2016 – What a Year!

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Thoughtful

Sitting now and reflecting back on the year feels a little surreal. 2016 marked a time of love, adventure and busyness. The biggest event of all, the welcoming of our sweet Jasper. Impossible to think that at this time last year we did not know he existed and now here he is in all his cuddley babyness.

2016 marked a move to the suburbs. A truly grown up endeavour as we settled into a house with a proper garden so close and yet so far from our buzzing city life. Quieter, wholesome and an opening to new friends and routines.

2016 also marked the busiest time yet for Bear & Dragon. The first half of the year was absolutely packed with wonderful families. Friends, old and new alike, amazing events (Royals, Bluebells, Apple Blossoms) and lots of new ideas to come.

This morning I looked back through some photos from the year and was inspired all over again. Though I am savoring every moment of leave with my littlest man, I am excited to jump back in for 2017. Spring will find me dabbling and by fall, a new dedicated studio space. I am so excited!

Now a wish for you. May 2017 hold wonderful days for you. Dance, play and love. Say yes more and live everyday to its fullest!

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Big eyes
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Holy
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Adored
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Feel the music
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Delicate
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Awash
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Protected
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Quiet
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New plaything
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Bottoms up
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Swing
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Close

A look back: Apple Blossoms part deux

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Swing time

Its dark. Its cold. Its undoubtedly headed towards winter. You know what you need? A breathe of spring air. 🙂 And there is nothing more springy than playing in the hidden haven of apple blossoms in Sint Truiden.

Spring came late this year and a blossom checking trip the week before the scheduled sessions revealed tight buds and almost no flowers. Oh dear! Luckily everyone was able to make the switch to a later date and when the day dawned, it was more than glorious. Truly one of the most spectacular bright spring days you could imagine. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping and the blossoms peeking. We had a full day with nine families joining in on the fun.

After the session, I received the sweetest note from one of the families. It literally brought a tear to my eye.

Dear Nicole,

We  had a wonderful time amongst the apple blossoms today. Hayden said his favourite part was not being scared when I snuck up and surprised him. Your session today encouraged us to go out and explore a new region of Belgium, and spend the day together as a family. 
Normally my son is very shy and hates having his photo taken. Your playful approach really drew him out and encouraged him to express himself. 
Thank-you for such a fun and memorable day.
-Aww shucks, there I go again. :’)

Just taking a peek back through these images put a spring in my step. I hope it does the same for you. 🙂

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Cherry blossom
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Sprout 🙂
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Adventure awaits
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On the go
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Three of a kind
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Catch!
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Hmmm
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Reach
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The most beautiful girls
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Make a wish
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Peek
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Hang time
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Cousin love
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Grandpa and the girls!
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Reflection
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Frame
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A spring breeze

Welcome to the world sweet baby Jasper

 

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Sweetest Jasper

Dear sweet boy, how you have completed us. We are so glad to revel in this feeling of fullness, a complete circle. Welcoming you to the world has been one of the toughest but also best times for us all. You are so loved and we are proud to share some of that love today. ❤

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There he lays
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The bond
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A quiet moment
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Soft
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Survival strategy
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Trio
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Amazing grace
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Brothers
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The big kids
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Us three
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All these feet

Dawn rides a golden horse

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Dawn rides a golden horse

One thing we really love about moving out to the banlieue is being close to nature! Just on our 15 minute drive to school we pass eight horses and everyone has a favorite! For bababoo, it’s this lovely palomino. Today the combination of a gentle mist, golden light and golden pony were just too much for me. I raced home to grab my camera and to hope that this perfect moment stretched on and on.

During this little baby break, it is so nice to rediscovered my general love of beautiful scenes and light and to let my eye go wander where it may. I wish these images bring you peace and fill you with the warmth of the season. Amen.

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Descend
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Surrounded by light
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Gazer
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Sense
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Angles
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A bid adieu

A look back and a look forward: Royals!

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Beauty

You might say this year has been a little crazy. The making of B3 seriously sapped my energy and between babybuilding, kid raising, fun having and sleep missing my dear blog was put on hold. No longer! With the arrival of little Jasper (photo debut coming soon) and start of maternity leave, I am excited to revive this forum with more storytelling, photo sharing and adventure seeking.

To kick us off, I take you all the way back to February for our very first Bear and Dragon adventure, Royals! Set in the glamorous Chateau at Domaine de la Hulpe, Royals was a day filled with lovely princes and princesses. We dressed up, danced and played. There was fun, adventure and even romance. All the makings of a great adventure.

Enjoy!

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Tea party for three
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Some for you and some for me!
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A prince in waiting
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The Guardian
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Royal applause
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Dreamy
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Wonder
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Past times
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Stepping out
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A little romance
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Elegance
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Fairytale
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Adore
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Bejeweled
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I hope you dance
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Royalty

First look: First days at home

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Something new

When this family first contacted me, they wanted something special. Being a photographer herself, Christina had the newborn basics covered, but of course often found herself on the business end of the camera instead of in front. Sound familiar? After some discussion, we decided to have a relaxed at home session which documented the experience of meeting and bringing home her second son. Nothing posed or using props, just life as it is.

Only five days after birth, on a bright June afternoon, we had a chance to capture some of these special moment of being home, now as a family of four. I so enjoyed being a part of this beautiful relaxed family. I hope you do to!

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Big brother
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Curly toes
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Comfort
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Storyteller
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Rest
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Mirror me
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Mosaic
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Closer
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Little lashes
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At home
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Mother’s helper
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Some quiet time
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Perfect
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US
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Happy days

 

A look back – Sea of Leaves 2015

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Sea storm

Its getting all springy and just in time, I am just barely hanging in there. Sun please!! But before we spring forward, I want to fall back (har, har) one last time with a quick revisit to the Sea of Leaves mini session. This was our second go around and once again. got super lucky with the weather, the deep fall leaves, and the beautiful families. And especially lucky as just a few days later, the magical Brussels leave vacuum visited the park and spirited all of our lovely friends away. Brussels efficiency strikes again. 🙂

Without further adieu, I present Sea of Leaves 2015

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Row your boat
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Little secrets
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Little kisses
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Fall revery
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Pile on!
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Heart and soul
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On wings of gold
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Wonder
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Three of a kind
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Discovery

Royals Sneak Peak: a very special Bear & Dragon Adventure

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Royals

In a castle on a hill, from a time long ago. Princes and Princesses rule and dragons prowl. Here we are Royal and here we play. This morning the crew at Bear & Dragon Adventures took over Chateau de la Hulpe to capture this sneak peak of out first Adventure session open to the public. The official announcement coming this Monday. Enjoy!

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Light of my life
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Precious
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Delicate things
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View
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Thoughtful
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Glee
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Beware foul dragons
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Tip toes
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Golden
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Fun and games
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Elegant
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Blush
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Admire
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At rest
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The protector
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Gallant Boy
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Baubles
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Royal rascals
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All dolled up

The 30 days of Beautiful grand finale!

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Playing Dress Up: Its cold and scary outside so we are tucked in and playing a major league game of dress up in what else? Momma’s wedding dress! Doesn’t hurt to also test out my new zoom lens. May your day be dressy and bright.

How to you turn 30 days of beautiful into a 100? Put it in the hands of a busy photographer/mom of two fabulous mess makers/all around overcommiter, that’s how! Anyhow, just in time for the holidays, I present the wrap up of our 30 days of Beautiful. Cheers!

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Spirit Animal: I can hardly think of a better best friend for this little girl. Fast and fierce she kept me on my toes for the whole session. Here settled in her perch, surveying the prey.

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Honest – Its a very busy time and I am loving it! Today is just because. This is just the sweetest little smile and it brightened my day

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A big little world – Not only is this a beautiful family but they brought two new countries onto my map, Malaysia and Rwanda. Its a big little world out there and I love it. 🙂

Fall light

From a distance – There is something intriguing about seeing yourself from a distance. A silhouette in perfect fall light. This is life.

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A rapture in color – One thing that draws me to a photo is the blend of color and texture. This beautiful family hit it out of the park in rose, teal, blue, golden yellow and a nice neutral. This handsome soon to be big brother offers a sweet kiss as the focal point of twirl of unconventional but perfect fall hues.

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In this moment – This is a proud portrait of a momma on top of the world. She has her new baby, sweet husband and is surrounded by love. I chose this image because you can feel the happiness in her eyes and smile.

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Three of a kind – It was one year ago when I first photographed this beautiful family upon the arrival of baby brother J. Though fall is winding down and we are digging in for a warm winter’s rest, it is wonderful to reflect on the colors of change, the growth of life and the passing of time.

you and me

You and me: The light in your eyes is an amazing thing. Its reflects perfectly what you see and in a focused picture, you can see amazing detail in the light in your eyes. The room, windows, the sky, and…me. They say there are two people in every photograph. The one being photographed and the photographer. I am so happy and proud to be a part of your pictures and a part of your lives. Cheers to 30 days of Beautiful!

zoe

Best friends – On this undeniably beautiful fall weekend we made for La Hulpe for a little adventure with my daughter’s best friend. It is lovely to see how already at this young age they have such a strong bond. And of course there is their favorite tagalong. : )