to bring their A -game when it came time to pose for images. I mean, how cool are they rocking those shades and the rock n roll tee shirts? As usual, I had a blast with this gang and I look forward to seeing them again!
OK, y’all, it’s about to get sentimental up in here. These are my baby sisters. Yes, I said baby sisters. They don’t look it though, right? I know…because they are so grown up. It’s kind of breaking my heart. I want to go back to the days of Hannah Montana karaoke in the living room and Barbie dream houses. You know, when they were in diapers and they idolized me. Click here for a sneak peek of those days! But, those days are gone. Now, these buttheads are all about making fun of me for wearing skinny jeans and tennis shoes and I kind of hate it.
I blinked and now the both of them are about to make their way to the adult table and I’m just so “shook” by how fast the time has gone. I swear I could’ve cried when I saw them during this last trip home. I just cannot believe they are 11 and 13.
Abbie is all attitude but in the best way possible. No one is going to tell her what to do. She has a mind all her own and she isn’t afraid to let you know how she feels. She is kind and generous, constantly thinking of others. I find myself in awe of her more times than not. During this shoot in particular, I was so proud of how she took charge. She was constantly corralling the younger girls with a patience and grace that I wish I had at her age.
And, then there is Gabby. She is still my wild child of a baby sister. She is constantly climbing trees and barns and about anything she can find. I really hate that she is growing up. All these years, she’s been the baby and now I’ve got to find a way to stop treating her like one because the fact of the matter is, she isn’t one anymore. She’s this ridiculously smart and charismatic kid who is on the brink of the dreaded JUNIOR HIGH! Though life is moving so fast all around her, she still manages to stay grounded, holding on to that unyielding sense of humor and I just love this about her.
This shoot was a little different than most, in that Jaime Lonigro of Lonigro Photography , was along for the ride. She set us up at the most amazing backdrop, her aunt’s farm in Marguerite, PA and brought her camera along so we could take advantage of second shooting for each other. Boy, was I glad she was there. I am always snapping photos of the girls but I never get any of the 3 of us and Jaime made sure to snap a bunch of us three together.
We worked our way up to the field above the farm for some photos in that golden wheat. It wasn’t the prettiest of days but the fall foliage was lighting up the trees and those cloudy skies cut the afternoon light and really created a different mood for the shoot. We told them to dance together and they interpreted that as square dance together. lol That’s Southwestern Pennsylvania for ya!
Before we finished up, I had Gabby pose with the umbrella for a few shots. The result was magic. Though we ended up missing the rain, the umbrella against her blue dress and the overcast sky made for an incredible portrait.
I was so thankful for yet another wonderful shoot with these girls. It is always a blast when I get to let them skip school and have a few photography lessons with me and it really melts my heart that they have taken a liking to portraiture. This year for Christmas, I hooked them up with their very own camera. They have been such a huge help with my shoots every time that I come back home and I just love watching them enjoy the process of posing clients and knowing which lens to use in which situation. I cannot wait to see where their camera takes them!
For information on how to book your unique Portrait Session here in Texas or when I am traveling in Pennsylvania, inquire with Angelina at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear what you have in mind!
Hey guys! We are back with another Dallas Fort Worth Holiday Portrait Session! This time around, I met the kindest family at River Legacy Park in Arlington, Texas for an early morning Holiday Photo Shoot!
Mom, Victoria, reached out in the fall after having won a Rustie Nail Gift Certificate in an auction at a Save-the-Boobies event to raise money for Breast Cancer Research. My good friend, Cassie (who is about to be up on the blog with her adorable family and maybe even a few chickens), helps coordinate this event each year and I am always happy to donate a Portrait Session to help raise money for this cause. I was over the moon that this family had bid and won so I wanted to make sure they had a great experience!
It was an early Saturday morning when we met and I was….wait for it…..late. I HATE BEING LATE!! Seriously though, it is the worst especially after Mom had warned that the boys would be cranky having to have gotten up so early on a Saturday. I even left my house super early so I could scope out the scene and check my lighting but go figure, Dallas-Fort Worth traffic got in my way. Thankfully, these guys were so great about it. They were calm and cool and ready to go from the beginning.
I met their youngest, Vaughn, first. He is a quiet little guy. Like most guys, he’s not too keen on smiling. He’s content being himself and confident in the way he presents himself which is something I really admire about him. Big brother, Josh, has the craziest head of curly hair and a really great smile when he busts it out. This guy is on the precipice of adulthood and you can totally tell that he’s ready for the next adventure.
On to Mom and Dad…these two are seriously so ga-ga for one another. When I ask most couples to impromptu dance in a field, they hesitate and fumble with how to hold one another or spin around but not these two. From the minute I asked them to pair up, they began twirling and laughing together. The way Norman looks at Victoria reminds me of the way Noah looks at Allie and I kinda love it. (#theNotebookisstilltheBESTmovieEVA)
After running around near the paddling trails of the Trinity River, we started making our way towards an open field with a few Christmas trees because I freaking love Christmas and these guys came prepared to hike around with me!
Again, these two with the dancing. Could they be more adorable?
Once we’d manage to snag individual shots of everyone, I wanted to make sure we got good ones of Mom with her boys! This was the moment that Vaughn gave me the biggest smile. His Mom just gave him a big bear hug from behind and low and behold, the boy was grinning from ear to ear!
After snagging a few shots of Dad with his boys, I set out the blanket that Mom and Dad had brought along so we could grab a few more of this sweet family all together. You would never have guessed it but we are right next to a major highway and that’s another thing I love about this job. Sometimes it is about creating an illusion and other times its’ about overcoming that obstacle but regardless, I love the challenge and this sweet family had the notion to trust my vision.
As we came to the end of our session and we were making it back to the car, we stopped one last time to take a few photos in front of the changing leaves. Fall in Dallas-Fort Worth doesn’t last very long and Victoria kept that in mind while planning her session so I made sure to get her some really bold photos with those golden leaves in the background.
I could not have dreamt up better clients to take a hike with on a chilly fall morning in Texas. Thank you to the Auten family for allowing me to document this special time in your lives and thank you for your generous donation for Breast Cancer Research. Every little bit helps and we are so thankful for people like you who donate your time, energy and love towards a cause that affects us all.
Ya’ll!!!!! Meet Hanna! This is my beautiful ginger haired baby cousin! I have been wanting to photograph this little lady for the longest time and we finally made it happen when I was last visiting back home in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania.
Back story, real quick. Hanna is my 2nd cousin. Her dad, Ricky, is my first cousin and his Dad, my Uncle Rick, is also my Godfather so I think it’s fair to say that my heart just exploded when I got the chance to look through these images. For as long as I can remember, my whole family has been telling me that Hanna is my mini-me. See, when I was a little lass, this girl and I could have been twins. Yep, I had that red hair, those big blue eyes and the same wild and crazy personality!
We met at Twin Lakes Park in Greensburg, Pennsylvania for a huge gathering of family photos but more on all that goodness later. Hanna and her Dad followed me down to the lake for a few quick shots of just them together. These are my favorite images because they look so natural and relaxed. Ricky is even giving her “the claw” in one of the photos. If you don’t know what the “claw” is, trust me, you don’t want to.
Soon after, the oldest and wisest of the Greece clan (9 kids in all) made his way down for a few photos with his son and granddaughter. My Uncle Rick was a surprise that day and man am I glad he came! I hadn’t seen him in so long and it was so good to see him and chat him up. He’s the same, smart and kind, just a little more gray than the last time I saw him. It really isn’t fair. All the men in this family just get more handsome with time.
I remember being a kid and looking through boxes of old photos that all those before me had taken. I loved it. I still do and it’s such a neat idea to think that Hanna and my sisters and all the younger cousins will get a chance to look through these one day and talk about how we all met at the park for photos and then we all went out to dinner at The Red Brick for pizza and then we laughed until we cried. That’s what I love most about this shoot, that I got to share it with so many of the people I love, especially these 3 looney tunes.
I had the best time catching up with my family during this shoot. I always tell everyone that it is so hard to see all of them when we come back to visit but man am I thankful that I have a family who will rearrange all their schedules in an instant just to have one afternoon being together. This family is wild and crazy, that’s for sure, but they are a group of people who love fiercely and uplift one another always and I am so thankful to be a part of it! Love you guys!
For more information on when and where The Rustie Nail will be heading to in 2018, follow along on Instagram @therustienail. We’ll be back in PA, Canada and up next, Arizona so keep an eye out for travel updates!
IF YOU THOUGHT THE GIRLS’ SHOOT WAS CUTE JUST WAIT…
THIS TIME, THEIR MAMA, PIDA, JUMPED IN ON ON THE FUN! We met for a bohemian styled shoot on the outskirts of Fort Worth, Texas and these girls brought their A game.
Ever the fashionistas, these girls came prepared. Decked out in Kendra Scott bling, a super cozy vest and one fabulous flannel, these girls were ready to brave whatever came our way. In the past, these shoots have always become a sort of adventure and I was excited to see how this would turn out!
The thing I love the most about working with my friend Pida is that she seriously gets me. And thank God for that. I can tell her the crazy plan that I have been dreaming up and she somehow has this way of bringing my vision to life for me. She always has the right extra touch that makes the photos that much more cohesive. Truth be told, I am constantly asking her to style my shoots for me. Can we all just start petitioning for that?
In all seriousness though, these girls are never short on love for one another. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen this group of women uplift and support one other. As a single mom, their Mama Bear has done a great job of making sure that they look at life with eyes wide open, ready for whatever challenges might come their way. It’s awe-inspiring to see that kind of joy in real life and these Ladies emanate it.
Ummmm…..Flawless. That’s all I’ve gotta say about that.
Seriously, how cute are these guys? I brought this blanket scarf along because in the past, we’ve had some posing issues. I know, I know. It’s hard to believe but usually by the time, Pida, jumps in the photos, the girls are whooped. They are in a position to have used up all their giggly, fun energy but this time would be different. I made sure Mom jumped in early and the product was simply perfect. This set of photos is probably my favorite of the bunch simply because they look so relaxed.
And, then the tickling happened and these girls just let loose. Once they started making faces and attempting to do the worm, I knew I had lost control but really in the best sort of way. In all my shoots, I hope that my clients feel free to actually be themselves. To make fart noises and do impressions of their Mom behind her back and to really have a good time. A few back handsprings later, we called it a wrap on this Mommy+Me boho shoot.
As usual, I had a blast hanging out with my girl, Pida and her two childlike-wildlike wonders. To see some of their past adventures with the Rustie Nail, head here.
Don’t forget, we have our Dallas Fort Worth Holiday Mini Session Special going on throughout the month of November. The package includes a 30 minute session at a TBD location within DFW, electronic delivery of downloadable gallery + the print release. These are perfect for Christmas Cards, Newborn Sessions, Senior Photos! Email email@example.com for booking inquiries and details!
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org!
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.
We 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.
After 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.
Or 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 email@example.com or head to our Instagram page (@therustienail) to follow along with upcoming events, mini session and travel dates!