Friday, November 29, 2013

LOVES + Sneak Peak = SMILES

This weeks LOVES are short and special:


My couples and I am excited to introduce to you another great couple that allowed me not only the honor of shooting their wedding in HAWAII but also to be one of the 7 people at their wedding!

Thank you again Susan and Brad for allowing me to be a part of your special day!

Live. Love. Loud.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I think Thanksgiving is an amazing holiday because it is the only holiday that is literally focused on the positive.  It is a day to stop, ponder and praise for all you have to be thankful!

Today I am thankful for more than a few things so here are some silly and some serious:

I'm thankful that Chris and I could go on our first real vacation together since our honeymoon.  It was very much needed and turned out amazing!
I am very thankful for Cranberries... cause whether over turkey, in cookies or other delicious baked goods Cranberries are AMAZING
I am thankful the person who decided he would bite into a pumpkin... or better yet make it into a pie or a latte!
I'm thankful for the friends and family with whom we get to enjoy life!

What are you thankful for this amazing holiday?

Live. Love. Loud.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Melissa and Chance: Mebane, NC: Historic Home

Mebane, NC Family Wedding | Elegant Backyard Affair | Wedding Photographer The long drive leading up to this historic home was surrounded by the beautiful colors of all the fall leaves.  As I walked into the beautiful home, I could hear Melissa's laughter.  I found her surrounded by all her sisters and bridesmaids all trying to capture special moments with her and her dog determined not to be more than a foot from her side.

A girl after my own heart, Melissa had to do some impromptu dancing to get out some nerves!

Melissa and Chance ware always too cute and  their wedding was no different: each wrote the other a love letters for the morning of the wedding!

And no marine wedding would be complete with out a bit of shenanigans! 

Melissa's custom earrings were a perfect match to her fetching dress and shinning spirit.

What wedding is complete without a custom hashtag?

Melissa you are truly stunning!

It was too cute to watch them give each other looks all through their ceremony... ah love.

Pretty sure they couldn't have been more picture perfect if they had tried!  

Just loves me some Historic homes

Toasts spoke of love, friendship and lots of laughter.

If nothing else solidified Melissa and I being long lost besties one of her cupcakes that she custom requested was a "Hostess" style chocolate stuffed with marshmallows and fudge icing... yup: amazing!

Everyone was ready to celebrate!

From the moment the dance floor opened to the last moments of the reception everyone one was ready to celebrate in fashion!

What would be more fitting then a "Bye Bye Bye" final song?  Everyone singing at the top of the lungs!

Thank you so much Melissa and Chance for allowing me the honor of spending your day with you!

Big thanks to all those who made this amazing day possible: past all the loving support of friends and family they had a great number of amazing vendors:
Photobooth: Good Time Photo   DJ: Bluelight Entertainment Cupcakes: Gigi's Cupcakes 
Catering: Visions Catering Flowers and Runner: Stainback Florist DJ: Bluelight 
Rentals: Premier Special Events Videographer: CSM Video Productions Shuttle: AFA Formal Affair
Entertainment Electricity: Sound Illusions

Live. Love. Loud.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Nikon D700

My first camera was an old broken down Olympus that was once my moms (if we aren't counting disposables).  It was super high tech in its day I'm sure but when I got it I could care less about its ancient and worn exterior I was too in love with the fact I could now take pictures.  I saved and saved for film (do you remember those days). I  would stand in the aisle for hours trying to figure out what the numbers of the film meant, "Um, 700 sounds more expensive then 100?" A kind older lady came over and helped me, I'm sure it had something to do with my severely knit brow of utter bewilderment.

Years past of me shooting my heart out and my wallet empty till I was gifted my next upgrade.  It was my first nice camera.  It had all the bells and whistles but was till film.  My Nikon N40.  When I unwrapped it I could have promised you angels were singing!  I had no idea how to use it but I didn't care.  I was terrified to use anything other than the auto mode.

It wasn't until after a close friend of ours was getting married and, much like us: was poor as poor can be, had me take their wedding pictures that I finally moved to a digital camera.  Years past as did the different models of my cameras till I came across my new camera and love.

I love this camera because it allows me to take pictures just the way I want to.  I focus on using natural lighting and the high ISO (ability to let light into the picture) along side my quick glass (wide openings again letting in lots of light) that make my natural lighting style to work.  It cost me life and limb after saving FOREVER for it but it was and is so worth it.  

I'm sure as time progresses I will have move on but right now I can't imagine being happier with the foundation of my equipment if I tried! 

Live. Love. Loud.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Back from the far and dark

Have you ever traveled back in time?  I did but not in the good way. You know the way you can make money from you knowledge of the future.  I traveled back to the dark ages this past two weeks.

Chris and I made our way to Hawaii for two wonderful couples and meeting and shooting them was amazing as was our added trip at the end of those sessions but the whole time we were there I was without internet access.  I mean I had my phone but with limited data usage... it was insane.  I mean insane.  You don't realize how much you use the internet till it is gone!

All that to say it was an amazing trip and I'm so excited to share with you all that happened but for now I am excited to be in the land of the internet!

Live. Love. Loud.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fabulously you= Unforgettable

One of my favorite things about wedding photography is getting to know people.  I mean really getting to know people.  I love coming away from a wedding not only having captured you on your wedding day but to have made your day a raging success that bleeds you!  I want to make every aspect of your day run smoothly and if I can wrangle it gain a friendship out by the end. 

Being from a large family "shy" isn't a word that I can say has been associated with me.  I like the idea but I could never manage to try it.  I love to use my gifts of relating to people to make them at ease and be themselves so that their pictures will come out not only natural but fabulous as they are!

My goal at a wedding is simple: I want your wedding to be a day that the most stress free, amazing and unforgettable day of your life (at least up until that point... I don't want to have a completely unrealistic goal ;).  What is the goal of your wedding day to you?

Live. Love. Loud.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Equipment: The Party: 35mm 1.8

I sat at my computer everyday looking over sales hoping for the prices to drop miraculously.  They never did but time did pass enough for me to save and grab myself the much needed 35mm 1.8.  This has become a new favorite of mine.  It is the lens equivalent to what your eye sees... not really cause eyes are pretty amazing but close as a camera comes, for the most part.

I love this lens for getting ready, because even if I am in a tight space I have more wiggle room to get different shots and angles without climbing out onto a ledge (though I have been tempted sometimes :D).  As I mentioned before I love "Fast" lenses (meaning lenses that have wider apertures and thus allowing more light in) because it allows me more freedom to capture the moment with natural light.  Though the 1.8 isn't as large as the 1.4 (I know the numbering seems backwards but think golf rules and it will make it easier) it does allow much of the same freedoms.

What has become my new favorite time to use my 35mm is at receptions.  I love its ability to get more of the room at once.  To get the feel/vibe of the dance floor.  To get the family gathered around waiting for the cake to be smashed or dainty fed.  Unlike the 50mm which gives you great portraits, the 35mm is key for getting natural 

Live. Love. Loud.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Confessions: A love letter edition

Words mean a lot.  "Sticks and stones..." Never has a lie been bigger than that old rhyme.

For most of my life I was tough.  I didn't connect.  I didn't share.  Yea, I get the irony that I know share my heart, soul and dream openly on the web.  But as a child I was terrified that someone might know what I was thinking or feeling.  You can ask my siblings: I never cried.  Never.  If I cried I was severely hurt physically.

(Hawaii is beautiful but I do miss the changing leaves)

My life changed.  Obviously.  It was all so much change and oh so quickly.  The on set was two things that boil down to one.  I opened myself up.  I was raised in a baptist/christian home but I didn't believe.  When I was in the final year of my college I decided I wanted to try and figure out the truth... you know the big truth... the why?  My journey was long and filled with many a night filled with angry cursing.  In the end I found peace.  Peace that I can't fully explain other than a fleeting comparison to being wrapped in a warm blanket after playing in the snow.  My warm blanket: God.  (If you want the longer version let me know and I would love to drink some type of pumpkin beverage and share our lives together).

Along side of God I found Chris.  These two things forced me to open myself up.  Which has been great for so many reasons but one bad one: I now get hurt. To be fair I never lived as fully as I do now but neither did I hurt... or at least not as deeply.  It has been since this transition that I have discovered so fully how words of a moment can wound forever.

This is true in all aspects of life but all too often I see a disregard to words in my field of photography.  When is started off and was trying to get my foot not even in the door but maybe on the way to the path to the door I got deeply hurt by a fellow photographer.  It is a long sad story that ends in the same as any other "bully" story.

I share this because though you hurt in the moment don't take those words to heart.  If there is something for you to learn from take it but if there isn't accept the Jasmine truth "People throw rocks at things that shine".

I encourage you to breath deep.  Cry if you need to.  Then pick yourself up.  "Sadness is easier because its surrender. I say make time to dance alone with one hand waving free." (Elizabethtown)  And I do mean this literally... I best see some pics proving it too!

The other part of this post: take a moment before you state thing, post things... make sure you don't have a rock in your hand.  I find myself having to check myself.  Feeling defensive or territorial... who am I?  I am here to love.  And love is what I will do... that and dance!

Live. Love. Loud. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Melissa: Natural Bride: Burlington, NC

A few weeks ago I got pleasure of meeting my lovely bride for a bridal session.  I staved off from sharing so that the beautiful Melissa could surprise her amazing husband Chance on their wedding day.  The experience was amazing.  She was a dream to shoot and on top of that I got the chance to meet a close friend of hers that came along.  

Melissa and I hit it off almost instantly... I mean how could we not we both are suckers for some ANTM and Pumpkin Spice Lattes!  I'm pretty sure we are kindred spirits.

Melissa you are breathtaking!

Anyone else jelly of those beautiful locks!

She totally rocked the shoot!

I'm a sucker for some bare feet!

Chance is an amazing man who helps keep us safe so it was only fitting that we highlighted his tags.  Melissa wore them under her dress on the day of the wedding!

Not everyone can pull their hair behind their ears with such grace= SOY JELLY Melissa... SOY JELLY : D

Live. Love. Loud.