Cynthia Viola Photography

Family of 3

Boho Family Session in Wendell, NC | The Ritch Family

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
There are always flowers for those who want to see them
— Henri Matisse
Boho Photography in Sunflower Field

When I walked into the Ritch's home this year for their yearly photoshoot I was overwhelmed, nearly to tears, that their home is filled wall to wall with our photo sessions from the past six years. Some in small frames, some in giant canvases but all placed with love and adoration for their little family. I always love seeing the occasional final product of my shoots on walls and fridges and desks and in wallets, but to see just so many brought me joy I can't explain. I love what I do so much and could not be more grateful for families like the Ritch's who get excited about it every year. 

Each year they come up with a new theme and they all participate whole-heartedly. I was excited about their boho theme in a sunflower field this year but was greeted by an extra special surprise when I walked through the front door. Samson, their sweet new 10 week old Bullmastiff puppy was full of kisses and snuggles. I can't wait to take their photos again next year and see him as the giant 140 pound lap dog he's about to become!  

Additionally I got a private concert from Phoenix who's been playing drums for several years now and simply blew me away with his talent. I'm visualizing band photography in my future with this guy. Seriously, so talented. 

Boho Photography in Sunflower Field
Boho Photography in Sunflower Field
Boho Photography in Sunflower Field
Boho Photography in Sunflower Field

Thank you for bringing so much adventure and fun into your shoots guys! Can't wait to see what you come up with next year! 

North Beach Family Photography | Joey, Daniella and Isabella

Family Portraits, Engagement PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared
— Buddha
Family Engagement Session

I love it when a photo session can double as both family portraits and an engagement! These two cuties met in high school and have been inseparable ever since. With little Isabella sitting up now and their June wedding fast approaching, a photo session was a must!

We had planned to shoot at Vilano because of the beautiful rocks and such but it was just too crowded so Joey said he had access to a secluded entrance to North Beach and off we went! I could not have been more excited as we pulled in. Huge Oak trees towered over the entrance with beautiful trails and a nearly empty beach with dock. Perfection.

Family Engagement Session
Family Engagement Session

From promise rings to engagement rings, and now little Isa has one too. SO precious.

Family Engagement Session
Family Engagement Session
Family Engagement Session
Family Engagement Session
Family Engagement Session

It was just so sweet watching little Isabella's toes touch the water and the sand for the first time. It's too bad it was freezing or she probably would have jumped right in! Thank you guys for letting me capture such a special moment for you! Congratulations!! 

You might also enjoy photos from these two family/engagement sessions: Jordan & Alex and Jessica and Jeffery

Family Portraits at NCMA | The Grattons

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.
— William Arthur Ward
family photos nc art museum

I met these cuties what seems like a lifetime ago in another world, but we have remained great friends through both our family's various transitions. A favorite tradition they taught us years ago was to throw a groundhog day party in February because everyone will be able to come! The holidays are over and it's not quite time for spring picnics or Easter so it's a great excuse to host a party! And anyone who knows us, knows we love a good excuse to have friends over :) 

I had only had a chance to meet little Eli once or twice so it was incredible to see how big he'd gotten and how much like them he was. Already playing the harmonica, his musician parents have taught him well. Scott and Samantha create a few holiday music tracks every year to share with their friends and family and it's a huge hit!  Samantha was also an enormous help to me when I transitioned my company from a hobby to a full time career a few years ago; she is an excellent project manager if you need one :)

We weren't sure what the weather was going to do this weekend; the threat of rain had us dancing back and forth for days, and while we didn't get the gorgeous golden sunrise glow I'm used to, the fog rolled in and created an incredible backdrop no matter where we stood at the Art Museum. We were so excited to have something unique to work with. I hope you love these images as much as I do!

family photos at the art museum
family photos at the art museum
family photos at the art museum
family photos at the art museum
family photos at the art museum

If you enjoyed these, you might also enjoy this family session or this NCMA engagement

Yates Mill Family Session with Jenn, Nick and Roman

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Blessed are the curious, for they shall have adventures.
— L. Drachman
Yates mill park family photos

The moment I met Roman, I knew today's session was going to be an adventure! I asked him what his favorite thing about being six was and he said "wearing bigger shoes." Watch out world, this little man is looking to fill some shoes, and I've no doubt he'll accomplish all his dreams. 

Yates mill park family photos

I had him climb the fence for this photo and figured he'd enjoy jumping off so I encouraged him too. Without hesitation he climbed even higher to the very top THEN jumped! When I had him jump for the family walk he did a backflip, surprising all of us! He hurt himself a little on that one but his sweet momma knew exactly what he needed at every turn. I was blown away when she had him raise his arms a few times to make sure he wasn't injured then when he had his hands up started singing "YMCA" causing immediate giggles, and of course, then he was fine. It's so much fun watching families interact and be themselves. 

I had so much fun with you guys today Jenn and Nick! Thanks for being adventurous and willing to climb rocks and steep banks and just let loose! Hope you enjoy these images!

Yates mill park family photos
Yates mill park family photos
Yates mill park family photos
Yates mill park family photos

Goldsboro Homestead Family Session

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.
— Mark twain
LGBTQ family session

Oh my goodness, I can not tell you how much fun I had with these two and their little Cruz this week! They are here from California visiting family and we just had to squeeze in a family session while they were. Jen wanted to use her childhood home in Goldsboro as the backdrop and capture a few memories with Cruz and her beautiful momma. 

I absolutely love it when families are willing to be adventurous with me. We were climbing through thorn bushes and laying down 2x6s to cross creeks and learning about soybean crops all along the shoot. Jen and Erin were all smiles and giggles the whole time and we absolutely had a blast!

We could not get over how gorgeous it was in Goldsboro this time of year. The November air was cool and crisp yet the sun provided that incredible glow through the changing trees. I hope you enjoy a few of these images from our session! 

LGBTQ family session
LGBTQ family session
LGBTQ family session
LGBTQ family session
LGBTQ family session
LGBTQ family session

The Painter Family - Home Session

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.
— Audrey Hepburn
Charlotte Lifestyle Session

These beautiful ones have been dancing in front of my lens for several years now, it's been so amazing watching their little family grow. If Dylan is not just the cutest little thing with her bright smile and bouncy ponytail, I don't know who is. 

Courtney wanted to do a home session this round and I thought that was an awesome idea as they have just moved to Charlotte and bought such a beautiful and well lit home new home! Just like their home in Raleigh, it felt so comfortable when I walked in and it was the perfect setting for a morning filled with giggles.

Backyard Family Photos
Backyard Family Photos

Even though the whole neighborhood is under construction right now, we were able to sneak in some backyard and streetside photos as well. Little Dylan loves to ride her scooter up and down the street. 

Backyard Family Photos
Backyard Family Photos
Backyard Family Photos
Backyard Family Photos

Grandma was visiting, so of course we couldn't resist a few snuggles. 

Home session

Dylan absolutely looooooves her piano and insisted on showing me what she's learned so far! We had so much fun!

Charlotte Family Portraits | The Mayhews

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
Tree Farm family portraits

Somewhere in the middle of rural Carolina lies a magical hidden forest where chipmunks busily prepare for winter, pine needles fall gently to the ground and if you wait patiently and are pure of heart, you'll be greeted by the enchanted fairy princess. 

Ok... so maybe that's not *exactly how it went down, but I feel like I found the childhood equivalent of a speakeasy. You have to drive past it three times, whisper the secret password to the fairy sitting on the mushroom at the entrance and then be transported to a magical land.

When Brentlee said she found a gorgeous tree farm as she was scrolling through Instagram but didn't know the exact location...just somewhere in a little town off a rural road... I could just taste the adventure! I got out to the general area an hour early and just started driving slowly down all the roads, pulling over and checking out areas that looked promising until I saw a tiny hidden sign that looked like it might actually be the place. I was not disappointed. 

After hiking through the brush a few yards it opened up to this incredible dream land and I felt like skipping! (ok maybe I did a little) It was incredible and when I confirmed with them where to find my car we were off on our adventure!

 Thank you so much guys for suggesting this and being willing to hike a little to make it happen!

Tree Farm family portraits
Tree Farm family portraits
Tree Farm family portraits
Tree Farm family portraits
Tree Farm family portraits
Tree Farm family portraits
Tree Farm family portraits
Tree Farm family portraits
Tree Farm family portraits

The Fink-Maddux Family - Raleigh Little Theatre Rose Garden

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
While we try to teach our children all about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about.
— Angela Schwindt
Family Portraits Raleigh Rose Garden

I have grown to love this sweet family so much over the past 2 years. Tiffany and Carlie are two of the most genuine people I've ever met. They are quick to check on how you're doing, patient and willing to adventure most anywhere. Their love for little Remi is so strong you can feel it instantly. 

Remi is growing into such a sweet little princess too, she loves her little ponies and twirling in her dress with her beautiful mommy. She's no stranger to what she wants though. She's more than happy to voice her opinion and see to it that she gets what she wants. She has of course got the perfect life guides to make sure she continues to grow into a strong, independent woman. Such a lucky girl. 

The Rose Garden was absolutely PERFECT this week too! After all of the rain over the weekend the flowers were gorgeous and the greens vibrant. Here's a few favorites from the day! 

Family Portraits Raleigh Rose Garden
Family Portraits Raleigh Rose Garden

Six Month Old Hazel Grace at Pullen Park

Family PortraitsCynthia Viola2 Comments
Just in case you ever foolishly forget; I’m never not thinking of you
— Virginia Woolf
Family Photos at Pullen Park Raleigh

Oh my goodness! I can't believe little Hazel is already six months old! Just last week I was capturing her momma's beautiful belly and yesterday her hospital session! What happened? She is SO beautiful and her little smile just lights up her daddy and momma's faces. I love it. 

Eric and Amber moved to the top of my favorites list when they pulled into our first session driving my dream car.  Yesterday was equally amazing. We talked stats and and painted a very exciting race car driver future (or mechanical engineer of course) for little Hazel. She even already loves her little Minnie Mouse Race Car. SO fun. 

Amber is of course vibrant as ever, they both can't seem to get over the grandness of being parents and said they couldn't really put it into words but it's been the best adventure yet. 

Pullen Park was perfect of course. Cherry blossoms over the lake never disappoint, I'm just blown away that less than 24 hours later they're now all covered in snow! Gotta love North Carolina! Hope you enjoy a few of these favorites!

Family Photos at Pullen Park Raleigh

Mary and Nate Expecting! Dorothea Dix Park

Maternity PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.
— Marilyn Monroe
Maternity Photos at Dorothea Dix Park

Resilient doesn't even begin to describe this beautiful woman and her story. If you have the opportunity to meet her and listen, you should. She and Nate have been waiting for this little one for some time now and we are all so exciting we get to meet him in just a week or two!

A.J. and I were honored to capture Nate and Mary's wedding just 3 years ago now as well as other sessions for Mary in the years prior and we absolutely love her charisma and creativity. You should have seen the details at the wedding! I knew this maternity session was going to be perfect. Little Sterling is going to be the most adventurous and fun little guy imaginable. You should see the tee-pee they've already set up in his room! I would have done all the chores for a year to have a tee-pee in my room growing up! 

And Nate! What an amazing chef! They had us over for dinner two weeks ago and he blew our minds with his creativity (Paleo is not the easiest diet to cook for). He has also done an amazing job getting their new home ready for little Sterling. I simply cannot wait to meet him and see the look on his face when he can comprehend how cool his room is! 

Love you guys! Hope you enjoy a few of these favorites from Dorothea Dix! 

Maternity Photos at Dorothea Dix Park
Maternity Photos at Dorothea Dix Park
Maternity Photos at Dorothea Dix Park
Maternity Photos at Dorothea Dix Park

The Mayhew Family at Jetton Park

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime full of adventures
— Lewis Carroll

Amid all the Christmas festivities happening this week Brentlee, John and Hamptyn were able to get away with me for a sweet family session at Jetton Park. We're all so familiar with each other at this point that we fell right into the rhythm of play, laugh, smile, chase Hamptyn around, play some more, adventure, laugh and smile again. I love it.

Hamptyn has ever been fond of finding shiny new rocks to pick up, but this adventure also included leaves - which brought some of the biggest smiles we've seen yet. It makes me so happy when things we regularly take for granted light up a child with wonder and magic. She was always also just a few steps away from blazing her own trail through the forest with her daddy right on her heels. My favorites are always the ones keen on adventure. Love this little one so much, I hope you enjoy some of my favorites from the day. :)

Family Photos at Jetton Park
Family Photos at Jetton Park
Family Photos at Jetton Park
Family Photos at Jetton Park

Baby Viola!

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder
— E.B. White
Newborn Photography St Augustine FL

It is with all the joy I have that I'm able to share this story and these precious moments with the world! The first Viola grandbaby (and our first nephew) was born this week and we are all simply over the moon in love with him!

After a mournful but beautiful trip to Florida last week for the funeral of A.J.'s beloved grandmother (and another devastated trip just 3 weeks prior due to the destruction of Hurricane Matthew on the Viola Family Restaurant) we were more than a little surprised to get the call late Sunday night that Amber's water broke two weeks early and even more surprised to find that little Anthony graced the world with his presence just a few short hours later. We rushed down and haven't been able to keep ourselves away from him since. 

We might be a little biased, but we all think he is perfect in every way, his tiny little button nose down to his adorable baby toes. He rarely cries and that's only if he's unswaddled, he even sleeps right through all the boisterous Viola jokes and gradual volume increases as everyone talks over each other in classic Italian style. 

Amber and Tony have been so great with him of course, allowing instinct to guide them in knowing how to hold him and change his clothes, what each little sound means and the perfect amount of sway needed to rock him back to sleep.

Mr. and Mrs. V (now affectionately Grandma and Grandpa V) are simply awestruck. They argue over who gets to hold him next and for how long and they just stare at his little face without blinking, unable to get over the grandness of it all. All of us plan to thoroughly spoil him and I can't wait til he's old enough to adventure with me through the woods to find buried treasures or perhaps skydive...you know...just when he's ready ;) 

We're all so proud of you Tony and Amber! We'll be here right beside you the whole way if you need anything and you'll never have need of babysitters, I'm sure of it! Love you!

Flagler Hospital Newborn Photos
Flagler Hospital Newborn Photos

The Viola Boys. Does it get any cuter than this??

Flagler Hospital Newborn Photos
Flagler Hospital Newborn Photos
Flagler Hospital Newborn Photos
Flagler Hospital Newborn Photos
Flagler Hospital Newborn Photos
Flagler Hospital Newborn Photos

Fall Sessions

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future
— Corrie Ten Boom

I don’t typically blog my smaller sessions because I can get the images delivered to my families faster without it, but when you have several in the same weekend it seems reasonable to me to just have a Mini-Party and blog them together! That said, here are some of my favorites:

From Saturday afternoon’s session at Historic Yate’s Mill: The Brown Family

Family Photos at Yates Mill Park

From Sunday morning’s session at Lake Crabtree: The Polin/Hescock Family

Family Photos at Lake Crabtree

And from Sunday afternoon’s session at Pullen Park: The Hutchinsom Family

Family Photos at Pullen Park

The Ritch Family in Downtown Raleigh

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Life is a great big canvas; throw all the paint you can at it
— Danny Kaye

I don’t think I’ve ever had the pleasure of shooting a more creative and adventurous bunch than these three. From casual sessions in parks and back yards to a Pin Up-themed garage session to a colorful event at the NC State Fair, Courtney always keeps me on my toes with her next big idea and I’m always super excited to participate in the fun. 

This year’s theme was winter in the city. They got bundled up in these adorable peacoats and scarves and we played around with some Beatles-esque album covers and sipped hot chocolate while trying to keep our fingers from going numb. Starting at sunrise provided the perfect cold weather to make the peacoats not only comfortable, but essential for warmth. They are ready to welcome the winter season and I’m excited to show some of these fun images! 

Downtown Raleigh Family Photos
Downtown Raleigh Family Photos

The Arthur Family at Durant Nature Park

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
I sustain myself with the love of family
— Maya Angelou
Family Portraits at Durant Nature Park

I feel like I've known the Arthur's and especially Leslie for a decade. They are one of the kindest families you could ever know. Leslie spends her time at Lifepointe Church serving the community in a myriad of ways. She is never without a kind word on her lips and genuinely cares about everyone she serves. 

David tends to deal more in numbers and things I could never understand but it is always for the purpose of serving people and helping in amazing ways. 

Hannah who has always had a shy love of music (even though she is an amazing singer) has also recently discovered a love of cross country. Leslie and David fully support her of course and we're all amazed at what she's accomplished in her first year on the team. 

Their dog Tucker is just the sweetest! We were able to take portraits with him a couple years ago and he is as sweet as ever! I hope you guys enjoy a few of my favorites from the day, I had so much fun!

Family Portraits at Durant Nature Park
Family Portraits at Durant Nature Park
Family Portraits at Durant Nature Park

Carter Turns Two! Seagroves Farm Park

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Seagroves Farm Park Family Session

I don't typically write blogs for mini sessions because I can deliver the images faster without it, but I just couldn't resist, they're just so stinkin cute! Look at little Carter's shoes! 

Carter is a lover of turtles, the kind you can feed at the pond as well as Squirt from Finding Nemo...he might have been the most adorable Squirt on the planet for halloween...just sayin. He is also a lover of people and all animals. He didn't know a single stranger at the park, said hello to every person tried to hug every pup. I might have also melted when I went to give him a high five as we were leaving and he hugged me and gave me a big sloppy kiss on the cheek! The. Best. <3

Hope you guys enjoy a few of these favorites! 

Seagroves Farm Park Family Session

Sloane Turns Two! Pullen Park

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.
— Angela Schwindt
Family Photos at Pullen Park

This morning started off a little crazy as I was traveling to Pullen Park for little Sloane's two year birthday photo session. Apparently the City of Oaks Marathon thought glowy sunrise light was good for race atmosphere. At every turn I was blocked until a nice police officer told me it was not possible to get to Pullen from downtown. Yikes! Fortunately A.J. came to the rescue and was able to reroute me and all was well. 

Before we had even taken our first photo though, we were welcomed by a lone goose who thought it would be fun to follow us around, this was a perfect birthday gift for Sloane who loves animals. She just talked to him and we decided he must be turning two today as well and wanted to participate in the festivities. 

I've had so much fun capturing memories for Kathryn and Thomas for the past six years, they have become part of our family and I'm excited for what the future has in store for them. Hope you enjoy a few of these favorites!  

Family Photos at Pullen Park

You gotta love a little lipstick on the cheek <3

Family Photos at Pullen Park
Pullen Park Family Photos
Pullen Park Family Photos

Jordan and Alex Engaged! Fisher Farm Park - Davidson, NC

Engagement Portraits, Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage
— Lao Tzu
Fisher Farm Park Family Session

These two have loved each other for a very long time, though I think perhaps neither of them knew it until little Joslyn arrived brimming with laughter, whipping out crazy dance moves and belting silly songs at the top of her lungs all while donning an elegant princess dress. 

They were both doing fine on their own with and without each other, but when Joslyn wrapped her little finger around both their hearts, she tied them together in a way that can't be broken. I've never seen the three of them so happy and it gives me great joy that they'll be tying the knot next year. 

Jordan is one of the strongest and bravest women I've ever known. She has faced multiple challenges in the few years I've known her but she's made all the best decisions, conquered her fears and is setting an amazing example of what it means to be a woman to her little Joslyn. I'm so proud of you Jordan, and can't wait to see what this next adventure has in store for you. I know it'll make you even stronger. 

Fisher Farm Park Family Session
Fisher Farm Park Family Session
Fisher Farm Park Family Session
Fisher Farm Park Family Session
Fisher Farm Park Family Session
Fisher Farm Park Family Session

Curiosity and imagination at it's finest. We told her there was a butterfly inside the camera, and if she got really close she could see it...she could :)

Fisher Farm Park Family Session
Fisher Farm Park Family Session

The Buscemi Family at Wallace Wade Stadium

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it.
— Mandy Hale
Family Photos at Wallace Wade Stadium

When Meme said Mike had access to Duke University's Stadium the "yes!" burst out of my mouth faster than I could type it back to her in an email. I've never had the opportunity to shoot in a stadium before, so this was an awesome first experience. As Mike pulled up to greet me in a golf cart, I knew an adventure was about to take place. What I didn't realize was that he had access to Duke Chapel and Duke Gardens as well, so of course we adventured in the golf cart to all three. 

Little James wasn't so sure about everything at first, but ended up having so much fun. What one year old wouldn't want to celebrate in style on Brooks Field?!? We may or may not have found ourselves in one or two places we weren't exactly supposed to be but I won't tell if you won't. ;)

They both said they are looking forward to his next season of being able to walk - which means the adventure is just beginning. Can't wait to see what you'll discover James! Hope you guys enjoy looking through a few of my favorites from the day!

Family Photos at Wallace Wade Stadium
Family Photos at Wallace Wade Stadium
Family Photos at Wallace Wade Stadium
Family Photos at Wallace Wade Stadium

The Guilfoyle Family at MacGregor Downs

Family PortraitsCynthia Viola2 Comments
Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold
— Zelda Fitzgerald
MacGregor Downs Family Session

This day included so much perfection, I can hardly stand it! Kristi and Mike had access to the golf course at MacGregor Downs Country Club and asked about shooting there. I was, of course, ecstatic! Not only because I love shooting in new locations, but LOOK at it! Exquisite golf courses, beautiful landscaping, every spot we chose was perfect. 

The flowers they brought were a fantastic compliment to their beautiful dresses, the weather was amazing and and we were able to play in between holes as various golfers teed off around us. Mike said he has been playing golf for 27 years, it was actually one of the reasons they moved here, so this was an excellent setting for them. 

I actually feel like I've been friends with Kristi since we first started chatting about the shoot a few months ago, she is an amazing encourager and loves Keira and Mike so much. 

Keira was just so much fun right out of the car, we became fast friends and she even gave me a huge hug when we were finished. I melted. Can't wait to hang out with you guys again! I hope you enjoy looking back through these images! 

MacGregor Downs Family Session
MacGregor Downs Family Portraits
MacGregor Downs Family Portraits
MacGregor Downs Family Portraits