Marlowe's Fall Fun

April Christensen of April Marie Photography has shared these darling photos of her beautiful daughter, Marlowe (age 1), enjoying the fall weather before the winter chill kicks in!

The colors of autumn provide a perfect, serene backdrop – and we just LOVE little Marlowe’s outfit! How cute is that plaid vest?!AprilMariePhotography01 AprilMariePhotography02 AprilMariePhotography03 AprilMariePhotography04 AprilMariePhotography05 AprilMariePhotography06 AprilMariePhotography07 AprilMariePhotography08 AprilMariePhotography09 AprilMariePhotography10 AprilMariePhotography11 AprilMariePhotography12 AprilMariePhotography13Credit:
April Marie Photography

Summer Family Photos from April


Summer is the perfect time to get outside and capture your family in some photos that will last a lifetime!

April Christensen of April Marie Photography has shared some of her wonderful summer photography, featuring fun families and precious babies. They are sure to inspire you for your next photoshoot! Thanks again for sharing your beautiful work, April!

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April Marie Photography

Summertime from Maureen Porto Photography

Can you believe it’s almost August!? Maureen Porto from Maureen Porto Photography is giving us an inside look at a few of her personal snaps of her fun filled summer!

When you live in the mid-Atlantic and survive the long winters,  Summer is no longer just a season, it’s a 4 and a half month Holiday meant to be savored and celebrated! Here in Annapolis, Summer kicks off in late April with the opening of the Rockfish Season and ends when the little ones are ushered back to school at the end of August. SideBySide IMG_4573Our family, like countless others, spends as much time as possible enjoying the outdoors: swimming, camping, jumping off the dock, exploring local creeks on our kayaks and stand up paddle boards, catching crabs from the Chesapeake Bay, sailing, fishing off our powerboat, or rafting up with friends on the river. 


Maureen Porto Photography
Twitter: @MoMoSnaps

Melon Skewers from Pizzazzerie!

Summer is a magnetic season! It draws everyone out of their homes and brings us together for fun and festive events! So this summer, why not contribute to a summer party or backyard shindig in style with this simple Melon Skewer DIY from Pizzazzerie!

From the grill to the glass, skewers just say “summertime”! Even these colors are festive for the season! Visit Pizzazzerie for full details on how to get the look!

Photography & Styling by Courtney Whitmore

Advice From April: Moving with a Baby

April-ChristensenMy husband, daughter, pets and I are now settled into our new home in Colorado Springs (phew), but it wasn’t as easy as we thought it would be. There are a few things we didn’t plan on, but on the upside, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been!

This wasn’t our first move since we’ve been married, but it was our first move as parents. Our daughter, Marlowe, is almost 9 months old now. Old enough to be crawling and rolling all over the place! I didn’t take that into account while preparing to move. I didn’t take a lot of things into account, as a matter of fact. So I’m going to tell you all the things I wish we had done while moving with a baby (and pets!), and share with you a few tricks we managed to pull off!
AprilMariePhoto01After we packed all our things into a moving van and said our farewells to friends and family, we started the long 22+ hour drive. It’s always a good idea to split the drive into a few days at a time, especially when each parent is driving a vehicle (I had Marlowe in my car while my husband had our dog and cat in his truck). Needless to say, I was completely high on caffeine in order to drive the 10 1/2 hours to our first stop: Nashville. Starbuck’s Cool Lime Refresher was a must-have, along with any other coffee/tea I could get my hands on!
SideBySide_cupsIn retrospect, I wish we had stopped more frequently. It was beautiful outside and we passed a lot of gorgeous rest stops. So, here’s where I tell you that it’s a good idea to get your little one(s) out of their car seat every few hours or less. They’ll need to stretch their tiny backs and get some playtime in so they can sleep happily when they’re back in their seat.
AprilMariePhoto04It was a terrific idea to stop at Cracker Barrel for lunch on the first day (thanks to my husband’s eagle eye – I would have missed the sign for sure)! I had previously packed a few jars of baby food and some oatmeal for Marlowe. While we were waiting for our food, I fed her and gave her a bottle of formula. I definitely recommend letting the baby jump up and down on your lap as much as possible during this time so he/she can expel some energy.
AprilMariePhoto05Once we got back on the road, Marlowe started getting upset. I tapped into my motherly instincts and realized that she may still be hungry, as I fed her pretty quickly at Cracker Barrel. Aaaaand, here’s where I recommend you plan in advance a bit better than I did. Normally, I have my formula dispenser all stocked up, but when I pulled it out this particular time, I realized that I had forgotten to add formula to it! Really? I’ll remember next time.
AprilMariePhoto06Luckily, our pets are pretty low maintenance. By the end of our first 10 hour day, though, they were as ready as we were to get into a hotel. While we were driving, my husband used Siri on his iPhone to look up hotels that accepted pets. This wasn’t difficult, but it would have been better if we had planned that better in advance to schedule a reservation and look through reviews. The first hotel we stayed at was NASTY. We changed to a LaQuinta immediately.
AprilMariePhoto07It’s also a great idea to look at all the kid-friendly restaurants close to your hotel. Texas Roadhouse had a coloring book and crayons for Marlowe to suck on (yeah, I had to exchange those for her toys 30 seconds in). For slightly older children, though, it’s a blast!
AprilMariePhoto08AprilMariePhoto09Staying in a hotel room with a baby can be a bit rough. If it isn’t an option to get a 2 bedroom + suite, you’ve got to make do. We had Marlowe’s travel bassinet and sound machine, which fit perfectly in our closet! We could turn on her sound machine, close the closet doors and she had her own room – she slept really well, with the comforts of constant pouring rain and her awesome little bed.
AprilMariePhoto10My husband and I are pretty relaxed when it comes to keeping Marlowe occupied, so we only packed a few toys and books for her. When she got bored, we improvised! Shawn would pick her up and spend quality time with her on the bed. And I would catch up on work while she sat beside me and watched (reached for, really) the computer screen. I didn’t get a lot of work done. 😉
AprilMariePhoto1Our last day of traveling was much easier, having just had a few days of fun and relaxation in Nashville. We stopped a few times to stretch, eat and play and we arrived late that night at Shawn’s parents’ place in Colorado Springs. I was very relieved to have the long drive behind us, but overall, it wasn’t unpleasant!
AprilMariePhoto12If you’re planning a move with a little one(s) or just pets (or both!) please don’t hesitate to contact me at: or on Facebook with any questions you might have. Advice is most welcome as well! Either way, I’d love to hear from you!

A Valentine's Day Treat by Wildflower Studio

Michelle Dransart of Wildflower Studio Photography has teamed up with us to spread some fun Valentine’s love your way by sharing some of her work with us from a previous Valentines Session she did in Rhode Island.
2014-01-31_0014 722014-01-31_0013 72Michelle travels all over for her photography work and loves to capture the love and spirit, the essence of all of the families, couples, children, and mother’s to be that step in front of her camera.
SideBySide2This time she had fun with a Valentine’s themed session. Possibly the cutest part about this session was that these 2 little cuties were actually real life Valentines! Too sweet!
2014-01-31_0006 722014-01-31_0009 72These little cuties were not afraid of giving kisses as Valentine’s day treats! Afterall, it wouldn’t be Valentine’s day without a couple kisses!
2014-01-31_0005 72Looks like we have a couple of little fashionistas  on our hands! We love how the little ones were styled! Dapper coat, tie, and hat for our little man and super feminine in bows, ruffles and tulle for this little sweetheart! Perfect combination for a Valentine’s day shoot!
2014-01-31_0011 72 copyHappy Valentine’s Day everyone! Also, a big thanks to Michelle Dransart from Wildflower Studio! See the links below to follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and her blog!
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Wildflower Studio Photography
Instagram: @wildflowerlife
Twitter: @wildflwerstudio (note: no ‘o’ in flower)
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Baby's First Snow

April-ChristensenThe southeast coast of the United States recently received its first gift of the new year… snow! With such a warm climate, a light dusting of snow is exciting and usually welcomed by residents of North Carolina. For some little ones, it is the first snow they have ever seen! Our creative contributor, April Christensen from April Marie Photography, is sharing a few ‘aw-worthy’ images from her daughter Marlowe’s first mesmerizing adventure in the snow!
AprilMariePhoto07Since I am Canadian, it’s almost mandatory that I brave the chilly snow with a smile on my face. And that’s exactly what I did when I took these photos of my daughter! She was completely mesmerized by her first snowfall. She stared at the beautiful, fluffy whiteness with a curious expression on her face: “What the heck is this cold stuff?” It was adorable!
AprilMariePhoto06We live in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and since winters here are pretty mild, it was such fun when the snow made an appearance. It started the evening before I took these photos, and it was so beautiful. I love it when it snows at night; it’s so dreamy and quiet. Peaceful, really.
AprilMariePhoto02I remember walking outside and just standing there, watching it fall, thinking to myself in a way that only photographers can understand, “I am SO gonna take pictures of Marlowe in this tomorrow! I sure hope it sticks!” It stuck. And I was so happy for it!
AprilMariePhoto05I had a little bit of inspiration for this shoot: I was looking through another photographer’s photos in the snow, and I desperately wanted to take some of my own. There’s something so glamorous about the way the snow glistens and reflects light; it looks so ethereal in photos. You can imagine how excited I was when my opportunity came! Needless to say, I am one happy photographer!

Meet Shell Dransart of Wildflower Studio Photography

Company Name: Wildflower Studio Photography
Name: Shell Dransart
Occupation: Photographer

Kirk Collage1What inspired you to be a photographer?

There are a few main things that have always made me want to pull out my camera- natures beauty, my imagination needing to express itself, trying to express the emotions I feel in images, and capturing the essence of people/animals. I have always loved to create in some form- my mom will tell you that – she said it was like oxygen to me. Even from a young age I have always loved taking photos. I remember my first camera I got as a gift as a little one. I loved the feeling of capturing the world through my eyes, my own perspective and also experimenting with different angles, etc.  As I grew older what really got me inspired is my appreciation for nature’s beauty and also my love of travel and my fascination with different cultures around the world. Then, once I had kids I found a new love for photography- portraits of my kids and capturing their raw sweetness and funny little expressions and just documenting them as who they are. Also, once I had kids, photography was the most accessible and practical type of a creative outlet for me, the paints, writing, crotchet and other projects took the backburner, but photography became my main source of creative expression.

DSC_9622What is your favorite part of your daily work … when you reflect on the day, what is most rewarding?

Hands down, when my clients light up when they see their images (or even cry tears of joy) and tell me I saw who they really are, or who their child really is, etc. and that I was able to capture it in a personal artwork for them to cherish forever. I feel so blessed I am able to make so many people happy and help families see their own love in photographs, and it’s a job that brings me so much joy. To know I am able to make so many people feel beautiful inside and out and capture love and memories is pretty amazing.

Receiving all of the wonderful emails and notes and texts and calls make me know I am doing what I was meant to do. That is all so rewarding.

SideBySide2Do you have any advice for other working moms?

I think it’s really important to carve out a little time each day just for you. It doesn’t matter if it’s 10 minutes or an hour. Do something that brings you simplicity & allows you some peace of mind, or joy. For me, I know my magic recipe is going on a walk or jog outside- even if it’s freezing cold- its like medicine for me. I need a little time to breathe fresh air, get my body moving and get some daydreaming in. This is when my most creative ideas come to me as well. You need to find your simple recipe and take time at least once a day to do something that brings you peace or joy.

MarMini-5202-3 72What is your most memorable photo session?

I put my heart and soul into each & every photo session I do, and I am not just saying that. I am passionate when planning each and every session I do.  I have so many that come to mind, but the one I was touched very deeply by was one I did for a dear family a few years ago who had just lost their husband/ father to a tragic accident. They hadn’t had photos taken since their loss, and I wanted with my whole heart to just be there for them and capture the love and beauty between that sweet mom and her 2 little ones. The shoot ended up being very simple, but what was so memorable is that when I was going through the images I fell in love of this one of their faces- all of their 3 heads together with mom in the middle of her 2 children. What struck me was that there in that very image was their dad, her husband- right there in the photo! How had I not seen in in the session? It was totally unplanned. There on here necklace- center stage of that photo-was his wedding band. He was indeed in their family photo after all. It’s a family photo I will never forget.

MayMini11-9898 72If you could photograph anyone in the world, who would it be?

Rather than say some famous person who gets photos taken all of the time, more than anything I would LOVE to one day photograph children and families all around the world. I would love to make a book of their beauty and exhibit love around the world. Kids are probably the hardest subjects to photograph because they tell it like it is. They don’t fake it. They are so challenging, but I can’t stop being inspired by the wonder and innocence and imagination of children. Kids are so unpredictable in their moods, so it can be a tough challenge, and requires a lot of patience, but children are so rewarding to me. I love seeing the purity in a child’s expression or emotion and sense of wonder. I would love to travel and photograph children from all over in their happy place, or in their play or daily life.

2013-11-07_0001 72What thing/place/event were you most recently inspired by?

The incredible colors of autumn in New England and New York. I am from Southern California, so moving to a place with 4 seasons is quite a change for me! I love experiencing the changing seasons. Fall has always been a favorite of mine, and now its just spectacular here in New England with the colorful fall foliage. Now that colder weather is on the way, I am inspired to take some more snowy images, as well as more documentary photography indoors of my kids just being kids in our cozy home.

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Where is your favorite place you have traveled to?

This is such a hard question for me to answer! I Love Travel, and I have a hard time picking favorites. I am one of those people that tries not to repeat a trip, but Italy is irresistible. I also really love many of Indonesia’s islands and cultures.


Where in the world are you dying to go next?

Oh boy, are you sure you want to ask me this? I am all over the place when it comes to this question! Before becoming a mom, the answer would be some crazy far off land, but now my answer is anywhere with my family- I did a lot of international travel and not much of North America before now and now that seems to be my main focus.. Now I have dreams of traveling around the US in a VW bus with my little clan: my hubby, 2 boys and our dog, lol! J but aside from that crazy idea, I tend to be drawn to places that promote and support the local musicians and artists. We just went to New Orleans in May, Montreal and Quebec City in August and it was so amazing to see places that are so supportive of the arts and music. I want to continue to travel to more places like that. I would LOVE to go back to Europe with my kids. I can’t wait to take my kids with me to more places and have them experience the art, food and culture. Also, I’d like to show them the Swiss Alps. I lived with a sweet family there before I was married and had my own family. It’s such an incredibly breathtaking place. My hubby is an avid surfer, and it’s his turn to pick our next destination. It would be fun to see a new part of South America.

DSC_8775-4cr1 72What is your favorite Rosenberry Rooms product(s)?

The Ava Dolls are adorable and I love products that inspire creativity and imagination- I think they would do just that. Also, I am really digging the eco-friendly stuff you have as well!

2013-11-15_0003 72Do you have any news that you would like to share, perhaps about upcoming events or projects?

What I am really excited about right now is how much travel I am doing for work. I have shoots in Martha’s Vineyard, MA, Southern CA, CT, and NYC to name a few. I have always loved photography and travel and I am so thrilled and beyond blessed that I have a job that pays me to do what I am passionate about. I also have a few exciting upcoming travel sessions that have been scheduled: I will be shooting in California in January and Costa Rica in Feb 2014!


Now, just for fun:

Favorite Food: I love trying different restaurants and I will try just about anything, although I’m not a fan of red meat. My favorite things are fresh veggies & fruits, good coffee, and locally caught fresh fish.

Favorite TV Show: I am THE WORST on this subject. Out of choice, my hubby and I don’t have cable  and I am so out of habit on not watching TV, I simply forget to use it.  I have been watching this show on Netflix- I think it is from the Discovery Channel called Alaska: The Last Frontier. I am a bit obsessed with it. I will watch like 5 episodes in a row. I am so inspired by this family that lives purely off of the land. I really respect them and their simple life living off of the land.

Favorite Movie: I can never say just one favorite movie! It all depends on my mood. I especially love movies that show the details of a place. I love cinematography. I will watch a foreign films just to see a different culture and feel like I am taking a mini trip.  Other than that, if you were to ask me which movie I have seen the most, it would probably be a movie that had Bill Murray in it. We love all movies with Bill Murray!

DSC_2491 72Favorite Weekend Activity: I love being outdoors in nature with my family, no matter what the season. Our favorite activities are visiting local farms, something involving the ocean or rivers in the warmer seasons- canoeing, surfing, etc. and skiing/snowboarding in winter.  I also love exploring new places with my family. Now that we live on the East coast, we are always looking for more to learn and experience that is different than our CA experiences.

Favorite Musician/Band: Aside from my hubby & kids (who really inspire me), I would say it really depends on my mood. I have a very eclectic mix of music in my library varying from music from all over the world, reggae, jazz, rock and then modern stuff like Phoenix, The Lumineers & Mumford & Sons, and oldies like Ella Fitgerald, and Billie Holiday.

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Wildflower Studio Photography




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Meet the ladies of Dimples & Daisies Photography

We are so excited to share the gorgeous photography and inspiring words of the two women behind Dimples & Daisies Photography! As Central Florida lifestyle photographers, both Nicole and Katie specialize in capturing the sweetest moments of newborns, children and families. Get to know them – we certainly are happy we did!

Nicole Hensley & Katie Hensley… and, no, ironically we are not related!
Occupation: Owners “Dimples & Daisies Photography”

D&D logo
What inspired you to be a photographer?

Nicole: When I welcomed my first baby, I was inspired to capture him in all the moments that were passing by too quickly… the littlest things from being curled up on Daddy’s chest like a tree frog, or how tiny he looked swaddled up in his crib – everything! Every day he changed, and I realized the popular phrase “time flies” was no cliche at all! I felt inspired to capture all of those tiny moments for other parents too. So many times I have heard older generations tell of their early days as parents and how it was the best time of their lives… I want my images to capture those days and have them feel, even just a moment, that they are actually taken back there.

13Largo_NB-10What is your favorite part of your daily work?

Nicole: Oh goodness, I guess my very favorite part is the element of surprise! I just love surprises!!! Being a lifestyle photographer, I am trying to capture every newborn, each child, a family in their real-life moments – to capture their personalities, their spaces, their little-bitty faces with genuine expressions! We really never know what we are going to capture, but it makes it so much fun to get to know these families and find ways to bring individualized sentiment to their sessions.

When you reflect on the day, what is most rewarding?

Katie: With each session, I am giving a mother something she will cherish forever. I just love that!

SideBySide4Do you have any advice for other working moms?

Nicole: Drink more coffee!

Katie: There will never be enough hours in the day, so make sure to use your time wisely – make your time together with your kiddos count. Put down the camera, the cell phones and spend some time every day uninterrupted with your children. Even if all you have is 45 minutes, make it a special time for both of you.

13_AmiciNB_ROYAL-17If you could photograph anyone in the world, who would