My favorite assignments are those that end up being a real collaboration between myself and my client. I love that Cate had some ideas for the types of photos she wanted us to create together, but she put her faith in my abilities and she was open to starting our photo session at home - my very FAVORITE place for a family session to occur. The space in which you live is an important piece of your story as a family - I love to take a child up to their room for a portrait in their space, no matter how messy or imperfect it may seem to mom and dad (for the record, Winnie's room was very neat!). Plus - kitties! This session was the perfect blend of collaboration and creative freedom, and I love the result. If I could order up a lifetime of sessions like this, I would be a very happy photographer. Thank you, Cate, Aaron, and Winnie - I loved creating these images with you. xoxo
So much of Kate and Chazz's wedding day was drawn directly from who they are as individuals and as a couple. They chose a beautiful outdoor venue, nestled in the mountains, where friends and family could camp along the creek, just steps from the ceremony site. The whole day was colorful and bright, with flowers from Blue Ridge Blooms, floral and vintage-inspired attire, and a fantastic dessert table (including macarons!) from 50Fifty. Their reception was decorated with paper heart garlands cut from maps and their guest book was a set of vintage postcards, thanks to their fondness for travel and exploration. Their love of nature and the outdoors infused their favors - packets of wildflower seeds - and even their choice of footwear: they changed into bright blue Chaco sandals during their reception. The groom's cousin had the sandals custom made just for the event. Even their wedding bands include leaves representing trees native to the various parts of the country in which they have lived. All of this, plus warm, friendly people and dream-like lighting, made this wedding day a photographer's dream. It was such a joy to share in their day and to create some beautiful images for them to remember it. All my best wishes to you both!! xoxo
My sincere thanks to the talented professionals who helped make this day so beautiful:
Second Photographer: Kendra Stanley-Mills
Kate and Chazz chose Warren Wilson College as the location for their engagement session. It was so fun exploring the beautiful campus with two graduates who knew all the great spots, the shortcuts between them, and spotted lots of fun memories along the way. I'm so thankful Kate and Chazz made time for a photo shoot during their wedding-planning visit to Asheville, and I'm really looking forward to their wedding this fall!
XOXO and thanks for a wonderful day together!
I'm often fortunate enough to become friends with my clients after photographing them, but sometimes this works the other way, too. I first met Rebecca several years ago when we were coworkers. Her genuine positivity, compassionate listening, and warmth made her stand out in my life as a special person from our very first meeting. Over the years I've had the opportunity to work with Rebecca to create photographs for her business, and to document her first home. Meanwhile, she served as the officiant when my husband and I celebrated 10 years of marriage, giving us a beautiful and meaningful ceremony with our children. I was honored to then be asked to be her engagement and wedding photographer, and to have the opportunity to get to know her fiancé Dayton.
Rebecca and Dayton shared many special rituals with their family and friends to celebrate their marriage. Blessings from several traditions, Native American flute music, and handfasting were just some of the elements that created their unique ceremony under the bright blue sky at Boundary End Center in Barnardsville. Hand-sewn pennants decorating the reception space were created using thread that belonged to Rebecca's grandmother. Dogs and kids joined the dance floor as a bonfire warmed up the cool evening and the stars rose above the mountains. It was a heartfelt, magical day.
Thank you for sharing such a special day with me, Rebecca and Dayton, and may the love that surrounded you on your wedding day sustain and strengthen you for the years to come. XOXO
I loved this wedding. I had the chance to get to know Mandalin and Hunter well during the wedding planning, from shooting an engagement and bridal session for them, and also because I had the good fortune of photographing Mandalin's sister Caroline's wedding. There were great moments, beautiful light, gorgeous details, sequins (!), and a cat photobomber during the bride and groom portraits. It meant so much to me to see my photos used throughout the celebration as well - in the guest book, in a beautiful printed portrait from Mandalin's bridal session, and in the lining of the groom's jacket. It was a lovely day, in so many ways, and I was honored to be there both to celebrate with my clients who've become my friends, and to photograph their beautiful wedding.
I love the story of how Valerie and Gerhard met. When Valerie and her mom and brothers moved to Hendersonville 4 years ago, they moved into a house two doors down from Gerhard. He welcomed them to the neighborhood the night they moved in and the rest, as they say, is history.
During the ceremony, on the sunny deck at Crest Center, a swarm of bees rose up behind the wedding party and swirled around before floating off into the sky. It felt like a little blessing from nature for the couple. Gerhard and his family are from South Africa, and I found it especially touching when Gerhard's mom gave a blessing before the meal in Afrikaans. I didn't understand any of the words, except for "family", which seemed so appropriate at a celebration bringing these two families together. At the end of the night, guests circled around the newlyweds on the dance floor, and they all danced together in celebration.
Congratulations, Valerie and Gerhard, and thank you for sharing your beautiful day with me!
I have never considered myself much of a studio photographer, but as Mandalin and I planned for her bridal session, I felt that to achieve our vision for her session, the simplicity and control of a studio was needed. This was a bit outside of my comfort zone, but I'm so glad we pursued it. My amazing friend René of Luxe House Photographic allowed me the use of her studio, with the most beautiful light and feel I've seen in a studio space. This session has become one of my all-time favorites, and I feel like I've been opened up to a whole new world I can't wait to explore further. Let this be a lesson to us all to give in when pushed beyond our comfort levels, especially when it comes to creative endeavors, because the beauty of what we can discover in unchartered territory is so worth it.
An intimate, candlelight ceremony surrounded by family, bilingual vowels, my very favorite homemade cookies, and a handknit gold dress are just a few of the elements that made the wedding of Mariate and James so special. It was truly an honor to photograph this lovely day.
From our first telephone conversation, I was drawn into Courtney and Andy's love story. Their devotion to each other and their deep gratitude for having found one another was so profound. I felt instantly like I was witnessing something very important and special. On their wedding day, friends and family surrounded this new couple with love and encouragement. During the final dance of the evening, all the guests present gathered on the dance floor encircling the couple, a perfect symbol for how much love and care had been imbued in the entire wedding day.
Congratulations Courtney and Andy - I could not be happier for you both. xoxo
I met up with Mandalin and Hunter at Primland Resort for their engagement session recently. In spite of extreme heat, the place was absolutely beautiful and we had so much fun exploring this place that (to me) was combination mountain lodge, art museum, and observatory.
Congratulations Mandalin and Hunter! I really look forward to celebrating your wedding with you. xoxo
I am a fan of big breakfasts. Years ago my mom gave me a Fiesta-ware waffle iron and it has become a Saturday-morning staple in our house. There's nothing like a freshly-made waffle, especially one made with real buttermilk. Around here we like to start our weekends with a big breakfast, so when King Daddy's Chicken and Waffles opened in our neighborhood, I was ecstatic. King Daddy's has also opened my eyes to the delicious Southern culinary tradition of fried chicken and waffles, satisfying the need for both savory and sweet at the breakfast table.
I was so happy to shoot some photos for King Daddy's recently, capturing both the friendly atmosphere and delicious food. It's a beautiful space with lovely natural light, a welcoming staff, and some of the best breakfast you can find in our fair city. Enjoy! And be sure to stop by King Daddy's the next time you're in the mood for an amazing Southern breakfast.
When Beth contacted me for a family portrait session, she said she had a location secured for us. It turned out to be an awesome sculpture/glass garden in West Asheville. I've driven, walked, and run past this garden many times and wondered what it was like in the interior, but I never explored it further. A sign at the entrance greeted me with "yes you may" - and I was so glad I did! What a magical, unexpected place. Also joining us for the session was a tiny, adorable kitten, who added so much to our time together and provided constant entertainment for the kids.
Thanks for a lovely time and a perfect location, Beth and family. XOXO.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is an unpredictable place. Darkness can fall quickly, frigid temps can surprise you, views become clouded by sudden fog, and glorious fall color can become wintery bare branches with just a subtle increase in elevation. Scheduling a photo session on the Parkway is always a bit of a gamble. Lucky for us, Beth and Jon's sunrise engagement session at Waterrock Knob was a risk worth taking, and even though it was a bit chilly the beautiful light and perfect fall color made for a beautiful setting.
Congratulations on your engagement, Beth and Jon, and best wishes for a lifetime of risks with beautiful payoffs.
Stephanie and Bryan bravely met me in downtown Asheville for an early morning, chilly engagement session in October. We had a great time exploring some old buildings, visiting the south slope, and the Botanical Gardens. Their two dogs even joined in for a few photos. The best part was getting to know these two great people and to see their relationship unfold in front of my lens. I'm so looking forward to photographing their wedding next year. Thanks for a great morning, Stephanie and Bryan! XOXO.