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May 8, 2017

[part of the Monday for Moms blog series – small tips and tricks that will make big changes in photos of your children, parenting, or life]

It’s no secret that I think photos are really important to the family unit. Aside from documenting life and preserving memories, pictures are actually a great way to boost kids’ self esteem! (more on that here)  One key point that we often miss out on, though, is actually displaying those pictures where we can see them.  Not just posting to social media. Not just saving to our phone or computer’s hard drive – but actually PRINTING out those suckers and laying eyes on them each day.

When decorating with pictures, people often choose small print sizes – 5 x 7, 8 x 10, but in reality the bigger, the better.  A good rule of thumb is that a face in an image displayed on the wall should be around the size of a fist.  How many pieces do you have in your home that actually follow that rule? Ditch those small prints from time to time and display larger images!  For most homes, this means printing at 16 x 20 or bigger.

Now, I know, rules are meant to be broken.  And it’s h.a.r.d. to invest annually in larger pieces (aka Wall Art) that you’re pretty certain you’ll want to change out soon.  Along with just trying to narrow down your favorites from a session, it just seems so much easier to print a bunch of smaller images!  So, here’s my advice – choose a few statement images of each of your children to display at a larger size (remember the face at least the size of a fist rule).  Then, print a larger canvas collage with a few of your favorite images from a session.  For my home, I printed this at 16 x 20:

This gives me a larger statement piece that is the appropriate size for my walls while also helping me display several of my favorites since I couldn’t choose just one.  Additionally, since I only printed one canvas, the cost was lower and I won’t feel bad changing it out with updated pictures when the time comes (and it has come. and passed. Sorry that you aren’t in any family photos on the wall yet, Caleb 😉 ).  Huge shout out to Jessica Trimble for our family photos! Thanks, lady!

I love to hear from you! Comment below.

– Nikki

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May 3, 2017

[part of the Wednesday for Weddings blog series – wedding venue, vendor, decor, and idea suggestions]

My new favorite day of the year – SPA DAY for my brides and mamas of the past year! It is the perfect way for the mama of a newborn to relax, or unwind after the stress of wedding planning.  Bluestone Bodyworks provided the perfect oasis to refresh before beginning a new year.  Thanks to Cassy for organizing our group and the entire Bluestone team for pampering us!

You may think, “Great. Sounds fun. Why is this a Wednesday for Weddings post?” Well, let me elaborate. 🙂  Bluestone is the PERFECT place for bridal party prep! With a front porch fit for the south, several treatment rooms and a chill room for small groups, this is a wonderful space to relax and hang out with your bridal party on your big day!

Run, don’t walk! Schedule some time at Bluestone Bodyworks today! You will not regret it!

I love to hear from you! Comment below.

– Nikki

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May 2, 2017

[part of the Tuesday for Travel blog series – reviews, recommendations, and stories based on our travels and excursions]

For the past couple years, Chris and I have tried to make a point to take at least one trip a year without the kids.  Although we end up missing them and talking about them constantly the whole time we’re gone, it is a good opportunity to refresh and recenter.  Marriage deserves that sort of attention every now and again – especially with busy, fast paced everyday lives.  Last March we took off to Charleston, South Carolina for the first time.  I left my camera in the room for most of the trip because it was HOT, we were walking everywhere, and I was hugely pregnant, but brought it out for our biggest excursions.

I don’t have any photos to share of the food, but OH the food.  I could have existed alone on She Crab Soup (I’m looking at you, Noisy Oyster!).  We tried several places, all of which we’d recommend. Amen Street, TOAST, Noisy Oyster (their house citrus salad dressing is perfection!), Fleet Landing, Low Country Bistro (my first experience with chicken & waffles may have set the bar too high – yum!). We are serial appetizer eaters, so we typically bounce from place to place sharing small bites just to get a sample of what everyone has to offer.

We did have a true dinner one night at Hank’s Seafood and it was spectacular.  We had to change rooms after dinner because ours had a water leak.  In the process of moving I moved my leftovers to the mini fridge in the new room first, because they were obviously my most valuable possession at that time.  Later, I opened the fridge for a snack and discovered they WERE GONE. I almost cried when I found out a housekeeper tossed them out because she thought they were leftover from the previous guest.  I’m not sure it it was the pregnancy hormones or if the salmon was literally that. good.

History is kind of our gig, so a trip to Fort Sumter was a must.  The boat ride over was a bit sketchy – it seriously felt like the boat was Civil War era along with the Fort remains, but we none the less enjoyed looking at the relics.

We came knowing we wanted to check out a plantation, but had no idea which one.  When we found out that Boone Hall Planation was the filming site of a few scenes from The Notebook it was a no brainer!

Walking through “Slave Street” was incredibly humbling.  They’ve converted these former slave quarters into a museum of sorts to document the horrors of slave living.

We LOVED Charleston. The history and food is A+++. The only downside is that it STINKS.  It literally smells like a fishbowl due to the way animals decompose in the water and every time the wind blows in from the water you get a not so lovely whiff.  The further from the water, the better it gets, but since we’re water dwellers we don’t want that.  Our final analysis is that this is a great place to visit, but we’d never make it our home for too long. 🙂

Where should we visit on our next excursion?  We love recommendations, and I love to hear from you! Comment below.

– Nikki

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May 1, 2017

[part of the Monday for Moms blog series – small tips and tricks that will make big changes in photos of your children]

While I have nothing mind blowing for you today, I DO have a VERY important reminder.

Phones these days. They travel everywhere with us and capture every moment – from those sweet smiles at the park to the thousand selfies your 3 year old snuck while you were trying to use the bathroom with an ounce of dignity.  Then – the unthinkable happens.  The phone gets dropped in the water, run over by the car, you name it. Poof. Photos gone.

A few days ago I spent some time looking back through some old photos and videos of my kiddos taken on a less than advanced smart phone, but they are still the most special memories that made me “oo” and “ah” and maybe shed a tear or two.  They have grown. so. fast.  I can hardly believe how big they’ve gotten.  So stop.  Today. Backup your phone images!  While they may not be the most awesome images that you want to blow up and frame on your living room wall, they are still so important to have.  While you’re at it, print a few, too.  You’ll be glad you did!

And just a few blasts from the past:

Cousins playing.

Spaghetti Monster Carter!

Camden, a few days new.

I love to hear from you! Comment below!

– Nikki

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April 26, 2017

It feels like we waited for.ev.er for our friends Tyler and Casey to have their first baby.  When we heard Casey was expecting we were ecstatic.  After spending our college years double dating with them and our “fifth-wheel” (love you, Chuck! 😉 ) dreaming about our families growing up together, finding out that they would be welcoming their first child right around the same time we welcomed our last was such sweet news.

Welcome, sweet Caroline. I cannot wait to see what life has in store for you (although becoming a part of the Hokie nation is a given).

I love to hear from you! Comment below.

– Nikki

Virginia Photographer | Harrisonburg Photographer | Charlottesville Photographer | Staunton Photographer | Luray Photographer

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April 20, 2017

If you’ve visited my website in the past six months you are likely to have encountered an “under construction” page or a hodgepodge of half finished web pages with just enough information to barely scrape by.  I’ve slowly been chugging along working on the details, but we’ve had a big year!

I know it’s been a LONG time since you’ve heard from me on here, so let me help you catch up. 🙂 In February 2016 we had a HUGE surprise.  We found out we’d be welcoming a third sweet addition to our family! I managed to keep up (somehow) with family and business responsibilities in the midst of an exhausting pregnancy.  I may have had an overflowing sink of dishes and laundry baskets runneth over, but everyone was fed and loved, so that’s a win in my book. 😉  August marked the start of Kindergarten for Carter, which was a big adjustment for both of us.

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He is my sleeper, so we’ve encountered many a morning beginning with, “uuhhhhhhh! Just five more minutes, Mom!”

In October our sweet baby Caleb entered our lives and he has been such. a. joy.  I laid low for a few months reveling in our new little love – and trying to adjust to mom life with THREE boys.

Last month, Camden started his first official ball season, so now we are bouncing two boys between two baseball fields 3-4 days a week. We know this is just a peek into what our lives have in store for the next 18 years, and the craze of it all just makes us giggle.

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Nvision had a big year, too, adding a new service – birth stories – while continuing to document wedding days and growing families.  I have SO much to share with you, but there will be time for that in the coming weeks. 🙂 For now, let’s leave this here –

I’m SO happy to finally announce the completion of this labor of love!  It’s LAUNCH DAY!  Check out the new online home of Nvision Photography!

VA Wedding Photographer Website

Oh yeah – comment below and share this post on Facebook to be entered to win a complimentary one hour photography session of your choice with 5 digital files.

Thanks for your endless love and support as I chase this little dream of mine.

-Nikki

(Complimentary session may choose from family, maternity, senior, family, Fresh 48, or lifestyle newborn. Posed newborn is not included.)

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April 7, 2016

Happy birthday to my husband, father of our crazy offspring, endless provider, Netflix binge partner, and best friend.  I am amazed daily by your dedication to our family, ceaseless persistence at work and at home, and your ability to be my rock and my soft place all at once. You’ve got it all, babe.

We’re too practical to be gift givers, but I’m excited to spend the weekend celebrating your 28 years and looking forward to a lifetime more. Love you. <3

– Nikki

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February 8, 2016

If it seems like things have been a little slow around here lately, I can assure you that the complete opposite is true!  My radio silence is the result of some deep thinking, detailed planning, and exiting news!

I’m absolutely thrilled to announce Nvision’s newest service – birth stories!

Here’s a short FAQ for wondering minds. 😉

So…just what is a birth story?

A birth story is consists of photography coverage during labor and delivery – from the beginning of active labor until 1-2 hours after birth.

How does that work?

First, an expectant mother needs to discuss photography options with their care provider.  Some providers may have certain restrictions (that the provider may not be directly photographed, for example) or the delivery location may have stipulations to consider (like only one support person in the operating room in the case of a c-section).  Once you’ve discovered any possible guidelines or restrictions from care providers, we discuss operating within those expectations and get together and get to know one another.  Since everyone has different preferences and visions for their birth story, a questionnaire allows you the opportunity to express the nitty gritty details of your photography coverage.  No matter your specific preferences, your birth photographer will stay in the background during your labor and delivery and remain respectful and considerate of your birthing environment.

Since birth is an unpredictable event, my team is on call day and night during a 4 week window (typically between weeks 38 and 42 of your pregnancy).  I am always the first photographer on call, but have back up in place when I’m photographing a wedding, have a familial obligation, or a personal emergency.

When should I book?

To assure each of my clients receive the best possible care and attention, I accept a limited number of births each month.  Schedule as soon as possible to ensure your delivery month!

Why should I have my birth story professionally photographed?

If I am 100% honest, I have to admit that I look back on the photos of my children’s birthdays more often than my own wedding images!!! 🙂  We hire a wedding photographer without second thought – and for good reason!  The day is the most important day in your life up to that point and is the marking point of the official beginning of your family.  If you’re a new mom, I’d like to assure you that the birthday of your precious bundle will trump that all important wedding day….hands. down. (Repeat mammas – you know what I’m saying!!)  Labor and delivery is such a mind-blowing process and it’s easy to look back and realize you’ve forgotten the details after working so hard to bring a new life into this world.  The images from your birth story are awesome reminders of the sweat and tears that went into that special day.  Sure, your support people could take a few snapshots for you, but they are often (and rightfully so!!) caught up in the moment and so many details are left out.  Having gone through the process myself, (twice!) I know how important it is to have your partner and support people present and focused on helping and not responsible for documenting.  Birth environments also have tricky lighting situations – from dim for mamma’s relaxation and focus all the way to bright spotlights for the OB during the actual delivery.  Having a professional to navigate those tricky waters can make all the difference in the quality of these important memories.

Oh, and not only do I love looking back and remembering the birth stories of my children, but my kids also love looking at the images, too!

Where do you travel?

To ensure my clients the best service possible, I travel up to 1.5 hours from zip code 22827.

Have questions about birth stories?  Leave a comment or email me a nikki@nvisionphotographyva.com .

I look forward to hearing from you!

– Nikki

Harrisonburg Birth Photographer | Charlottesville Birth Photographer | Luray Birth Photographer | Staunton Birth Photographer

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January 19, 2016

[part of the Tuesday for Travel blog series – reviews, recommendations, and stories based on our travels and excursions]

We’ve headed to Williamsburg for a pre-Christmas trip for the past few years.  Our primary destination has been Busch Gardens Christmastown which our young children llooovveee.  If you have small kids, plan to take the trip next Christmas!

In years passed, though, I’ve had smaller kids.  A 1.5 year old or younger.  Or, a 1.5 year old AND pregnant.  If you are fluent in mom-ese, you know that this is synonymous with tiiiiiiiiired. Like, fall over and take a nap any time of the day because you haven’t had a full nights rest in a year kind of tired.  After an evening shuffling 1 or 2 kids around a theme park and the idea of doing it again the next night kind of killed my desire to go check out anything else in Williamsburg.

BUT….this year, my kids were older!  A 4 year old and 2 year old sleep much better on a nightly basis and don’t require near as much of my physical energy as they did when they were smaller.   Thank goodness!

I finally had the gumption to explore Colonial Williamsburg all done up in it’s Christmas glory and it was pretty spectacular!  If you like history and enjoy learning traditional customs, this is a great stop for you to make next year, too!

So…I may have an undergraduate history degree but my history knowledge is at times embarrassing….not sure what this building is exactly, but it sure looked grand against that stark blue sky!

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The Christmas decor is required to be made out of natural materials that would have been found in colonial times.  I loved the way these materials were brought together to form really unique and beautiful decorations!

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Loved this primitive clothesline.

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Camden enjoyed his funny shaped/HUGE gingerbread man!

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These boys…getting themselves in trouble, like usual!! 😉

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My heart!!

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Lemons and wood shavings…who would have thought??  So pretty!

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The boys loved watching the band march through.

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And…a funny shaped tree. 😉

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Lastly, a few beautiful white horses.

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I love to hear from you! Comment below.

– Nikki

Virginia Wedding Photographer | Blacksburg Wedding Photographer | Harrisonburg Wedding Photographer | Charlottesville Wedding Photographer | Staunton Wedding Photographer | Luray Wedding Photographer

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January 18, 2016

[part of the Monday for Moms blog series – small tips and tricks that will make big changes in photos of your children]

Each year I dread the annual trip to the mall to visit Santa.  Not only do I loathe shopping + the mall, but I despise spending the unnecessary money.  And let’s just face the music.  The picture always costs at least $40 and. is. terrible. The colors. The paper. The inks. The focus.  Everything about it makes me cringe!  Can you relate???

When I found out that John from J. Ellis Photography in Harrisonburg, Virginia was offering studio sessions with Santa I was THRILLED.  Hello to correctly exposed images with accurate colors and quality print options!  Yippee! Another plus is that we were able to schedule a specific time and barely had to wait in any line.

Jessica from It’s Your Day planned and coordinated the event including cookies, candy canes, and coloring activities.  Great job guys!  Thanks for turning a dreaded obligation into a fun, efficient, and quality experience!

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Have a topic you’d like me to discuss? I love to hear from you! Comment below.

– Nikki

Virginia Photographer | Harrisonburg Photographer | Charlottesville Photographer | Staunton Photographer | Luray Photographer

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