children's photographer in Raleigh, Cary, Apex

Children and animal portraits

People often ask me if it’s difficult to take children and animal portraits. The answer is yes and no. It is fun and an experience for your child.  I do have to take many photos during our time together because some of them may not be usable.  This is because I am working with a moving child and a moving animal.  Most of the children are young and I want them to have fun so that they will have relaxed facial expressions.  Telling them not to move an inch just does not illicit the proper mood.  Also the animals do move and don’t care one bit about my focal plane. Ha ha.  There is a chance that the animal will not be in focus as it should be in some of the images because of the way I choose to shoot.

 Although most people do not want a rundown of how a camera and lens work, it’s still important for parents to know that you will not see all of the images that I take when I am photographing children and animal portraits.   Why would the animal be out of focus?  It’s not because he or she may be moving.  It is because of the way I use my aperture to get the out of focus back ground that we want in your images.  Otherwise they look like snap shots and that is not what you pay a professional photographer to produce.  I have a horse handler with me if I am photographing a child with a horse.  That person has a good idea about what I need to happen with the animal for the animal and child to be in the same focal plane.  (That is what makes both child and animal in focus)  We work together to get the nice images you see posted on Facebook and here on my site.  We have fun with your children and I provide exquisite dresses for the girls from Dollcake in Australia. We are working on some cute ideas for boys too.   The ponies/horses/or miniature horses are sweet as are the bunnies.  The images are adorable and classic.  I will do unicorn photos if a client is interested but a less gimmicky and more classic portrait is more my style and may hang better in your home on a canvas.

Being a Raleigh children’s photographer and living on a farm gives me the advantage of being able to schedule many children and animal portraits. I hope that you will look through my galleries.  I have images posted in my regular children’s gallery as well as my magical mini session albums and in the gallery titled “Meet some of the animals“. I would love for you to schedule a session with me.  It is so much fun and the parents just love the images.

This is of course what we are going for when shooting children and animal portraits.

Raleigh children's photographer

Raleigh children's photographer

Children and animal portraits

children and animals portraits              

Sometimes I photograph BIG KIDS with their horses.  This first shot actually won an award and was published.

children and animal portraits

Children and animal portraits

I am also a Raleigh senior photographer and am so excited when they have a horse to add to their senior portraits.

High School Senior Portraits in Raleigh,, Cary, Holly Springs

Raleigh senior portraits

And of course, because as I mentioned I am often working with the animals and very young children there are always the bloopers.  Hope you enjoy as much as I did.

Sometimes you just get sneezed on:    I was laughing so hard when I saw this photo.  Little Lighting even sneezes with a cute facial expression.

children's photographer in Raleigh, Cary, Apex

In the image below she is focused on the not so magical unicorn slobber on her hand.

Raleigh children's photographer

And some girls are cowgirls early…

Raleigh children's photography

And because safety comes first there is always a handler.  One of my handlers is my friend Tara Needham with Stampede of Love.  You can keep up with her sweet therapy horses on her website or Facebook page.  I am so thrilled to have a friendship as well as a working relationship with her.

Cary horse photographer

My other handler is my wonderful 21 year old daughter Taylor who has spent the majority of her life with horses.

Unicorn photography in Raleigh NC

Call me at 919-637-7985 or email me here to talk about getting your children photographed with some of the wonderful animals above. My work is featured at Carriage Farm in Raleigh NC as well.  I do most of my portraits there.  You can have a party there, a wedding, (link to new wedding pavilion)  horse back riding lessons, board your horse and have portraits taken.

Baby photographer in Raleigh NC

Lydia: Raleigh baby photography

I just love specializing in children’s portrait work and baby photography. Lydia came in with mommy and Mimi to have her nine month portraits taken. I have photographed her sweet cousins and well and was so excited to meet her.  She was just a little doll baby. She actually has that sweet round face of a Gerber baby.  As is most common with babies her age she was super sweet and cheerful. This allowed us to get some cute smiling images as well as some nice images with her just looking at me.  She has the most amazing sparkly eyes and they show so nicely in those more serious images.

We just HAd to photograph her as a baby cherub because she fits the bill.

Baby photography in Raleigh NC

This age, between 7 and 9 months is just the best time to photograph a baby. They are so sweet and the baby weight that they have not been able to run off yet photographs so well.  I just love baby photography.

I could not help but put this great bonnet on her. Wow on that sweet face.

Raleigh baby photographer

And if this is not a Gerber baby face I don’t know what is.

Baby photographer in Raleigh NC

Raleigh baby photographer




Simone: Raleigh children’s photographer

We took Simone to Duke Gardens for her three year old portraits. Her mom loves outdoor photography and we had done her last few sessions at my studio.  She always has the cutest outfits to wear that her mom buys on Etsy.  Several of them have been re-homed to my studio. Haha.  We had lots of fun looking for nice places to shoot and there are so many of them at Duke Garden’s.  We went super early in the morning so that most of those areas would still be in the shade.  When they got in their car to leave Simone said, “that was fun, can we do it again?”  I am sure that made mom smile because she loves portraits of her pretty girls.

I just love photographing children, my business has always centered around newborns and children, all the way up to seniors in high school.  It’s so much fun to watch them grow. Simone was a newborn when we started our journey. Now she is old enough to know me and it makes for a nice experience for the child as well. I, of course, love watching them grow from session to session.

Children's photography at Duke Gardens

Raleigh children's photography

Children's photography Raleigh NC

Children's photographer Raleigh NC

Mother’s day photos

Mother’s day is right around the corner. If you are looking for just the right gift for a special mom in your life think about Mother’s day photos. She will want them.  Updated shots of her babies or a Mommy And Me session will surely bring a smile to her face. Being a portrait photographer I meet lots of moms.  One of the best parts of the job  is being about to capture the love shared between a parent and child in a photograph. Many times I have wished that I could go back in time and have my portraits taken with my children while they were small. My favorite photograph of all time is an image of my own daughter with my mother.  It sits by my bedside and is one of the first things I see every morning. What a special memory it is for me and i consider it irreplaceable.

This image has always been so sweet to me.  It really does say MOM. The belly, the boys sweet faces and the I love my mom temporary tattoos. I just love it.

Mother's day photos pregnant mom and two kids

Maternity images are so much fun. What a special time in a woman’s life and certainly a time to celebrate family.

Mother's day photos pregnant lady outside Mother's day photos mom to be in studio

And Vanessa, I started with maternity and continue to photograph her beautiful baby girl.  She is such a wonderfully relaxed mom and she loves horses which gives us something in common. Vanessa was positively radiant while she was waiting for Izzy to arrive.


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Another of my favorite images came from a Mommy and me session years ago. I just love this fun pose and this happy mom. The simple black shirts that I recommended that they wear really made the focus of the image the two beautiful children and their beautiful mom. I always incorporate this image into a post for Mother’s day photos because it just screams Mother to me.

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Erin is a wonderful mother and every time she comes in we photograph her with her children. Her children will appreciate them in the future. This is Erin in a Mommy and Me session with her sweet son Chance.

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Stay tuned to my Facebook page for Mommy and Me images.


Easter photos of two sweet kids

One of my favorite things about spring is setting up Easter photos. I love photographing children and animals.


Easter photos boy and bunny on a swing


Mother's day photos Bettie in my garden Easter photos a girl in a garden Easter photos bunny on a log Easter photos girl with rabbit Easter photos boy and girl with rabbit

Bettie and Maddox came into my Raleigh portrait studio for Easter photos.  As always we get some updated images that are not holiday oriented as well.  Bettie is such a pretty and sweet child but she is so funny about being outside.  She reminds me of my own daughter, who also does not like bugs so sometimes won’t go outside.  I wish that I had video as well as images of her as she gingerly walked over to my garden to sit with the bunny, while all along checking out the ground to see if she saw any type of bug.  Thank goodness for the flagstone in my outdoor studio garden that allowed her to sit comfortably BUT NOT ON THE GRASS. 🙂 I am thinking that our next photo session should be an urban one.  We could go to down town Fuquay, Cary or Raleigh and then it will be sidewalks all the way. 🙂

In the last image Bettie is showing her brother Maddox that bunnies really are sweet and it’s ok to gently touch them.  This is huge progress from last year’s Easter session and we expect that next year Maddox will be holding a bunny as well.  More images of these two (oops 3) cuties on my Facebook page here.

Mary dressed Maddox as a southern gentleman. I think the first image is so cute.  He was still a little worried about being near the bunny but having her in a basket seemed to make all the difference.  I just love Maddox’s sweet face. I have always said he reminds me of a rock star with his longish blond hair.  He is so cute and the older he gets the easier he is to photograph.

 Bettie, his sister, just loves to be photographed. She participates actively in setting up the set, so cute.  I think it’s a game for her which makes taking her pictures very easy.

Raleigh Children’s Photographer – a fantastic mom (princess for sure)

Raleigh Children’s Photographer

A couple of years ago Mary brought her two adorable children into my Raleigh studio for portraits.  I have had so much fun getting to know this family, parents and kid alike as I have photographed them several times.   I often comment that mom and dad need to meet some of my friends just to make them laugh.  They are very relaxed parents, spending lots of quality time with those kiddos and both mom and dad seem to really understand the mind of the young child.  I have mom on my personal Facebook page and because I do I know she takes the job of parenting very seriously.  She rocks.  I really want to go and play at their house.  I believe they currently have a ice skating ring set up in their home.  WOW.  I teased Bettie that in some of the pictures I wanted mom to be the princess.  Of course Mary (mom) stepped right up to the plate.  She is lovely and just an amazing lady…

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We often do them sessions because they have a bonus room that is Disney style and they love to customize the room with portraits of their children…. here is a photograph from one of our Disney themed photo shoots.  We asked that Bettie try to look a bit scared or surprised by the character (mom) in the background. Bettie did such a great job with this shoot.  Their costumes were amazing, especially Maleficent.  See… what a fun mom Mary is…..

I love to photograph children and especially when they are having fun…

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And Mary (Maleficent)  dressed to impress and have fun with her children.  I took these images in 2014.

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