Friday, October 31, 2008

Roberts Chapel Baptist Church

It is with profound sadness that I write about the fire yesterday that destroyed the building, but not the spirit nor the community, that is Roberts Chapel Baptist Church in Pendleton. We first heard the news from our FedEx driver about 3:00 and then later got more details on the phone from friends. I drove over after work praying that it was not as bad as we had heard but sadly it was. I can think of very few communities that are more closely associated with a single church than Pendleton is. I went through elementary and high school with a busload of Edwards, Manns, Fishers and others who were a part of that church and community and found many of them yesterday standing in the street and in the yards in Pendleton watching their history go up in flames. As I walked up on the scene with my camera, Gwen Bryant turned and asked me how many weddings had I photographed there. I can't begin to count how many and I'm sure my father and brother would have been equally unable to name a number. I have observed so many celebrations in that building and feel privileged to call their members my friends.

I know in my heart that the community will recover and that the church will go on and I am so thankful that no one was hurt, but my heart aches for the loss to the people of Pendleton and the congregation of Roberts Chapel.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Black & White & Beautiful

Anyone who thinks you need fancy backgrounds or elaborate props for a child's portrait is missing the most beautiful element of all -- your child's face. Bonnie Boone had me come to her home in Jackson and sent each of her children outside with me alone on a gorgeous fall afternoon. I walked and talked and shot photos of Laurel, Emma Wood and Jimmy trying to capture their different moods and expressions in their favorite spot -- their own yard. I was so pleased with I got. It helps me remember that each day is a gift and each split second that it takes to create a photograph of a child is one that won't be repeated. These three children will not look the same next year, possibly not next month, and their parents now have that beautiful fall day and their three beautiful children captured forever. Forget about putting the fake Christmas tree in the background or buying the hundred dollar outfit. It's all in the face!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Christmas Cards

I'm getting so many calls about Christmas cards!! (I blame the election for the Christmas holidays slipping up on me.) I just wanted to mention that, as usual, we have tons of options for Christmas cards if you're interested. There are so many types of photos you can use -- not just holiday photos. If you've had a wedding this year, it's so simple to use one of your wedding shots of your new family on a card. I've had parents use photos for a card that were taken at some time during the year -- from baby photos to senior portraits -- to mark the history of their child or children in that year. We can use any of the standard Christmas cards already designed or we can create a custom design for you. I've put a few samples of cards from past years in the blog so you can see what some others have done. I've made sure to include a card from a wedding photo, a couple of standard-design cards, and a group of custom cards. Give us a call if you have any questions.

Meredith's Storybook Wedding

It's been a pleasure through the years to work with Koren and Kenny Edward's family from across the line in Virginia. They have three beautiful daughters and I feel privileged to have been allowed to document happy family times for them. The last wedding in the family was in August for their daughter, Meredith. I had a fun afternoon with Meredith in historic Murfreesboro where I took her bridal portraits. We went to a little park and bridge in the historic district and then over to Chowan University which is one of my favorite outdoor locations.

Her wedding at Courtland United Methodist Church was also a beautiful day. The weather was lovely and the reception at the Workforce Development Center on the P.D. Camp campus is Franklin was fun for everyone. Meredith and her new husband, Will, selected several of their favorite photos from the wedding and had me design a storybook canvas for their new home. I'm so happy to know that they can re-live their day every time they look up on the wall.

Sara Grace Turns One!!

Isn't she adorable!!! Little Sara Grace Hodges of Como has been coming for photos for a whole year now. It's a hard job for parents to be so consistent about coming for appointments but hers have been. She came for her newborn session and has been back for her 3, 6, 9, and 12 month visits. The little ones change so much that first year and she just got cuter as the year went along. If we're not watching carefully, it will be prom time before we know it.

A "BA" Girl

Several years ago a bride I was photographing referred to herself as a "BA" girl. I thought I was really aging and had missed out on some important lingo but she explained that it just meant that she had attended school at Brunswick Academy. I have lots of Virginia clients so I've photographed lots of "BA" girls since then. I really enjoyed my latest BA girl, Brittany Raney, who brought along her puppy to join her in some photos.

Go Heels!!

I have a soft spot in my heart for local success stories. Four years ago I took David Benthall's senior portraits and his proud mother also wanted some photos in his uniform as drum major at Roanoke Rapids High School. He returned to me last week for more photos, just as nice as he was four years ago, and this time in the uniform of drum major at UNC-Chapel Hill. Once again, his proud mother watched and I felt pretty proud of him as well. Go David and GO HEELS!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Rock Springs Center

I've had two wedding this summer at the Rock Springs Center in Greenville. This is such a beautiful facility and I just love the lane of trees leading up to the clubhouse. As you can see from the photos, I really enjoy leading my bride and groom down this path and seeing where a little "walk in the park" takes them.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Do I Hear Hoofbeats?

I'm pretty accustomed to clients who want photos with their dogs. I photographed a high school senior this afternoon with her Labrador puppy but this fall has been "horse-y." Of course it's not very practical to bring your horse to me so I've been on the road for a couple of different horse sessions. The first one was Allison Taylor from Emporia who wanted her bridal portraits with her horse. I met Allison and her parents at Lions Watch in Roanoke Rapids and we had a wonderful afternoon walking the grounds all the way back to the Roanoke River taking photos. And, as you can see from one of the photos, she had some really cool boots underneath that wedding dress.

A couple of weeks ago I met Emily Vann in Courtland to take her senior portraits with her horse. As long as he had plenty to eat, he was a happy horsey and would have let me take photos all afternoon long. I wonder if Emily will be taking him off to college next year?

Andrea & Jon

I love photographing weddings at the Sanderling Inn in Duck. The Inn is so well-run and everything always goes along without a hitch and you just can't find a beautiful stretch on the Outer Banks. It's the narrowest part of the island and a good baseball player could probably toss a ball from the ocean to the sound so you get the best of both worlds. Waves crashing on one side of the Inn and a sunset over the sound on the other.
Andrea and Jon contacted me over a year ago to book their wedding and they had every little detail planned perfectly. They are both originally from upstate New York (they live in Richmond now) and there were guests from all over the country. There was a frightful nor'easter the week of the wedding buy everything cleared up by Saturday and the weather was great. A beautiful couple, a fun wedding party, a great party that went on until all hours.

My special thanks to Sara of Unveiled who coordinated the wedding and kept everything running smoothly and as always to Belinda at the Sanderling for a great job.

Dune Time

It was an extremely busy summer in the studio at Conway and I didn't make it to the beach as often as usual for photo sessions. I did get an opportunity to meet with a couple of families for portraits. Earlier in the summer I met up with Tamara Woodard Norman and her daughter, Camille, for a late afternoon session in Nags Head. Tammy lives in New York City now but, like me, is a Conway girl who gets down south for a visit occasionally. Camille wasn't exactly in the mood for a photo session but she warmed up after a while and I was very happy with her photos. I especially love the one of her tip-toeing up the dune with her dress held "just so." Such a little lady!!
In September I met up at the beach with Tammy's brother, Andy Woodard and his wife Natalie, for photos of their family and the kids. It was such a windy day and we were all eating our hair for most of the session but I think we got some great shots. I love the one of Isabella, Leah and little Ben walking along the shoreline away from the camera. It just goes to show that you don't have to photograph a big, smiling face to capture the moment!

That same day I met up with Kelly and Sharon Vinson and their little Katie. I have photographed Katie since she was a tiny, ten-day old bundle. I have a photo of her from that session in Kelly's hand where it looks like her entire body fits into his palm. I can always date my beginning in digital photography by Katie's age since hers was one of the first I had after I bought my original Canon 10D. She and I have come a long way since then. Now she's a school girl at Ridgecroft and I haven't shot a roll of film in three years. She's her mother and father's little "Katie Bug" and I'm crazy about her too.