The 2018 Bear & Dragon Adventure Line up

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Adventure ahead! So much as grown and developed over the last year. Kids are getting older and even B3 starting creche soon. New studio space and a more developed eye in the studio sessions. Truly I am in love with this space!

That said, I am sooo ready for some outdoor adventures.  The trouble is I really loved all of adventure sessions in 2017. Honestly I cannot cut a single one. Thus, time to be creative, explore and break new ground in yet unphotographed corners of Belgium. 🙂

2018 Bear & Dragon Adventures 

What is a Bear & Dragon Adventure? A 30 minute family photo session always in a special location which highlights the peak of the season. Sessions also have a special price, usually 150 EUR (sometimes more if the location charges a fee for use) and include 8 images of your choosing.

Always very popular, if you would like to learn about the dates and times before they are release officially, you can sign up for the advanced notice list here.

Amongst the Apple Blossoms: Spring brings the blossoming of millions of apple, pear and cherry blossoms in the Belgian Haspengouw region. Not to be missed! Mid April. Check out last couple of years here and here.

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Bluebells are Ringing: Capture the magical bluebell forest in Hallerbos. Our most popular spring session. Late April. You can see some examples here and of course below.

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Botanical: I have fallen in love with the Botanical Gardens in Meise and am excited to welcome you to a special session inside the Green House. Explore the jungle, the desert and the Savannah in this lush Belgian icon.

cuties!

 

A Splendid Harvest: A return to the Apple Orchards to capture the ripeness of summer and transition to fall.  This ended my being ab absolutely gorgeous day that started misty and turned sunny with a looong sunset. Here is our family album.

Roxana Liao apple harvest for websharing-8

 

La Vie est Belle: Similar feeling to the Royals session, La Vie est Belle is set in another iconic Belgian property, Horta’s own country house in La Hulpe.  Come dressed to the nines for this very special art deco adventure. Check out Royals here.  Early October.

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Merry and bright: A trip to the Christmas Tree farm just over the border in NL is about as merry as it gets.  Sadly, this event was cancelled last year due to freezing rain and mud. I have learned my lesson and decided, why not bring Christmas forward to September and forget about the cold weather, viruses and last minute rush to get your cards printed. Why not?! Mid September.

Merry and Bright

 

A Walk through Time: Set in the 13th century Abbey, Rouge Cloitre, this adventure offers up the height of fall colors in a timeless and stunning location. Mid October.

Kristen Banks Card images-2

 

Sea of Leaves: Autumn finds the lawns of Parc Cinquintenaire ankle deep in an amazing sea of fall leaves and colors. Our most popular fall session. Check it out here and here. Early November.

Johanna Schulyok Sea of Leaves for websharing-24.jpg

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First look: A Splendid Harvest 2017

 

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A merry band

You can already feel it in the air. Autumn is coming. After a wonderful and relaxing summer, both the kids and I are ready to shake things up with new harvest, a return to school and all things warm and cozy. To mark this transition, we return again to my very favorite orchard in St Truiden to prepare for the upcoming Splendid Harvest Adventure (mini session).

Having a little (tiny) extra time on my hands, I decided that we were in need of some fun new props to play with for the Adventure. I have always dreamed of acquiring an elegant vintage ladder for photo sessions. Finally I found the perfect once second hand and packed the kids up to a seriously shady section of Charlesroi to collect my prize. Over 100 years old, this ladder was in need of some serious rehab but the glowing wood and lovely lines inspired me. Hours of sanding, cleaning and refinishing later, I am in love and can say it was well worth the effort when I see it in the photos. Even the Bear has stopped researching insane asylums.

Amazing to see how the little ones have great since the last harvest. And so without further adieu, I present our updated Splendid Harvest, now with a merry band of three. There are still a few morning openings for this session on August 26. Contact me at bearanddragonphotography@gmail.com for yours!

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All mine
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Catch me
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From a high place
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Glee
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The climb
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Taking a break
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Flyers
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Howdy
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Helping hands
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A full days work
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Lift
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Just one for me?
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On a roll

Though we are far away

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Legacy

This spring a small miracle occurred. After almost eight years overseas, my dad finally made it over for a visit to Belgium! We were so excited to show off our adopted country, it was nearly impossible to choose how to spend our too short time together. But one thing that was set in stone was a trip out to the apple blossoms for a special family photo session.

Today is Father’s Day in America, so I am happy to tell you a bit about my dad. When my mom went into labour with me, my dad drove like a maniac all the way to the hospital saying he wished a cop would pull him over so he could say he was having a baby. 🙂 One of my earliest memories I have is of my Dad waking me up and loading me in the car to run some far away errands. We always stopped at McDonalds for breakfast and then feasted on powdered donuts. No wonder it was a popular outing! When I was in the fourth grade, I cleverly changed a D on my report card to a B. Noticing, my dad pulled me into my room and explained that sometimes people make mistakes. That’s ok, but its when you made them twice that there is a problem. I use this philosophy today with my kids.

From my dad I got my work ethic, my ability to shake it off and my fingers. His taught me the importance of walking a mile in someone’s shoes before you judge them and one of his favorite sayings, “its not the money, its the money”.

I wish he was closer but at least we have this sweet spring day and the images I will never forget. A time when he stopped being just Dad and became Grandpa. Love you Dad!

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Another beloved pappa
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Delicate
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A gift
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Storyteller
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Love and laughter
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My heart explodes
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Cozy up
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Namesake
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Hanging out
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Full circle
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Hangers on
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Partners in crime
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The funniest thing
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Obligatory running photo 🙂
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My heart
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Making wishes
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Collector
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A tip of the hat

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

A look back at our first annual apple blossoms mini session: Six families, three pairs of wet socks and millions of apple blossoms

This buds for you
This buds for you

It really was magical. Stepping out into the orchard with the heady smell of apple blossoms and buzz of bees at work. Green grass, pink and white buds, light rain and then sunshine. It was a gorgeous April day!

Thank you so much to the six adventurous families who joined me for this day out in Limberg at the PiPO organic orchard. Such a fun time was had by all. I am looking forward to bringing this experience full circle this fall, in the same location, to see our darling buds fully grown into bright apples. Another day in the fields awaits. 🙂

Fly
Fly
Bright eyes
Bright eyes
Roar!
Roar!
A girl and her boy
A girl and her boy
Big sister
Big sister
Fall in to me
Fall in to me
This moment in time
This moment in time
Boink!
Boink!
Rain
Rain
Love
Love
Lift off
Lift off
Flower girl
Flower girl
Dreamer
Dreamer

Our family album: Amongst the Apple Blossoms

A meeting
A meeting

Ok, I could not resist. I mean I have been preparing for these blossom mini sessions and hey, I have a nice little family I like to take pictures of so why not get a jump on the fun and a little practice at the same time! We head out to scout the location and enjoy some beautiful spring weather. We had an amazing time and I can’t wait to get some of these pics up on the mantle. If this does not convince you, I don’t know what will. Three spots left! Just email bearanddragonphotography@gmail.com to reserve your place.

Happy blossoming. 🙂

Scream!
Scream!
Dandelion girl
Dandelion girl
All the world for me
All the world for me
seriously, I love these two
seriously, I love these two
Swing
Swing
Most handsome
Most handsome
Soft
Soft
Contrast
Contrast
Sweetness
Sweetness
Movement
Movement
Blooms
Blooms