Dallas-Fort Worth Holiday Portrait Sessions: The Fogle Family

Meet the Fogle Family! These guys are longtime friends. In fact, Mr. Norris and I vacationed with these guys long before their two little ones were a part of the picture. We met Cassie and Zach almost 10 years ago on my first trip to Texas.

After meeting these guys, we all jumped on a plane and headed out on a weeklong adventure in the Panamanian rainforest. Cassie and I kayaked the Canal, Zach and Russ drank at the swim-up bar and we all hiked to the Ya-Ya Waterfall for a dip in the heart of the jungle. That trip was so fun because we all got to get to know one another in such a fun setting. It was a trip full of memories that I will cherish forever and I am so glad that all these years later, we all get to still hang out!

Cassie reached out not too long ago about booking a Family Portrait Session at their home and I was happy to oblige. I love in-home sessions because everyone is so relaxed and natural in their own setting. The bonus is that the Fogle Family Home is so awesome. These guys are adventurers and their two little ones (Falin and Finley) have a plethora of  fun stuff to do right in their own backyard.

We started out in the front yard. Cassie and Zack had built some pretty amazing Christmas decorations including a huge tree and a bunch of candy canes that would be perfect for a Christmas Card photo. Mom and Finley even busted out a little “watch me Whip, Watch me Ney-Ney” moves.

The kids were adamant that every member of the family should be in the shoot so as their cat, Boomerang and their pup, Leiney, made their way over to us, we made sure to snuggle them both for a few photos. I love that the kids wanted to take so many photos with their pets. Falin said to me at one point, “Can you please take a picture of me and my dog? Doesn’t he look so cute right now?” And yes, he did.

AND I TOTALLY FORGOT…They have CHICKENS! So, of course, we had to include them in the shoot. Popcorn made his way over and once the kids had chased them down, it was time to love on these hens for a little bit. Finley had me cracking up. She even threw the chicken at me at one point but no joke, it’s my favorite photo of the bunch!

Once I had grabbed enough photos of just the kids, we moved onto Mom and Dad. Cassie and Zach are so cute it’s crazy.  These smiles are genuine and I love that after all these years, these two still have that magic together. And yes, I may or may not have asked Zach to whisper the ABCs in her ear as seductively as possible.

After these two were done fooling around, the kids and pets all jumped in for a few more family shots around their fire pit in the backyard. We were nearing the end of the kids’ patience so we had to hurry but I just love the way these turned out. Zach and Cassie built an enormous pergola with swings all the way around their fire pit and it played the perfect backdrop to end our session.

As usual, I had a blast with these guys! I always look forward to spending a little time with them and I really look forward to watching this family grow in love! Keep a lookout for another feature because Mom, Cassie, and I did a little side project after their shoot and I cannot wait to tell you a little but more about Cassie and what she’s been up to these days!

DECEMBER ONLY SPECIAL: $100 Portrait Session Gift Certificates that you can use in 2018 towards a 30 minute session, print release and online gallery with downloadable PIN and a Blog Spotlight for sharing with Friends and Family! Email Angelina at therustienailhead@gmail.com to inquire purchasing and packages!

Visiting Daddy’s Alma Mater: Saint Vincent College

Hey guys! I am so excited to share this particular Portait Session with you all because I have waited far too long to photograph this adorable family! These sweet babes, Jake & Elliana, were one of the first sessions that I ever did. Elliana wasn’t more than a month old the last time I had these 2 in front of the lens and I am so pumped to see how my work has evolved since then.

If you don’t know them, it is past time you met the Greece Family! Tony, his wife, Emily and their two adorable kiddos are my first cousins. Tony is a local school teacher and Emily is the girl you go to when it’s past due for a new hair “do”. Just this past year, they moved into a new home in Latrobe, PA and I wanted to help them decorate their house with new family photos.

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We chose to set up the shoot at the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve at Saint Vincent College mainly because Tony graduated with his masters here not too long ago but also  because the scenery here would make the perfect backdrop for their shoot! Located just off of Route 30 in Latrobe, this place around sunset is a gorgeous stroll.

I wanted to get the “Family of 4” shots done first simply because kids have no patience and I wasn’t about to test the patience of two small Greece children. We set up the first image along the driveway into the Reserve. The flowers are in full bloom this year and the image would look perfect with the Cathedral in the background.

After running around in the flowers for a bit, we managed to make our way down to the big red barn located near the entrance. Since the little ones have the shortest attention spans, I figured I would start shooting the individual portraits of Elliana first and boy, is she a ham! This girl was sniffing all the pretty flowers and showing me all the pretty bracelets she had worn for her shoot. Though chalk full of giggles at first, this Mama’s girl made sure we knew who runs the show!

After snapping a few photos of Emily and Elliana in the gardens, we headed to the back of the barn to snap a few of Tony and his little guy, Jake. I was thinking of different Father-Son poses when my little buddy suggested that he sit on Daddy’s shoulders. With the barn in the background and my little buddy squealing “Angaweena!!!” to get my attention, the moment was picture perfect.

Like most Family Sessions, my sweet cousins wanted to focus on the kiddos but I always make an effort to get a few good pics of Mom and Dad together. It’s almost like after kids come into the fold, couples forget that their love story should be documented too! But, I wasn’t about to let them get off scot-free. I made sure to get a few photos of Tony & Emily posing “prom-style”.

We made our way down to the historic Lochry Block House and snapped a few more of the whole family together in the adjacent garden before we decided to head for a walk around the paths in the park. We passed a small pond and marched our way towards the Observation Deck all the while catching up on life and what we’ve missed since my last visit home.

It was so nice to catch up with them. But, even better spending time with the little ones. I feel so lucky that after all these years, Tony and I have remained close. Like most cousins, we have this shared history of family dysfunction but beneath the surafce of forced family interaction, Tony, Emily, Russ and I have formed this genuine friendship. When they got engaged, we got the call. When we got engaged, they got the call. When they found out that their family would be expanding, we heard the news of Jake’s arrival first. Through a flood of Facetime tears, I met Jake just hours after he came into this world and when I found out they were expecting their 2nd baby, I immediatey bought my plane ticket to be there when Ellie was born.

During that visit back home, I had the great pleasure of photographing my new baby cousin for the first time. She was so perfectly pink, just the prettiest baby I ever saw. She had big blue eyes and the tiniest little toes. I couldn’t of imagined then but later that day, Tony and Emily would honor me by asking me to take on the role of being Elliana’s Godmother. Cue the ugly tears guys.

We ended this shoot by wrapping up quickly and heading to the Red Brick for pizza with our friends and family! I am so thankful for any time that I get to share with these guys especially because our time together is few and far between since I am in Texas. Tony, thank you, for being such a great role model and constantly encouraging me to chase my dreams. I’ve always looked up to you and I am so happy to see all your dreams coming true. Emily, thank you, for being the best addition to the Greece Family. You are kind and God-fearing, ambitious and graceful. I could not imagine a better match for my big cousin! Jake, thank you, for dubbing me “Angaweena” and for just being the smartest cookie in our family. You are one crazy little guy who always knows how to put a smile on my face. And, Elliana, thank you, for reminding me that life comes full circle. You remind me so much of another sassy little girl we all used to know. Though we miss her everyday, you help keep her memory shining bright. You are a light in the world little girl and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you.

For more information on how to book your Family Portrait Session, please contact me through email at therustienailhead@gmail.com and I will provide you with our Pricing and Packages! If you would like to book a session or to inquire about our Fall Mini Sessions in the Laurel Highlands and our Travel Dates, just give me a ring at 724-216-8185 and we can get you all in the books!