Thursday, January 5, 2012

On the move...

Happy New Year!

Now that the absolute madness of November and December has settled down, I have finally gotten my new website finished. Sooooo, to check out what's going on at Anne Zirkle Photography, please go to:

I'll be working on getting sessions from November and December blogged as soon as possible now that there's no risk of accidentally posting Christmas and holiday card photos before they were sent or gifts before they were given!

There are some other changes a-coming, so keep your eyes peeled for some announcements in the near future!

Thank you for making 2011 an incredible year, and now on to 2012!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

the c family | family session @ jetton park

I don't know about you, but I'm not really keen on getting my picture taken. Maybe that's one of the reasons I ended up behind the lens: to decrease my chances of being in front of it!

I think a lot of people feel a little insecure about having family pictures made. There are always tons of excuses:
"I need to lose some weight first!"
"I don't know what we'll wear."
"Let's just do pictures of the kids."
"I don't really like those fake smiles."
And those are just *MY* excuses!

Which is why I feel so honored when a family comes to me to have a full family session. I know just how hard it can be to take that step to even schedule the session, let alone pick out what to wear, and then convince everyone else in the family to cooperate!

When AnnMarie contacted me to schedule her family's session, I knew it would be a special one. She has a great attention to detail, and her kids are a lot of fun. When we were chatting about what they should wear, I suggested she check out my Pinterest board with family photo color palette ideas and wardrobe suggestions. She decided to go with a classic gray, black and white palette with denim, and boy did she knock it out of the park! This family does not look "matchy," but no one can deny they go together!
We decided to head down to Jetton Park on Lake Norman since it offers such a wide variety of environments to take pictures. We started off around this great climbing tree to try to take advantage of the little bit of fall foliage that was starting to show its colors. After a little bit of discussion between the kids over who would get to use my yellow chair, it was decided that E would get to stand on it for the group picture, but G would get to sit in it for pictures with his dad.

I love this picture! I took one where everyone was looking at the camera with great expressions, but this one? Where they're all sort of joking with each other, and laughing, and being a family? This is the one that speaks to my heart.
There's a gorgeous covered walkway at the park, complete with fabulous, aged sliding doors, not to mention a gorgeous, architecturally interesting opening. I couldn't resist grouping the guys together for a little fun. G was such a ham! Things started off a little stiff, but then I asked him to show me his best "super model" pose. Oh man! He just RAN with that one! He started striking pose after pose, and cracking himself (and all of us!) up at the same time.

Next, it was time for a "family line-up" along those amazing doors. Want to know which one has the stinkiest feet? Well, I'll never tell!

For good measure, we popped over to the swing for a few small groupings. And yes, I got an amazing picture of E and J laughing into the camera, but this one? With her little impish smile directed up to his big brother, pre-teen face (he was trying SO hard to be serious here)? This is the one that gave me a glimpse into their relationship. She looks up to him and adores him, and even though he thinks he may be too cool to show blatant affection, he can't resist her. Sigh.

We had some more fun with the swings, and then walked over to the "beach" where there used to be Lake (the water is so low right now) for a few more family group pictures. And then, I decided to get artsy...
Be afraid. Be very afraid!

I explained what I was envisioning for these last few shots: C and AnnMarie having a sweet kiss while autumn leaves gently fell around them.

Sounds romantic, right?

So the kids gather up armfuls of leaves, mom and dad have a little kiss, and....


A huge clump of leaves and pine needles smacks them right in the face!

I swear I had asked the kids to throw the leaves UP into the air to fall OVER their parents, not to throw them AT their parents. But kids will be kids, eh?

Once again, we all dissolved in laughter as we tried again (and again, and again, and again...) to get the image I had envisioned.
And just look at those love birds! After over 16 years of marriage, they've still got it. ;)

Thank you so much for letting me into your lives!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

the o family | four generation photo session

Four of the photographs I cherish the most are the four-generation pictures I have for my children while their great-grandparents were still living. It is so important to take those pictures when you have the chance! I know that these pictures showing the links of our family will be treasured by my kids some day too. One of my baby plan families scheduled time for a four generation photo session before their daughter's 4-month-old session. We got together at Allison's mom's gorgeous home on Lake Norman to take the photos.
First, the girls. It is so cool how you can see the family resemblance in these beauties!
Then we let some of the guys join the fun...
I think that Catherine has the same color of eyes as her great-grandma!
Kim (Catherine's grandma), saved this dress from her childhood. You just don't see this dotted swiss fabric used anymore, which is such a shame! Catherine was way more interested in checking out her toes than looking at me though...
Allison's dad had been painting when I arrived, so had to get cleaned up to be in the pictures. This is my favorite picture of all of the direct members of the four generations. I hope that they will cherish this picture some day as much as I do mine.

Friday, July 8, 2011

reese | newborn session

My friend, Allyson, wanted a special gift to give to her brother and his wife for their new baby. She wanted something that would be memorable, and more enduring than just a new outfit, or a piece of baby equipment. So she purchased a newborn photo session!

I was so honored that she chose me to be the photographer (she has several other talented photographers as friends). But even more, I was struck by what a meaningful gift she chose. Many new parents don't realize how quickly their newborn changes, and scheduling a newborn photo session is the last thing they are thinking of while trying to navigate the challenges of bringing home a new baby. I know that I didn't think of doing photos of my babies until they were closer to a month old because I was nervous about taking them out to a portrait studio when they were so young. The photos that are captured during a newborn session will be something that parents will be able to treasure for the rest of their lives.

I got to meet Reese for his photo session when he was 12 days new. He was still such a sleepy little guy, but was already starting to want to stretch out a bit more!

He did NOT want to keep his legs curled up in the little nest.

He was starting his 2-week-old growth spurt, so we had to take a little snack break, but it hardly took any time at all for him to slip back into that newborn milk coma!

I am forever amazed at what a newborn will sleep through! I can remember tiptoeing around with my son for fear of waking him up. But once they are in that deep sleep, you can move them all over the place!

When I was visiting my parents the week before this session, I raided some of my mom's antiques. With a house like theirs, there is no need to go to antique stores! I couldn't wait to try putting a baby in this old wooden bucket. It was a looking a little rough when I first brought it home, but after three applications of orange oil, the rich wood is just gorgeous! And when you curl a bitty baby inside, it's just too cute. :)

His momma says that he almost always had his one little arm up by his head when he was still in her belly. I love how he put it up there for her to remember that forever in this picture.

There is something about a tiny baby in his daddy's arms that always melts my heart. I don't know if it's because the dad's just seem so tender with them, or if it's because the baby just looks that much teensier...

Thank you for allowing me into your home, Candice and Eric! I can't wait to see the pictures you ordered once you have them hanging in your gorgeous home!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

the h family | family session

I was so glad to finally get to shoot this family's session! We've been talking about it for almost a year, and trying to pin down a date for nearly six months! Let me tell ya, this is one busy family!

We met at 7 a.m. at Jetton Park in Huntersville since the sun rises so early during the summer. The morning was beautiful, but that lovely NC humidity was already pretty strong, even that early.

We got started with some gorgeous, glowy light on the beachy area. I love the way Marc is looking at Johane in this picture! You can just see that he is totally smitten.

Julia was playing at the edge of the lake while I was snapping the pictures of her parents, and I couldn't resist catching her unawares.

I tend to prefer less "camera aware" pictures, but this one is still one of my favorites from the session. As Julia gets ready for middle school, and all that that entails, it is lovely to capture this mother/daughter connection as it stands at the end of elementary school.

Marc was so affectionate with his wife and his daughter, and every time I turned around I'd catch little moments like these. Just makes me happy. :-)

This is another one of my favorites. Who can't help but smile on a swing?

And here's the winner for the family portrait! I can't wait to see how it looks on the 16x20 canvas that they printed it on.

Oh, and Marc and Johane? You better hang on to your hats, because this girl is a stunner. Seriously, just beautiful. (And does anyone else see the resemblence with a certain Glee star?)

Thank you for the chance to spend a great morning with you all!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

the k family | family session

Jen and I have been talking for a few months trying to get our calendars to mesh for a family session, and I think it was worth the wait! What a gorgeous family! The clothes that Jen picked were so classic and timeless, the weather was warm but with a gentle breeze, and the light? Oh, the light was just perfect. That wonderful, glowy, golden time of the day that we photographers like to call "the golden hour."

We met at Stutts Marina which gave us lots of places to put together family poses, but also a great place for the kids to play and be themselves. There was a family of mallard ducks that particularly caught the kids' imagination!

Henry, Maddie and Eva were such a delight to work with, each with such different personalities. Henry is all boy, and loved chasing the ducks, picking up rocks and then throwing them in the lake, and did a great job of corralling his little sisters. Maddie is a very girly girl who at first preferred her sister's ruffles and bows until I pointed out that her little sister's outfit wasn't nearly as good for twirling as hers! And Eva? Well, she's one! And she has places to go, things to see, and no time to be sitting still for pictures, thank you very much!

We had a lot of fun together and I hope that I captured your family's dynamic the way you live it!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

kelly | lifestyle session

Kelly's mom has been asking for a current picture for several years now (apparently the one from college is a little out-of-date?), so she decided to surprise her with some new portraits this summer.

After running behind toddlers, making goofy faces and noises for babies, and soothing newborns, it was a refreshing change to photograph someone who is not only open to instruction, but is also absolutely beautiful!

She wanted her photos to reflect her new lake-front lifestyle, so we headed to Stutts Marina which offers beautiful views of the lake, docks, and ginormous old trees.

Kelly was so natural in front of my camera, and even laughed at my stupid jokes (which tend to be geared for the elementary-age set...).

I hope that she enjoyed herself enough to not wait so long before getting new pictures taken! Girls as pretty as her should be in front of a camera all the time!