Posts in Engagement Photography
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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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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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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Cannon Beach Roadtrip: Making Friends as I Go

I talk about that a lot - not having a plan. That’s become rather important to me this year. I mean, obviously it’s useful to have some sort of game plan for a lot of things (I know several routes I’d like to explore in my business next, for example), but the key is to not get hung up on one objective, not fixate on one goal. So, when I organized the trip, all I said was that I wanted to go to the coast and I wanted to take photos, and that if we added in a winery visit I would not complain.

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Wiseman's View Surprise Proposal || Julie + Trevor

We ended our photoshoot in signature fashion, adding another layer to this couple’s experience to even better remember their sweet weekend. To create this ring photo, Julie and Trevor collected leaves they thought were beautiful. Then, being a wildlife biologist, Trevor pulled out his field journal so they could press the leaves and keep them. Julie has reportedly dried and kept every flower Trevor has given her, so this was a fitting way to memorialize his proposal. I love getting to be a part of any surprise, but especially one so thoughtful as this!

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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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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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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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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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Samantha + Christian's Biltmore Surprise Proposal

If I had my way, I'd capture each and every one (or as many as possible) of a couple's milestones: first date candids, anniversary portraits, lifestyle sessions of the "boring" days at home. But since that would be enough to fill a library full of photo albums (which would be AWESOME) and no one has taken me up on this yet, I'll settle for capturing the proposal, the start of the marriage journey that will continue unfolding throughout each couple's life. 

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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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