Engagement Session: Katie + Mike

Hands down, my favorite session of the year! Why, you might ask. Well, because the gorgeous gal in these photos is my bestest friend and that hottie on her arm is her FIANCÉ!!! Yep, my bestie is getting hitched and I got to photograph their engagement portraits! So, ya, I am a tad excited about these pictures!

Though they have been engaged for close to a year now, these lovebirds haven’t really had the time for pictures which is kinda why I forced them into it! Boy, am I glad I did though. We met at Linn Run State Park near the Adams Falls entrance during the peak of the fall foliage. The backdrop for their shoot was simply awe-inspiring.

I can’t lie. This session was a piece of cake! I got to just hang out with Kayte & her soon-to-be hubs, Mike/Gomez. We cracked jokes, made awkward faces and I even made them dance a little. These two were all smiles, especially for each other and I could not be happier for the two of them!

Their engagement was simple but sweet. On Kate’s birthday last year, Mike had planned to pop the question. When the day came, nothing went as planned. Mike had a terrible cold and felt like crap. To boot, a blizzard hit southwestern Pennsylvania that brought Kate’s birthday festivities to a halt. But, even with all the hiccups, Mike was determined to surprise his soon to be bride. In their home, on a cold winter night, he dropped to one knee with his family heirloom, a diamond ring and Kayte happily agreed to be his forever New Years Eve date.

To Mike and Kate, I wish you nothing but joy and happiness forever and ever. Congratulations. Now, please, pick a date so I can start planning this girl’s bachelorette party!!

Laurel Highlands Holiday Portrait Session: The Yetter Family

 

Gosh, I am just loving all these sessions and I have just been dying to share some sneak peeks of this crew! I met the Yetter Family at Linn Run State Park in Rector, Pennsylvania during the peak of the fall foliage and it was pure magic!

Mama, Jess, had reached out about booking her session and mentioned how important it would be to bring their pup, Duke, along for their shoot. I knew right away that Linn Run would be the perfect place to let her little guy, Grayson and his sweet pup play!

As I expected, this gang showed up in the most perfectly coordinated outfits. Burgundy has really been the “in” color and I am not complaining. I may or may not have used this session as a little inspiration for my own family shoot. I couldn’t resist using a splash of that wine color in our baby girl’s headband. It looked so good on Jess and her little guy looked too cute in his flannel!

Truth be told, I was a little worried that this area would be past the fall foliage peak but when I arrived I was over the moon! As you can see in the photos, the colors were so vibrant. I quickly scoped out the best places to set up shop and anxiously awaited the Yetters arrival. The backdrop for their photos had me a bit giddy!

We spent the majority of their shoot just walking the trails and offering Duke the pup treats that his Mama brought for bribes! It was a beautiful fall day with lots of sunshine and even more smiles! Heck, even Duke was on his best behavior!

The Yetter Family was a blast to hang with and I am so glad I had the opportunity to shoot their holiday portraits this year. This crew has been living out of state for quite some time now but this will be their first Pennsylvania Christmas with their little guy, Grayson so let’s hope they have the happiest holiday!

PA Holiday Portrait Session: Mommy, Daddy & Maggie

Hey guys! I know I have been overwhelming your timelines with adorable babies and gingham but tis the season! I love December. 1 because it’s my Birthday Month (& Jesus’ Birthday too) and 2 because it is Christmas Card Season and I get to catch up with so many wonderful families, including this bunch! Meet Anthony, Sara and their baby girl, Maggie!

 

You may notice this trio from last year’s Blog spotlight on their 2016 Holiday Portrait Session.  They had so much fun frollicking in their backyard last year that they decided to invite me back to their home to snap a few more photos of their lovely family!

 

This bunch lives out in the middle of nowhere and I completely love it. Their home is surrounded by Forbes State Forest and we were lucky enough to capture the trees and the fall foliage in all its’ glory! And, is Maggie’s shirt the cutest or what? Mom told me that Maggie picked out her outfit. Fashionista in the making? I think so.

 

We met at their home but after stopping for a few shots on the wooden bridge that leads to their home, we made out way down to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Powder Mill Nature Reserve. After walking around the property and taking a short stroll in the woods, Miss Maggie found herself a rock with message and the rest of the shoot turned into a treasure hunt of sorts. She was all giggles.

 

The sun was just beginning to seriously set when we decided to head to the Powdermill Avian Research Center near their home. These guys always take me on the best adventures and Anthony is so into his neighborhood. He is always surprising me with new places right in our own backyard. There was a pond and a great dock, lots of trails and bunnies hopping all over the place. Maggie was smitten.

 

The next 3 photos are my favorites of the whole bunch. I told Anthony and Sara to race Maggie to me. Problem being if you know Mags, she’s never really in a race. She goes at her own pace. She is a curious, wandering babe always questing for adventure and I kinda love that about her.

 

Once she “won” the race, we headed to a nearby bench to soak in the last of the sunset. We even managed to catch a glimpse of the moon rising over the tree line. Mags wasn’t quite ready for the adventure to end so we just sat a little while longer.

 

After a few shots of Mom and Dad loving on their baby girl, we decided it was time to hit the hay. As per the usual, this family shoot was a complete joy. I love Anthony and Sara’s adventurous hearts and I adore that they are bringing up a happy, healthy, blue-eyed baby girl with the same zest for life and all its’ journeys.

 

I’ve heard that if you do something twice, it’s a tradition. So, let’s meet back up next year Pologrutos. I am always down for another adventure into the woods and Merry Christmas!

To inquire about booking your unique Portrait Session, email therustienailhead@gmail.com for Packaging and Pricing Details. I would love to meet you and see what kind of vision you have in mind for your families next big moment!

Andrew’s 2nd Birthday Portraits

Hey guys! We just got back from an a whirlwind trip home to Pennsylvania and we are just getting back into the swing of things! I had the most amazing time meeting with so many new clients, friends and family and I cannot wait to share all the Fall goodness we managed to capture while in the Laurel Highlands. Up first is this handsome little guy, Andrew!

Andrew’s Mama, Emily, reached out awhile ago in hopes of documenting her little boy’s 2nd birthday portraits and I jumped at the chance to set this up! Emily is an old friend from high school and I was over the moon for the opportunity to catch up with her!

Emily warned me that Andrew was a wild one but I don’t think “wild” is quite the right word to describe this little man. He is spirited to say the least so Linn Run State Park seemed like the perfect place to let him run wild! Because Andrew is so energetic, posing him would do no good. We planned on letting him just play in the park and I would snap as we went along.

Mama came prepared, too. She brought trucks and cars for little man to play with as we ventured into Forbes State Forest. Like every boy, the cars only entertained him for so long. Once he found a stick or a rock that peaked his interest, he wasn’t letting it go. Isn’t it funny how kids find the most joy in the simplest of things?

We hiked our way down to Slippery Rock, a favorite childhood pastime, so we could let Andrew throw a a few rocks in the stream. We took a small path over some logs ad through a few bushes until we found the perfect place to let Andrew play in the leaves! With a huge smile on his face, Andrew was climbing over all the downed tree trunks and asking Mama to investigate almost every rock he picked up! This was just the right time to capture that extra little speck of gold in his eyes! Take a look at a few of the up-close photos. This charming towhead is gonna be a heart breaker!

What you really need to know about this shoot is wrapped up in one photo. This. This photo right here is Motherhood. Emily is 9 months pregnant with their 2nd child, chasing her first born through the woods so he doesn’t jump headfirst into the freezing stream, with the biggest smile on her face! This is what I love about Mrs. Shipley. She is the kinda Mama who would rather let her little guy get dirty than stifle his wild spirit by posing him. I am so thankful for clients who trust my vision because I want your portraits to be a true representation of your child’s personality and Emily trusted me to do just that.

I kept cracking jokes about her water breaking and me pushing her in the stroller back to the car! She was such a trooper, traipsing through the park chasing her baby boy and just absolutely glowing! We couldn’t of known then but…the Shipley Family would welcome a baby girl 2 days later. Olivia Jane arrived happy, healthy and big brother is so in love!

I am so sad that I missed the birth of Andrew’s baby sister but here’s hoping that I’ll get to snuggle this munchkin and the Shipley Family’s newest little love the next time I am home visiting! It was a joy capturing Andrew’s 2nd Birthday Portraits and I look forward to hanging with this crew in the future!

Don’t forget….Dallas-Fort Worth Holiday Mini Sessions are in FULL SWING! Just wait y’all! Each and every one of these sessions is absolutely adorable and I can’t wait to share. I still have a few sessions left for the DFW area in November and December! Email me at therustienailhead@gmail.com with all booking inquiries!!

Donovan’s Christmas Shoot

Over Thanksgiving break, I had the most amazing opportunity to hang out with a few of my favorite people and help them work out a surprise for this little guy’s Grandma! This Christmas, Donovan and his aunt Casey had the idea to surprise his MeeMaw with some good old fashioned portraits. After months of waiting for the right chance to pull this off, we managed to pick a perfect time, light-up night in Ligonier, PA. The diamond in Ligonier has served as the epicenter for this quaint town in the hills of Pennsylvania since the days of George Washington. A long sought after attraction, Fort Ligonier, brings thousands of visitors  to this serene town in the mountains each year. And their Christmas display is something out of the movies. Actually, this very scene is found in many a movie including the recent holiday hit, The Coopers. Check it out folks!

As Casey and I discussed her vision, I knew that this would be the best place to start. I even brought my sisters along to keep Little D in a good mood! Though I won’t lie, he seemed pretty excited to be a part of the photos, an uncommon trait found amongst even the littlest of fellas. With his friend Elfie in tow, we made our way from the Gingerbread House to the Letters for Santa Box and finally onto the tree in the gazebo! It was perfect. Donovan smiled and giggled and when he started to wander, my sisters were just the right thing to pull him back into the shoot. They were directing him and posing him. I literally love that this business of mine is slowly but surely becoming a family business. Seeing my sisters work so hard to produce the image they want is a reminder that they have so much of me in them. Poor girls…lol

After we finished up at the Diamond, we made our way to Rolling Rock Farms for a few pictures near a creek and up to Linn Run State Park to let the kids run at the playground at Adams Falls. Casey was so sweet and had though of everything. She had brought reindeer ears, an beautifully colored blanket (that I just might steal) and even a wreath with a big red bow. This shoot was definitely all about Christmas but you can totally see the family undertone in these images. Though a usually shy kid, Donovan was totally into being a part of the photo shoot. He loved his outfits and kept telling me how comfortable he was. Which is huge because it is so hard to dress a kid so he can run around and play and look good enough for photos too.

This shoot was a complete team effort. Casey had brought things to keep this guy smiling and had dressed him in a way that allowed him the freedom to play. My sisters were essential. They were singing songs and tickling him. Having them there totally took the shoot up a notch. It was perfect. From the way that Little D wanted to surprise his Meemaw to the fading leaves of fall, this shoot was full of Christmas cheer!! And we hope you are too! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from everyone here at The Rustie Nail! We hope that 2017 brings you loads of love and laughter!!

For Information on how to book your unique Portrait Session, shoot me an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com. Throughout the month of December 2016, I am offering $150 Mini Sessions in the Dallas Fort Worth area. These sessions include a 45 minute session within DFW, 15-20 Digital Images delivered in an Online Downloadable Gallery and Print Release. Perfect for Christmas Card Photos, Surprise Holiday Proposals and even Gifts. You can buy this deal for a limited time as a Gift Certificate in 2017!

Winters Family Christmas Minis

YASSSSS!!!! We are finally in the Ugly Christmas Sweater Season! Lord have mercy these we’re good ones too. Over Thanksgiving Weekend, I met the Winters Family at Adams Falls in Linn Run State Park. You’ve seen some of these guys on the Blog before during their Family Portrait Session and during a shoot with their eldest daughter, Kiara and son, Keon. They’re back and hitting us with their Christmas cheer!

Mama Bear, Lori, had the idea to collaborate her 3 with their cousins for an ugly sweater shoot. It was a cold and wet day but we were going to make the most of it. We hiked the trail to Slippery Rock and stopped along the way to let this family love on each other. Lori came prepared. She had brought a blanket to wrap the kids up in, umbrellas just in cases and a stuffed donkey to bribe one of the kiddos with. Because of the weather, we kept the shoot short and sweet. After listening to the youngest rattle off her name as if it were a song “Annabella Harper Hunter“, we made our way to an old abandoned settlement and took a few photos in front of the decaying fireplace. These guys are so fun and they make my job so easy. I get to just hang out with them and crack jokes. You guys really are the best! Merry Christmas!!

Up NEXT?? Kiara is finally graduating and we had the chance to shoot her Senior Portraits at Mammoth Park in Mount Pleasant, PA. And yes, we did take a ride down the slide. Next time? Bring Wax Paper!! Keep and eye out for her Portraits in 2017! Until then…

For Information on how to book your unique Portrait Session, shoot me an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com. Throughout the month of December 2016, I am offering $150 Mini Sessions in the Dallas Fort Worth area. These sessions include a 45 minute session within DFW, 15-20 Digital Images delivered in an Online Downloadable Gallery and Print Release. Perfect for Christmas Card Photos, Surprise Holiday Proposals and even Gifts. You can buy this deal for a limited time as a Gift Certificate in 2017!