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.

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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!

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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! 🙂

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The Murray family is growing

The Murray family was expecting their third child (and a tie breaker!) in November so we did their maternity session in October, right around 30 days before she gave birth! Krystle looks incredible for being almost full-term with her third child, doesn’t she? (and her 2-month post-baby body is better than my non-baby body!)

The park we chose to do the session at had lots of different backdrops to chose from so we literally just walked around the whole area and took pictures everywhere. Their two children are seriously two of the sweetest kids on the planet and I’m sure they now have three of the sweetest children on Earth. They were so easy to work with, listened really well and made my job so much easier. In fact, the whole family was easy going and really fun to work with!

It was an overcast but still beautiful day and the leaves were just starting to turn and fall off the trees so it felt a little like fall!

And as for their tie-breaker? Scroll down to see which gender won! 🙂

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two cake smashes for two one year olds

Yikes! It’s been a while since I updated the blog and all the work I’ve been doing over the last 3 /15 months! But work is what I’ve been doing. Actually, no, I can’t say that because I truly love what I do and as they say, when you truly love what you do, it’s not work at all!

But for reals. I’ve been super busy. I think from the beginning of November through the first week of the New Year I didn’t have a moment to just relax and be the lazy self that I love being! (I’m really not that lazy. But I do love me some Netflix and Chill time!)

So any who. Back in September I photographed two little cherubs that were celebrating their first year of being born! The first one was Bently. He was having a Cars themed party so, thanks to my husband who used to be a mechanic, I made a little set up of all car/garage/mechanic stuff I could find, and then we used our old truck for some shots, then ended with the cake which he LOVED! I have never seen so much cake-face in my life! Most babies are all, “ew, yuck! get this off of me!” and he just went for it! You’ll also notice that he hasn’t quiet gotten the “smile for the camera or at least mommy” memo. No matter what we did he would not smile! But he sure is cute though!

Here is Bently’s first birthday cake smash session!

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A week later I headed out to a beautiful homestead in Ocean Isle Beach to meet miss Madison for her session. Her birthday party was going to be bright orange and pink everything with accents of pumpkins. Being September and somewhat fall-ish, I picked up some bales of straw, a couple big pumpkins and I made the fabric backdrop that you see. We had so much fun at this session!

Madison was all over the place, fully loving her new ability to walk around. And she too loved her cake. We all lost it at the end when she just smeared the frosting all over her face! We couldn’t have asked for a better session!

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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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The Slavin Family

Working with a two year old and an eight-week old could have been a lot more challenging than it was for the Slavin family! I tried working as quick as I could, as I know that the attention span for youngins is pretty small, and most new babies are not very chill, but I was quickly proven wrong! We decided to use two locations so we started at a park and then went to the beach on Oak Island to finish the session at sunset.

This cute, young family, visiting from Pennsylvania was such a joy to work with! Hopefully they come visit again and I can see how much their little baby has grown!

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Asher

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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