Posts in Elopement Photography
Ireland Day 1 (and Only): Leave it to the Universe

We didn’t talk much on our walk. The single track trail commands visitors’ silence both because of the treacherous footing and the single-file necessity. This seemed nature’s design as I became much more aware of my surroundings as I simultaneously became lost in my own daydreams. Something about Ireland (and Scotland, too) send my already active imagination into fantasy hyperdrive.

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Photo Album || Keya + Eric's Engagement + Elopement Weekend

My goal was to make the two separate photoshoots blend together into one cohesive story about their lovely weekend, although we only spend about 5 hours total with them. As we ended our engagement shoot (see the full post here) with the most beautiful summer sunset leaving our couple in awe, I decided to set the scene with this opening photo of our Blue Ridge Mountains bathed in color. Photos-wise, from there I moved forward chronologically, ending our first day’s image showing Keya and Eric walking into the distance, alluding to their walk towards their future as husband and wife.

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Sultry Black and Gold Styled Wedding || Asheville Social Hall

Melissa of Cakes by Gray reached out to me to photograph a new cake flavor for her - grapefruit and black pepper (it was delicious!) - as we decided that instead of simply sticking with the original in-studio photos that we’d first planned, we would also put together a little styled shoot. Why not, right? To coordinate with the sensual flavors, Melissa created this stunning black pastry masterpiece accented with gold and thus we had our theme. Design inspiration can come from anywhere, even the wedding cake. To round out our design team, Melissa brought in vendors all local to Asheville to help us create this moody styled elopement in the brand new Asheville Social Hall Space.

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Phoenix, Arizona: Friends All Around the World

I spent the majority of my second day in Arizona hanging out with amazing women. That’s really my biggest takeaway from this trip - just how many incredible women there are out there and how lucky I am to be building my own community of them all across the country. Particularly as all of these women are themselves traveling around the world, creating our own global tribe.

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2019 Goals: Dream Big

After everything I learned last year (read more here), I realized that it’s the “helping others” part that I want to focus on most in the coming year(s). This is the first year that my goals will look quite different than they did in the past; traditionally mine have read something like: “more weddings”, “more family photoshoots”, etc. Not that there was anything wrong with that approach, I did need to augment my bookings for my business to be sustainable. However, its the experiences I’m creating through those photoshoots that I want to focus on most.

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2018 Reflection: The Building Year

I like to use the changing of the calendar year as a start- and end-point to evaluate my metrics and to reevaluate my goals. This is the first time that I ended the year with a very different sense of achievement than I began: I entered hoping to bolster my bookings and set my goals accordingly. But I ended having learned the true “why” behind my drive to do each of these types of photoshoots. In essence, my work has become not just about the end product (typically a storybook photo album) but the entire experience of the session, and by extension an enjoyment of life.

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Dry Falls Waterfall Elopement || Brianna + Nick

The first, and one of my favorite couple’s photos to date, is the backlit series from directly under the falls. I got wet, the bride and groom got wet, my camera got wet, but it was totally worth it. Initially, we had an umbrella to keep their hair safe from the now pouring rain, but the umbrella was all but forgotten as they kissed, sharing a romantic moment under the waterfall completely to themselves (hooray for telephotos!)

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Travel Prints || New York City Film Photography

There is no "capturing" New York City. Just when you think you've photographed each juxtaposing facet - wealthy and destitute, historic and modern, stoic and vivacious - you realize you've only documented the city from one lens, one perspective, and it would take years to delve into each borough with each of its own microcosms of cultures. So, on my 2 trips to NYC earlier this year (where I stayed mostly in Brooklyn and Manhattan), I didn't set out to try to capture the heart of the city. Instead, I wanted to document my own experience of it. This meant not going out of my way for a photo, rather clicking the shutter just whenever I saw something I personally found interesting.

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Travel Prints || Ireland Film Photos

I would be remiss in sharing my travel adventures if I didn't share my film photos, too. Especially because they're often my favorite travel images. I only started shooting 35mm while abroad for my trip to Ireland in December, although I did try on both my Paris and Scotland/Iceland trips in 2016 (but my film camera was in my suitcase that never made it for either trip!) When I brought some 7 or so rolls of film with me to Ireland, I was still a bit of a timid shooter because I didn't want to waste any film, so I wasn't quite sure I'd run through all of it. But, once I started clicking, I couldn't stop. 

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Pisgah Inn Elopement || June 9, 2018

When Keya found me on Instagram last year, she and Eric were planning a small family ceremony at Pisgah Inn with 20 or so people. Fate and some family health issues intervened, but their parents didn't want the two lovebirds to wait any longer. So, as planned, Emmaleigh, Erin and I met Keya and Eric at Pisgah on the most perfect blue sky afternoon where they committed their lives to each other. Including the other inn visitors watching from their balconies, there was not a dry eye in the field! I can't wait to share more from this beautiful day!

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Iceland Destination Photoshoot || Erin's Travel Portrait Session

In writing these posts about Erin's portrait sessions while we were abroad earlier this month, I went a bit backwards since we actually went to Iceland first. This isn't because I enjoyed London more; on the contrary, if given the choice between photographing a classy engagement session in London and an adventure elopement in Iceland, I would undoubtedly choose the latter. And that is precisely the reason. 

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London Destination Photoshoot || Erin's Travel Portrait Session

The most challenging aspect of documenting a vacation isn't watching for the moments or framing the scene, it is (by far) working with the available light even at 2pm on a bright and sunny day. However, this is precisely why I enjoy this type of session! Working in countless less-than-ideal lighting conditions in my wedding work has instilled in me a deep appreciation for harsh lighting, particularly in making use of natural spotlights to dramatically highlight my subjects' face and little else. Although, occasionally, a bright backlight leaving the face in shadow is equally as pleasing to me, at least when my subject is running through a field of wildflowers. 

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Iceland: Flying by the Seat of Our Pants

I like to think that as long as things don’t go horribly wrong, mishaps can soon turn to funny stories, particularly regarding amusing travel antics. This trip is apparently trying to test that belief.

We started the whole adventure 2 days ago now, driving from Asheville to Baltimore to catch our fight (WOW Air was running a 50% off sale from this airport so we had to take advantage.) Though we left with several hours’ wiggle room, that all came to a screeching halt a few hours in when we hit construction traffic…something like 5 separate times. One hour down, we were undeterred until we hit Baltimore traffic whereupon our last bit of wiggle room quickly slipped away as we sweltered in dead-stopped traffic.

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Allie + Eric || Arboretum Elopement Photo Album

Among many other reasons, one of my favorite things about elopements is the amount of time I get to spend with each couple taking photos of simply the two of them. As we had over an hour of time for just couple's portraits at the North Carolina Arboretum, Allie and Eric's photo album is a beautiful showcase of their joy in becoming one! 

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Allie + Eric's Arboretum Elopement

Y'all know I love weddings, but I adore the romance of a couple so in love, they only want to focus on their commitment to each other. Allie and Eric were two such sweethearts! They made things legal at the courthouse that morning, then got all dressed up and met me at the North Carolina Arboretum for vows and portraits.

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Meet the Photographer || Betting on Myself

Music has been an essential part of my life for as long as I can remember: I don't start driving without choosing a song, I immediately turn on a playlist when I get home, I live for seeing live shows. There are certain songs and records that define each and every period of my life. For the past 6.5 years - since I left home and set off on the journey towards "adulthood" or whatever this is - Imagine Dragons (the band) has provided me with the majority of these tracks. I could discuss them for days, but the best of them all that literally gave me the defining moment to move forward into a new phase of my life is "Bet My Life" off their sophomore album Smoke and Mirrors

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2018 Goals

Each year, right around Christmas, I evaluate my goals from the ending year and then write out my goals for the coming year. I them let them sit for a few weeks while I evaluate other metrics - making sure that these are the goals that really resonate - and eventually come back to them during the first week of the new year to write this blog post. This year I've been so busy that I'm just now getting to it!

Nonetheless, I'm more than a little excited about this coming year. While each of the past 6 years has brought be a step closer to my ultimate career goals, this coming year is the first one where I feel like I'm really on the right track towards doing exactly what I want to be doing. It took me a while to figure out that exact intersection where my skills, enthusiasm for the work and ability to help people all coincide to create my "calling", but I'm only 24 so it's hard to complain. So, without further ado, here are my intended plans for 2018!

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2017: Love and Lessons

New Year's Eve has always been one of my favorite holidays. Not for the parties or the food (okay, maybe the food) but because it's a collective time of reflection and refocusing. I've always been a very goal-oriented person (which is both a blessing and a curse) so for my business, this gives me a very specific deadline to analyze not only the growth and financial status of my business, but also gauge my passion for the work I've been doing and decide what I want to pursue further. I'll discuss in my next post what my goals are for the year, but as it's still 2017 for a couple hours, I want to look back at the goals I set for myself this time last year and reflect on just how beautiful this year was for me. 

So here, in the same order as I wrote them last year, are my 2017 goals and how well they played out: 

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