Posts Tagged 'Destination Wedding Photographer'

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

October 02, 2015

It was nearly a year ago that I found myself surrounded by the beauty of high cliffs and crashing waves as I traveled to California for the Engagement Session of Lib and Magnus.
Fast forward to the present, via American Airlines, and I was making a return trip to the West Coast for their wedding of a lifetime.  Being a photographer at weddings both small and large, I must admit I’ve never seen anything like this. It was amazing to say the least. In fact, the word amazing doesn’t even come close.
Amidst a backdrop of the Mayacamas Mountain Range, the wedding was held at the Chalk Hill Estate in Healdsburg.  This estate is home not only to the award winning Chalk Hill Winery, but to a vast array of their culinary artistry as well.

For a wedding of this magnitude, only the best of planners could arrange everything down to the minute detail.  Enter the incredibly talented Kelly McLeskey Dolata of A Savvy Event, who managed each intricate facet with effortless ease.

With Lib being a California girl with friends on the East Coast, and Magnus hailing from New Zealand, the guest list was like a worldwide celebration as friends and family traveled from across the globe to celebrate this momentous occasion. The bride, who was truly radiant and calm amid the whirl of activity, put everyone at ease with her gracefulness.  I can only imagine this is what it would be like to witness the wedding of a Princess.

While photographing the couple’s portraits later in the afternoon, we were absolutely shocked to look in the sky above them and see heart-shaped clouds. Unbeknownst to the bride and groom, it appeared that even the Heavens had sent their own salutations and best wishes for their marriage.

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” ~ Genesis 2:18

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The Incredible Team :

Venue –
A Savvy Event –
Videographer – Paperweight Films
Caterer – Pascaline Fine Catering
Florist – Loop Floral –
Hair and Makeup – Whimsy

Very special thank you to my second shooter Marilyn Diaz with Marilyn Days Photography.


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.

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 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.

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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June 23, 2014

Many of you may remember Leah and Kyle’s unique and colorful Engagement Session at the South Carolina State Fair which was featured in Carolina Bride and on Something Turquoise. Needless to say, their wedding was as equally beautiful and fun.

The weather, which is naturally unpredictable in the Asheville mountains, was of course…unpredictable! They shared their First Look in the vineyards of Burntshirt while the thunder rolled in the background with darkening skies and the smell of rain on the horizon. Interestingly enough, the rain was never a topic. Dating for nearly four years and getting to know this couple and the love they share, a downpour truly wouldn’t have hindered their spirits or mood. To witness a First Look is truly a remarkable experience, with Leah and Kyle’s being no exception. The tears, emotion, excitement and complete adoration that they share was so apparent and something I truly love about this couple. As the wind picked up and thunder grew louder, we decided to cut our time short and head back in only to have a torrential downpour start moments following us seeking shelter!

The ceremony was held at the beautiful and rustic Biltmore United Methodist Church in downtown Asheville and the reception continued through the night at Burntshirt Vineyards. At the close of the evening I looked out towards the vineyards and the fog was just so intense! Knowing this couple, their love for photography and trust in me, I said, “So, there’s this amazing fog outside…..” and without evening finishing Leah says, “Let’s go!”

So, to Leah and Kyle…..Thank you for entrusting me to tell your story and signing up for any and all crazy ideas I may have put forth. You two are forever so very special to me and it was truly an honor getting to know you and your family and being there to witness and document the unique and amazing love you share.

“There are few things in life more beautiful than a couple in love and a marriage in full bloom.” – Fawn Weaver

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Vendor Love

Getting Ready Location – Groom | Mountain Inn and Suites
Gown From | Hayden Olivia in Charlotte, NC
Gown Designer | Modern Trosseau
Hair | Tiffany Lynn with Salon Twelve26
Makeup | Leah Shores – i.e. The Bride!
Bridesmaids Dresses | Renz on Etsy
Groom | J.Crew
Groomsmen | Men’s Warehouse
And last but certainly not least, a very special thank you to my amazing Second Shooter | Hayley Watson with Lovely and Light. 
May 03, 2014

Family and friends aside, I absolutely love couples and traveling.  So when the opportunity recently presented itself to combine all of these together, I couldn’t have been happier.

Amy and Jeff are getting married in November at The Garden Cafe in York, SC, and knowing of their love for the beach, I let them know I would be at Hilton Head if they were interested in an engagement session at that location. Even with their hectic schedules and demanding jobs, they jumped at the chance for a quick weekend get-away.

There are few things in the world that are never tiring to me, regardless of how many times I’ve seen them — sunrise and sunset. The beauty and warmth captivate me, and never fail to leave me in awe.
The sunrise for our 6:45am session was no exception. Meeting on the beach, we started right to work. Aside from a few runners and an older couple picking up seashells, the beach was nearly vacant at that time.

The love and adoration Amy and Jeff show towards one another is simply effortless. You could immediately tell these two are certainly happiest when they’re together.

We ended our session at Harbour Town which was unparalleled in beauty, with the ocean and the yachts.

Prior to our Engagement Session,  I asked the couple what they really love most about each other. Amy said, “Jeff always wants every day that we’re together to be special.”
I think this day would certainly fall under that heading.

If you want to know how much I love you,count the waves.  ~ Anonymous

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