PHOTOGRAPHY

Marshall|6 Months Old|A Backyard Portrait Session

Marshall just turned 6 months old. What a cutie and such a sweet, sweet baby! I was happy to get to do these portraits.  I use to work with Marshall’s grandma (Gabbie) and so I remember when his Daddy (Jackson) was just a kid.  My goodness how time FLIES!!  I was so impressed with Marshall’s mama, Schyler.  She had everything set up and prepared when I got there.  She had made some streamers (by hand) and a letter “M” out of fabric that you will see in some of the images.  This is a very warm, friendly family and Marshall was so good!  Although, he wasn’t sure what to think of the bubbles!  We finished our shoot just as the sky opened up with a downpour of rain.  Our timing was perfect!2019-05-11_00932019-05-11_01082019-05-11_00912019-05-11_00962019-05-11_00952019-05-11_00902019-05-11_01002019-05-11_00772019-05-11_00632019-05-11_01062019-05-11_00672019-05-11_01092019-05-11_0114This is the “M” that Schyler made.  So cute!2019-05-11_01112019-05-11_01022019-05-11_0112This red recliner was Jackson’s when he was a baby and now it’s Marshall’s.  2019-05-11_01102019-05-11_00982019-05-11_01032019-05-11_01042019-05-11_00922019-05-11_0088He is just not sure what to think of the bubbles. 2019-05-11_00872019-05-11_00852019-05-11_00892019-05-11_00832019-05-11_00822019-05-11_00752019-05-11_00762019-05-11_00792019-05-11_00782019-05-11_00702019-05-11_00652019-05-11_00682019-05-11_00742019-05-11_00572019-05-11_0060Those eyes!2019-05-11_00622019-05-11_00582019-05-11_00592019-05-11_00842019-05-11_0061Happy 6 months Marshall!  You are so adorable and I can’t wait to see how you grow!

All the best!

~Laura

PHOTOGRAPHY

Elena|Spring Portrait Session at McGalliard Falls Park, Valdese, NC

This little girl has stolen my heart!  I have been taking her pictures since she was a month old!  She has always been so easy-going, good-natured and very easy to photograph.  Now that she is walking, no make that RUNNING , and this girl is on the move! One minute she was stopping to pick a flower the next she was running as fast as she could from us!!!  Luckily for this session at McGalliard Falls, we had plenty of help from her Daddy (Jason) and cousin( Jimmy) running to catch her before she got away. As quick as she is, we decided best not to get too close the waterfalls.  I think we all pretty much got our days worth of exercise in during this one hour session.  Elena is still such a joy to photograph.  She is so playful and  has the sweetest personality with just the right amount of spunk!2019-05-11_00022019-05-11_00012019-05-11_00562019-05-11_00052019-05-11_00062019-05-11_00032019-05-11_00092019-05-11_00082019-05-11_00282019-05-11_00242019-05-11_00432019-05-11_00232019-05-11_00162019-05-11_0030That look!!  I thnk she was massaging Jason’s head!!2019-05-11_00342019-05-11_00452019-05-11_00272019-05-11_00202019-05-11_00512019-05-11_0033There is that sweetness I was talking about!2019-05-11_00402019-05-11_00312019-05-11_00552019-05-11_00392019-05-11_00372019-05-11_00532019-05-11_0035Jimmy is such a good sport.  She served him some of her finest tea.2019-05-11_00102019-05-11_00542019-05-11_00292019-05-11_0021Elena loves her cousin Jimmy!  2019-05-11_00362019-05-11_00072019-05-11_00222019-05-11_00482019-05-11_00522019-05-11_00502019-05-11_0026Spunky and sweet!2019-05-11_00412019-05-11_0038Elena, thank you for the workout!  Keep it sassy you sweet girl!

All the best~

Laura

PHOTOGRAPHY

Burke Historic Tea and Tour at Bridgewater Hall Historic Inn

The Historic Burke Foundation had a “Tea and Tour” last weekend at the newly renovated Bridgewater Hall Historic Inn, owned and operated by Michael Gavin.  This event was open to the public for Tea and a Tour of the newly renovated property followed by a presentation from the owner in the chapel that is also on the property.  Michael spoke about the history of  Bridgewater Hall, information that has been passed down from previous owners, his dream of owning the property as well as his vision for the future of Bridgewater Hall Historic Inn.  The Tour was self guided and was quite nice.  There was a cello player so you could hear the melodies played softly throughout the house.  A wedding dress was on display in each room,  Many of the dresses on display  belonged to family members of the Historic Foundation.  Beside each dress was a picture with the original bride wearing the dress.  Downstairs, tea and refreshments were served.   The Inn is now open for overnight guests,  weddings and other events. For more information you can go to: Bridgewater Hall Historic Inn   2019-05-02_00182019-05-02_0006Granddaughters of one of the board members of the foundation were among the many guests. 6I0A2333-12019-05-02_00112019-05-02_00072019-05-02_0008Board members of the Historic Burke Foundation.2019-05-02_00352019-05-02_0009Guests enjoy the beautiful day with outdoor seating.  There is plenty of it at this venue with all the porches.2019-05-02_00042019-05-02_00142019-05-02_00172019-05-02_0021Dresses were displayed in many of the rooms with a photo of the original owner wearing each dress. 2019-05-02_0038The tea service was self-serve in the foyer.2019-05-02_00192019-05-02_0023The cello was just another element of class to this event.  The soloist played one of my favorites, “Ashokan Farewell”, the sweet, sad fiddle tune that was the theme of the PBS documentary “The Civil War.”2019-05-02_00242019-05-02_00262019-05-02_0037Guests admire the detail of the dresses on display.2019-05-02_00322019-05-02_00202019-05-02_00162019-05-02_00362019-05-02_0025Michael, Owner of Bridgewater Hall, spoke to the guests about the history and future of Bridgewater Hall.  He was quite the entertainer!2019-05-02_00302019-05-02_0029Michael( center) introduces his two sons, Jeff( left) and Mack (right).  2019-05-02_0022This event was wonderful!  If you didn’t make it this year and you like history or love old historic homes with all the southern charm, check out events like this at The Historic Burke Foundation or schedule your tour or stay  at Bridgewater Hall Historic Inn  .

All the best!

~Laura

PHOTOGRAPHY

Chris & Landyn|Portrait Session at Lake James, NC

I recently did a portrait session at Lake James with this sweet couple.  Chris and Landyn have been married about a year and a half  and they are just so cute and in love.  I had actually never met Landyn until the day of our session but we have mutual friends and have always heard of each other so we had an immediate connection.    I have known Chris since he was a kid .  His aunt is one of my very good friends and she has always called him Christopher.  I kept calling him that out of old habit but he was a good sport about it and didn’t seem to mind.  Actually,  Chris was really laid back and patient the entire session.  Landyn was so sweet and cheerful. Our weather was warm but the wind was blowing so hard that we would have to wait in between gusts to take a picture       (otherwise Landyn’s hair would have been all over the place). Through all that they never lost their cheerful and willing attitudes. It was such a pleasure working with them both.  Check out these sunset pictures at Lake James.  2019-04-30_00072019-04-30_00112019-04-30_00232019-04-30_00162019-04-30_00082019-04-30_00182019-04-30_00282019-04-30_00052019-04-30_00142019-04-30_00102019-04-30_00312019-04-30_00402019-05-02_0002One of my favorites!2019-04-30_00242019-04-30_00122019-04-30_00062019-04-30_00402019-04-30_00262019-04-30_00322019-04-30_00292019-04-30_00462019-04-30_00552019-04-30_00202019-04-30_00542019-04-30_00432019-04-30_00022019-04-30_00442019-04-30_00582019-04-30_00572019-04-30_00392019-04-30_00302019-04-30_00422019-04-30_0045We ended our session with some pictures of Short Off Mountain in the background.  Chris and Landyn, I can’t wait to go kayaking with you guys!!!  You guys are such a great couple together and I am excited to see what all your future brings.

All the Best!

~Laura

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHY

Three Year Old Portraits | Jensen| Morganton, NC

A Portrait Session with a Waterfall and Antique Car

What do you get when you have an antique fire truck and a waterfall for a photo session?  One happy little boy!  Meet Jensen,  he just turned three.  I am friends with his Mimi.  Actually, if I am being truthful, we went to high school together, so yeah , Ashley and I have been friends for a long time…  When I was thinking about where to take his portraits I remembered this location and thought, what little boy wouldn’t love to play in a creek?  Then I thought,  I may bring this antique fire truck too.  Wouldn’t that be cute?! It has been sitting in my garage and it belongs to my mom.  It was hers when she was a little girl, so it is over 65 years old. (Sorry Mom, if you are reading this,  I just gave away your age).  It was rusty and in need of some “glamorization “so she sent it to my house as a project for my son, Ben, to fix up. It is still a work in progress.

So when I first met Jenson,  I immediately broke out the fire truck and we have been friends ever since!  I’m telling you,  he was a very agreeable, easy going little guy! If I asked him to do something, he would just answer, “ye-ah” (two syllables in the sweetest little voice).   Typical boy though. He just wanted to play with the sticks in the gravel and then when we moved to the creek, throw rocks in the water.   It was so much fun watching him be a little boy and play. It really is the simple things in life that make you the happiest.   Check out his portraits.2019-04-29_00312019-04-29_0019Found himself a stick to play with.2019-04-29_00332019-04-29_00392019-04-29_00012019-04-29_00172019-04-29_00142019-04-29_0009He was showing me his muscles.2019-04-29_0016And, another stick!2019-04-29_0023And Rocks…2019-04-29_00302019-04-29_00102019-04-29_00362019-04-29_00492019-04-29_0026Another stick..2019-04-29_00552019-04-29_00082019-04-29_00322019-04-29_00202019-04-29_00452019-04-29_00542019-04-29_00212019-04-29_0011

Jensen, You are just the cutest.  I hope you love being three!  So far you are “rockin” it!

All the best!

~Laura

 

PHOTOGRAPHY

Extended Family Portrait Session in Western North Carolina| James & Mildred Buchanan

This entire family is close to my heart.  James and Mildred and their two children Brad and Amanda were the first family I met when we moved to Morganton, North Carolina 25 years ago from Ohio. My dad moved us to NC to become the minister at their church when I was 16 and if I remember correctly Amanda was only 7! My mom used to babysit Amanda in the summers,so she spent alot of time at our house.  I guess in a way she has was the closest thing I had to a baby sister! Now Amanda is married to Brooks and Brad is married to Buffie and they have two awesome boys.  We all still go to church together and our kids have been raised in church together.  Now our kids are in the same high school and band together.    James retired from the Police department and is well known here in Morganton.  Everyone knows and respects James. He is one of the most giving people I have ever met and would do anything in the world for you.  I really think he would give you the shirt right off his back.  We all know that if we ever needed anything we could call James Buchanan and he would be right there to help us!   Actually,  the entire family is that way.  Mildred is one of the best cooks I know and she gives so much of her time and talents helping others.  She never asks anything in return.  She is such a hardworking, humble lady.

Amanda approached me back before Christmas and purchased the most thoughtful gift from me.    A gift certificate for portraits of the entire family to give to Mildred!  As a photographer and mother myself,  I could not think of a gift that I would love and cherish more!  I know I have talked in some of my previous posts about buying less material gifts and giving more “experiences” that create happy memories. Most times you can’t even remember what gift you got last Christmas or birthday.  I guarantee Mildred will remember this gift for years and years to come!   Every time she looks at these portraits on her walls, she will remember all the precious moments and memories shared with her family she loves so much.  Amanda, this was a perfect gift idea!  I may even steal it from you!  2019-04-10_00382019-04-10_00022019-04-10_0008Mildred and James and their two grown kids, Brad and Amanda. 2019-04-10_00172019-04-10_00232019-04-10_00362019-04-10_00242019-04-10_0041Brad and his wife Buffie,  Amanda and her husband Brooks.2019-04-10_0031Brad and Buffie and their two boys.2019-04-10_00262019-04-10_00322019-04-10_00282019-04-10_00332019-04-10_00342019-04-10_00272019-04-10_00352019-04-10_00402019-04-10_00252019-04-10_00422019-04-10_00182019-04-10_00102019-04-10_00192019-04-10_00202019-04-10_00112019-04-10_00132019-04-10_00142019-04-10_00072019-04-10_00162019-04-10_00122019-04-10_0009Amanda and her two nephews. 2019-04-10_00032019-04-10_00052019-04-10_00062019-04-10_00012019-04-10_0004To this amazing family,  I hope you always know how blessed you are to have each other. Amanda, THANK YOU for realizing the importance of this and making this happen for your sweet Mama. I know I feel blessed for this family to be in our lives.

All the best!

~Laura

 

PHOTOGRAPHY

LAWRENCE AND LAUREN|Maternity Session

A Maternity Portrait Session in the foothills of Western North Carolina.

I met Lauren and her husband Lawrence for the first time for their maternity session.  I didn’t realize until our session that I know Lauren’s sister, Madison.  Well that was just an immediate connection and we really hit if off!   Lauren and Lawrence already have a 3-year-old little boy, Turner (who is so adorable) but this time they are having a little girl.  Let me just say that I loved what Lauren had picked out for her family to wear for this session!  I am a big fan of long flowy dresses and Turner’s suspenders were just too cute.   It took a little bit, but Turner really warmed up to the camera and  he only wanted me to take pictures of him!  He is so excited to be a big brother!

I had so much fun with this family and felt very comfortable joking around with them.    We have a lot in common. For example, they both work with the youth in their church and so do my husband and I.   About halfway through the session a random toddler walked up to them and was lost from his parents.  I was so impressed how Lawrence and Lauren stopped what they were doing  and immediately helped that child find his family at the playground.  You can tell these are really kind, caring people.

Lauren is just beautiful and glowing as you will see in the pictures. This couple has a genuine happiness and joy between them.   I think they picked a very fitting name for their new addition.  Ansley Joy.  2019-04-08_00042019-04-08_00102019-04-08_00032019-04-08_00082019-04-09_00152019-04-08_00112019-04-09_00112019-04-09_00182019-04-09_00222019-04-09_00042019-04-09_00162019-04-09_00312019-04-09_00252019-04-08_00122019-04-09_00062019-04-08_00072019-04-08_00092019-04-09_00012019-04-09_00032019-04-09_00172019-04-09_00122019-04-09_00292019-04-09_00072019-04-09_00282019-04-09_00232019-04-09_00272019-04-09_00142019-04-09_00052019-04-08_00022019-04-09_00022019-04-08_00132019-04-09_00102019-04-09_00302019-04-09_00092019-04-09_00202019-04-09_00132019-04-08_00062019-04-08_00052019-04-09_00212019-04-09_0026

Lauren and Lawrence, You are already great parents and it shows.  I wish you all the best in the weeks to come as you welcome your sweet little girl into this world.

~Laura

PHOTOGRAPHY

A Micro, Vintage Chapel Wedding in Western North Carolina

Xhavier and Shannon, A Wedding Story

Accountant meets Gamer!  These two love birds have been together for basically half of their lives, since Shannon was 16.  Their love story is quite unique and so are they!  They met in an online chat room when chat rooms weren’t even really a thing yet.  It was love at first… well not sight, because they had never even seen each other!  They were already in love before they had even met! They finally met in person right before she graduated high school and they have been together ever since.  Even though marriage was not a priority for this couple at first and for many years,  their love and committment to each other has lasted.  Together, they have made it through out-of-state moves, job changes,  two children, health issues and multiple surgeries .They finally decided if their love can make it through all that, well their marriage would too.  This is a couple still truly in love, even after 16 years.  Shannon works in accounting and is a sweet, kind, quiet girl.    Xhavier is a happy, outgoing guy and gamer.  Together, Shannon and Xhavier are the perfect pair who have two very sweet and adorable boys.  The couple decided they didn’t want to see each other before the wedding.  One thing that really stuck out to me after their wedding, is when they walked out of the chapel after the ceremony, Xhavier said , “Oh my goodness Shannon you look amazing!  You look so beautiful!”  He was still completely blown away just looking at her!  After 16 years!!  I just love this couple and their family!!

Shannon and Xhavier were married at a newly opened venue in Burke County called Bridgewater Hall.  This charming estate has a very relaxed ,vintage vibe to it. You can dress it up or dress it down.   It was a perfect for this couple’s big day since Shannon, Xhavier and their two boys decided to dress it down with their converse tennis shoes. A family favorite!  They looked adorable.2019-03-21_00492019-03-21_0032

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2019-03-24_0006Shannon’s sister helped her get ready. 2019-03-24_00112019-03-21_00852019-03-24_00032019-03-24_00102019-03-21_0024Shannon wore Converse Tennis shoes with her wedding dress.  Her mother helped her get ready along with her sister.  2019-03-21_00862019-03-21_01012019-03-21_00162019-03-21_0005Her boys also wore Converse tennis shoes.  They were so cute and well behaved!2019-03-21_00042019-03-21_00112019-03-21_00142019-03-21_00502019-03-21_00792019-03-21_00642019-03-21_00462019-03-21_0093Shannon’s father walked her down the aisle.2019-03-21_00422019-03-21_00512019-03-21_00632019-03-21_00522019-03-21_00442019-03-24_00042019-03-21_00412019-03-21_00452019-03-21_00702019-03-21_0054The stained glass window in the chapel came from an old church that had been torn down in Black Mountain.  2019-03-21_00692019-03-21_00662019-03-21_00182019-03-21_00022019-03-21_00072019-03-21_00572019-03-21_00652019-03-21_00712019-03-21_0029This venue has it all.  In addition to the the newly renovated Chapel, Bridgewater Hall is a an elegant home with all the details of southern charm such as this two story porch overlooking the courtyard perfect for outside dining. (shown above).2019-03-21_00352019-03-21_00682019-03-24_00122019-03-21_00972019-03-19_00942019-03-19_00112019-03-21_00762019-03-21_01252019-03-21_0048The desserts were made by My Mobile Bakery in Morganton.2019-03-21_00592019-03-19_0088This house has so much character and charm throughout.  Little details throughout the home make it feel so welcoming.  2019-03-21_00102019-03-21_00342019-03-21_01002019-03-21_00362019-03-21_0030Garden Gate Downtown made all the flower arrangements.  They were all so lovely.2019-03-21_00282019-03-21_00832019-03-21_00942019-03-21_00772019-03-21_00532019-03-21_00812019-03-21_0074These two have so much joy and it shows!  I wish them and their family many, many more years of happiness together!

Venue: Bridgewater Hallwww.historicbridgewaterhall.com

Flowers: Garden Gate Downtown www.gardengatefloralshoppe.com

Desserts: My Mobile Bakery

~Laura

 

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHY

BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL PORTRAITS AT BRIDGEWATER HALL. A DREAM COME TRUE.

AN ELEGANT, VINTAGE WEDDING VENUE WITH ITS OWN CHAPEL AND DEEP ROOTED HISTORY NESTLED IN BURKE COUNTY NORTH CAROLINA.

I recently met Samantha (Sam for short) for bridal portraits right before her wedding at Bridgewater Hall in Morganton, NC.  When I first met Sam she had a very familiar face to me and I noticed she had  a very calm and sweet nature about her.   I felt like we were old friends.  Sam looked beautiful and of course you can tell by the pictures she is an absolutely stunning bride!  Wearing her hair down and an empire waisted dress was perfect for this relaxed venue.  During our time together she showed me her something old, something new,  something borrowed and something blue.  One of the items was a sixpence coin.  I asked her the meaning behind it and she read me the story about the sixpence.  A sixpence is a lucky silver coin that is a symbol of love, wealth and good luck.  How very fitting for her special day!

I immediately fell in love with Bridgewater Hall!  The historic home has so much to offer couples looking for a micro wedding venue. It has it’s very own newly renovated wedding chapel (that use to be a country store), a plush bridal suite,  a gazebo overlooking the river and a lovely courtyard with a rock fireplace for outside dining.  The home itself is so charming and offers variety with its traditional dining room, formal library and beautiful two-story porches. This place is just full of elegance and southern charm.

Michael Gavin, the new owner , is a visionary.  He has been “flipping houses” since he was 18!  He worked 3 jobs as a teen to save up enough money to purchase his first home that he flipped 6 months later for a profit.   Michael has always admired Bridgewater Hall.  In fact,  he purchased his last flip 2 years ago in Burke county in hopes that one day Bridgewater Hall would be for sale and he could buy it.  He worked day and night along with his two sons on that home so that when he sold it he would make enough money to purchase Bridgewater if it ever became available. Well all that hard work paid off because when Bridgwater became for sale he immediately purchased it!  His family has poured so much time, hard work and love into this property and it shows.   Owning and operating Bridgewater Hall is a dream come true for Michael and his family.

2019-03-19_0032Her vintage style, empire waist dress was perfect for this relaxed venue.2019-03-19_0026The Sixpence for love, wealth and good luck.  2019-03-19_00092019-03-19_00202019-03-19_00182019-03-19_00462019-03-20_0009The newly renovated Chapel that was once an old country store.  Michael, the new owner, found the stained glass window from an old church in Black Mountain that was torn down.  There is so much history and care put into this property.  I love it!2019-03-20_00102019-03-20_00072019-03-20_00062019-03-20_00042019-03-19_0007Garden Gate Downtown Florist made all the flower arrangements and decorated the chapel with greenery. 2019-03-19_00372019-03-19_00252019-03-19_00192019-03-19_00222019-03-19_00212019-03-19_00122019-03-19_00082019-03-19_00502019-03-19_00852019-03-19_00402019-03-19_00642019-03-19_00432019-03-19_00562019-03-19_00022019-03-19_00582019-03-19_00612019-03-19_00862019-03-19_00522019-03-19_00512019-03-19_00532019-03-20_00112019-03-19_00392019-03-19_0029My Mobile Bakery made the cake and all the desserts. YUM! Garden Gate Downtown Florist made all the floral arrangements and bouquets. So Beautiful!2019-03-19_00132019-03-19_00822019-03-19_00792019-03-19_00692019-03-19_00282019-03-19_00332019-03-19_00362019-03-19_00162019-03-19_00052019-03-19_00352019-03-19_00452019-03-19_00012019-03-19_00152019-03-19_00732019-03-19_00042019-03-19_00242019-03-19_00172019-03-19_00492019-03-19_00772019-03-19_00702019-03-19_00712019-03-19_00232019-03-19_0006  Sam, you are a beautiful bride and I wish you all the best. I hope your wedding was YOUR dream come true!

~Laura

 

Venue: Bridgewater Hall, Morganton NC

Flowers: Garden Gate Downtown, Morganton, NC

Cake: My Mobile Bakery, Morganton, NC

 

 

By the way, DIY, PHOTOGRAPHY

HOW TO MAKE A BEAUTIFUL FLORAL BOUQUET ON A BUDGET

I needed a fresh floral bouquet for a photo shoot I was doing this week at a new venue, Bridgewater Hall.  I had a budget of $20 in mind that I wanted to stay under.  I knew I wanted the bouquet to be pink and purple.  I also wanted it to pop with color but have an organic feel to it with some spriggy greenery and for it to not have that perfectly “shaped” feel to it.  I found this fresh bouquet at Wal-Mart for $14.95 but did not find the greenery  I was looking for with the fresh flowers. I decided to look in the craft section for Eucalyptus but they were almost $5 per stem and I would have needed 4 or 5 to get the look I wanted (putting me over budget). While I was in the craft area I happened to see these bunches of lavender. This will be my “filler’ and also give me the spriggy look I was wanting. (I know spriggy is not really a word).  I thought they looked pretty realistic and they were only  $.98 cents per bunch so I  got two of them.  I also purchased a spool of white satin ribbon for $2 and some floral tape for less than $2 bringing my grand total to just barely over $21+ tax.

Here is how you do it:

1- First, separate the existing bouquet

2- Pull out any of the flowers you do not want to use and discard

3- Remove leaves off the flowers you are going to use and organize the them into categories

4- Begin with one flower and add one flower at a time, adding your filler sprigs in between.

5- Wrap the floral tape firmly, but not too tight, around the bouquet

6- Wrap the ribbon neatly around the floral tape several times and secure with a straight pin or fabric glue

7- Store the bouquet in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them.

The first 6 photos were taken with my cell phone and the rest were taken with my camera at the photo shoot.                                                                               2019-03-12_00212019-03-12_00222019-03-12_00232019-03-12_00252019-03-12_00242019-03-12_0026I love these colors and was very pleased with the results. Fresh flowers always brighten up a table.

~Laura