Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Chosen Few: Jackie & Corey

Jackie & Corey are the poster children for the tagline "Laughter is the best medicine." Being high school sweethearts, the longevity of their relationship has brought them to that place where their comfort with each other comes with such ease that they move as one unit and orbit around each other in their own perfect solar system with very little effort. Every bit of their beings is quite obviously vested in the other and it's both sweet and utterly refreshing. Simply put, love like that makes my job easy.

Jackie & Corey know how to laugh. And they do it well. And considering they spend months and months and months (and months!!) away from each other as Corey continues his military training on the West Coast while Jackie continues life here in Virginia Beach, their laughter has served as the binding glue and perfect medicine to the distance that I am sure is a constant challenge.

I am beyond thrilled to be working with them and can't wait for their wedding. It is sure to be a memorable day for everyone involved. With love and gratitude,

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013


“She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes...”
― George Gordon Byron

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Major shout out to Somer at The Studio for her amazing new space! It is truly a thing of beauty and I can't wait to shoot there again! And love to Sarah of Sarah Street Photography. It was fun playing with you, gal!

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Chosen Few: Christina & Kyle

I didn't think Christina could possibly look more beautiful than the day we took her bridal portraits. I was wrong.

On her wedding day, she looked absolutely stunning. After over a year of planning and dreaming and more planning and more dreaming, and even a PowerPoint presentation thrown in there (she swears it only took her 5 minutes), I was so excited to be a part of her big day. Kyle is a good man and he loves her in a special way. He holds a warm place in my heart in part because he was a total trooper who agreed to model for Orchestrated Stylized Shoots' Forevergreen event just so that Christina could enjoy being beautified and doted on, and not many men jump at that chance. But it's pretty clear to anyone in this solar system that Kyle isn't "many men" and will go above and beyond to do anything for Christina and only has eyes for her.

Kyle & Christina are the poster children for why a First Look can be key to capturing all of those moments you imagine when you think of your wedding day. It was about a bazillion degrees out and the sun was blazing. Planning for a First Look allowed us to scope out the lay of the land beforehand (at the beautiful Nansemond River Golf Club!) and identify the perfect shady spot for their special moment. A perfect shady spot that we wouldn't have had time to escape to after the ceremony. We were able to sneak away, take some quiet moments just the two of them and capture those images that I know they'll come back to for years to come.

Although I confess to getting all giddy when we snapped this one in between family pictures as we rounded up the next group. WIN! :)

Kyle & Christina, you don't need me to wish you many years of love and laughter. I know without a shadow of a doubt that they are yours already. I thank you for giving me the opportunity to know you both, share in your life and I can't wait to see you at the boys' birthday party, Christina (and mama Valerie!!)! Love, love, love a million times over to you and your family.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Chosen Few: Adrianna & Nick

Adrianna and Nick are a young, fun couple that just radiate good times and general all-around happy. Toss that with a good dose of humor and sarcasm (and maybe a little devilish prankster), and you've pretty much got my perfect client. I'm so thrilled to include them in my 2013 family and can't wait for their August wedding at The Chamberlin.

I require a portrait session for all of my wedding clients so that we have an opportunity to get to know each other better, practice a bit and develop our approach. I ask them to consider what makes them unique as a couple and how we might tell their story. And then I force them to make a Pinterest board. Ha. No, seriously, I do. Can we just say a collective "Thank God for Pinterest!!" here? "THANK YOU TINY BABY JESUS FOR PINTEREST!!!!!" The reason I push for this particular piece of the creative puzzle is that it helps me to visually understand my client's hearts. It gives me insight to their daydreams, unique style and unexpressed desires when it comes to envisioning their wedding day. Let's be honest, sometimes answering the question "How would you describe your personal style?" is beyond impossible. And...sometimes what we think it is verbally, it isn't visually. Thus, Pinterest is the bridge across the communication chasm that can exist between our mouths and our hearts.

Clearly, Adrianna and Nick were looking to have a good time. And he is, well, obsessed, with soccer. So...we decided to head to York County Sports Complex and hit up the soccer fields. Before we got to the down and dirty practice time, we used the woods at the edge of the fields for some fancier shots.

And then we played soccer. Or pretended to...ha. In the blazing heat.

And then, we took out the water bottles to cool down.


And I should have seen this coming...AFTER.

And thus, the water fight was born.

Adrianna and Nick, I can't wait for your big day! You are one special couple and looking through your images, I am warmed by how genuine and deliriously happy you are together. You make what I do especially fun. And for that, I thank you!!

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See more images from their session, leave them some guest book love and order prints here:

Monday, June 3, 2013

Bridal Portraits: All Your Own

For a good long while, bridal portraits weren't something that came up often in conversation with my clients and if they did or I suggested them, they were usually casually brushed off or simply overlooked with non-interest. There was some sort of stigma attached that purposed them as a dated cliche of the past, old photographs hanging on old walls in old houses, something only your grandma wants.

And then female portraiture made a resurgence, with artists like Somer Anne with her Modern Femme series, and with renewed classic and elegant boudoir making a comeback, we found ourselves appreciating the opportunity to celebrate our own beauty as females and approach bridal sessions from a more personal, romantic angle instead of from a lackluster stock image perspective. And so I found myself with a lot more opportunities to photograph brides in this especially creative way. And I love it.

A bridal portrait session serves a couple of purposes for me. In its simplest form, it provides me a body of work that relieves some pressure from the wedding day portraits, but most importantly, it provides me with some quality one-on-one time with my brides (and in this case, her bestie and her mama - yay for helpers willing to lug props, hold reflectors and be all around awesome in their assistance!). We get to know each other a bit more, laugh and joke, amp up their confidence with some good, ole' fashioned practice on how to be photographed and get comfortable in front of the camera. It's really just a lot of fun. No rush of a wedding timeline to fluster or shortchange our creative efforts, lots of sun, chit chat and general good times just relaxing and celebrating beauty.

The only bad thing? I get to be totally inspired at these sessions, walking away creatively juiced up and lovin' my clients even more than I did before...and then I get to sit on the photos and not share a single one until after the wedding day. It's pure torture.

Christina was no exception. She's beautiful in that easy, breezy kind of way that just makes me smile, because she has no idea how insanely gorgeous she is and those are my very favorite kind of people. She loves to laugh, she's fiercely loyal and she's got some feisty running thick in that spirit of hers.

As I write this, I get to think of how amazing her wedding day will be. But as you read this, she is now officially a Mrs. and I know she's entering into the very best years of her life. Congratulations, pretty girl. I love you!

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Makeup: Kristine Marie Makeup Artistry
Hair: Kristen Snider
Dress: Jim Hjelm Blush from Pure English

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