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USB Memory Direct! Sorry…just had to share because I tend to get excited when I find things that are exactly the right shade of pink ;-). I’m even more excited about the ones I’ll be ordering next year to commemorate Pinkle Toes Photography’s 10th Birthday (wow…can you even believe that?). Thanks so much for the wonderful and speedy customer service, USB Memory Direct!

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I didn’t realize this until I started culling and editing this precious baby boy’s newborn photos, but I must have been really boring him because he yawned SO MUCH, lol! Here are just two examples:

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Actually, I think he was just happy and content and why wouldn’t he be? Look at how well he fits into his little family! You all may remember those lovely red curls of big sister from the maternity photo shoot HERE. Well, it was so crazy because the whole time I was editing the images, I could NOT get over how much he resembles his big sister! Something about his nose and lips, I think? Wonder if he’s going to have the same red curls, too…

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While he LOVED snuggling up with his mama, he was pretty awesome with his big sister, who LOVED to love on him! My personal favorite image is HERE, because you can literally SEE the wonder in his sister’s eyes as she is watching over her little brother. I teared up several times at her interactions with him. I know she is struggling to figure out her new role, but she loves her brother so much. You can just tell it.
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She is one of the most gorgeous little girls ever, isn’t she?

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Then of course, look at her parents ;-).

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These two. So happy to hang out…

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…and nap together ;-).

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Counting baby toes.

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I mean, seriously?

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We had to work hard to wake him.

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And to try to keep him awake ;-).

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But I think our persistence paid off with the very last image of the session right up there.

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austin-baby-photography-lifestyle-family-12I had a visit from a beautiful baby girl and her parents a few weeks ago and thought I’d share because her outfits are true retro outfits worn by her mommy back in the day and I think that is really, really cool. She rocked them for her 4 month milestone session and I’m sure her mommy rocked them in the 70’s (I probably had some of these same outfits when I was growing up ;-). One of my favorite images can be seen HERE.

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To help celebrate baby girl turning one, our session started off overlooking the city of Austin. austin-first-birthday-baby-cake-smash-urban-downtown-city-family-lifestyle-photographer-02

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She was dressed to the 9’s. I think this little girl accessorizes better than I do!austin-first-birthday-baby-cake-smash-urban-downtown-city-family-lifestyle-photographer-04

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And then…a RAINBOW appeared!!!austin-first-birthday-baby-cake-smash-urban-downtown-city-family-lifestyle-photographer-06

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Snuggles with her mommy. Also love this image HERE.austin-first-birthday-baby-cake-smash-urban-downtown-city-family-lifestyle-photographer-08

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“Spider-Man” kisses with her dad.
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And then…it was time for CAKE!

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She had no problems figuring out what to do!

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And, was kind enough to share. A little.

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But this last series has me absolutely cracking up. “Caaaaaaaaake!” Price. Less!

From mom:

Tell us a little bit about your family…

My husband and I have been married for just over 5 years and we were blessed with the sweetest baby girl last year!

What made you decide this was the time to do a photo session? Were you marking any special occasion, etc?

We wanted to celebrate out little lady turning one! We can’t believe this year has gone by so quickly!!!

Where was your session held and why?

We wanted to have the Austin skyline in our photos because we absolutely LOVE living in Austin. We also wanted some nice greenery and Michele suggested Butler Park. It was perfect!

What did you like about your session location?

The view of the Austin skyline was the best part. We were wishing the fountain would have been running but unfortunately it wasn’t. {Gah…I know. Made me sad, too.–M}

What was your favorite part of your session?

Getting to play around with our little one. Also, the cake smash was PERFECT!

Was there anything you were nervous or worried about before the session?

The rain and heat!! The weather tested us that day but it turned out great!

What made you choose Pinkle Toes Photography?

We choose Pinkle toes because of her amazing work. She captures moments perfectly!

What do you hope your kids/family will say years down the road when looking at these images?

I hope she can tell how much love we have for her and how much we love being together.

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But not about the tragic, horrific, sad, unspeakable event that just happened there recently (though I will admit it completely broke my heart when I heard the news). No, instead I want to talk about the absolutely beautiful, warm, friendly city with the equally beautiful, warm, friendly people living there that I was introduced to back in May. Charleston, South Carolina was the site of the 3rd Annual Pinkle Toes Photography Workshop Reunion. With previous magnificent reunions held first in Chicago in 2012, then New York City in 2014, the barre (spelling intended ;-) had been set pretty high for this informal gathering of past Pinkle Toes Workshop grads from all over. You will definitely want to read this post all the way to the end so you can follow the links to the images by all of the photographers who came to play.

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The very first thing I did in Charleston was Becky’s family photo session (sigh…that was amazing) and I have to tell you, the city pretty much blew me away with its charm and beauty. The next morning, those of us who had gotten to the house early got to take a wonderful stroll along the beach at Isle of Palms. It was there we happened upon this stunning pregnant momma and Becky got the idea for us to do a maternity photo session for her on the beach when the rest of our crew arrived later! I cannot even believe this mom did not run away thinking we were crazy with the idea…instead, she was thrilled and we were very excited to get to play at sunset. I cannot remember the exact order of events, but I do know we had an OUTSTANDING lunch at Cru Café, very VERY tasty pizza from Mellow Mushroom that evening (including a surprise visit from a long-time online friend of mine, Danielle Hobbs), and then a gorgeous sunset maternity session on the beach:

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With that many photographers there with cameras snapping away, you would think that would cause extreme intimidation and shyness. That, my friends, was NOT an issue here. How wonderful that this family opened up their little world to us and let us photograph this magical time in their lives. By the way…there are TWO babies in there ;-).

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Pull back from the above image HERE so you can get a taste of what it must be like to have your own paparazzi. austin-texas-lifestyle-photography-family-childrens-photographer-workshop-charleston-south-carolina-10

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Loved this playful interaction here with Heather! She really had no problem hamming it up to the camera!
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 I’m not sure why Nicole is hiding under Jody’s dress. #motherginger #lotsofhashtagginghappeningduringthistrip

austin-texas-lifestyle-photography-family-childrens-photographer-workshop-charleston-south-carolina-15Yeah. Pretty stunning evening all around.

Okay, all of my days are starting to blur together at this point. In true reunion fashion, we packed in as much as we possibly could during our weekend. Let’s see if I can remember what all we did. Let’s see…

  1. Pure Barre Class – I was WAY impressed that these ladies decided to join me for a class and I was amazed at how Pure Barre Mount Pleasant welcomed us with open arms. Maybe not the best idea for the start of a very busy vacation (can you say SORE?), but actually, maybe it was (can you say LOTS OF DELICIOUS FOOD?).
  2. There was a lot of talk about T-Rex’s and what they do and do not like ;-).
  3. We had amazing sushi at O-Ku.
  4. Food Tour!! – we’ve done this at each of the reunions so far…such a great way to get to know the city and try all kinds of unique dishes.
  5. Oh…I will never forget dinner at The Grocery, which involved lots of incredible roasted broccoli and a few too many grown up strawberry-basil drinky drinks ;-). Lots and lots and lots of laughs that evening!
  6. The most amazing cupcakes at Sugar Bakeshop. I really want one right now.
  7. Cruising around downtown Charleston in Christy’s minivan dancing to Uptown Funk.
  8. #hashtag
  9. Sunrise Saturday – it has become a tradition as well to get up before the sun and go someplace unique for some photo ops. We chose the Folly Beach Lighthouse this year and it did not disappoint:

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Rushing to catch the sunrise! It amazes me how little convincing it takes photographers to get up at 3:30 in the morning after you’ve gone to sleep after midnight just by the promise of amazing light.

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Christy is being very dramatic with her hand signals. Thank you, Christy ;-).

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I LOVE the shot Annette ended up getting from this perspective. It really is telling when 10 photographers can photograph the exact same thing and each come away with their own unique take on it.

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Cue sun. Cue birds.

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Okay, so Katie and I took a bit of a risk and basically RAN all the way around the island to get the perfect spot. Maybe not a good move as the tide came in and we had to kinda wade back to the rest of the group holding our cameras above water. Oops. #stupidbutworthit

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Oh, I wish I had a longer lens.

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Wish granted.

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It was indeed worth it.

We had yet another delicious meal complete with homemade cinnamon rolls at Lost Dog Café and then it was off to our carriage tour. After that, we headed to Boone Hall Plantation (see…I wasn’t kidding when I said we did it ALL). What a beautiful place and yes, we did get to see the very waters where Mr. Hey Girl Ryan Gosling dove in during filming of The Notebook. (BRB, going to go watch that movie again). #heygirl

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Here, Jody is giving us jazz hands. Or letting us know she has 5 fingers. Or giving us a tour. Or telling us to stop walking. Or testing the light. It’s hard to tell. #trexhatesjazzhands

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They were setting up for what was certain to be a GORGEOUS wedding that night. We seriously contemplated crashing it. Who would turn down 9 free photographers? Of course, we probably would spend the whole time photographing the Spanish moss, of which, I’m certain I have about 1,000 images. Good. Grief. #photogcandy That, and poppies:

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We also got to make one last visit to Rainbow Row (sigh…Jen Y). I am SO glad we got to back there. So many lovely colors and plants and details. I decided to play around with the Waterlogue app on my iPhone images from the trip. I kinda like how this turned out:

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(Follow this Instagram #hashtag for more images from the trip).

I am certain I have missed major details from this incredible reunion. I’m sorry I keep using the words, “incredible, awesome, amazing, beautiful, wonderful, etc.” over and over again, but really, there’s no other way to describe it. I feel incredibly (there I go again) lucky to get to explore these new places, but even more so, I get to do so surrounded by lovely people who share the same sense of humor and a LOVE of all things beautiful, artistic, and tasty. Ladies of the Charleston, SC reunion: YOU made this trip for me. I swear my cheeks hurt for days after coming home from smiling and laughing so much. I would go back in a heartbeat and do it all over again. Much love to you all. #trexlovesfriendship

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Now, click on over to Jody Mack Photography (Charleston, Mount Pleasant Lifestyle Newborn and Family Photographer) to see her images and take on the trip! Follow the blog circle!

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And for the complete list of photographers who attended this reunion (visit their sites and you will be blown away!):

Jen Yancey (Greensboro, NC)

Heather Schmitt (Dallas, TX)

Becky Keller (Raleigh, NC)

Nicole Leonard (Louisville, CO)

Katie Bork (Wilmington, NC)

Christy Gant (Sumter, SC) 

Annette Goodman (Charlotte, NC)

Jody Mack Photography (Charleston, SC)

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When I asked if we could start their family photo session in a corn field and they willingly agreed, I knew it was going to be a dynamic and fun time! I really loved most that the boys got to be themselves (mom and dad let them play in the creek…in their outfits….and even brought wooden swords and soccer balls with which the boys could play). My personal favorite family pic is HERE.

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 Oh….but I adore this one with the two of them peeking out of the corn stalks, too!

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His faces. Sigh. Love.austin-kids-summer-family-fun-candid-photography-texas-creek-08

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 “Arghhhhhhhhh!” (He’s a pirate, in case you couldn’t tell.)

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 Um. She’s stunning.

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This look of fierce determination. He’s totally going to conquer this creek.austin-kids-summer-family-fun-candid-photography-texas-creek-13

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 They snuggled up like this all on their own!

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austin-kids-summer-family-fun-candid-photography-texas-creek-21They’re doing yoga here. Obvs.

From mom:

Tell us a little bit about your family…

Family of four – two high energy boys, ages 4&6. Relish our time outdoors & love to be together when school/work allows.

What made you decide this was the time to do a photo session? Were you marking any special occasion, etc?

The boys are changing so quickly & I really wanted to capture them in their current stage when they’re not overly concerned with being silly & having fun around strangers & out and about in public.

Where was your session held and why?

At the park – I really wanted a natural environment where we could capture the boys in their element

What did you like about your session location?

All of the natural elements & being in an environment where the boys could just play

What was your favorite part of your session?

Watching the boys play in the creek.

Was there anything you were nervous or worried about before the session?

The boys melting down. The evenings are usually our witching hour & they already had an eventful day. Also, anything too staged or unnatural.

Any funny stories or interesting happenings during your session?

Leaving the park after the session & my oldest tripping & scraping his knee. Not exactly funny, but slightly comical the timing of it & par for the course.

Any advice to other families before their photo sessions?

Treat it as any other family outing or, in our case, trip to the park. We brought a soccer ball, etc – things the boys would normally carry along with them. Try to take a back seat & let the kids do their thing, so the pictures will hopefully convey a more natural quality

What made you choose Pinkle Toes Photography?

The natural, in stages feel of Michele’s photos.

What do you hope your kids/family will say years down the road when looking at these images?

What awesome parents you are to have let us roll around in the creek fully dressed! Did you not consider bringing swimsuits?;-) {Oh, man! I think they were so excited when we let them get in the water in their clothes! That made it for them!–M}

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Do not let their normal, ordinary, everyday family appearances fool you. Trust me. I know for a fact that these people are SUPERHEROES. How do I know that? Read on and you’ll see…AND…make sure you go ALL the way to the bottom of this post. You will NOT want to miss it ;-).

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Sure. In the images above, they look simply like a beautiful, loving family you might see hanging around the streets of Austin–and they are–but now I can reveal to you their TRUE identities….

 

 

 

Get…

 

 

Ready…

 

 

To…

 

 

Be…

 

 

Amazed…

 

 

When…

 

 

 

I present to you…
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SUPER MOM! IRON DAD! AND ROCK STAR!!!!

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I mean, seriously? How FUN is this?! This little lady is sure lucky to have parents willing to be seen on the streets of Austin in their Super Hero Attire ;-). I loved this idea and I am SO happy we got to make it come to fruition. Mom did an incredible job pulling everything together for it.

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 FYI, that tattoo is actually her daughter’s writing. Definitely. Copying. That. Idea.

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 She can fly!!! You won’t want to miss my FAVORITE version of this image HERE!!!!

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From Mom:

Tell us a little bit about your family…

Well it’s Brad, Addie and I…oh and 2 dogs (Incy and Stella) and 2 guinea pigs (Pickles and Hazel). Poor Brad…he’s the only guy in the mix. I LOVE my family…it’s my life…really.

What made you decide this was the time to do a photo session? Were you marking any special occasion, etc?

No special occasion…just what is becoming our annual family photo session with Pinkletoes. Now the challenge is to find something unique and creative to do each year. Poor Michele doesn’t realize what she’s getting into…well maybe a tad bit after this session.

Where was your session held and why?

After much thought we decided to start on the UT campus and then hit the drag. We had 2 different themes going on so it was a perfect fit. Brad graduated from UT so having it there was special for him. And the drag…. well it’s the drag. You never know what you’re gonna get there…superheroes fit right in. :)

What did you like about your session location?

The UT campus is amazing…and BIG! Did I say big?? There are SO many fun and unique little spots and Michele seems to know them all. And the drag is just SO Austin-y.

What was your favorite part of your session?

I can’t pick a fav part…sessions with Michele are just plain downright fun. I think you gotta do one to understand. And that’s not just my thoughts…driving home we all talked about what a fun experience it was yet again!

Was there anything you were nervous or worried about before the session?

Well yeah…parading around downtown Austin in a superhero costume…and it’s not Halloween. But needless worries…see above. Well we did get a few stares. But who cares?? Not us!

Any funny stories or interesting happenings during your session?

Addie loves it when Michele burps…and she didn’t disappoint. These are some serious burps guys! And then there was the moment it came time to change clothes so we popped into some random building on campus…maybe the only one without a bathroom to be found. So Michele stood guard while we donned our superhero costumes in a little alcove…kinda like our own little “phone booth”. [This was my fav part, too! – M]

Any advice to other families before their photo sessions?

Just go into it with an open mind and trust that Michele is awesome at what she does. Have fun and know that the product she delivers will far exceed any expectations you have. ***Repeat customer alert*** Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

What made you choose Pinkle Toes Photography?

Like I mentioned earlier this was our annual Pinkle Toes gig…a family tradition that we hope to continue indefinitely. And it’s not just her work…that speaks for itself. It’s also her business model…all of the little extra touches that mean so much. Thank you Michele…it doesn’t go unnoticed! [Aw, man…this means the WORLD, Karen!!! – M]

What do you hope your kids/family will say years down the road when looking at these images?

I read once that a photo is a “return ticket to a moment otherwise gone”. They are. My dad was killed in service when I was 4 and I treasure the few family photos I have. I want our photos to help Addie remember random moments in her childhood that pieced together show her that we lived and loved and laughed and had fun while doing it! She IS the center of our universe and I want her to know that. [Actually, THIS means the WORLD, Karen!!! – M]

superaddie-blog

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Yes, okay, so we had to all get up crazy early to catch this beautiful sunlight without catching the yucky summer heat, but I think we can all agree it was totally worth it. I was totally obsessed with big sister’s amazing curls and little man’s joyous full-body smile. And the pupsters were so completely go-with-the-flow…they were kindofamazing!

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Boys. Girls.006-austin-lifestyle-photographer-photo-session-creek-pflugerville-06

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Love that we are able to see little brother’s sweet face peeking through the kiss!

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I was properly warned that this sweet girl was NOT a morning person and yes, it took her a little while to fully wake up and put up with my silly noises (see below), but once she did, wow! What a sparkling personality!

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 (Cinderella ;-)

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My personal favorite image is HERE.017-austin-family-photographer-photo-session-creek-pflugerville-17

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021-austin-family-photographer-photo-session-creek-pflugerville-21From Heather:

Tell us a little bit about your family…

Wonderful husband, my sweet girl Elsa and my baby boy Cannon. Two goofy hounds Clyde and Daphne. 3 boys and 3 girls…lots of fun and chaos!

What made you decide this was the time to do a photo session? Were you marking any special occasion, etc?

I had always wanted family photos taken and now that our family is complete, it was time.

Where was your session held and why?

Heritage house in Pflugerville and a local creek. I wanted nature and old, vintage scenery with farm equipment etc. the location was great.

What did you like about your session location?

Everything…the big red barn, old farm equipment, the creek.

What was your favorite part of your session?

The creek. Michele doing funny things to get my daughter to laugh.

Was there anything you were nervous or worried about before the session?

Preparation for the day.

Any funny stories or interesting happenings during your session?

Michele would burp and talk in funny voices to make my daughter smile.

Any advice to other families before their photo sessions?

Be organized/flexible and ready for anything because anything can happen.

What made you choose Pinkle Toes Photography?

Her previous work spoke for itself.

What do you hope your kids/family will say years down the road when looking at these images?

That they love the photos and we had a great time that day together.

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I honestly wasn’t 100% sure we were going to be able to squeeze in her maternity pics before she had the baby, but somehow, we got a last-minute break in the rains and they ventured out to the Pinkle Toes “studio” and braved mosquitoes and crazy humidity to make it happen. Her eyes are absolutely captivating and she could not have chosen a more perfect dress to show off that perfect baby bump! These two were so much fun together and I truly cannot wait to meet the new little one very, very soon. [Check out the amazing light in this pic HERE].

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The moment I walked into their home, I knew it was going to be a wonderful newborn photo session. Why? Because the first thing I saw was big sis changing her baby sister like a champ. This girl is completely amazing in her role as big sister and this sweet baby is very, very lucky to have her. She is also very, very lucky to have these loving parents, too…

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I can’t quite explain why, but there’s another version of mom/baby by the window up there that jumped out as a fav to me.

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And see what I mean about big sister? Seriously, I could have used that kind of help when I had my babies!

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From mom:

Tell us a little bit about your family…

My family is my entire purpose for being. My oldest daughter, Charlotte, is not biologically related to my husband but he’s every bit the father she’s always deserved to have. We tell him he’s our God-sent angel. Little Evelyn is our first baby together. We are beyond blessed.

Where was your session held and why?

We chose our home because it’s our Sanctuary…. Our happy place… The first place that’s ours as a family.

What did you like about your session location?

It’s where we feel comfortable just being ourselves.

What was your favorite part of your session?

Our favorite (and most appreciated) part was Michele’s patience with all of us. She was fantastic with both Charlotte and Evelyn. She truly has a gift with children.

Was there anything you were nervous or worried about before the session?

Yes. My husband more than either of my daughters. He isn’t the most comfortable with having his photos taken. In fact, he was dreading our session. After it was over he was surprisingly upbeat and positive about the entire experience. My point is, Michele not only has a gift with children but she is awesome with husbands too!

Any funny stories or interesting happenings during your session?

My husband conveniently avoiding the session as much as possible. Michele handled it with such grace and felt comfortable searching for him in our home a couple of times. She’s a doll and I’m again thankful for her patience.

What made you choose Pinkle Toes Photography?

My brother and sister get annual photos with Michele. Those photos are priceless to both of their families. My sister actually encouraged me to secure a deposit with Pinkle Toes shortly after I made my official pregnancy announcement. There was absolutely no convincing necessary!

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Also wanted to take a moment to share photograph of baby E taking a snack break during her session. Moms: frequent breaks to feed, change, and calm your baby are totally common during newborn sessions as a photo session is pretty much like exercise to new babies. I often ask to snap some pics during these times because they are fleeting and precious. Usually it’s just for parents to have these images to look back on years down the road, but sometimes, mom lets me share and I’m so glad she is letting me post this image because when I saw them like this, it took my breath away. The peace, the bond, the soft pinks, the hazy light…they look as though they could have come to life from a Renaissance painting, do they not?

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