Newborns these days

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I simply love working with new babies and new families. Whether you are welcoming your first or fourth baby, there is something so lovely about these first days as your heart grows and you learn to love each other and each other’s presence.

Although they are often called newborn sessions, I prefer to call them new family sessions because there is so much richness and beauty beyond just the sweet babe. We always involve the whole family. Mother, father, siblings, grandparents. I have even hosted dogs and cats in the studio. 🙂

When you arrive for your newborn session, we take time to pick from the many lovely knits and fabrics, simple but elegant props I have on hand on the studio. I love it when parents bring in a meaningful blanket or soft toy that we can incorporate. We follow the mood of the baby, stopping when feeding or cuddles are needed.

Over the course of a newborn session we usually work in 5 – 6 settings for the baby and then move into family pictures. I hope to capture the sweetness of your family and the sense of coming adventure together.

Continuing my “these days” series, I am happy to share Newborns these days with the lovely Emma who joined her mom, dad, grand mother and big brother for this relaxed and joyful session.

Wrapped up in you
Wrapped up in you
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Buds
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Rest
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A little color
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And some smiles
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Here to watch over you
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Eyes wide open
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For some sweet kisses
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Some love from Dad
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Happy days
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Here we are
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Three generations
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Wisdom
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Quiet
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And a vistor. 🙂
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Bed cuddles
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Proud
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Joy
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Simple and sweet
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Curley que
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Precious pieces
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Grounded
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Love grows here

 

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Babies these days

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Joy

Its hard to believe that I have been in the “new” studio space for seven months already and have seen two seasons come and go. Welcome to summer! It really has turned out to be everything I could wish for. Full of light, joy and sweetness. The sessions I have held there really show these qualities. I realize it has been a while since I shared a more comprehensive view of what sessions are like these days. As a photographer my style is always evolving and in a new space, double so. Thus I am now starting a “these days” series to give you a fuller view of  what one session can entail.

This lovely family contacted me to capture the one year milestone for their sweet baby. They wanted to really capture her personality, joyful spirit and themselves together. I love this age and we jumped right in with a game of throwing balloons off the bed. Something that all one years olds excel at. 🙂 After a while we moved into the studio room for some sweet moments playing with momma and papa and more fun and games. We tired her out for sure but all in the name of good fun.

Happy birthday baby girl. You have the most beautiful smile. ♥

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Giggles
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The sweetest smile
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Play
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Peekaboo
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Kiss!
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Spirit
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Float
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These wonderful days
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Wonder
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Duo
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Whee!
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The star
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And laugh and laugh

2018 Adventure session: Botanical

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La dee da

I have fallen in love with the Botanical Gardens in Meise. Located just northwest of Brussels, the garden rolls out before you on this huge property. There is a castle (obviously!), walking paths lines with flowers and a huge range of plant life, a small cafe and of course the highlight, the green house. The greenhouse was built in 1853 and contains a huge variety of plant species. Over 18,000 which represents 6% of the world’s know plant species. The collection is one of the biggest in the world and is organized by geography and environments including the African Savana, the jungle, the desert and on and one. If you think you are just going to show up and look at plants then you are in for a pleasant surprise. It really is a joy to explore.

Being in this gorgeous surrounding I could not help but be inspired. With luck, I am now in the process of organizing a very special Adventure session inside the green house. Dates to come. 🙂 I am happy to share some of our images from out last little adventure there. Looking at these pictures nearly gave me a heart attack. My god how these children have grown!

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In the jewel house
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Sweet and spiky 😉
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Tropical
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The devilish one
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Mirror me
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Madame Butterfly
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Us three

 

Bear & Dragon Birthday Parties: Why didn’t I think of that?

 

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Party time!

When Inna contacted me to ask if I had ever considered being a part of birthday parties, I had a literal palm to forehead moment. Now I had documented birthdays before as more of an observer of the action but this was something entirely different. A one hour photo session which was the highlight and entertainment of the party. And with five nine year old girls, what could be more fun?!

They brought a ton of energy and a suitcase full of dresses. I provided loads of polka dot balloons and some really fun games and we had a beyond fabulous time. Ahh to be nine again!

This is a perfect idea for I would say 6 – 14 year olds and perhaps best suited to girls although I could be wrong and would love to try this with a group of boys.

Party on ladies!

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Celebrate us

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All together now
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Play
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Whispers
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Giggle
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Doudous!

The best places of all: Rouge Cloitre in the spotlight

Agata Sybowska walk through time for websharing

Finding a great photo location can be a bit of a fine art. I look for beautiful features and shapes, easy access, not too crowded and often for a place with a little extra magic and wow factor. Though it changes quite often, my favorite photo location at the moment is the Rouge Cloitre which is a beautiful abbey located in the Sonian Forest just 10 minutes from the center of Brussels.

Founded in 1367, definitely brings the wow which makes it a very special backdrop for a photo sessions in all seasons. Brilliant colors, large reflecting ponds, a wild flower and vegetable garden and of course the abbey.

I don’t just come for photo sessions either. They have a great playground, a weekend cafe for cake, coffee or a beer and special events around the year including our favorite haunted forest around Halloween time.

I can’t wait for the Walk through Time Adventure on October 21 in my favorite fall location of all. 🙂 Here is a look at some of my favorite Rouge Cloitre images from all around the calendar.

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Promise
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Summer days
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Sweet breeze
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Wander
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Frame
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Huddle up
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Tickle time
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And go!
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Falling leaves
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Winter quiet
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Peakaboo

Announcing the Bear & Dragon Fall Adventures!

Bear and Dragon Adventure Walk through Time 2017
The air is getting crisper, days shorter and the fall harvest in coming in. Welcome to Autumn! Autumn is my favorite season and Brussels knows how to put on a show. This fall I am proud to offer two special Adventures  that show off the height of fall colors: 
 
A Walk through Time – October 21
 
My most recent favorite outdoor location for family sessions is the Rouge Cloitre which is a beautiful abbey located in the Sonian Forest just 10 minutes from the center of Brussels. Founded in 1367, it makes a very special backdrop for a fall session. Brilliant colors, large reflecting ponds and of course the abbey. 
 
A Walk Through Time
  • 9:00 – 9:30
  • 9:45 – 10:15
  • 13:00 – 13:30
  • 13:45 – 14:15
  • 14:30 – 15:00
  • 15:15 – 15:45
  • 16:45 – 17:15
Bear and Dragon Adventure Sea of Leaves 2017
The Sea of Leaves – November 4
It doesn’t get more lush, lovely and fallish than rolling around in
the enormous sea of leaves that carpets the iconic Parc du Cinquantinaire in early November. This setting is perfect to capture the changing season as well as showcasing one of the most beautiful parks in Brussels.
Sea of Leaves
  • 9:00 – 9:30
  • 13:45 – 14:15
  • 14:30 – 15:00
  • 15:15 – 15:45

 

We always hope for good weather but in case of rain, will reschedule for the adjacent weekend day or the following weekend. Space is limited and we tend to go to a waiting list quickly so please let me know very soon if you wish to reserve a place.

A Sprite in the Forest

Siada el Ramly bluebells for websharing-4

The light in the forest

As usual we had an amazing time during the Adventures in the Bluebell Forest at Hallerbos. Warm temperatures and sunny days brought out the best in the play of light, shadows and color. I am still very much working my way through the editing (we had 21 families join this year!) but I was so inspired by this lovely duo I had to share.

I have had the pleasure of photographing this sweet little girl and her family since she was just a couple of months old. Now becoming a proper big girl, she showed off her moves and larger than life personality while taking a special momma and me day in the forest. Such a cutie! I hope you enjoy their images as much as I have. 🙂

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Dreaming place
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Queen of the forest
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Glow
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Regard
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Stroll
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Fly
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A quiet place
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Bisous
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Play
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In the wind

 

Ch-ch-ch-changes :)

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Full of it

Wow, what a year! Seems like a strange thing to say in August but the time until now has really flew by and now as we near the time to welcome our new baby boy, a sense of completion…and growth have settled in.

As the title implies, this new “project” has led to some ch-ch-ch-changes as we moved out to the ‘burbs into a sweet little house and I am just starting maternity leave now. Really I am much to big and lumbering to do my usual jumping up and down, running through parks and playing during photo sessions! It breaks my heart a little bit to miss my favorite photo time (fall) but I am determined to give this new little guy all I have got to make a great start in life.

So what’s next for Bear & Dragon? In the new year I will open a new studio space in a beautiful and convenient location in Brussels. I expect to be back in the early months of 2017 and can’t wait to see all my families, old friends and new for many new adventures.

In the meantime, stay tuned on the blog for some cool Brussels kids locations and to-do’s and a slice of life from bucolic Beersel.

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We are waiting for you

In the Spirit of Things

Christmas kisses
Christmas kisses

I know, I know. Christmas is already everywhere. Every shop is breaking out their holiday wares. Gold, red, green, sparkles. I want to love it but I can’t! Not until after Thanksgiving at least. 🙂

However, photography and family pictures is one aspect of Christmas that rightfully rides the early wave of holiday cheer. I love the physical nature of printing and sending Christmas cards. For us, Christmas prints are kind of an obvious go to. But this year I really went all out and made a book with the beautiful printer Artifact Uprising. Easy to use and really really lovely. I can’t wait to get my hands on our copies and even made one to keep at home. Just a tip!

I am doing some Christmas oriented sessions but no holiday mini session this year. Next year for sure. However, to complete our book we had to bring some wintery holiday cheer in during the height of fall colors. Not an easy task! Luckily I spotted a row of evergreens near La Hulpe and on a clear, cold and dewy morning we packed up our sparkly gear, mini Christmas tree and close friends bribed to take our family shots (thanks Sarah and Simone!) for a little leap forward in time.

Now to add a little heartfelt Christmas love to your day. I present my very favorite presents of all.

Light the way
Light the way
Looking back
Looking back
My favorite presents of all
My favorite presents of all
Soft and sweet
Soft and sweet
Love from us!
Love from us!
Naughty or nice?
Naughty or nice?
Trimmings
Trimmings
Christmas angel
Christmas angel
Drops of dew
Drops of dew
Onward we go
Onward we go
Center of attention
Center of attention
My boys
My boys
The best kind of kisses
The best kind of kisses
All together now
All together now