Archive for March, 2014

March 26, 2014

“Just act natural.”  Those words are said over and over again by photographers across the globe in order to capture the perfect moment between two people.
Does it work? Not usually at first — it takes most people awhile to warm up to being photographed and eventually let down their guard, but when that happens — lookout!

Sissy of Simply Beautiful Artistry, is my ‘go to’ girl for bridal makeup and hairstyling, as her talent is amazing.  Typically, it’s Sissy’s work that’s photographed, not her — so it took a little adjustment and some words of encouragement. Near the end of the session, I said the magic words, “Just act natural,” and turned my back to grab another lens. As I turned again to face the couple, I quickly began shooting because they were doing just that — acting as natural and playful as they do each and every day.  Sissy had laughingly grabbed David in a headlock just moments before he swept her off her feet and began twirling her around.  Not content to quietly stand on the sidelines, their son Mason rushed over and joined the fun.  Amid the laughter, Sissy said, “This is the real us, Julia!”

There was not a doubt in my mind.  This was a family who knew how to play, and excelled at the game.

As twilight started fall at The Ivy Place, I pictured a romantic couple silhouette shot against the skyline and prepared for just that. As the pictures began to roll, I caught a short image running from the left toward the couple. I couldn’t help but smile. Mason was only doing what came natural . . . running to join Mom and Dad to complete the family circle.

Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life.


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March 19, 2014

“They are a great reminder. That’s what I love about pictures.” When I talked to Minka about our photo session, this is what she told me, and I find it rings true in so many ways.

Minka, James and I traveled to Landsford Canal State Park for our session, and it was like taking a trip back in time to a long-forgotten era.
Originally called Land’s Ford, the old canal was actually used by boats in the early 1800s, to float up to 50 bales of cotton at a time to the ports of Charleston. Built as a means to avoid the rocky waters of the Catawba River, the canal has now fallen into disuse, the old mill race overgrown with soft moss, the gatekeeper’s bridge a relic of the past.

As we walked through the ancient canal system, it seemed a perfect fitting for this couple who are uniquely in-tuned with each other — the mysteriously dark surroundings of the ancient past only accenting the exotic beauty of their love.


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March 06, 2014

When I think of snow, my mind tends to travel back to the West Virginia winters of my youth — the quiet and calm which suddenly descends like a new world . . . the snow gently falling, cedar trees hanging low, the sight of your breath making vapor clouds in the air. While I truly love our mild winters here in South Carolina, I admit I’m secretly jealous of the photographers who have the opportunity to shoot in the dead of winter, complete with snow-covered trees and the romantic aura of a couple in love and snowflakes gently falling around them. You can only imagine my excitement when I heard an actual snowstorm was headed our way. I quickly called my friend, Elizabeth, to share the news and schedule her and husband Michael for a unique snow-filled photo session on Wednesday evening.

The snow was to arrive on Tuesday night, but by mid-day, the governor had already declared a State of Emergency, as our area of the state was hit by an ice storm prior to the snow. Traffic grinded to a halt, schools and businesses were closed, walking was treacherous, and driving was out of the question. I woke on Wednesday to a weather statement calling for up to six inches of snow for our area. That’s insane! This is South Carolina! I don’t own a snow shovel, and the only salt I have is in the kitchen! By mid-day, just a few hours before our scheduled shoot, the weather turned to blizzard conditions. There was a snow drift nearly two feet high against my garage door.  I was starting to pace the floor. I knew there was no way I could drive to the shoot location, but maybe I could walk there!
In the meantime, Elizabeth and Michael were undaunted by the weather. They prepared to leave the house only to find their car tires were frozen to the ground! The 1/2-inch of ice under all that snow had put a sudden halt to all our great plans. We agreed we’d try again after the weather calmed down, but I was so upset……I just kept seeing that mental picture of Elizabeth and Michael in a snow covered field as the flakes gently drifted down upon them.  But it just wasn’t meant to be.

As the temperatures began to climb the next day, and the snow started to quickly melt.  Elizabeth, Michael and I all rushed to the photo location, while my husband, Andy, stayed home with couple’s baby daughter. We did our best to capture the moments I had envisioned, but my frustration of no ‘falling snow’ was still in the front of my mind as we returned home.

Snuggled in a warm pink, fuzzy jacket, the couples precious daughter greeted us with a big, happy smile.  As I watched her, my frustration diminished completely.  It’s not often you get to see the face of a child when they experience their first snow.  It was like the quiet and calm of a new world had descended upon us and I realized that what we want isn’t always what we get, but then again, what we get is often much better than expected.

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