• some people look for a beautiful place;
    others make a place beautiful.
    - hazrat inavat khan -

holly :: bridal session in charleston, sc

My best friend of 11 years, Holly, got married to her soulmate of 10 years this weekend! What a beautiful celebration it was – VERY emotional and the tears were definitely flowing! As a part of her wedding present, I offered to shoot her bridals in April. I mean, what’s better than gifting your best friend with beautiful pictures of herself?!

What we walked away with was nothing short of amazing, despite starting an hour late (typical Holly-fashion ;)), and only having an hour to spare. The pressure worked to our advantage as we hopped from location to location to location, while she worked it for me all fierce-like and I clicked like crazy. Best part? She loves the finished product as much as I do.:)

Holly, thank you for trusting me to do something so special for you. You let me have fun, take some chances that worked in our favor, and made me excited about what I do. I love you.

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stephanie :: bridal session in hephzibah, ga

Remember that week in November when the weather was RIDICULOUSLY warm, and everyone was all excited that they could shed a couple of winter-wear layers for a wee bit?!

Yeah, this wasn’t that week. The nice weather I speak of came two days later. -___-

Don’t let those blue skies and sunlight fool you! In addition to the 50 degree weather, the wind was our enemy, so we had to go with it. But you wouldn’t be able to tell that Stephanie was freezing in any of these images from her bridal session because she is a freakin’ CHAMP!  And no matter how CRAZY my requests were, she did them.

Stephanie, let’s go inside the fence with the horses. Okay!

Stephanie, climb up on top of that hay bail. Sure!

Stephanie, sit against the cold metal plane. Alrighty!

She was a photographer’s absolute dream, and what we got is nothing less that MAGIC. We even learned that wires hooked up to a fence means it will shock you, and horses LOVE roses and will try to eat them if you get too close. There is certainly never a dull moment as a photographer. :]

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stephanie & jamie :: engagement session in rockhill, sc

Man, oh man, it’s be like  FOREVER since I’ve blogged last. This Fall has been CRAZY to say the least; I have PLENTY of sessions and weddings to write about, but I just haven’t been able to find the time until now!

I cannot believe it’s basically December. I feel like this year has flown by faster than they have in the past; maybe because of how busy I’ve been. I’m wrapping up my 21st wedding for 2012 in a couple weeks… yep, you heard me. Think about it – there are 52 weeks in a year… almost HALF of all of my weekends have been designated to weddings alone, not counting engagement and bridal sessions. I don’t even remember my spring and summer; I ate-slept-photographed-edited-repeat right through ’em.

I’m happy things are starting to slow down here: not because I don’t like the chaos; it just gives me the chance to stop and smell the roses and turn off the autopilot I’ve been on the past 8 months straight.

Two weeks ago, I photographed Stephanie and Jamie’s engagement session in Rockhill, SC on their old stomping grounds at Winthrop University. In all honesty, this is the first time I got to enjoy being outside with the amazing crisp weather and take in all of the amazing colors that Fall brings. We had an amazing time together; you can just tell it on their faces in the images! Seeing these two interact and show how smitten they are with each other… it made me excited for my 2013 wedding season and ready for all the chaos to begin again, because despite all the chaos and sleepless nights and blurry computer-induced vision, what I get to be a part of is a beautiful thing.

Try to look at each image below and not feel all warm and giggly inside; come’on – I dare you.:)

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meredith :: bridal session in columbia & aiken, sc

This session is pretty special to me for many reasons.

For one, Meredith is one of my bestest friends from college. It’s both exciting and nerve racking when your best friend asks you to shoot their bridal portraits because it adds pressure to make them over-the-top amazing and for her to feel beautiful. I’m also very honored to be trusted with this task – it truly does warm the heart when someone appreciates my work and wants you to be a part of something so wonderful.

Her love story is a good one: it’s the epitome of the saying, “Love will always find a way.” See, she’s marrying her high school sweetheart, Christopher, after 7 years of going their separate ways, seeing other people, living the college life – basically God worked his blessings like He always does, and put these two back into each other’s lives randomly and the sparks flew.

Awesome, right?!

Another reason these images mean so much is because of who Meredith is as a person and what she symbolizes to people all over the world. Meredith is a walking, talking, breathing figment of hope, inspiration, and blessing. She’s touched so many lives with her personal story and continues to inspire everyone [including me] with her outlook on life despite the obstacles she’s faced.

Meredith is currently living with a rare form of cancer called Ocular Melanoma. It started in her eye, but what makes it so rare and hard to treat and cure is that it’s spread throughout her body and manifesting in other organs. The source is extremely difficult to find, so she’s left to just treat it until it is found. This past summer, she went through an experimental treatment in Tampa, FL that left her body so weak and on the verge of shutting down, but she fought  through it and recovered with flying colors. Through that process, she ended up losing her hair, which definitely put a toll on her mentally and emotionally. She felt as if her long brown locks identified  her femininity, and that she was losing a part of herself with it being gone. With me being curious and long distance, I asked her if she felt comfortable sending me a picture of her new hairstyle which she replied that she wasn’t ready. Since then as it has grown out from a little peach fuzz to a buzz cut, she’s become more comfortable with everything and has embraced her new look. She rarely wears her wigs and feels more free without them. She did purchase a wedding wig for the big day which we have affectionately named “Claudette”, but I asked her if we could photograph some images without it on. With a big smile, she responded, “Yes, I’m ready.”

Meredith feels beautiful again. You can tell it in all of these images. That’s why this session with her and these images mean so much to me: because I got to see Meredith be Meredith – the confident, smiling, proud woman that I’ve always known her as.

I failed to mention that she’s kinda a big deal for USCA Lady Pacer Basketball. It only made sense get some pictures with her “first love”:)

20 was Christopher’s basketball number in high school:)

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laura :: bridal session in beech island, sc

Meet Laura: one of the absolute sweetest, most genuine, laid back brides that I ever had the pleasure of working with!

Despite the miserable July heat, Laura never complained once, and pretty much did everything I asked of her. Deffffffinitely a trooper, because with a gorgeous girl and dress like this, I had her doing A LOT. Even during the brief rain drizzles, she just stood there like a champ, and welcomed the cool-down with open arms instead of running for cover!

We kept this session simple; just Laura, her adorable shoes, a faux-gardenia bouquet (you soooo can’t tell it’s fake!), and the vintage southern backdrop of Redcliffe Plantation in Beech Island, SC. Rocking chairs, wrap around porches, big gardenia trees, big fields with tall grass… everything screamed southern living and help bring out that southern belle in Laura. She did have one prop though… her sweet pup Georgia! We had a lot of laughs trying to get Georgia to cooperate and “smile pretty”. What she lacked in listening skills, she definitely made up with the ability to make Laura genuinely laugh which is awesome for me and my camera.:)

Laura, thank you for trusting me to shoot the all-around beauty that you are. The outside certainly matches the inside – your soul is kind and so appreciative of those around you. And girllll, your diva face is fierce – NO idea why you were so nervous about it! I loved working with you, and I certainly hope that this isn’t the last time. We’ve got more amazing images and memories to capture!:)

Enjoy some of my absolute favorites from my bridal session with the newly married, Mrs. Laura W. Houston!

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