Posts in Couples Photography
August 3, 2019 Magical Garden Wedding at Haiku I Do || Asheville, NC

Fal and Richard had quite the week leading up to their wedding: medical boards on Tuesday, moving on Wednesday and driving to Asheville on Thursday. So, come Saturday, it seemed almost surreal that they’d been able to pull everything off. As they were sitting on the floral sofa under the twinkle lights taking their couple’s photos, in the middle of gazing lovingly at each other Richard suddenly gasped and threw up his hands, “We really did it!”

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Amber + Chris's Elopement at the St. Jude's Chapel of Hope in Asheville, NC

Susan Marlan of Beloved Ceremony officiated the simple ceremony, and because this was a “true elopement” I also got to serve as a witness. Just after the bride and groom exchanged rings, and just before their first kiss, Chris leaned forward and rested his forehead against Amber’s, where they simply stood breathing each other in for a few moments. It’s these moments, the quiet and intimate scenes, that impact me the most - both as a photographer capturing the emotions before me and a human who feels everything deeply.

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Engagement Photo Album || Tara + Q's Zillicoah Beer Company + Beaver Lake Engagement Session

They loved so many of the photos that rather than try to narrow it down further, we decided to include near-duplicates (or at least photos in very similar poses/moments) which made for an interesting design challenge combining quite a few photos into one spread. I love the cinematic quality to their album because of this - as if each photo sequence is its own storyboard for a scene in their romantic flick.

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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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Photo Album || Dee + Sam's Botanical Gardens Anniversary Session

The 5th anniversary gift is typically wood, so we spent Dee and Sam’s anniversary accordingly - hanging out in the woods! Dee and Sam had already planned a weekend getaway to Asheville. So, to help celebrate their beautiful milestone, Dee’s sister arranged a couple’s photoshoot with me so that they could commemorate their weekend. As we were in the middle of June, we chose the Botanical Gardens of Asheville as our backdrop to make use of the bounty of greenery highlighted by a brilliant sunny evening.

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Wedding Photo Album || Katie + Mario's Raspberry Plain Manor Wedding

I love Katie and Mario’s approach to their album: while we had over 1,000 photos to choose from they managed to narrow it all the way down to 100 (an impressive feat!) so that they could have as many large full-spread images as possible. They wanted to keep it simple, to let the emotional photos to speak for themselves, so we kept the text to a minimum as well, only including one Bible verse layered perfectly over a silhouette I made during their ceremony. I certainly keep the album in mind while photographing each wedding (in fact, I specifically shoot with the flower & layout of each album in my head) but sometimes things work out even better than I’d planned. Being able to pair the quotation “this is a profound mystery” with a silhouette is one of those moments!

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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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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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Keya + Eric's Blue Ridge Parkway Sunset Engagement Session || Asheville, NC

When we finally reached the top of our hike, I had Keya and Eric pause before walking out onto the overlook while I set up my shot, then Emmaleigh led them onto the overlook while they kept their eyes closed. Finally, we had them hold hands and open their eyes. Keya let out an audible gasp as they gazed out over the clear mountain range where the sun was just beginning to set. It was right then that I knew we were really onto something, that this wasn’t just a photoshoot, but the perfect way to spend their last evening before becoming husband and wife.

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Biltmore Estate Surprise Proposal || Kelsey + Kyle

Though golden hour is gorgeous, I just as much love shooting in that harsh late morning light, using natural spotlights to highlight my subjects’ emotions while pushing everything else into the background. This is, perhaps, hard to do when the background is a majestic mansion or an incredible mountain range, but Kelsey and Kyle’s elation still stole the show. As they were all smiles and laughter, I wanted to show off their playfulness, so they spent several breathless minutes laughing from the hilarity of chasing each other through a field and giving piggy-back rides.

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North Carolina Arboretum Engagement Session || Alicia + Dave

If the great thing about being a photographer is capturing people’s connections, the second best thing is exploring how each connections fosters another one! Such was the case with Alicia and Dave, a lovely couple from Little Rock, Arkansas. They decided last year to host their intimate 2018 wedding in Hot Springs, NC and while searching for vendors learned that Vortex Doughnuts caters weddings! While paying for their treats, they told the cashier about their wedding plans and he (Alex) gave them my business card, directing them to my website to check out my photos. Lo and behold, a few simple steps brought two people from hundreds of miles away into my life, and so much the better for it!

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Downtown Asheville Engagement Session || Brianna + Nick

As they’d just come in from out of town and were preparing for their elopement the next day, we wanted to keep their engagement session low-key. What more perfect way to do so while showing off what attracted them to Asheville, than photographing at a downtown brewery? After a couple beers and lots of clinking glasses, we took the short walk up to Aloft to finish their session with rooftop portraits. On the way, we got even more Asheville flair than we bargained for as the LaZoom nun “shot us!” (with a water gun.)

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Asheville Engagement Session || Arlyn + Alex's Arboretum Engagement

We met for their shoot on a beautiful evening in June, the Arboretum was vibrantly alive with greenery. I knew they had planned a casual outfit and a dressier option, but when I saw Arlyn dressed in the most perfectly twirlable blue dress, the color standing out perfectly against the foliage, I knew we were going to make some magic! As you can see, we made use of that twirl. These two are fabulous dancers with incredible chemistry, let me tell you. 

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London Portrait Session || Meadow + Theo's Couples Portraits in the English Countryside

Next to eating anything and everything, my favorite thing to do while abroad is photograph with fun people, especially if beautiful fields of flowers are involved! When Erin and I were planning our trip to London, I ran through my list of people I knew there and, as it happened, one of my former couples, Meadow and Theo, were now living in Leicester! We were originally supposed to meet and ride up with them to the Peak District, but since Erin and I managed to get on the train going in the wrong direction, we didn't have quite the amount of time we'd originally planned. I'm already scheming to go up there next time, though!

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Asheville Anniversary Photoshoot || Amanda + Imran's High Vista Wedding Session

Amanda and Imran got married in 2016 at The Laurel Room at High Vista. To celebrate both of their heritages, they had two days of festivities; the first their Pakistani celebration and then a more traditionally American ceremony the next day. Unfortunately, their Pakistani celebration was so hectic that they weren't able to take couple's portraits that evening, which is where I come in! When my former professor and Amanda's brother-in-law put us in touch, I jumped at the chance to not only fill in this photo gap for the sweet couple, but to also learn more about a wedding culture foreign to me. 

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Asheville Engagement Photos || Nicole + Chris's Snowy engagement shoot

When Nicole, Christopher and I were planning their December engagement session, we knew it might be cold, but we certainly didn't anticipate the veritable blizzard that hit Asheville the night before. Nicole and Chris wanted to have a small destination wedding in our beautiful mountains so they came in from Chicago for a weekend getaway of wedding planning and brewery-touring, and it seems they brought the windy weather with them! Luckily for us, their car rental was actually a big truck with four-wheel drive so they picked me up (and even brought me coffee!) from my apartment and we trekked to downtown. 

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Portland Family Session + Birthday Celebration

Since they hadn't gotten photos with the whole family together in quite a long time, we started the gorgeous sunlit evening with some group portraits out in front of the house - first with just Sue and her daughters, then with spouses as well. Not only did their outfit colors all coordinate with each other (and the house!), but they had so many perfect seating spots for portraits - especially the wooden swing - so I felt like the yard was made just to be a photographer's playground. 

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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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