Elopements + Intimate Weddings have always stolen my heart.    There is something about that quiet space in the woods or being surrounded only by those who are nearest and dearest in the world to you, that narrow in and bring out the tears and the overwhelming joy.   The honest emotions that I see in these moments are beyond breathtaking. 

     So choosing an elopement styled shoot was a complete no-brainer for us and Elyse + Ben are the DREAM romantic and snuggly couple.  And HUGE shoutout to Voila Bridal and Formal for this crazy gorgeous gown and Carolina Petals for killing the floral game.    - Kristin



The best description I have heard of Botany Bay, I first heard from my sister when she described it as, "Nature's version of a modern art gallery."   And I feel like Madison and I really attempted to stay true to this theme when designing this Engagement Shoot.    From the choice of the long simple white dress to the absolute necessity of incorporating the drift wood.... or "Modern Art" :)

    To Madison + Ben:  Thank you for always being willing to try an adventurous location or tip toe your way along precarious drift wood.   Also...  you two are freaking models!  - Kristin 



     From the classy charcoal suits and Samantha's stunning lace gown, to the sweet schoolhouse that held the reception, this wedding was filled with so much charm.  

       Ben's face when he saw Samantha coming down the aisle was what every girl wishes for... that tear filled joy that overflows into laughter.   And there were also very few dry eyes in the crowd that day as these two said I Do.  

To Samantha + Ben:   I cherish those sweet moments you shared with us and your closest friends and family during the ceremony.   Thank you again and again for choosing us to photograph your beautiful day.   - Kristin



     As I have probably mentioned again and again on this blog, customizing shoots to be tailored to each couple and their story is a huge HUGE thing for me.  So when Mary Lyle and I sat down to start laying out ideas for her shoot she immediately told me that she and Steven had met in middle school and that she wanted to go back there for their engagement shoot relive memories.   I of course latched onto this idea with a vengeance, because I love nothing more than storytelling shoots.   Especially if it's something off of the beaten path!    

To Mary Lyle + Steven:    Thank you for being absolutely adorable in your love of nostalgia and each other.    - Kristin   



     A bride in her wedding dress is a culmination of years imagining the image of what she will look like on her wedding day.   Wishes and pictures, inspiration and dreaming with her closest friends... nearly every bride I have had the joy of designing their bridal shoot with has had an image in her head of what she wishes to be.   And it is beyond exciting when together we see all of these imaginings come together in her bridal portrait.   The first time she sees herself as others will see her on the wedding day!

To Nicole:   You made one stunning bride and I enjoyed every fun chatting over coffee/designing/photographing moment with you!



      Tropical and Lush and Romantic are all words that inevitably come to mind when I think of Jessica and Jose's wedding set in the jungle like atmosphere of the River Road House and Jasmine Gardens.

     Never have I seen two beautiful souls so completely meant of one another.  On their wedding day, Jessica and Jose chose to send each other letters before they went down the aisle and the overwhelming joy that filled each of them while reading the letters from their love was unforgettable.

To Jessica + Jose:   I firmly believe God made you two for each other and am so thankful you chose us to join you on all of these beautiful moments with you.  - Kristin 


When Anna texted me a year after we photographed her wedding, wanting to plan an anniversary shoot my response was probably a little over the top enthusiastic.  Because photographing a couple who I am already friends with and are comfortable in front of my camera leaves me open to capture some absolutely magical moments.     

    When we sat down over coffee to design their shoot together Anna expressed this desire to have a romantic and playful shoot in the mountains.  I immediately latched onto this idea and began picturing dozens of spots in my head, but we both finally settled on the scenic Lake Lure.  (I mean they filmed "Dirty Dancing" here... how much more romantic can it get?)

To Anna + Scott:    Thank you for allowing us to see all the sweet romance that happens after the wedding day.   For letting us capture the true fairy tale.    - Kristin


 From the moment of her bridal when I first saw Baileigh in her wedding dress, I told her over and over that she looked like a queen.   Full on ballgown, should have had a tiara, needs to be coronated, loveliness.   And Baileigh and Daniel's wedding day was every inch fit for royalty, from the vintage cream white jaguar that rolled in to carry them to the reception, to the grandness and opulence of the tented ballroom lit by candlelight.  

    A huge thanks to Baileigh and Daniel for bringing a little magic and fairytale into our every day lives.     - Kristin

And a shoutout to all of the amazing vendors who made this day possible!

Gown: Voila Bridal and Formal

Makeup: Vaughn Free of Merle Norman Cosmetics of Greenwood

Hair: Allure Salon

Floral + Decor: Greg Hall Events and Company

Reception Venue: The Greenwood Country Club


      Dancing in the tall grass and whispering sweet nothings to his wife, Sam held Kelsie close and it was like we weren't even there with them.   On the day of this super romantic ANNIVERSARY SHOOT the wind was a force to be reckoned with and we all bonded through laughter at the flying hair and the struggles.  

     Life is so good when you can hang with amazing people and capture their beautiful love.



     Everywhere I looked on this wedding day, I could tell that the thing that made Casey and Aaron tick were the connections with the people they loved.    From Casey's bridesmaids running around with happy hearts helping Casey get ready, to the groomsmen who all bantered with each other on the way Aaron's bowtie should be tied.    Casey even chose to wear her mother's altered wedding dress and showcase the heartfelt connection she had with her family.  

      And I have never seen so much joy as in the way their friends gathered in what was nearly a huge group hug to congratulate Casey and Aaron moments after the ceremony.   Tears and laughter and more tears were shared and I must have had at least four different bridesmaids tell me how beyond perfect Casey and Aaron were for each other.    These things.... these emotions... these connections... this is why I love what I do so VERY MUCH.   - Kristin


   After following Keri + Stephen down winding backroads through the mountains I knew these two were going to be a load of fun the second they hopped out of their jeep in hiking shoes and threw their garment bags over their shoulder.   

       Together we shimmied, slid, and climbed our way down past several falls to some of the most picturesque falls I've seen.  Although I must say trying to communicate with them turned out to be much more comical than you would imagine, because the falls were so very loud that half the time I ended up doing these hand motions/facial expressions to attempt to translate my thoughts across to them!  Which to the outside observer probably looked more like an elaborate tribal dance.  

    When Stephen and Keri and I first started chatting about this shoot, Stephen really wanted to literally get in the falls, like waist deep in a cold mountain stream.... and of course my response was an overly enthusiastic yelp of "YES"!    So these two braved the bracing water and were total rock stars sliding down into the water.  Up until Stephen picked Kerri up and they both took a dive and ended up a little bit more drenched than they originally intended.   Keri handled it all with giddy laughter shouting, "I'm a mermaid!"  while making her way back to dry land.  All in all these two were WAY too much fun to photograph.   

    A little muddy, a lot sweaty after climbing back up to the cars, but you probably couldn't see that through the beaming smile I had because I was so thrilled with the way the shoot turned out.  So here's to MANY more such adventures this year with my AMAZING couples.  (that's all,  I'm done with the CAPS now :)  - Kristin


      Stories..... people's stories are so important. The way people think, the way they forgive, get upset, care, what makes them ache. Their past problems, their future dreams. As a photographer I was given the gift of shooting peoples' moments and memories to treasure forever, but sometimes I think in the midst of it all I get to caught up in making people look beautiful and not caring about who I'm actually photographing. Forgetting that every single one of them has a a beautiful intricate soul. I want to photograph stories.

     Anna + Ron thank you for allowing me to photograph your love story.   - Kara

BACKYARD WEDDING | Kerri + Patrick

Kerri's face lit up in the most heart stopping smile the moment she spotted Patrick. As the long shadows were cast over the lake she walked with a joy and determination looking at nothing but him.  

  Patrick watched Kerri with tears escaping unnoticed on the long walk from His parents house.   In his handwritten vows Patrick promised to forever cherish Kerri and to always walk through the spiderwebs first.  

    Some couples have so much love and joy that it overwhelms me and brings me to tears.   I struggle to keep photographing and hold it together as they stand in front of all their loved ones noticing no one but each other.  Kerri + Patrick it is an honor to listen to your story.    - Kristin

Finish the Story | Your Wedding Album

    I think my favorite way to describe weddings is to call them "Love Stories" .  Because if you think about it, it isn't just a day, there aren't just two people, it isn't just about saying I DO, it may not be perfect but it's your fairytale.   And there is something about printing your story that makes it so vivid.  The CD's will scratch, the jump drive will phase out, the online gallery can't be held in your hand as you share your story with someone you love.  

     Here are album layouts of several different weddings...... follow the stories.....

Living The Art Life | My hobbies

    “Be Brave,” he would whisper over my shoulder when I was hard at work on a painting in his studio.  I would look up in confusion into his smirking face.  “You like to play it safe,” he would claim as he stole the brush from my hand and swiped several deft strokes across my canvas.  Managing to create the look in moments that I had been striving for for the past hour.  This man of 90 something odd years taught me so much more than how to drop paint onto a canvas.  

       If I listed photography as my job, I would list Art as my hobby.  Now everyone knows how passionate I am about photography, (I certainly talk enough about it) but a lesser known fact is that painting, drawing, or getting elbow deep in charcoal, is what I would call my “Quiet Space.”  It’s that thing I do that gets me out of my own head and takes me another place for a couple hours.  I completely lose track of time and when I slowly come back out of my art haze I’m exhausted, but somehow my creativity is refreshed.  Over the years I have learned to translate my love of art and art history into my photography.   Flipping through some of my favorite past projects and shoots you can see the influences that some famous artist may have had on my work as a photographer.  

Inspiration: Detail of John Singer Sargent Painting

Inspiration: Detail of John Singer Sargent Painting

Creation: Detail of a Bride's Graceful hands on her Wedding day  

Inspiration: Moody Dark Renoir Painting

Inspiration: Moody Dark Renoir Painting

Creation:  An impressionist feeling portrait shot through rain covered glass. 

Inspiration: Visconti Painting

Inspiration: Visconti Painting

Creation:  Portrait of Dreaming in a field

Inspiration: Supposed lost painting by Leonardo Da Vinci

Inspiration: Supposed lost painting by Leonardo Da Vinci

Creation:  Old Masters style profile of a girl

Creation:  Old Masters style profile of a girl

Inspiration: Detail of another Da Vinci Painting

Inspiration: Detail of another Da Vinci Painting

Creation:  A bride photographed through a door on her wedding day.  

Creation:  A bride photographed through a door on her wedding day.  

    Always, always, always, push yourself as a human being to try something new.  “Be Brave,” he whispered… I think he might have been talking about more than just art.  - Kristin

What to ask your Wedding Photographer

     It’s a style, it’s an emotion, it’s a look…. whatever it is, you are first and foremost drawn to a photographer because of the beautiful images they are able to create on a wedding day.  But now that you have found someone you might like to you photograph your wedding day… what now?   You know you have to ask for prices, but isn’t there so much more?!  

     As a photographer who has been photographing weddings for 7 years, here are (not only questions that I would ask my photographer when I get married one day, but also) questions and fears that brides have entered my studio with when meeting me for the first time.

I found you.... Now what????

How many Photographers :  Having the peace of mind that on your wedding day you have more than one photographer (especially during those critical moments like the first kiss) is priceless.  

How many Weddings do you Photograph a Weekend : Over the years I have met photographers who photograph 3 + 4 weddings a weekend, and you as a bride may not mind, but coming from the perspective of a photographer I like to know that my wedding photographer is only photographing 1 wedding a weekend and 100% focused on the event at hand and not thinking about what’s coming next or already exhausted from the previous wedding.

Are your Second Shooters Professionally Trained : For me this is a big one!  When I go to choose the images for my wedding album I want everything to look seamless and beautiful together.  Check out their wedding albums and ask if they are made of multiple photographers images.  This will show you if the photographers' styles blend.

Do you Print or Just offer Digital : I happen to be enamored with printed photographs. Don’t get me wrong I love to share all of my images on social media, but at the end of the day it’s that gorgeous leather album. that really tells the story, that I cherish most.

What happens if the photographer is Sick on my Wedding Day :  Many well established studios will have trained photographers who can step into the roles effortlessly because they want their brides to have nothing to worry about.

What do you Charge for Additional Hours:  See if your photographer is open to the idea of staying later on your wedding day if you request it.  

How long does it take to get My Pictures after the Wedding :  I have heard so many horror  stories about a bride’s friends or families not receiving their wedding images until many months after the wedding!  Just be sure they have an approximate time they guarantee you to have your pictures.

Are you open to My Ideas : This one is optional.  I do have many brides who come in and want us to simply handle everything.  But if you are creative… just ask… it doesn’t hurt to see if they are open to ideas.

Are travel fees included in your packages :  This varies from photographer to photographer, but we have chosen to include travel within the state in all of our wedding collections.  So for those brides who would love something a little bit special,  it’s definitely a good question to ask.

Make sure you Jive : This one I can not stress enough!   I would say that at least 50% of the reason you should book your wedding photographer is because you like them as a person.   This person will be spending time with you on this emotional and amazing day of yours.   Always choose someone who makes you feel comfortable, because that will translate in the pictures.  If you feel happy and comfortable it will show.

     It is a balance of many things when choosing the right person to photograph your wedding day.   But with a little research and the right questions you can find that photographer who has a genuine interest in who you are as a couple and is truly passionate about capturing your love story to share with your kids one day.  - Kristin

The Tiny Dragon | A.K.A. My Puppy

    She is my tiny dragon because she has more personality than some people I've met.   I've concluded that she is the only dog I've ever met who could growl affectionately.  At first glance she is a bit bedraggled, with a fluffy bear like quality to her.  She has been known to "purr" when hugged too tightly, but she never actually follows through with the threat.  After 13 years together, my thoughts are this is her way of maintaining her independence.  Because she is like her mommy... and we like to do things on our own.   

    She has accumulated more nicknames than I could possibly remember, a new one seeming to appear every month, but lately she goes by the Tiny Dragon.  Mostly inspired by her fiery personality and the fact that Shih-tzus were bred to be Chinese palace pets. (And trust me she knows she has a royal bloodline)  She and I get along very well in our (not lap dog but) beside the lap dog relationship.  We love to be close and we like to be ourselves.  

She is watching me as I write this and I'm getting concerned she might sue me for copyright infringement.  So I'll close here... wish me luck!   - Kristin

All Dressed Up | Photographing the Mid-Winter Ball

     It was a BLAST!!!  The music, the lights, the decorations.... this is my fourth year photographing this event, and I have to say that every single time they blow me away!   This year I loved the whole new Hollywood element they added, having a red carpet and background at the entrance like you might see at the Oscars or the Golden Globes.  I got to photograph all the ladies and gents working the carpet in their finest and hang out with some incredibly fun people.   Everyone danced the night away, making it another memorable night at the ball.

Six hours later my feet are killing me in these heels, but it is by far one of my highlights of the year! - Kristin

   You can find more pictures from the Ball on our Facebook page... 

Yes... I'm Travel Obsessed | Where I've been this Year

Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know I shall be happily infected until the end of my life.  - Michael Palin

I blame my parents.   They started me young and it has only gotten worse since.  In my head there is not only a list of places I want to visit, but both a Long term list and a Short term list.  Like... yahoo!  Oregon and the North West just made it to the short list!   I'm weird, I get that.  :) But traveling with my photography has made my life that much better.   So here is a quick little look into some places I have journeyed to in the past year...

Miami + The Bahamas

    Weirdly enough, as much as I've traveled, I've never actually been on a cruise until this past year.  Generally speaking I am very nosy and curious and I want to stay somewhere longer and find all the little places that even the locals may not know about.   However this year, we made the leap into the cruise line travelistas...  a fellow wedding vendor friend of ours, who is a very talented caterer invited us to join her on a road trip to visit her son in Miami and then a short cruise to the Bahamas.  I mean... why would we say no?   My favorite part of this trip was when her son took us on tour through Miami and showed us this incredible art district called Wynwood, where every wall has some of the most spectacular street art you have ever seen!

I ❤️ Miami  

I ❤️ Miami  

We live in a Beautiful World

We live in a Beautiful World

This was one of my favorite artists who's work decorated multiple walls around the district. 

This was one of my favorite artists who's work decorated multiple walls around the district. 

Las Vegas + San Francisco + Wine Country

     Every year we journey to Las Vegas for the world's largest Wedding Photography Convention held in the MGM Grand.  (which by the way has the world's softest beds)  And usually while we are so far out west, we think, "hey, why not hop on over to the coast while we are here?!   So this year we hopped a flight to San Francisco (which was dirt cheap... like $30 bucks) and stayed right downtown and even got to see the Chinese New Year Parade!   We also did a day trip up into wine country while we hung out in San Francisco for a few days.    Side Note: I'm definitely going back soon because I did not have near enough time in this beautiful city.

Sunsets + Trolleys

Sunsets + Trolleys

Shot from the trolley riding all the way down toward fisherman's wharf. 

Shot from the trolley riding all the way down toward fisherman's wharf. 

Afternoon at the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Afternoon at the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Chinese Dragon at the New Years parade celebrating the year of the ram. 

Chinese Dragon at the New Years parade celebrating the year of the ram. 

Muir Woods is a magical place. 

Muir Woods is a magical place. 

California wine country

California wine country


    I've been to a lot of beaches, both in the Caribbean as well as other parts of the world, and I have to say Aruba could rub elbows with the best out there.   The beaches are stunning and wide,  the sand is white but doesn't get hot because it's made of coral, and the swimming is FABULOUS!  (which is huge for me, since you can't keep me out of the water)  Also great for water sports or sailing because it's windy.   One of my favorite parts about Aruba, however, is the fact that from one side to the other it is almost a 180.   The developed half of the island with all of the resorts is full of palm trees and vegetation with wide beautiful beaches and calm waves.  The rugged side of the island is just that.... rugged.   Bleached white cliffs drop 30 feet to turquoise crashing waves.  It's rocky and barren with a wild beauty that forces itself on you in the hot sun.   As much as I loved the beach, this side of the island is so otherworldly that I still can't get it out of my head.  

Always always ride a sailboat when you are near the ocean! 

Always always ride a sailboat when you are near the ocean! 

Eagle Beach

Eagle Beach

Yet another Trolley! 

Yet another Trolley! 

New York City

     Another big thing that tourists often visit, that I myself had never been to... New York City.  We spent the week before Christmas here celebrating my sister's 21st birthday.   Ended up walking 52 miles that week, which is a lot of walking, but totally worth it!  A big highlight for me was visiting The Met, because art is my favorite hobby.   I swear I could live in there for a week and still not get my fill!  New York lives up to it's name and we are planning to make a visit back there very soon!

The Empire State Building after dark. 

The Empire State Building after dark. 

The view from Ellis Island. 

The view from Ellis Island. 

The First Look | Should I do it?

     I got my start shooting weddings in the South.  By and large we of a Southern United States heritage tend to have "The Big Southern Wedding".  And I do have to say Southern Brides know how to do weddings right.  Along with these Southern Weddings, you have the tradition of the bride and groom staying out of each other's sight the day of the wedding until their ceremony actually begins.   But now you are seeing all of these brides in magazines and on blogs doing this thing called the "First Look" ... and you're thinking should I do this?  Will my photographer make me do this?  How do I explain this to my groom or heaven help me my mother!?  

    We probably photograph 50/50.  About half of our bride and grooms choose to have a first look and the other half choose to go the traditional route.   I have to say I do love photographing the "First Look", but I am also a huge believer in doing what you as a bride want to do on your wedding day.   

From the perspective of a photographer:  

When a Bride + Groom choose to have that special moment before the ceremony when they can see each other for the first time I have noticed several things happen....  The grooms often have a more genuine reaction because they feel more comfortable being themselves in front of their bride vs. all of their wedding guests when the bride walks down the aisle.    Also the stress level of both the bride and groom go down,  it's like seeing each other puts everything in place.   And whether they choose to go back to their separate spaces before the ceremony or hang out together for the rest of the day they both seem to have so much more fun!  (I happen to love this reaction!)


From the Groom's perspective:

   I had a bride meet with us before her wedding and fall in love with the idea of having this "First Look" moment with her Groom.   However her groom was definitely at odds with this idea.  He wanted to have that grand moment when she was walking down the aisle.... however he was open to the idea of seeing what it was all about.  So the groom went home and looked up as many articles as he could find on "The First Look" and in the end he agreed.    After these two were married and returned to our studio to view their wedding pictures the groom was ecstatic.   He claimed that the first look was one of his favorite parts of the day and that he would highly recommend it to any other groom and would even write a review about how awesome it was if we wanted one!

Alternative to "The First Look" :

    Usually if my Bride + Groom choose to keep it traditional instead, I will offer my favorite alternative to still achieve those beautiful shots you see of the Bride and Groom together.  Now most would take the time between the ceremony and reception to take these stunning shots, taking longer to get to the reception.  However I usually take a few shots right after the ceremony of the bride and groom as well as the family, then later after you've danced, eaten, mingled with your guests, we will go back out around sunset or even after dark and create some incredible romantic portraits of the two of you together!   It is also a great moment for the two of you to just relax, hang out, and get to go "Wow we're married!"

In the End... I think every couple should choose what they would be happy with...   It is your day after all!  - Kristin