The best places of all: The Coloma Rose Garden

Adventures in the rose garden blog-3

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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Come on mom!
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My little heart
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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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little man-2
little man
Future flower lover
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Onward march!

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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Summer days
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Sweet breeze
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Kristen Banks Card images-2
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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Ch-ch-ch-changes :)

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.

We are waiting for you

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
Shape of things to come
Shape of things to come

First look: Maternity at home with Helene and Philippe

At home
At home

When Helene contacted me, she said she was looking to do a maternity session that really captured her day-to-day life as she got ready for baby number one to arrive. Something relaxed, intimate and beautiful. So we set a plan to hold the session at her home and to also step outdoors to catch some of the fall air.

Working with Helene and Philippe was absolutely wonderful. A beautiful home and a lovely couple. Even a very sweet (and very energetic) dog named Juncker to round out this growing family. We loved the result and hope you do too. Enjoy!

This is us
This is us
These are the days
These are the days
Big brother
Big brother
Real life
Real life
How sweet it is
How sweet it is

First look: Emma and Paul


Nothing could be sweeter than the eager anticipation of a little one waiting for their new brother or sister to arrive. Abounding with hilarious theories for why momma’s belly is so big, what does it mean when your belly button pops out and if the baby can see you from inside there. Paul and Emma joined us in the studio recently to play, brush our teeth (most important photo props for Paul are his favorite red shirt and his tooth brush and paste) and give big hugs and kisses to soon to be born brother, Matthew.

Good times and good luck to the family on the very imminent arrival of baby brother!

Sweet Paul
Brusha, Brusha