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!!

Family Portrait Session: Meet Baby Sage

Hey guys! Meet the sweetest little family in the whole wide world, the Plourdes. Just a little over a year ago, Mama, Lisa, and Daddy, Jeff, welcomed their bundle of joy, Sage Marie, into the world. During our last trip back to Pennsylvania, I had the pleasure of meeting up with this adorable trio and capturing their Family Portraits.

We met at Laurel Valley Country Club in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Lisa’s Dad is the Greenskeeper there and we had exclusive access to the property. It didn’t hurt our case that it pretty much poured down rain all day so we knew that no one would be on the course. In fact, we spent the majority of the day crossing our fingers in hopes that the rain would let up so we might be able to capture this family’s first portraits.

To our surprise, the rain did let up and the overcast skies held out for over an hour. The light was perfect, the baby was dressed and ready so off we went! Laurel Valley is a little slice of heaven in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania. This course was the site of a Major Senior PGA some years back and to boot, Arnold Palmer’s statue will forever look out over the greens from the Clubhouse. The greens would be the perfect backdrop for this trio’s portrait session.

I’ve known this sweet little family for quite some time now. The long story short is that my husband met Lisa when he first moved to the southwestern PA area and I knew Jeff as a fireman who came into the bar I worked at during college. We introduced the two of them at a Halloween party and then came the magic. They met, hit it off and tied the knot. Within a few years of wedded bliss, they were blessed with news of a baby girl. And, then came Sage, a giggly, gorgeous ray of sunshine!

This curly haired cutie just turned ONE year old and we can barely believe it. She is a quiet little thing with a big personality. Mom and Dad informed us that little Miss had just began to walk. They even remarked on her skills by saying “she walks like E.T.” which we all got a kick out of once we saw it in person!

Sage is a joyful baby. She is sweet and seriously so beautiful! It was so wonderful to see these guys together! Both my husband and I love Pennsylvania and seeing these crazy cats made us nostalgic for the good old days when we first met. We talk about coming back and living through all the seasons again and it makes us miss these guys so much.

Lisa, Jeff, & Baby Sage live in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. During our session, we got to see melting snow, old Dutch-inspired barns and the first signs of spring. I am so happy that I got to photograph this family during our last visit and I cannot wait to see them again! Lots of love Plourdes!!

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Did you know that The Rustie Nail Creative Studio is heading back to the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania in May!?!

I will be hosting Spring Mini Sessions on Sunday, May 27th, 2018 at two different exclusive locations in the Laurel Highlands! Sessions will be 25 minutes long, all images will be edited and delivered electronically and the price is just $80! We only have a few slots left so book yours today by emailing Angelina at therustienailhead@gmail.com

 

 

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!

Engagement Session: Sam & Andrew

Are you guys ready for the most adorable engagement session?!? I had the great pleasure of documenting this special time for a longtime family friend, Samantha, and her sweet fiancé, Andrew, while I was back in Pennsylvania and I have been itching to share a few highlights with you guys!

 

Samantha is the very best friend to my younger cousin, Lisa, and over the years, I have had the great pleasure of watching their sweet friendship blossom. We’ve spent 21st birthdays together and almost every Memorial Day for the last 10 years chilling by the pool. Flash forward to today and these childhood besties are still going strong hence the reason I felt compelled to love on Sam and her adorable fiancé.

 

This session has been in the books for quite some time now. When we first started talking about engagement photos, she mentioned that she would love to have fall colors in her photos since they would be getting married in October. I love that she wanted to incorporate the beautiful fall foliage of the Laurel Highlands into their shoot so I made it a point to fly back in November to help make her wish come true!

 

We could not have picked a better week for a portrait session. Though it was a little bit chilly, the colors were in full force and I couldn’t wait to capture these two celebrating their love story. We decided to meet at Linn Run State Park in Ligonier, Pennsylvania for an afternoon basking in the last little bit of sunlight before Daylight Savings hit.

 

We started our shoot at Adams Falls. We even blew off a few smoke bombs but I am not gonna lie, the shots were no bueno. My assistant, aka My Mama, wasn’t the best special effects coordinator so we ended up with a few photos of these two choking on the smell of the sulphur but I gotta give them props, both Andrew and Sam just laughed it off.

 

It is amazing how much I got to learn about these two while photographing these images. Considering how long I have known them, I thought had their personalities down to a T but sure enough, they kept surprising me. Sam and Andrew have 2 completely different personalities. Sam is wild and crazy, witty and so hilarious at all the right moments and by contrast, Andrew is quiet and stoic, smart and more than happy to let Sam take the lead 80% of the time. But together, these two have their own personality. Together, they both smile bigger and brighter. They have that sort of affection that only could only come from really knowing one another. After all these years together, I think it is fair to say that these sweethearts have got it figured out.

 

After playing around at Adams Falls for a bit, I told them to jump in the car to follow me on a little adventure. We raced our way down the mountain towards a dirt road for those really pretty natural light photos and then we made our back towards Ligonier so we could fence-hop. Yes, I do trespass with my clients’ consent and thank goodness these two are always down for an adventure. We made our way to a small stream that was surrounded with sugar maples and elm trees. When the light began to flicker in, these two got their snuggle on for some of the most adorable shots.

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Our last set of images were the best. Sam wanted to add a little personal touch to their shoot. Since they got engaged in New York City, she had brought along the infamous “I LOVE NY” shirts for a few fun shots.  I even laughed out loud when I realized that Andrew had been wearing it all along under his flannel! Smart guy, he is!

 

If I were to offer any solid piece of advice to these two as they embark on this wonderful journey together,  it would be this…

 ‘It burns like a blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love, rivers cannot wash it away.” Song of Solomon 8: 6-7

In other words, love each other hard through all of it because there will be good and there will be bad but you guys, you will always have each other to lean on. Remember that and remember that marriage is work, really hard work but the absolute best kind of work too. Stay true to your love for one another and you two will be golden. Oh, and Congratulations!!

 

Pennsylvania Holiday Mini Sessions: Ricky, Hanna & Grandpa

Ya’ll!!!!! Meet Hanna! This is my beautiful ginger haired baby cousin! I have been wanting to photograph this little lady for the longest time and we finally made it happen when I was last visiting back home in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania.

Back story, real quick. Hanna is my 2nd cousin. Her dad, Ricky, is my first cousin and his Dad, my Uncle Rick, is also my Godfather so I think it’s fair to say that my heart just exploded when I got the chance to look through these images. For as long as I can remember, my whole family has been telling me that Hanna is my mini-me. See, when I was a little lass, this girl and I could have been twins. Yep, I had that red hair, those big blue eyes and the same wild and crazy personality!

We met at Twin Lakes Park in Greensburg, Pennsylvania for a huge gathering of family photos but more on all that goodness later. Hanna and her Dad followed me down to the lake for a few quick shots of just them together. These are my favorite images because they look so natural and relaxed. Ricky is even giving her “the claw” in one of the photos. If you don’t know what the “claw” is, trust me, you don’t want to.

Soon after, the oldest and wisest of the Greece clan (9 kids in all) made his way down for a few photos with his son and granddaughter. My Uncle Rick was a surprise that day and man am I glad he came! I hadn’t seen him in so long and it was so good to see him and chat him up. He’s the same, smart and kind, just a little more gray than the last time I saw him. It really isn’t fair. All the men in this family just get more handsome with time.

I remember being a kid and looking through boxes of old photos that all those before me had taken. I loved it. I still do and it’s such a neat idea to think that Hanna and my sisters and all the younger cousins will get a chance to look through these one day and talk about how we all met at the park for photos and then we all went out to dinner at The Red Brick for pizza and then we laughed until we cried. That’s what I love most about this shoot, that I got to share it with so many of the people I love, especially these 3 looney tunes.

I had the best time catching up with my family during this shoot. I always tell everyone that it is so hard to see all of them when we come back to visit but man am I thankful that I have a family who will rearrange all their schedules in an instant just to have one afternoon being together. This family is wild and crazy, that’s for sure, but they are a group of people who love fiercely and uplift one another always and I am so thankful to be a part of it! Love you guys!

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For more information on when and where The Rustie Nail will be heading to in 2018, follow along on Instagram @therustienail. We’ll be back in PA, Canada and up next, Arizona so keep an eye out for travel updates!

Laurel Highlands Holiday Mini Sessions: Kaison

Hey guys! We’re back with yet another adorable baby. He is wild and crazy like his Mama and tough and bull-headed like his Daddy. Ya’ll Meet Kaison Bolish! I had the pleasure of snuggling on this goofy little guy while I was back home visiting in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania! With that devilish smirk and his sweet dimples, this little charmer is about to drop a CUTE bomb!

This little stinker was featured on our Blog last year for his first ever Holiday Mini Session. I met with his Mama and Papa at Grandpa’s farm for a bunch of maternal family portraits! We had the whole gang out for a fun day on the farm. You can check it all out here. Grandma and Grandpa Stickle even got caught sneaking a few kisses during the shoot!

This shoot would be a little different than the last. My longtime buddy, Kendrick aka Kaison’s daddy, was out hunting deer so Mama would be bringing baby boy by Twin Lakes Park in Greensburg, PA for a quick and easy shoot while all the leaves were  still changing colors.

Kelly showed up early with her little guy looking handsome as ever. Seeing that he had a slight case of the sniffles, we chose to keep his session short and sweet. Babies run out of fuel after about 30 pictures anyway so we just let Kaison run around the park while I snapped away! And yes I did say run. The last time I saw this little ham he was just learning how to crawl! How is this child running?!?!?

In all seriousness, I need time to slow down. Kaison is already a year and a half old!! And, I swear he gets more handsome daily.  I love watching his Mama’s Snapchats and seeing what this little butthead is up to all the time. Thank God for FaceTime and SnapChat and all the wonderful technology that allows me to still be apart of Kaison’s life even when I am 1800 miles away.

What’s left to day? He is the cutest. You know it. I know it. Everybody knows it. Heck, even HE knows it! Now let’s just hope Mommy and Daddy give this handsome fella a baby sister sometime soon so I can photograph her too! 🙂

 If you would like to inquire about booking a session when I am visiting in Pennsylvania, follow along on Instagram @therustienail for Travel Updates or email me at therustienailhead@gmail.com!

Ellie’s Newborn Session: Part II

And, they’re back! Mama Carly, Baby Ellie and I had so much fun doing Ellie’s Newborn Shoot that we decided to extend their session so Daddy could join in on the fun. We met at Twin Lakes Park in Greensburg, Pennsylvania so we could capture a few photos of this adorable Trio!

Fall was really starting to kick in and you could feel the temperature dropping as we got closer to sunset so we decided to keep this shoot sweet and simple. I love shooting Newborns outside in the natural light because every little wrinkle and dimple is so perfectly exaggerated during that golden hour but I had no intentions of letting Baby Ellie get a cold. I assured first time parents, Carly and Jesse, that we would make it quick!

Because Mommy and Baby had a chance to do a full on photo shoot together already, I wanted to make sure got some photos of Daddy and his little lady. After snagging a few Family Portraits, I told Mama to hand Baby Girl over to Dad!

So he of course grabbed her up like a football and began snuggling his newest little nugget. Ellie was as happy as a clam cozied up to her Daddy!

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Did someone say Daddy’s Girl? Just look at the way she is looking at her Papa Bear!

TETKOSKINEWBORN-26But as cute as Daddy is with his little girl, my all time favorite images from this set are the ones of these three together! Jesse and Carly are naturals. You can tell that they are over the moon with joy and Ellie seems all too pleased to be along for the ride.

This session was so fun and so easy. I had these 3 in and out of the park in less than 20 minutes! I had the best time getting to hang out with this adorable trio and I look forward to seeing them again! Congratulations Jesse & Carly!