Pologruto Family Holiday Minis

Hey guys! A few weeks ago, I headed back to Pennsylvania to do a plethora of holiday mini sessions. It was a whirlwind of spending time with family, eating everything my Mom put in front of me and photographing the most adorable families for their Christmas Cards! This trio reached out shortly after I announced my travel dates and I was pumped that they had thought of me to capture their photos. In the last year, Sara and Anthony welcomed the most adorable little lady, Maggie, and they wanted to capture their little girl just playing in her own backyard. I loved Sara’s vision and couldn’t wait to see the place that they are lucky enough to call home.

With my photography assistants, aka my little sisters, in tow, we made our way into the mountains. Before the shoot, Sara filled me in on the location. Anthony and Sara purchased a home in Rector, PA. Just to give you an idea, these guys live in the woods. Like, really, in the woods. So far in the woods that my GPS literally failed me. Thankfully, Anthony stood by the side of the road waiting for us to arrive to help with the directions. Once we made our way across a wooden bridge, we traveled down a dirt road into a small community of homes spread out though out the expansive acreage of Powder Mill Nature Reserve. These guys really do live in a magical corner of the world. Both Mom and Dad agreed that their backyard was the perfect place to capture these photos because this is where Maggie lives and breathes her playtime!

From her little old lady coat to her pigtails, this angel could not have been dressed more perfect! It was a cold and wet day but you couldn’t tell looking at her. She was playing in the leaves and taking off the minute that they set her down. She is an explorer for sure. I have a feeling Mom and Dad are gonna be chasing this girl down for years to come. We strolled around their neighborhood and looked for spots with good light. As we quickly approached the sun setting, Anthony and Sara led me back down to the wooden bridge and we set up shop.

After snagging a few photos of Maggie with Mom and Maggie with Dad, we focused on letting them play with their little girl. In the end, I’d have to say we did just that. I love that these photos are so bold and wintery. I love that Maggie has the prettiest blue eyes, especially when she is carrying around her favorite little toy, a stuffed piggy. And, I especially love the way that Sarah and Anthony look at their baby girl. You can see how smitten they are with her every move. From their gorgeous backyard in the forests of the Laurel Highlands to the rich red gingham blanket Sara brought along for the shoot, these guys have gotten a hang of how to put a smile on their baby’s face. I am so thankful for this opportunity and look forward to spending more time with this sweet family and their wild child of a baby girl! Merry Christmas Pologrutos!!

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!

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.

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!