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!

Happy 1st Birthday Nash!

It feels like it was just yesterday that our good friends, Tommy & Ginny, announced that they were expecting a baby boy and I cannot believe that this little dude is already ONE! To commemorate this awesome milestone, Mom, Dad and their little guy, Nash, met me on a ranch in Keller, Texas to have a few family photos taken. Truth be told, I have been dying to get this trio in front of the camera for quite some time now and could not be more humbled that they asked me to capture this very big moment!

Ginny was so clear on what kind of shoot she wanted. She even made sure to Pinterest a few poses that she liked, which was uber helpful during shoot time. She brought a bunch of bright blue balloons for their baby boy and an heirloom quilt that a family member had made special just for Nash shortly after he was born. Once I got a glance at the blanket patterned with ABCs, cowboys & vintage toys, I could not wait to let him crawl around on it. As luck would have it, Nash had no intentions on sitting still so we had to be fast. Every time we would put him down, he would take off in the opposite direction. He would try to crawl/run crawl away from where we were. It was hilarious watching him try to move around his Dad’s firmly planted foot. Tommy would say, “You shall not pass.” and Nash would just look at him and start laughing and try to do it again.

 

After taking a few posed pictures, we headed towards the long driveway adjacent to a horse farm. Nash’s momma, Ginny, loves to ride horses and show them so I knew that she would be into letting Nash meet the ponies. HE loved them but I feel like Nash is in that awesome stage where all animals are his thing. He even spent his fair share of time crawling around with my puppy dog, Raina, during the shoot.

Overall, what a great day. Sometimes I can’t believe this is my job. Whether I am meeting new clients or hanging out with old friends, I have this awe-inspiring opportunity to help others capture their joy and this holiday season, I am so grateful to be a part of it all. I am constantly surprised and humbled by the friends and family who have asked me to help capture these huge milestones and I hope to continue to love this work as much as I do. This shoot was so fun and I know when looking through these photos, I see Tommy and Ginny’s joy. It is written all over their baby boy’s face. Nash is a great little guy who loves to love on his momma and wrestle with his dad. And, any day now, Mr. Nash Potatoes is gonna go straight from crawling to running so good luck guys! Have fun chasing that blue eyed boy around!

To book your unique Family Portrait Session, shoot me an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com. I would love to help you capture your joy this holiday season and in the year to come! To see any of my previous work, head to our Gallery or follow along on Instagram (@therustienail) to stay up to date with our Holiday Mini Sessions and Pricing Packages. Oh, and Happy Holidays guys!

Senior Portrait Session: The Tucker Twins

Hey guys! Happy Friday! This week on the Blog, we are highlighting the Tucker Twins Portrait Session at Beaver’s Bend State Park in Broken Bow, Oklahoma. I had the great pleasure of meeting and photographing one half of this duo, Raina, back in the spring. You can view that session with her puppy dog, Pumpkin, here. Since then, I have been itching to get this sweet girl in front of the camera. Luckily for me, Raina and Brooklyn found themselves in need of Senior Portraits and knew just who to call! I was over the moon when Raina reached out to ask about having their photos done in the fall. As the summer months went by, Raina and I kept in contact discussing their vision for the shoot while impatiently waiting for the leaves to change in Hochatown.

Overall, the girls were pretty laissez-faire about what they had envisioned though they did throw a few curveballs at me. Their requests were simple, they were both hoping for rain and they wanted to incorporate smoke bombs and smores! All of which was going to be a challenge but I was up to it and so were they. When we started shooting, I was sure that the girl’s dreams of a rainy shoot were out the window. It was a beautiful fall day. It had been all week. Russ and I even managed to get a kayak trip down the Lower Mountain Fork the day before. After scoping out a few different areas with good light, the girls threw me one last request. “Any chance we could take a few pictures in a canoe?”, they asked. Insert me jumping for joy! I was stoked. I love water shots. I love the way the water plays with the light and how the prisms bounce color and flare  highlighting the golden arch of fall in the Ouachita Mountains.

Once the girls finished up with hair and makeup, we headed to Beavers Bend Paddle Floats to jump in the canoe. I was totally blown away when they got out of the car. Both of them looked so great. Brooklyn was wearing a sheer maxi dress, black booties and her ombre made the oranges and reds in her dress pop every so beautifully. Raina showed up in an olive green mini, black knee high boots and a black and white striped top. I was so surprised by how different they both were but how comfortably they complimented one another. As the girls paddled around the cove and swim beach, I got in chest deep to capture the magic that was unfolding before me. As the sunset over the Ouachita Mountains, we made our way to the second shoot location.

We stopped by a dirt road for a few good lines and eventually made our way down to a pavilion area so my hubby could get to work on building us a fire for our smores shot. We decided to try our luck with the smoke bombs before we lost the light. This was soooo fun! Raina and Brooklyn brought white, blue and orange bombs and stated that they preferred the shot to be in a wooded area. These girls were specific about their vision and it was much appreciated. We scoped out an empty creek bed and decided it would be the perfect place to set off the bombs. We tried the white first and after we put out a small fire, we had gotten the hang of how to set up the second one. The colors were so vibrant and the girls had posed in juxtaposition which made the shots that much more dramatic. Though we scared half the park with the smell of sulphur, the images turned out beautifully. Word to the wise when it comes to using smoke bombs, read the instructions, have water available and be ready to think fast. Before you know it, the smoke dissipates so make sure to have your models ready and willing to move on a clear path.

We blew up the last bomb and made our way to the pavilion to change outfits. As we began our way back to the campfire, the first crackle of thunder made its debut. Turns out, the girls’ dreams were coming true. We were going to get rain! I quickly turned my reflector into an impromptu umbrella and we made our way to the firepit. Both of them showed up in carefully worded t-shirts, flannel and jeans. Even with the rain dampening their perfectly coifed hair, these girls braved the lightning to get a few cuddly campfire photos. We burnt a few marshmallows and then closed up shop.

At one point, Raina kept asking me about her makeup and I couldn’t quite understand why. She looked great. It wasn’t until after the shoot that I realized that my makeup was ruined, mascara running down my cheeks and my hair was a mess. What can I say? To get these shots, I had to be willing to swim in a river, run from the flames of a smoke bomb and get soaked to the bone in a full blown Oklahoma thunderstorm. All in all, this was seriously the most fun I have had on a shoot. I love that these girls provided such a heavy-duty challenge and I am grateful that they trusted me to capture these images. They say you should put your dreams out into the universe and that they will come back to you in greater folds. This shoot is proof that no matter the obstacle, one can always rise to the occasion and sometimes, even surpass it!

Harper’s 2nd Birthday Shoot

This sweet boy is 2 and I cannot believe it. It feels like just yesterday that his Momma was breaking the baby news and now, he is a walking, talking Energizer Bunny! What an amazing adventure it has been watching this crazy little guy grow up. His momma and I are quite the comrades so I have had the pleasure of witnessing Harper in all his stages. As a baby, Tiff & I would have our girl’s nights while Harp Dog would crawl around on my kitchen floor with his cow printed blanket and my sweet puppy dog, Reyna. And when he started walking, we would head to the park and practice his milk drunken stumble. Now, he just runs circles around me all the while yelling, “Nina, come on.”

Harper is no stranger to having me shove the camera in his face. I have shot his First Birthday, Halloween, Easter & Christmas photos and now his 2nd Birthday. He’s getting quite good at being the ham, a quality I am sure that he gets from his Momma. This go around would be no different. We headed to downtown Keller to check out a Dr Pepper mural and decided it was the perfect backdrop for this little dude’s shoot. Tiff, bring the  supergenius that she is, made sure to bring a bribe. We had a plan. For every giggle, Harp Dog gets an M&M. Once we got him all hopped up on sugar, the smiles came pouring out. He was singing and dancing in front of the wall. Twirling and laughing at the “big trucks” that kept flying by. He was having a ball, to say the least.

We wrapped up at the wall and headed towards a huge open field so we could play a little tag and watch the sunset. When we let him run wild, boy did he. This guy was posing behind trees playing peek a boo and waving a stick around like he was Harry Potter. It was hilarious listening to him try and yell “expelliarmus”. This boy has a way of keeping me in stitches. As the sun went down, Tiff softly sang a few lullabies in his ear to calm him down for the ride home. It worked like a charm. Shortly after dark, we made our way back to the car and called it a night. Sometimes, this job doesn’t even feel like work. Shoots like this are a grateful reminder of how joyful work can be.

For information on how to book your Holiday Mini Session in Dallas Fort Worth or the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania, shoot me an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com or get all the details from our DFW Holiday Mini Session Blog or the Laurel Highlands Holiday Mini Session Blog! I would love to meet you and help make your vision come to life this Holiday Season!

Fall Mini Sessions: Pretty Pretty Princesses

These crazy girls are no stranger to the Blog. They were featured a few weeks back when their Mommas chose to set up Pida’s Fall Minis and Brit’s Mommy+Me Session on the same night. See, these gals are best friends forevaaaaa and wanted to get their pictures taken together! Both moms admitted to me at one point that most of the time, these 3 are inseparable.

I literally love hanging out with these little princesses. They are stylish and love to take direction and improvise on that direction. They love to pose and they get such a kick out of my fart jokes. Every time I have had the chance to photograph them, these girls act like it is their favorite day of the year. I’m serious. I feel like I am celeb status when they are around. They wanna know what color I painted my nails, how the camera works, who braided my hair and where did I get those shoes! To say they crack me up is an understatement. These spirited little ladies have taught me a lot about whose trust you need to gain at photo shoots.

I swear, if I didn’t have little sisters I would have no clue how to talk with these mile-a-minute princessas. But, I am blessed with little sisters who taught me that you’ve got to pay attention to what they are saying and to remember what they say. Kids will test you. Don’t doubt it. They love to make sure that you were listening and you can believe, I am. I have come to learn that kids really do want to talk when you find out what fills their days. I always make an effort to just play with the kids or talk to them about school or their bikes whenever I first start a shoot. I need these little guys to be comfortable with me. And when they are, that’s when the magic happens. They’ll actually look at the camera, on purpose…I know, unbelievable. They will twirl on command or whisper that secret in Mommy’s ear. I try to show each and every client that hearing them is one thing but actually listening to them envokes a whole different style to the photos. I hope I can pass that along to the littles that grace this portfolio. I want each and every one of these kiddos to walk away from our shoot feeling like they are extra special.

Combining Mini Sessions just might be one of my favorite concepts for achieving this feel. Every time I have had the pleasure of shooting 2 friends or 2 family members in a combined session, I have gotten genuine smiles, endearing gestures and a lot of laughs. There is something so neat about seeing how the two parties interact with one other. I can only describe it as watching an inside joke unfold and not being a part of it. This factor alone is the key element in making these sessions work. As  I’ve developed this skill, I have found that my work keeps evolving. I will always try to get the families their “everybody looking at the camera” shot but I have found that the ones they love the most are almost always the candids. The natural smiles and the knee-slapping laughs are what makes a portrait stand out from the rest. I was thankful that these 3 girls have no problem telling secrets and playing hide and go seek with me in the woods. It is a quality that keeps me on my toes and has taught me to anticipate the crazy shenanigans.

So whaddya think guys? Any sisters, brothers, cousins, best friends in the mood to shoot an off the wall session? I’m thinking we head to the State Fair and chow down on fried food or we can head to the playground and let the kids run wild while Mom & Dad have a picnic? If you’ve got a vision like mine, one that pushes the traditional envelope, shoot it my way. I’d love to see what you have in mind! therustienailhead@gmail.com.

Pennsylvania Holiday Travel Dates are November 22, 23, 25 and 26! Book your Session in the Laurel Highlands today! Email therustienailhead@gmail.com for information on how to book your custom holiday shoot.

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?

Blog Spotlight: Beatbox Portraits

Ya’ll this week’s Blog is another Creative Spotlight featuring one of my idols, a photo guru, kindred spirit and kind soul, Trish Dove of Beatbox Portraits. When I started this business, I started to follow so many creatives on social media. But like so many, I felt bogged down by the competition. I felt like I was just treading water. The competition flooded my newsfeed. I was overwhelmed by the challenge but felt this need and want to rise up to it.

So, one by one, I started deleting and unfollowing other photographers. The only way I was going to succeed was to stop comparing myself to every other photographer and to only follow the ones that depicted styles that I could hope to achieve, in my own unique way. The Rising Tide Society’s community over competition model states that we, as creatives, are stronger together than we are apart. We all have different visions and aspire to do different things yet we will not achieve them if we can’t grow together.  You’ve got to have that edge, the eye for curiosity and the heart to share your experience. Which is how I came to find and follow Beatbox. In DFW, there are certain names you know when it comes to the creative world. BeatBox Portraits is a name you should know.

tish 2

Recently, I had the chance to sit down and chat with Trish about her business model, her sources for inspiration, including her own upcoming wedding and how she plans to keep her followers on the edge of their seats. We gabbed for over 2 hours while we munched on tacos. We covered everything from advice for budding photographers to brainstorming for new outlets to venture into. At one point, she even graciously drew a map of a secret shoot location that I should check out. She was real and totally down to Earth.

I can see why she continues to gain followers. She makes sure to capture all those small moments, you know, the ones that really are the big moments. She has an eye for anticipating the emotion, the ability to envoke laughter and has mastered the clever approach to promoting affection. Her dreamy engagement shoots and fine art wedding portraiture is simply something out of a fairytale. I was initially drawn to her portfolio because of the romantic style she portrayed in her shoots but her innovation is what kept me following along. I noticed that she was incorporating bakeries and candle companies into her shoots. She was breaking the mold by not conforming to one particular style of shoot. I’ve seen her tackle everything from smoke bombs to cascading cliffs and floral design. Trish has got something that certain creatives lack. She has an audience that can’t wait to see what she does next and that’s what’s going to make her one of the big names here in DFW.

I don’t know what exactly I expected going into our meeting but I know that I walked away from this experience with a sense of forward motion and a fire that had been lit you know where, for how to expand my own portfolio. For the most part though, I walked away having gained a new friend and for that, I am thankful. To read our full interview and to find out how to reach/follow Beatbox Portraits, scroll down below the gorgeous images that Trish was gracious enough to provide for this Blog. Give her a like on Facebook, check out her Pinterest page or Follow her creative journey on Instagram! For more inquiries or questions on how to book with Trish, shoot her an email at beatboxportraits@yahoo.com.

 

Interview with Beatbox Portraits:

RN: Why did you choose to be a wedding photographer?
BB: There is no other greater joy than to find that other person that is the peanut butter to your jelly. I believe amazing images start off with amazing relationships. That includes, couples that believe in building a strong lasting marriage and usually have been courting or dating for at least three years.I am a total romantic so I have always been one who loves to celebrate joy and happiness. Weddings allow my creative romantic side to soar. I am a firm believer that what ever you surround yourself with daily is the main influence on what kind of life you will live. I am surrounded by happy couples, in love, celebrating. This type of energy flows over into my daily life everyday and helps me to live a more fulfilled life full of joy and positive energy.  The number one adjective my clients use to describe me is “high energy happy soul”. What they don’t know is they are the reason for my bubbly personality.

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