Archive for 'Just Because'

October 22, 2014

Prior to my recent trip to San Francisco, I connected with Ali & Parker. Little did I know they would lead me to one of the most extraordinary places I’d ever seen…

A gorgeous couple, each with an awesome personality, Ali & Parker are down to earth, fun loving, and above all, madly in love with each other.  We discovered a place about 1-1/2 hours from the city which we felt would be perfect for photos — Point Reyes National Seashore.

A quick online search told me this seashore was “A Natural Sanctuary, A Human Haven — From its thunderous ocean breakers crashing against rocky headlands and expansive sand beaches to its open grasslands, brushy hillsides, and forested ridges, Point Reyes offers visitors over 1500 species of plants and animals to discover. Home to several cultures over thousands of years, the Seashore preserves a tapestry of stories and interactions of people.”  Sounds perfect, right?

The drive to Point Reyes reminded me of the curvy mountain roads back home in West Virginia; however, these California roads were accompanied by steep cliffs which dropped straight into the ocean, minus the guardrails.  The drive itself was truly unbelievable. I have done a great deal of traveling in my life, both in and outside the United States, and I honestly must say this area is one of the most beautiful I’ve seen. I was just captivated by it.

During the drive, I was envisioning a beautiful sunset, golden light, and all the beauty of a West Coast photo. When we arrived, with only an hour to shoot, the location was 100% fog covered. Nothing like I’d envisioned. But as Ali & Parker stepped into the mist, the only word that came to my mind was ‘epic.’ It was one of those instances that a mere photo could never do justice.  It was just the most peaceful and tranquil shoot I’ve done, and the experience will always be with me.

Following the shoot, we drove back along the wild and curvy roads to a cozy little pizzeria for dinner and drinks.  We formed a great friendship, and it was like we’d known each other for years.

Without question, two of my favorite things to do in life is travel and photograph people who are madly in love. Both of these ‘favorites’ were obviously met during this trip.  I’ll be blogging about a few more of my West Coast adventures in the weeks ahead  — hopefully they’ll be the start of many more adventures to come.

To travel is to live ~ Hans Christian Anderson

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August 28, 2014

Two people expressing their love for one another is always special. You can often witness this love at the park, a quiet restaurant, or even at the local grocery store. This time, the love I witnessed was halfway around the world in a quaint little town called Nin.

Nin, located near the Mediterranean Sea, is a fascinating town, rich in history.  The city centre is linked to the mainland by two stone bridges erected in the 16th century, and is within walking distance from the beautiful beaches which abound in this locale. Just imagine the romance that can be found in a place like this! When I travel, I always love meeting and staying with the locals. No Travelocity review can truly allow you to experience cultures the way you can with the locals, and I happened to know the locals perfect for this experience.

I met Tome and Bernarda online, and we quickly became friends. So when I traveled to Zadar it was only natural that we should meet in person.  Our arranged spot was the Old City Centre in Zadar and from there, we traveled to Nin.  A secret spot, known only to the locals, was our destination. We drove a few miles down a road that barely was large enough for a car, which ended at an overlook of the sea with the most amazing sunset.

The entire experience was magical — two people in love, an exotic location, waves crashing below a perfect sunset — it just doesn’t get any better than this!

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous

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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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November 26, 2013

I have many, many things for which I am thankful, and I feel truly blessed for my family and friends. In observance of Thanksgiving, I would like to highlight my appreciation and admiration for an amazing and Godly couple who have made such an impact on so many lives.
I have known Kim and Brad for three years, as they are our Sunday School leaders at First Baptist Church. Wanting to do something special for this couple, to show my love and appreciation, it was in my heart to do to a photo shoot for them. Thankfully, they were receptive to the idea, and jokingly mentioned I needed more “old” people in my portfolio.

Married 33 years, Kim and Brad have been the couple I’ve turned to, day or night, knowing they’d always lend a listening ear and provide encouraging thoughts and prayer. Regardless of life’s calamities, they would provide me with a calming atmosphere, spiritual guidance, and a faith-filled way to approach my dilemma.
When I think of my own marriage 33 years down the road, I can’t help but want it to be like theirs. The happiness, laughter and love they share is undeniably apparent not only in the images I shot, but in their day-to-day life.

When asked the secret to their happy marriage, they both agree that putting God and their faith first is the most important. As Kim explained, “It has been our foundation, strength, and lifeline.”
Next on the list is putting each other first. “It gives me so much joy to see Brad’s happiness,” she further stated.
And last, but not least, is laughter and fun. “We laugh, play and pray together,” said Kim. “And knowing that God brought us together, we do our best to honor Him in our marriage.”

I can’t think of a better recipe for a happy marriage —  especially, when I can see it at work, day after day.  I believe that God puts people in our life to help us grow in love and faith, and I’m ever so thankful He placed Kim and Brad into mine.

Trust in The Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

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November 25, 2013

There’s nothing quite as challenging as shooting photos of another photographer.  Although the same preparation goes into nearly every session, there’s an added mental aspect that can be quite daunting at times.  It’s nearly that same feeling you get when you have to speak before an audience of your peers, when public speaking has never been your forte.
Within minutes after arriving at our destination of Carrigan Farms in Mooresville, NC, everything just fell completely into place the moment I started shooting. When you can visually witness the love a couple has for one another, there’s seldom room for another thought in your mind, except for trying to capture that love to the best of your ability.

Anna and Michael were married November 12, 2012, with a simple, romantic ceremony in the Dominican Republic. For their anniversary, they decided to re-affirm their marriage with photos in their original wedding attire.  What followed was a display of their love that has been going strong for over a year, and appears to getting stronger with each day.  True love at its best.

A part of me will always be you
and a part of you will always be me.
no matter what happens ,that much is certain
our souls are one until life closes the curtain.
~ Silke Wettergren


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Venue: Carrigan Farms

Bouquet: Springvine Designs

Hair and Makeup: Katie – Makeup Your Face

Special thank you to my assistant, Lauren.