Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ben & Laura

I've been so busy lately photographing families and children for Christmas gifts that I haven't had a chance to write about a beautiful wedding I photographed in Franklin, VA a few weeks ago. Ben & Laura had a gorgeous fall day and I wanted to share some of their photos.
I always like to play around with the rings and flowers before the wedding if I have a chance. Isn't Ben's ring casting a beautiful shadow in the pages of the Bible?

Laura was relaxing for a few minutes in the parlor before the ceremony and I thought
the light was especially beautiful falling on her.

Ben and Laura -- post-ceremony.

The reception had a lovely, seasonal feel with fall colors. The table decorations used the names of trees as part of the centerpieces and pine cones for the name card holders. This is obviously from the happy couple's table.

I thought this cake was simply beautiful . . .

. . . and it had a special touch climbing up one side -- Laura's little dog.

No one sang any Hokie songs while I was there but I'm guessing there were some Virginia Tech fans in the house with this centerpiece on the food table.

Everyone was lined up to take advantage of the candy bar before they left for the evening. It was a real bonus to the sugar junkies -- cake plus candy!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I Am Thankful . . .

I know we're all spending a little time these next few days reflecting on what we are thankful for. I have many things that I am thankful for, especially that I live in a community where we all care about each other and do what we can to help each other out. I am thankful for my healthy family, for having good friends, and for working at a job that gives me great satisfaction. One of the most satisfying parts of my work is meeting new people and staying connected with people from my past by being called on to document their lives. I have intended for some time to write about my session photographing Hinton Meyer in the cotton field and today seemed like a good day to do that. Most of my local readers know Hinton and I, of course, have known his parents and grandparents for years. He is a special little boy and I am feel honored and grateful that I had the opportunity to photograph him. After all his mom's planning, it looked like we were going to be rained out but we managed to avoid bad weather and had a most pleasant afternoon in the cotton. So, I am thankful that I finally got a chance to meet Hinton and see his mom, Melissa, again. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Picture Perfect Day at Chowan

The Saturday and Sunday sessions at Chowan are over and I think they were great. We had beautiful weather and good-looking families. I definitely hope to turn this into an annual event if not more often. Probably the only grumbles I heard from anyone was that the Saturday appointments did hit during a prime day in hunting season but most of the hunters were pretty obliging once we got started. I'm obviously up to my ears in pictures and will be sorting, cropping and proofing for the next couple of days. In my initial sorting of all the photos, I saved a few that I thought I'd share as a preview. Daniel Glaze and his airborne girls really got into the swing of things Saturday morning and had a great session. I love the expression on his face and it looks like the girls are ready to fly. It's also a pleasure for me to have Brantley and Baylor Edwards to photograph. I've known their mother since my days at Northampton-East and have been photographing them since they were tiny. They have grown into "school-age" boys and were a barrel of fun. And pretty Miss Loren Keech found her mother's brick on the Chowan walkway and demonstrated her knowledge of her "ABC's" to us by spelling out mommy's name. I better get back to work on all these photos and hope to have the proofs ready soon.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rebecca & Ben

I get to stay young and feed the hopeless romantic in me by taking photos of beautiful couples like Rebecca & Ben. We had a great afternoon on the Roanoke Canal trail and on the train tracks in downtown Weldon. You can see all the photos on my website at

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Beautiful Children

Skylar Wood is a beautiful combination of her parents whose wedding I photographed several years ago and, boy, does she have a wardrobe!! I loved this coat and hat. I thought it made her look like something from a Currier and Ives Christmas print.

Madelyn looks like she's ready for Santa in her Christmas pj's.

Ethan was all over the yard and it was sometimes a struggle to catch up with him. His dad helped out by playing a chasing game and we got him cornered in the shrubs with this beautiful expression on his face. I also photographed his parent's wedding just a few years ago.

Danielle and her sister have been coming every Christmas season since they were born. Danielle is really into dogs this year as you can tell from her menagerie.

Maddox Bullock (above) and his sister Sloan (below) have also been coming to see me since they were babies. One of my favorite and most repeated lines -- don't you just love these "little" expressions better than a big cheesey, fake grin? They look like little angels!

Everyone is writing what they are thankful for at this time of the year and I think it's a wonderful idea. I'm thankful that my husband is finally home after a couple of weeks of travelling the state on a variety of missions. I'm also thankful that I have so many wonderful customers who have brought their ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN in for holiday portraits. I just thought I'd show you a few of them and hope I'm not spoiling any Christmas gift surprises for the grandparents.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ho! Ho! Ho!

We're getting in "elf" mode here in Conway -- children and families and framing, oh my!! I decided the weekend was the best time to post these photos. I've had them in my blog folder for almost a year but I thought if Peggy or Lynn walked by the computer while I was writing this that they would hit the "delete" button on me. Most of you who have brought their children in for portraits already know that the majority of the time "Miss" Peggy or "Miss" Lynn help out with the kids and there is nothing that wouldn't try to get a smile or to encourage a hesitant little one to cooperate. Sometimes they have to jump in front of the camera to show what I want and there have been times that they are just so funny that I snap the shutter on them. They usually threaten me not to let anyone see these photos but I decided to accept the consequences. I don't really remember the details of these two shots but I think they both happened during the holiday whirl last year. Peggy must have been demonstrating how attractive a Santa hat can be when worn correctly and I think Lynn was just trying to convince a child that sitting on the bench was fun. They probably succeeded; they usually do and I'm thankful for that. If you'd like to see how crazy we all can get to achieve your holiday photo goal, give us a call and set up an appointment. Time is running out on photos that we can guarantee for Christmas delivery. We'll be taking appointments through December 2 and then we'll probably have to cut off appointments so we can work on the orders that we have in. Hope to see you!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ashley & Kevin

Instead of lighting a unity candle, Ashley & Kevin had the sand ceremony as part of their wedding.

A beautiful fall day!

Dusty the donkey was not only an honored guest but
participated in the ceremony. Ashley didn't let him eat her bouquet though!

I'm always apologizing for being slow to post new photos on the blog but today's horrible weather was all the encouragement I needed to remember a gorgeous fall day about a month ago when Ashley and Kevin were married at their home in Halifax county. It was a little chilly that day but it was absolutely beautiful with bright blue skies and gorgeous fall colors. The tent was set up next to their home with pastures of horses, goats, and donkeys all around. Everyone in the tent, including Ashley and Kevin, collapsed with laughter during the ceremony when an extremely loud donkey added his own personal soundtrack. It seems that one of the goats was caught in the fence and Dusty was trying to get someone's attention so he could be rescued. You probably can't tell from this photo but Ashley and Kevin were about to die laughing during the sand ceremony. After the reception got rolling, they paid a little visit to Dusty to thank him for his participation in the festivities.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Christmas Cards

HO! HO! HO! It's that time of year and we've started ordering Christmas cards for several of our clients. Keep in mind that we can order cards for you from any sitting you may had this past year. We've seen Christmas cards created from weddings, senior portraits, children and families (of course) as well as from sittings we're doing now in the studio. We got several Santa hats and reindeer antlers to fit all the little ones and would be glad to have you come in for some special holiday shots. Our lab has several new Christmas card designs and I can always custom-design a card that will make yours completely different from everyone else's. A few custom cards from last year are shown here. Call us if you have any questions about cards or would like to set up an appointment.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Covered in Girls!!

First of all - congratulations to Joy and Brent Chafin on the birth of little Sophie on Friday. She joins a wonderful family and has three beautiful sisters who will take great care of her and teach her how to twirl. I did some photographs a few weeks ago for the Chafin family and wanted to share one with you. You've may have heard me say that sometimes I know something is special the moment I click the shutter and other times I'm so caught up in the technicalities of trying to get the shot that I can't really appreciate it. The latter happened here. I had been taking photos of the three girls when their Daddy arrived. They all dropped me like yesterday's news and ran to him and covered him with little girl love. I was watching from about 30 feet away and wanted to get photos of this but I also wanted to simply watch and enjoy. I think I got to do both but I didn't really appreciate how beautiful the scene was until Joy ordered this portrait. I was a Daddy's girl myself so I can get a little emotional looking at this photo. There will never be another man in your life quite like your father.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sale Starts Monday

I'm trying to be a good daughter and listen to my mother. She was in the studio this week and observed that everything was a little messy and crowded in the frame room. Of course, she's right. We've gotten busy photographing lots of high school seniors and children and families for Christmas and have not always kept everything tidy and organized. But before I can really straighten up, I thought I'd have a sale of some in-stock items to make a little room so we're starting a frame sale on Monday that will run through the end of November. All panel frames that we have in stock (samples in the photo above) are 25% off the price marked. In addition, we'll have certain ready-made frames in all sizes marked down anywhere from 15-25%. These marked down frames will range in sizes from 4x5 to 16x20. As always, our frames come completely finished including the glass, wire on the back, and us putting them in for you. If you come in to take advantage of the sale, we may not be able to frame your work on the day you're here but you can leave it to be framed or take the frame with you and bring it back for us to finish it at your convenience. This is a great opportunity if you have small photos or prints that you don't know what to do with. The panel frames we have in stock that are on sale have different mat colors, different mouldings (gold, silver, black, etc.) and hold various quantities of photos. You can grab a bargain now and save it for those spring photos you want taken or use them as a Christmas gift. Stop by and see what we've got on hand. We're open 9-5, Monday through Friday and will be open the day before and the day after Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

You Can't Top the Classics

I don't argue with my clients but I do sometimes get a little frustrated when I'm asked to do something "different" and that's the only description that's offered to me. "Different" to you may not be to me and vice versa. I like to experiment and I'm really excited to try something new or creative or innovative but many times I'm also drawn into an awestruck appreciation for the "oldie goldies" in photography -- those classic styles of posing and lighting that have been used for years. I especially appreciate these photographs in terms of children's photography. I've recently done several sittings that the clients asked specifically for that type of portrait and I thought I'd share a few. (I'm at the time of year when I have to be careful about what I show you because most of what I am taking right now will end up as someone's Christmas gift and I don't want to spoil the surprise). I love the perfectly sweet little portrait of Jackson Marriott. I think it proves that a simple pose and lighting combined with the perfect expression make a memorable portrait. And the little head shots of Hatch Morris -- I love these composites that capture a child in different moods and expressions. And, I think it's beautiful in either black and white or color. Just some thoughts.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Special Weekend Sessions Available

I have unexpectedly come up with a free weekend (no weddings) and, since it's right here at Christmas portrait time, I thought I'd open it up for some weekend sessions. I usually can't do anything on weekends because I'm here, there and everywhere with the happy brides and grooms, but the weekend of November 21-22 has ended up being available. I thought it was a little late in the year to go the Outer Banks and do beach portraits so I thought I'd open it up for outdoor portraits, hopefully at Chowan University in Murfreesoboro. I'll start sessions at 9:00 in the morning and go until the light fades, probably about every 45 minutes or so depending on the photos wanted. Chowan has some great places that work well for groups -- the porch of Columns Building, the gazebo, and lake and bridge area. Additionally the porch of Columns will even work if it's raining. I'm not charging a location fee or sitting fee for these sessions and I'll be happy to cross the river to Roanoke Rapids if some of my clients over there have a spot they would like to use on Sunday. I've already got a couple of sessions set up for Chowan on Saturday so I'll stick to that location for the Saturday sessions. Portraits are a perfect gift for everyone on your Christmas list, and I've included lots of samples of family portraits in this blog to give you some ideas.
Give us a call (252-585-0394) or send an email ( if you'd like to book one of these weekend sessions. And, of course, you're welcome to call for an appointment at the studio if you would prefer studio portraits. The Friday after Thanksgiving is already completely booked up but we have some spots available for the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and for other days and times until then. We will stop taking appointments some time around December 1 so we can concentrate on finishing up our Christmas orders. Hope we get to see you!!!