Winters Family Portraits

This family has a lot going on this year. Their firstborn just graduated high school, their middle child is starting her modeling career and the baby, well she isn’t a baby anymore. This may be one of my favorite sessions to date because I can literally remember when each of these kids were born. All their lives, their mom made sure to include a family portrait in every Christmas card. I literally have all their newborn pictures in a box somewhere in my office. It has been a whole other kind of joy watching these 3 grow up. The last time I took their portraits, only Keon and Kiara were involved so you can imagine how happy I was to hear that the whole gang would be joining us for this go-around.

We all met around sunset at Twin Lakes State Park. I was a little nervous at first because when I arrived it was pouring down rain. Luckily, these fashionista sisters took a little longer than anticipated fixing their hair. By the time they arrived, the sun came out and washed up all that rain! Having spent a lot of time playing here as a kid, I had a gameplan in mind. We would start at the boathouse. If we rallied the whole gang in the beginning, we would have more time for individuals as we hiked throughout the park.  We managed to find some towering rhodedendron bushes for the ladies to pose nearby and I love that those portraits turned out so fierce. As for the boys, we’ll share a little more of them in the next Blog; keep an eye out for Keon’s Graduation Portraits.

My favorite part about this shoot was that I got to take a few pictures of my cousin and his wife together, alone. For as long as I can remember, Lori has been sending me pictures of the kids but Mom and Dad are never in the photos. It’s become much too common of a thing. When this family of five first started, Nat and Lori were just a few kids. It’s crazy to think that now their kids are almost grown up. It just goes to show how fast time really does fly by.  I love that this family set up this shoot right before their firstborn heads off to college. It’s such a great way to capture their bond and the direction this family is moving. I can’t wait to photograph these guys again and look forward to seeing what’s next for this wild and crazy bunch!

To schedule your Family Portrait Session or to inquire about a personalized session, shoot us an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com. And don’t forget to Follow us on Instagram (@therustienail) to stay up to date with our events going on and special deals!

Waters Family Portrait Session

This session has been in the works for quite some time now but I can happily say it was worth the wait. Awhile back, my coworker, Doug, approached me about getting his Mother the gift of family portraits. As you very well may know, family schedules are crazy when you have such a huge age gap between kiddos so it took us some time to get everyone together. On an early Saturday morning in April, the Waters family and I met on a ranch in Keller. Actually, ranch doesn’t quite describe it. This property once belonged to the great Terry Bradshaw. For those of you who don’t know, Mr. Bradshaw is the legendary #12 quarterback who managed to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to 4 Super Bowl titles back in the 70s. His property boasts views of more than one pond, horse stables, fields of wildflowers and an assortment of wildlife!

This group was a wild bunch but luckily, we had our fair share of characters to help out with outfit changes and prop setup. I wanted to make sure we had individual shots of all the kids and of course that proved to be the easiest task. Kids love being the center of attention so they all hammed it up for their individual portraits. When it came time to get all 4 together for a group shoot, that proved to be a little more of a challenge. Thankfully, I live for the opportunity to rise to the challenge. Eventually, they did all look at the camera at the same time, I just had to get to know each of them a little better.

Mason, the eldest of the group, towered above his younger cousins. (Not to self: Bring stepladder. 15 year old boys are much taller than you.) Mason definitely needed the most encouragement to smile but that seems to be a common trait among guys his age. Taking pictures is so not what he wanted to be doing, but the sweet kid totally smiled and helped pose the little ones for every picture. Respectful and kind, he made sure to put a smile on his Mom’s face.

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Abbie was the little lady of the group. It was cleat to see that she is smitten with her baby cousins. I can’t lie, I was her at that age. Always sneaking in the other room to wake them up, they were like my own little baby dolls. I adored playing house and doting on all their little woes. She was my easiest of the bunch. She was so perfect, hair in her eyes, took direction, dressed impeccably and played a huge role in keeping the youngsters happy, almost like she understood them. It was such a nice treat having her be my right hand throughout the shoot.

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Zach…simply amazes me. At one point, I watched this little guy pick up a stick and wave it around. Then, he began making a buzzing noise and pointing it in every direction. I asked him “What are you doing buddy?”. He looked me straight in the eye and uttered a single word, “lightsaber”. I was crying laughing at his Star Wars shenanigans. And, then he attempted to jump in the lake. He danced. Then, he decided to try his luck at fishing, which resulted in a whole lot of giggles and then an attempt at running backwards into the lake. He absolutely kept me on my toes and in this weird way, he reminds me of my coworker, Doug. This kid kept me in stitches but it was an absolute joy to see how crazy smart he is.

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Last but not least, Joss, this adorable baby girl who was clearly not having it when we started, but completely blossomed as we brought out the butterfly kite and adventured our way into the wildflower field. By the end of the shoot, I was carrying her on my shoulders! She feed the mini horses and munched on snacks while we trekked away around the expanse of this gorgeous estate.

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At the end of the day, they made me laugh and I’m happy to know these guys. It really was a fun way to start off a Saturday morning and I hope we have the chance to do it again sometime. Look out for these people, the Waters clan. They are the type to remain tight knit, the ones who love each other on the good days and the bad, through thick and thin and it’s nice to know that kind of joy still exists in the world.

Are you trying to book your Family for a Portrait Session, just shoot us an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com to set up a completely personalized session!

Lifestyle Shoot: Tonka Trucks and Muddy Butts

A few months back, we featured a sweet bride, Kristi, and her wedding florals on the Blog. Shortly after we posted the story, Kristi reached out to me with a few questions. After a few minutes of Facebook stalking each other, we both realized that we were raised in the same part of Pennsylvania. Actually to be politically correct, Ligonier and Latrobe are only about a 10-15 minute drive away from each other. Crazy, right? Turns out, we know some of the same people and we are both diehard Steelers fans. You can imagine that we immediately hit it off.

 Cue: “It’s a small world after all.”

I was beyond thrilled when she reached out not too long ago to see if I would be interested in photographing her little boys. I knew from the minute she contacted me that we were on the same page when it came to tackling a photo shoot for two wild and crazy little guys. We both agreed that if we were going to make it happen, they were gonna have to get dirty. This portrait session is all about what it’s like to be a Boy Mom because Kristi and her hubby have their hands full with these blue eyed babes.

I could not be more pleased with how the shoot turned out. These guys drove their Tonka trucks through the mud, splashed in puddles and dug up earthworms. We finished the shoot with a few slices of watermelon and proceeded to wear our Terrible Towels as Superhero capes around the park! In my opinion, this shoot was top notch. We had perfect weather, cheerful kiddos and a mom willing to let her guys just play in the muck! I look forward to photographing this sweet family in the future!

 

If you would like to book your Lifestyle Shoot with @therustienail, shoot us an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com and we would be happy to send Packages and Pricing Information your way. We love to see your vision become a reality. We have Portrait Session Packages available throughout the month of May and would love to meet your family!