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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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.

Lainey’s Newborn Session

The Pierce Family is making another appearance on the Blog! Over the summer, I had the opportunity to meet with them at White Rock Lake and capture a few photos of them while they were still a family of 3. Though 8 months pregnant with their second child, Lori waddled around the Filter Building with her 2 favorite guys! We made sure to capture both Mark & Lori with their little guy, Xander, and we managed to get a ton of Lori’s adorable bump! To check out our day in Dallas shoot, head here. This session would be totally different! In the months since our first shoot, the Pierce Family has welcomed a baby girl, Lainey Ruth Pierce! Since I was itching to see this tiny princess, my husband and I made our way down to Austin over Labor Day Weekend to catch up with our favorite blonde headed little boy and his baby sister.

After stopping in Hico, Texas at the Koffee Kup Kafe for a few slices of pie, Russ and I meandered our way into the Live Music Capital of the World. We took our time getting through the hill country before arriving at the Pierce Family Home. First thing on our list of to-dos, give their bundle of joy as many hugs and kisses as possible and man oh man, is she a beauty or what? I was kind of glad that we had waited until she was 3 weeks old to do the shoot because I love seeing how active and alert newborns can be at that age. Lainey just kept looking up at me with those big blue eyes and giving me the sweetest smiles! Words seriously cannot describe how much I love snuggling this little bug! She looks so much like her big brother and you can tell that Mark & Lori are just smitten every time they glance her way.

Xander, though preoccupied with books and toys and dogs, is so in love with his baby sister. He was proudly showing her to me and kept giving her kisses on the cheek! We started the shoot indoors, keeping it fun and fresh while Xander played in his room. We read books and sang “pop-goes-the-weasel” and once Mommy was done feeding baby, we worked our way into Lainey’s adorable nursery. After raiding her closet, Lori explained that so many of the outfits were actually her own. Even the dress that she had brought her home in had been the dress Lori herself wore home from the hospital. I loved this little tidbit and thought how sweet of Lori’s mom to hold onto all those dresses for her! After we played dress-up with my new favorite cousin, we decided to head to the park next to their house for their Family Portrait. The cacti and bright yellow lantana were the perfect backdrop for this newly-branded Family of Four.

Though this shoot was supposed to be all about Lainey, I was excited to capture this special time for them as a whole family. Both Mom & Dad are always so kind to trust my vision and I am so happy that they get to see what we all see when we look their way. Mark and Lori are 2 people who fell in love and continue to do so everyday when they look at their children. They are 2 people who put trust in God’s plan and choose everyday to roll with the punches. Little to no sleep + a rambuncious two year old wildchild + a hungry newborn can make for some pretty crazy days but I am happy to say that these guys are thriving on the chaos. Lori actually said to me at one point, “Watching people go ga-ga over your kids is a whole other kind of joy.” As you can tell, we’re all a little “ga-ga” over these precious babes and I am so glad that they trusted me to capture these first moments with their bundle of joy.

Do you know someone who is expecting or wanting to make that Baby Announcement, send them our way. For more information on how to book your unique Maternity or Newborn Session, shoot me an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com or just give me a call 724 216 8185. We have multiple packages and prices including our Milestone Sessions, a series of photo shoots that captures Baby’s First Year! Currently shooting in Dallas-Fort Worth and the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania but we have lots of travel dates set up for the rest of 2016 and 2017. I cannot wait to fill you all on in where we are heading to next! It’s a doozie! Where would you like to see The Rustie Nail travel to next?

Blog Spotlight: Beatbox Portraits

Ya’ll this week’s Blog is another Creative Spotlight featuring one of my idols, a photo guru, kindred spirit and kind soul, Trish Dove of Beatbox Portraits. When I started this business, I started to follow so many creatives on social media. But like so many, I felt bogged down by the competition. I felt like I was just treading water. The competition flooded my newsfeed. I was overwhelmed by the challenge but felt this need and want to rise up to it.

So, one by one, I started deleting and unfollowing other photographers. The only way I was going to succeed was to stop comparing myself to every other photographer and to only follow the ones that depicted styles that I could hope to achieve, in my own unique way. The Rising Tide Society’s community over competition model states that we, as creatives, are stronger together than we are apart. We all have different visions and aspire to do different things yet we will not achieve them if we can’t grow together.  You’ve got to have that edge, the eye for curiosity and the heart to share your experience. Which is how I came to find and follow Beatbox. In DFW, there are certain names you know when it comes to the creative world. BeatBox Portraits is a name you should know.

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Recently, I had the chance to sit down and chat with Trish about her business model, her sources for inspiration, including her own upcoming wedding and how she plans to keep her followers on the edge of their seats. We gabbed for over 2 hours while we munched on tacos. We covered everything from advice for budding photographers to brainstorming for new outlets to venture into. At one point, she even graciously drew a map of a secret shoot location that I should check out. She was real and totally down to Earth.

I can see why she continues to gain followers. She makes sure to capture all those small moments, you know, the ones that really are the big moments. She has an eye for anticipating the emotion, the ability to envoke laughter and has mastered the clever approach to promoting affection. Her dreamy engagement shoots and fine art wedding portraiture is simply something out of a fairytale. I was initially drawn to her portfolio because of the romantic style she portrayed in her shoots but her innovation is what kept me following along. I noticed that she was incorporating bakeries and candle companies into her shoots. She was breaking the mold by not conforming to one particular style of shoot. I’ve seen her tackle everything from smoke bombs to cascading cliffs and floral design. Trish has got something that certain creatives lack. She has an audience that can’t wait to see what she does next and that’s what’s going to make her one of the big names here in DFW.

I don’t know what exactly I expected going into our meeting but I know that I walked away from this experience with a sense of forward motion and a fire that had been lit you know where, for how to expand my own portfolio. For the most part though, I walked away having gained a new friend and for that, I am thankful. To read our full interview and to find out how to reach/follow Beatbox Portraits, scroll down below the gorgeous images that Trish was gracious enough to provide for this Blog. Give her a like on Facebook, check out her Pinterest page or Follow her creative journey on Instagram! For more inquiries or questions on how to book with Trish, shoot her an email at beatboxportraits@yahoo.com.

 

Interview with Beatbox Portraits:

RN: Why did you choose to be a wedding photographer?
BB: There is no other greater joy than to find that other person that is the peanut butter to your jelly. I believe amazing images start off with amazing relationships. That includes, couples that believe in building a strong lasting marriage and usually have been courting or dating for at least three years.I am a total romantic so I have always been one who loves to celebrate joy and happiness. Weddings allow my creative romantic side to soar. I am a firm believer that what ever you surround yourself with daily is the main influence on what kind of life you will live. I am surrounded by happy couples, in love, celebrating. This type of energy flows over into my daily life everyday and helps me to live a more fulfilled life full of joy and positive energy.  The number one adjective my clients use to describe me is “high energy happy soul”. What they don’t know is they are the reason for my bubbly personality.

Continue reading “Blog Spotlight: Beatbox Portraits”

Jackson’s Newborn Session

Meet Jackson! The Moreno Family reached out shortly after bringing their baby boy into the world and asked if we might help them capture these first few moments as a family of 4. I’m not gonna lie, Newborn Sessions just might be my favorite kind of shoot. I love snuggling the little ones and capturing those first sweet moments with baby.

I had the pleasure of meeting this family a little over a year ago when I shot their daughter Paton’s First Birthday Shoot . Mom, Dad and I spent a whole morning chasing their little princess all over Bear Creek Park. Paton donned a pink tutu for her “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” themed shoot! And again, in the fall, the Moranos joined us for our Fall Mini Sessions. P kept us on our toes as she danced her way around the ranch in her kitty costume, complete with another tutu, green this time around! It’s no secret that the Mama Bear of this group is a fashionista! Everytime I see Paton, she is dressed in some adorable outfit and matching bow. I was sure that this go around would be no different. Jamie and Christian donned their little ones in Sailor outfits. The navy blue and white were the perfect contrast to their contemporary style!

After timing out feedings and naptime between kiddos, Jamie and I agreed to do a morning shoot! This would be my first time doing a newborn shoot at the client’s home and I was so excited for the chance to meet this little guy. I arrived at the Moranos to find that, like their kids, Jamie and Christian have created a beautiful space to call home. I was blown away by how they had styled their home, specifically Paton’s Fairytale bedroom and Jackson’s adorable nursery! There is something so fresh about doing a photoshoot at home. I was so humbled to be invited into their house and I could tell that they were comfortable with me roaming from room to room for good light.

Jackson is the sweetest. He is tiny with long toes and a mischievous smile when you tickle his chin.  Jackson is quiet and very snuggly. You’ll notice in all of the portraits that Jackson goes out of his way to put a hand on his mama. You could tell that he was soothed by her touch. I took turns with each parent, seeing that we had individual shots of Mom with baby and Dad with his little man. Time management was essential seeing that Paton was not very interested in having her picture taken. So while we shot photos of Mommy and Jackson, Daddy watched Frozen with P, and vise versa. It was a pretty clutch system and we ended up snagging a few of Paton reading in her bedroom and coloring on the sidewalk outside. It is crazy to see how big she has gotten over the last few months. She loves her books, Olaf and pretty much, all things pink unless you are talking about her baby brother! She loves to kiss on him and reminds everyone to “shhhh” when baby Jackson is sleeping.

What a great day with such an immensely blessed family. Congrats guys! Sending lots of love and prayers for loads of sleep your way! Thank you Jamie and Christian for inviting me into your home to capture this special time and I hope we get the chance to meet again soon! 🙂

If you are interested in booking your Newborn Session or a Family Portrait Session, shoot us an inquiry at therustienailhead@gmail.com and we’ll chat about how to set up a booking! I hope we get the chance to work together soon!

Gender Reveal: It’s a…

During my last visit back to Pennsylvania, I managed to sneak in a little time with a few of my favorite people, the Robb family. This fun trio has been featured on our Blog before. Last fall, I had the pleasure of snapping a few pictures of their little guy, Ben. Check out his session here. This go around was a little different. I found out a few weeks before my arrival that this wild and crazy bunch would be growing by two feet. Yep, they would be adding another Robb to the brood. I was jumping for joy at the idea of them bringing another little guy or girl into the picture and even more thrilled when they asked me to take their family portraits. I was under the impression that we were going to be taking Maternity photos. Little did know, they had a surprise for me. This portrait session would double as a gender reveal! I was so touched and beyond excited when I found out I’d be among the first to know what they were expecting.

After a few snafus with the location choice and timing, we managed to meet at Legion Keener Park in Latrobe, PA. I’ve known Derek and Lizzy since we were kids and I wanted to keep our roots intact to the locale of the shoot. With that in mind, I began to dream up some ideas of how to announce their bundle of joy in a fun way. When Derek and I were kids, we spent many a summer night hanging out by those tracks above the Loyalhanna and I knew it’d be the perfect location for their shoot. The graffiti below the bridge and the train tracks following alongside the lush fields of green created the clean backdrop for these photos. We started about an hour before sunset, making our way from the tracks to the bridge that towers over this creek.

This was a totally different shoot than their first for many reasons. Since the last I saw him, Ben has a grown a foot and gained an adult vocabulary. It freaked me out at first. How could he have grown up so much in the short 4 months since I last saw him? He is so smart and kind. Loaded with his mother’s sweet demeanor and his daddy’s gangsta sense of style, this kid is bound to be a lady killer. Honestly, who doesn’t wanna love on him when he is rocking those sweet glasses? He is going to make for a very cool older brother.

Speaking of his soon-to-be younger sibling…these guys are happy to announce, in the most adorable way, that they are expecting…a baby boy! Due a few days after his big brother’s birthday, we are impatiently awaiting the arrival of the newest Baby Robb!

Thank you guys so much for letting me play a small part in your announcement and I look forward to meeting the newest munchkin! See you guys soon!

If you are looking for a photographer to help you document your next big announcement, shoot Angelina an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com. Whether you are expecting your first or third baby or just recently got engaged, Angelina is sure to make your Session a personalized and unique experience! For inquiries about pricing and packaging for Portrait Sessions, send your questions our way! 🙂

Waters Family Portrait Session

This session has been in the works for quite some time now but I can happily say it was worth the wait. Awhile back, my coworker, Doug, approached me about getting his Mother the gift of family portraits. As you very well may know, family schedules are crazy when you have such a huge age gap between kiddos so it took us some time to get everyone together. On an early Saturday morning in April, the Waters family and I met on a ranch in Keller. Actually, ranch doesn’t quite describe it. This property once belonged to the great Terry Bradshaw. For those of you who don’t know, Mr. Bradshaw is the legendary #12 quarterback who managed to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to 4 Super Bowl titles back in the 70s. His property boasts views of more than one pond, horse stables, fields of wildflowers and an assortment of wildlife!

This group was a wild bunch but luckily, we had our fair share of characters to help out with outfit changes and prop setup. I wanted to make sure we had individual shots of all the kids and of course that proved to be the easiest task. Kids love being the center of attention so they all hammed it up for their individual portraits. When it came time to get all 4 together for a group shoot, that proved to be a little more of a challenge. Thankfully, I live for the opportunity to rise to the challenge. Eventually, they did all look at the camera at the same time, I just had to get to know each of them a little better.

Mason, the eldest of the group, towered above his younger cousins. (Not to self: Bring stepladder. 15 year old boys are much taller than you.) Mason definitely needed the most encouragement to smile but that seems to be a common trait among guys his age. Taking pictures is so not what he wanted to be doing, but the sweet kid totally smiled and helped pose the little ones for every picture. Respectful and kind, he made sure to put a smile on his Mom’s face.

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Abbie was the little lady of the group. It was cleat to see that she is smitten with her baby cousins. I can’t lie, I was her at that age. Always sneaking in the other room to wake them up, they were like my own little baby dolls. I adored playing house and doting on all their little woes. She was my easiest of the bunch. She was so perfect, hair in her eyes, took direction, dressed impeccably and played a huge role in keeping the youngsters happy, almost like she understood them. It was such a nice treat having her be my right hand throughout the shoot.

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Zach…simply amazes me. At one point, I watched this little guy pick up a stick and wave it around. Then, he began making a buzzing noise and pointing it in every direction. I asked him “What are you doing buddy?”. He looked me straight in the eye and uttered a single word, “lightsaber”. I was crying laughing at his Star Wars shenanigans. And, then he attempted to jump in the lake. He danced. Then, he decided to try his luck at fishing, which resulted in a whole lot of giggles and then an attempt at running backwards into the lake. He absolutely kept me on my toes and in this weird way, he reminds me of my coworker, Doug. This kid kept me in stitches but it was an absolute joy to see how crazy smart he is.

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Last but not least, Joss, this adorable baby girl who was clearly not having it when we started, but completely blossomed as we brought out the butterfly kite and adventured our way into the wildflower field. By the end of the shoot, I was carrying her on my shoulders! She feed the mini horses and munched on snacks while we trekked away around the expanse of this gorgeous estate.

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At the end of the day, they made me laugh and I’m happy to know these guys. It really was a fun way to start off a Saturday morning and I hope we have the chance to do it again sometime. Look out for these people, the Waters clan. They are the type to remain tight knit, the ones who love each other on the good days and the bad, through thick and thin and it’s nice to know that kind of joy still exists in the world.

Are you trying to book your Family for a Portrait Session, just shoot us an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com to set up a completely personalized session!