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Michaela Ristaino Photography
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delightful whimsy, inherent joy, delicious authenticity
delightful whimsy, inherent joy, delicious authenticity

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MEET LILA | SARASOTA TWEEN PHOTOGRAPHER | CARY NC

GO AHEAD, DARLING….DANCE…
AND DON’T YOU MIND WHAT THEY DO.
FOR THEY ONLY STARE BECAUSE THEY WISH THEY COULD HEAR THE MUSIC TOO.

We blink. And the once awkward little girl has transformed into quiet grace and beauty right before our eyes. There is something about this metamorphosis that can take your breath away in an instant. How honored I was to spend this day with Lila. To see and capture this tween and the dichotomy between graceful beauty and playful silliness. Sarasota Tween Photographer.

Lila’s mom is one of my dearest friends, so when we planned our yearly girl’s weekend with a visit to Cary, NC, a photoshoot with Lila was a must. Our first stop was the Cary Ballet Conservatory where Lila is a student. This budding ballerina was just accepted into the Carolina Ballet Summer Intensive Program! Congratulations Lila!

After our morning at the Ballet Conservatory, it was off to downtown Cary, for some fun outdoor shots. Lila was a trooper and it was amazing to see her shine. The passion she has for ballet and dance is palpable. I will be keeping an eye on this dynamic young lady. She has potential and drive to go far, and I’m sure she will.

#sarasotatweenphotographer #sarasotaportraits #sarasotatweenpictures #sarasotaheadshotphotographer #michaelaristainophotography
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MEET HOLLAND | CLASS OF 2018 | BURNS COURT SENIOR PORTRAITS

Holland is a high school senior in Portland OR, so how did she end up in Sarasota’s Burns Court for her Senior Portraits? She was here in Sarasota visiting her good friend Marguerite. Marguerite is the special girl behind Bag Up the Love, so it’s no surprise that Holland is also an amazing, dynamic, fun-loving teen with a heart for service. We got to hang out a few weeks ago in Sarasota’s historic Burns Court where it was approximately eleventy-jillion degrees in the shade. Holland was a trooper and continued to look gorgeous and fresh as a daisy despite the heat!

http://ristainophotography.com/burns-court-senior-portraits/

#sarasotaseniorportraits #burnscourtseniorportraits #sarasotaseniorphotographer #bestsarasotaportraits #michaelaristainophotography #ristainophotography
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“The tiny seed knew that in order to grow, it needed to be dropped in dirt, covered in darkness, and struggle to reach the light.”  –Sandra Kring

With a shy smile, Elisa stepped out of the car into the already steamy Florida morning. This is Florida in the summertime, and there is no respite from the humid and sticky air, even at this early hour. Sun streaked through the giant oaks laced with Spanish moss and we were ready. Ready to celebrate this strong and brave little girl. Ready to tell her story of survival and perseverance. Elisa stayed close by her mother and her Nonna’s side, understandably a little nervous. So, before diving in, we chatted. We talked about books and silly bath time games and how she loves to skip and spin. This is six. These are the things a six year old should be worrying about. Now we were ready. Her smile transformed from shy to shining, and we were off. A sweet photoshoot for an ordinary sweet six year old.

Elisa loves making bread and pasta.
Elisa loves making inventions out of scotch tape, string, and a box!
Elisa loves swimming and walking along the “mura”…the walls surrounding the villages in Italy.
She loves to dance. She loves to travel.
She loves and adores her Nonna.
Elisa loves life….as she says, “I like La Dolce Vita!”

But Elisa is no ordinary six year old.

http://ristainophotography.com/elisa-is-beauty-revived-sarasota-child-photography/

#sarasotachildphotography #sarasotafamilyphotography #beautyrevived #ristainophotography #michaelaristainophotography
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It takes a village. This old African proverb could not ring more true than for this modern day Brady Bunch family. When John first contacted me about doing a family session for him and his kids, I admit to being a tiny bit surprised when he mentioned that his former wife, her husband, and his two kids would be joining us as well. But you guys. Everyone could take a lesson from this family. First and foremost is the love. It’s palpable and obvious. Next is the laughter. It was so much fun hanging out with this gang on a Sunday morning.

We met in Sarasota’s Historic Burns Court and explored this cool neighborhood while snapping some pics of this awesome family. With it’s colorful storefronts and a cool orange building, we managed to get some great Sarasota family photos before we melted from the heat. Thanks for hanging out with me, guys! I loved our time together.

Kudos to John, Cara, and Stephen…the parenting dream team. You guys are doing it right.

http://ristainophotography.com/sarasota-family-photos/

#sarasotafamilyphotos #sarasotaburnscourt #sarasotafamilyphotography #ristainophotography #michaelaristainophotography
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MAKE A WISH | TWO YEARS LATER | SARASOTA TWEEN PHOTOGRAPHY

Dear Lola,

Two years ago today I was a bundle of nerves getting everything ready for your big Beauty Revived day. I picked up a trunkful of cards and gifts sent from around the world, confirmed that the salon was ready for you, and went over and over my plans for the day to make sure everything would be just perfect. And perfect it was. What a magical day we had.

http://ristainophotography.com/sarasota-tween-photography/

#OperationLoveLola #BeautyRevived #WhateverLolaWants #sarasotatweenphotography #sarasotaportraits #sarasotaphotographer #sarasotatweenphotogrepher #ristainophotography #michaelaristainophotography
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MEET MEGAN | DSHA CLASS OF 2018 | WAUKESHA SENIOR PHOTO SESSION

There is just something so comforting about going home. It’s been SIX years since we moved away from Wisconsin, but it will always be home. The air is sweeter and I can just breathe.
So, when I met Megan last December while I was home for Christmas, it was so fun to hear about her adventures in theatre. Even more exciting was learning that she would soon be a senior at my alma mater, Divine Savior Holy Angels High School in Milwaukee. Megan is a part of the elite show choir, the Angelaires. Believe me when I tell you that this ensemble has a rich and famed legacy. It had already risen to this status when I auditioned 30 (ahem) years ago. Being an Angelaire was a huge part of my high school experience. Having this shared experience (albeit 30 years apart) made me adore Megan even more. When she asked me if I would be in Wisconsin at all to do her Senior Photo Session, I jumped at the chance!

THERE IS NOTHING BETTER THAN SUMMER IN THE MIDWEST.

Am I right? After a long winter, there is nothing like the vibrant greens and blue skies of summer in Wisconsin. Megan wanted her senior portraits done in a grassy field showcasing Wisconsin in all her summer glory. We settled on the beautiful Retzer Nature Center in Waukesha and it fit the bill perfectly. Take a look…I think you will agree.

#ristainophotography #sarasotaseniorphotos #sarasotaseniorpictures #sarasotaseniorphotography #sarasotaseniorportraits


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SARASOTA PHILLIPPI ESTATE PARK FAMILY SESSION

I loved meeting this awesome family a few weeks ago at Phillippi Estate Park in Sarasota where we knocked out photos for the whole family, senior portraits for Jackson, and a few business headshots for Erin. Whew. And wouldn’t you know, it was the ONE day in months that mother nature decided a little rain was in order. But she held out and we were able to get some great images around the park. phillippi estate park family session

Many people ask me “What should we wear?” My best piece of advice is to think in terms of coordinating and complementing. Gone are the days of white polo shirts and blue jeans. No one wants to see matchy-matchy, or worse end up on that Funny Family Photos website. Erin did a great job of coordinating her family in shades of yellows and blues. Perfectly coordinated and complementary, not matchy. To read more tips on what to wear, head on over here see what I have to say about your interior decor and how it can lend a hand in your outfit coordination!

#ristainophotography #sarasotafamilypictures #sarasotafamilyphotography

http://ristainophotography.com/phillippi-estate-park-family-session/
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What if you could bottle up every last bit of your daughter’s childhood and tuck it away to remember forever?
Time is a funny thing. It just keeps pressing forward whether we want it to or not.

These little humans continue to morph and change right before our eyes. One day they are toddling around like little drunken sailors and the next, they’ve transformed into beautiful young women.

But there are glimpses, are there not? Glimpses of that little girl that still shine through…in the crinkle of her nose, and the giggle she can’t contain. So when Heather asked me to capture this transformative time in Abigail’s life. I emphatically said YES! And what an amazing human she is….I’m so excited for you to meet her.

#bestsarasotaportraits #Sarasotaportraitphotography #sarasotatweenphotography #sarasotateenportraits #sarasotachildphotography #ristainophotography #michaelaristaino

http://ristainophotography.com/sarasota-tween-portrait/
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Horse? Dog? Lizard? (ahem, excuse me. DRAGON.) Check, check, and check!

Whenever someone asks if we can do a photo session with their animal, the answer is always a resounding YES!

So, here we are and YES, I absolutely love it when clients ask to include their sweet fur balls in their session. Animals are magical, aren’t they? They make us laugh and make us love. They sneak into
our hearts and set up shop and there they stay. And aren’t we better because of is? So, I guess it’s settled. I should add a new title to my specialities:

MICHAELA RISTAINO PHOTOGRAPHY – SARASOTA PET PHOTOGRAPHER


#sarasotapetphotography #sarasotapets #sarasotapetphotographer #ristainophotography #michaelaristainophotography

http://ristainophotography.com/sarasota-pet-photographer/
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A girl and her horse | Old Myakka Farm Photoshoot

Cathy-and-Ben-Sarasota-horse-pet-photography-Michaela-Ristaino-Photography_0006.jpgWhen your new friend invites you to come out to Old Myakka and do a photoshoot with her and her horse and her sweet pup? You say YES! And when she offers to take you on a horseback ride? You say, ABSOLUTELY

My fun day with Cathy, Ben & Bozeman is up on the blog!

http://ristainophotography.com/old-myakka-farm-photoshoot/

#ristainophotography #sarasotapetphotography #sarasotahorsephotography #sarasotaportraits #bestsarasotaportraits #horses #farmlife
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