Aubrey | Hampstead NC Maternity Session

When you get close to the end of your pregnancy, you really get tired. You’ve been carrying the weight around long enough and are seriously ready to get your movement and your body back. Plus, the heartburn! This can lead to some grumpiness and a whole lot of complaining. At least, that’s how I was toward the end of my pregnancy. And then there’s Aubrey. She builds tables, chases around her toddler, packs up a house and carries twins (YES, TWINS) – all with a contagious smile on her face. She’s amazing! At almost 35 weeks at the time of this session, she was active, happy, and glowing!

Hampstead NC Maternity Session

I found a little field just around the corner from her home. It was perfect. She didn’t have to go far and the light was beautiful there. Until that morning I woke up to the sound of a torrential downpour. We were supposed to meet that morning and we decided to just wait and see what happened with the rain. Well, like a dream, the clouds parted and the sun rays shown down on that pretty little field just in time for our session. Afterwards, we headed over to her home to take a few more. After the session, grey clouds covered Hampstead once again. I swear the sun came out just for her.

hampstead nc maternity photographer

Interested in a maternity session? I’d love to hear from you!

5 Photography Tips For Getting A Real Smile

Oh, kids. Don’t you hate it when they say “cheese!” and give you that canned grin? That look is something between “This hurts!” and, “Is there something in my teeth?” The fact is, every kid has a beautiful natural smile. When that camera comes out, though, they turn into little smile robots. Would you like to get a natural smile every time? Then read along and discover my 5 fail-proof photography tips for getting a real smile.

Photography Tips For Getting A Real Smile

  1. Relax. Nothing cans up a kiddo faster than when Mom or Dad is tense behind the camera. So loosen up and make a few silly faces. Instead of staring straight into the camera, giving orders, make eye contact with the kids and show them you’re trying to have fun.
  2. Use Reverse Psychology. Believe it or not, if you tell your little ones not to smile, you may very well elicit beaming, radiant grins. So get overly serious, open your eyes wide, and tell them they Must. Be. Completely. Serious. No smiles, no matter what. And be ready, because grins and giggles are on the way.
  3. Capture the action, capture the moment. Instead of asking your kid(s) to stay still and smile for the camera, let them just do their thing. Whether they are going down the slide, swinging at the park, or exploring the backyard, they are happy and in their element – and that makes for great photos.
  4. Be willing to be natural. In the age of digital images, it’s fine to let bloopers happen… and lots of them. Kids have so much energy that it may not be realistic to expect that everyone will be facing forward and smiling nicely. Mouths will be open, one kid is sure to be facing another direction, and the unfortunate bunny ears will likely appear. Let it go and keep shooting. In a moment of pure joy, you’re much more likely to capture something magical. Some of my favorite photos of my clients are the ones where no one is looking at the camera.
  5. Get gross. Once you’ve tried the above tactics, here’s a last resort. Kids think gross words are hilarious, and even more so if a straight-laced adult uses them. So stretch your imagination and let loose. Stinky socks. Boogers. You know what works with your kids. As a warning: you may find these words totally unravel them to the point of no return, so save this tactic for last.

photography tips for real smiles

The perfect photo is one that captures your loved ones in a moment of true emotion. Let go of your idea of perfection and capture your kids just being kids. You may not end up with “perfect” photographs, but you’ll perfectly capture the memories that matter.

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2016Are you still looking for a few amazing gift ideas for Mother’s Day?

I am thrilled to have gotten the chance to contribute to this Mother’s Day Gift Guide that was prepared with the help of fellow North Carolina members of The National Association of Professional Child Photographers.  We teamed together to bring you a handful of great ideas from our favorite stores, and we also featured our favorite gift idea inside. Check out page 7 to read all about it!

This Mother’s Day Gift Guide was created with contributions from:

Jeannie DeSena of Words & Pictures by Jeannie DeSena, Jody Dixon from Jody G Photography, Sara Brennan from White Box Photo, and Carolyn Ann Ryan from Carolyn Ann Ryan Family Portraiture.

I hope you enjoy and if you use any of the ideas within this document, please let me know!

Download here:  Mothers Day Gift Guide 2016

5 Newborn Photo Session Tips

Having a newborn is special. Your days are filled with sweet yawns, happy smiles and moments of awe. But, the time you have with your newborn is short. Before you know it, you will be wiping peanut butter from your curtains and chasing monsters out from under your toddler’s bed. So, how do you capture that special three months when life is just beginning? With a newborn photo session, of course.

To help you with this process, I’m sharing 5 newborn photo session tips regarding what you will need to keep handy.

5 Newborn Photo Session Tips to Help You Prepare

newborn baby hands photography1. Light Clothing

Prior to the session, be sure your baby is dressed in clothing that is easy to remove and will not wake them upon removal. Better yet, have only a loose fitting diaper on and wrap them in a blanket. This way, the baby can be minimally disturbed when preparing them for the camera.

newborn baby and mother bonding

2. A Warm Space

Start by making sure your baby will be comfortable throughout the photo session. This means you should warm up your home and create a space that will be comfortable and warm for your baby. Doing so will help keep your baby relaxed and happy throughout the photo session.

newborn baby sleeping

3. Necessities

You will also need to have handy any necessities to care for your baby during the session. This could be bottles and formula, soft blankets and pacifiers. Diapers and warm wipes are good to have too. Cold wipes can startle babies.

newborn baby in crib and baby held by dad

4. Soothing Items

Sometimes babies can become a little fussy during the photo session. For this reason, I recommend having soothing items nearby, like a pacifier, toy, blanket or white noise sound machine. Also, I always encourage feedings during my sessions. Anything to keep baby happy and relaxed.

Newborn baby lips and hands

5. Relax

Along with all the things you need for your baby, make sure you remember to relax at the same time. Babies can pick up on tension so being calm is a great way to keep your your baby relaxed too!

Newborns grow and change so quickly. They really can look very different from one week to the next. These tips will help you have a successful newborn photo session and help you capture those precious first moments to enjoy for years to come.

Interested in an in-home newborn session? I would love to hear from you!

Swansboro NC newborn photography | Baby Fletcher

I really love newborn sessions! By providing in home newborn photography, I get the chance to glimpse at families unique lives. It truly is an honor. Each family has their own special story and telling it through photographs is my passion! In home newborn photography is more than just getting a picture of the new baby – but collecting details and memories that tell the story of this amazing time in your family’s life.

Swansboro NC newborn photography – Sweet Baby Fletcher

My husband was awesome to have shared my business card at his work because it brought me to this really sweet family. Baby Fletcher was awake and kicking about on the couch when I arrived. I quickly set up my posing pillow and backdrop in big sister Lila’s light-filled playroom. As I got started photographing her baby brother, she seemed very curious and watched from afar. I was able to get some sweet shots of baby Fletcher before he made it known it was time for a break. When babies get a little fussy, it’s usually because they are getting hungry or need to feel mom or dads touch. At that point I love to sit back, observe and photograph the natural interactions of the parents and babies. Those are the sweetest moments! Mom did a little feeding and then dad took over with a little burping. True teamwork! Watching both mom and dad tenderly hold baby while also taking care of big sister’s needs really pulls on my heart strings and reminds me just how much I love what I do. We finished the session with a few shots in the nursery room, with the family enjoying their newest addition.

Swansboro NC newborn photography

 

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, lover of backyard gardening, candles, chocolate and Amazon Prime.

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Best Newborn Photographer 2024

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Best Family Photographer 2024

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Another satisfied client has given yet another perfect rating. With a total of 114 five-star reviews (Google and Facebook combined) and nearly a decade of experience capturing joyful moments for families, I have transformed into a skilled and self-assured photographer. 😃⁠
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"Erika is friendly, professional, talented  and responsive.  My husband and I were very happy with the fantastic images she captured of our growing family, and especially appreciated her willingness to accommodate special requests even when they proved challenging with a newborn.  I highly recommend Erika and look forward to working with her again in the future." - Melissa F.⁠
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As we continue our existence on this planet, I firmly believe that our passions and sense of purpose become increasingly distinct. While some individuals discover it early on, for most of us, it is a convoluted path with clarity only arriving after various twists and turns in our journey. Now, at the youthful age of 46, I have finally glimpsed what truly brings me satisfaction and delight - supporting women.⁠
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To me, supporting women entails presenting mothers with the photographs I capture of them alongside their families, instantly reminding them of their beauty as nurturing figures and their astonishing presence as the centerpiece of their families.⁠
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It also involves empowering women to shed all self-doubt and embody the strong yet tender qualities they bring to the world through their professional endeavors. It has become evident to me that by showcasing women in my portraits as their authentic, stunning selves, they possess the ability to conquer any obstacle. Women are creators - we possess the ability to evoke beauty simply through the touch of our loving awareness. ⁠
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My passion lies in supporting women on their journey towards embracing this belief in themselves. 💖⁠
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Check out the link in my bio for my new offering, Lady Boss Portraits. It is my pleasure to add this personal branding offering to women-owned businesses in the Wilmington, NC area.
🐸 🐸 🐸 Special Leap Day Sale on Gift Certificates TODAY ONLY! 
Get 29% OFF a Family, Maternity or Newborn Portrait Session Gift Certificate. Use code LEAPHAPPY at checkout! Sale ends tonight at 11:59pm.
Click the link in bio to access the Gift Certificate (snail mail) shop!
Look at this beautiful little lady! I have been photographing this little girl and her family for years and it's such an honor to get to capture families as they grow. From being invited into my clients' homes to capture their tender moments with their newborn babies or special holiday photos around their Christmas trees, it is never something I take lightly. I feel trusted, valued and I thank my lucky stars for this beautiful work that I do and the amazing clients I get to serve. ⁠
The birth of my brother's first child has prompted me to reminisce about the precious moments when my own children were newly born. Their delightful fragrance, petite and squishy features, and undeniable cuteness overwhelmed me. Despite my exhaustion and the countless tasks that demanded my attention, I found it impossible to sleep when they did. Instead, I would observe their every movement, cherishing each second of that extraordinary period. I made a conscious effort to etch every detail into my memory. And now, as I reflect upon those times, it feels as though they occurred just yesterday, despite my sons now being 5 and 9 years old. Having children truly transports one into a time-warp, with time appearing to both slow down and pass by in an instant, leaving you astonished by their rapid growth.⁠
I have discovered a clear passion within me not only for crafting genuine portraits that capture the true essence of the subject in the present moment, but also for using this skill to uplift women. My focus is specifically on the fearless women who are embarking on their own entrepreneurial journeys.⁠
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In light of this, I am pleased to announce the addition of new services to my professional photography portfolio! One of these offerings is personalized branding photography catered to women-owned small businesses.⁠
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Your brand serves as a reflection of your vision, values, and dedication. Let's encapsulate the essence of your business journey through bespoke branding photography that speaks volumes, right here in Wilmington, NC! 🌟📷 ⁠
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If you share a passion for supporting women-owned businesses, please feel free to reach out to me via direct message. I am eager to have a conversation, collaborate, and potentially work together in some capacity!⁠
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I firmly believe that by supporting and empowering women, we actively contribute to the healing, growth, and evolution of our world.⁠

Lifestyle Family Newborn Maternity Photography

Serving: WILMINGTON TOPSAIL ISLAND WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH KURE BEACH Hampstead
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910.719.3633 hello@erikariggerphotography.com