"Home is where the heart is." OR "Make a house a home." Whatever the saying may be, or the words you use, this idea holds true. Any place you go with the ones you love will become a place of comfort. Because it becomes less about a space and more about who is there to greet you when you come home or who is there to hold you in the times of fear of hurt. Memories fade into the walls, memories of love and hardships. When we shot these two in their home it just felt right. I mean...why would you not decide to have a photography session in the place where your life is held. Where the memories of your love are held. - Kara
They waited till the last moment. That moment where the air is still. When the last few beams of sunlight streak across the world. Bathed in those last rays of the setting sun, Claire stepped barefoot through the grass of her childhood home. Jason waited for her at the of the aisle, ready to start the rest of their lives side by side. As the sun was finally eclipsed by the trees, Claire and Jason promised each other forever, under the thousands of twinkle lights that dripped from the branches.
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
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
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.....
“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.
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
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
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
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...