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Anna | Bridals | Charlotte, NC

Anna and Wilson were married this past Saturday which means I finally get to share some of my favorites from Anna’s Bridal session! Being from Charlotte – we decided to have her bridal session at the always gorgeous Duke Mansion. I am so in love with Anna’s look , from the amazing dress, bolero and her elegantly simple choice of jewelry. Oh, and that amazing veil? It’s an heirloom from Wilson’s side of the family that has been worn by every woman in the family for over 100 years! How special is that? So excited to share some highlights from their wedding day soon!

 

Michelle + Cameron | Maternity | Richmond, VA

Oh man, this post is bittersweet for me. We met Michelle and Cameron a couple years ago after moving to Richmond, VA and became fast friends. Cameron and my husband worked together in Residency (Cameron being a couple years ahead) and just last month Cameron wrapped up residency and they moved to New Hampshire where Cameron will be practicing, and it also just so happens to bring them closer to family. We were sad to see them go but already having some visits scheduled with them makes it better.

Now, how adorable is Michelle here? She was about 8 months along when we took these photos – and now she is just one short week away from her due date. Here’s to hoping Little Man Braasch comes on-time next week :) I am already so excited to meet the little guy in August! 
Please do send prayers and well-wishes for Michelle and baby to have an easy and safe delivery soon!

Giving is GOOD. #shareyourbirthday

Friends, It’s July! I can hardly believe how quickly this year has flown by. I hope each of you had fun celebrating the 4th of July yesterday with family and friends! I absolutely love July for so many reasons. July means a hot southern summer. July means swimming. July means cookouts with friends and enjoying the long summer sunlight. July means lots of ice cream. But one of my favorite things about July is that it’s my birthday :)

I love birthdays – the perfect excuse to gather and celebrate with loved ones, and what better reason to set aside some time to reflect upon the past year and start dreaming even bigger for the next. Well, it just so happens that TODAY is my birthday and this weekend I’ll be lucky enough to be spending lots of quality time with family and friends. I can honestly say that every year I can’t imagine being any more grateful or loved…but then it happens. So very lucky and thankful for this life I get to live and the wonderful people I get to share it with.

Youth is happy because it has the ability to see beauty.
Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.
-Franz Kafka

Now onto the real purpose of this post….

Last December at the Engage! conference I met a fun little gal (no really, she is an adorable, pint sized, super fun, amazingly authentic person) and we became fast friends. Her name is Paige Chenault (uber-talented wedding and event planner) We hung out through the welcome evening gala and just as the evening was closing so we could all head to bed for a bit of sleep before day one of the conference, Paige mentions she is one of the speakers and that she will see me in the morning. That evening we shared a little bit about ourselves and our businesses so I naturally assumed she would be speaking about her event planning business…which she did, kind-of. I truly had no idea how much she would touch each and every attendee that next morning with her kind, kind heart. By applying her talents used in her day-to-day event planning business, and with the help of her wonderful community, she has created a movement that is making an impact.
Paige introduced us to her true labor of love – The Birthday Party Project, a non-profit organization she founded. The mission is to bring joy to homeless children through the magic of birthdays. By partnering with homeless shelters, TBPP provides birthday parties and gifts for all their resident children between the ages of one and eighteen. Each birthday kid receives a crown, ribbon, personal cake and a $30.00 gift – the other kids participate in celebrating with activities and cupcakes!

 

Liene Stevens of Think Splendid!, in a re-cap post of learning about The Birthday Party Project shortly after Engage! said the following that I find to be so true :

“The [second] reason this hits close to my heart is that I am passionate about finding solutions that end the cycle of poverty. Some could argue that The Birthday Party Project isn’t changing much of anything, since it’s not meeting felt needs (food, clothing, shelter, jobs, etc), but I disagree. The cycle of poverty is much more than just finances and economics. It is also tied to access to the arts and education and self-esteem, which cultivates imagination which leads to innovation which leads to long-term change.”

So why am I posting about this today, on my birthday? It’s simple, I would love to get you, friends, involved in this wonderful organization. One of my dear friends and colleagues, Jacin Fitzgerald, kickstarted a pretty cool initiative called Share your Birthday. BRILLIANT!

I would be so appreciative for anyone who loves the meaning behind birthdays and values the mission behind The Birthday Party Project to take a moment and CELEBRATE in sharing my birthday.

If you’re like me and love an excuse to visit a store like Target to peruse the party supply aisle, you can check out their WISH LIST and send  items to TBPP to use directly. There is also the option to make a direct DONATION and more! Take a look at the link at the end of the post to find out more information.

Please take a moment and watch this video, I promise it will melt your heart. A table cloth, a $10.00 donation, a few birthday cards, you name it – all will be so very appreciated and the kids will love it!

MY CHALLENGE ::

Now, I am always game for a good challenge…especially if it’s for a good cause. If anyone out there comments below AND emails me (cynthia@cynkainphotography.com) that they have a box full of each and every item listed on the wishlist I will happily skip on over to a party supply store and match it :) Get creative – one person doesn’t have to do all of it, you can coordinate with friends and kind folks in the community to make this happen! This offer stands until July 31st, 2013. I sure hope I’ll get to mail a box full of goodies on August 1st to TBPP office :)

*I will match a box for the first person to complete this…how wonderful would it be if there were many!!

The Birthday Party Project Shirt GIVEAWAY!

For anyone who gives a donation or mails something directly to TBPP, comment below to let me know and on August 1st I will draw a few names to win one of the awesome shirts The Birthday Party Project created  – see the image below of me rocking one around town :)

GET INVOLVED:: 

SHARE YOUR BIRTHDAY :: http://www.thebirthdaypartyproject.org/#!shareyourbirthday/c1py5

*IF YOU’RE LOCAL TO RICHMOND, VA and have something you would like donate please email me and I would love to arrange a time pick it up and HUG you in person as a thank you :) This will allow me to ship all local donations together in one happy box!

**If you decide to send in a donation or mail your own package, please do mention it’s for “Sharing Cyn Kain’s Birthday” so I can properly thank you!

For you social media addicts out there…here’s the info you need :

Hashtag for the Share your Birthday initiative :: #shareyourbirthday
Hastag for The Birthday Party Project :: #givingisgood
Follow The Birthday Party Project on twitter :: @bdayenthusiast

 

 

Caroline | Richmond, VA | Lifestyle


People ask me all the time, “What is your favorite thing to shoot…weddings, portraits, kids…?” and I seriously can never answer. Typically my knee-jerk reaction to say the last thing I shot because I had such a fun time during it but then I say “oh wait, but I really like weddings too…and kids…and bridals…and well, I love it all!”. This shoot I had with sweet Caroline and her parents just makes my day. I have photographed her since she was in her mama’s belly all the way up until she turned a year old. We waited and waited to book this last shoot in their series in hopes that she would be walking. Caroline was definitely capable of walking but the question that day is did she want to. Such is life with women, eh? Caroline was just in the in between sage as she was mainly afraid of taking steps alone – and of course I heard from her mom that she started walking just two short days after their session…the way it always goes – right parents? :)
I am pretty sure Caroline got an amazing core workout in this position. Kelly, Paul and I died laughing as we made poor Caroline balance there for a a bit in hopes she’d walk over to us when she realized no one was coming to get her. Instead she decide to take a break and sit down. Smart girl :) Huge thanks to Kelly, Paul and Caroline for allowing me to get to know them over the past year and document their family. I am so excited to capture many more of y’alls family moments. I say it’s time for baby #2 ;)

Essentials :: for the photographer entrepreneur

 

Photographer friends, guess what is coming to Virginia this summer!? The Branding and Business Essentials Workshop!!!  Florida based Photographer Shay Cochrane and Graphic Designer Ashlee Proffitt have teamed up with guest speakers, local commercial photographer Casey Templeton and myself, a southern based wedding and portrait photographer to provide an incredible 10 hour workshop designed to help photographers in the early stages of their photography business!

The Essentials workshop is for photographers who are serious about their business but are unsure about how to take it to the next level.  It is for photographers who feel like their business is “stuck”,  lacks a clear brand identity or is based on people-pleasing instead of confident artistry! It is for photographers who are losing the passion and clarified direction to do what they love OR who know exactly what they want but just aren’t sure how to do it!  It is for the photographer with big dreams for their business but who is lacking the confidence, clarity and business savvy to make it a success!

 

The Essentials workshop has two main goals. First, it is designed to help you to ask yourself the right questions to identify your passions, strengths and goals as they relate to your unique business and to create a clear and effective branding concept that represents you!  Second, it will equip you with essential business tools to hit the ground running with that new clarified brand and business model with a plan to get the clients of your dreams and to get back to doing what makes your heart the happiest as the owner of a business that is flourishing!

Special for my current mentees and CKP followers, if you email me directly I can send over a direct private link which offers a discounted rate for your seat :)

With just two weeks to the main event there are just a few seats left, hope to see y’all there!!

More Essentials workshop details on the official Essentials Workshop site :: www.essentialsworkshop.com

 

 

 

The Wedding Row | Charleston, SC | Featured

Last fall I shot such a lovely wedding in Charleston, SC – one of my favorite cities to visit, even if only for a day or two. The history, the colors, the energy and of course the coast are all something to fall in love with. I had the pleasure of working the ladies of A Southern Protocol at the William Aiken House on this wedding and let me tell you, that team puts together one amazing event and doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to the little details. I was so thrilled to have this wedding featured on The Wedding Row last month

Please do take a moment to see the Wedding Row feature HERE. Below are also a handful of my favorites from Lisa and Dave’s wedding day!
Congratulations Lisa and Dave and cheers to an amazing marriage! Thanks for allowing me to document your big day – and here’s to hoping that I’ll get to photograph  another affair by the talented ladies of A Southern Protocol.

Martha | Bridals

Martha is a sweet, sweet southern bride. Her and Paul were married earlier this spring in Charleston, SC. So many of you commented on much you loved their engagement session that I shot in her hometown – and among the cows on the farm :) Between weather and scheduling hiccups we never could get some bridals of Martha done…so we decided to roll with it and do it after the wedding. I believe it was definitely worth it, friends. 

Lizzie + Matt | Purcellville, VA | Engaged

I met up with Lizzie and Matt at this sweet B&B called Silverbrook Farm  a couple months ago for their engagement session. It was one of those weeks where the forecast seemed to change by the hour! While it was a little chilly and grey, lucky for us, the rain did take enough of a break for their session, phew! Not to mention Lizzie and Matt were so laid back, fun and totally in love – which makes my job easy ;)

These two are getting married on Saturday at an Orchard in Pennsylvania…SO EXCITED! Just from hearing about the wedding I am so excited to see all the little details Lizzie has planned for their big day! Should be a lovely day! Here are a few of my favorites from their engagement session at the farm. Let the count down begin!

Oh and p.s. they have the cutest little pup ever named Scooter. He is adorable.

This family of 3 clearly roots for the Phillies :)

 

 

Colt | Destin, Florida | Lifestyle

Back in April I flew down to Destin, Florida to photograph this sweet little guy. I met his mama back in the 6th grade – we were in the same group of friends but after that year I switched schools and we lost touch. Thanks to social media I re-connected with her about 12 years later when I learned she had her own design company and I was starting my business. They adopted their first baby in November of last year and he just won my heart over.  Here are some favorites  of Kelly, Andrew and  their little man Colt.
While social media can sometimes be a distraction in everyday life I am so grateful it allowed me to reconnect with Kelly and document them during such an important time in their lives. Kelly and Andrew, Congratulations on Colt joining your family, he is one lucky kid to have parents like you! Thank you for allowing me to come down and spend the morning with y’all! Hope we get to see each other soon!

p.s. Kelly is an amazing designer – you can visit From Scratch Design and check her out :)