Baylaa standing in field of wildflowers smiling on Easter 2017This Easter 2017 was the first. First holiday I didn’t walk through the door and see my grandmother cooking up a storm in her kitchen. First time I didn’t see her smile with pure joy as she watched her great grandkids hunt Easter eggs. And lastly first time I felt the ache of celebrating a holiday with someone you love missing. I once read that you shouldn’t share about heartache or messy topics on your blog because your audience doesn’t want to read about that, but I just can’t do that. I view my brand as an extension of me and my heart. Right now my heart is filled at alternating times with equal parts joy and sorrow.

I remarked to Stephen yesterday that Mammaw loved Easter. She loved every holiday, especially Christmas and Easter. She loved having reasons to celebrate, reasons to gather her beloved family together around the table. Is there a purer heart or motive for loving holidays?! At Mammaw’s Celebration of Life my brother talked about “The Table,” and how Mammaw’s life was a representation of that. Both her and pappaw were gatherers of people! They always brought people from all walks of life into their home and gave them a resting place. No matter what someone was like they were welcomed with open arms. Mammaw was a beautiful Jesus follower because all were welcomed at her table.

Yesterday though her absence was strongly felt, we celebrated as a family! We gathered around the table adorned with her favorite Easter decorations…talked, ate, and laughed. I am so thankful that I have the hope of seeing her again. Because of Jesus there is victory in death. Death isn’t the end of her story, her story and all of our stories are still being written. Happy Easter 2017 Friends!

Baylaa standing on edge of field holding wildflowerBaylaa holding dandelion and smelling it Baylaa blowing on dandelion Baylaa looking at dandelionBaylaa holding dandelion and smiling Baylaa wearing bonnet in field of wildflowersHusband and Wife standing in wildflowers on Easter Sunday

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Jeffery and Whitney kissing in field on back lawn by Biltmore House during Biltmore Engagement Session

Jeffery and Whitney were so excited for their Biltmore Engagement Session! They both love the Biltmore Estate, but wanted their session to be unique. Thinking outside of the box and trying new things is right up my alley. I love shooting at the estate because it is one of those rare places that you can always find a unique angle or perspective you haven’t previously captured. I had so much fun taking them around to all my favorite spots!

Jeffery and Whitney were huge troopers, even hiking up two really steep trails 😉 March in Asheville is to put it bluntly, all over the place. Last Saturday however was gorgeous! Sunny and warm and there was even a natural wind machine! Jeffery and Whitney were so sweet together! They had a running competition to see who could make the other laugh next! It makes my job a breeze when couples have fun and let loose. Jeffery and Whitney were more than willing to try out anything for their session. As Jeffery put it,”anything to put a smile on Whitney’s face!”

The saying that “when you know, you know,” perfectly applies to them!! Whitney and Jeffery are smitten for each other. Seeing their chemistry and love warms my heart! These two lovebirds are tying the knot in June!! It’s especially sweet because June will be their one year anniversary of being together as a couple! I know their wedding will be filled to the brim with laughter and smiles just like their Biltmore Engagement Session was.

Jeffery and Whitney standing under trees kissing at Biltmore Estate Jeffery and Whitney walking hand and hand up a hillJeffery and Whitney standing with arms entertwinedJeffery and Whitney holding hands during Biltmore Engagement PhotosWhitney hugging Jeffery from behind Whitney hugging Jeffery behind and smiling Jeffery looking at Whitney Whitney holding JefferyCouple holding hands and bride to be wearing engagement ringJeffery kissing Whitney on the side of her face Jeffery with arms around WhitneyJeffery and Whitney embracing Jeffery making Whitney laugh Jeffery and Whitney standing with foreheads touchingJeffery and Whitney sitting in the grassJeffery with arms around Whitney Whitney laughing as Jeffery tells her something funny Jeffery kissing Whitney on the side of her face Jeffery and Whitney smiling Jeffery and Whitney nuzzling Whitney and Jeffery kissing each other Jeffery with arms around Whitney in an embrace Whitney with hands gently resting on Jeffery

To see more Biltmore Engagement Sessions make sure to check out these related posts:

Lindsey and Gus’s Engagement Session 

Sarah and Stephen’s Engagement Session

Natalie and Ben’s Engagement Session

 

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Golden Hour

I am often asked when is the best time to take photos at a wedding, so today I thought I would share my favorite golden hour tips. Golden hour: we’ve all heard of it, it’s that mythical time of day when unicorns appear and all is right in the world. 😉 But in all seriousness, what is golden hour? and how can you time it so your photos are taken then?

The Golden Hour Breakdown

Golden hour is the time of day that is a.) one hour before sunrise or b.) one hour before sunset. Since you aren’t getting married at 5am, we will focus on the evening golden hour. During golden hour the sun isn’t as high in the sky, creating beautiful, soft hazy lighting that is ideal for portraits. Any photographer (including me) will tell you it’s their favorite time to shoot! When I am working with a couple and the bride shows me portrait ideas, 99.9% of them were taken during golden hour.

Why Shoot During Golden Hour?

Do you love that soft, golden haze you’ve seen in photos? Do you like not squinting and taking photos in full on sun? Then golden hour is your new best friend. When working with your wedding photographer and planning your wedding day timeline (more to come on that topic later) definitely keep golden hour in mind when thinking about your portraits. Ideally you would like to plan it so that your ceremony ends two hours before sunset. By doing so your photographer will be able to do family photos, bridal party photos, and then best of all your bride and groom photos at the optimal lighting time. Golden hour is the best time to shoot because not only is it the most flattering light, but it’s the most versatile. Golden hour photos can be taken with backlighting, where you are lit from behind and with directional lighting.

So if you love that honey bathed glow look in photos, then make sure you use some of these golden hour tips to get the wedding photos of your dreams!

romantic bride holding bridal bouquet up to her face during formal photosbride and groom embracing in a field during golden hour, golden hour tips

bride and groom at their heirloom inspired wedding standing in sun drenched field

bride with her arm wrapped around groom

groom kissing his bride at intimate claxton farm wedding

husband and wife kissing in field during sunset at Asheville NC wedding

To see more Golden Hour Photos make sure to check out these related posts:

Jesse and Elizabeth’s Wedding at Harvest Acres Farm

Megan and Steve’s Wedding at The Vineyards At Betty’s Creek

Tiffany and Tommy’s Wedding at Silver Fork Winery

 

  • March 16, 2017 - 8:09 am

    Sincerely Miss J - These are such beautiful pictures! I wouldn’t have thought about this! But you’re right. The golden hour has its lighting benefits for sure! <3

    Sincerely Miss J
    http://www.sincerelymissj.comReplyCancel

  • March 16, 2017 - 9:02 am

    Ola - I’ve never heard of the Golden Hour, but what a great tip! Does this concept work only when photographing people, or anything?ReplyCancel

  • March 16, 2017 - 10:21 am

    Theresa Bailey - These photos are absolutely stunning! Great reminder for brides and grooms to take advantage of the golden hour.ReplyCancel

  • March 16, 2017 - 2:43 pm

    Ania - Your wedding photos are incredible! I am also a huge fan of the golden hour, though I need to work on using light to my advantage a lot more. I want to master that glowy/hazy light shot.ReplyCancel

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Finally, finally I can say I’ve shot a Poinsett Bridge Engagement Session! Last year I saw a friend post about Poinsett Bridge! I am always on the lookout for new shooting locations! They were so sweet and shared the location with me and the rest is history. When Tanya and I were discussing their engagement session she mentioned how they loved Poinsett Bridge! I had been DYING to shoot there and finally had the perfect candidates. It’s a place Tanya and Ryan love to visit together! Ryan’s dad is in the stone business, which made their session at the bridge even more meaningful.

Poinsett Bridge was built in 1820! It used to be apart of Saluda Mountain Road which led to Asheville. If you ever get the chance to visit there, DO IT! The bridge is gorgeous and almost fairytale like! Tanya and Ryan’s Poinsett Bridge Engagement Session was dreamy! They both share relaxed personalities and shooting with them was full of ease. The weather was perfect, especially considering we live in the mountains and were shooting in February. The bridge is a popular spot, but we were fortunate and mostly had it to ourselves!

I can only imagine all the lovers who stole away under that bridge to share a kiss! I love the history of a place. Thinking about the dreamers who came before. Their hopes and dreams and thoughts as they traveled upon that road. I am very excited for Tanya and Ryan as they start their life together! I am hopeful for the places they will see and the people they will impact through their love.

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  • March 7, 2017 - 10:43 am

    Alyssa from The Sparkly Life - These are gorgeous photos! That setting is amazing–love the arch! You are a very talented photographer. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • March 7, 2017 - 11:39 am

    Allison - What a gorgeous engagement session! You captured so many feelings perfectly!ReplyCancel

  • March 7, 2017 - 4:38 pm

    Meghan - I love this engagement session. I am currently looking for different photography styles for when I do mineReplyCancel

  • March 10, 2017 - 9:20 pm

    Jennifer - What a gorgeous location. I can see why you were so excited to shoot an engagement session their and how great it was with such a gorgeous couple.ReplyCancel

  • March 10, 2017 - 9:58 pm

    Kelly Gojmerac - Such a beautiful esession. The lighting is beautiful xoReplyCancel

  • March 11, 2017 - 11:21 am

    Alice L - This is a really pretty location and you can see all the history.ReplyCancel

  • March 11, 2017 - 1:32 pm

    karen - what an amazing shoot and location!ReplyCancel

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If you couldn’t already tell from the title of this, I’m back in town! And by I’m back, I mean back in Asheville! This is a hard post to write. It has taken me some time to put into words. Before Stephen and I moved to Los Angeles, I was very vocal about our move and I was all in. Committed to making it work in LA and to moving my business halfway across the Country. Have you ever tried something that didn’t work? I can certainly say that I have. I like to think that with each year that passes I grow wiser and learn more. 2016 was a huge year of learning!

Stephen and I tried LA and he liked certain aspects of it (surfing being one of them)! No matter what though he couldn’t escape how homesick I was feeling and how the mountain girl in me felt so out of place. We moved back to North Carolina in December rather quietly! There was no fanfare or instagram updates tracking our journey home. When you take a big a leap and things don’t play out like you thought they would, it’s humbling to say the least.

But there is a silver lining to all of this! We are both very happy to be back in Asheville. I love Asheville and have since the day my family moved here when I was 11. I love the people, the mountains, the food, the diversity, I could go on and on! Most of all I am happy to be back in the wedding industry here. I have found the wedding industry in Asheville to be incredibly welcoming. An atmosphere where everyone cheers for each other and hopes to see their success. So, thank you for letting me be apart of this community! After living in LA for a short time, I now know where my tribe is and you guys are it.

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