I have really worked with a lot of seniors this year and I have to admit that it has quickly become one of my favorite types of shoots to do. I feel like each senior I have worked with is so incredibly smart and talented in their own way. It has given me so much hope to meet so many young folks with so much promise!!!

Peyton is no exception to the rule. I love being around her. She is so mature that it is easy to forget she is still in high school. She is responsible too which is why she has been able to work at a daycare, be on the color guard at Princeton High and maintain awesome grades. 

I was excited to work with her and I am thrilled with the memories that we were able to capture. I think that they portray Peyton perfectly as the fun loving girl she is.

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So WOW!!! I have just been so blessed over the past couple of years to photograph some of *the most* beautiful seniors in Eastern NC. I am always amazed by these young people! They seem to be so level headed and goal driven. Not only are all of them involved in their schools sports or other activities but they earn good grades and have amazing plans for their lives. 

Annsely is one of those seniors. She describes herself as being a nerd and just had to take pictures with her chemistry, calculus and biology books which happen to be her favorite reads!!! It’s a good thing that she wants to go to med school one day because you have to have a love for math and science to pursue medicine! I believe that Annsley is an old soul. There is something elegant and timeless about her to me. She has a very dignified look about her and I just “see” her accomplishing big things in this life ahead of her. 

Annsley and her mother, Stephanie were so much fun to work with. They are so genuine-when we met on this gorgeous fall afternoon they both greeted me with a hug because they are “huggers” and they were just so excited to know that senior portrait day had finally arrived. I always love it when my clients are just as excited as I am to create something beautiful. Annsley chose some family land to take her portraits and it was GORGEOUS!!! We had no shortage of flawless images to choose from…..She even incorporated her grandfather’s Harley because Annsley loves to ride a motorcycle and hopes to have her motorcycle license one day! 

Annsley, it was my pleasure to work with a young lady such as yourself. You blessed me with your zeal for life, your love for your family and your ability to dream big dreams that I have no doubt you will accomplish. I will be watching for what you do in life. I know it’s going to be epic…..

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We all know that I am a photographer and that taking pictures and creating memories is a passion for me. What you might not know is that by day I am a social worker. I went to school for a *LONG*  time to get my Master’s degree in Social Work and I am clinically licensed in the great State of NC. I like to joke that being a social worker is my super power because it is not an easy job. Oftentimes, I meet folks that are experiencing some type of crisis and I get to help them sort through that. Why do I tell you all of this about me? It brings us full circle friends. This is how I met Katie. 

I worked for a brief period of time at ECU Pediatric Hematology and Oncology. This is a fancy way of saying that I worked with children that had cancer and bleeding disorders. This is where Katie comes in. Katie had cancer and I was her social worker. She and her mother had been through so much and to be honest they were just tired and exhausted! When you have cancer and require intense treatment you spend more time in the clinic and in the hospital then you do at home so your medical staff can become like family. It’s a beautiful relationship that arises out of such an uncertain time. 

Katie and her mother, Mrs. Anna, knew that they wanted to get back to NY which is home for them so we worked together to make that happen and we have stayed in touch ever since! Mrs. Anna even makes it a point to visit me when she comes to NC to visit her other daughters and grandchildren. 

When Katie got engaged to Joe and they asked me to come to NY to photograph the wedding I CRIED!!!! I seriously was so honored. I just think God always has a bigger plan for people then we are ever aware of. I don’t think any of us would have guessed that we would come back together again on Katie’s wedding day to create such incredible memories.

So enough about me and Katie!! You probably want to know about the handsome fella she married, right? In 2011, right after being discharged from the hospital Katie was told that no one was going to ever want to date her because she was just going to die anyway. This obviously left Katie feeling upset, defeated and very discouraged. I think the pressure of meeting someone while you’re so sick was too much so Katie chose to give online dating a try. The very first day that she created her account, Joe messaged her. Katie saw that he lived in Connecticut so she was a little hesitant but she also saw that he was Catholic so she hoped her mother would approve–LOL!. Katie messaged Joe back and closed her account the very same day. The rest has been history. 

After a month of talking on the phone and through email, Joe came to visit Katie and really came face to face with the reality that Katie was sick. He spent his first week visiting her and taking her to and from her chemo appointments. This didn’t deter Joe a bit. A couple months after they started dating Joe moved from Connecticut to New York. 

Both Katie and Joe will tell you that the first 6 months of their relationship was really challenging. Katie’s cancer had caused her many joint issues and as a result she had to have a total hip replacement but before the surgery could happen she had to finish chemo. Chemo is no joke y’all. It makes you so sick!!! Joe was so faithful. He took Katie to her appointments, he slept in hospital beds, helped with her wheelchair, and emotionally supported the girl he loved. 

I asked Joe about this time period. He was a healthy guy and here he was choosing to live with a girl that was pretty sick and needed a lot of medical attention. I know Katie thought at certain points that it was all going to be too much for him and he was going to walk away but Joe told me that he never thought twice. He loved Katie and during this particular time in her life she needed to be loved through the cancer, chemo and surgery. Tears…..

Katie and Joe chose a peacock theme for their wedding because it represents good health. Fitting, right? They also chose to have a dollar dance at their wedding and donate all of the money to the Melodies Cancer Center for childhood cancer in Albany. We were so excited when they raised over $800!!!! There were so many special touches at this wedding that I could never list them all but I can tell you that it was a JOYOUS occasion and each minute detail and big moment made it a truly perfect day. 

So here is their wedding day in pictures. I was honored to have been with Katie at ECU as her social worker and even more humbled to have watched her on her wedding day marry the guy of her dreams. The guy that has already loved her through more then most of us will ever have to deal with in a lifetime. 

Katie and Joe, THANK YOU for allowing me to play a part. I wish you both a lifetime of good health and happiness! I know God has really big plans for the two of you and I am so excited to watch it all come to pass……

This is hilarious!! Joe gave Katie a gift to open while she was getting ready and it had a super sweet card for her to read. As you can tell it was emotional and Katie shed a couple tears……and then she busted out laughing and I mean really cracking up!! Why do you ask??

Because Joe bought a “Happy Birthday” card and gave it to Katie on their wedding day. Katie thought that it was “so Joe!” I think it made her day:-)

This is just one of the many reasons that I love having a second shooter during a wedding. It is impossible for one photographer to be everywhere. I was with Katie all morning so I would have missed these emotional shots of Joe right before the ceremony with his dad and brother. These shots are so beautiful to me! Thanks Chris! You’re the BEST. 

The heart in the cement was so special for Katie to see! It represented a friend of hers that lost her battle to cancer but was clearly with Katie in spirit on her wedding day. 

They did their own handshake!! I love how much fun they have together!

Katie’s grandmother led a Polish blessing to bless the newlyweds!

This wedding was such an incredible affair and incredible affairs don’t happen without a lot of incredible help!

Many thanks to:

Chris Sawicki with Sawicki Studios in New York. It was a God send that Chris was available to shoot this wedding with me. His time and talent are all over many of these images. I really can’t thank him enough. Please check out his incredible work. You will not be disappointed. 

Brighter Lights Media for the video of the wedding day! These guys were awesome to work with. I can’t wait to see what they were able to capture. The website does not disappoint so please check it out for yourself. 

St. John the Evangelist Church for hosting this wedding ceremony. The church is over 120 years old and has such incredible details. I was fascinated the entire time I was there by the beauty. 

Mallozzi’s for the beautiful venue, delectable food, and the great Belvedere Inn! It was so great to have the hotel for the out of town guests literally right next door to the wedding venue. Their service was out of this world and the venue itself is just breathtaking and lends itself for picture perfect photographs. 

Anthology Studio for the gorgeous flowers and bouquets. The peacock feathers added a sentimental touch and made the flowers a fabulous statement for this couple on their wedding day.

The ladies at Rewind Salon for their time and impeccable talent! Katie’s hair and makeup was timeless and classic. She is a beautiful young woman already and you ladies enhanced all of her best features 🙂  

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Each bride that I work with is *so* incredibly special to me. They all bring something to my life and I know that sounds cheesy but I can’t help that it’s true. I pray about my business all the time. I ask God to bring couples to me that I could pour into but that they would also pour into me!! 

I loved Leigh Anne the very first time we met for coffee last Christmas. She is the sweetest, the most humble, the most considerate human being. She loves BIG and passionately and you *feel* that when you are around her. It’s just refreshing. Leigh Anne is the kind of person you want to be friends with and that is the best part of my job is that I do become friends with my brides! They aren’t just customers—they mean so much to me! By the time their wedding day arrives I am just as invested in it as they are. 

I was fortunate to photograph Josh and Leigh Anne’s engagements not once but twice. The first time we met it was so cold and windy that we could only do part of our session so we agreed to meet again to go to State to finish their engagements on a much more weather friendly day!! You can see their engagement photographs here.

Josh and Leigh Anne just make perfect “cents”. Their story is adorable–one that was told by their pastor on their August 2nd rainy wedding day! Y’all it poured. All. Day. I was so worried about it for them. When I arrived Leigh Anne she told me that she welcomed the rain because it meant that “blessings were falling on their marriage!” Josh was thankful too. He said he preferred rain over 100 degrees with 200% humidity. If you know this couple then you know that this is just who they are. They are just thankful folks and when two people like that come together in love and marriage you just know it is going to be a story of “happily ever after!”

So the perfect “cents” thing? TOO CUTE!! Leigh Anne’s maiden name is Penny and she married Josh Nichols!! She went from Penny to Nichols and the theme of their wedding was that “Love makes perfect Cents” and in this case I totally agree. I pray many more rainy days of blessings over both of you!!! Xo

Josh and Leigh Anne exchanged gifts and letters while they were getting ready. I don’t know what Josh wrote but I know it meant so much to Leigh Anne and certainly got some tears flowing!

Meanwhile, in the land of boys…..

Josh was quite pleased with Leigh Anne’s gift to him on their wedding day! Let’s just say even though it was raining outside this brightened his day for sure. 

Leigh Anne is teacher so she had her students write her “advice” for her marriage. Reading through these was so much fun and I know they are a treasure that Josh and Leigh Anne will love to reflect on for years. Kids are pretty smart…..

Josh and Leigh Anne didn’t want to do a reveal. They really wanted to see each other for the first time as Leigh Anne was walking down the isle but they wanted to pray together before the wedding so we managed to pull this off. I LOVE IT!!!

And the ceremony…..

Reception time…..

What a perfect day it was in spite of the rain! Simply breathtaking in every way. 

HUGE thank you to Brittani Gardner for photographing this wedding with me. Brittani is an incredible wedding photographer and I have come to truly love her company. Her talent is undeniable. I am blessed to call her friend. Check out Brittani’s work here. 

Shady Wagon Farm is a stunning venue! This is the second time that I have taken photographs there and it never disappoints. Take a peek at their website here.

Flowers were by Blossom Artistry 

Leigh Anne’s dress came from Carolina Bridal World

Hair and Makeup was done by Natalie Nordon. 

I was so honored to meet and work with Jessica King at this wedding! She and her mother own and operate “Happily Ever After” wedding planning services out of Raleigh. This day was beautiful because of their hard work and dedication. Jessica’s professionalism and desire to serve make her truly gifted at what she does. I can’t wait for our paths to cross again soon! Know someone getting married? Please tell them about Happily Ever After and send them right here!

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If you have read my blog at all recently then you know that I am truly blessed with some of *the most* talented senior reps in Wayne and Johnston Counties….for real y’all. These kids are doing BIG things in their lives and it’s so awesome to be a part of it. 
This is Sara. She is as lovely as the pictures show! These images obviously capture Sara’s outward beauty but personally I have never been as impressed with appearances as I have been with the heart of a person. Sara is the total package!!
She is going to be a senior at Rosewood High next week and she is already working on that resume! She participates in her student government, in DECA (a marketing club) and she is a cheerleader! She was crowned Miss Rosewood this past April and participates in actives with her local church to include a summer trip to the Dominican Republic. Shew….I’m kinda tired thinking about all of that!!
Sara, I wish you the best senior year ever. I am so proud to have you representing my business this year. I know you are on a path straight to success and I can’t wait to watch it all unfold. XO

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