Cynthia Viola Photography

Raleigh Little Theatre Rose Garden

Rose Garden Family Portraits | Rafidi Family

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
We do not remember days, we remember moments
— Cesare Pavese
family of 4 at the raleigh rose garden

Engagement, wedding, maternity, and now two kiddos and 5 years later these two are still deeply in love and crazy about their incredible girls. We had plenty of time to catch up as little Grace led us around The Raleigh Rose Garden seeking the best rose and the coolest hiding places.

Johnny said his favorite thing about two girls is that they really love each other. Next, Hannah asked Grace who her best friend was and without hesitation she said Zoe. Apparently they love to fall asleep next to each other and wake up giggling. I love that SO much! Siblings are the very best!

The garden was of course, still beautiful, with or without the fall sunshine, still vibrant and filled with flowers! I hope you guys enjoy a few of these images from this afternoon!

1 year old
3 year old exploring
family of 4 at the raleigh rose garden

Anniversaries Bring Meaning to the Ordinary

Anniversary PortraitsCynthia Viola2 Comments
The best thing to hold onto in life is each other
— Audrey Hepburn
first wedding anniversary photo shoot

I love anniversaries. (Birthdays and New Years as well) They remind us how far we have come. 

It's incredibly easy to get lost in the hubbub of life: to buy a house, get a promotion, make some babies, finish school. All of it is wonderful and fills our days with direction and our future with dreams. But I believe it's the moments we stop to take a look around that give our life meaning. 

It's great to fall in love and get married, but if you never stop to look each other in the eye, breathe each other in and savor the passing moments, you'll find yourself looking back over the past 25 or 50 years wondering how you got there. 100 nights of Netflix and Chill is fun, but it'll never replace 100 seconds of looking each other in the eye and saying "I love you, thank you for giving me the past year of your life. Let's do it again."

first wedding anniversary photo shoot

The same can be said of anything I suppose. If you don't stop to savor moments with your children at every age they'll be 30 before you know it and you'll wonder where the time went. Sunday afternoons at your parents house become a chore to check of your 'to do' list if you're running 100mph. But if you stop to listen to one of their stories, or capture of photo of them holding hands while they walk out onto the porch, the moment lasts forever and you don't have to wonder when they got so old, and why you weren't there to see it.

I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to capture a few of these "pauses" between engagement sessions, weddings, anniversaries, births and other celebrations. Witnessing others savor the moments of their lives is a constant reminder for me to do the same. 

first wedding anniversary photo shoot

Rose Garden Wedding | Amy and Jay

Wedding PhotographyCynthia ViolaComment
When all the work is done, by the light of a setting sun;
We see what we’ve become — two of the lucky ones.
— The Droge & Summers Blend
Raleigh Little Theatre Rose Garden Wedding

When Amy and Jay told me their reception was going to be held at Big Boss Brewing company, I knew we were going to be a great fit. These two are so comfortable to be around and were easy going about all the details, they were a dream to work with. 

The Raleigh Little Theatre Rose Garden was, of course, a perfect backdrop for their ceremony and all day long, Amy and Jay's friends cheered them on and surrounded them with love. It is very clear that their love for the other people in their lives is deeply reciprocated by their friends.

Julie, their wedding coordinator, was so perfect for this group. She's super focused on details, which is vital, but more importantly, her genuine love of people and easy going nature meant no one felt rushed all day. 

Big Boss was amazing: laid back and well suited for any schnanigans  that would inevitably ensue with this fun bunch. In fact, a few minutes after we were safely tucked inside the reception the skies opened up and a torrential downpour started. It fell so hard and fast that Big Boss started flooding inside and AJ, Julie, Brendan and all the groomsmen promptly started pushing water off the dance floor before it got to our or the DJ's equipment. Before long bridesmaids and guests were dancing in the puddles and the party continued without missing a beat. Nothing was going to stop this crew from having a good time!  

Hope you enjoy a few of these favorites from the day!

Big Boss Brewing Wedding
Big Boss Brewing Wedding
Big Boss Brewing Wedding


The Vendors who made the day possible:

Photography: Cynthia & A.J. Viola

Coordinator: Julie Morrissey

Ceremony Venue: The Raleigh Little Theatre Rose Garden

Reception Venue: Big Boss Brewing Co.

Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Centro

Bride's Dress: Revelry

Hair Stylist: Annie at Mark Christopher Salon

Florist: Jeanette Flaherty

Officiant: Lance Olson

DJ: Save the Date Music: DJ Gino

Catering: Clyde Cooper's BBQ

Cake Baker: Marsha Townsend

Doughnuts: Krispy Kreme

Chairs: Dee Jay's Event Rentals

Party Bus: James Ray Transportation

The couple offered save rides through Lyft for all their guests. 



Raleigh Rose Garden | Elin Turns One!

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Remember you’re the one who can fill the world with sunshine
— Snow White
First Birthday Cake Smash

I remember meeting these cuties when Sweet Elin was still in her mommy's tummy. They were so excited to welcome her into the world and she has made quite an impact already! She is full of smiles and loves music and birthday cake! (so does big brother Everett) ;)

The Rose Garden was absolutely perfect last night for Elin's birthday cake debut and she did not disappoint! Her favorite part might have been knocking it over, but had a blast and gave us lots of great smiles as she bathed in icing. Hope you enjoy a few of these favorites from the night!

Smitley Family Portraits at Raleigh Little Theatre Rose Garden

Family PortraitsCynthia Viola2 Comments
When love is a habit, joy is a reflex.
— Bob Goff
Raleigh Little Theatre Rose Garden Family Photos

Our roots go so deep with this sweet family. We met Marsha when we first moved to Raleigh and were looking for ways to serve the community. She was running the Language Arts program for Neighbor to Neighbor at the time and we were overwhelmed by what she and the rest of the team were doing for kids who were behind in school. We started mentoring right away and haven't looked back since. When Marsha's path led her toward the mothers of the children being mentored to PostScript Outreach, she's such an incredible gift to the community and Craig has been supporting her the entire time. He is a quiet force, filled with love for his family and ready to serve.

A.J. and I did pre-marital counseling with Justin and Kimberly and absolutely loved getting to know them and Adam and Alison through the wedding and other activities. Now that Silas and Quinn have come along they've got everyone wrapped around their little finger...especially their grandparents...just look at those smiles! Hope you enjoy a few images from our little adventure! 

Raleigh Little Theatre Rose Garden Family Photos
Raleigh Little Theatre Rose Garden Family Photos
Raleigh Little Theatre Rose Garden Family Photos
Raleigh Little Theatre Rose Garden Family Photos
Raleigh Little Theatre Rose Garden Family Photos
Raleigh Little Theatre Rose Garden Family Photos
Raleigh Little Theatre Rose Garden Family Photos

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

The Errato Family at Raleigh Little Theatre Rose Garden

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Raleigh Little Theatre Rose Garden Family Session

A.J. and I have a special relationship with Maureen and Nick as we were able to guide them through pre-marital counseling a few years ago when A.J. officiated their wedding. We thought they were perfect for each other then and we think they are perfect for each other now. While their lives are immensely complicated, between acting and modeling with no less than six children to love; they are never without huge smiles on their faces and words of encouragement on their lips.

I was blown away when I piled them into their first photo and it went from happy chaos to eight instant smiles. Then it happened again and again. These cute kiddos are well prepped for a future in the biz if they want it. 

Today also happened to be Maureen's birthday! I can't imagine a better birthday plan than a photoshoot, a meal together and seeing 'Fantastic Beasts.' (Therefore we chose to do exactly the same was amazing in case you were wondering) ;)

I hope you enjoy a few of these favorites from the day! 

Raleigh Little Theatre Rose Garden Family Session
Raleigh Little Theatre Rose Garden Family Session

Alana Rolesville High School class of 2017

Senior PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment

I usually know a little something about my models before I walk into a session because they find me through Facebook and I can view their pages. Sometimes they were recommended by a friend and the friend tells me a little something, but today felt a little like a blind date. 

Walking into a venue I'd never shot before, I of course arrived early to make a plan and was blown away by the beautiful colors the Raleigh Little Theatre Rose Garden had to offer this time of year. I wrongly assumed the flowers would be gone but they were gorgeous and the trees were breathtaking. It made the perfect backdrop for this beauty. 

Alana is an athlete at Rolesville High, playing softball, basketball and volleyball with a focus in softball and loves the community and friendships that have formed from it. She's planning a few trips with all her friends before she begins college in the fall. Alana tried to tell me she'd never modeled before, but she was such a natural, I hardly believer her ;)

Her whole family actually came with her for the session which made my day because I got to sneak a few photos of all of them and got to see them interact together. I love a family that's comfortable experiencing all the big life events as well as the little ones side by side. You can tell they have a great relationship. I hope you enjoy viewing a few of these favorites from the day!

Rolesville High Senior Portraits
Raleigh Little Theatre Rose Garden