Greensboro Photographer | Graylan Turns 1

I cannot believe this little guy is 1. I have watched him grow, almost daily, over the last year. His momma is one of my closest friends and crossfit buddy. He comes to the gym with her, and gets passed around by all of us. But I usually tend to steal him away. He's always smiling. 

Lindsey came up with the perfect theme for his birthday portraits and cake smash. It was quite chilly this morning but we got a handful of images before setting up for his cake in the studio. Lindsey gave him a 'trial run' with a cupcake last week, so he knew exactly what to do and was all in.

Graylan, sweet boy, I love you to pieces and can't wait to watch you grow. Happy 1st birthday!!

2017-12-06_0001.jpg
Graylan-10.jpg
Graylan-20.jpg
Graylan-25.jpg
Graylan-40.jpg
Graylan-47.jpg
Graylan-52.jpg

Mike + Rhiannon | Topsail Island Wedding

I'm really excited to share this wedding with you. Small, intimate, and all about them. I first met Mike about 3 years ago when I started crossfit. He was one of my coaches. Over those 3 years he became a good friend and someone I just loved being around. I quickly started hearing about Rhiannon. This girl he spoke of with such pride. After meeting her I saw what he saw. She is simply incredible. Funny, caring, beautiful and I've never heard such a genuine and great laugh as she has. These 2 have been together and engaged for years. Yesterday, they finally got married! A family only ceremony in nana's church and a reception by the waterway with friends and family. The day could not have been more perfect. They gave me plenty of time for photos. We even went out to the beach for a while and had a blast shooting and just playing around. I did very little directing and just let the 2 of them be themselves. Mike's genuine love for Rhiannon showed out there. The way he held her, and looked at her. You can't pose that. You can force that. It just came naturally for them. On the way to the beach, they decided they wanted fudge so we stopped in at little shop. I mean, its their wedding day and if thats what they want, then lets do it! 

Rhiannon's aunt and uncle hosted the reception at their home by the water under a white tent. Dinner, drinks dancing. The night was perfect. I am so incredibly happy for my friends wish them nothing but happiness! Mike and Rhiannon, thank you for having me and including me as a guest. I truly enjoyed and was honored to be a part of the best day of your life. Much love.

2017-10-22_0022.jpg
2017-10-22_0023.jpg
2017-10-22_0025.jpg
2017-10-22_0024.jpg
2017-10-22_0026.jpg
2017-10-22_0027.jpg
2017-10-22_0028.jpg
2017-10-22_0021.jpg
2017-10-22_0020.jpg
2017-10-22_0018.jpg
2017-10-22_0017.jpg
2017-10-22_0015.jpg
2017-10-22_0014.jpg
2017-10-22_0016.jpg
2017-10-22_0019.jpg
2017-10-22_0013.jpg
2017-10-22_0012.jpg
2017-10-22_0010.jpg
2017-10-22_0007.jpg
2017-10-22_0004.jpg
2017-10-22_0003.jpg
2017-10-22_0001.jpg
2017-10-22_0006.jpg

Growth

One of the things I've always loved about my job is how my clients become like family to me. I meet couples, photograph their wedding and throughout the process we get to know each other and the day of it's like I can't even imagine not being there with them. We cut up, tell stories, and they have complete trust in me to make the day run seamlessly. I'm lucky that they come back to me and ask me to photograph their growing families. I take so much pride in this. They get to know me as well, ask about my girls and how I've been. Ask about crossfit, because lets face it, they all know how much I love it. Summer has come and gone and the girls and I spent a lot of time together. We took a beach trip with my family and one of the highlights was probably our day trip to the US Whitewater Center. I love that my girls are pretty fearless. I take on less work in the summer to be able to do more with them and now that fall is here it is kicking into high gear. So life, lately, is a bit insane and in all this I've been a bit closed off with you, my clients.

2017-10-04_0006.jpg

This year has been a defining year for me. It has been one of the greatest and most difficult years of my life. I've learned that things come in twos. Or at least they have for me. It has been a year of incredible love and unimaginable loss. The kind that breaks your heart. It has been one of life and death. Pain and joy. Health scares. I have questioned my faith more this year than I ever have in my life. That's not an easy thing to admit.  I've learned that grief never really goes away and time most certainly does not heal everything. But I've also learned that vulnerability is the right choice because it is easy to be cold in a world that makes it so very difficult to remain soft. I can take what has been dealt to me this year and let it make me hard. Let it steal my joy. But I refuse. Instead I choose to accept that life isn't a fantasy. Things sometimes don't turn out how you maybe always imagined they would. There is no one 'right way' and what works for someone else maybe isn't what works for me. Personally and professionally. But you know what? Maybe they'll be even better. You have to leap. Blindly, if you have to.  But you move forward. And with the right people by your side, you can really do and be anything. I choose to be happy. I choose to be patient and believe that good things happen to good people. 

With that being said, I made a big change about a month ago and moved into a larger studio space. One that will allow me to grow professionally. It is something I have been wanting to do for quite a while but was scared. But I finally hit a point where I could not continue going at the pace I was going and stay in the same space. I'm really excited to be in a beautiful studio at Revolution Mill in Greensboro! This change was exactly what I needed and I'm excited to see just what I can make it do for me. Thank you to those that offered encouragement and the support I needed.

2017-10-04_0005.jpg

I'm looking forward to all the people I will get to work with in the coming months and close out 2017 with a bang!

Gossett Family | Mayo River

This is by far one of my favorite places to take clients. It's not for everyone and I was a little nervous taking little man out there but the water was low enough that we found a small beach area that worked perfectly and I wasn't too nervous carrying him through the water. I think it was well worth it! I photographed his newborn portraits and I can't believe how much he's grown since then. I'm honored the Gossett's asked me to continue to photograph their family and made the trip from Raleigh. Enjoy a few favorites from their river session.

2017-10-04_0001.jpg
2017-10-04_0002.jpg
2017-10-04_0003.jpg
2017-10-04_0004.jpg

Hailey | Rockingham County High Senior

I am thrilled to share Hailey's senior portrait session with you. We started in a beautiful field for her environmental portraits and ended her session at Greensboro National Golf Course. Hailey is an excellent golfer, earning herself a scholarship to UNCG next year. I'm having an absolute blast this 'senior season' I have gotten to photograph some pretty amazing kids.

HaileyJoy-10.jpg
HaileyJoy-16.jpg
HaileyJoy-28.jpg
HaileyJoy-41.jpg
HaileyJoy-59.jpg
HaileyJoy-61.jpg
HaileyJoy-75.jpg
HaileyJoy-69.jpg

Northwest High Senior | Sydney

I met Sydney a few years ago when I photographed her big sister, Ashton's wedding. She told me then I was going to do her senior portraits. Fast forward, here we are! Seniors are one of my absolute favorite subjects (except they make me feel old!) Sydney attends Northwest Guilford High. Go Vikings! She is an excellent student, plays Varsity Lacrosse and plans to go into the medical field. Congratulations Sydney on your senior year!

7.jpg
5.jpg
4.jpg
1.jpg
3.jpg
2.jpg

Kristen & Nielson | Revolution Mill Wedding

Kristen & Nielson's wedding has become one of my favorites! Kristen was detail oriented and so organized that her wedding was like a dream. Amanda with A Touch of Southern Events kept the reception running smoothly. She is always so great to work with! I first met Kristen & Nielson last summer and over the course of the last year we did 2 engagement sessions. We got to know each other pretty well and the day of the wedding was just like hanging out with friends. Their wedding party was a blast as well. Revolution Mill served as the reception venue and what a party they had. I'm so jealous of people that can 'shag.' I keep saying I'm going to learn... guess I should get on that! But dare I say that the majority of the guests as well as the bride and groom knew how and it was entertaining to watch and photograph. Soul Jam kept the party going with live covers of some great music. What a wedding this was! Enjoy a few favorites from their day.

STR/KE Movement | Haley Adams

Weddings are the bulk of what I do. But there is just something about photographing athletes that inspires me. This is Haley Adams. You may want to remember that name. This girl is going places in the world of Crossfit. STR/KE Movement asked her to model some of their gear and I was asked to do the photographs. I had a blast doing these. Congratulations on all your hard earned success Haley. I'm excited to see what the future has in store for you.

Fall Portraits | The Gladd Family

Fall portrait season has been incredible. All of my clients have returned for their annual portraits plus some new ones! Here is one of favorite families. I met the Gladd's when I moved into my current home. I had started marathon training shortly after and Heather was doing the same. I actually ran my first half marathon in Greensboro with her! They have since moved to a new home but we still keep in touch and I love getting to photograph them every year and see how much the kids have grown. I met them at Tanglewood for their session and we found a perfect spot for their photos. 

Getting A Little Personal

This portrait and wedding season has been both incredible and exhausting. I know that come October I'm going to be slammed as it's always when families want portraits and when weddings dates are in demand. My business is seasonal to a degree. I carefully plan out the month, schedule sessions while trying to balance my girls' activities and having somewhat of a life. 4 weddings, 28 sessions and 50,000 images captured. I survived. Barely. I've always done this on my own. Everything. Consultations, shooting, editing, sales, bookkeeping, etc. It's become too much. Which really, is a great thing! My business is doing better than it ever has. I invested a lot in my education this year and I believe it has really shown in my work. But, it has left me with more work than ever before. Good problem to have. But I cannot continue at this pace. I have to have balance. I have to take the next step. Expand. Hire help. It's scary. To trust someone else to do something the way you would. I'm not a control freak by a long shot but when it comes to your name and reputation you want it done right. Right? So here I am, taking a leap. It's the only way to grow. I can't wait to see what 2017 has in store.

I hit a milestone this year. I photographed my 100th wedding. It came on my last one of the year and it was perfect. The bride, Taylor, I've known since she was 7 years old. In my senior year of high school I worked at a preschool. In the afternoon, Taylor and her mom would come in to pick up her younger sister, Katelyn from my classroom. I've known the family ever since. Fast forward. When I was 20 I volunteered to coach basketball at the same program that I grew up playing in. Basketball was my life from middle through high school and to coach had always been something I wanted to do. Taylor was put on my team. It was pretty cool to see her all grown up. I went on to photograph her senior portraits and then when I saw she had gotten engaged I crossed my fingers she would ask me to photograph her wedding. Well, here we are. My 100th was just that much sweeter with this girl. We celebrated with a little champagne. She and her entire family were so good to me. Her wedding will be featured soon!

I am so grateful to every single person who has been there for me over the last several years. From clients, to my family and especially my girls. I do this for them. To show them that if they work hard, they can have their dreams too.  I love my job. Some days I get burnt out and it becomes a 'job' but for the most part it's rewarding and truly makes me happy. I get to be a part of the best days of peoples lives, see their families grow and give them priceless memories. Sometimes its hard. Last week I was called early one morning to come to the hospital. I was asked to photograph a baby girl and her family. She was stillborn in the middle of the night. I immediately agreed. I didn't know them. I didn't know their story. All I knew was they had a few hours with her before she would be taken and they wanted to remember her. As the morning went on and it came closer to time to go, I became nervous. My stomach was in knots. I felt sick. What would I say? I've had 2 early miscarriages and while I was devastated at the time, I could not relate to what this mother and father were going through. I didn't know what it was like to deliver a baby and know that I wouldn't be taking her home. I walked in, and was greeted by the father who thanked me for coming. I spoke with him for a moment about what they wanted. I photographed their sweet baby. Her features. Her nose, lips, feet, and little fingers. I photographed her mother holding her, tightly in her arms as she sang to her. I watched their tears flow as I fought to hold back my own. I finished and offered them both my sympathies and the mom hugged me and she didn't let go. I got out to my car and lost it. How did I just get through that? I sat for a minute and let it all sink in. I let myself feel it. I went on to the gym to clear my head and went about my day. But I kept thinking about them and how life can change so quickly. I've had other things in my life teach me that lesson and I think its why I tend to live in the moment, say what I'm thinking or feeling and love hard. Tomorrow isn't promised to anyone. I received a letter this week from that mother, thanking me again for what I did for them and told me that I would never know how priceless those photos were to her. While I don't feel as though I did much at all, to her and her husband I gave them everything. I am both humbled and honored and incredibly grateful for my gift that I am able to do things like this for people like that.

A Birth Story

Natalie and Demetri contacted me on referral from one of my existing clients about 2 weeks before their baby boy was due. They wanted someone to capture the birth of their sweet boy and a few pictures of them together after so that Demetri could be completely there for Natalie during her labor. I wish I had done this when both of my girls were born. I was on call all day and Demetri kept me updated. At 10pm she still hadn't made much progress so I knew that I would be up most of the night waiting to hear. I dozed on and off and got a call around 4am that it was time. I made the 45 minutes drive to Forsyth Medical Center and arrived just in time of Natalie to start pushing. An hour or so later baby Drake was born. What an amazing thing to be a part of. I feel so blessed and honored to be trusted with such a task. These photos speak for themselves. 

Greensboro Engagement Session | Kristen + Nielson

Kristen emailed me about doing an engagement session on a referral from my friends over at A Touch of Southern, one of the most awesome wedding planners in the biz. We hit it off immediately and had a great time. The two of them are both so photogenic that they made my job super easy. We stopped in at Greensboro's beautiful Bicentennial Gardens and finished their session downtown. You would never know from their images that it was the hottest day of the year. They were such troopers and I don't think they complained once, but were happy to do whatever crazy idea I had. 

2016-08-21_0007.jpg

Brittany + Billy | Summerfield, NC Wedding

Brittany and Billy's wedding was special. They decided to have a small ceremony in a field across from his parents home, on a Thursday afternoon. Close family and friends came for the celebration. Short, simple and absolutely perfect. This wedding was all about them and their love. 

Florist: Young's Florist

Photographer : Autumn Hollifield