The curtain cloaks the stage. The auditorium lights dim, and a single spotlight shines over stage right, illuminating a piano and synthesizer. The opening chords of the overture for Snoopy!!! The Musical begin, setting the mood for the show. As the final notes fill the auditorium, the curtains open, and Snoopy — that beloved beagle — appears, sitting atop his iconic red dog house. Over the next two acts, he and the rest of the Peanuts characters delight the audience with scenes that illustrate “The World According to Snoopy."
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!!!
I’ve made no secret about the fact that autumn is my absolute favorite season. October has a special place in my heart for many reasons, but November also ranks highly as one of my absolute favorite months! The last breaths of summer that ebb and flow through October usually give way to the chilly, cozy autumn weather that I crave, the fall foliage comes into its fall glory and blankets the ground in crunchy leaves, the unmistakable crisp, earthy smell of the season fills the air, and the holiday season and all its joy and celebration looms on the horizon.
The clocks rolled back to the 1920s. Candles and lamps gave a warm glow to the darkness of the living-room-turned speakeasy. The bartender served up signature cocktails with a flair to guests dressed in flapper and mobster attire. Big band music played from the speakers and mixed with the joyful chatter of the mingling party-goers.
Suddenly, Diana — the guest of honor — was spotted out the window, and the excited crowd gathered at the back door to greet her. As she stepped into the room, her eyes shimmered bright with excitement. She scanned the crowd, looking at the faces of her dear friends gathered to celebrate her birthday and beaming from ear to ear. “Oh my gosh, this is AMAZING!” she exclaimed, taking in every one of the carefully-planned details and hugging each of her guests. It was the start of an evening that Diana would describe as her “best birthday EVER!”
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!
Oh, those sweet newborn days. The roller coaster of emotions. The challenges and the joys. Watching a new baby change and grow right before your eyes. It is such a special and fleeting time in a family’s life, and it was such a joy to be able to capture some of those memories for Elizabeth and Adam with their sweet little girl!
It still feels like summer out there, so it’s been really hard to get into the swing of the autumn months or convince myself that the calendar actually rolled forward to October 1 on Monday! Fall is also always a TREMENDOUSLY busy photography season for me, so between a steady flow of work, being a mom to an almost-two-year-old, trying to keep up with our home, and all the family events also happening this season, most of September slipped by without my really noticing!
As I’ve mentioned before (and you’ll probably hear me say at least 1,000 more times between now and Thanksgiving…), fall is my absolute favorite season, and as much as I love decorating for Christmas, there’s just something about pulling out my boxes of fall decor from storage that awakens something inside of me: Anticipation. Excitement. A sense of peace. The joy I feel adding little pops of autumn to our home — pumpkins and leaves and apples and wagons — is a feeling I wait for eagerly once August rolls around and I’ve had just about enough of the heat and humidity of summer!
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.
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!