Friday Five: February

Categories: Personal.

Another month has come and gone! It’s hard to believe we’re about to get into March but I am definitely excited because the slow season is wrapping up which means a few things; one…I’ve accomplished a lot of great things on the back end of my business during the slower shooting season, and two…engagement sessions, bridals, and weddings are about to be full swing again. I’m so looking forward to it! Here are five things on my mind, and my favorite Instagrams from February.

1. Weather: The weather has been nuts! And I know that anyone who lives any bit further north of me would definitely roll their eyes, because we have not had snow, ice, storms, or any of that business. And really I’ll take whatever as long as we don’t have that crazy ice storm we did last year (and are still cleaning up from). But the temperatures have definitely been crazy and we’ve had more rain than usual. Which is okay, because our pond is looking great!

2. House Update: Things are coming along! Patience is my new middle name…even though I don’t have much of it, I’m learning I need to practice being more patient because Rome wasn’t built in a day. And neither is our house. Right now electrical and plumbing is still going, then we’re moving onto insulation and drywall. Flooring has been ordered (I feel like a hardwood expert by now, so let me know if you have any questions haha!), the kitchen has been designed, bathroom vanities have been ordered, and all kinds of little things have been purchased. Baby steps, always!

3. Birmingham, AL: I got to experience Birmingham for the first time this month when I attended the A Bryan Photo workshop, and that little city won a little bit of me over! It’s such a fun, southern city. Not too big, not too small, an amazing food scene, tons of gorgeous historic homes, wonderful hospitality, and of course the company at the workshop was wonderful. I highly recommend Bryan’s workshop…it was an amazing experience.

4. Bridal Sessions: Bridals are some of my favorite portraits to shoot. It is SO fun getting that extra time to spend with my brides and their mom before the wedding, and I just love seeing them have fun in their dress for the first time, too. The only part that stinks is keeping them secret until after the wedding!

5. Spotify: I love Spotify and only wish that I didn’t live in the boonies and could stream free music constantly. Satellite internet with a data cap sucks. It also means I get a very limited amount of time to watch videos, Skype, or upload huge files. Country girl probs, I guess? But anyways, I love Spotify :)


Published in Charleston Weddings Magazine

Categories: Business & Photography.

Happy Friday! Today I’m excited to share that Willy and Charlotte’s wedding was chosen to be featured in the latest issue of Charleston Weddings Magazine. I love that all of their hard work and dedication to their backyard celebration will inspire many other Lowcountry brides. Ashley and Lisa at Ashley Nicole Events worked really hard to bring their day to life, somehow managing to keep the day together despite heavy rain all morning. Willy and Charlotte were one of my sweetest 2014 couples and I think it really shows in their imagery and the down-to-earth nature of their wedding. You can see Charleston Weddings online feature here.


Camping on the River

Categories: Personal.

Typically we do some kind of fun weekend trip at the beginning of each year, and this year we decided to break our ski-trip mold and camp on the river instead. We picked a weekend in February, prepped our “gear” (or whatever gear camping rookies like us have haha), and got so excited for our little adventure! Last Saturday we packed up our little john boat, hit the Savannah River, picked a sandbar, and camped out…just the 3 of us and the dogs. We had awesome 60 degree temperatures during the day, but of course it got preeeeetty chilly at night! Nonetheless we had a great time fishing, cooking sausage dogs and roasting marshmallows over the fire, and making up a yummy breakfast in the morning. It just goes to show that it doesn’t take much to make really awesome family memories…I know all of us will look back on these pictures one day and remember our very first time roughing it on the river :)


58 Years

Categories: Personal.

On Sunday my wonderful grandparents celebrated 58 years of marriage. Last November, my mom and I (and many friends and family who stepped up to help and be a part of it!) threw them a big party to celebrate their 86th (Grandpop) and 90th (Grandma) birthdays and their upcoming 58th anniversary. They had somewhere between 100 and 150 friends and family come to share in the celebration and show their support, and it was a truly beautiful afternoon all about two people that are loved by so many.

In preparation for this party, my mom pulled out their wedding album and just a few of their wedding photos that were not in storage somewhere. When I went home to Maryland one weekend and got the chance to sit down and go through these images, the photographer in me was in love. My grandparents were married in 1957 and of course weddings were so different from the extravagant events we have now. Believe it or not, most of my grandmothers family wasn’t even at the wedding! The distance was too far and I believe someone was sick and they couldn’t make it. Their ceremony was followed by a simple reception that consisted of mostly just dinner with close friends and family.

One of my favorite images, though, is them leaving their wedding in a car. This is a photo that we still take today, and to know that it is truly classic and beautiful and loved and cherished by grandchildren and those after…it’s so special. We loved that photo so much that we used it on their invitation and on their cake. Enjoy just a few of my favorite of my grandparents classic 1957 wedding photos, and of course two film photos at the end that I took of them just before they left for their party.

February 1, 1957:

November 22, 2014:


The First Look

Categories: Tips for Clients.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a post on the First Look so I figured it was time for an updated post that takes into consideration not only my experience having a first look at my own wedding in 2012, but the years since that I’ve photographed many first looks. And I will tell you that now, I’d re-do literally every. single. part. of my wedding (aside from marrying my husband, of course!), BESIDES having a First Look. Both of us agreed it was one of the best decisions we made :)

First Looks are becoming more and more popular as more couples find that many parts of the “traditional wedding” don’t fit their modern lifestyles. However, some brides and grooms have always envisioned the traditional aisle reveal and are dedicated to preserving that dream since childhood, and that is a wish that I always respect. I tell each couple who wants to know more about a First Look that ultimately this decision is up to them and them alone. It needs to be made together and they both need to be on the same page. But I also think that you can only make good decisions when you are 100% educated on the topic.

The benefits to doing a First Look are countless and can dramatically impact the flow of your day, allowing you to optimize time together, for photos, and with your guests. To see the full list of First Look benefits, continue reading below…

Scheduling – A first look allows a much more relaxed wedding day timeline, giving you the ability to take all of your formal wedding party and family photos pre-ceremony. Instead of corralling everyone during cocktail hour, you can instead spent that time alone soaking in the “just married” feeling, eating dinner, or mingling at cocktail hour.

Privacy & Nerves – Doing a first look is easily one of the quickest ways to settle pre-wedding jitters. Nothing soothes you like being able to wrap up in one anothers arms and take a deep breath together, to tell one another how good you each look, how excited you are, or to be able to laugh, hug, pray, or exchange gifts or letters in private.

More Time Together – A first look affords so much more time together on your wedding day. It really is crazy to think that often times you are spending the majority of your wedding day apart! Sometimes you’re waiting until 4, 5, or even 6 in the evening to finally spend together! And those few minutes at your ceremony are all business. A first look allows you to spend so much more time together, as well as with your wedding party and family.

More Time With Your Guests – Many of your guests have traveled long distances to celebrate with you at your wedding, and a first look (and in turn having all formal photos done pre-ceremony) gives you the ability to spend as much time as possible with them.

More Photos Together – Couples who have a first look typically have 50%, if not more, portraits in their final gallery than a couple who has an aisle reveal. We’re able to not only capture some of the most emotional images of the day, but we can also capitalize on that extra time together for more portraits of just the two of you.

Ideal For Winter Weddings – A first look is the perfect solution for weddings where daylight is limited and it’s most often dark even after a 4pm ceremony.

Being Present – Since you’ve gotten rid of the nerves, had your private moment, relaxed together and with your wedding party and family, you are so very present for your walk down the aisle. You’re making eye contact with not only your guests and family but with your groom. You are in the moment and more than anything, you’re EXCITED. As for the groom, not one single one has ever said he wished they hadn’t done a first look. It simply does not take the gravity of seeing your future wife walk toward you during your marriage ceremony…that is a moment that is uniquely it’s own.

The timeline for a wedding with a first look most often looks similar to:

2:00 – Coverage begins with bridal prep
2:45 – Second shooter with groom for groom prep
3:15 – First Look
4:00 – Wedding party photos
4:30 – Family photos
5:00 – Bride tucked away from early arriving guests
5:30 – Ceremony begins
6:00 – Ceremony ends, cocktail hour begins
6:10 – Any remaining family formals (grandparents or those who could not be present early)
6:20 – Bride and groom join cocktail hour
6:45 – Grand entrance
7:00 – Dinner served
7:30 – 15 minutes of sunset portraits
10:00 – Reception ends