This personal project was an amazing experience and something I would love to do for my clients as well. I drew inspiration from age-old portrait photographers, and there is really something special about a one-on-one focus session in a studio setting. I couldn’t be happier with these. When you view each image individually you can see their eyes tell a story, their mood and their personality just shine right through the camera. I am so grateful to be able to connect with others this way, and even that much more grateful that our own children were able to get comfortable in front of my camera. Each session only lasted, maybe 30-minutes, and during that time – even for just a moment – they showed me something about themselves that became timeless.

Eva is my oldest. She is both serious and goofy, head-over-hooves about horses, and really a very reserved child. She was the one who made me a mom, and also the first real subject in front of my camera. She grew up with a skill for posing so it was my greatest delight, as she mixed silly and serious poses for me, that she gave me this moment in time. The only one of it’s kind in her series. A moment and a glimpse of what she is inside, that maybe isn’t what she shows us all on a daily bases. All of us are so incredibly complex, but we may not see anything beyond our perceived identities. That is part of what makes a portrait so very special. If she were to ever question if she is capable of beauty, grace and a free spirit – she can see it was right there inside her all along.

Freckles, eyelashes and a heart of gold. Anyone who knows Troy, knows his heart because he is open and honest and freely shares his heart with others. Those of us that relate to him, know the tinge of sadness that comes along with a big heart. I find it interesting that this eye-lock depth of a portrait was chosen amongst his countless smiles during his session. There is rarely never a smile on his face. But in this moment there was a depth beyond the physical realm and his eyes gave a glimpse into his old, beautiful, soul and on his lips a peace and happiness found in balance.

This one here is a truly special soul and a rare portrait indeed. You see, Nate is autistic. He has Echolalia, where he often communicates by repeating what you say. When I first met him two years ago, he would sometimes use one word sentences and has since progressed by leaps and bounds into 2-3 word sentences and sometimes even a full sentence that sounds like a happy song to us, and brings forth lots of excitement. Any chance to communicate with him is a special delight for us all. He has an amazing sense of humor – I recall him finding Nick’s walking cane recently. He came into the bedroom with a shaky old-man voice saying, “Aaaaaandrea. Whaat are you doooing in heeeere.” Which brought forth so much laughter and fun and encouragement. Another time, while playing run-around-the-kitchen we would call him Crazy Nate (a play on the Crazy Eights game) and he would run in place for a few moments then chase us all around the kitchen. Autism does not come without it’s difficulties, yet we are so blessed to have Nate in our lives. It can be very difficult to engage with an autistic child, to communicate or even look one another in the eyes – so to be able to capture a moment engaged with the camera is something we will cherish for a lifetime.

Naomi is our little beauty and light of our lives. She loves all things girly, ballet and helping others. She may have the oldest soul of us all, is incredibly patient and kind, has a wonderful sense of humor and ever the smile on her face. Though far apart in age, she reminds me so much of Troy as they share a love for others, politeness and empathy. She is also a ham in front of the camera! She loves to pose and say cheese – so to get her more comfortable and relaxed I gave her a little more time to connect. I took her portrait closer in so I could interact with her at ease and she gave us all the sweetest subdued part of her, a light in her eyes and a hint of smile on her lips.

Last, littlest and never the least – our youngest little bright-eyed troublemaker. This one takes after his old man by far, with the same happy-go-lucky attitude towards life. One of the first things everyone notices about Nygel is his big smile and dimples – so this is another portrait that shows a little bit of a different side to him. I can’t help but feel like this is his first headshot for his acting career and I often say Welch’s needs another come back kid. I love how his feet are dangling off of the portrait stool and his sweetness effortlessly engaged with the camera.

Just like our clients, we are so blessed with amazing little mini people. And also blessed to share the gift of portraits with other families. To be a part of a family’s lasting legacy and the memories of our future generations is truly a humbling and rewarding experience.

One-on-One Focus Series

Tuesday, October 2nd


Andrea Halsey is a portrait artist and designer in Greensboro, North Carolina. She has been photographing area families for well over a decade, has achieved multiple photography related awards and was featured on the Dr. Oz show after photographing his family portraits. Raised in the Carolinas, she has a love for beautiful landscapes and family values, with complex inspiration from Mark Twain to Kate Spade.

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©Andrea Halsey

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