Cincinnati Family Photos

I really enjoy photographing senior photos.   Simultaneously, we are paying homage to youth while witnessing witnessing parts of the adult they will become.  It's an exciting time full of transition and change.  Olivia and Kirby left me with a sense of hope and excitement after their session.  They both seem very driven and kind.  The future looks bright through their eyes, I really enjoyed that. 

This is a combination of senior photos and family photos.  Jill, is a wedding industry friend.  Her family runs Village Pantry Catering.  She added time to the girl's session so we could fit the entire family in some of the photos.  It was a gorgeous day at French Park.  I cannot wait until the weather gets nice, so I can visit again. 

Sisterhood

Celebrating 25 years of friendship, wild and free.   When Sara contacted me about a special shoot she wanted to set up with two of her lifelong friends, I was thrilled.  These ladies represent what togetherness feels like,  they represent what real support is.  They are proof that life is just better with good friends by your side.  In a way I am envious of this kind of bond, I can't imagine how special it must feel to know each other so well.  Thank you for the amazing day, ladies.  I am still buzzing from this shoot with you. <3sisterhood_1596sisterhood_1599sisterhood_1600sisterhood_1603sisterhood_1604sisterhood_1605sisterhood_1606sisterhood_1608sisterhood_1609sisterhood_1612sisterhood_1601sisterhood_1611sisterhood_1598sisterhood_1595sisterhood_1610Before we left for the shoot we spent a little time with Sara's daughter Ryman and her aunts.  These are the kind of images I love for.  Memories to last a lifetime.  sisterhood_1593sisterhood_1592sisterhood_1591sisterhood_1590sisterhood_1589

Olivia and Carson's Cincinnati Engagement

Olivia and Carson drove up from Louisville for their engagement session. Olivia is studying architecture so she suggested we meet at the Contemporary Art Center downtown.  The building, designed by Zaha Hadid is a work of art in itself.   We got lucky inside as we stumbled into the Unmuseum where there were two interactive exhibits we spent some time in.  I loved playing with the lights and reflections.  What an inspiring day!  Thank you for the amazing afternoon Olivia and Carson.

cacengagement_1495cacengagement_1496cacengagement_1497cacengagement_1498cacengagement_1499cacengagement_1503cacengagement_1505cacengagement_1507cacengagement_1508After the art center, we headed to one of my favorite parks.  We were lucky to experience some really beautiful light and color. cacengagement_1510cacengagement_1511cacengagement_1512cacengagement_1513cacengagement_1514cacengagement_1515

Welcome to the world little August

If you follow my blog, this family should look very familiar to you.  From their engagement session , their wedding, their maternity session and now as we welcome their sweet little son August into the world,  I am so thrilled and honored to be invited into their lives to share and document these milestones.  Being a new mother made taking newborn photos even more special to me.  I was able to relive and feel their joy on a whole new level.  Seeing the tremendous love they have for their sweet son was so refreshing.  I caught myself tearing up a few times as so many memories of my own son's first days came rushing back to me.   I wanted to tell them over and over to savor every second.  Somehow becoming a parent seems to speed up time.  But I also promised them what everyone has told them, with each new day it gets better and better.  <3fields_newborn_1193fields_newborn_1194fields_newborn_1196fields_newborn_1195fields_newborn_1198fields_newborn_1197fields_newborn_1199fields_newborn_1200fields_newborn_1201fields_newborn_1202fields_newborn_1203fields_newborn_1191fields_newborn_1204fields_newborn_1205

The Fields at the Fair

You remember Kendal and Joe's amazing wedding at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, right?  Well, when the most colorful and fun family I know wants to do a maternity session, of course we have to come up with something awesome.  Kendal and I had the idea of doing some kind of photos at a carnival over a year ago.  When she contacted me about setting up a maternity session we both knew it was time.  We met at the Dearborn County fairgrounds for this super fun session.  I am always grateful for the time I get to spend catching up with this family.  I am excited to watch them grow.

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A Tribute to Love

When I think about my job and the impact it can have on people's lives, I wouldn't be able to do it if I didn't think it had meaning.  People trust me with their most intimate moments and feelings.  They trust me to document them and to be apart of their lives, even if it is only for one day.  I cherish my job, and there isn't a day that goes by that I am not grateful and don't take the responsibility I have been given seriously.  Sure I like to make beautiful  images, but I know that the real impact in my work is in the moments I am able to capture, the feelings I am able to portray, and the precious memories I am able to give every single person who steps in front of my camera.

I have shared Kristen and Sean's story on my blog when I photographed their engagement photos and wedding.  Sean was diagnosed with brain cancer within 2 months of getting engaged to Kristen.  They fought very hard together to keep the cancer from spreading or getting worse.  For a few months, they were very successful.  They bought a house together, had great careers, and enjoyed their fur baby family.

When I got the email from Kristen letting me know Sean wasn't doing well, that his cancer had worsened and that he was given a small window of time, my heart sank.  It wasn't that I was naive that this could happen, it was that I hoped so much that it wouldn't.  They are young and have fought so damn hard.  Kristen told me that Sean asked her if she had enough pictures of the two of them, how thoughtful of him.  Of course Kristen said no and asked if I would come over to snap some casual photos of them together at home.  I was more than happy to do this for them.

When I got to the house I didn't know what to expect.  I was around 7 months pregnant, and I did not want my emotions to get out of control.  It wasn't like that at all.  Sean looked great.  He needed help getting around, but he still had that beautiful, vibrant spirit I was able to see each time I photographed him.  We joked a lot and he smiled so much.  He looked at Kristen with those same loving eyes I had seen the first time I met him.  It was very touching to witness.

Sean passed away December 8, 2015 at his home surrounded by Kristen's love.  He fought so hard, it was very sad to see the news of his passing.  But, I know he is now at peace, and we have to find comfort in that.  I encourage each of you who is reading this blog to take time everyday to appreciate the love in your life, not because it could be gone tomorrow, but because it is here today.  Live in the moment, let your worries fade.  There is no better time than now to accept love, to give love, and to appreciate the life you are given.  We aren't ever sure how how much or how little time we have with the people who mean so much to us.  What you do with it is up to you.  The impact you make on other people's hearts is your legacy.  We need each other to heal and to grow.  My heart has been so heavy for Kristen.  Today, as she says her final goodbyes to her husband, I hope she is surrounded by peace and is able to someday heal from her loss.  She has handled every day with such strength.  She comforted her husband through sickness and health.  The vows she took were sincere.  I admire her greatly.

This is my favorite picture of Sean from that day.  Look at that spirit in his eyes.  He was a very warm, compassionate person. I am happy to have had the chance to get to know him.  love_0778Kristen took time off of work to comfort and take care of Sean.  She slept right beside him every night. love_0791Their sweet family.  love_0795love_0797Sean's best friend Scott was there to help Kristen take care of Sean. love_0799love_0803love_0807love_0809love_0814love_0815love_0817love_0818love_0823love_0824love_0825He absolutely adored her.  And she took such good care of him. love_0826love_0829love_0831love_0832

Emily and Enzo

When Emily contacted me about setting up a session with her and her son, Enzo I was thrilled.  She wanted to capture the love she has for her little man and the special relationship they have.  She and her husband Todd are wonderful parents.  I look up to the way they haven't totally lost themselves in parenting, instead they incorporate Enzo into their activities.  He's such a sweet little boy who is so social and smiling every time I see him.

Now that I am pregnant, I have such a huge appreciation and a new found fondness for motherhood.  Emily has been so amazing answering all of the wacky questions I might have.  She doesn't judge, something I admire greatly in a friend.

I am grateful for the opportunity to give her these special images of her and her little boy. :)

First up, a few Polaroidsmotherandsonportraits_0526 motherandsonportraits_0525 motherandsonportraits_0527 motherandsonportraits_0541motherandsonportraits_0529 motherandsonportraits_0538 motherandsonportraits_0530 motherandsonportraits_0553motherandsonportraits_0551motherandsonportraits_0534 motherandsonportraits_0535 motherandsonportraits_0542motherandsonportraits_0555motherandsonportraits_0556motherandsonportraits_0545 motherandsonportraits_0528

Raven's Senior Portraits

Raven is one of the most creative, kind hearted young spirits I know.  For her senior pictures she wanted to do something different.  She told me she wanted her pictures to be " super trippy,  late 60s dreamy".  My heart could explode when I get these kinds of requests.  I interpret that into trust your gut and make some art.  She was a beautiful muse to create with.  I brought lots os film and all of my magic cameras.  Here are a few of my favorites from the day.  nikitagross_1850nikitagross_1857Raven is amazing with her hoop.  I have been obsessed with the videos she posts on social media.  What a beautiful form of expression!  We had to include it in her pictures. nikitagross_1849I have been experimenting with a lot of different film lately.  I love the look of this one.nikitagross_1853nikitagross_1867nikitagross_1844nikitagross_1864We snuck in a couple of polaroids on Impossible Project film. nikitagross_1880nikitagross_1879nikitagross_1875nikitagross_1874nikitagross_1847nikitagross_1848nikitagross_1877nikitagross_1861nikitagross_1862

Louisville Family Portraits

Are you ready for some serious cuteness?  Chris and I drove down to Louisville this week to take pictures of our friend Cole and his new family.  It was my first time meeting Mary, Cole's wife,  I adored her from the first minute we walked in their home.  She greeted me with a big hug and huge smile.  I felt like I have known her forever.  They showed us one of their favorite spots downtown where we spent some time taking relaxed pictures.  After that Mary's parents cooked an amazing dinner for us.  We got to experience southern hospitality at it's finest.  It was a wonderful day full of so many laughs.  We are very lucky to have such beautiful people in our lives.

Alright, now onto the pictures, because their little guy Max will bring a smile to anyone's face, this little dude is the cutest. nikitagross_1788nikitagross_1782nikitagross_1801nikitagross_1802nikitagross_1803nikitagross_1783nikitagross_1786nikitagross_1784nikitagross_1785nikitagross_1787nikitagross_1804nikitagross_1781nikitagross_1790nikitagross_1805nikitagross_1798nikitagross_1793nikitagross_1792nikitagross_1799nikitagross_1794nikitagross_1795nikitagross_1797nikitagross_1796

Becca and Greg Dallas Texas Portraits

You might remember Becca Greg from their Jackson, Ohio wedding I photographed last year.  Soon after they married they transferred to Dallas, Texas.  I was in Texas last week visiting family, so I caught up with Becca and Greg to do a mini session with their little fur baby Bella.  It was really nice hearing about their new life in Texas.  Im not gonna lie, that weather was nothing to complain about either. 7o and sunny in Feburary, take me back please.dallastexasengagement_1575dallastexasengagement_1576dallastexasengagement_1577dallastexasengagement_1578dallastexasengagement_1579dallastexasengagement_1580dallastexasengagement_1581dallastexasengagement_1582dallastexasengagement_1583dallastexasengagement_1584

Tara's Senior Pictures

What a great day I had hanging out with this beautiful girl!  Tara wanted something unique and fun for her senior portraits.  Anyone who knows me knows I love to hear that, so we ran around Covington chasing light and color.  I love the way these turned out.  Thank you so much for choosing me to be your photographer, Tara.  I can't wait to share the rest with you.seniorportraitscincinnati (7)seniorportraitscincinnatiseniorportraitscincinnati (2)seniorportraitscincinnati (4)seniorportraitscincinnati (8)seniorportraitscincinnati (1)seniorportraitscincinnati (6)seniorportraitscincinnati (9)seniorportraitscincinnati (5)

Fall Portrait Sessions

The energy that comes with fall brings about the best in me.  It is my absolute favorite season for pictures.   I  love the color, the light, and the feeling of change.  I like being too cold for a sweater, but too warm for a coat.  A few days ago I ran around and enjoyed the fall weather with a couple of very sweet families.  It was an absolute blast!fall portraitsfall portraits (1)fall portraits (3)fall portraits (4)fall portraits (5)fall portraits (7)fall portraits (8)fall portraits (9)fall portraits (10)fall portraits (11)fall portraits (12)fall portraits (13)fall portraits (14)fall portraits (18)fall portraits (19)fall portraits (20)fall portraits (21)fall portraits (16)fall portraits (22)fall portraits (23)fall portraits (26)fall portraits (27)fall portraits (29)fall portraits (2)fall portraits (15)fall portraits (24)fall portraits (31)

Racquelle

It's refreshing to meet young people who are working hard to plan what their impact on the world will be.  Racquelle is in her senior year this year and plans to study psychology in college next year.  She has a very sweet demeanor and calmness about her personality.   I am sure whatever career she chooses will be one that benefits people in a meaningful way.  I had a really great time running around downtown with her and her mother who I have known for years.

I just love the way her senior pictures turned out.    cincinnatiseniorportraits_0668cincinnatiseniorportraits_0662cincinnatiseniorportraits_0657cincinnatiseniorportraits_0658cincinnatiseniorportraits_0659cincinnatiseniorportraits_0660cincinnatiseniorportraits_0661cincinnatiseniorportraits_0663cincinnatiseniorportraits_0664cincinnatiseniorportraits_0665cincinnatiseniorportraits_0666cincinnatiseniorportraits_0667

Fall Mini Sessions

Since weekend dates for fall photo sessions are very limited, I have decided to set aside a day for fall mini sessions.  This is a great opportunity for an updated family portrait or headshot.

The session will take place on Saturday October 4 at one of my favorite local parks.  The session will be 20 minutes.  You will get 10-15 edited images available for downloading and printing all for $150.

full_nikitagross_01562014-05-12_0025.jpgbakerfamily005.jpg001 (46)Session times are below.  I will update the times as they are booked.  Please email me for more info and to select your time nikita@nikitagross.com

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Watching the Baker family grow Cincinnati Photographer

There is something so special about being able to watch love blossom and a family grow.  I had my 6th shoot with the Baker family recently.   I can't believe it has been almost 4 years since the wedding.  They are now a family of three.  Their sweet little boy just turned one.  He has so much personality and looks just like his papa.  I am so grateful to them for trusting me to be the one to document all of the precious moments in their lives.   I am looking forward to may more years of creating photos for them. :)

First comes love... bakerfamily001bakerfamily002bakerfamily003bakerfamily004bakerfamily005bakerfamily006

Cincinnati Family Portraits

Today I want to share a special session I recently did on a tree farm in Kentucky.  Bonita and her family were my very first post on this blog back in 2010.  I was thrilled when she contacted me to set up another session.   When we were discussing where to go for the session she mentioned her grandfather's farm in Kentucky where Bonita grew up.  Her grandfather just recently passed away and she thought it would be a beautiful tribute to him.  I was thrilled with her idea.  I met her on the farm and ran around with her and her children for a couple of hours.  It was a very special experience.  He children have so much personality and they adore their momma so much.  They loved exploring the place where she grew up.2014-05-12_0025.jpg 2014-05-12_0029.jpg 2014-05-12_0002.jpg 2014-05-12_0003.jpg 2014-05-12_0004.jpg 2014-05-12_0005.jpg 2014-05-12_0006.jpg 2014-05-12_0012.jpg 2014-05-12_0011.jpg 2014-05-12_0010.jpg 2014-05-12_0007.jpg 2014-05-12_0028.jpg 2014-05-12_0027.jpg

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Bob and Louise 68 years of love

"To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part."

These are the vows many people take everyday.  You find the one person whose life and love fits with your own like a glove.  Entering a marriage, committing yourself to the person you want to spend your life with is a more than a declaration of love, it is a partnership.  You choose to live life as a team.  The beginning of every relationship is so full of excitement and passion.  As a wedding photographer, I am very lucky to be part of this special time in people's lives.  My hope for every couple that I photograph and every couple that I know, is that their love lasts a lifetime, that they can get past the stressful times, the times when they want to give up and remember the vows they took on their wedding day.

Bob is 91 and Louise is 84.   When I walked into their home it was very cozy and comfortable.  I was welcomed with big smiles.  They had 2 boards full of pictures that documented the many years of happiness they have lived together.  They were excited to have me over and to tell me their story and I couldn't have been more grateful to be there.

Louise's family was from Italy and Bob was an American.  They met through family members when they were young, but it wasn't until Bob returned from the Navy and saw Louise again that their relationship began.  They fell in love young.  Like many young couple's at the time, because of their age, they snuck over to Kentucky to elope since Ohio's laws were more strict.  Their life together gave the world  3 children,  who then  had children, who then had children, and now their clan is up to over 50 people strong.  Their love and a marriage is a solid foundation for their children and grandchildren to look up to.  I admire that so much.

The love and partnership these two share is beautiful.  It was nice seeing how they balance things out.  Bob is a retired firefighter.  He is a giver by nature.   He likes to stay busy and fix things, he sews, does yard work, he even cuts Louise's hair.   Bob adores his wife,  I could see it every time he looked at her with admiration.  He still surprises her with gifts, and tells her he loves her every night.  Louise is a strong woman with the most beautiful smile and skin.  She spent her life as a caretaker for her family, but also worked different jobs throughout the years.  I imagine Louise was a fun woman in her youth, someone I would like to hang out with.  She used to go to Vegas every year with her girlfriends.   In all of the pictures they showed me, she was laughing and having a good time.  Once the children were grown they spent a lot of time traveling together.  When I asked them what they liked to do for fun they told me how much they loved to dance and spend time on their boat the named the Bob-O-Lou.  Though they can't dance much anymore, they still play cards every Saturday night and try to get out whenever they can.  Louise has some back problems, but Bob is always right there to help her out.

I am a born romantic, I love love more that anything else in the world.  I was lucky to get this amazing opportunity to spend time with and photograph Bob and Louise, a couple who is celebrating 68 years of love and marriage.  I hope their story inspires you as much as it did me.  Their lust for life is what keeps them young and their love for each other is what keeps them strong.

 

Bob holding a picture of his wife on their boat, The Bob-O-Lou. Louise saw this bear she really liked on T.V.  Bob saw the bear while he was out one day and brought it home to surprise his wife.  What a sweetheart.  Guys,  take a lesson from Bob's book.  After 68 years, he still makes sure his wife knows he is thinking of her.  I always say, it's the little things. Here Bob is telling me the reason he doesn't wear a wedding ring because it got caught while he was working.  

Louise was telling me how Bob showers her in gifts.  Here she is showing me a necklace he got for her. I really liked this part of the day.  Like every couple, Bob and Louise went through some rocky times when they were young.  There was a time when Louise got her own apartment for a short time.  Bob was always over visiting, he couldn't stay away from his love and children,  so their split didn't last long.  In the picture below she was saying "we were like, what are we doing?  It was silly, we wanted to be together, we had our family to take care of. "   She made sure I knew it wasn't always roses,  but they stuck it out through the tough times and they couldn't be happier about the life they have had together.    I would like to thank to my friend, Suzanne for introducing me to her these two beautiful souls.  She is very lucky to call them her grandparents.

Cincinnati Maternity Photos

  I first got to know Casey when we worked on this 70's inspired shoot  a couple of years ago.  We became instant friends.  She is someone I consider to be a muse.  Whenever we get together, ideas start flowing naturally.  She is such a beautiful woman both inside and out.  I am very lucky to have her in my life.  She is going to be a wonderful, loving moma.

When Casey said she wanted me to shoot her maternity session I was very excited.  We had been talking about doing a darker shoot for awhile.  We used this as our opportunity to push ourselves in that direction.   We came up with sexy, dark, powerful, images that I absolutely love.  Casey is a goddess! I can't wait to meet her little peanut.

MUA: Christine Rice, Location: Mainstay Rock Bar,  Shoes:  Jeffrey Campbell, Hat: Miller Hats

Michael

I passed by Michael one day while walking in Eden Park about 4 years ago.  He was in a lawn chair next to his truck carving walking sticks.  I had my camera with me so I asked to take his picture.  The picture sat on my hard drive forever as I got sidetracked with work.  One day I was cleaning out folders and found it.  I ordered  a print in hopes that one day I would be able to give it to him.  Last year, out of the blue I thought about Michael and his picture.  I was on my way to a shoot so I cruised by Michael's "spot" in the park and sure enough, he was there.  I stopped nervously to give him the photo.  I handed it to him, let him know when I took it and was on my way.  As I drove away I realized I hadn't even told him my name.  I felt so rude, so I drove back by to properly introduce myself.  When I walked up to his truck, which he was now sitting in, my heart melted.  On his lap he had the picture I had taken and another from over 30 years ago.  He was looking at both with a huge smile on his face.  He told me how much he loved his picture and that his children would love it too.  We talked for awhile and he showed me some of his sticks and how how makes them.  They are beautiful pieces of art.  I am so happy I went back and got to see his excitement and learn more about him, of course I bought one of his sticks.  Since I had my camera with me, I asked to take another picture.  Hopefully now that the weather is nice I can catch him again to give him a new print.

This was the one I took 4 years ago.

Here is Michael last year.I think Michael takes baths in the fountain of youth.  These are the two he was looking at when I pulled up. Michael making his sticks. 

New Website!

It had been way too long since I had last updated my website.  I have been in the process of rebuilding for years now.  I would work on it for a few months then get busy and neglect it again.  The company I used for my old website was great, but I needed something a little more user friendly when it comes to updates.  A friend of mine turned me onto Squarespace.  Once I started playing around with it, I knew I found my new platform.  It is very easy to navigate and to update which is key for me.  I feel like I am a pretty good photographer, but when it comes to web design I need things to be simple.  I also need to throw a shout out to GoDaddy.  I have been with them since I bought my first domain.  Their customer service is out of this world.  The representative sat on the phone with me for over an hour explaining SEO and other foreign web lingo to me.  Im telling you, I am web illiterate, I feel like I have a basic understanding now. They also made the transition to a new site so easy.

  With my new site I decided to have sections for all of my work, not just weddings.  I have debated with myself over and over about having a seperate art site.  Lately a lot of my wedding clients are mentioning some of the more artistic shoots I have done when discussing what they want for their wedding.  I absolutely love that.  I decided that all of my work represents me and my aesthetic, so why not just put it all out there.

 I added an inspiration blog to my site called The Daily Dose.  It is my little place on the web where I can share what inspires me.  It's like a my virtual scrapbook.  I hope you are able to find it inspiring as well. :) I am still using this blog to share all of the awesome weddings and photo sessions  I shoot.

My new site still has the same web address as my old one www.nikitagrossphotography.com.  I promise to update it often, so please stop by and say hello!