It looked (and felt) like a scene straight out of a holiday catalog: The streets, quiet and empty in the early morning light, flanked by lamp posts wrapped in evergreen garlands. Wreaths hanging cheerfully from shop doors. Holiday tableaux adorning storefront windows, their lights and colors sparkling. A joyful family of four, perfectly coordinated in festive holiday colors, smiling, laughing, pulling each other close. You could feel the love radiating from them, and the warmth and ease of their smiles made their joy contagious and put everyone in their path in the holiday spirit!
There are just certain things for me that never fail to bring to mind a cozy autumn Saturday morning: crisp temperatures outside, bright, golden sunshine streaming in through the windows, being snuggled up with the ones you love as you ease into the weekend, music from the likes of Jack Johnson and Adele playing softly in the background. When I stepped through Amanda and Simms’ front door for a newborn session with their sweet baby boy, their warm, inviting home felt just like that kind of perfect Saturday morning! I knew immediately it was going to make the perfect setting for some sweet and snuggly first family photos!
On those chilly autumn mornings when I’m snuggled up all warm and toasty in bed, it takes a lot more than a cozy sweatshirt and hot cup of coffee to motivate me to get out from under the covers! However, when the promise of a gorgeous sunrise session with the sweetest family awaits me, I’m not just willing to get up early, I’m excited!!!
Our perfectly coordinated outfits — selected piece by piece over several months — were washed and pressed and hung neatly on their hangers. We had hired a photographer whose work we loved. Our family photo session was scheduled at a beautiful location during golden hour (aka, the most beautiful light of the day). Perhaps the most important piece of our preparation, though, was doing everything we could to make sure our toddler knew what to expect on the day of our session!
Since I’m the photographer in the family, most of the time I’m the one taking the pictures, which means that there are few photos from the day-to-day with me actually in them! Now that we’re parents, it’s especially important to me that we have updated family photos taken every year so that we can look back and see how we have changed over the years!
It was an overcast afternoon, and the wind was gusty with the threat of the incoming storms from Hurricane Florence. As I walked up the steps to the front door, the excitement of what was behind it began to build, and thoughts of the incoming storm began to diminish. I knocked on the door. After a few moments, a familiar face greeted me with a smile, and I was ushered into a warm, welcoming home. We made our way toward the sun room. There on the couch, enveloped in the soft glow of a cloudy afternoon, sat the new big sister. She was a picture of serenity and sweetness, her adoring gaze focused lovingly on the tiny bundle in her arms. She looked like a natural as she sat there snuggling her new baby sister, and you could just feel the love coming from her.
This, I thought. This is the beginning of a beautiful, wonderful sisterhood.
The beautiful golden sunlight rose behind the fountain of water as it sprayed up out of the pond at Irmo Town Park. That wasn’t the only water spectacle spraying that morning, though. As I crouched down to snap shot after shot of a sweet sibling pair, I kept hearing that telltale hiss of the automatic sprinkler system coming to life around us. “Okay, buddy, can you give your sister a sweet kiss on her head for me?” The adoring big brother leaned over to oblige with the sweetest smooch.
“That was so sweet, buddy! Can you look at her and tell her how much you love her?” Suddenly, to my left, I heard the hiss of a sprinkler head emerging, followed by the pounding drops hitting the pavement of the sidewalk. The sidewalk where I had been crouching to finish the last group of shots. I jumped up just in time to avoid the first soaking!
Ding! The elevator chimed as we reached the floor of our destination. The doors slid open, and I pushed the stroller out into the daylight of the corridor. As quietly as we could, my son and I made our way through the winding hallways, following the arrows that pointed us to our final destination: labor and delivery. As we got closer — another right, another left — I examined the room numbers one by one until finally, I found the one we were looking for. “Here we are, buddy!” I whispered excitedly, reaching out to quietly knock on the door that I was so eager to step through. “Come in!” I heard from the other side. Slowly, slowly, I pulled the handle and the door swung toward me. Just on the other side, set against a perfect view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, was the proud daddy, the tired but glowing mama, and the star of the show… the tiniest bundle wrapped in the classic hospital blanket, nestled safely in his daddy’s arms, each and every tiny feature absolutely perfect in every way. I unstrapped my son from the stroller and scooped him into my arms, and we walked toward the new arrival. “Look at the tiny baby!” I said, bringing him closer, “This is your new baby cousin!”
A Very Special Arrival | Fresh 48 Session at Lexington Medical Center | Columbia, SC Newborn Photographer
The emotions in the room were palpable: Excitement. Anticipation. Nervousness. Three generations gathered together in the hospital waiting room, anticipating the arrival of their newest member. A great-granddaughter. A granddaughter. A sister. And at the center of all the excitement was the soon-to-be big brother, dressed to the nines in the cutest blue checkered shirt, bow tie, and suspenders emblazoned with his new title.
It was a breezy afternoon in Spartanburg, and the golden light settling over the fields at the beautiful Milliken Arboretum was absolutely perfect! I knew it was going to be a fun afternoon when the first thing this little guy wanted to do upon arriving was to check out one of the ponds to look for fish and turtles and throw sticks to make a big splash!
I mean, really — sticks and rocks are made for splashing into ponds, right?! :)
Hi! I'm nicole!
I love photographing families in every stage of life, creating warm, bright, and natural images that you will treasure for a lifetime. What I love most about being behind the camera is telling the story in front of me, highlighting the joy and relationships between loved ones and capturing each personality!