Donovan’s Christmas Shoot

Over Thanksgiving break, I had the most amazing opportunity to hang out with a few of my favorite people and help them work out a surprise for this little guy’s Grandma! This Christmas, Donovan and his aunt Casey had the idea to surprise his MeeMaw with some good old fashioned portraits. After months of waiting for the right chance to pull this off, we managed to pick a perfect time, light-up night in Ligonier, PA. The diamond in Ligonier has served as the epicenter for this quaint town in the hills of Pennsylvania since the days of George Washington. A long sought after attraction, Fort Ligonier, brings thousands of visitors  to this serene town in the mountains each year. And their Christmas display is something out of the movies. Actually, this very scene is found in many a movie including the recent holiday hit, The Coopers. Check it out folks!

As Casey and I discussed her vision, I knew that this would be the best place to start. I even brought my sisters along to keep Little D in a good mood! Though I won’t lie, he seemed pretty excited to be a part of the photos, an uncommon trait found amongst even the littlest of fellas. With his friend Elfie in tow, we made our way from the Gingerbread House to the Letters for Santa Box and finally onto the tree in the gazebo! It was perfect. Donovan smiled and giggled and when he started to wander, my sisters were just the right thing to pull him back into the shoot. They were directing him and posing him. I literally love that this business of mine is slowly but surely becoming a family business. Seeing my sisters work so hard to produce the image they want is a reminder that they have so much of me in them. Poor girls…lol

After we finished up at the Diamond, we made our way to Rolling Rock Farms for a few pictures near a creek and up to Linn Run State Park to let the kids run at the playground at Adams Falls. Casey was so sweet and had though of everything. She had brought reindeer ears, an beautifully colored blanket (that I just might steal) and even a wreath with a big red bow. This shoot was definitely all about Christmas but you can totally see the family undertone in these images. Though a usually shy kid, Donovan was totally into being a part of the photo shoot. He loved his outfits and kept telling me how comfortable he was. Which is huge because it is so hard to dress a kid so he can run around and play and look good enough for photos too.

This shoot was a complete team effort. Casey had brought things to keep this guy smiling and had dressed him in a way that allowed him the freedom to play. My sisters were essential. They were singing songs and tickling him. Having them there totally took the shoot up a notch. It was perfect. From the way that Little D wanted to surprise his Meemaw to the fading leaves of fall, this shoot was full of Christmas cheer!! And we hope you are too! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from everyone here at The Rustie Nail! We hope that 2017 brings you loads of love and laughter!!

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!

Christmas Minis: The Lollipop Gang

Happy Christmas Eves’ Eve! A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of meeting up with this adorable Trio of ladies to shoot their Christmas photos! You’ve seen these ladies before during their Christmas shoot last year and during their Back to School Session in the Sunflower Fields this summer.

As usual, Pida’s little girls and their friend, Mia, showed up in the most adorable dresses. They were pink, purple and white tulle with gold glittery tops. The girls even made sure to coordinate their bows to match! Seeing that it was one of the coldest days in Texas, we made sure to bring blankets and hot cocoa for these munchkins. As we walked our way around the trails near the Sports Complex in Keller, we found a bridge that would make for the perfect spot for our shoot. We let the girls run wild for awhile and then eventually, I handed over the marshmallows and the huge lollipops. The girls sipped on their cocoa, threw marshmallows at each other and snuggled with their blankets! Though it was chilly, we made the most of our time and the pictures came out just as cute as these little ladies!

I love getting to spend some girl time with these crazy gals and I am thankful for the time I get to share with them. Merry Christmas Ladies! I hope Santa brings you everything that you asked for.

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!

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!

Rainey’s Senior Session

A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of photographing my ever-so-sweet sister in law, Rainey. After 4 years of busting her butt in College Station and Stephenville, this chica is about to graduate from Tarleton State with a degree in Nursing and we literally could not be more proud of her. To celebrate this awesome milestone in her life, we headed out to River Legacy Park in Arlington, Texas to snap a few photos of Rainey before she walks across the stage.

Going into the shoot, I was sure we would head to the park and see how many smiles I could get out of Rain Dawg. You see, my sister in law is kind of a tomboy. No thanks to my husband, most days, you can find her in jeans and a T-shirt (my kinda gal). Truth be told, you are more likely to see her out hunting in West Texas or kicking up dust at Larry Joe Taylor than shopping at Sephora or cruising the racks at Nordstroms (probably my favorite thing about her). This chic is always down for an adventure!

With that in mind, I was sure that Rainey might be a little apprehensive in front of the camera. She is characteristically hiding when it comes time for family photos. One and done is kind of her style so I figured that would be how this would go. I had a plan in mind, move quickly and keep it interesting. I figured if I kept her busy, she wouldn’t notice how many photos we were taking. To my surprise, when I walked through the door, I was greeted by the bohemian chic version of my sister in law. She was all dolled up; cute black booties, a great lavender scarf over a solid black swing dress. I loved it all. From the Opal Kendra Scott earrings to her eye shadow, Rainey looked smoking!

She didn’t have a whole lot of ideas in mind but luckily, her momma did. My mother in law had an interesting vision in mind for the shoot. We scoured their house to find the perfect chair to use in a set of images and man oh man, did we luck out. We found a dusty rose colored wingback and a bright red and violet oriental rug that would be perfect.

Rainey’s only request? She wanted to incorporate her graduation gift, a new Jeep Wrangler. So of course, we had to snag a few photos of her and her new baby. And what kind of shoot would it be if we didn’t get a shot of this cowgirl’s boots?

Once we finished up with her Jeep, we headed to the East side of the park, where the paddling trails are. I’ve shot here before and I love that the boat ramp gives you easy access to the water. Seeing that Rainey and I share a sense of adventure, I knew she wouldn’t mind getting in the water. We headed towards the loading ramp just as the sun was setting. After I busted my butt falling down a mud-laden hill, we headed to the bridge over looking the Trinity River and chose to close up shop.

Overall, what a great day with the Norris gals! From the brightly colored poncho blanket she brought to the cross she wears around her neck, this girl stayed authentic and true to herself and it really shined through in these images. Puds, you are going places…so go, do, dream, wish, believe and anything you want sweet girl, will be within your grasp. I am so humbled that you asked me to capture this special time in your life and I cannot wait to see where this awesome journey is about to take you! Congratulations!

 

To book your Senior Portrait Session, shoot me an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com. This year, I have had the best group of Seniors with some really crazy fun ideas. I’ve tackled Twins + Smokebombs, Indian Lake + Bowling Alleys and even a Flower-filled Meadow. If you have a vision for your Portrait Session, let’s make your photo shoot the most fun and unique experience! Bring it on 2017!

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.