The Hines Family

Because this post is of a family who is using shots for their holiday card, I’m not going to put it all out there, this one is more of a teaser post featuring the Hines family. Around here, holiday cards are a big thing – especially when you get NOTHING good in the mail these days but advertisements & junk. I look forward to sending & receiving cute cards every year, and I won’t be the one to post holiday spoilers! Check back in a few weeks when I post more favorites from this session.

Leigh, of the Hines-Sight blog is running a very, very cool holiday giveaway to one lucky reader, and I thought this would be a good time to do a sneak peek of some of her images…and talk a little bit about some of the unexpected things that happen when you’re an on location photographer – things like wind, cloud & gloom when you get to a location that’s usually perfect!

So, Leigh & I planned their session about a month in advance – it’s nice to have extra leeway for coordinating outfits and time to reschedule buffered in in case anything goes wrong – especially since these were going to be on a Holiday card. We planned to meet at City Market, in downtown Raleigh, because on Sunday afternoons, there’s no better place! Cobblestone streets, hidden walkways & it’s usually completely empty. Late day sunshine down there is an added bonus because it warms everything up so nicely.

Well, on the way downtown, I notice that it seems a *little* cloudy. It’s sunny at my house, so I think nothing of it. It’s mid-November, we’ve had a very mild Autumn and the leave are in their peak….well, in SOME places around town!

I take the scenic route downtown & I pass by Mordecai Park, which I’ve never stopped to explore because usually as I zoom by, all I see is a big yellow historic house. But on this particular day, out of nowhere it was a fall color explosion. The house, the grounds and everything around it was lit up in fall colors. Luckily, the grounds had been unattended & leaves were all over. I immediately start planning a fantasy photo shoot in my head, but I proceed downtown to my shoot location. Downtown…where there are no trees and the only leaves to be found are in the gutter – and it’s terribly overcast & windy by the time I drive the 15 minutes from my place. I meet up with the Hines family & have a brilliant idea. We’re going to do 20-30 minutes downtown, then head for brighter pastures – let’s move this party to Mordecai, I suggest! The family agreed, and after a few shots downtown, we changed locations. It was seriously getting gloomy down there!



We reconvened at Mordecai, where we were the ONLY people on the entire grounds. Perfect! Once we got there, the children loosened up, they ran & played in the grass, kicked the huge osage orange fruit (which are actually more closely related to mulberries than oranges!).


This location was absolutely perfect. While most people fear overcast days, photographers generally love them! No shadows, no sun glares to battle with, and in the wide open yard, the light was perfect. Under the trees, the color of the leaves was amazing.

The kids played & for the most part forgot that I was in their faces with a huge camera lens – and that’s what I like to happen! I tell you, there is nothing better than hearing baby giggles & laughter while you get to work. Leigh, thanks for bringing out the family, coordinating perfectly with everyone’s gorgeous blue eyes & being flexible!

This area has quite a few gems all within a 30 minute drive of downtown Raleigh. You would be surprised how little it takes for a location to be a fabulous backdrop. If you’re visiting from Leigh’s blog & want to enter into the giveaway, tell me what YOUR favorite local photo friendly spot is – if you win, we may just have to check it out together!

25 Responses to “The Hines Family”

  1. Michelle Lynch says:

    Love these pictures! Would love a similar photo shoot for my family!

  2. What a beautiful photo shoot! It’s really great that everyone was so flexible and you were able to come up with an alternative location quickly. I just love these photos. I’m not from the Raleigh area but my sister lives there with her family and we are just a few hours away so we visit frequently. I wouldn’t know a great spot for photos, but I am sure you know lots of them or would have one you would love to try out.

  3. Thank you for such a wonderful post. We had a great time with you, and I’m so happy for the lucky reader that gets to work with you, too.

  4. These are just lovely. I would also prefer something outdoors with soft, natural light. My challenge is having two boys who are eight years apart … it can be tough to get them both looking at the camera at the same time. We have not had a “family” photo done in almost three years and would love to work with you!

  5. Megan says:

    These are great! I would love to get some good shots of my little boy! Something cute now that he’s just started walking! Not from the area.. but would be willing to drive! 🙂

  6. IlinaP says:

    I love the casual nature of your style…what an improvement from the Olan Mills days of my childhood! I can’t imagine how you would reel in my sons (and husband) for a photo shoot, but I’d love to have you try!

  7. Love these pictures! Would love a similar photo shoot for my family! I wouldn’t know a great spot for photos as I fo not live in the area, but I am sure you know lots of them or would have one you would love to try out. Thanks for the opportunity.

  8. Kristen Howering says:

    We would love a family portrait session with our 3 boys! Its hard to keep them still long enough to get a good family picture much less ones of them individually!

  9. KH99 says:

    Beautiful pictures! I love how natural everyone looks. I would love a family photo shoot for the holidays that was just as relaxed as this one. Hmmm…good Raleigh location: my husband and I met at Meredith when I was a student there, and we got married there a few years later (10 years this week!). It would be fun to take our son there for a photo shoot.

  10. jperry says:

    Thanks everyone for your comments – I can’t wait for a winner to be chosen on the 6th! My son is 6, and I realized when he was about 6 months old (the last studio photos he had made!) that sitting & staring just isn’t fun, and in a studio – it’s pretty scary, for kids AND husbands LOL! Too much equipment and too many directions (sit, smile, stand here, look there, hands here…etc). I always refer to those last photos as the “stunned fat baby photos”. Taking kids outside & not making them sit just works better. Usually if the parents are OK with them running around, I’m cool with following behind them with the camera!

  11. Anne Farmer says:

    Love all the fall colors in the outdoors. I’d love to see similar photos but against the cool white winter snow! Or, in the Spring when all the flowers are blooming. How fun! I haven’t had any family photos taken of my family in 4 years. The children have grown so much. I’d love to have similar beautiful photographs in my home!

  12. Carter says:

    These look great! We are way past due for new family photos. I love the City Market setting of some of these!

  13. Jennifer Jacques says:

    Hi! I love the photos you got of Leigh’s family. They are amazing! I’m not sure exactly what I have in mind as I’ve never had professional pix taken of my family/children. My children are young (2 and 3 1/2) so I am desperately in need of a professional’s help to capture the essence of their childhood. I would be open to any suggestions! Thanks!

  14. Sarah Boyce says:

    Hi, Saw info on Leigh’s blog for the contest. I’d like an on-location photo shoot, somewhere neat and different. Great work!

  15. Mackenzie says:

    Love the carefree and relaxed feel of the family photos. Looking for the same for my family pictures

  16. L'Tanya says:

    These are absolutely gorgeous! Every year I say I’m going to have just these kinds of photos taken of my family, but haven’t done it yet. I would love to capture the relationships my two sons have with each other and especially with my mother who is 75 years old. My mother is in poor health and has trouble walking, but I can envision her on a park bench surrounded my laughter. I know there are beautiful parks in the Triangle.

  17. Jacqueline, loving all the comments. Some failed to comment on my blog, but I”m recording them. I will need their e-mail though if they win.

  18. Jessica says:

    Lovely pictures. I love the pictures at the Mordecai House, one of my favorite houses. I would love to get some family pictures of us at our favorite local coffee spot, Global Village. We frequent Global Village and are good friends with the owner. My husband gets his usually Large Latte with Irish Cream, I like the owner make me whatever he wants and the 3 year old gets a chocolate milk. We all sit together and play with the various board games they have out. It’s a regular and somewhat mundane part of our lives but it’s one I hope to remember forever.

  19. Ruthie says:

    I love the pics and the casualy atmosphere! I would love some pictures of the family to open up and get some great shots of my kids before they get loose the little girl/boy look!

  20. Christi says:

    BEAUTIFUL pics of Leigh and her family. I adore the “red shoes” photo! Very creative. I love the look of a city backdrop. I’m originally from Durham, so my ideal photo shoot would be in the downtown Durham area. I love the allure of the old tobacco warehouses or even the Duke University campus (old stone). I think a family photo shoot either place would be amazing!

  21. Amy T says:

    I would love some pictures taken in an urban setting for a change! The Hines’ pictures are terrific!

  22. Stacey says:

    love these pictures! You did a great job! I love outdoor pictures, and would do the same!

  23. Jill says:

    Love the photos of Leigh’s family! I’d love some outdoor pics in a natural setting…a park or gardens, focusing on my children! Even some pics at a favorite playground could be fun!

  24. Molly Gold says:

    Your photos are beautiful! Our last set of family photos was 4 years ago before everyone had braces ~ now…we are braces free and its time to update. Kids are elementary, middle and highschool and we love outdoor pictures. The urban or historical setting in the area would be perfect for our family ~ love a beach shoot too ~ we’ve never done one. Thank you for sharing your talents!

  25. Erin says:

    I am in love with these pictures, I would love something similar but with a holiday background rather than the autumn.

Leave a Reply

*