As we were headed down the highway to Katie and John’s wedding last week it was so cool to see their billboard with an images from their engagement session. This is officially our first engagement billboard and we liked it so much that we are adding it to our top package 🙂

This wedding took us to the largest home in the country, Biltmore.  Rebecca and Kraig both love architecture and history and wanted to share this magnificent place with their friends and family.  Although the morning rain was enough to make everyone nervous, by ceremony time it was perfect and they had their ceremony in the gardens right in front of the conservatory.  Above all, these two were fun.   They were there to have a blast and they accomplished that.

There are few places as magical as Biltmore.  It is a bit of sensory overload because there is so much to see and always such little time, but well worth the visit every time we are there.  I wish that I could show a ton of images of the house and grounds, but Biltmore has a contract that we have to sign saying that we won’t.  Oh well, it’s their house.

No shortage of shutterbugs.  Rebecca’s dad was always at the ready with his iphone.

This image below is forever known as the “Josie” shot and this is only the second time in three years Meridith has created an image like this.  Josie if you are reading this, then now you know you have a shot named after you!

After an entire morning of rain the sun came out for about a half an hour after the ceremony.  Lucky us!

The reception was held inside the conservatory.  What an amazing place!  Everywhere you looked was just lush and beautiful.

Movin’ on to happy things!

I had the opportunity to hang out with Genna and Marco a few weeks ago and we walked around downtown and made people stop and stare. I love it when that happens! These two are great fun and totally into each other so I didn’t really need to ask them to get a little closer, that was a given.

A Dose of Perspective

May 15, 2008

So how was your day today?

I’d have to say that my day was for the most part pretty crappy. Nothing major or unusual, just little things that added up to feel like big weights holding my good mood down and not letting it up for air.

First there was the big web site controversy (not allowed to discuss). Then the bad weather began which canceled a few afternoon sessions. Then there is the editorial job that’s taking a bit longer to produce than first estimated and the editor is being so nice and patient, but I feel bad about it.

Stay with me here, there’s a point to all of this.

Besides the thrill of being in the middle of our busiest time of year we are also moving into an awesome new gallery space which at first sounds great until you consider the stress involved in the process of moving. Then it turns out that none of our fabulous furniture that is in our current gallery will work in our new space, so it’s back to square one. On top of all of this, right after lunch I received a call from our son’s school. His teacher said that he was trying to choke another kid and we needed to come pick him up early.

I was pretty much ready to throw up my hands and scream “Calgon take me away!” (you might have to be over 30 to remember that commercial) That’s the point at which I received another call.

This call was from UNC Hospital. I had forgotten that I am on call this week to be available to all area hospitals as a part of the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep organization. I don’t talk or blog about my involvement much because it makes people sad and I don’t like for people to be sad, but it is important and meaningful work so I do it.

As I was in the hospital room with the family, experiencing their emotion as an outsider, I was drawn to the thought of how simple life really is and how much we complicate it with our petty problems. Then I quietly observed and photographed the baby lying in his mother’s arms sharing a few special moments before his spirit passed from this world to the next. The moments that followed were very peaceful and calm with the exception of some of the medical monitoring equipment beeping.

While this event certainly didn’t turn my day around, it gave me the opportunity to experience clarity and perspective that I did not possess before walking into that room. While I still have all the issues in my life that I had when I arrived, it’s safe to say that you won’t hear me bitching about them any time soon.

This is probably the eighth or ninth of these sessions I have done in the past six months. They are all unique situations and I come away with very different feelings every time. Perhaps it’s because each time I go in with my mind on my world I usually come out thinking about life itself and then go hug my kid.

Perspective is powerful. I got a big dose of it today that I thought could be shared with the world here on the blog.

This wedding was a rare opportunity for me. I had the chance to be the “second photographer” assisting our associate photographer Katherine. This meant that I had complete creative freedom and was not responsible for the schedule or any particular photos being taken. That was all on Katherine’s shoulders!

I had a blast, but have to admit that it was a challenge to switch gears and hang out in the background more than usual. I can’t say that I always did the best job of staying hands off like Meridith does, but I tried. Either way, Jill and Joe’s wedding rocked and so do their images

We also got to work with some really good people like Mel from Dogwood Tree Floral Designs and Cara from A Southern Soiree who (rumor has it) will be moving into an office space very close to us soon (oh the excitement!)

I took the opportunity to shoot a bit of film at a wedding for the first time in about eight years. Just 12 frames though.

Jill’s Bridal

May 5, 2008

Jill and Joe were married last week so I can bring out a few from her bridal session.

The perfect spring day in Chapel Hill. Warm breezes, flowers blooming, and a thick layer of pollen on absolutely everything. Luckily neither Matt, Caroline or myself seem to have allergies so we were good to go.

Although Spring certainly brings out the crowds of sun lovers on the campus of UNC, it’s a bit more subdued than fall. Interesting fact, If you happen to be near the planetarium (pronounced- planet….arium if you watch South Park) or by the old well on certain weeks in the fall you will see all sorts of things your mother didn’t tell you about before you went to college. Crazy people doing crazy things. I’ll leave it at that.

Anyway, back to photos.

I’m Still Here

May 4, 2008

Just got back in from our tour of the western part of the state.  This weekend was spent in the fantastic town of Asheville.  We’ve been busier than usual the past few weeks with engagements, bridals, magazine shoots and of course weddings.

I just did a quick inventory and it looks like we have created a few more than 22,000 images that I will be devoting this week to editing and distributing to all our wonderful brides, couples. publishers, and designers.

Do not despair however,  I will be posting some long overdue images by Monday afternoon along with my exclusive interview with John Mayer about what’s really going on with him and Jennifer Aniston.  (Okay that last part’s not true, but I will be posting photos of other hot couples so come back soon!)