A look back – Sea of Leaves 2015

sea of leaves-2
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

Sea of leaves blog-3
Row your boat
Sea of leaves blog-4
Little secrets
Sea of leaves blog-5
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
sea of leaves
Wonder
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Three of a kind
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Discovery

Royals Sneak Peak: a very special Bear & Dragon Adventure

Royals-7
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!

Royals
Light of my life
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Precious
Royals-3
Delicate things
Royals-4
View
Royals-5
Thoughtful
Royals-6
Glee
Royals-8
Beware foul dragons
Royals-9
Tip toes
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Golden
Royals-11
Fun and games
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Elegant
Royals-13
Blush
Royals-14
Admire
Royals-16
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

10 more days of beautiful

19
Gentle – Remember when they just fit into the crook of your arm. I do

After a short (eh hem) hiatus, I am happy to bring you even more beautiful. A recap of days 11 – 20

did you feel that
Did you feel that? – It is so much fun waiting for your first baby to arrive. The wonder at the very fact that soon you too will have a little baby to call your very own. This sweet couple embodies everything about that moment. Thrilled, overwhelmed, having fun and in love.
12
My new favorite toy – This new big brother is a tiny bit into trains… Of course we had to include his new little sister in his favorite track. Here he gives her all the love he’s got until the train rounds the corner
face to face
Face to face – Another simple is beautiful post. Beautiful morning, amazing color and the sweetest smile.
waiting
Waiting – Now I share a beautiful mum to be from South Africa. Something about the softness of the light brings me back to those quiet moments of waiting and hoping for the days to speed by so you can meet your first baby
big brother
Across the gap – With a seven year age gap, this big brother has saved up alot of hugs, kisses and advice for his little princess. He just could not stop touching and kissing her! The sweetest boy and the sweetest little sister around.
peekaboo
Let’s play – This is the second time I got to work with these handsome brothers. Here featured in a winner takes all game of peekaboo
geisha
When worlds collide – A very special morning session with these beautiful Japanese girls decked out from head to toe in kimonos. It is a tradition in Japan to photograph your children at a shrine to bless their growth. Lacking shrines in Brussels, they decide to capture the combination of cultures that forms their life
just you
It’s you – Sometimes its just you. You are beautiful.
20
Flow – This photograph was taken towards the end of a really fun session in Parc Woluwe. It is actually based on another photo that the mother saw and loved. It took a bit of work on all sides to get the perfect shot of this lovely and wiggly one year old. Ta da!

First look: A day of play at Rouge Cloitre

Run!
Run!

Two days in a row? That’s right!

I just wrapped up editing this super fun family session today and I could not wait to share. Sometimes I feel like once our children get older, we just get too busy to arrange a photo session. I also believe that some parents are afraid that their older children will feel self conscious or quickly lose interest in being photographed. Though it is more of a challenge than working with new babies and toddlers, I absolutely love working with kids. Using a series of games, including some solo exploration time and treating them with respect like the young ladies and gents they are, we have a recipe for beautiful and truthful moments.

This session embodied all of these elements. At six and four years old, these lovely ladies came ready for action. And with a strong “that’s for babies” radar, they kept me on my toes. It was a great 90 minutes and I am happy to share some of the good memories with you today.

T minus 5
T minus 5
Impact
Impact
The story teller
The story teller
Lift off
Lift off
Daddy's girls
Daddy’s girls
Kelly green
Kelly green
Cosmos
Cosmos
The bond
The bond
On the fence
On the fence

Thirty days of beautiful

simple
Simple is beautiful: Beautiful baby, bright clean color and a super smile. Simple is beautiful.

Wow, a month since I last posted. That was a crazy month! Wonderful holidays in Sweden, return to a very busy few weeks with lots of new babies and sweet late summer sessions. Now bababoo restarts school and a collective breath is released across Belgium. Time to catch up. 🙂

I was recently challenged to post 30 pictures in 30 days to show some of my favorite photos. The most fun part in doing this has been thinking about the why. Why do some pictures just stand out as exceptionally beautiful. There is a small conflict in my own family about this very question. The bear tends to favor energetic and beautiful smiles that engage directly with the camera. While I love these as well, I also gravitate toward those that emphasize details or quiet moments where you get to see the other side of a child or relationship. At times the bear looks at one of these photos and says, “that’s a Nicole photo”. Guilty!

Though on my facebook page I am posting a photo each day (only missed two so far!), I plan on putting them together here every 10 days. I hope you enjoy them. The funny, the energetic, the sweet, big and small. To me, they are beautiful.

blueberry
Anticipation: This summer, the forest floor in Sweden was literally carpeted in heavily laden blueberry bushes. Many a morning were spend on long walks to collect the bounty and afternoons turning them in to treats, eating whole or making all the white in the bowl of vanilla ice cream disappear. Summer days.
deco
On adventure: This sweet couple from Texas contacted me to take their vacation photos to the next level. This beautiful grate covers a shop down by Grand Place. The owner started to lift it as we walked up but was nice enough to give us a couple of extra minutes to capture young love against this very Brussels backdrop. Love
i love
I loved you before we met – I love the softness in their expressions and of course how very much they look alike. Totally at peace.
love
Laugh riot: Just weeks before her little sister is due to join, Imogen’s family scheduled a photo session to catch them just as they are now and to celebrate her as she is. I love working with grandparents. Here they are in a major tickle attack. smile emoticon
on the day you were born
On the day you were born: One of my favorite books to read my little ones goes, “On the day your were born and I put you to bed, I noticed the crown on top of your head”. This sweet kiss from a new mom reminds me of this passage and all the overwhelming feelings and love in your heart when you first meet your baby.
peekaboo
Peekaboo!: This little red headed rascal playing in the bed. Nuf said!
quiet
Quiet: There is no doubt that I love big smiles and big laughs but sometimes the most beautiful pictures come when you don’t even know I am taking one.
sunset
Last rays of light: After cruising the backroads in Leksand, Sweden for a couple of days, I finally found this gorgeous wheat field for a special session with my little ones. We borrowed traditional Swedish clothes and waited for the perfect sunset. Here is one of the first of the series. A story about fireflies. More to come. Happy Monday!
suprise
Surprise attack!: I love this picture because not only is it of a beautiful family but it comes from playing one of my favorite games, surprise attack! Step one: position unsuspecting parents next to each other and rascally children about 10 meters behind. Step two: On the count of three the kids get to run up and give a surprise hug from behind. They love it and the smiles speak for themselves.

A Swedish midsummer eve

On the road
On the road

These days are precious. So precious and wonderful and special as we spend time, love and energy just enjoying each other. In some ways, time goes slow and in some ways it goes so so fast and even whole periods of your life can seem to fly by in a heartbeat.

Despite occasional protests from the Bear, my camera is the tool that I use to grab these moments in time and store them away. I imagine pulling these out when I am 80 and marveling at all the beauty. All the love and all the moments bursting with the vibrant life we have. Exhausting, busy and at time past trying but I would not trade even one second. As you enjoy your holiday, I hope you also look around and take a more distant view for once. Imagine yourself in 40 years looking at this moment. Let your heart fill up and then jump in and enjoy every second of it.

Here we are in big sky Sweden with our beloved Farfar and Farmor. I am so glad to have had a chance to organize a little mini session to capture the loving relationship that is growing across these generations. This pond is just a short walk from the family home and we have spent many an afternoon throwing rocks and shivering in the cold Nordic waters and evenings enjoying a cold beer and getting eaten alive by mosquitos. Its a special place and I hope you enjoy it!

Trailblazer
Trailblazer
These are the moments
These are the moments
Generations
Generations
Vibrant life
Vibrant life
Touch
Touch
Cool water
Cool water
Love and laughter
Love and laughter
Little big man
Little big man
Flower girl
Flower girl
Before you know it
Before you know it
Jump!
Jump!
For you
For you
Golden
Golden
Our place
Our place

A look back: Among the bluebells mini session

Dancing in the sea
Dancing in the sea

Now in the fullness of summer, spring feels like a sweet memory when we looked eagerly for the first leaves in the trees and then delighted at the explosion of color and sweet smells. Yumm. This spring was also marked by one of my favorite and sure to be a perennial mini session in the sea of bluebells covering the Hallerbos Forrest. I hope you all had a chance to check it out this year.

One day of mini sessions quickly became two and in the end 15 gorgeous families joined me in the woods for this special event. I am happy to share some of the photos with you today. Enjoy the breath of fresh air. 🙂

Some time for us
Some time for us
Play!
Play!
Ring around the rosies
Ring around the rosies
Blossoms
Blossoms
Exalt
Exalt
On a stroll
On a stroll
Breezy
Breezy
Just the girls
Just the girls
Looking back
Looking back

First look: A family by fate

All together now
All together now
There are many many types of families. Big and small, those grown through new marriages and those who are families are brought together by fate. Today I share some inspiration from one of the latter.
Those who have been on the long road of adoption can tell you, it can be difficult to keep that image of your complete family in mind. Something that requires enormous commitment, patience and love. With this in mind, I was so happy to work with this beautiful family after they welcomed their new baby boy home from South Africa. To make that image in their minds a reality that celebrates their new unity.
One more example of a love that knows no bounds. If you are on the same path or thinking about adopting, I hope you find the same inspiration I did in this lovely story.
Light and love
Light and love
Play!
Play!
At last
At last
Summer life
Summer life
Whee!
Whee!
The Sweetest Boy
The Sweetest Boy

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