Wednesday, September 30, 2009


There was a famous photographer named Philippe Halsman who had over 100 covers of Life Magazine to his credit. He was also famous for his collection of photographs in which he asked his subjects to "jump" for the photo. He loved stopping the motion with his camera and also felt that when he asked a subject to jump you got to see the real person because he or she was more interested in the act of jumping than in being self-conscious in front of the camera.

Just by accident a few years ago I copied Halsman's idea when I started asking little children to dance or jump near the end of the session. Kids seem to think that this is such a unique idea that they really relax and have a little fun.

I've had a couple of good "jumpers" lately. My littlest jumper is Sara Grace Hodges who was just in yesterday. Every mother prays for their two-year old to be as perfect as she was -- just an angel to work with and her jumping left her pigtails flying. My older jumper is high school senior Greyson Harrell who brought great enthusiasm and height to her jumps. At her age I suspect she's "jumping for joy" at being a senior.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ginny and Abby at Chowan

I've mentioned lots of times before that I really enjoy taking photos at Chowan University in Murfreesboro. I had always looked for some way to use that great row of rocking chairs on the porch of the Columns Building and found a way when I was photographying Abby. She looks so relaxed and, since she got married last weekend, I hope she's getting a little rest now. I'll be sharing some photos from her wedding soon.

I photographed Ginny and Michael's wedding on September 19 in Roanoke Rapids. It was a gorgeous day and I'm working hard to finish their photos but I thought I'd share some of her bridal portraits now.

I don't quite know the details behind this photo
but Ginny said she had lots of photos with this pose and we had to do it here.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Model Senior

As I've mentioned before, it's senior season. Here's Blake from Roanoke Rapids HS who did one of our senior sessions. We had a great time!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Stained Glass

I had a wonderful few days at the beach and enjoyed the beautiful weather, visiting with my dear friend Jonellen from New York, and celebrating my birthday. Thanks to all of my Facebook friends who sent me birthday wishes. It was so sweet to get back to the studio yesterday and find that list of emails from all of you.
I also had a special treat waiting for me at the studio. Hot off the presses (I think) was a copy of the new cookbook produced by the wonderful folks at Boykins Baptist Church. I had asked for a copy of the cookbook because I took photos of their stained glass windows and they used the photos for the cover of the cookbook as well as for divider pages throughout the book. I think they were pleased with the photos and I thought the windows looked wonderful. The cookbook committee came up with a great idea to make their book more personal by using their lovely windows that they have looked at through the years during church services. I am honored to have been a small part of the process. I think church cookbooks are the greatest anyway. I love reading through them and looking for the recipes of the people I know -- especially those ladies of the church who are known for their cooking expertise.
The cookbook and its cover reminded me of something I thought I'd share with all of you. Many of us who grew up in the small churches of our wonderful communities have stained glass windows in memory of someone from our families and many of you these days have pretty sophisticated digital cameras. You really ought to visit these churches and take photos of your family's stained glass window. If the first photo you take is too dark or too light, play around with the adjustments on your camera and see if you can get a really great photo. Look for a day that is not too sunny because too much sunshine coming through the window will just overexpose it. If you don't think you want the photo or don't appreciate it right now, just wait a few years or wait until your children or grandchildren find it years from now. It's really special. The photo above is the window from Rehoboth United Methodist Church outside Jackson which is my mother's home church, and the window is the one in memory of her parents. Years ago I took a photo of the window as you see it here along with a close-up showing my grandparents' names and gave copies to all of my many aunts, uncles and cousins (my mother had thirteen brothers and sisters). All of them appreciated it so much and I really believe it was one of the best gifts I could have given them. Give it a try.
Well, it's Saturday and I'm back from my vacation and off to a wedding. Later.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Happy 100th Ashley's Grove Baptist Church

I wanted to take a moment to send my best wishes to all the good people of the Ashley's Grove Baptist Church community with whom I just celebrated their 100 year anniversary. I'm going to be gone from the studio all next week (Lynn and Peggy will be here if you need anything) and I haven't had a chance to go through all the photos carefully but I wanted to put this one up to give a preview of the ones to follow. They always do a group shot in front of the church at each of their celebrations and this HAS to be the largest group ever. I'm pretty sure it's the largest group I've ever had in front of a camera. It was a beautiful day and a glorious celebration to be a part of and I got pretty sentimental myself looking at the display of all of the old photos that are a part of the history of their church because I recognized so many of them as photos that my father took. Nothing made him any happier in his profession as a photographer than to contribute to his local community and I know that Ashley's Grove was a community that he enjoyed working with. I am proud to continue that. Congratulations to everyone that is a part of Ashley's Grove.

Friday, September 18, 2009

OBX Senior

It seems that I've only been writing about senior guys lately so I really wanted to share these senior portrait I took last weekend of Lacy Pfeiffer at Colington Harbor on the Outer Banks. Lacy's family has a vacation house there and she's been talking to me for several months about taking her senior portraits there. We managed to coordinate a weekend that I was going to at the beach anyway with a fun evening running around taking some photos at sunset. I think we both had a good time and I was really excited about how pretty everything was.

I love these beautiful old live oaks with the low branches.

You really can't tell it here but the sun had already gone down and it was just about dark. I had to balance my camera on the back of a bench (I didn't have my tripod with me) and hold it REALLY steady to get this one. This is the only shot that is right in Lacy's back yard. The others were at the clubhouse nearby.
Check out the rest of Lacy's photos at

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Little Guys with Gorgeous Eyes!!

You know by now that I'm a sucker for beautiful eyes and didn't these little fellow have some gorgeous peepers?!? Girls may have the advantage lots of times when it comes to pretty clothes, but nothing really improves on a perfect little face like Jackson and Hatch here. I just feel drawn into these wonderful little faces!! I think the little girls will have to watch out in a few years 'cause these are some kind of cute fellows!

And Hatch brought along a special treat for photos -- his grandfather's boots. He'll grow into them in a few years.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Allison & Justin

Full Moon in Edenton

Allison & Justin were married last Saturday night outside Edenton at her parent's home. It was a beautiful day and an even more beautiful moonlit night. I didn't think I would be able to hold a camera steady enough to capture these two by moonlight (and it's not the sharpest focus in the world) but I was thrilled with the photo I got of them near the end of the evening. Also enjoy the video of their wedding highlights. I'm still working to finish all the rest of the photos but they're coming soon.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The "Eyes" Have It!!

I've had lots of requests through the years for photos of babies' toes and hands and you may have seen the photo on my website of four little sets of feet -- the feet of a family of grandchildren from Roanoke Rapids. Donna Hurdle asked for a unique photo when I was doing some portraits of her family and her sons recently. She asked me if I ever did photos of just eyes. Of course I obliged and it turned out to be a unique photograph. I hope she'll enjoy the other more traditional portraits of her family as well but I really hope she likes her eyes!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

"I Wear the Ring"

One of my favorite authors is Pat Conroy. I've loved his work since the early books The Water is Wide and The Great Santini all the way through his later works The Prince of Tides and My Losing Season. He just released a new book that Lynn has been reading during her lunch here at the studio and it reminded me of how much I liked what he has to say. He has a lot to say about the events of life that shape us as people. He appreciates the South as someone who has lived many places and has returned here time and again. He has written three different books about his college years at The Citadel and he returned there to give a commencement speech in 2001 that carries the line, "I wear the ring." He is talking, of course, about his Citadel class ring but I usually remember this line almost every morning when I put on my Meredith College class ring. They are completely different schools, of course, but the class rings are so recognizable to fellow alumnae. I probably don't go a month that someone somewhere doesn't glance down at my finger and ask "did you go to Meredith?" It's a bond I share with so many other women and I am always proud to answer "yes, I did." It was the perfect college experience for a small-town girl from Conway and I cherish the memories I have of those years. I'm still from North Carolina and, if I have to choose between State and Carolina and Duke I can, but the best college, in my opinion, is Meredith.
"I wear the ring."

Friday, September 4, 2009

These Boots Were Made for Marrying!!

I've been waiting for this wedding to get here so that I could show you Kriston Barrett's cool boots she wore for her bridal portrait. She tied the knot about a week ago and isn't she beautiful!! I love a country girl; I'm one myself.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Let's Hear It For the Boys!!

I'm so excited to see "The Guys" making a statement these days with senior portraits. For so many years, it seemed like the senior girls got all the attention with their numerous clothing changes and hair issues and the guys just showed up at the studio and endured their formal tuxedo photos and then maybe a decent shirt for their environmentals that their moms picked out for them. But the guys are putting their personalities out there now and it's been a great change. I wrote a few weeks ago about our first senior guy of the season bringing his volunteer fireman's uniform for photos and that was only the beginning. We've already had three firemen this year along with these guys showcasing their style and talents.

Ty has had quite an athletic career as you can see from the collection of jerseys behind him. This was actually his mom's idea and we thought it was a great one. She had saved jerseys and letters through the years and we made them the background of his photo.

Ty also gave us a little stylin' and profilin' with his bow tie and shades.

Ryan is really into bow hunting so it was appropriate that he brought
that with him for his portraits.

A guy's truck is really important so why not include it in your photo.
This is JW from Halifax Academy.