The best places of all: The Coloma Rose Garden

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Gazing

New favorite location alert! I do love summer, ripe peaches, warm days, lazy afternoons and bright evenings. But photographically speaking, in Belgium, it can be a bit…green. Don’t get me wrong, I love a nice green forest but if you really want some color, it is necessary to go far afield to find some.

That is until the Coloma Rose Garden in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw popped up on my radar. Located just south of Brussels, this sprawling park has all the Brussels classics; long waterways, a beautiful 16th century manor home, extensive gardens and quirky features like a straight out of a fairytale wishing well. Home to more than 3,000 rose varieties from 26 countries. We spent the whole morning discovering one garden after the next.

You can cruise around, explore, and play. There is an interactive museum which was closed when we were there but I have read is very intereting. If you get tired or hungry there is a sweet looking Bistro called de Koetsier in the middle of the grounds. If you prefer something sweet then check out the Cremerie at Gaasbeek. Only 10 minutes further and hands down best ice cream in the greater Brussels region. Yum!

But I digress (sugar distracted much?)…this is a gorgeous photo location if you crave some summer colors, classic landscapes and romantic nooks to play and cuddle in. Perfect for engagement, maternity and family sessions.

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Facets
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Come on mom!
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Rosethorn
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Framed
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My little heart
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Magic
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I’m wishing…
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I’m wishing, for the one I love
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Wishing well
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Onlookers
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Leap
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Sweet
little man
Future flower lover
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Onward march!
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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
Lucie Crevel-Sanders 2017 for websharing-21
Huddle up
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Tickle time
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And go!
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Falling leaves
Emilia Janisz maternity for websharing-16
Winter quiet
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Peakaboo

Ch-ch-ch-changes :)

Beachy
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

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

All the pregnant ladies – I salute you!

Working it
Working it

This one goes out to those gorgeous ladies out there rocking their bumps to the max. You are awesome, beautiful and I salute you!!

Major hair envy aside, I loved having Stacy and Jason in for their maternity session and can’t wait to see then again when their little girl arrives late this spring. Rock on!

Right as rain
Right as rain
That moment
That moment
In these hands
In these hands
Us
Us
Glow
Glow
Shape of things to come
Shape of things to come

First look: The shape of motherhood

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In blue

There must be something in the air. The gorgeous pregnant mommas are all dropping by for beautiful maternity sessions! The one I share today took an especially soulful approach. Drawing inspiration from antique photomatons that let you take four different pictures, just enough to capture the shapes that made up a whole. So we sought to capture some unconventional angles on the blooming relationship between a mother and her soon-to-be little one.

On the topic of mommas soon to be, it is just 18 days until my impending due date! Very excited, a little nervous, to welcome my little boy into the family. Wish us luck!

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Shapes
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In silhouette
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Into the light

First look: Kasia and Gianfranco Maternity Session

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This much fun at a photo shoot should be illegal. It all started when Kasia’s best friend Amelia contacted me for a last minute maternity session to be done while she was visiting Brussels. Luckily things fell into place and we were able to schedule that week.

So what happens when a Polish beauty meets her Italian prince? A whole lot of fun, that’s what. Baby blanket togas and lots of strawberries later, we had our set. I present those most fit for public consumption. 🙂

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First look: Jessica and Ivan maternity session

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In the light

There is nothing more gorgeous than the beauty of pregnancy. Somehow in looking back at maternity photos, one is filled with a sense of disbelieve and wonder. Wow, is that really me?! I love capturing these moments, as fleeting as they are, for all time.

We were so happy to welcome Jessica and Ivan into the studio recently. Due in May, Jessica felt and looked great! Such a fun pair, full of laughter. I am incredibly excited to meet their little one for her newborn sessions in the not so distant future. Please enjoy these lovely images of a fantastic couple on a big, big adventure. 🙂

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Listen up dad!
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Glow
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Love