After having to reschedule for a few weeks due to weather (I swear it’s worse than New England!) I met with the Harley family, minus the hubby, on Fort Fisher, NC. I love being able to explore all new areas of this place! Just a short ferry ride over the Intracoastal Waterway, four miles from Southport is a beautiful little spot that boasts a beautiful ocean and some REALLY awesome “twisty trees”. At least, that’s what we’re calling them because the mom and I have no idea what type of tree they are. I’m sure my husband could tell me as he knows pretty much everything.
The goal for this shoot was to get some cute pictures for Christmas cards so I brought along some candy canes- fresh from Santa in the North Pole, of course. These were the “if you’re good!” enticement to get some cooperation with the kiddos but like most young children and goofy siblings, this was a hard task. Is Karma coming back to me? When I was younger and my mom tried taking pictures of us kids or as a family it took for.ev.er. to get us to simmer down and pose nicely. Now I know what she went through! But I also know what the kids are going through. And I’ve found that it’s best to just let them be and try to capture them the best I can! Besides, looking back on my family pictures, I can honestly say that they fully represent us and the same will be for any family!
I met back up with the Austermiller family to capture their daughter’s four-year old pictures. We met at a place called Westgate Nature Park in Leland, NC and I fell in love with the location. It has been newly built and has a pretty cool playground and then a neat walking trail through the woods. There are other dirt roads and wide open fields as you walk and at the end, an awesome wooden bridge that opens to a big platform with benches.
To add to this awesome scenery is the CUTEST little girl. She was a typical little girl who just wanted to play and run around. In between picking up rocks, climbing and pulling flowers she managed to throw in some adorable little smiles and poses. Brynn is a little mini southern belle and I loved photographing her!
I first met Amy, the bride, during one of my first weekends as a freshman at Westfield State College (now University). Our mutual friends forced us to meet at a party because they all said I looked more like her than her twin sister did and I should use her ID as a fake. (Don’t worry mom, this never happened!) Through these mutual friends, I became close to her and her sister even though they were two years ahead of me. After they graduated we kept in touch, even tailgating together at a Patriots game and Toby Keith concert. All three of us also have labs for pets children and we kept trying to set up play dates with them!
About a month after I moved down here to Southport, NC, Amy contacted me and inquired about photography for their destination wedding ceremony south of Myrtle Beach, SC. Her groom’s and her family rented an oceanfront house for the week to relax and have a wedding ceremony! With the location being just under two hours away I jumped at the opportunity to be there on her special day and give her fabulous pictures to remember their time with their closest family members. They had already celebrated with a big bash before coming down, so this was just a very small and casual beachfront ceremony.
Let me tell you folks, this is the way to go! No stress, no frills, no countless vendors to contact or thousands of dollars gone just for one day. You still get the same outcome at the end of the day minus all the anxiety of perfection. The weather was perfect, their families were awesome and bonus for them, my baby Bear accompanied me because they needed at least one lab in attendance!
Here’s Nate’s newborn photos! He was such an awesome little dude throughout his whole session! He endured pictures in his nursery, outside on their screened patio, then to Wrightsville Beach, all without ever crying! He even slept through our time afterwards eating pizza at a local joint outside on a busy road! He only slept for the last bit of the evening but we made sure to get all the shots we wanted with him! Including an “after” shot from Atlanta’s maternity session on their privately owned dock!
There’s a whole new fad of photography out there for capturing the births of newborn babies. I hadn’t thought much about it, especially since with offering that kind of photography, you really need to be available at any time! However, with my sister-in-law and her husband expecting their first child just after we moved down here, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to try out this new gig and also document a very special time in these new parents’ lives!
Nate came to the world a happy and healthy 7lbs 12oz. My guess was 8lbs, 4 oz!
I wasn’t able to document the actual birth (a C-section isn’t very interesting anyways) but I was there starting with the grandparents seeing and holding their first grand baby for the first time. That Thursday was such an exciting and special day for our family. Welcome to the world, little Nate-boo!
Presenting my latest Coast Guard family with the cutest blonde hair-blue eyed baby girl I’ve ever seen! I met the Andersons at the Wilmington River Walk where the CG cutter Diligence is moored up. Erin wanted family pictures done before her husband, who works on the Diligence, went underway for a few months.
Their daughter who is just over two years old is at that stage where she just wants to go-go-go, all on her own so it was a bit tricky getting pictures done here! We tried all kinds of ways to distract her to keep her happy in one spot. One of those times though it ended with her falling and splitting open a previous cut on her knee. This ultimately meant the end of our shoot but luckily we were nearing the end anyways. We weren’t able to take our time and get portraits in front of the CG cutter but we tried a few quick ones before packing up!
Through it all, her cute little grin makes all the pictures so great and wonderful!
Back to Caswell Beach for this session with another Coastie family! This was another shoot that was constantly being rescheduled due to weather. So many passing thunderstorms this summer! But we finally got a break in the weather and headed to the beach for an evening with a fantastic sky! I couldn’t have asked for better lighting and background. For once, the water also looked very appealing instead of it’s normal brown color (sediment from the river flowing in right there).
The Millers have two adorable little girls. I think this was the first session I ever had where the children were so eager to have their picture taken and actually cooperated the entire time! No frowning faces, no squirming, no crying. Just straight FUN! And you know what the parents bribed them with? Subway sandwiches! Never heard of that! This family was a dream to photograph and you’ll never guess that Jordan doesn’t like having her picture taken! All the girls were photogenic!
This shoot took place down by the waterfront in Southport, NC. Even though at the time I had lived here for about a month, I hadn’t actually been down there yet. Once I parked there I vowed to come back again. This little area in downtown Southport is the quintessential backdrop portraying Southern living at it’s best. Big houses line the street with wide front porches. Everyone is sitting out on rocking chairs, porch swings or folding lawn chairs, sipping on some kind of ice cold beverage while they take in the beautiful view of the Cape Fear River joining the Atlantic Ocean. On the lawn, tons of families gather to sit on the benches and swings and enjoy time together, walking down the pier or feeding the sea gulls. It’s the perfect place to spend an evening and perfect place for a photo shoot!
If this was the perfect place then something was bound to happen. Ever have your camera lens fog up on the INSIDE from so much humidity? Well, that happened to this girl. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me what was going on with my camera! For about 15 minutes I desperately tried using my dress to dry off the lens while saying a few prayers that it wasn’t something serious. Luckily John and Briana had the patience of saints (or parents) and they were happy to stick around while I figured this situation out. Just before calling it quits (and having to reschedule for a third time) I googled the issue and found a quick solution! I ran to the car and blasted the heat on the lens for about 2 minutes and voila! Good as new! Apparently down here it’s SO humid, you need to let your camera acclimate to the weather before shooting outside! Lesson learned.
By the time we got to shooting, Peyton was more interested in playing in the water and running around so we had to get creative with family portraits. 99% of them are candid because well, a two year old isn’t going to sit still when there’s rocks and sand and sea gulls to be played with! Hope you enjoy these!
So I’ve been at this little business thing for a year and a half and I’ve learned a whole lot about everything. Still have a LOT to learn but I’ve decided that in order to get to where I want to be, I need to take more steps to get there.
I love what I do and I want to continue it for as long as I can so I’ve decided to do a few things at the end of this summer.
One, I am going to increase my prices. Too many times I’ve been told by clients that my prices are too low. (Why, thank you!) I had one woman look me in the eye and tell me that I was downgrading myself and my work and giving the impression that my pictures suck. Which they don’t. I tried explaining that I didn’t feel right charging a lot since I had only been in business for a year and I still don’t know all there is to know. But she cut me off saying that I was too good and was putting myself in a situation that lead others to believe that my work isn’t valuable.
People WILL book you if they love your work. So, here I am, raising my prices to reflect my talent. I’m thinking around a 50% increase.
Next, I will now be offering package deals for booking certain sessions. For example, if you book a Maternity and/or Newborn session you can purchase a package that includes prints and birth announcements! Senior sessions will have a package deal of various prints. Regular sessions will have packages! Packages, packages, packages! Why? Because, as I saw quoted, ‘your family portraits look better hanging on a wall than on a disk sitting in a drawer’. And prints coming from me/my lab will last far longer than cheap ones you have done through CVS. I understand everyone wants to save a few bucks but trust me, your family’s memories are worth the investment!
So that’s that! Come September 1, I will be charging more for sessions and offering more for clients!
I apologize in advance, I’m going to be biased in this post. I can’t help it. This is my sister-in-law and her husband and I am head over heels in love with these pictures of them! I mean, I’m patting myself on the back for the way these came out. Have you ever seen a more radiant pregnant lady?? And check out Jake’s genuine, authentic smile in 99% of these shots. It screams “I’m so excited to be a daddy!”
My favorite part; eh, no ok scratch that, I enjoyed the whole shoot. The part that warmed my heart the most was when it came time for Atlanta’s solo shoot. Jake is so proud to be married to such a beautiful momma to be! He was excited to get shots of the belly sticking out and the hands-making-a-heart shot… that was his idea!
I love these two people as a couple and they are going to make AMAZING parents. Can’t wait to meet this baby boy! A few more weeks and counting!!