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.

Kessa’s Newborn Session

Heading home for the holidays is always bittersweet. You learn to prioritize your time with who you need to see. Catching up with Jessy and Jacey is always one of my first stops when I get off the plane. I’ve known Jess since we were in diapers, though our friendship really came to a head when we reached junior high. We’ve run the gammit, as far as best friends go. From slumber parties and homecoming dances to weddings and babies, we’ve done it all at this point.

I can remember staying up all night when Jess went into labor with Jacey. I was worried about Jess and how her labor would be and I was excited to meet this awesome little human who had been growing in my bestie’s belly for the past 9, almost 10 months. Seeing Jace come into the world was life affirming in so many ways. The girl I knew, who had only ever talked about being a mom, would finally have the missing piece to her puzzle. Jacey Sunshine Ray came into this world on March 15th, with a full set of lungs and a heart filled with joy.

Watching Jace grow up has been an adventure and reality check for us all. Every time I come home to visit, something about this child has changed. She is taller than the last time I saw her and her vocabulary seriously blows me away. She is smart, sweet and wild, just like her mother. She has kept us on our toes all these years, which is why I was a little worried when Jess said, “Baby No. 2 is on the way”. We all wondered how Jace would respond to sharing the spotlight with her soon-to-be baby sis.

Princess Kessa made her way into the world one day shy of being my birthday buddy. And oh what a gift! I bummed my way through the holidays, counting down the minutes until I could fly home and snuggle this munchkin. Though Jacey would always be my girl, Kessa had stolen a little bit of my heart from the minute I met her. She is so tiny and she resembles Jace in way I didn’t think possible. Doing this newborn shoot has been such an experience for me. Not only because I got to spend some alone time with Jace, but because I got to see Jess with her newest little bundle of joy and photograph these first sweet moments with baby. Much to my relief, Jace, as you can tell, is thrilled to have a baby sister.

Though I wish I could say these portraits were for Jess, Jamie and their respective families, I can’t lie. They are for me, for my own personal catalog of awesomeness. They are to remind me of how little they once were and how much I miss them every day. In a way, these portraits were done to capture this moment in time, something that I feel flies by way too fast nowadays. Being away from them means missing birthday parties and ballet recitals, but it also means, I get to monopolize time with these kiddos when I am home. One of my greatest joys is to be a part of their lives. My saving grace is knowing that no matter how near or far, I am only a phone call or plane ticket away from playing Barbies or learning how to tie-dye.

So until then, I’ll keep snapping away and put all these pictures in my keepsake box. And in 50 years, when Jess and I are living it up at the Senior Center, we will look back and think, “What a great day that was and look at how far we’ve come.” I love love love Jessy Fisher but I must admit, I love these girls more. They are this beautiful extension of my oldest and best friend. I am sure, that one day soon, Jace and Kessa are going to cause just as much trouble as Jess and I did back in the day. Unfortunately for them, we’ve done it all so Good Luck getting one past us! Love you guys so much! Counting down the days until our next play date.

If you would like to book your upcoming Newborn Session, please feel free to email therustienailhead@gmail.com for pricing and details. Oh, and Happy New Year!