7 TIPS FOR PREPARING FOR YOUR AUTUMN SESSION

Mother and daughter in fall photo session

Autumn is one of the most popular months of the year for portrait sessions. After all, nature is doing its thing with all those vibrant colors, plus you get a chance to really play up your wardrobe with accessories in the crisp weather. To get the most out of your time, here are 7 tips for preparing for your autumn session.

Make Your Autumn Session Worth Your While

1. Make use of accessories and clothing that play up the “autumn” feeling.

Dad and daughters in front of yellow trees during autumn

For example, opt for leather boots, cable knit scarves and comfy cardigans. This look is amazing on the whole family and can really bring a picture to life. Tip: neutrals do really well in the fall against all that foliage.

2. Timing is everything.

Couple in autumn leaves smiling

Start paying attention to that shift in weather as summer melts into fall. Once the leaves start changing, call up your photog and book a session. I know that I like to plan fall sessions to be sure we choose a location that is in line with your vision for your photos.

3. Location is important.

Mom and daughter during photo session in Wilmington, NC

If it’s autumn, you better believe we’re playing outside in the gorgeous weather. I have a lot of locations to choose from that have particularly pretty backdrops for fall sessions, like the New Hanover Arboretum. I’m also open to your suggestions!

4. Plan for a late-afternoon to early-evening autumn sessions.

Brothers in matching outfits running through the woods in fall

This is when the light is just gorgeous. The days are shorter in the fall, so we need to plan accordingly to get that golden hour light.

5. Play in the environment.

Kids playing on leaves during photography session

Chances are there are leaves on the ground or a few buds lingering around. I may have you throw leaves up into the air or something similar. Remember, this shoot is all about capturing your family bond and having fun, so let loose and get into the season!

6. Pack the necessities for your fall session.

Mother and sons smiling during autumn photography session

It can get chilly during autumn sessions, so you may want to have some necessities on hand. I recommend a lip balm, moisturizer, warm packs for your hands, tissues, and, of course, warm apparel.

7. Wear comfortable shoes and accessories.

Expecting parents smiling during evening photo shoot

Since we’re going to be outside, we’ll probably do lots of walking. If those boots look amazing, but kill your feet, scratch them. If the scarf looks adorable on Timmy, but it scratches his face and makes him unhappy, it’s better left at home.

Fall Sessions Are Here Now

Keep these 7 tips for preparing for your autumn session in mind this year to get the most out of this beautiful season. It’ll be winter before we know it!

I have a few openings left for an autumn sessions! Contact me or check my calendar to see my availability! Happy Fall Y’all!

HOLIDAY IN-HOME CAROLINA BEACH NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY | BABY ELLERIE

Mom and dad with newborn baby girl and dog on couch

The holidays and the cold weather tend to bring a unique kind of warmth into the homes of families. And what better way to welcome in a new life than into the coziness of Christmas time? This special season holds a certain kind of magic, which is what I aimed to capture in this holiday in-home Carolina Beach newborn photography session.

Sweet Holiday In-Home Session

From the jump, I knew this shoot was going to be something spectacular. This couple welcomed me into their gorgeous Carolina Beach home to meet their adorable daughter Ellerie as well as their super sweet four legged friend. The colors in their home were bright and neutral. As a result, the natural light flowing in from the windows beamed on a beautiful cozy winter scene. 

The Christmas tree was a perfect accent to this in-home newborn session. Positioned right next to a big and bright window, it gave us a gorgeous little holiday scene to work with. The colors on the tree worked in harmony with this couples’ beautiful attire. The ornaments and twinkling lights provided just the right amount of sparkle. 

New mom and dad with newborn baby during in-home photography session
Dad holding his newborn and mom holding hew newborn in front of a Christmas tree
Newborn baby girl with Christmas tree during photography session in Carolina Beach

The Magic of In-Home Photography Sessions

In-home newborn photography sessions can be intimidating. I like to remind families that the idea is to capture the way things are, and the way the family behaves, as candidly as possible. I never expect a home to be “perfect” and actually prefer that they aren’t. This way, the photographs have a real sense of familiarity and realness to them. It is a huge perk of having an in-home session. I may open up some curtains or move some distracting things out of a backdrop, but I want to keep the home feeling like what it is – yours. 

Newborn baby girl with family and nose to nose with dad during photography session

We finished off this holiday in-home Carolina Beach newborn photography session with some darling shots of Ellerie and her parents (and dog, of course!) snuggled up enjoying the coziness. I adore the way these parents gushed over their new baby. This session had a real softness to it. From the Christmas-time themes, to the textures and colors of the cozy home, to the sweet and loving expressions on these parents’ faces, capturing baby Ellerie was an absolute joy.

Family cudding with newborn baby girl in bed and on the couch

Since this shoot, I have returned for a family photo session and another newborn session with this wonderful family. It has been an honor to watch them grow.

Are you expecting? Now is a great time to book your newborn session to be sure you’ll remember the blur! Contact me for details.

Give Unique Photo Gifts for the Holidays

When it comes to holiday gift giving, portraits are a shining star. But how many pictures can you display in one house? Give unique photo gifts for the holidays, and combine the magic of portraits with a gift your relatives can use and enjoy. 

Family Portraits Through the Years

Personalized family photo ornament for the holidays
Photo sourced from https://www.mpix.com

Do you have a family portrait taken each year? Turn that session into a beautiful unique photo gift. You can have those photos made into ornaments for friends and family, for instance.

Mpix offers several different designs to choose from, and you can have your ornaments personalized with the year. 

Your family will enjoy a collection of ornaments showing how you and your children have changed through the years.

Photo Gifts to Brag About

Personalized mini accordion photo album holiday gift
Photo sourced from https://www.mpix.com

What’s the best gift you can give to proud grandparents or doting aunts and uncles? You can give them the gift of being able to show their families off to their friends, acquaintances and even strangers on the street. Any one of these unique photo gifts will give a great excuse to brag about the family:

  • Pocket sized accordion books with several different photos
  • Keepsake boxes for holding treasures and trinkets
  • Calendars to place front and center in a spotlight space on the wall
  • A button to wear proudly around town

Small and Unique

Fridge magnet personalized with family photo for holiday gift
Photo sourced from https://www.etsy.com

Sometimes you need a small gift to stuff a stocking to give to a teacher, babysitter or other important people who are close to your family. Take a break from the classics and add in a unique photo gift for them to enjoy. Try one of these useful items:

  • A photo magnet to hold refrigerator art
  • A deck of cards for when it’s time to play
  • A photo statuette perfect for placement on a desk or shelf
  • A personalized photo coaster for a coffee table or side table

Give unique photo gifts for the holidays, and provide someone you love a treasured item that they can cherish for years to come. Are you in need of a refresh on your family portraits? Contact me or book now to schedule a session!

COLORFUL FALL FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY AT THE ARBORETUM IN WILMINGTON

Family under gazebo at the New Hanover Arboretum in Wilmington, NC

Fall is here! And with the end of summer comes the perfect time of year for family photo sessions. This colorful fall family photography at the Arboretum in Wilmington showcases all the perks of autumn. From the changing leaves, to the shots of family snuggles, this family photography session truly has it all.

I was introduced to this gorgeous family through Rainbow Garden preschool in Hampstead. My children attended this school as well, and absolutely adored it. Once a year in the fall, I visit to do school pictures. This allows me to get to know the families a bit, and sometimes they book a family session afterwards.

NEW HANOVER ARBORETUM IN FALL

One of my favorite locations for this time of year is the New Hanover Arboretum in Wilmington. This gorgeous and scenic botanical garden is full of beautiful shrubs and trees that create the perfect backdrop for fall family photography sessions when their leaves begin to change. The Japanese Maple trees always end up being the star of the show with their gorgeous orange and red hues. 

This family chose the perfect wardrobe for their colorful fall family photography session. The white outfits against the moody colors of the arboretum shined beautifully, and gave all three of them a gorgeous glow.

COLORFUL FALL PHOTOGRAPHY SESSIONS

Autumn serves as a breath of fresh air after the sticky, hot days of summer. This change is always welcome, especially in my fall photography sessions. The ability for children to run, for partners to snuggle, and families to enjoy getting close and cuddly, creates gorgeous and heartwarming shots. The love and adoration that pour from these photos is so easily achievable this time of year. The smiles on this family’s face say it all. 

Creating a fun, relaxing session comes easy with the change of seasons. This colorful fall family photography at the Arboretum showcases the beauty of not only the gardens, but these three wonderful humans as well. 

I am looking forward to capturing this family and all their love again, as they are expecting a new arrival soon! It warms my heart to watch these families grow, and photographing them throughout their journeys.

Mom dad and son at the New Hanover Arboretum in Wilmington
Family enjoying walk in the fall during photography session
Son running and playing with parents at the Arboretum in Wilmington, NC
Loving family during fall photography session

Fall is here and now is the time to book your family sessions! It is the perfect time of year to update your family photos for your holiday cards and gifts. Contact me or book now!

Fall is Family Photography Season

Fall is a particularly alluring time of year to capture families frolicking in nature. A North Carolina autumn never disappoints. The splendid colors that burst from trees and bushes create a backdrop that will surround your family with warmth and serenity. The beautiful setting and the mood it brings both play into why fall is family photography season.  My family photography gallery displays how uniquely I portray each family I photograph.

Fall and Family Photography

As a lifestyle photographer, the magic of fall’s changing color palette provides the purity I am inspired to share with my clients. The essence of summer giving way to cool breezes creates a casually cheerful mood. The thought of crackling fires to come lends to a genuine playfulness.

I adore capturing giggling children as they stretch out their fingertips to grasp falling leaves. There is magic in the sparkling eyes of babies taking in the vast array of hues created by nature’s paintbrush. I snap those moments when parents view their children with intrinsic joy while fondly remembering their own childhood; in awe of how time evolves, yet somehow stays the same. Fall photography sessions are the perfect host for creating small but joyous moments to treasure.

North Carolina has no shortage of amazing fall backdrops for your session. I love to shoot at New Hanover Arboretum for their gorgeous Japanese maple trees. Abbey Nature Trails adjacent to Poplar Grove Plantation, and Long Leaf Park in Wilmington are some of my favorite local locations as well.

Mom and dad with kids during fall photography session

The Season of Love

Autumn brings the weather that lends itself to cozy cuddles with the loved ones. I feel that it always serves as a breath of fresh air after sticky summer days. The willingness to get snuggled up close returns, and creates beautiful moments in front of the camera. Fall is family photography season as I am able to capture all of the warm fuzzy feelings that come along with the changing weather. 

A photograph-worthy setting occurs naturally when a family bounds into a giant pile of leaves. Picture playful sword-jousts with twigs and scrambling over tree roots while escaping tickle-hugs. I become the captive audience to these authentic moments. I then create a gift that your family will treasure for years to come. Fall photography sessions lend themselves to fun, laid back, and relaxing times for both the parents and the children.

Fall Maternity photo of pregnant woman
Man and woman on bridge in front of fall trees
Couple posing behind fall leaves during photography session

I will bring this awe-inspiring scene into your home. Fall photography sessions create wonderful portraits for your walls and framed photos for your children’s grandparents. The holiday season will be here before we know it, so this is the perfect time of year contact me to book your family photography 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, lover of backyard gardening, candles, chocolate and Amazon Prime.

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“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.⁠
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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!⁠
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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.⁠
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Words by: Mother Truths ( @mymothertruths)
I'm enjoying getting personal with y'all. Hope you don't mind!⁠
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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. ⁠
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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.⁠
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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.⁠
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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.⁠
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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. ⁠
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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.⁠
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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. ⁠
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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
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910.719.3633 hello@erikariggerphotography.com