Laurel Highlands Portrait Session: The Grasmick Boys

The Grasmick Boys are back on the Blog! These cuties were featured last summer when little man, Dean, was just learning how to walk.  You can check out last year’s session here. Well, it’s no surprise here that Dean isn’t just walking. He is a running, tumbling wild man, just like his Daddy and his big brother, Miles!

 

We met on a warm day at Twin Lakes Park in Greensburg, Pennsylvania for an evening of playing on the swings and climbing a few trees. As usual, these little guys kept me on my toes!

 

I don’t know how but Miles definitely got more handsome in the last year! It was so good to see his smile, even with that front tooth missing!! He was happily helping his little brother climb rock formations and showing Dean which way he should sit for the photos! I was so impressed!

 

We stopped by the Veteran Memorial to pay our respects and these little guys raced their way around the flags. There wasn’t a better way to spend our Memorial Day Weekend.

 

I am so glad this group came out for our Spring Minis. It is always so nice to catch up with their Mama, Colby, and my longtime pal and their Dad, Doobie. They were asking about Baby Norris and wanted to know if we were having a boy or a girl and when I told them I didn’t know, they both grinned. Mom and Dad had waited to find out what Baby Grasmick would be and they both seem pretty pleased that their blue eyed baby, Dean, was the result!

 

These boys are wild and crazy and soooooo very sweet. Miles is the helpful, loving big brother and Dean is the adventurous little guy practicing his “Cheese” face 24/7! I was so glad that I had the chance to run around with these guys for a bit and I hope I get the chance to do it again soon!

 

To book your unique Portrait Session, email therustienailhead@gmail.com for pricing and packaging details! I cannot wait to see what you have in mind!

Laurel Highlands Portrait Session: Emily + Baby Liam

GUESS WHAT!?!?!?! My best friend recently welcomed the sweetest, most handsome little baby boy into the world and I finally got the chance to meet him and photograph this little nugget!! Meet Liam Henschel, aka Baby Norris’ best friend for life!

We  met at Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania to shoot this little guy’s photos and it was super special too! Mommy and Daddy were married here and had their Maternity Photos taken here in the fall so I was glad that we had the chance to take this images in the same location.

Little Liam made his way into the world on March 26th and stole all our hearts with his squishy mug and sweet facial expressions! The first photo Mommy sent us was this little guy holding his hands like he was praying and we all about died over how cute it was.

I am especially excited about this little guy coming into the world because I just know that my soon-to-be little love and Liam are going to be besties just like his Mama and I have been all these years. In fact, his Mama and I got engaged within 3 days of each other, got married within 6 weeks of each other and now are having babies 6 months apart and I am just too giddy about it.

Liam, you are so lucky little dude. Your Mama prayed for so long to meet you and now that you are here, she is going to shower you with all her love and affection so get used to it. I also have big plans for loving on you every time I come home so be prepared little man!

Emmy, thanks again for letting me capture this special time in your life and for letting me be an Auntie to your baby boy! I cannot wait for our babes to become best friends!!

Laurel Highlands Portrait Session: The Dlugos Family

I just love family portrait sessions! There is something so raw and real about the dynamic between kiddos and their parents! I love how each session is uniquely different yet each and every family has their own inside jokes and a certain kind of secret language they use with each other. This gang would prove to be no different. Meet the Dlugos!

Mama, Laura, and I go way back. Like, I knew her long before she became a Dlugos, before she became a Mom of four adorable kiddos! Back in the day, Laura Healey and I roamed the halls of Greater Latrobe High School not knowing that 10 years later, we would both be embracing motherhood! Though we are embracing this new lifestyle in very different stages, I was so glad to see her again and beyond excited that she had thought of me to capture this special time for her family!

Did I mention that Laura and her husband have FOUR KIDS!! You caught that, huh? I won’t lie, I was a little scared going into this session. How was I going to rally 4 kids, 6 people total, into looking at the camera all at the same time? It was daunting at first. But, luckily for me, these kids get lots of practice because their Mama has done a great job of capturing memories, both big and small!

I always ask families to bring along a blanket for sessions just in case we need to take a break and let everyone unwind and Laura made sure to bring along an heirloom quilt for their session. The result was magic. After a few of the whole family sitting together, we piled the kids together and let their individual personalities shine through! I love that Mason was sticking his tongue out!

And, because this Mama waited a long time to finally welcome a girl into her tribe, I made sure that we captured a bunch of my sweet friend and her adorable baby girl. Adalee is a doll baby and was definitely putting on a show for us but I wasn’t complaining. She was all smiles once we got her in front of those blooming rhododendrons!

Daddy even jumped in for a few with his two favorite girls!

And then, those adorable Dlugos boys made a move to tackle their Dad and it was just too cute not to capture. Don’t let their sweet smiles and blond crew cuts fool you. These boys have a wild side and I definitely got a glimpse behind the curtain when they got the chance to test Daddy’s strength! Jake was a total sport about it and even tried to put all 3 of them on his shoulders!

These kids were so cool. I wish I lived closer so our baby could play with them because they are polite, kind and super active in sports! I think they could be a good influence on Baby Norris! I even enjoyed just watching these boys love on their baby sister! You could tell that they needed a girl around just as much as Mommy did!

They each brought along toys to show off during their session and each was a perfect display of their own personality. Max brought his baseball glove. Jackson brought a toy tractor. Mason brought a T-Rex and baby girl, Addy, brought a toy to chew on and I was thankful for that because she is definitely at that stage where the grass, the rocks, pretty much everything seems edible!

I had so much fun photographing these guys! We got their formal poses knocked out early so that last half of the session involved me just playing on the see-saw with them! I really enjoyed seeing these guys just be kids and play at the park! I am so glad that I finally had the chance to get these guys in front of my lens and I hope I get to do it again soon!

Greensburg Salem Class of 2018 Graduate: Meet Jessica

Meet Jessica! Recent Greensburg Salem Graduate and future pre-med track University of Pittsburgh Graduate!! I met with this lovely young lady during my last trip home and had the opportunity to get to know a little bit more about her plans for the future.

 

We met at Twin Lakes State Park in Greensburg, Pennsylvania for her Senior Portrait Session. This lacrosse playing, honor roll student came prepared! She brought along a few adorable outfits, a Greensburg Salem Graduate balloon and her sweet Yorkshire Terrier.

 

Mama, Joyce, had won this session during a fundraiser raffle for Cystic Fibrosis Awareness and I was pleased as punch that these ladies had a clear vision as to what they wanted to do during their session.

 

Jessica is an active young woman with a tight grasp on where she wants her college experience to take her. She spoke with me about her interest in medicine and I found myself wishing I had her confidence at that age.  I encouraged her to chase her passion and life would lead her down the right roads.

 

I also learned that she was the middle child and you could tell almost immediately that her siblinghood has given her a bit of the gumption that she carries around. She has an older sister who helped paved a lot of paths and a younger brother to practice all her wisdom on!

 

Did I mention that the weather was absolutely perfect? Oh, man was I thankful for the good weather. I had booked a ton of Portrait Sessions for the upcoming Sunday and it was calling for rain which was a no-can-do. Luckily, most of my sessions offered to switch and at seven months pregnant, I was beyond thankful for their patience and understanding.

 

She is not just sweet though. She’s polite and kind and absolutely adorable. When she donned the white dress, she glowed. In the yellow, she shined but in the black floral off the shoulder, she was truly a vision of herself. You could tell that she was comfortable , calm cool and relaxed, even when I suggested she jump in the water.

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The blooms at the park were the perfect backdrop. Both the azaleas, the laurels and the rhododendrons were in rare form that afternoon and we managed to catch them at their best.

 

Our last stop was a shack down by the water for a quick few shots of this lady before she would walk across the stage and enter the big, bad world of adulthood. I have no doubt that she will tackle life and all its’ adventures with the same sense of grace and fearlessness that she brought to her studies!

 

Best of luck to you Miss Jessica and Congratulations! I wish you success in wherever life takes you!!

To book your 2019 Senior Portrait Session, email therustienailhead@gmail.com to to discuss details, prices and packaging!

Pennsylvania Holiday Mini Sessions: Ricky, Hanna & Grandpa

Ya’ll!!!!! Meet Hanna! This is my beautiful ginger haired baby cousin! I have been wanting to photograph this little lady for the longest time and we finally made it happen when I was last visiting back home in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania.

Back story, real quick. Hanna is my 2nd cousin. Her dad, Ricky, is my first cousin and his Dad, my Uncle Rick, is also my Godfather so I think it’s fair to say that my heart just exploded when I got the chance to look through these images. For as long as I can remember, my whole family has been telling me that Hanna is my mini-me. See, when I was a little lass, this girl and I could have been twins. Yep, I had that red hair, those big blue eyes and the same wild and crazy personality!

We met at Twin Lakes Park in Greensburg, Pennsylvania for a huge gathering of family photos but more on all that goodness later. Hanna and her Dad followed me down to the lake for a few quick shots of just them together. These are my favorite images because they look so natural and relaxed. Ricky is even giving her “the claw” in one of the photos. If you don’t know what the “claw” is, trust me, you don’t want to.

Soon after, the oldest and wisest of the Greece clan (9 kids in all) made his way down for a few photos with his son and granddaughter. My Uncle Rick was a surprise that day and man am I glad he came! I hadn’t seen him in so long and it was so good to see him and chat him up. He’s the same, smart and kind, just a little more gray than the last time I saw him. It really isn’t fair. All the men in this family just get more handsome with time.

I remember being a kid and looking through boxes of old photos that all those before me had taken. I loved it. I still do and it’s such a neat idea to think that Hanna and my sisters and all the younger cousins will get a chance to look through these one day and talk about how we all met at the park for photos and then we all went out to dinner at The Red Brick for pizza and then we laughed until we cried. That’s what I love most about this shoot, that I got to share it with so many of the people I love, especially these 3 looney tunes.

I had the best time catching up with my family during this shoot. I always tell everyone that it is so hard to see all of them when we come back to visit but man am I thankful that I have a family who will rearrange all their schedules in an instant just to have one afternoon being together. This family is wild and crazy, that’s for sure, but they are a group of people who love fiercely and uplift one another always and I am so thankful to be a part of it! Love you guys!

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For more information on when and where The Rustie Nail will be heading to in 2018, follow along on Instagram @therustienail. We’ll be back in PA, Canada and up next, Arizona so keep an eye out for travel updates!

Greensburg Salem Class of 2017: Kiara’s Senior Session

This lady is no stranger to the Blog. Kiara has been featured in family portraits and I have had the great pleasure of helping her build her modeling portfolio on more than one occasion. This go-around in front of the lens would be different. This shoot was all about this baby girl graduating high school in a few short months. Que the tears. She’s my little cousin. As in, she was born when I was already half grown so the fact that she’s graduating high school is kind of a reality check. Holy crap. I’m really 29. She is really 18. What is happening??? I mean, really guys. There is a story about us that gets told at every family function and to this day, still pains me.

It was my first time changing a baby’s diaper. Her grandmother had told me to lay a blanket down on the table and lay her down on her back, grab the wipes, blah blah. I was 11. I wanted to show her that I knew what I was doing. Everything was going fine. Until, I forgot to grab the diaper. So, I placed my hand on her belly to prevent her from rolling off the table and reached with my other hand for the diaper.

In those 2 seconds, this sweet little baby reached her tiny little hand around and grabbed the closest thing…a steaming hot cup of coffee. It spilled all over the table and down her teeny tiny back. I did my best to clean her up and calm her down but she kept screaming. I felt like I had burns all over my body. That’s how bad I felt. It was killing me to see her in pain. I was cursed. I was never going to touch another baby again.

After rushing her to the ER, they confirmed she was gonna make it. Or at least that’s how it felt to me that the time. Within a week or so, her baby soft skin had healed itself. We all forget how resilient kids are. We drill into them to get back on the horse. So they do. And they come back bigger and stronger every time. The reason I am telling you all this is because this girl right here is a fighter. Even as a toddler, she was sassy. She seems real quiet at first, minds her Ps &Qs, but just give her the chance to say what’s on her mind, and you all are gonna see the world a little bit differently. She is strong, kind and probably the biggest klutz I know but she has very bright future ahead of her. Congrats Kiara. I cannot wait to see where this journey takes you. And, I am officially stating how sorry I am for traumatizing you as a little one. Think of it this way, you’re still cute so we’re square. Love you Kiki!

Do you have a Senior graduating in 2017? Are YOU graduating this year? We offer Graduation Portrait Packages for every price point because we know how hard you’ve worked and that should be documented. I wanna hear your vision. Shoot me some ideas at therustienailhead@gmail.com because I’d love to hear what you’ve got in mind. Let’s start off the last half of your Senior Year with a photo shoot to highlight your achievements and get onto those Senior Week Trips and College Applications!!

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SIDENOTE: Yes, we did go down the humongous slide and it ended up being soaking wet. Still fun though. This huge slide is located at Mammoth Park near Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania. Words of advice: Bring wax paper and a little Pam and maybe, a pillow to land on at the bottom. 🙂