Archive for September, 2013

September 19, 2013
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It’s not often that we encounter someone whose life is so similar to our own, that it’s nearly like a mirror image.  That was my first thought when I met Lindsey and Steve, and their son, Jackson.
A couple who loves to travel, who is devoted to their son, and most of all, enjoys life to its fullest, finding humor and fun in nearly every situation. I couldn’t help but think of my own family.

Lindsey met Steve over four years ago. Although they worked for the same company, their paths seldom crossed until they were both chosen to attend a conference in Dallas. For Lindsey, it was her first trip by plane, and she was so nervous her knuckles were white holding onto the armrests. Steve, seeing her distress, sat with her through take-off, engaging her in conversation until they reached their destination. After two days in Dallas, the couple became fast friends, and within two months, they were dating.

Following the birth of their son, Jackson, the couple began a new tradition called Sunday Funday, in which they put everything on the back burner to enjoy a day of family togetherness. Regardless of how hectic work schedules may be, the couple is totally devoted to each other and to their son. As Lindsey said, “Steve has a genuine, true love for me and our son. He would move Heaven and Earth if it meant making us happy.”

The couple’s engagement session was held at The Ivy Place in Lancaster, SC, and true to the family’s tendency toward playfulness, Jackson joined in the fun, completing this beautiful family circle.

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September 18, 2013
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The ways of God are mysterious and known only to Him, but occasionally; we are witness to a miracle that can only be attributed to the Almighty.

After several years of disappointments and broken dreams, my friends Michael and Melissa had nearly lost their hope of having another child.  During this time, Michael’s father, Junior, was one of their steadfast allies, always ready to lend a listening ear, and quick with the kind of encouragement only a parent can provide.  Described by Michael as “the greatest Dad a guy could ever have,” Junior was his hero, best friend, and role model in life.

All too soon, Junior passed away in May, 2011, without ever setting eyes on the legacy that would soon be his.  The family was distraught and felt adrift without Junior’s presence.

On what would have been the couple’s 41st anniversary, Junior’s wife, Kathy, wrote, “41 years ago today I married my soul-mate.We grew up together and made many happy memories together. But 74 days ago I lost him and my soul has a hole in it. I miss him so very much and although I know we will be together again, I still don’t know how to live the days until that happens. In my memories you’re smiling and laughing, I will always remember the happy times. Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband. Junior, I will love you forever! A life that touches others will go on forever.”

As the family’s first Christmas without Junior approached, the mood was solemn. The holiday excitement was missing. That is, until Junior’s son and daughter-in-law received a gift  — the news that they were finally expecting.

In August 2012, baby Kayden was born, and it was if the family did a double-take when they looked into her eyes.  For staring back at them was nearly an identical resemblance to Junior’s smiling cheeks and deep-set eyes.

In some Eastern religions, we read of the belief that the soul of deceased person comes back to life in a newborn.  Whether or not this is to be believed, one thing is certain — a beautiful child has a way of helping mend the soul’s wounds – a way of healing the emptiness of that which has been lost.

The truth from Kathy’s words are apparent as you look into the eyes of this beautiful child, “A life that touches others will go on forever.”

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September 12, 2013
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It seems that each wedding I photograph has its own unique qualities – its very own memories.  I can sit and think back about some of my weddings, like the time we had a torrential rainstorm, or the time the entire wedding party was barefoot, or the time the bride’s son escorted her to the altar.  But with all my memories, none are so vivid as the ones from Anna and Jonathan’s wedding. It was at this shoot that I actually got so scared that I didn’t press the shutter button on the camera – I just stood there with a frantic look on my face.  I guess you’re wondering what happened……

The day started out, beautiful as ever. We’d had a gentle drizzle earlier in the day, so the ground was a little soft.  The bride opted to prepare for her wedding at a beautiful, out-of-the-way location called Old McCaskill’s Farm.  As Anna’s wedding gown received it’s finishing touches and her hair was brushed to perfection, she learned the Farm had recently acquired a new addition in the form of an orphaned fawn.  I could see the look on her face, and knew that Anna would soon be viewing the fawn.  What I didn’t expect, was a bottle of milk and the excitement that followed when Anna received permission to feed the fawn.

Dressed in her wedding finery, Anna gracefully knelt down and petted and fed the fawn. Picture perfect, right? I would totally agree — that was until the bottle was empty of milk. The fawn then stood on its hind legs in search of another bottle, and, coming from the country and knowing what fawns can do, I stood frozen, camera at my side – nearly expecting the fawn to climb right up the front of the bride with its muddy little hooves.  I could just envision the French lace veil entangled with the deer and having to run to Anna’s rescue.  It was as if time stopped.  Anna never missed a beat and never got the least bit excited. As she talked to the fawn, it gently lowered its feet to the ground, received a pat on the head, and went on its merry way.  About two minutes later, I think my heart started beating again.

I was finally back on track as we reached the Lake View Baptist Church in Camden, SC, for the wedding ceremony.  It was here I met the rest of the family, and learned about the legacy of Jonathan’s late-grandparents.  A couple that had been so totally in love with one another, they were referred to as a ‘true testament of how true love should be.’ Having passed within six months of one another, the couple had celebrated a long and happy life together. On their 60th wedding anniversary, Jonathan’s Grandaddy gave his wife a beautiful diamond necklace as a lasting tribute to his love and devotion. Unbeknownst to Anna, Jonathan had prepared a letter to accompany his gift to her – his Grandmother’s necklace. Seated on the porch, surrounded by her mother, grandmother and bridesmaids, Anna opened her gift and read the accompanying letter  . . . “You are my heart, my soul, my everything . . .”  There wasn’t a dry eye to be found as Anna finished her letter and held it close to her heart.

And people say that fairytale endings don’t exist. They’ve obviously never met Anna and Jonathan.

 

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Ceremony : Lake View Baptist Church

Reception : TenEleven Galleria

Getting Ready Location : Old McCaskill’s Farm

Videographer : Siegel Films Charleston, SC

Cake : Southern Wisteria

DJ : Audio To Go, Charlotte, NC

Photobooth : InFocus Photobooth, Rock Hill, SC

Bridal Gown : David’s Bridal Melissa Sweet

Bridesmaids Dresses : Target Bridal

Lastly, a very special thank you to Beka with Tirzah Photography for shooting with me!

September 11, 2013
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When one thinks of historic homes of the South, what usually comes to mind is the rambling plantation home with deep porches and avenues of Spanish Moss.  Often forgotten are the myriad of other historic venues which came to life in the Roaring Twenties – a time of ballroom dancing, Art Deco, flappers, and parties that lasted until dawn.

The Henry Hall Wilson House near Charlotte, NC, is one such place, and turned out to be the perfect location for Anna’s Bridal Session.

A true Southern Belle, Anna was a dream to photograph.  And in true Southern style, she was as comfortable in the lavish surroundings of the former Sikes Mansion as she is in the woods with her bow, or on the river with her fishing pole.

I once read that a true Southern Belle possesses both beauty, charm and style, while having a core of strength, intelligence and wit.  I can’t think of a more perfect description for this beautiful bride.

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September 10, 2013
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I met Kim and Joe just two weeks ago, and as good fortune would have it, their engagement session was held at The Ivy Place in Lancaster, SC, a beautiful and historic venue that reminds me so much of home.
From rolling hills and abundant wildflowers to ponds and weathered barns, this farm has seen many couples share their nuptials since it was built in 1850.
In addition to enjoying the love this couple shared with one another, I was amazed at the Tiger Swallowtail butterflies that seemed to follow this couple throughout the photo shoot. It was nearly surreal to see so many butterflies! I couldn’t help but think of a song that took me back to my high school days . . .

All the precious time
Like the wind, the years go by.
Precious butterfly.
Spread your wings and fly.
Butterfly Kisses

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