Turn the Tables on Thanksgiving Stress

Grandparents and grandkids at a family holiday

If you love Thanksgiving but hate the stress, here are a few ways to avoid it this year. Thanksgiving is always a special time of the year but it can also be the cause of a lot of anxiety for many people. This year, turn the tables on Thanksgiving stress by remembering these tips:

  • Get started early. Planning and shopping early on in the month is one of the best ways to avoid stress closer to the time. Create a plan and a list of what you will need – shopping with a purpose is a lot less stressful. Also, make use of same-day pickup services and curbside services to avoid the masses.
  • Let others help. There is no rule that says you have to do everything yourself. If you have friends and family who are always willing to help, delegate tasks to make Thanksgiving more enjoyable on the day.
  • Don’t try something new the day of. If you do want to try a new dessert or side dish, practice it ahead of time so that it doesn’t stress you out on the big day.
  • Remember why you’re together. Sometimes we need to step back and remember why you’re coming together as a family. It’s not about the fancy decorations or the dishes on your table – it’s about spending real time together.
Family sitting around table looking at memories in photo album

The holidays can be a busy time, especially for the planners and the hosts. Keeping these ideas in mind when moving through your Thanksgiving week can make a huge difference. My hope is with these few simple tips, you can turn the tables on Thanksgiving stress and spend your energy on loving and enjoying your family and friends.

If you’re looking to capture some holiday memories this year, reach out! Christmas is right around the corner, so book now before the moment passes you by!

The Dos and Don’ts of Holiday Picture Attire

Parents smiling with baby during photography session

If you want to create frame-worthy holiday pictures, it helps to put some time and effort into deciding what you want to wear. Your outfits will help set the tone for your portraits, so it’s important to choose wisely.  If you are feeling concerned about what to wear, keep in mind the dos and don’ts of holiday picture attire:

Holiday Picture Outfit Dos

Family smiling on beach during winter photo shoot

  • Do consider the backdrop. Whether your shoot is in-home or in a specific location that you love, think about the backgrounds you’ll be posing in front of before you settle on outfits for your holiday session. Busier backgrounds require simpler outfits.
  • Do coordinate. But don’t make your outfits match 100%. Coordination doesn’t mean that everyone in the shot should look the same. It simply means that the colors, patterns, outfit style matches.
  • Do incorporate something cozy. Winter family sessions are about cozying up to the people you love, so try and add a cozy item of clothing to your outfit. Think textured sweaters or a scarf with an interesting knit.

Holiday Picture Outfit Don’ts

Mom smiling at son during photography session

  • Don’t overthink it. Christmas is the one time you don’t need to be overly realistic. Yes, you wouldn’t normally wear a jacket and snow boots indoors. But a holiday session is the one time you can, particularly if you’re posing in front of a fun backdrop. 
  • Don’t over-accessorize. There are a lot of fun accessories and props that you can add to a Christmas shoot, but it’s also easy to overdo it. If you are going to wear gloves, hats, and your favorite coat, make sure the patterns don’t take away from the people in the photo and that the coats don’t make you look too frumpy.
  • Don’t make them feel uncomfortable. If the people in the photo feel uncomfortable in their clothing, it’s going to show in your photos. Pick outfits that everyone feels comfortable in. Doing so will result in the most natural smiles and an array of fun shots.
Parents and child on the beach smiling

When planning for your holiday session, remember the do’s and don’ts of holiday picture attire. These are no hard and fast rules, just ideas to keep in mind when you’re planning. Pinterest is a great source of inspiration if you want to look at a few color schemes that you can use for your upcoming Christmas photo shoot.

If you haven’t booked your holiday family session, now is the time! It’ll be here before you know it. Contact me or book now to capture the magic of Christmas with your family.

HISTORIC DOWNTOWN WILMINGTON FAMILY PICTURES | THE O FAMILY

Little girl running and smiling in Downtown Wilmington

 The outdoors will always take the cake for family photos. You just can’t beat the lighting and the scenery. Sometimes though, I like to move out of nature and into the city to bring a certain urban fun to the session. These historic Downtown Wilmington family pictures took us straight into the heart of Wilmington with the O family.

COMPLIMENTS OF DOWNTOWN WILMINGTON

Family walking in Downtown Wilmington during photography session

It’s no secret when looking at this session that this family’s little girl stole the spotlight. Head to toe, she was absolutely adorable. Her frilly dress matched her spunky personality perfectly and it was impossible not to smile when she did! The colors in this family’s attire were an amazing pop of color over the neutral walkways and dark foliage that Downtown Wilmington had to offer. 

The brick walkways were a perfect place to start this session. Wilmington is full of beautiful locations to shoot. There is no shortage of fun backdrops, interesting looking buildings, and gorgeous pathways. Downtown Wilmington is unique in the scenery it offers. Oftentimes, the challenge is actually finding the perfect spot; one where the background won’t outshine my lovely subjects. Luckily the personality in this family was bright and bubbly and they had no problem drawing the focus to their wonderful smiles. Truly, you can see the love and excitement pouring out of these parents watching their adorable little girl run and play.

THE FUN OF CANDID FAMILY PICTURES

Family photography session with mom, dad, and daughter in Wilmington, NC

Photographing children always brings a certain spunk to the session. Especially when the child has a personality like this! Watching her parents light up and loosen up as she bounced and giggled made for some of the most wonderful candid moments. I was so happy to be a part of this lovely afternoon in Downtown Wilmington creating memories with this family.

These historic Downtown Wilmington family pictures were the perfect mix of urbanity and fun. The scenic city can often be overlooked as a great setting for family sessions, but when you add in some loving smiles (and a keen eye from your photographer), it can be the perfect backdrop to capture the most special family moments.

Family hugging and smiling with daughter during family pictures

Urban photoshoots are a great location for capturing fun holiday memories as well. Contact me to schedule a unique photoshoot for you and your family!

5 Reasons to Spring on First Year Baby Portrait Packages

Baby sleeping during newborn photography session

If you’ve already had a baby, you know that the amount they can change in a matter of weeks is crazy. Within the first month of their life, they grow out of that quintessential “newborn baby” look. By the time they’re one it’s hard to even believe how much they’ve changed. Even their personalities adapt quickly over time! Documenting that first year of changes is priceless. Continue reading for 5 reasons to spring on first year baby portrait packages.

New parents know that it’s a joy to watch these rapid changes, but it’s also bittersweet. That’s where documentation comes into play. Snapping all those candid images is a parent must, but it’s an incredible gift to have professional photographs taken of your sweet baby throughout the first year of their life, as well.

My Once Around the Sun package ensures you capture all these sweet periods in your baby’s first 365 days. In the end, you’ll have high-quality, meaningful pictures you’ll treasure a lifetime. If you’re on the edge or are simply curious about why so many parents rave about these packages, here are five reasons to go ahead and book:

It Saves You a Ton of Time and Stress

Family sitting on bed with newborn baby smiling

You know how you feel more relaxed when you’ve got all your appointments scheduled? It’s one less task to worry about, and you know you’re doing something good for yourself, too. My Bump to Baby package and Once Around the Sun package are the same. You can book all the dates in advance (movable if necessary). Then, you can rest knowing you’re capturing all those precious moments as your baby grows older.

You Don’t Have to Pay it All At Once

Baby sitting in grass during first year photography shoot

The thought of paying for a milestone package up front is daunting for everyone. Rest assured that we have payment plans that ensure this investment won’t pinch you.

That First Year is So Bonkers

Family sitting on porch swing during 6 month photo shoot for baby

Your child’s first year can feel like a total whirlwind. So much changes in your world, and your newborn baby evolves so quickly. You sometimes don’t even see the changes yourself until you look back. Knowing that you have the gift of images to look back at, and to calmly reflect on this period in your life, will prove incredibly meaningful over the years.

Everyone Will Treasure These Pictures Forever

Baby sitting in grass on beach during first year photography session

Think about how special your own baby pictures are to not just you, but also to your family. Your child will be so grateful to have these images as they get older, and you’ll look back on the sessions and the images fondly, as well.

The Packages Includes a Gorgeous Linen-Covered Album

Mom, dad, and baby during 1 year portrait session

Once these photos are taken, the sweet linen-covered album included will help you rest assured that these photos will be seen and not tucked away. The album includes 20 pages to fill with your little one. Ideal for a coffee table or night stand, this album makes it easy to present your child’s gorgeous photos and is the perfect keepsake.

“Erika has now taken our maternity photos, newborn photos, and one year photos for our family and has done an AMAZING job each time! She is so easy to work with, quick to respond, and so personable. I highly recommend Erika!! You will not be disappointed!!”

-Tiffany H.

If you’re expecting a new addition, consider these 5 reasons to spring on first year baby portrait packages. It truly flies by in the blink of an eye, but the joy you’ll feel looking back on these photos will last a lifetime. Contact me to book for your baby’s first year, or with any questions!

Four Reasons to Hire a Professional Photographer for Your Next Event

baby smiling and eating cereal at birthday

If you’re on the fence about whether or not to hire someone to photograph your event, consider these four reasons to hire a professional photographer:

A Professional Photographer Will Eliminate Stress

Big brother kissing little sister during baby birthday party

Let’s say the event is a family reunion and you want to get a group photo of the whole family. And, let’s say you opted not to hire a professional photographer. You could do it yourself, but one of two things could happen then:

A) You have someone take the photo for you. Family members don’t want to be left out of the photo because they had to take it. This could possibly offend that person or make them feel awkward for being excluded.

B) You set a timer on your camera. This can be problematic. Because there are so many people in the photo, you will need to take several images to make sure everyone is looking and has their eyes open. Finishing the photo session will take two to three times as long. Keep in mind, you’ll have to keep resetting the timer. And still, you might not have gotten the shot. Hiring a professional photographer will eliminate all of this stress.

To Avoid the Selfies

Mom with kids at family gathering smiling while holding baby

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to go around all night taking selfies with my phone. I would much prefer to relax and enjoy the moment instead of trying to capture it. If you hire a professional photographer, the quality of the photos will be much better than the selfies. Also, trying to take a selfie with a group of people is next to impossible when trying to get everyone inside the frame.

Hire a Professional to Relax and Enjoy the Moment

Baby and big sister eating birthday cake during event

If the event is a birthday party, you don’t want to miss out on visiting with guests or helping your child open presents or cut the cake because you are too busy trying to take the photos. You want to be part of the action, not stuck behind the camera. Let a professional photographer take care of it for you!

For Photographer Grade Editing

Woman with grandchild eating a sandwich during event

Another great thing about hiring a professional is that you don’t have to worry about editing and distributing the photos after the event is over. You just have to wait to receive them from your photographer. It’s really a gift to have well lit photographs taken by a professional who preserves the memory of your event. Everyone can cherish the resulting photos for a very long time to come.

When planning your next special occasion, keep in mind these four reasons to hire a professional photographer. If you are considering hiring a photographer to capture a local special event for you, please consider connecting with me!

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.

Looking for something?

Best Newborn Photographer 2024

Top

Best Family Photographer 2024

Top
“Erika was great with our kids and overall it was a laidback experience. Although both the weather and our small kids were somewhat uncooperative, Erika took some beautiful pictures which made a great use of the beach landscape and light. Highly recommended.” - Emily R.⁠
⁠
I’m blushing! It’s comments like this one that keep me going, and few things make me happier or motivate me more than happy clients. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t read them on my more challenging days. And, Emily, the feeling is mutual—you were a dream to work with!⁠
⁠
Thinking about booking a family photography session? You can find out more on my website! All the info you need is in the link in bio!⁠
Oh, how I'd love to go back to those first weeks and months. I was ever-present, yet never really there at all.⁠
My head was elsewhere, caught up in all the shoulds, in the baby books, the apps, the impossible schedules; all the perceived perfections of motherhood that felt so at odds with what you were telling me you needed.⁠
I followed my heart every single time. But never with conviction. Always apologetically as though I were somehow giving in. Not doing it right.⁠
I fought it. Like a quiet war. It was exhausting.⁠
I'd love to go back and mother that version of you, but as this version of me; the mum I am today. ⁠
More relaxed, more rested, more sure, no longer seeking approval, embracing the fact that I will be happily rocking my boy to sleep until he doesn't need it anymore.⁠
It's not just our babies that grow.⁠
⁠
Words by: Mother Truths ( @mymothertruths)
I'm enjoying getting personal with y'all. Hope you don't mind!⁠
⁠
Five years ago, I would not be able to imagine that I would be living the life I am now. There have been twists and turns for sure, and some of the challenges have been grueling to say the least, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! I'm talking illness, surgery, major lifestyle changes, major personal life changes. The kind of stuff that makes you look back and not even recognize who you were. ⁠
⁠
I have come so far and now have the clarity of mind to see how everything that has happened in my life has made me the person I am today. And I truly love who I have become through it all. What’s something positive or seemingly negative that happened in your personal life in the past five years that you didn’t see coming and that has built you up to be the badass you are today?⁠
Whenever I’m feeling stuck, I write in a journal—just a stream of consciousness, whatever crosses my mind goes on the page. Almost every time, I notice the same pattern: fear of judgment. My inner critic is telling me that no one will like what I do.⁠
⁠
When that happens, I try to remind myself to play my own greatest hits. I make a list of the times when I did work I was proud of, made a client happy, or got positive feedback—anything that contradicts the judgmental  voice in my head. It helps me to move forward without fear. We all have that voice in our heads. The trick is to recognize it, not believe it, and put that imposter syndrome back in its place.
I am so grateful that I can do what I love as my job. Thank you to all of my clients for the ongoing love and support. I am lucky to have each and every one of you! 🥰
Something I'm continuously working on both in my personal and professional life is this: It's easy to get wrapped up in the future or the past, but living in the moment is a key to happiness. And not just living through the moment, but appreciating it.⁠
⁠
When you're appreciating the moment, you're fully engaged in what's happening around you, and you're not letting your thoughts about the past or future distract you from the present.⁠
⁠
One of the reasons I absolutely LOVE my work is that when I'm focused on capturing THE MOMENT, I have no choice but to be observing it, appreciating it, and noticing all the details of it. It's meditative. ⁠
⁠
On a daily basis, living in and appreciating the moment can be a difficult thing to do, but it's definitely worth it. There are a few things you can do to help you live in the moment.⁠
⁠
One is to practice mindfulness. This means being aware of your thoughts and feelings and accepting them without judgment. When you're mindful, you're more likely to be in the present. You can also practice gratitude, which is being thankful for the things you have in the present moment. Like, everything can seem like it's working against you. But stop. Look around. What do you have right now that is working for you? It can be as simple as being grateful that you have two arms and two legs that allow you to get things done. Or that you have a delicious cup of coffee to sip on. Or that you can easily go outside and fill your lungs with air. ⁠
⁠
When you focus on the good things in your life, you're less likely to worry about the future or dwell on the past. That's what I've been working on. How about you? How do you stay present?

Lifestyle Family Newborn Maternity Photography

Serving: WILMINGTON TOPSAIL ISLAND WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH KURE BEACH Hampstead
carolina beach Figure eight island oak island jacksonville sneads ferry

910.719.3633 hello@erikariggerphotography.com