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Bella and Coco

Meet Bella(the Labradoodle) and Coco (the Dachshund). They are the best of friends.  Bella is just precious and does whatever Coco wants.  Coco is the small but bossy one.    They look like partners in crime to me.  I look at this first picture and smile (because they are adorable) but I also get a lump in my throat.  You know the one you get right before you hold back tears. You see, this photo session was bittersweet for me.  Bella is sick and was diagnosed this week with a very aggressive cancer.   Her mama, Angie, a dear friend of mine, reached out to me and told me Bella’s grim news.  It was important to Angie to get some pictures of Bella with her and Roger while she is still able.  Bella was in the hospital this week and after her diagnosis, Angie made the decision to bring her home and just love her and enjoy their time left together. So between laughter and tears we got these precious pictures that I know Angie and Roger will cherish for years to come.     2019-06-21_00042019-06-21_00062019-06-21_0008Sweet Bella2019-06-21_00052019-06-21_00142019-06-21_00152019-06-21_00102019-06-21_00162019-06-21_00232019-06-21_00202019-06-21_0025Coco was cracking us up!  Look at her under Roger’s leg!2019-06-21_00222019-06-21_00132019-06-21_00112019-06-21_00262019-06-21_0019Best Friends forever2019-06-21_00122019-06-21_00172019-06-21_00092019-06-21_00242019-06-21_00032019-06-21_00182019-06-21_00012019-06-21_0007The bond with a dog is as lasting as the ties of this Earth can ever be.

Quote by: Konrad Lorenz

 

 

 

 

 

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CJ Short| Professional Headshots

Meet CJ.  He just became a realtor with a company called  Exit Realty.  He is based in Asheville and serving the market of Asheville to Morganton .   For the last several years CJ has been a stay at home dad.  This new career will allow him to continue to serve his family well and now our community.  CJ is a genuinely nice guy.  He has a laid back, easy-going personality and I think he is going to make a perfect real estate agent.  If you find yourself needing an agent, check him out.  Here is a peek at his new professional headshots.  2019-06-21_00362019-06-21_00462019-06-21_00342019-06-21_00292019-06-21_00312019-06-21_00422019-06-21_00322019-06-21_00402019-06-21_00382019-06-21_00302019-06-21_00332019-06-21_00352019-06-21_00482019-06-21_0047CJ,  I wish you all the best in  your new career!

~Laura

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Scarlett Grace| Newborn |Vale, NC A firefighter inspired session

Introducing Scarlett Grace! Isn’t she beautiful?   Her dad, Jason and I work together and months before she was born, he reached out to me about this session.  Jason is a volunteer fire fighter and you can tell just by hearing him speak about it that being a fire fighter is his passion.  He really wanted to do a newborn session with her and his fire gear. It was so hot outside and I felt so bad for him being in that  heavy fire suit!   Jason was dripping sweat but he never complained.  In fact, he said, “this is nothing compared to a fire”.  The day after I took these pictures,  He had been out all night until 4:30 a.m. on a  Search and Rescue mission and then came to work! To Jason and all the firefighter’s out there, I would like to say, ” THANK YOU. Thank you for all your sacrifice and dedication and for all the things that go unnoticed that the community never really knows about.”   I also want to point out the sign Jason is holding.  It’s a custom-made sign with Scarlett’s name and date of birth, weight and time on it made by Madison Hopper at MH Woodburning Designs.  You can find her on Etsy, Instagram or Facebook.  She does some really cute stuff.  You should go check her out.   So here are the images from my first “firefighter inspired” session.  2019-06-03_00452019-06-03_00302019-06-03_00322019-06-03_00272019-06-03_00232019-06-03_0024Look at Scarlett raising up in this picture.  So much for the sleeping baby picture. 2019-06-03_00282019-06-03_00442019-06-03_00522019-06-03_00352019-06-03_00372019-06-03_00392019-06-03_00202019-06-03_00112019-06-03_00152019-06-03_00042019-06-03_00102019-06-03_00332019-06-03_00312019-06-03_0043T2019-06-03_00092019-06-03_0021This picture is one of my favorites.  I love  Jason’s expression and Scarlett looks like an angel!2019-06-03_00052019-06-03_0016I just love her nursery so of course we had to get some shots of it.    Look at that wreath!!  Shannon made it.  She is really into making crafts and she is so talented at it!  2019-06-03_00342019-06-03_0036The custom sign by MH Woodburning will compliment her nursery perfectly.  2019-06-03_0018Shannon also made this afghan that Scarlett is laying on in this picture.  2019-06-03_00192019-06-03_00122019-06-03_00022019-06-03_0051Scarlett Grace you are a perfect baby and I can’t wait to watch you grow!  Jason and Shannon you guys will be great parents to this sweet little one.  Congratulations!

~Laura

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Christiannah|A Portrait Session at Lake James

I met Christiannah and her two boys at Lake James for this session.  I work with Christiannah every day but I rarely get to see her boys.  Some things that stand out in my mind from her session is when she pulled up and got out of the car and showed them the outfits they would be wearing, the youngest boy said, “Oh, what bootiful clothes”.   He said it so sweetly and just like that.  Her oldest son blew me away the entire session with his vocabulary and intelligence.  Of course both boys wanted to get in the water right off the bat!! But we somehow managed to hold that off until the very end.   I had so much fun during this session and it really made me miss my own kids being this sweet age.  These brothers are very sweet to each other and started out hugging and ended up wrestling.   The little one just smiles all the time. His little smile is so contagious!  2019-05-22_00052019-05-22_00112019-05-22_00082019-05-22_00152019-05-22_00062019-05-22_00172019-05-22_00192019-05-22_00322019-05-22_00212019-05-22_00332019-05-22_00342019-05-22_00352019-05-22_00362019-05-22_00282019-05-22_00252019-05-22_00302019-05-22_00292019-05-22_00262019-05-22_00232019-05-22_00182019-05-22_00242019-05-22_00142019-05-22_00092019-05-22_00042019-05-22_00022019-05-22_00122019-05-22_00102019-05-22_00132019-05-22_00372019-05-22_00012019-05-22_00072019-05-22_0020The boys finally got to get in the water and could not have been happier.  Christiannah, I had a blast with you and your sweet boys.

All the best!

~Laura

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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

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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

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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

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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

 

 

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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

 

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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