The Johnsons are expecting!

Alissa and Ian welcomed me into their beautiful home in early November to document part one of their journey to parenthood. (part two and three to come at a later date in January!) Alissa had all kinds of cute ideas already picked out for how she wanted her maternity session to look like, which I love! Yes, I know I’m the creative here but I hate being bossy and I basically show up and do my thing to make your vision come to life. These are your pictures that you will have to look at for the rest of your life, (well I guess you don’t have to look at them) so they should portray you and things that mean something to you! So we discussed her ideas and I added my own creative juices to them and the result is beautiful pictures.

We started inside their master bedroom for some lifestyle shots and even included their two adorable Australian Shepherd fur babies! Then we went to the nursery, which included a really sweet shot that incorporated a big teddy bear that was gifted to Alissa from her aunt who wasn’t able to have children of her own.

Then we headed over to the beach just in time to catch the most magnificent sunset ever! Sunsets on the beach down here never get old, and this evening was just so beautiful.


Kirstin & TJ – engaged!

I was super excited to shoot Kirstin and TJ’s engagement pictures, especially since she picked a beautiful location; downtown Southport! My town is a quaint, historic fishing town so there are lots of charming places with big live oaks, a huge marina and the beautiful waterfront along the Cape Fear River. Southport is also a huge tourist town but luckily there’s not a lot of visitors after Labor Day so our session in October was nice and quiet!

We started the session downtown right where the road meets the riverfront at one of my favorite spots. There is a section of the sidewalk that is completely canopied by trees, and even though you can’t really see them in these pictures, it’s still a gorgeous spot. So just a couple quick shots there then we headed down the street to the Southport Marina. After some stunning pictures there we walked over to a nearby “marsh walk” to finish the session. We took our time reaching the end where a big gazebo is sitting over the water on the river, snapping pictures as we went. But right as I was going to instruct them on what to do next, I turned to the gazebo and noticed another couple right at the spot where I wanted them to be and suddenly the guy was getting down on one knee! Obviously he was proposing and instantly my mind was racing, thinking that I should run over there and take pictures of the proposal for them but seconds later I saw flashes of another photographer. I knew Kirstin and TJ wouldn’t have minded (their proposal was caught on camera as well!) but I’m happy that the guy had thought ahead and hired someone for that! It was really cool to witness a proposal that I wasn’t already clued in on! (so hey, congratulations to whoever that couple is!)

So then we shared the gazebo. I finished Kirstin and TJ’s engagement session on one end and the other couple had their proposal/we’re engaged! pictures at the other!


Maggie Gray and Stetson

Once upon a time, two best friends each had their first baby in the spring of 2015. Now, in October they are both 6 months old and the mommies decided to have a joint 6-month photo shoot for these soon to be best friends.

The day could not have been better for Maggie Gray and Stetson. The weather was perfect, the sunlight was deliciously golden and the location we picked was beautiful! The session was filled with the fall essentials: pumpkins, blankets and a tent!

Miss Maggie Gray, at only 6 months already had a little spit-fire personality which you will certainly see shine through in these pictures. Stetson, well, it took him a little bit to warm up to having pictures taken. He certainly didn’t enjoy sitting naked in a carved out pumpkin!

Check these cuties out! 🙂


Becky & Michael – Married 8.21.15

In true New England form, the day of Becky and Michael‘s nuptials, Mother Nature could not decide what she wanted to do. Rain was threatening the forecast almost all week, but everyone knows the weather can change in an instant so we all kept our fingers crossed. The morning of the wedding, my mom and I drove out from Western MA to East Bridgewater, MA. It stayed cloudy all morning but as we arrived, dark clouds were lingering, taunting us. The girls tried getting ready as fast as they could so they could get a couple decent shots outside before the rain came. We managed a couple and then the skies opened up just as we were about to move to a new location for more bridal party pictures! Ahh, we were a little unprepared for that! (thanks a lot, Mother Nature!)

By the time we reached the venue before the ceremony, Becky had decided to pull the ceremony indoors. It was sunny, spitting rain and unbearably humid at the same time. Staying inside with air conditioning was a great choice! This choice was further confirmed a good idea when we went outside for “first look” pictures. Just in the 15 minutes of standing out there we were all dripping in sweat! (well at least the groom and I were!)

The staff at The Villa were amazing at transforming the reception ballroom into a ceremony area in a matter of minutes as if it was always supposed to go this way.

Becky and Michael’s families played very important roles in their day, as well as their beloved four-legged baby Brody who was’t there in person but was everywhere else! During the ceremony, Becky’s cousin gave a speech depicting their love to that of a dog’s love and Brody even appeared on their cake topper. Since he was a rescue, they made a donation to Save a Lab foundation in lieu of gifts for their guests! (also a donation to RSD Hope for a condition her mother has) Michael’s grandmother gave the Irish blessing before the meal was served and then Michael’s family completely surprised them and all the guests with a picture slideshow of their years growing up and together. It was all so special and you could tell how much these two amazing people meant to every single person sitting in that room. In fact, there was one family who was supposed to be moving their son into college for his freshman year that very day, but they didn’t want to miss their wedding so they all came and then drove (to NY, I believe!) to the campus after the reception, very late at night!

The DJ had everyone packed on the dance floor all night, including me! Every song he played kept the momentum going and it was such a fun night! Cheers to Becky and Michael!

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Welcome to my real-life Pinterest board for my future baby’s nursery. Seriously. This is one of the cutest, classiest nautical nursery I have ever seen! I loved how mature it is. Totally complimented the very dapper, handsome young man who resides in this nursery.

Little Asher came into this world in the beginning of August and I came to meet him when he was two weeks old. Just a tad out of the realm for newborn pictures, only because babies *tend* to sleep nap better at just a few days old vs. a few weeks. We did get him to sleep for most of it but any slight movement to try to change positions proved a tad challenging. But he just melted my heart and all I wanted to do was snuggle him! Baby fever is real, folks! Here is Asher!

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Cass and Bert

Cass and Bert are getting married this year and while they were down from New Jersey visiting family in Sunset Beach, they decided to have a session done together. Kind of a, “hey, we’re an official couple now and this is our first official photo shoot together!” type thing! Since they were visiting family there was really only one day that worked out, and of course as the days, hours and minutes got closer to that time, a massive storm front was moving in. There was no way to reschedule so we just had to go for it, and pray that it wasn’t going to downpour during the session! In my mind, of course, I had visions of a romantic scene, of them out in the pouring rain, running around together and kissing, all Notebook-worthy. But alas, the ran held off! It was like there was a bubble around the beach, protecting us! But if it wasn’t the rain coming down, there had to be something else, and we had 20 mph wind to deal with! Poor Cass’s hair was flying wild in any direction I put them in and by the end of the session my camera lens had so much salt spray on it. (Thank goodness for a traveling glasses cleaner that Bert had!)

As overcast as the day was, the scenery was still beautiful and these two love-birds just starting out their lives together were so much fun to hang out with! Enjoy!


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Stacy & Mistie – Married 7.3.15

My cousin-in-law (if that’s not a thing, it is now!) got engaged over the holidays to the man of her dreams and they set their sights on having their wedding for the 4th of July weekend at their farm. Two things I love: celebrating our nation’s independence and farms! Count me in! She wanted this day to be special (well, what bride doesn’t?) so she asked any family members or friends that she could to participate. Me being the family photographer happily said yes to this request and together we planned out her day! I even helped get a playlist going for the ceremony!

She was keeping it small; just family and a few close friends so it was a very casual wedding. Also something right down my ally! (I so wanted a backyard wedding myself but the logistics just didn’t work out!) They planned to have the whole thing outside at their farm house. After their first dance she planned on them taking off their wedding attire and putting on more casual clothes and just party the night away! Unfortunately, the day before the wedding the forecast called for thunderstorms the next evening. They held off as much as they could but that morning when it said 100% chance of thunderstorms during the time of their ceremony they decided to pull everything indoors. Bummer. I don’t think there’s anything that can crush a bride’s spirit more than envisioning your day to be one way and then suddenly it doesn’t turn out that way. But some how Mistie’s spirit was never crushed and the only thing she cared about was being Stacy’s bride and ending the night as his wife. They are seriously the perfect couple!

Luckily, Stacy’s father’s farm house was just down the road and he had a living room/wedding ceremony room built into his house all ready to go! It may have been the first wedding to happen in that room but it was perfect! Big, open and rustic. His house also offered the perfect backdrop for all of their wedding photos. Big stone patio, large open land and a huge corn field, plus lots of old ford trucks around the property!

It didn’t end up storming but there was a little rain just before the ceremony. The sun peeked out for a moment while we did some portraits outside which came out amazing!

We headed back to their home for the reception. The DJ was set up in the living room where they had their first dance. Personally, I love that they got to have their reception at their house. Every time they sit or walk through their living room they can be reminded of their first dance as husband and wife and how they were able to spend the entire evening surrounded by the most important people in their lives, celebrating their love for one another. We sure danced a lot that night! And I say “we” because I definitely got in on that action! When we said our goodbyes and I walked outside I saw what they had set up originally. They had huge wooden crates where they had planned to have the food and DJ set up and lots of string lights in the trees lighting up the whole back yard. It was so pretty!

I want to wish Mistie and Stacy Quincy a very happily every after! You both deserve it!

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Katalina turns ONE!

I may have been looking forward to this session almost as much as Katalina’s mom was! We talked about photo session locations, outfits and props for months beforehand. She would send me outfits from Etsy and I would send her pins for party decoration ideas on Pinterest. I basically have become a self-proclaimed aunt to this sweet little girl and I have enjoyed every aunt-duty during her first year! In fact, she is the first little one I have been able to photograph for all those fun 3-month increments that moms love to do! Here’s that little collage I put together:


We split this birthday session into two days. My ideas for both outfits required two different locations, both ideally at sunset. We started at the beach for her cake smash. Aside from the humidity and a million-gazillion gnats attacking us, it was a beautiful evening! My “natural” essential oils bug spray did not work. You’d like I would have learned my lesson from a year ago when I was in that situation. Or really, how every evening is when I step outside. Poor Katalina left the beach with more bug bites than cake frosting on herself! She did not want to get messy! Which is weird because she loves getting messy in a nice pile of dirt! Maybe she just wasn’t hungry…

The second day ended up having storm clouds roll in just as we were setting up so my vision of a field lit up with golden sunlight didn’t happen. But with a little lady as cute as miss Kat, you don’t need the added beauty of sunlight! I still absolutely love these images of her in this field, and that dress! Momma found it on Etsy and I want her to find me one in my size!

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And here’s a peek into her mermaid-themed birthday party, complete with delicious seafood! It was my first time eating crabs!

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The Morris Family

A few years ago before I moved to the area, the Morris family had just become a family of three. They visited Myrtle Beach and had some of the first family portraits taken of them and their baby girl, Caroline. Fast forward a few years and they came back as a family of five! Cammie wanted to re-create some of the pictures taken of Caroline with their second daughter Caswell. From being on the same stretch of beach to some of the same outfits that Caroline wore, Caswell had her first outdoor photo shoot to match her older sister! (The funny thing is, she looks like her brother Charlie when he was a baby!)

We met on the beach in the morning and like all beach sessions with young children, they were more interested in playing in the sand that looking at Miss Kirsten with the camera! Finally, at the end, I got Caswell’s attention with some Doobie Brothers. Who wouldn’t want to smile and groove along to “Listen to the Music”?


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Mommy and Me mini sessions

Back when I was living in Massachusetts I offered my clients my first mini session series for a “mommy and me” shoot. I didn’t anticipate the huge demand and my sessions sold out within a couple hours! In fact, I added additional hours to one day and an entire second day to accommodate everyone, plus I had a couple ladies on a wait list in case someone dropped out! I figured since that was such a huge hit I would offer the same thing down here!

This time though, instead of just taking pictures, I wanted to have a really cute set-up that was fun and inspired by spring! I decided to have a “tea time picnic” theme under a big willow tree at a local park. I planned on the weekend before Mother’s Day and after having such a rainy spring, I really lucked out with having a gorgeous, sunny day!

For the set up I went through my house and found blankets, pillows, the coffee table, wooden box and blue mason jars to be vases for the flowers. Then I searched everywhere for some really cute tea cups at local antique shops and borrowed some children’s books from my town’s library. I knew I had at least one little boy coming for a session and I didn’t think tea cups really fit so I also made a tee-pee! I love getting my creative juices going! Taking photographs makes me happy but so does planning and creating! I loved the way everything came out! Take a look!

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First up was Heather and her daughter Lexi. First, I need to give them a huge thank you, because in the rush to pack everything up and drive to the park, I left both batteries that I normally have with me at my house! AHHH! Serious anxiety moment. Luckily I live less than 5 minutes from the park so I flew home (quite literally) and had a great rest of the day after that!

Lexi was so cute! She loved reading all the books the most. She thought the very old book of children’s fables was a Bible!

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My next morning session was new mom Priscilla with her beautiful daughter Henley. Such a pretty duo of girls and cute session for her first Mother’s Day! My favorite part was towards the end, trying to get Henley to smile, Priscilla sang to her. She claimed she had a terrible voice but she really doesn’t and Henley really loved her rendition of “The Itsy, Bitsy Spider”.

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I took a break after my morning sessions until later in the afternoon. This weekend last year was very hot and I did not want me or my clients outside in the heat. It ended up being a bit cooler but it still worked out great! My afternoon sessions meant the sun was in a different spot in the sky so now it was behind us instead of in front. Back-lit pictures rock!

Briana and Peyton were my first afternoon ladies. I probably took way more pictures here than I needed to only because, well, not only are these girls gorgeous, but I am a huuuge sucker for anything country. When they walked up wearing country lace dresses and cowboy boots, my heart went pitter-patter! I had to take them away from the set up for a moment and take pictures in the field of tall grass for a few shots. I love Briana and Peyton’s relationship. You can tell they are inseparable besties and I really hope to one day have a relationship like that with my daughter if I ever have one!

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Remember when I did the post about Colin at seven-months old then his first birthday? Well this is him five months later! How does a child go from being one year old to looking like he’s about to go into kindergarten in five months!? I literally could not believe my eyes when I saw him walk up. He wasn’t a baby anymore, he was a man! Little man, but… still not looking like 17 months old.

Sheila brought along her mother to this session to Colin’s grandma was able to be part of of “mommy and me” as well! He had so much fun playing in and around my tee-pee! *Fist pump* for great craftsmanship!

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Last but not least was the beautiful Sheila and Harper! Sheila, of course, looked gorgeous as always and Harper’s dress was absolutely adorable! Can my future baby girl have her hand-me-downs? She is definitely a girly-girl right down to loving the tea cups! She did not want to put them down! Literally. When we tried taking them away to try other poses she got pretty teary-eyed! But that just meant we’d have a really cute tea party session!

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