Autumn Colors Wilmington NC Family Photography

With the show that Mother Nature displays for us, it’s no wonder that autumn is the most popular time of year for family photos! The vibrant colors, soft, diffused lighting, and often cooler temperatures are all busy season signs for photographers!

Nothing says autumn like the changing leaves. Even in our part of North Carolina, this means beautiful hues of red, orange, and yellow, which create a nearly perfect fall backdrop. This session was captured at Hugh MacRae Park (now Long Leaf Park), right here in Wilmington, North Carolina. I love these late fall, November sessions! I chose this location because this adorable family really wanted an autumn look to their session.

The family was visiting from Virginia and found me online. Hooray! I love making new friends.

Pro tip for my fellow photographers: don’t be afraid to place your families right in those leaves! And once you get those more traditional poses out of the way, capture some images of your families joyfully interacting. Darling little Maddy didn’t share her smiles easily, but engaging with her mom and dad? That brought out those exquisite baby smiles. After all, who better to coax out a smile from a baby than mom and dad? Maddy especially had fun playing with dad’s beard! So fun.

If you’re a client here looking for inspiration … not everyone is fortunate enough to live in an area where fall really shows off. But that doesn’t mean that fall family portraits can’t look like – well, fall – almost anywhere you live. Golden hour sessions, and choosing autumn colors for your family’s wardrobe will help you all stand out against more neutral backdrops! Bonus: the sun goes down earlier in the autumn so if you have young kids, golden hour sessions may be simpler for you in the fall.

But Erika, you may be thinking, fall skies in North Carolina can be dull and gray. What golden hour? Well, overcast skies create beautiful, even (read: flattering!) light.

Cooler fall temperatures also mean that families can play without getting icky and sweaty. There’s no better time to interact naturally and connect with each other.

family of 3 at Long Leaf Park in Wilmington, North Carolina, autumn tree and pond in the background
3 horizontal images stacked vertically, dad and mom holding baby daughter's hands as she stands between them, baby girl laughing while she plays with her dad's beard, black and white family photography, baby girl with blue eyes wearing a floral dress and holding onto her parents' hands
dad holding his baby girl as mom looks at them and smiles, gazebo with blooms in front of it, North Carolina family of three standing among pine trees during the golden hour, Erika Rigger Photography
cute family of three standing in Long Leaf Park, Wilmington, North Carolina, two ducks, pond, fall tree, pine trees, fall leaves
image collage of a vertical image and a horizontal image of a father and his baby daughter, Wilmington, NC, Erika Rigger Photography
fall family photography in Long Leaf Park, Wilmington, North Carolina, family photography with dog, fall family portrait outfits

Contact me here. Let’s play a game of chase among the trees, or maybe have a family leaf-throwing fight!

Winter Wrightsville Beach Family Photography

Hello, friends!

This Wrightsville Beach session was exactly what I needed. Let me tell you, I was only 8 or 9 weeks pregnant with my second child at the time, and my morning sickness was really kicking my butt. I felt so sick, couldn’t eat or drink, and was generally miserable! This session almost got cancelled. I really didn’t think I could get through it. My husband encouraged me and reminded me that some fresh beach air and change of scenery (I had been in the bathroom most of the day) would do me good. He was so right. My clients are always so amazing, too! Running around on the beach with them and putting my nausea on the back-burner really helped me forget I was so nauseous for an hour!

We met up at the south end of Wrightsville Beach. Mid-November is pretty chilly, but a little bit of sun is all we need. What a fun winter season it was! I’m going to have so much fun sharing all the seasonal goodness. This session, in particular, turned out so dang cute! Plus, you know it’s going to be a great session when a family’s toddler shows up dressed like a little model. I mean, come on.

Winter Beach Family Photos by Erika Rigger Photography

We kept this family session mostly with that iconic Wrightsville Beach sand and grasses as a subtle point of focus. Lots of pretty light, along with the cutest little boy, assisted me with this session! How perfect is that wintry beach scenery and how cute is this little guy?! Obsessed.

Lucky for us, Wrightsville Beach isn’t crowded during the winter months. We had lots of space to work with when deciding on the scene for this family session.

I love seeing layering from my families, and this color scheme was classic. The result was sweet, wintery family session perfection!

winter sky, dad tossing his smiling little boy into the air, green plaid shirt, fleece vest, khaki toddler boys pants
3 small horizontal winter family beach session images stacked next to a vertical photograph of a little boy wearing classic American style clothing with North Carolina beach grasses in the background
Ralph Lauren style portrait of a family of three, cheeky toddler boy with his tongue out and walking on Wrightsville Beach sand
classic family portrait style, blonde mother wearing a navy cableknit sweater and denim shirt, toddler boy wearing a green plaid shirt and tweed vest, father wearing a blackwatch plaid shirt, Wrightsville Beach grasses in the sunny background, black and white portrait of a family of 3 at Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina, parents kneeling with their little boy in beach sand

Off-season beach photo sessions are a wonderful way to capture beautiful winter memories! Contact me today to set up your next session!

Colorful Autumn Family Photos in Hampstead

This session happened a couple of autumns ago (yes I am seriously behind in sharing my sessions) but I just have to share because it was fantastic! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I truly have the best clients ever! This family was no exception, either. Sarah and I met through a couple different avenues; I did the school photos at her youngest daughter’s school and we were both members of the same local women’s networking group. She told me she hadn’t had family photos done in a long time and was looking for a nice backdrop to have a Fall theme to her photos–I had just the place.

Take a look at these colorful autumn family photos!

sisters having fun at Ash's Japanese Maple Nursery in Hampstead North Carolina

We met at Ash’s Japanese Maple Nursery in Hampstead. I love shooting there because it’s simply gorgeous! Surrounded by woods and forest, the japanese maples turn all kinds of beautiful bright oranges, reds and yellows in the fall and make for the perfect spot for colorful autumn family photos.

The girls were being goofy for most of the shoot, but that didn’t bother me one bit. I aim to capture authenticity in the family interactions, so I was happy they felt comfortable enough to just be themselves. Most parents start to worry that I won’t get any good shots when their kids get wild and goofy. My response to that is “Relax, I’m getting lots of great shots!” I tell silly jokes, make funny faces and even strange sounds. I’ll do anything to keep the laughs coming!

It truly was an amazing photo shoot. And if any of you are considering a family session, here’s the review from my friend Sarah: 

“Erika did an amazing job photographing my family. Anyone with a young children knows how hard it is to get a perfect picture, Erika took beautiful photos I’ll cherish forever.,”

family photos in the forest in Hampstead NC
family of six having their photos taken in Hampstead NC

Are you interested in having your family moments artfully captured? Contact me for more details on booking your family session!

Fun Hugh MacRae Park Family Photos

Hi again, ladies and gents!

I have not been sharing all my amazing sessions with you. Things have been very busy but let me stop for a second to tell you that I am seriously the luckiest photographer in the world. My clients are always so wonderful to work with. That’s true of my fun Hugh MacRae Park family photos session with Allison, Brad and baby Rylee, too! Take a look at the proof of how fun it was!

baby holding parents hands at Hugh MacRae Park

We met up at Hugh MacRae Park a couple of hours before sunset and the weather was perfect for photo-taking. It was a nice coastal North Carolina autumn day which means it was cool but you still might get hot with a sweater on. While the weather was fine, it was the baby Rylee that made this shoot such a treat. I mean, isn’t she just the cutest little thing? She certainly enjoyed her time at the park, so the shoot was a breeze!

It was Rylee’s first birthday so we ended the session with a little cake and icing mess. Gotta do it!

As you can see from the photos above and below, this family is not only photogenic, but also a close-knit threesome (who will soon be a foursome!) who clearly love spending time together. Brad, Allison and Rylee are lucky to have each other, and I’m lucky to have them as friends!

Our fun Hugh MacRae Park family photos session highlights are below!

one year birthday milestone family photos in wilmington, north carolina
family enjoying baby daughter at Hugh MacRae Park in Wilmington

Are you interested in having your sweet family moments artfully captured? Contact me for more details on booking your family session!

Tender Newborn Baby Photography | Baby Colt

Welcome back, my oh-so-wonderful blog readers! Today I’d like you to meet some very special people: baby Colt and his older brother Sawyer! Our newborn baby photography shoot was triumphantly successful and I am incredibly pleased with the shots I was able to capture for this sweet family! 

family with new baby boy

Sawyer is so happy to have a younger brother, and he made that apparent at our shoot! Although Sawyer was full of energy like a typical toddler, with the help of his parents we were able to get him to settle down for a few shots.

All the changes and excitement that come with the arrival of a new little person in the family can bring about some wild attention-craving behavior. Parents often tell me they worry that their toddlers are too wild for an in-home newborn baby photography session. My answer is simple–I go with the flow. Having two little boys of my own, I have many tricks to get the shots I know parents will love. I sing songs they know, ask them to tell me about their favorite television shows, and play peek-a-boo. My camera is set to shoot at high speed so I am sure to get those fleeting moments in which a toddler flashes me his best smile.

Sawyer absolutely loved holding his new baby brother, and giving him kisses. One thing’s for certain – baby Colt will always have someone looking out for him!

As you can see from the pictures below, they already share such a connection. This is mostly due to his parents preparing him well before the arrival of his baby brother.  I can’t wait to see how they interact as they get older.

big brother with new little newborn brother

details of tiny baby hands details of infant facenew mother holding her infantnew mom adoring her baby boyproud new parents

Thanks for reading. Have a fabulous day!

Are you looking to have a natural style of newborn baby photography done in your home? Contact me to schedule your in-home newborn session.


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.

Search Posts by Category

Lifestyle Family Newborn Maternity Photography

Serving Wilmington north carolina and surrounding areas