Girls’ Day at the Tulip Farm

Ahhh, Texas Tulips! This place never disappoints. Since moving to the North Texas area, I have made it a point to plan a visit  to this magical place at the beginning of the spring season. Located in Pilot Point, about an hour North of DFW, this Dutch tulip farm is known for its colorful display of blooms!

Last year, Tiffany, of @WanderlustFlorals, and I headed to the Tulip Farm for a day of frolicking and picking out a few of the gorgeous stems. You can read all about that trip, how muddy our boots got and see the variety of blooms here.

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This year, I had the opportunity to visit the Tulip Farm with a few first-timers. My dear friend, Jenn, and her daughter, Emma, met me in the wee hours of the morning for a hearty breakfast and then a quick drive north for their first glimpse at the rows and rows of petals popping up at the farm.

Jenn had mentioned that Emma had an interest in photography and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to let her try out my Canon Mark iii 5D. Plus, I needed a new headshot and Emma didn’t disappoint. She really has a good eye at the tender age of 15 and I cannot wait to see where her new found love for this hobby will take her.

Her Mama, Jenn, came dressed and ready for flower picking. At $2.50 a stem, Jenn’s basket soon become a treasure chest of every color, size and variety of Dutch tulips! I was loving all of her choices so I just kept following her around and grabbing compliments to her bouquet.

We had a blast catching up and I was so glad that they didn’t mind me documenting their first visit to the farm. Jenn and Emma are an adorable Mama/Daughter duo and I was so happy that they allowed me to photograph them enjoying their first experience in Aubrey.

I was equally impressed by the blooms. In the past, I had visited the farm in April when the tulips had been picked through. Though the fields are never scarce, it was really nice to see the fields in such good condition. Each variety had just popped and were bursting with color. The pinks were perfect, the reds were vibrant and the purples were on point!

Towards the end of our visit, Emma was sweet enough to model for me. At 15, this girl is a heartbreaker and I was over the moon to get her in front of my lens. She had all the right poses. She was serious in some and goofy in a few. Emma is a fair-haired beauty and I hope I have the opportunity to photograph her again in the future!

As promised, I made Jenn jump in for a few photos and I couldn’t be happier with the result. These two have such an incredible bond and it really shines through in these portraits. I was so happy to have a day of hanging with these fun-loving girls and I cannot wait to see what adventures we come up with next!

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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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!

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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!

 

Texas Tulips: A Girls Day in North Texas

A few weeks back, my bestie and full time petal pusher, Tiffany of Wanderlust Floral Designs, headed out to the U-Pick Tulip Farm in Pilot Point, Texas. Just north of Denton, you can find this traditional Dutch tulip farm. Truth be told, this was our 2nd go around at this particular farm. Last year, we headed there bright and early but were soon swarmed by Spring Breakers. To check out our last trip to the Tulip Farm, click on this link. I’d like to say we prepared better this year but I’d be wasting my breath. Though we managed to beat the crowds, we happened to go on a particularly dreary day.

Thank goodness we brought our coats because the sun chose to hide behind the clouds most of the morning. It was chilly!! Luckily for us, overcast makes for some pretty great floral photos.

The colors were so vibrant and the variety was insane. They must have had 50 variations of tulips in every shape, color and size. From fringed parrot heads to to willowed lush petals, we found an interesting array of Holland’s best known blooms.

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We strolled the rows and rows, picking one of each kind it seemed like. I was going to bright and lush. I love the way they float from a vase. Tiff was more interested in the pastels. Her arrangement felt a little earthier than mine which I am always envious of. Tiff has a way with picking the right bouquet. She knows which sizes and colors are going to coordinate well together. You really do need to check out her work, she has been up to some pretty exciting things this season. Follow along on her Instagram at @wanderlustflorals.

 

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Did I mention it was chilly? Ya, and muddy. Very, very muddy. We may have beat the crowds, but we didn’t get any better at planning. Case in point, check the shoes yo. Neither one of us dressed appropriately for our girls day. Word to the wise: Check the weather.  By the end of our romp around the farm, we were soaked and caked in mud. We got a good laugh out of it but ended up stopping at Ross to buy a new pair on the way home.

 

 We witnessed photographers out on shoots with little girls in their Easter hats. You could easily see the potential for an amazing backdrop. Seriously, could this place get any more adorable?

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At $3/cover and $2.50/stem, this place can add up quick. But, we agree, it was totally worth it. We soaked up the aroma and beauty of this little piece of heaven in North Texas and we will be back again next year!  For more information on how to visit Texas Tulips, head here to www.texas-tulips.com.

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 play. 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. Photography Services start at $300. If you would like to book your unique portrait session, shoot me an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com.

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Sunday Funday in Austin, Texas

This past week, my bestie just so happened to be traveling in Texas so I took her up on the offer to make the drive south and have a Sunday Funday! We spent our afternoon kayaking the Colorado River and then decided to stop by the HOPE Outdoor Gallery, a space for creatives to bring a can of spray paint and go to town on this abandoned building near Castle Hill. I wasn’t sure what to expect, considering that this space changes so often but it truly was awesome. Amongst the political angst splattered on each and every wall, you can find kids painting peace signs and vibrant artwork of their own. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to wander around this hidden treasure. Regardless of who you are and where you come from, Austin’s Hope Gallery provides an essential space for those who wish to voice their opinions, wishes and dreams through an alternative form of debate, art. I highly recommend stopping by, with a few art supplies and checking it out.

Address: 1008 Baylor St, Austin, TX 78703-4940

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