01 May

Marvin, NC Communion Portrait Photographer | Tiny Tuesday – A Moment of Reflection

Marvin, NC Communion Portrait Photographer | Tiny Tuesday – A Moment of Reflection

This past weekend was my niece’s Communion Day and this was my absolute favorite image from the day. It was after the ceremony and we were in the lobby of the Church. I had brought her near the door to make some portraits using the window light when all of a sudden, I caught a glimpse of her bouquet in the marble wall.  I took a few steps back, and there she was – the beautiful reflection of my sweet niece.

I had a photographer’s moment of glee as I made these images. I truly felt like a kid in a candy store. It was just pure happiness for me to capture a sweet moment like this.

Special thanks to my beautiful niece for all her cooperation and modeling for the day. Many more images to share, but for today, just sharing my favorite.


Marvin, NC Communion Portrait Photographer shares A Moment of Reflection

17 Apr

Charlotte, NC Family Photographer | Published! {The Indie Tot}

Charlotte, NC Family Photographer | Published! {The Indie Tot}

Isn’t it just fitting that my first published family portrait session is with one of my absolutely wonderful clients that I have been working with for the last two years!

Today I have been published on The Indie Tot blog featuring an adorable Fall family portrait session in Historic Richmondtown. Everything about the session was just wonderful – the weather, the location, the family, and the giggly smile of their adorable little man.

Check out The B Family on the The Indie Tot here and please don’t forget to show them some love and comment on the post!!

About The Indie Tot: The Indie Tot features the best of the best for kids! We love the people who excel at creating great products for children – whether they’re handmade, eco-friendly or simply of awesome quality.

07 Mar

Charlotte, NC | Guest Blog: What My Family Portraits Mean To Me One Year Later – A Mom’s Review

Charlotte, NC | Guest Blog: What My Family Portraits Mean To Me One Year Later – A Mom’s Review

Last night, I received the most amazing email from a client (and good friend) about the portrait session we did for her family last year when her youngest son was born. She wrote a detailed note describing what the portraits from her session have meant to her over this past year. I was in tears at the end of her note.  My goal as a photographer isn’t just to make you smile during your session, but to make you smile nearly everyday after just by glancing at the photos that hang in your home.  I know this feeling for myself, and I always aim to provide images to my clients that will make them feel the same way.

There is nothing better than knowing that your wishes and goals for what you hope to provide to your clients have come true.  Here is a note from Jen:

“I walked past my sons’ playroom and I smiled today.  A year ago, my dear friend, Carolyn, came over to take pictures of our family with our newest addition.   A few of the most meaningful images now hang in my playroom in a canvas cluster.

What strikes me now is not how much those pictures remind me of the past, but the reminder of all the moments that have taken place between then and now.  So much has changed, but those pictures also reveal pieces of my kids’ personality that are still true now.

Charlotte, NC Photographer receives letter from Mom describing what her Family Portraits mean to her

This beautiful boy has always had a “thing” with his pointer fingers.  He points at things before he clutches them in his little hands.  At 13 months, he points at every piece of cereal before he eats it.  This picture reminds me that characteristic was a part of him even when his age was only measured in days.



Charlotte, NC | Guest Blog: What My Family Portraits Mean To Me One Year Later - A Mom's Review My older son lost his first tooth 2 months before this picture was taken (on Thanksgiving).  I love that I’m reminded of that milestone when I look at this picture.



Charlotte, NC Guest Blog:  A Mom's Review of her Family Portrait PhotographerHe lost his first top tooth a year after this picture was taken, and I have to say I’m grateful to have some great shots of him before his smile was changed forever.


But even more than the precious milestones and memories, there are new moments created by these photos.  My older son glanced up at the photo below and said, “Mommy is that your hand holding Owen’s?”  And I said, “No, honey.  That’s your hand holding your brother’s.”

Charlotte, NC Family Photographer - big brother and little brother handsI explained to him that they would always have each other.  It was probably the first time they held hands, but metaphorically it’s just the beginning.  To a stranger, it’s just two hands, but to me it’s the early moments of a lifetime bond.

This art is more meaningful to me than anything an artist could paint.   These photos make me smile everyday, and no matter how busy things get they remind me of what’s really important.

Thank you, Carolyn, for lending me your talent and your vision!  Your work means so much to so many people!”

 I absolutely loved reading Jen’s note, and it completely warmed my heart.   As she notes, life is busy.  I simply hope to provide images that will make you stop for a moment and remember.  I’m so thrilled that I could give that to Jen.

Thanks for reading!


30 Jan

Marvin, North Carolina Children’s Photographer | Smiles to Keep You Warm

Marvin, North Carolina Children’s Photographer | Smiles to Keep You Warm

I love twinkling little eyes, especially from little boys that are just looking for a hint of trouble.  This little guy is just 3 years old, and is honestly such a sweet little man, but can you just see that glimmer in his eyes that he is looking for a little adventure?

I love the images of him, but also loved capturing this wonderful relationship between a big sister and her little brother.  Even with about 14 years between them, you can tell they are still best friends.  I loved watching them walk together down the road, and my heart just aches to think that she will be heading to college next year.  Time goes by so quickly, and she has grown into a wonderful young lady.

I hope these images will bring a little warmth, smiles and sunshine to your day.


Marvin, North Carolina Children's Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan shares smiles to keep you warm

26 Jan

Charlotte, NC Photographer | You Can’t Win, If You Don’t Try

Charlotte, NC Photographer | You Can’t Win, If You Don’t Try

Last year, while I was attending WPPI in Las Vegas, Animoto was sponsoring the “Animoto Pro Success Story Contest”. All you had to do was swing by the booth and answer a few questions on video about how you use and why you love Animoto, and one person would be chosen to be featured in an Animoto ad.  I had been using Animoto to create slideshows for my clients for about one year, and they always did such an outstanding job helping to convey the emotions and story behind every session. In fact, it wasn’t uncommon for a Mom to tell me that it brought her to tears (or her parents, her husband, her neighbors, or her friends).

The contest itself sounded very cool, and although I figured a bunch of awesome and amazing photographers would be lining up for this opportunity, I decided to take a chance.  Who knows, right?  You definitely can’t win if you don’t at least try, and the opportunity sounded so exciting.

A few months later, I received a phone call from Animoto that I had been chosen to be featured in an ad that would run in Rangefinder and Professional Photograph magazines!  Are you kidding me?  Their ads so far have featured Kevin Kubota, Vicki Taufer, Scott Bourne, Jeff & Allison Rodgers and so many other wonderful people in the photography industry. And now I could count myself among them? Really?

It took time for me to believe it was really true.  We spent some time discussing the plan for the shoot and Animoto’s own Justin Camerer (photographer & software developer) agreed to do the session right in Animoto’s offices.  The tech geek in me (that spent 11 years doing software design) was really excited to visit Animoto’s offices and get to know their amazing team. In all honesty, if I still worked in Technology, I would want to work with these guys.

One of the things I love about Animoto isn’t just their awesome slideshows, but I love working with vendors that support photographers and provide education for our industry. And everyone I’ve met from Animoto has been incredible. Their slideshows have amazed my clients, and I still get so excited each time I click the button to produce a new slideshow.

I’m so excited to share a few images from the photo shoot and announce that the ad was published in Rangefinder and Professional Photographer magazine this January.  I’m so grateful to Animoto for this opportunity and can’t believe my name is listed in the drop-down on their site along with a ton of top photographers that I admire. Thank you!

Special thanks to Justin Camerer for the portraits and Lindsey Jones for hair/make-up. I loved working with both of you!

Charlotte, NC Photographer shares that you Can't Win, If You Don't Try

21 Jan

Fanwood, NJ Children’s Photographer | First Snow Day 2012

After last winter, it’s nice to be excited for snow once again.  This time is was just the perfect amount.  It was easy enough to clean up, but fun enough to let the kids play.

Believe it or not, this was our little guy’s first real time playing in the snow. He’s 2 1/2 years old now, and last year he was either sick for most of the snowstorms, or the snow was too deep to really allow him to go out and enjoy it.  That’s why I’m so excited to share these images, because he just loved playing with his Dad and big sister this morning.  He started out slow, but the smiles quickly turned to giggles as he played and tackled Daddy.

Our daughter had a brief timeout on the front steps for throwing a snowball down her brother’s neck.  As a parent, I hate these moments when we spoil the fun, but the photographer in me just had to capture it.  Honestly, I love the image, and she laughed later when she saw it. Don’t worry, it was a super short timeout and she quickly got back into the fun.  I turned to catch her sneakily tasting the snow and I loved the series of smiles and giggles.  Do you remember being 6 years old and eating handfuls of snow?

After a few more snowballs and smiles, it was time for me to put the camera away inside and really join in the fun – and yes we had a mini-snowball fight.

If you had snow this weekend, I hope you were able to enjoy it as much as we did.  Stay safe and enjoy this cozy weekend.

12 Jan

Marvin, NC Family and Children’s Photographer | From shy to smiles . . .

Marvin, NC Family and Children’s Photographer | From shy to smiles . . .

Not everyone starts out their session ready to go and have a great time.  And that’s completely ok.  When we started this session, this little man was shy and just wanted to be close to his Mom.  So, that’s what we captured.  We had plenty of time to get adorable and happy images, and we knew that our patience would win and help us get there.  I have seen him many times running around and having fun, so I knew it was only a matter of time.

But honestly, one of our favorite images from the session (both for his Mom and me), is from those shy moments.  I featured the images a few weeks back for Tiny Tuesday, and it’s included here again in black and white.  There is so much emotion in that one photograph.

And now I’m happy to share a few other images from the session to show the transformation from shy to smiles to outright giggles and laughter.  This sweet little boy kept me running the rest of the afternoon.


Marvin, NC Family and Children's Photographer shares photographs highlighting a child going from shy to smiles

03 Jan

Charlotte, North Carolina Children’s Photographer | Tiny Tuesday – Surprise! It’s 2012!

Charlotte, North Carolina Children’s Photographer | Tiny Tuesday – Surprise! It’s 2012!

Wow!  Where did the last year?  Do you find yourself saying that every January 1st?  I know I do.  Usually around June, it seems like time is moving at a normal pace, but then in a blink, it’s December.  And now, January.

The past year was an amazing one for me, and I still have a ton of sessions to add to the blog.  I’m so thankful and grateful to everyone that supported me this past year and helped me fulfill my dream of being a full-time photographer.  I have so many wonderful people in my life, and this would not have been possible without them.  Thank You.

And now, it’s Tiny Tuesday!  I thought this image was a perfect start to Tiny Tuesday for 2012. I think it captures how I feel right now, but it is also one of my favorite images from this past year.

Charlotte, North Carolina Children's Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan discusses the back story behind a portrait

This image wasn’t planned.  It wasn’t posed. It just happened.  And honestly, it wasn’t until the image was captured in the camera that I saw any resemblance to a previous movie poster or childhood actor.

So, how did this happen?  It was during a break in the session.  The family was changing clothes and getting ready to head to another location, and this young man was taking a snack break in the kitchen.  But he was sitting at the counter, and I saw some beautiful window light coming into the room.  I originally asked if he could move to the table, so I could get a better shot.  But, he was comfortable at the counter. OK.  That’s fine.

I adjusted my camera settings for the location he was sitting and asked if I could take his picture.  He shook his head, and covered his entire face with his hands.  OK.  That’s fine.  Technically, it was his snack break.

But I didn’t want to give up.  I loved the light.  I loved his eyes.  With kids, you have to be patient and let them lead the way, but still help guide them to the shot you want.  So, I got the camera ready, focused and held still . . . waiting. He wasn’t moving those hands.  He sat at the counter holding his hands over his face for a few minutes, and I waited, ready to capture a glimpse of his face.  I’m not sure who was more stubborn at that moment. But I was having fun with this challenge.

“OK.”, I said.  “I guess it’s time for me to give up.  I’ll just have to put the camera away and get ready to head to the park.”

He was curious, and slowly took a peek by pulling his hands straight down.  But my camera had not moved and I was focused and ready to make my image.  I had a split second before he realized that I was still sitting there with camera in hand, and I got the shot before he was able to put his hands back over his eyes.

OK, so I was a little sneaky that day.  {I’m still giggling about it}.  But when I looked at the back of the camera, I just laughed to myself.   It wasn’t planned, but it was a fun moment to capture.

Enjoy! And Happy New Year and wishing you a wonderful 2012!

30 Dec

Marvin, NC Family Photographer | Fun in the Fall

Marvin, NC Family Photographer | Fun in the Fall

It’s time to post another session from earlier this Fall.   I love clients that keep coming back and giving me a chance to see how much everyone has grown.  This is the third year that I had the pleasure of working with this family and capturing adorable moments with them.  This year, we chose to meet at Memorial Park in Millburn, NJ, and I was very happy with the different backdrops available at this location.

I love working with families that know how to have a great time together.  While the older children were a little more quiet and reserved (and truthfully, just really mature for their age), the little guy definitely showed his true colors and brought out the giggles from everyone else.  He just loved playing it up for the camera, too!   Can you tell?  And everyone had fun when they were asked to play and jump in the leaves!


Marvin, NC photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan captures Fall Family portraits


20 Dec

Charlotte, NC Children’s Photographer | Tiny Tuesday – May Your Holiday Wishes Come True

Charlotte, NC Children’s Photographer | Tiny Tuesday – May Your Holiday Wishes Come True

Today’s Tiny Tuesday is perfect for this week.  I just love when children do something slightly unexpected.  When I was taking my niece’s photograph, there were a bunch of distractions from her siblings happening around her.  I wanted her to focus and be with me, so I asked her to close her eyes and relax for a minute.  Then I wanted to get her thinking about something that would make her smile, so I asked her to think about what she wanted for Christmas.  She immediately clasped her hands together, started dreaming of her Christmas wishes and you can almost hear her saying “I really, really, really hope I get . . . . . ”

The result was this sweet image of a child hoping that all her Christmas wishes come true.  And I love the lights in the background setting the mood. When I look at this image, I feel like I can see Christmas Eve and Christmas morning through this young lady’s eyes, and it looks like it’s going to be a wonderful day!

Charlotte, NC Children's Photographer holiday Christmas portraits

For all my clients, family, friends, and readers of my blog, I do hope all your holiday wishes come true.  And here is an early wish for a wonderful New Year in 2012 for you and your family.

19 Dec

Weddington, NC Children’s Photographer | Days to Warm Your Heart

Weddington, NC Children’s Photographer | Days to Warm Your Heart

It was mid-October and around 80 degrees, and I had a portrait session scheduled with an adorable family of FIVE boys.  Yes, five absolutely wonderful little men.  I know their Mom was nervous about the session, not just because she wanted adorable pictures, but she had purchased long sleeves and corduroy pants for them to wear for their holiday portraits, and now it was 80 degrees and the perfect weather for shorts.  But, her guys proved she had nothing to worry about.

It wasn’t the sun that warmed my heart that day, but it was the sweet smiles and unbelievable cuteness from these little men.  The older boys were so polite as they asked questions about my camera equipment, and helped me carry items as we moved from location to location in Historic Richmondtown.  And the little guys just completely stole my heart with the twinkle in their eyes.   I know everyone that knows this family would agree that their parents are doing an incredible job raising this family.

Here is a sampling of the images we made that warm October day.

Weddington, NC Children's Portrait Photographer

15 Dec

Marvin, North Carolina Family Photographer | Time for some cuteness!

Marvin, North Carolina Family Photographer | Time for some cuteness!

I posted on Facebook yesterday that I have 17 sessions that need to be added to the blog all the way from October through now!  17!  It was an incredible and amazing season and I just loved all the time I spent with my clients capturing the cuteness. Even the chaos was fun.  I really loved every minute of it.

I just received a comment on my Facebook page from a wonderful person that was excited to see all the cuteness.  So, here is the perfect start for sharing cuteness!  This gorgeous little lady has been a client since she was just a few days old, and now she is almost two.  And she gets more adorable each time I see her.


Marvin, North Carolina Family Photographer

22 Nov

Priceless Charlotte, NC Children’s Photography | Tiny Tuesday – Mother’s Love

Priceless Charlotte, NC Children’s Photography | Tiny Tuesday – Mother’s Love

Today’s Tiny Tuesday post is from one of this year’s Fall portrait sessions.  I LOVE this moment and so does this little man’s Mommy, and it might be our favorite image from the entire session.

When we started the session, this little guy was being shy and just wanted to stay very close to his Mom and also his stuffed animal, George.   But even though he was being shy, there were still moments to be captured.

I love this image because you can feel the tenderness.  You don’t need a smile, a giggle or laughter to show the love that exists between a parent and child.   For me, this image shows sweetness, comfort, security, love and curiosity all rolled into one.  And I’m just completely mesmerized by those adorable eyes.

Enjoy and I hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Priceless Charlotte, NC Children's Photography  shares precious and heartfelt photograph


15 Nov

Charlotte, NC Child Photographer | Tiny Tuesday – Thanksgiving Inspirations

Charlotte, NC Child Photographer | Tiny Tuesday

This week’s Charlotte, NC Child Photographer Tiny Tuesday post is about more than just a photograph of a cute little girl.  This story is about how this sweet little one inspired her parents and many others to do good in their community around the holidays. With Thanksgiving approaching next week, I felt this was a really sweet story to share and I’m including my favorite image from her portrait session last October.

Olivia’s parents wanted to teach their daughter the true meaning of Thanksgiving and what it means to appreciate and give back.  In November 2010, they set a goal to help feed four families a full Thanksgiving meal with all the extra trimmings. But after chatting with Olivia, she increased their goal from four to ten families.  Olivia’s philosophy was simple and sincere: “If we are going to help people, we should try to help more people.”

So, Olivia’s father launched an effort through friends and family and in just two weeks, they were able to raise enough funds and collected enough food to feed 34 families a full Thanksgiving meal last year!  They had funds come from New Jersey, New York, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico and England. This year, Olivia’s father increased their goals, is working with more families, and had even offered to chat with others to help them get a similar effort going in their own community.   Based upon his personal experiences, he notes “you will certainly receive so much more than you give.”

I’m thrilled to say that my family contributed to their effort last year and again this year, and we are hoping to join them this weekend as they gather and sort all the food into boxes for distribution on Monday and Tuesday.  And it’s all because of this adorable little smile below.  This little sweetheart has inspired a whole community to give thanks in a wonderful way and help other families that couldn’t afford to enjoy Thanksgiving, celebrate with a wonderful feast.

So, now I’m curious, who else will this little girl inspire?  If you can, please consider donating to your local food banks or other charities this coming week and help others enjoy this holiday.  It doesn’t take much.  It just takes a start.


Charlotte, NC Child Photographer Tiny Tuesday

25 Oct

Professional Matthews NC Child Photographer | Tiny Dancer

Professional Matthews NC Child Photographer | Tiny Dancer

Starting this week, I’m introducing two weekly blog posts. Every Tuesday will be Tiny Tuesday where I post favorite images from sessions over the last few years and talk about why I love the photograph. Later this week, I’m going to start Favorite Fridays where I will share a favorite toy, children’s store, educational item or service related to children. I do expect that many of these will be local to my area and my clients, but some may be national or online items.

I do hope you enjoy these posts and I welcome feedback and comments.

This week’s Tiny Tuesday share is an adorable little girl caught spinning in the grass. As we started our session last Summer, she was a little shy and I needed to get her to warm up to the camera. I noticed her dress was perfect for spinning, so I backed up to give her some space and also a feeling that I wasn’t right on top of her and asked her to just twirl. What little girl doesn’t love to twirl and watch her own dress spin in the breeze? The result was this adorable image, and the remainder of the session was just wonderful. I love the timeless feel of this image.  For me, it captures an innocence and sweetness that is a part of being a little girl – just a moment lost in their own world spinning in their dress.

Matthews NC Family Portrait Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan photographs little girl spinning in grass