Archive for 'Adventure'

March 21, 2017

Have you ever had one of those remote spots that just mean the world to you? And even more so when you’re with the one you love?
Kiawah Island is that spot for Katie & Nick. After hearing their love for Kiawah and talking with Katie on the phone about her desire to have a shoot there we just had to make it happen. Thankfully the stars aligned and we were able to do just that.
Kiawah, part of the chain of barrier islands off the coast of Charleston, SC, has a long and often romantic past ranging from the Kiawah Indian tribes and rumors of buried pirate gold, to the world class vacation resort of today.
Anxious to begin our journey, we first visited the famous Angel Oak Tree (which turns out you need a permit to shoot there, so don’t try it!) They were kind enough to allow us one quick photo which thankfully turned out to be pretty perfect. We then headed further into Kiawah and I quickly realized why this place meant so much to them….gorgeous beaches, marshes, forest and wildlife in an unspoiled natural setting. It was truly paradise!
We ended at a Mingo Point, a Lowcountry favorite which overlooks the marshes of the Kiawah River, which Katie claimed had a gorgeous sunset —  and certainly didn’t disappoint!
This love branches out like an oak tree. Reach for the sky and roots to the sea. ~ Unknown

June 17, 2015

Katie and Ben were married a few short weeks ago, and were eagerly looking forward to a jaunt across Europe on their honeymoon.  While their wedding had been steeped in tradition, they opted to take a step out of the ordinary and embark on a high altitude Adventure Session prior to boarding the plane to the ancestral lands of their forefathers.

The three of us left the humid 80+ degree temperatures of the city and traveled to Pisgah National Forest along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Amid the winding roadways and deep forests, the weather took an abrupt change as the heat dissipated and wind chill plummeted to the 40s.

Our first destination was Looking Glass Falls, where even in the summer, the water feels icy cold and the spray from the 60-foot falls quickly numb your fingers and toes — especially if you’re adorned in a wedding gown. From there, we traveled to Black Balsam Knob with its 70-mile vistas.

Amazingly enough, the trees begin to disappear the higher you climb. And when you reach the 6,200 feet, the Knob envelopes you in an alpine atmosphere akin to that found in Europe. It was a spectacular view, only made better by the loving couple standing on the summit.

As we left this enchanted area, we talked about the upcoming honeymoon and the places the couple wished to visit. With Katie’s mother’s ancestors from Italy and her father’s from Croatia, she said it had always been her dream to visit those faraway lands. And with an endearing smile, she looked at her husband and said, “Ben made my dream come true.”

And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. — Kahlil Gibran

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Hair & Makeup by the incredibly talented Lindsey Regan Thorne.

April 21, 2015

In life’s travels, many of us will eventually come across an isolated place in nature that speaks to our heart.  We are the lucky ones — to be touched by nature’s glory, as we stand in awe of a vista that surrounds us in beauty and serenity.
Thank you, Savannah and Jaymin, for traveling with me along this memorable journey.  A journey in which the waterfall reminds us to be free in our lives and our love.

I want my life to be a mountain stream that rushes down wild flowered slopes through pine glades into green valleys, I do not want culverts to contain my force or cement to channel my flow, nothing to break my life’s course with roots, stones and sand.  ~ Lowell McMullin

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March 25, 2015

As time passes along, more oftentimes than not, we tend to forget those little romantic moments from our youth.  I can no longer remember the face of the boy who gave me my first Valentine, nor the one who passed me my first love letter in grade school. I’m certain, at the time, these were major events in my life. But as I grew older, the major events from my youth turned into minor ones and ultimately became forgotten.
I’m guessing the main reason for this, is that I found my true love while in college, and everything else seemed to diminish in comparison.

For Katie and Miles, the story is just the opposite. While in the 7th grade at Laurens Academy, Katie looked out the window as the ‘new boy’ from Beaufort, SC, and his parents toured the middle school campus.  Unbeknownst to Katie, Miles, aka the ‘new boy’ spotted her in the window and told his Dad, “I’m going to date that girl.”

The two remained friends throughout middle and high school, and nearly all the memories of their youth include each other.  As friends often do, the two went their separate ways after high school, Miles to Anderson University and Katie to the University of South Carolina. But even with the distance, the two remained close — incidentally, both their families were also avid Gamecock fans.

After graduation, the couple finally began dating. Nearly a lifetime of friendship culminated itself last fall, as the two excitedly planned to attend College Game Day. As they neared The Horseshoe, they could hear the sounds of crowd and the “Mighty Sound of the Southeast” band — excitement was at a peak.  Suddenly, with the sound of Sandstorm in the background, Miles wraps his arms around Katie, whispers “I love you,” and drops to one knee to propose.

Nearly six months later, Katie, Miles and I planned an adventure to Hunting Island State Park . None of us had ever been there and the drive in was seriously enchanting. Unfortunately, our session fell on an extremely chilly and windy day, but you would have never known in the images that sweet Katie had lost all feeling in her toes and was covered in goosebumps nearly the entire time.  But love has a way of diminishing those things you know . . .

I thank my Lord above for placing Miles in my life and allowing me the joy of soaking up every last bit of him and of our lives together, forever — Katie

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February 12, 2015

One of the many highlights of 2014 was attending the “Every Wedding is an Adventure” Workshop hosted by the incredibly talented Ed Peers and Nirav Patel.

I discovered these artists just weeks prior to their workshop and knew that I had to attend this adventure in San Francisco, California. I had never been out west before, as the bulk of our vacation each year is spent abroad. I truly didn’t know what I was missing!

To have the opportunity to learn from such incredible artists was a life and business changing experience. We hiked in the beautiful Mount Tamalpais State Park for Magda & Mark‘s session. As the sun began to set, I just had to stop and take it all in. I was surrounded by complete tranquility and peace.  Just thinking about it as I write this, still brings that same feeling of inspiration.

Special thanks to Magda and Mark from Mark Trela Photography for being awesome models as well as workshop attendees.


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December 31, 2014

So….when you’re in a faraway location, you have no friends or family close by, and you’re about to embark on yet another photo adventure to a place you’ve never seen, sometimes the fastest way to acclimate yourself is with an internet search of the location. In other words, try to blend in with the locals. This session was at Muir Beach, near Mill Valley, CA, and promised to be a dramatically romantic setting.  It also promised to be a little daring, given the ‘Tips’ I found on the website. Just my kind of session!

There I met my couple, Lib and Magnus, who are true Californians in every since of the word — in-love, carefree, adventurous and totally captivating.

Just before our short session, I was staring in wonderment at the scenes before me. They were utterly gorgeous — crashing waves, high cliffs, winds blowing from the coastal waters — it was like a dream world.  I tried to keep in mind the ‘Tips’ I had read on the website:
Tip #1 – “The site is scenic but windy.”
Tip #2 –  “Avoid the Overlook Trail if you’re afraid of heights.”
Tip #3 – “Cliffs along the coast are isolated and very dangerous.”
Tip #4 – “Use caution. There are no lifeguards.”

I gave the ‘Tips’ no more than a fleeting thought as we headed to the water, then scaled the cliffs for the perfect picture.  More than ever, I could feel my surroundings as the beauty captivated my soul.  I was in my element — a destination shoot, a trip into the unknown, and an adventure that keeps me yearning for more.

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” ~ Susan Sontag


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December 11, 2014

Wedding Photography can have so many facets. From the Engagement through the Wedding itself, it’s a whirlwind of sessions, and many times the stress involved for a couple can be nearly overwhelming.
Typically, many couples are forced to choose a wedding venue based on the size of their guest list and the many accommodations needed for a large wedding party, thus their dreamy idea of an isolated mountaintop are cast aside for the more practical locations.

For Jennifer and Neil , they opted to fulfill their dream with a Day After Session in the wilds of Boone, North Carolina.
We had actually attempted scheduling the shoot several times, but had to delay each time because of snow in the mountains.  Finally, with the temperatures barely reaching 50 degrees, we traveled the Blue Ridge Parkway in search of a ridge we had only ever read about.

We were dressed for hiking, and in addition to all the camera gear, we were also carrying all the required wedding attire. You can only imagine the looks we received along the trail that day. After a lengthy hike, which included crossing over downed trees, we reached a spot that could double as a dressing room of sorts. Walking several yards off the trail, Neil and I held a sheet behind which Jennifer changed into her wedding gown. The process was repeated as Neil donned his tux.

We continued with our hike, albeit much slower.  If we thought people were staring before, it was nothing like the looks this couple were now receiving from the other hikers along trail. They were sudden celebrities and hikers stopped to talk, and wish them congratulations on their wedding.  Here we were, miles from civilization on a windy mountaintop. It was just surreal.  Both the couple and myself felt the amazing peacefulness of our surroundings envelope us.  It was honestly one of the most amazing moments I’ve had as a photographer.  I could easily picture shooting an elopement from this scenic spot — it was inspiring and captivating to say the least.

Once the sun began to ebb, the shadows suddenly fell over the mountains, leaving us chilled and ready for the trek back down the trail. Using our flashlight apps, we navigated our way down the mountain and back into civilization.  But for a short while, we were at the top of creation in our own world. A world filled with dreams and inspiration. A world in which Jennifer and Neil will now travel together as husband and wife.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

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Hair and Makeup by the amazing Lindsey Regan Thorne of Be Pretty.

Bouquet by Toni Brown Designs.