Photography by Michelle Hires » Columbia, SC Photographer. Weddings. Children. Family Portraits

I think this post is going to break records for being the latest blog post to ever occur.  The baby pictured, precious Isla (pronounced eye-la),  is now well over 1 1/2 years old. How’s that for late?

To say I’ve been slacking in the blogging department is the understatement of the century.  Quite honestly, I’ve just really sucked at it.  I’m going to try and be better, but I make no promises.  I have a TON of beautiful sessions to share and I’ve been working my fingers and my camera to the bone,  I just haven’t been blogging about it.

How does that joke go?  If you don’t blog a session, did it really happen?  I can unequivocally answer that with a YES!

Just ask my husband;)

So, this is definitely a shining example of better late than never.  I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t blog these beautiful images from Isla’s session until now.  Isla was a gift for her family, the last child out of three and she has two big brothers who are equally as beautiful (err handsome) as she is.  To say her momma was excited to be getting a girl is probably the understatement of the millennium.    She was thrilled and now that she’s here she is definitely living up to ‘being a princess’.  I hear she’s running things in her house.

See that smile?  She’s plotting her takeover…

Cape Cod Newborn Photographer

Who knew gray and green could be SO pretty together?  This definitely got a ‘oh my goodness’ out of both mom and me when we saw the back of the camera.

She really did let me play with her, a newborn photographer’s dream!


This is quickly becoming one of my signature poses and shots…I just love how classic it is!


A couple of weeks later, Isla came back for a stylized mermaid shoot.  Her momma and I are both lovers of the ocean and Isla is sure to be a beach bum as well.  Jessica was such a good sport bringing Isla back for this session.




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Babies are quickly becoming a passion of mine both because they’re quite irresistible but also because my own baby is anything but these days.  I miss the fresh powder-y smell of baby skin and the softness of their fine hair; the tiny feet and fingers that are perfect miniature versions of the ones on our own hands.  I miss it all.

Baby Alina might as well be family since I’ve known hers for going on 5 years now.  Her big brother Sebastian went to the same playgroup Hope attended when we lived in Hawaii and after a few years in separate places, we’ve found ourselves reunited.  Hope and Sebastian were even in the same 2nd grade class this year!  How’s that for a coinkydink?!

Alina was beyond a joy!  She slept for the majority of our session and allowed me to pose her and move her in and out of quite a few sets.  I’ve been lucky enough to see her a few times since our last session and she’s still a little itty bitty thing and oh-so much cuteness!


Alina | South Carolina Newborn Photographer


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I first met Emma’s Mom and Dad during an OpLove homecoming session back in 2012.

One of my favorite images from that homecoming I call  “The Last Step” because it’s a moment that families wait 6, 9, 12 even more months for and is often the one that does happen in slow motion when you’re in the moment because you just can’t get them in your arms fast enough.  That was this moment for me and I’m sure them.    Emma wasn’t even a blip on the radar yet.

G Family - OpLove South Carolina

I watched on Facebook as Ashley (who happens to be one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet) announced her pregnancy and then welcomed her darling little girl into the world.  I watched as Emma grew from that wrinkly little newborn into a beautiful (but mischievous) little toddler, all the while wishing I could get my camera on her.  As luck would have it, I relocated back to Columbia, SC and was just delighted when Ashley contacted me to photograph Emma’s 1st birthday portraits with a cake smash!  This little beauty was born on Valentine’s Day and you’ll see that my studio setup took that theme on in it’s entirety.  Emma’s now an expert at being 1 and still keeping Mommy and Daddy on their toes!


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When I saw this week’s challenge title, I immediately thought of this image.  This was his first trip to the beach and I think it’s safe to say, he LOVED it.  If only we could all love life this much!

Head over to see more Enjoying Life photos at I Heart Faces and enter a picture of your own!

Photo Challenge Submission


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  • lizzy - this is just too cute!!

  • Sheribeari - what fun

  • Rebekah - LOVE this! A wonderful capture!

  • Jaymie - Love this perspective!

  • Amy Mallory - LOVE this so much!

  • Sunshine Day/ Samantha W - Such a great moment captured – very cute!

  • Tracey Washington - I love this! *sigh, to live next to the ocean again…. :)

I love photographing people, I think that is plainly obvious.  What I love even more is photographing people I love.  I’m terrified and nervous and anxious just like I am before every shoot but, the minute I start snapping away and begin creating beautiful images for the people I love, all of that melts away.  I had a BLAST with these guys but, I totally knew I would.  What I didn’t foresee was how much fun I would have editing this session too!  I smiled and I giggled  so much so that my mouth was starting to hurt like it was cramping.  Tammy, I am going to miss you and your family like crazy when we leave for South Carolina next month.  I hope these images are cherished memories for years to come, I know they will be for me!

You might have noticed that my blog posts titles are changing locations.  This session was shot in Arizona but, next month we’re making the move to Columbia, SC and I hope to begin shooting there by the beginning of January 2012.  If you know someone in that area, I’d love for you to suggest me to them.  We can be found on Facebook at


The Vandeway Family

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