Cynthia Viola Photography

Pullen Park

Pullen Park Family Photo Session | Veraolivero Family

Family Portraits, Senior PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Not everyone is meant to make a difference. But for me, the choice to lead an ordinary life is no longer an option.
— Peter Parker

Considering Alex sported a Spider Man graphic tee at the end of the session, I figured a Peter Parker quote would be acceptable. ;) 

Senior Session at Pullen Park

I had a blast with these guys last night! Alex is graduating this year so this was technically a senior session, but it's so much better when the whole family is involved! Having Joey tease him in the background and asking him questions about crushes and his future brought out his natural modeling skills. Then Joey stepped in showing they were BOTH naturals! Love it! 

Elizabeth and Roscari were no different, everyone came prepared to have a great time and there was plenty of joy to go around. The weather at Pullen Park was amazing allowing us to walk all over the park, and Elizabeth was the hero of the day walking the entire park and climbing hills and train tracks in her heels! She kept skewering a few leaves which always made the boys laugh, we had so much fun! Here's a few images from the day!

lgbtq family photos
Pullen Park Senior Session
Pullen Park Senior Session
Senior portraits pullen park
lgbtq family photos
Pullen park senior session
Pullen Park Senior Session
lgbtq family photos

Pullen Park Anniversary Session | Caity and Al

Anniversary PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies
— Aristotle
Maternity Photos

I was SO excited to catch up with Caity and Al this morning at Pullen Park! They've had such a busy year building a new home and getting ready to welcome a new little into the world! It seems like just last week we were walking around Eno River for their engagements and yesterday downtown for their beautiful wedding. Cannot believe it's been a whole year!

There's just something about anniversary sessions though. At an engagement shoot you're nervous and excited. You're not real sure about making out in a public park, but you're head over heels for each other so you do it anyway. Then the wedding day comes and you're just as excited but there's a timeline to be mindful of and guests you haven't seen in years to greet and it all goes by so fast you barely noticed you even had a few moments to spend together. Then there's an anniversary session. 

At this point you've just spent the last year doing life together. Some things were amazing, some things went wrong and you worked though it and on the other side you have a better understanding of each other, and your love is deeper. So it's at this point behind the lens that you can just breathe each other in, savor the last incredible year and enjoy each others continued presence in your life. Thanks for a great session today guys! So excited for this next season and can't wait to come back up in January to meet little Dylan!

Anniversary Photos
Maternity Photos
Anniversary Photos
Maternity Photos
Anniversary Photos
Anniversary Photos

When you have the opportunity to really consider all you've been through, it can be overwhelming. Caity had me all teary eyed behind the lens! I just love these guys. 

Maternity Photos
Anniversary Photos
Anniversary Photos

The Kovach Family at Pullen Park

Family Portraits, Maternity PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a Ride!’
— Hunter S. Thompson
Pullen Park Family Session

Leslie and Caleb are a couple I will forever adore. They have always known how to get the most out of life and find laughter in all the small things. I think my favorite thing about them though, is how they're teaching their girls to look at life the same way. To not fret the small stuff, to climb on things just to see if you can, to apologize when you screw up, and to dance your way down every street. Since they were one of our very first weddings I feel like we've grown up together a bit. Nearly ten years later they've got two gorgeous girls who are just as playful and adventurous as their parents and a little man on the way who's sure to be the same. 

Pullen Park was so gorgeous last night and these two beauties reminded me to let go. To run through the field with arms outstretched ready to catch any beautiful thing that falls into them...or myself if I hit the ground instead. ;) They are fearless like their parents and everything I hope to be when I grow up. I am SO glad we were able to squeeze in a session before we head to Florida tomorrow. I feel like I have new wind in my sails and am ready to tackle this next adventure head on. Love you guys!!

Pullen Park Family Session
Pullen Park Family Session
Pullen Park Family Session
Pullen Park Family Session
Pullen Park Family Session
Pullen Park Family Session

Pullen Park Engagement | Anna and Anthony

Engagement PortraitsCynthia Viola2 Comments
Once in awhile, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale
— Anonymous
Engagement session Raleigh NC

You guys I am so in love with these two cuties! Oh my goodness. Anna and Anthony are two of the SWEETEST people you will ever meet! They met at NC State while studying accounting and are generally a little quiet I would say, but you get them talking about how much they love each other and their dreams for the future together - they light right up. Would you just look at these smiles! 

Engagement session Raleigh NC

Seriously though...

When you've found the one your heart loves it really doesn't matter what you do, so long as you're together. These two totally rocked their engagement session and I am ecstatic about their River Ridge wedding this October! We had to postpone a couple times due to rain but Pullen Park was just perfect this time, and we're hoping all that previous rain was to ensure it won't be raining in October ;)

Thank you Anna and Anthony! I had so much fun adventuring with you, totally worth the wait!! 

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

A Wedding Proposal at Pullen Park!

Engagement PortraitsCynthia Viola6 Comments
When you meet the one who changes the way your heart beats, dance with them to that rhythm for as long as the song lasts
— Kirk Dietrich
Wedding Proposal at Pullen Park

Ok. So. You know I love weddings. You know I love engagement sessions. But oh my goodness! I LOOVVVVEEE secret proposals where I get to plan and scheme with several people in on the secret and then hide in the bushes while it all plays out perfectly!!

When Matthew called me to see if this was something I'd be interested in I jumped at the thought, rearranging other things I'd had planned for the day and calling Damien to make sure he could video.  Matthew had arranged for his friend Trey to fly in from Atlanta to play the saxophone in the middle of Pullen Park while they were walking around and as they got closer to him he would switch songs to "You Are So Beautiful" and Matthew would pop the question. Damien and I would of course be capturing every moment from the bushes. 

Hollie was ecstatic! They were just supposed to be up here on a Valentine's getaway weekend and she had NO idea. It was amazing. As Damien, Trey and I ran around the area trying to get everything set up several people started asking what was going on and when I told them, THEY got excited and by the time Matthew and Hollie came around the corner there was a whole crowd of people waiting in anticipation for the moment and when she said, "Yes!" everyone erupted in applause! AMAZING!

Ok, without further ado, here's a few of my favorites from the big moment! 

Hollie's family was hiding in the bushes as well and came running to congratulate them. She was SO sweet with her dad, I almost couldn't see to shoot through the tears! I know I'm going to just be a hot mess during the father daughter dance at their wedding!

Wedding Proposal Pullen Park
Wedding Proposal at Pullen Park

They both have purity rings and hers fits so perfectly with the new engagement ring. So sweet. I'm so glad we had some blooming trees to work with, the day was perfect in every way.

Wedding Proposal at Pullen Park
Wedding Proposal at Pullen Park
Wedding Proposal at Pullen Park

The West Family Expecting! Pullen Park

Family Portraits, Maternity PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
We do not remember days, we remember moments
— Cesare Pavese

I have never had so much fun learning the gender of a new baby! Oh my goodness this joyful bunch could not be more surprised to find out that they're about to have a new little lady to brighten their lives even further. 

When Ivy said she wanted to reveal with a big box of balloons I was so happy! I love love love how children interact with balloons so I just knew Porter and Mary Elizabeth would be delighted. 

Mary Elizabeth was convinced they were going to be blue which made the rest of us think they would be too so we were all a little surprised at first then super excited! I can't wait to meet her you guys! You all have such great personalities, I know she'll fit right in and be so so loved and protected.   

Gender reveal pullen park

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

Tony and Amber EXPECTING! Raleigh, N.C.

Maternity PortraitsCynthia Viola2 Comments
Family is not an important thing, it’s everything
— Michael J. Fox
Pullen Park Maternity Session

With Hurricane Matthew headed toward the coastline last week, we were more than a little worried for our family. All of A.J.'s immediate family and several extended family live in or near St. Augustine, FL where the storm surge was expected to be several feet. They had to evacuate to new locations twice because it kept getting worse, and while we are MORE than grateful no one was hurt, the family restaurant took a huge hit and they've been scrambling to make repairs ever since. 

It was difficult for them the leave the chaos, but they had already planned a quick baby-moon up to the mountains of NC (and Raleigh to visit us of course). Everyone encouraged them to get away from it all for a minute to rest and make sure there wasn't any unnecessary stress on the baby. We are, of course, so glad they did. 

Amber is absolutely glowing right now in her 7month glory and I've never seen Tony so happy. They are going to make the very best of parents and we are going to spoil the little guy SO much! Cannot wait to meet him you guys! Here's a few of my favorites from Pullen Park see you in January!

Pullen Park Maternity Session
Pullen Park Maternity Session
Pullen Park Maternity Session
Pullen Park Maternity Session

Have you ever seen two people SO excited to be parents?!?! Gah! I love you both so much! Can't wait!!

Pullen Park Maternity Session

Bubbles Open a World of Possibility

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Too much of a good thing can be wonderful
— Mae West

Can I just say how much I love bubbles? On a photo adventure with a child, I can safely say, bubbles make the session better every time. 

There's just something about the dream-like state it puts a child in that opens them up to the possibilities in the space we're in, opens them to laughter, opens their eyes bright toward the sky. If you're ever wondering if you should grab a bottle for your session, you should. :)

Leaves. Leaves are also acceptable flying dream makers. 

And balloons. :)

If only we could easily retain that ability to be moved by dreams as we grow. May your day be filled with beauty and your future with bright dreams. Maybe pop open a bottle of bubbles (or bubbly if you prefer) and see if it helps you see the world a little differently today. :)

Why Sunrise is the Perfect time for Portraits

Engagement Portraits, Maternity Portraits, Bridal Portraits, Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them
— William Arthur Ward

All of these images have one thing in common: brisk morning air and gorgeous glow from the sun. Location, time of year, type of session and outfits are all secondary. The light is what matters. Every time. 

If given the choice, I will always choose 7am to meet for a session. (followed closely by sunset, but I find it harder to pinpoint the start time because you're racing the dark). 

I know. I know. It's not easy to get up extra extra early, and when you have kiddos to wrangle or otherwise uncooperative adults, it can be difficult. I promise though... get to bed a little earlier and just make it happen. You'll get dreamy images every time.  

Lucy Anne's First Birthday at Pullen Park

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of Love.
— Mother Teresa

Before offering suggestions of places to capture our photography adventures, I like to ask my couples and families if there is any location that holds value to them that might make the session that much more meaningful. I just love that Pullen Park is dear to the Wetmores because Paul's grandpa took him there to ride the train as a child. (Don't you just love that the park is still a vital and thriving part of our park community??) 

We've now captured their gorgeous little Lucy Anne here while she was in the womb, after her christening, and today for her first birthday. It makes me so happy that she will grow up playing in such a beautiful park. 

It's a little bittersweet to post these images today; it's been so sweet having the privilege to capture her 5 times in the last year and I'm sad to see the year come to an end. Haley and Paul you've done such an amazing job so far. Both of you are never without a smile on your face and that shines through in her little face as well. If she learns nothing else, I believe she'll always know how to find the joy in life. What a beautiful gift. I cannot wait to hear about all the adventures you'll take her on. 

In the meantime, enjoy reliving this precious early sunrise in the park with your little munchkin. :)

When the world gives you a hard time Lucy Anne, you just throw this sass at it, I promise it'll back down. :)

When the world gives you a hard time Lucy Anne, you just throw this sass at it, I promise it'll back down. :)