Alysa is my grandlittle and for anyone who was in a sorority (or fraternity) reading this, you know what this means, but if you’ve never been in Greek life than you may not understand. In fact, Grammarly just told tried to correct me and when I highlighted over the word it said “Unknown word” haha! Basically, it means she’s in my sorority family and that we spent a lot of time together through college! Lucky for me, our fun continued after college when she moved back to Richmond! We did almost everything together! From setting up classrooms and class materials to sewing, wine tasting, and even being a practice model for me, it was always nice to have Alysa in the same town to hang out with! Fast forward to now and she is married and has a baby! It’s crazy to think about how much we’ve grown since the days back at JMU.
This session was the perfect POP of spring colors and fun! Christina is a sorority sister of mine and I realized as I was driving down to DC that hadn’t seen her since we graduated! CRAZY! Last time we were together we were dancing about to pop hits of 2010 and jumping about in general 22-year-old excitement for life. Now she is married with a 1-year-old little boy – Lincoln!
As I drove down to DC on Saturday morning I was a little nervous… it had rained the whole night before and was still overcast and drizzling. I kept looking at the sky saying “Common now – you need to break up these clouds for me”. Sure enough, as I got closer and closer to the location the clouds started to move apart and let that sunshine come through. The day turned out even better than I could have imagined – bright sun, 75 degrees and simply beautiful! Read More »
For some these images may seem like a simple new baby announcement but they are SO much more than that. These pictures represents a journey. A hard, beautiful journey filled with love and hope and one that I’ve gotten to be a part of as a friend and photographer since the very beginning. Amanda was the first person I ever took pictures of “professionally” and has since trusted me with her biggest milestones. I say professionally in quotes because I had never, I repeat, NEVER taken pictures of people before Amanda asked me to shoot her engagement pictures. I sometimes can’t believe she trusted me with this and then later when she called me to do her newborn session, my FIRST newborn session! She saw something in me and pushed me to start something before I even knew to try. From maternity to newborn, to a cake smash to the moment when she called me and told me she was pregnant again after years of waiting. Years of what I can only assume was hope and prayers and deep heartaches and now she is expecting her second baby, a GIRL! Read More »
Tenney Family Neutral Newborn Session
— Richmond Virginia —
When Anne reached out to me a few months ago about doing her newborn pictures I actually had a moment of “pinch me!”. I knew Anne in college as she was kind of a big deal in sorority life at JMU! She was a Tri Delta and I was an Alpha Phi and while we never officially knew each other I definitely knew of her! She was Panhellenic President and was known as one of the nicest women at school. Panhellenic for anyone who isn’t a sorority person is the overarching organization that each sorority is involved in. It’s kind of like a community counsel and puts on events such as recruitment. Being President of Panhel is a HUGE honor and an even bigger responsibility! It’s a two year commitment and running recruitment is no easy task!
After we got talking she sent me over a Pinterest board of the type of shots she was hoping we’d get. It was such a wonderful surprise to see that most of the pictures on the Pinterest board were mine!! I couldn’t believe it!! They were mixed in with other images by people that I really admire and look up to which was so humbling!
When I got to Anne and Aaron’s house it was nothing less than what I expected, beautifully spaced with an amazing layout. Her nursery was decorated neutrally with basic white, grays and light beige/brown. I honestly had never seen a nursery that neutral before (usually there is more splashes of pink or blue) and I loved it! It was easy to get bright and clean images of the space and of the baby plus it had a simple feel that was refreshing and classic.
What impressed me more than their beautiful home and their clean and well planned nursery though was Anne and Aaron and how gracefully kind they both are. They are people of faith and you can tell it’s very important to them. I walked into their house and immediately felt welcome and trusted. Anne and I talked like two old friends and I have to say – she really is one of the nicest and down to earth people I’ve ever met! She was kind enough to hold up a blanket in the background as a reflector for almost the entire time! Beyond their kind hearts, Aaron and Anne are such natural parents and in the most genuine way. I noticed it in the simple ways they care for Will and each other. Like how Aaron snuggled up with Will just to watch golf, or how Anne talks to Will to sooth him and calm him. They were born to be a parents and God has blessed them in a beautiful way. Their parenting was never flashy or braggy, but sweet, humble and natural. You can tell that this was path is blessed by God and that they are in it together every step of the way!
Anne and Aaron – I LOVED getting to know you better during this session and am so glad that we are doing at least two more milestones together! You have a beautiful family and hearts of gold, I’m grateful to get to work with you both!
Wanna know why I love working with Maggie and this sweet family? About a year ago this time I took her newborn images and instantly felt comfortable. Maggie is so down to earth and easy going the whole session felt like hanging out with a friend. We got some gorgeous images that are hands down some of my favorites – especially the clean black and whites images that we got.
But then! Flash forward a few months and I run into Maggie at Jack Browns. It’s been months since I’ve seen them and they still say hi and talk about their newborn images! Better yet! She emails me about making sure to get on my calendar months in advance! AND THEN! I meet them for our mommy and me session and Maggie says “Alex! I wanted to bring some glasses and wine so we could hang out while we did this but I just didn’t have time to get it together.” GIRL! YOU are my THE BEST!
I love working with women and families like this who are loyal and keep coming back but also who get me! It ends up feeling a lot like working with a friend than just a client and we always get GORGEOUS images. My favorite part of childhood and family photography is getting to work with families through the years and watch the kids grow up and their family evolve! This loyalty means the world to me and makes this whole business feel x10 more personal and worth it.
For this session we met up at my favorite spot and the light was perfect! We basically stayed in the same two spots the whole time because the light coming through the background created the most creamy bokeh!
Check out this my favorites of this amazing family of three!
We met early at Forest Hill Park for this session which was great because it got HOT that day! I got to the park a little early and saw it, the most gorgeous tree with the most gorgeous low hanging branches! SWOON! We spent almost the entire time in this one spot. Margaret wore a purple dress which popped off the background and showed off her baby bump so beautifully.
While this session was a mini and shorter in time than a typical session we were able to go a lot of images and variety! We were even able to incorporate their dog!! My favorite part of the session though was playing with Scarlett at the end as she picked me flowers and brought them over to me as little gifts! Read More »
It’s always a good sign when you roll up to a session to meet the family for the first time and you connect instantly with the family and kids. I arrived to Forrest Hill Park and walked up to meet Kelsie and her husband Brent and within seconds their gorgeous daughter Maddie did what I always hope the kiddos will do, she opened her arms and reached out to me. AHHH my little heart almost exploded!! She got passed over to me and I knew in that moment – this was going to be a GREAT session! Read More »
Getting to capture the little moments between a Mom and her child is so precious and Jennifer and Lucas are no exception. It’s nice to get to focus on the Mom and her bond since they aren’t always given the chance to be in front of the camera. That’s what inspired the Mommy and Me Minis was the chance to get to focus on motherhood and the love between mother and child.Read More »
This little girl quite possibly takes the cake for the best facial expressions! This whole session she had me won over! The best part was seeing how much she LOVES her parents! She lights up when they talk to her and just howls with laughter when her dad gets her going.
We had this session over at Belle Isle and the light was gorgeous! The trees were blooming which gave the perfect pink glow in all the pictures!
Katie and Dan – you have the sweetest little girl! Thank you for sharing this milestone with me, I had so much fun!
The end of 2017 had me doing a lot of reflection and in the midst of all this reflection I came across this post on the Tone It Up account and it really struck a cord with me. You see I found myself lost a lot this past year. Unsure of who I really was and where I wanted to go. It was the hardest year for me professionally and I personally didn’t feel connected to who I really was. I didn’t understand where all this came from until seeing this post and reminding myself that it was just a season. 2017 was a year of ups and downs that I needed in order to realize what was really happening, I was growing and I just didn’t realize it. While I felt like I was in a cocoon, wrapped up in self doubt, there was a ton of people in my life who were there for me and knew what I could become. I needed the hard moments of last year to make me see how far off course I had gotten from who I truly was. I didn’t feel like myself because in all honesty, I wasn’t being myself. I had lost sight of the goofy person who never cared what others thought, the girl who said yes to adventures over sitting on the couch, the girl who saw the good in everyone first and was uncomfortable bringing them down. That girl wasn’t around in 2017, but she is now.
While I questioned a lot this past year, I was consistently guided back to things that bring me joy. I prayed a lot this year, which I’m usually very private about, but I have to say that in doing so, in asking for guidance, I found that I got the answers that I desperately needed.
When I was discouraged in the classroom and decided to look for new opportunities a door swung open to a job that I LOVE. I got my sparkle back that I was losing and now am able to share my sparkle with others and help people which fills me with so much joy!
Relationships is the heart string of 2017. When I needed it the most, old friends came back into my life and reminded me of the girl I really am. I found myself closer to my sister this year when I found myself stressed and overwhelmed by wedding planning. These friendships that I had neglected for a long time are now breathing truth and new life into me. Reminding me of who I really am and helping me focus on what really matters.
I’ve also been consistently reminded of how many people are in my corner. Each time I’ve shared out something personal I’ve had hundreds of people who have been there encouraging me and reminding me how blessed I am. And of course, through everything, my relationship with Sterling has been the most constant force, having him as family is the the best part of 2017 and my future.
While 2017 may not have been a year of a ton of outward growth, it’s been a year of tons of internal reflection and appreciation. I’m ready for 2018 and I’m ready to show up and be a better person. I’m ready to reconnect with my genuine self and spend more intentional time with people I love that remind me of my focus and my heart song.
This year I’m determined to try…
- Saying YES to positivity and gratitude
- Saying YES to adventures
- Saying NO to gossip and negativity
- Saying YES to relationships that bring me joy
- Saying YES to helping others
- Saying YES to eating healthier
- Saying YES to working out consistently and getting stronger
- Saying YES to my faith and strengthening it
- Saying NO to silly spending in order to say yes to long term savings
- Saying NO to soda (this makes me sad, but it has to go)
- Saying YES to more me time
In 2018 I’m focusing on reconnecting with myself and my genuine happiness. I’m determined to put intentional energy into old friendships that I deeply cherish and lift me up. I’m excited for 2018 because I finally don’t feel as lost as I did in 2017. I don’t feel like the caterpillar who is hungry for more and I don’t feel myself hiding away my true self in the cocoon. I’m ready to be the butterfly and try new things, open my wings and show off my true self. This is my year.