Jessica + Derek - Tough Love Engagement Session at South Slope CrossFit

I’ve mentioned before how much I love photographing engagement sessions. And I especially love when the couple makes it super personal and unique. Jessica and Derek met at their CrossFit gym, and they love working out together, so it became the perfect backdrop for our engagement shoot.

Jessica and Derek were rock stars. They planned the 405 pound duo dead lift, Squats with a kiss thrown in, tying the knot (literally) and then spontaneously we threw in jump rope and several funny attempts at a chalky high five.

Thank you guys for celebrating this special moment with me and letting me capture these memories for you. I can’t wait for the wedding in OCTOBER!

Please like, comment and share. Tell me about where you met your soul mate? What would have been the setting to your engagement session?

VENUE- South Slope CrossFit in Downtown Asheville, NC

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Losch Family Photos - Hot Springs, NC - Boulders, Trees, and Warm Winter Hugs

Taking family vacations is a wonderful and special time. It’s so hard to plan, and it’s usually long in the making, so when families get together it should be celebrated, treasured and DOCUMENTED! I was so delighted with the Losch family found me online and booked a family photo session during their vacation to Hot Springs.

I drove out to their vacation home on a chillier morning than I think we were all ready for. I showed up in my 20 degree winter coat and this beautiful family was, of course, dressed for a photo session (which is definitely coatless!) I taught them the fine art of jogging in place to get the blood flowing. And in between shots blankets were bundled and warm hugs kept these adorable girls from freezing. I did capture some nice cuddle shots, and some hugging the “lovies” shots. When I asked the girls to make their lovies kiss, I got giggles galore. The guys kept warm by climbing up this gigantic boulder that was on the property, which had a small tree growing out of the top. Quite spectacular. Thanks for braving the climb! :)

I encourage you to book a photo session the next time you have your family together for any reason, be it a vacation, a holiday, wedding, or just a slice of time you carved out for each other. Time flies, so capture the beauty and love while it’s flowing around you.

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Allison + Josh- Autumn Wedding with Color and Waterfalls- Laurel Falls in Fairview, NC

The leaves were bursting with color all around us, with a breathtaking view off the porch of the main house at Laurel Falls. Allison and Josh were getting ready. Well, as we all know, the bride always gets ready while the groom is hanging out waiting, LOL. Rebecca Biggers with Lola Salon & Gallery was transforming her with old Hollywood glam, with a nod to our natural surroundings by adding a little sprig of pine. It looked so feminine and gorgeous. Flora dropped off the bouquet and boutonnieres and we were all gasping with amazement. I’ve never seen a bouquet like this before. It was massive and just filled with amazing flowers and details.

It was bright and sunny at the ceremony site, but we had a fabulous view of the mountains behind us. Later, we explored the vast property and took some intimate and sweet Bride and Groom Portraits. There was no place that wasn’t gorgeous. But I think the waterfall was my favorite. Allison just popped off the backdrop of this gorgeous falls area. And then we snuck in one last kiss on the path back back to house. A perfect day!

Let me know what spot you liked the best. Please comment below and share your thoughts.

Vendors Supreme

Venue- Laurel Falls

Flowers- Flora

Hair and Makeup- Lola Salon and Gallery

Design and Art Direction- Dana Irwin

Sister Love- A Family Photo Shoot with Beatrix and Eloise Sharing Love, Baskets and Apples.

I have worked with Nana and Eloise in the past. It’s always so special and touches my heart. The last time I met baby Eloise it was her 1st birthday and she had just learned how to say potato! SO cute. Now she’s a big sister, and it perfectly suits her.

This photo shoot almost didn’t continue because Eloise came and sat on my lap right at the start and it just melted my heart. Nana, I swear I almost snuck her into my purse and made a run for it. I know that doesn’t make any sense but you know what I mean. Luckily she did sit and “smiled her big smile” as mommy put it, holding on to baby and monkey. Later on it was her fascination with the basket I brought that lent to so many other magical moments, including hide and seek, playing with her own toes, and making bunny and lamb share kisses. Note to self- Always bring a basket!

We were hoping during that time Beatrix would fall asleep but, just the same as her sister was at that age, she was WIDE AWAKE! I think it lent to some super sweet moments between the two sisters, and we got to see her amazingly large, blue eyes. Eloise came in and out of the photos as the moment struck her, and the last time she came to photo bomb, it was with a bright red apple in her hand wearing her baby sisters top. For just those brief shots, we caught a true life sister moment in the making.

Much love to you, Beatrix and Eloise. Can’t wait to watch you grow up.

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Sweet kiss for baby sister

Sweet kiss for baby sister

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Now offering video as an add-on to portrait sessions!

Helping to make your moments ever lasting and ever joyful.

Watch Eloise give Beatrix True Loves Kiss. We share our love of princesses Eloise!!

Click video below to share in the moments

I would love to hear your comments, please leave one below.

What did you love? What moments were your favorite? or any other tidbits you wish to share :)

Family Video Makes Memories Sparkle- Lask Family Picnic

I’ve started offering video as part of Family Portrait Sessions. Video is unlike any other medium in that it captures movement, expressions as they change, and interactions that can’t be transferred in to still photos. I look back on old family videos that my parents got transferred to DVD from old film reels in wonder. It fascinates me to see my grandparents and watch them as they play with tiny versions of me and my brother. Moments that I have seen only in photos are now coming to life before me. They seem so real, so tangible. I feel I know them more. It’s memories like these that I am so passionate about capturing. And that’s why I LOVE the power of video. I am now bringing that power into Family Sessions.

Nothing will ever be as sweet as looking back 20-30-50 years down the road and remembering how your kids moved around on unsteady feet as they were growing as a toddler. Or the playful, silly things your 7 year old does, and the faces they make. Or the brooding, ever growing intelligence that is incubating under a teenagers skin. These are all moments that are going to fade with time…unless you capture them. And that’s what these family videos will do.

During my session with Shannon and her family, I decided to experiment with capturing some of these small moments. And I LOVED the results. I’ve been doing it with weddings for years! Seeing how photography and video can combine to create a total picture of the days events. But I had never done it with other portraits before. Now, I can capture some of those special life moments between family. And I’m so excited to share it with you!

It also serves another purpose. Rather than sending family and friends a link to an album, this is a more personal, and involved way to share your photo experience with them. At the click of a button they are transported into the session, seeing the video clips and some of the favorite shots from the session come to life.

Thank you so much to the Lask Family for allowing me into their amazing lives for one day. May these memories bring you closer together with laughter and smiles.

I’d love to work with you and your family! Contact me today!

To see the blog post with the Lask Family photos, click HERE.

Lask Family - A Family Portrait Session with a Winter Picnic Outside

This was a truly special photo session. Shannon planned a family outdoor picnic (IN THE WINTER!) with food and decor to rival Martha Stewart! It was amazing. And it celebrated her beautiful family now, as well as the year anniversary of her dearly beloved’s passing, Mike.

Luckily we planned it on a not TOO freezing day, so we were able to enjoy being outside. Darwin was running around with a very large stick, which whacked a few heads and fingers, but I got the greatest shot of him looking like a world-wise wizard, or avid hiker, take your pick. Well worth it! Elanor was so full of energy and spirit. We had a great time jumping, and posing, and her foot always wound up in the air with her tongue out. Very cute, and I love capturing the true personality of the kids in my photos. That way, when you look back on them 10-20-30 years from now, you can say “Yup, that was them, always with their tongue out!”. She showed me the locket with a picture of her daddy in it; Always close to her heart and dangling in the middle of the group photos, which was so perfect.

It was so easy to capture the spirit and loving energy between this family. Hugs passed around, bubbles being chased, Darwin stealing grapes and sushi through the shoot, and Elanor running around in her dress and tights, which had such a cute hole in the bum. I wish I had gotten a shot of that.

Thank you Shannon for asking me to be a part of your family this day! I hope these pictures bring you joy and peace throughout your lives together.

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I loved this series of Eleanor. She has so much radiant personality.

I saw her touching the locket all the time, opening and closing it, swinging it up as she jumped. I asked her what was inside, she said “My daddy.”

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How do you keep everyone’s attention throughout a family group photo? BUBBLES! Although sometimes the adults are more crazy about them than the kids :)

How do you keep everyone’s attention throughout a family group photo? BUBBLES! Although sometimes the adults are more crazy about them than the kids :)

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Rebecca + Connor - St. John in the Wilderness & Black Tie Afterparty

I would have to say that no two wedding videos are ever the same. There’s no cookie cutter recipe that I use, and from beginning to end it totally depends on the couple and the events that unfold. Nothing could be more true than this one! It was a perfect duo of sentiment and classic beauty mixed with uninhibited joy and fun. So how to tackle the video and make ONE highlight? I decided it simply had to be….both!

They had a beautiful ceremony planned at St. John in the Wilderness, with an impressive bridal party: 10 on the bride side and 13 on the grooms. Each bridesmaid held a gorgeous bouquet of flowers. These flowers were everywhere, bathing the ceremony and reception in beauty and color. Every pew was packed full of elegant wedding guests, laughing and crying along with the ceremony.

Then followed by the reception at Rebecca’s parent’s home in Flat Rock, NC. She had given me a tour of the reception site (her ) many months before her wedding date. She pointed where the white tents were gonna be set up, and described a “ladder dance” of which I had never heard before. How can there be so many people on the dance floor you would need a ladder? Post reception….it became clear. This was a rockin’ party with everyone busting a groove on the dance floor and not stopping until late into the night. Rebecca and her Dad started it off with “Who’s That Lady?”, with Connor and Mom jiving to “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)”. Not to be outdone, Rebecca and Connor’s first dance was to “Give It To Me Baby” by Rick James. The AMAZING live band, The Black and Blue Effect, was one of the most talented and spectacular bands I’ve seen at a wedding in my career. The singers, the musicians, the amount of songs they knew, their energy! and an OUTFIT CHANGE halfway through the performance! Never seen that before! Rebecca had requested NO slow songs for the reception, and they kept up the pace keeping everyone partying along with them.

So here is my highlight video for this amazing couple. Thank you for choosing me to be your wedding videographer! Rebecca wrote me after her full wedding video and said, “We quite literally laughed and cried our way through it.” That’s the greatest compliment I could ever receive. May you laugh and cry (tears of joy of course) for many more years to come. And I hope you eel the love, joy and happiness of these moments every time you watch your videos. Many happy wishes to you both!

Amazing Vendors

Ceremony Site- St. John in the Wilderness

Flowers- Bloom Room

Caterer- Colorful Palate

Cake- 50/fifty

Hair/Makeup- Lola salon

Band- Black and Blue Experience with East Coast Entertainment

Classic Event Rentals

Photographer- Jeremy Russell Photography

Event Coordinator/Planner- Katy Nevel

Family Photos and Senior Portraits at Christmas in Asheville, NC

For full blog with photos, please click for more below.

A winter family photo shoot…in the rain!! When you have to make it work and everyone is fun and high spirited enough to do it. See what we came up with in this fun and classic family photo session mixed with a senior portrait shoot.

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Amanda + Jessie Wedding at Forge Valley Event Center- An Autumnal Wonderland

The colors were at their peak just in time for the wedding of Amanda and Jesse at the beautiful Forge Valley Event Center in Mills River, NC. In a season with many an outdoor wedding foiled by weather, this was a picture perfect day; Cool and breezy, perfect for a lake side wedding surrounded by red, yellow and orange foliage.

Amanda’s gorgeous dress got two reveals, with a Father First Look and then a Bridesmaid Reveal. Then on to her First Touch with soon to be hubby just before they headed off to the ceremony. They exchanged letters and had a touching and love-filled moment where they held hands and read their special words side by side. I’ve had plenty of First Looks, which I LOVE, but this was my First Touch. They got to share a special moment without seeing each other, and we got more opportunities for photos. It’s a win win!

This was an amazing Wedding Venue. The ceremony was gorgeous outside with the lake and mountains surrounding it. Then off to the reception for dancing, festivities and a super fun photo booth. Amanda and Jesse danced the night away, shared their first piece of cake together, and were surrounded by their beloved guests with sparklers on their way out, excited to start their lives together.

When I first met Amanda and Jesse they were so excited that adding wedding video to their day was a possibility. I love working with couples to make sure that their vision can come true. I believe so passionately in wedding video as a way to capture the memories. I still watch mine almost 12 years later. So enjoy! Laugh, Love and feel the Joy.

Vendor Love

Venue - Forge Valley Event Center

Hair- Kristen Exum

Makeup- Jill Robinson 

Bridal Dress/Details- Aurora Bridal out of Melbourne Florida 

Groom’s Attire and/or Groomsmen- Thomas and Sons Tuxedos

Catering- The Ugly Pig BBQ 

DJ- Paff Daddy DJ and Entertainment 

Photographer- Crystal Pafford 

Event Planner- Ashley Clayton

Day of Coordinator- Ashley Clayton

Sarah + Joey in a Misty Mountaintop Wedding at The Cabin Ridge in Hendersonville, NC

Sarah and Joseph got married at an amazing hilltop wedding venue, The Cabin Ridge, on a foggy and chilly day in October. This is my second time at this venue and it’s amazing every time. It was beautifully, magical how the mist covered the landscape and hung around like a giddy wedding guest.

The ceremony took place inside, in front of a warm and cozy fireplace decorated with flowers and lights. The bride and groom were the warmest in the room for sure, from standing right in front of the fire, and I think by their undying love for each other. Exchanging of letters and personalize wedding vows made the ceremony feel special and touched the hearts of everyone attending. After family photos, where everyone DID brave the cold and wind for one large group photo outside, it was dinner and speeches. The bride and groom greeted each table, which I always think is so wonderful, and then first dances began.

Sarah and Joey started at opposite sides of the venue, and met in the middle for a super sweet choreographed dance. Not to be outdone, the love that beamed during the Father/Daughter dance brought a tear to my eye for sure. It always gets me. I think of my dance at my wedding more than 11 years ago now. Gosh I JUST LOVE WEDDINGS!

The sparkler exit was particularly magical with all the mist and fog accumulating in the night air. This amazing couple took their first steps towards a new life of love, commitment and devotion to each other.

Thank you to Sarah and Joey for choosing me to be your wedding videographer! And for choosing me and Myriah to do both photo and video for your special day! May you smile and laugh for many years to come watching your memories unfold again and again.

Vendor Love

Wedding Venue - The Cabin Ridge
Hair and Make-up- Marie Churilla
Flowers- Choy’s Flowers & Ikebana
Bridal Dress or details- The Lily Rose Bridal Shop, dress is Heather by Watters
Groom’s Attire and/or Groomsmen-  Men’s Warehouse
Catering- Hubba Hubba Smokehouse
DJ- Pol VanRhee
Day of Coordinator- Andy Owensby
Photographer- Myriah Wood

Cake- Sweets of Lake Lure - Ennis Julian