The W Family | Topsail Island Beach Family Photography

Topsail Island Beach Family PhotographyIt is of utmost importance to me to be sure to customize each portrait session according to what is most important to my clients. Sometimes that means deviating from the usual plan. For instance, this family had contacted me to do a maternity beach session while on vacation on Topsail Island, NC. They also said they wanted a few photos of their daughter and some photos of her with her grandparents who were celebrating their anniversary. So it turned into a very custom session that included all the shots that were important to them.

Topsail Island Beach Family Photography

This session was done back in early September. The weather and light was perfection at sunset. We got some beautifully sunny shots that to me represent the warmth and love between this family. As you can see from these photos, my style of photography tends to focus more on the sweet interactions and tender moments between family members. I do make sure to capture a few more traditional shots with everyone posed and looking at the camera, but ultimately it’s shots like the ones below that make my heart sing and stir up nostalgic emotion in my clients when they enjoy these photos days, months, years down the line.

Topsail Island Beach Family PhotographyTopsail Island Beach Family Photography

Are you interested in having a custom portrait session done? Contact me and let’s chat about capturing beautiful family memories for you.

What to Wear to your Photo Session

What to wear to your photo sessionTo me, a well-done family photo captures real emotion that can tell the story of your family in that moment in time. Photos like this stand the test of time and can be passed on from generation to generation. Since photos are intended to create lasting memories, making sure you have the tools in place for a fantastic photo session is important. To help with your clothing selection, I have developed this guide to help you determine what to wear to your photo session.

Wearing the right clothing, choosing the right photographer, and picking the right location are the key elements to getting the beautiful photographs you dream of.

What To Wear To Your Photo Session


One of the first things you will want to look for in an outfit is comfort. Remember, you will likely be going through a number of poses, walking on the sand or in a wooded area, and perhaps sitting on grass. This could mean you will need to bend, stoop or sit in several positions in order to get the perfect shots. Wearing clothes that will allow you to move freely is helpful.

Choosing comfortable clothing for children in the session is also something you will want to consider. When children are not comfortable in the clothes they are wearing, it will be harder for them to cooperate with the photos.


Before you head out to your session, talk to your photographer about the backgrounds and locations you will be using in your photos. You should choose outfits that will work well with the lighting and color schemes included in the area you will be taking photographs. For example, corals and blues look beautiful on the beach. Burnt orange, tan, hunter green, cream and navy look really nice in wooded areas. Your photographer will also be able to give you some tips as to which color schemes tend to work the best. Typically, it’s best to go with neutral colors that will work best with most backgrounds and skin tones. Simple patterns are nice when used sparingly. Expert tip: Always avoid neon or excessively bright colors. They can reflect poorly on the skin. For kids, avoid clothing with large logos or cartoon characters on them. You want the focus to be on your little ones face, not the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle on their t-shirt. Here is a fall-themed Pinterest page I have created to help inspire you.

Avoid Over-Embellishing

Try to keep your outfits as simple as possible. Adding a lot of accessories and jewelry can actually take away from the true focus of the photos; your family. By avoiding these items, you will be able to keep the attention of the photos on the memory-making process.

When you are preparing for your photo session, make sure you keep these wardrobe tips in mind, but the most important thing is to simply be yourselves! These tips should help you be prepared for the best photo session possible. Then, you will be able to truly enjoy your photos for many years to come!

Green Baby Diaper Service in Wilmington NC

Before taking over Green Baby Diaper Service in Wilmington NC, Angie Harris had been an elementary school teacher for over 7 years. After she had her first child she went back to work for a few months and soon after found out she was pregnant again. With two little ones in tow, she wanted to find work that would allow her a more flexible schedule so she could stay home with her littles. It was during that time some family friends announced they were selling Green Baby Diaper Service and the opportunity she had been looking for had arrived. Not only has running Green Baby Diaper Service allowed Angie to have a flexible schedule with her three children, but it also introduced her to all the benefits of cloth diapers.

Green Baby Diaper Service Wilmington NC

Angie Harris, proud owner of Green Baby Diaper Service

Once Angie and her husband purchased the diaper store as a business and began using cloth diapers on their kids, they realized the only reason they hadn’t before was simply because they did not know about it. Their mission with Green Baby Diaper Service has become to educate parents on the benefits of cloth diapering and offer it to them as a healthy and eco-friendly alternative to disposable diapers.

Cloth diapers offer many benefits, both health and environmental. For babies and toddlers, cloth diapers contain zero harsh chemicals that can irritate and be absorbed by the skin. For parents, they offer an environmentally-friendly alternative you can feel good about using. “Disposable diapers still use dioxin (a drying agent) and other chemicals that have been removed from feminine products for years. A few of your natural brands don’t contain some of those harsh chemicals, however they’re not any better for the environment. A disposable diaper takes about 500 years to decompose in a landfill, and that’s even your natural ones. Unless you use the natural diapers that are specifically made for composting, and those services are not available everywhere.” says Angie.


Not only do cloth diapers offer a worry-free, guilt-free alternative to disposable diapers, they also deliver! Can I get a hallelujah? That’s one less thing to worry about! Green Baby Diaper Service offers a variety of Start-Up Packages and Service Plans that work with all levels of diapering needs. With their service, you simply take your baby’s diaper off and drop it in the pail that is provided. Fill it up all week and they pick it up from your doorstep! There is no rinsing and no fuss. They even have a package set up if you choose to wash your cloth diapers at home. They will work with you on customizing your order and deliver all over Wilmington–even up to Hampstead.

Green Baby Diaper Service in Wilmington NC

Green Baby Diaper Service is providing a great service to Wilmington-area moms and the owners are committed to their renewed vision and passion for preventing as many disposable diapers as possible from entering landfills. Their store not only contains a plethora of cloth diapers (new and used), but also lactation supplies, consignments, swim diapers, bibs, bows, amber necklaces, hats, fashionable tie dye kids clothing and more.

Green Baby Diaper Service

6006 Oleander Drive
Wilmington, NC 28403

Phone: 910.399.3051

Connect: Facebook


4 Styles of Photography Explained

There are many different styles of photography, and if you aren’t familiar with them, it can be hard to know if a photographer’s style is right for you when considering them for your family portraits. It is also useful to know a bit about the photography style you gravitate towards so that you can communicate your vision to your photographer. Here are four of the most common styles of photography used in family portraits.

4 Styles of Photography Explained

Lifestyle –

Image courtesy of yours truly, Erika Rigger Photography


Image courtesy of Molly Garg Photography

Lifestyle photography is exactly what it says it is. It is capturing the subject living their life in their natural environment. This can include the home, workplace or a location in their hometown. These pictures lean towards a more candid feel, but can include some setup or staging. Lifestyle photography can actually encompass elements of the other three styles. I love this style because of the authenticity of it. When a family chooses a location that is meaningful to them, and is encouraged to simply be themselves, is when the real emotion is captured and makes for the types of photos that are enjoyed for generations.

Documentary –


Image courtesy of Life Unstill Photography


Image courtesy of Floyd Family Photography

Documentary style photography is usually associated with a chronological series of events. It is storytelling of a visual nature. The beauty of this style is that it tells the story while capturing the associated emotions. These type of photos can be both staged or candid, depending on the event or subject. For instance, a staged documentary session would involve setting up an area in the kitchen with all the ingredients and supplies with which to make cookies and then photographing the process of kids making cookies with mom and dad.

Traditional or Posed –


Image courtesy of Hannah Drews Photography


Image courtesy of Earth Darling Portraits

Traditional or posed photography is a common portrait style. The subject of the photo is positioned to capture the light or a particular pose. In the past, these type of portraits were usually taken inside in a studio using backdrops and skillfully placed artificial lighting. A welcome change has many of these portraits now being created in natural light. Outdoor settings have become a popular choice for posed portraits.

Artistic –


Image courtesy of Suzanne Taylor Photography

Artistic photography allows both the photographer and the subject the most freedom. They work as a team to create a piece of art with no guidelines or rules to follow. With artful backdrops, costumes, and make-up as well as heavy post-processing to achieve the look of a fantasy, there are also no limits to the creative touches and ideas used to help the vision come to life.

Selecting a photographer that you are comfortable with is of prime importance. This person will be working with you to create heirloom quality images for your family so clear communication on your expectations as well as familiarity with their style of photography is critical.

3 Things to Ask A Photographer When Taking Family Portraits

3 things to ask a photographer wilmington nc

A family session at the beach, complete with parents, a baby, aunties, uncles and grandparents!

Family portraits are a wonderful investment. They capture your family at a moment in time and give you something to look back on to remember that season of life. Both candid and posed moments are precious treasures for families to have. But choosing a family photographer can be tricky, especially if you know of a few good ones. So here are three things to ask a photographer you are considering for your family portraits.

3 Things to Ask A Photographer

  1. Ask if they shoot on-site. While studio portraits still have their time and place, on-site photography is much more popular these days. Make sure your photographer is willing to come to your home or another location where you want to shoot. Choosing a place that is beautiful or interesting and special to your family is important.
  2. Talk to them about wardrobe. After picking a location, a good photographer is going to have an idea of what colors would compliment that area or not. For example, if you know you are going to be taking photos with a red brick background, you won’t want your family wearing red or coral. Your photographer should have tips like that to produce the best photos possible.
  3. Discuss poses and groupings. You don’t want to spend hours upon hours doing this photo shoot—and neither do your kids. Talk about groupings with a photographer before hand and get their suggestions. For example, decide that you want the whole family, then grandma and grandpa with all the grandkids, then each individual family together, etc.

Make sure you get the most out of your family portraits by talking with your potential photographers beforehand and getting a good idea of who would work best with your family chemistry. Also, be sure you thoroughly review their portfolio. It’s very important to be familiar with a photographer’s style and be sure it aligns with your vision for your family portraits. Doing a little homework will ensure you have family portraits that will be treasured for generations.

Are you interested in having family portraits done? Contact me to find out more!


I'm Erika and I am a maternity, newborn, and family photographer based near Wilmington, NC. I'm also a mom to two cutie boys, wife to a handsome captain, lover of backyard gardening, wine and Amazon Prime.

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