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

PERSONAL, PHOTOGRAPHY

BEN|BACKYARD PORTRAITS| MORGANTON, NC

It takes a lot of sweet talking and by sweet talking I mean bribery $$ to get this one to let you take his picture.  This is my son, Ben, and let me tell you he drives a hard bargain.   I don’t even care because I hardly have any pictures of him and I have so many of Grace.    These were taken in our back yard and I love them!  He is 11 and growing up so fast!    2019-03-04_00172019-03-04_00192019-03-04_00112019-03-04_00202019-03-04_00092019-03-04_00132019-03-04_00182019-03-04_00212019-03-04_00122019-03-04_00162019-03-04_00082019-03-04_00142019-03-04_00032019-03-04_00102019-03-04_00482019-03-04_00492019-03-04_0004Ben, you drive a hard bargain but these images make it totally worth it.  Thanks for the cooperation.  LOL!

~Laura (Mom)

PERSONAL

MAX GETS A PEDICURE

We have two dogs, Max and Skipper but this post is about our dog Max.  He is 13 years old and we adopted him from Friends for animals 10 years ago.  He is such a good boy and has been such a loyal friend to us over the years.  You could say he is a gentle giant.  As he is getting older, he is getting really feeble and having a hard time getting up and walking.  We do what we can to help him and one of those things is keeping  the fur trimmed off his feet so he can have better traction on our floors.   Michael and Ben take care of that for me.  Max doesn’t like it one bit but he gets lots of love when it is over.  2019-03-02_00012019-03-02_00032019-03-02_00022019-03-02_00072019-03-02_00042019-03-02_00062019-03-02_00052019-03-02_00092019-03-02_0008

Sweetest dog ever.  Love you Max!

~Laura

PHOTOGRAPHY

GRACE| PORTRAITS| NC ARBORETUM|ASHEVILLE, NC

Grace and I decided to take her portraits at the NC Arboretum in Asheville, NC.  Not the best time of year for this but you never know until you try.  It had been close to 20 years since I had been there so I couldn’t remember what was even there.  Next time I go I definitely want to take some hiking boots with me.  There are miles and miles of trails that appeared to follow a river.   There is also a bistro there that looked pretty nice.  We only saw three trees in bloom there.   There were two yellow ones and one pink one.  The pink one was swarming with bees so loud you could hear them! We decided not to shoot there.  It wasn’t worth the risk of being stung.  I would definitely go back to the Arboretum but I would like to go in the spring or fall when there is more foliage.   Grace was freezing during this session so I gave her my sweater as we were leaving.  On the way out this little puppy ran up to her.  It was so cute!  I managed to get a few images of it.   2019-03-03_00032019-03-03_00132019-03-03_00112019-03-03_00252019-03-03_00222019-03-03_00312019-03-03_00372019-03-03_00232019-03-03_00012019-03-03_00182019-03-03_00092019-03-03_00052019-03-03_00102019-03-03_00062019-03-03_00162019-03-03_00342019-03-03_00152019-03-03_00142019-03-03_00072019-03-03_00122019-03-03_00082019-03-03_00172019-03-03_00212019-03-03_00202019-03-03_00262019-03-03_00272019-03-03_00332019-03-03_00282019-03-03_00362019-03-03_00392019-03-03_00292019-03-03_00302019-03-03_00242019-03-03_0032~Laura

 

PERSONAL, PHOTOGRAPHY

GRACE & BEN| SIBLING PORTRAITS| MORGANTON, NC

2018-11-19_0089These are my kids.  Grace and Benjamin, but we call him Ben.  Grace is 15 and Ben is 11.  When I was expecting Ben, Grace and I would say our prayers at bedtime and she would always pray for a brother.  Well she got one and they have always been close.  So close that they would either fight like cats and dogs or be best friends.  No in between. The fighting use to drive me crazy!!! I have to say that as they have gotten older they really don’t fight much any more.  PRAISE THE LORD!  Grace is such a mother hen to her brother and really does look out for him.  I am so proud of her for doing that.  Ben will soon outgrow her and I hope he will do the same for her.  These two are my heart.2018-11-19_01012018-11-19_00992018-11-19_00942018-11-19_00962018-11-19_00952018-11-19_00982018-11-19_00972018-11-19_00912018-11-19_0090We were able to get one with Michael in the picture too.  2018-11-19_00862018-11-19_00872018-11-19_00932018-11-19_00922018-11-19_0085I know it won’t always be perfect but I hope they always stay close.  Family is everything.

~Laura

PHOTOGRAPHY

Addilyn Turns One| Portrait Session| Catawba Meadows Park Morganton, NC

 I had such fun taking these one year portraits of Addilyn.  You can’t just take a one year old out in the freezing cold this time of year but THANKFULLY we had beautiful weather for our session! Addi is such a sweet little girl and I absolutely love her red hair.  It’s just gorgeous! Not many one year olds can make it through an entire 1 hour portrait session without a meltdown but this little girl was amazing. She never even cried once but, she did need to take a short break for her pacifier (which we camouflaged in several shots so you would never even know)! 2019-02-05_00022019-02-03_00042019-02-03_00082019-02-03_00052019-02-05_00082019-02-05_00042019-02-03_00162019-02-03_00192019-02-03_00062019-02-05_00072019-02-03_00182019-02-03_0017(above)This is the only time she whimpered and needed a pacifier break.  Oh and then her balloon hit the grass and popped.2019-02-03_0002Such a sweet family!2019-02-03_00212019-02-03_00142019-02-03_00152019-02-03_0025Those shoes!  SO CUTE!!2019-02-03_00262019-02-03_00272019-02-03_0024Look at her peeping over her dadddy’s shoulder. 2019-02-03_00222019-02-03_00202019-02-03_00122019-02-05_00032019-02-09_0001

Shawn and Paege, THANK YOU for reaching out to me for this session.  I really enjoyed  working with you all.   Addie is such a precious little girl.  I hope you will enjoy these pictures for years to come.

~Laura

PHOTOGRAPHY

Sydney Burnette|Senior Portraits|Morganton, NC

This beautiful girl isn’t even 20 years old yet and she has 2 degrees!   She just graduated this month from Liberty University after completing Burke Middle College.  One of the joys of graduating in December is the unpredictable weather.  Sydney froze to death during this session but you would never tell it in these pictures.  The wind was ferocious but Sydney hung in there and was such a good sport throughout the entire session.  We started off with a couple of shots of her in her hat and right after we got this shot the wind blew it right off her head!! Tyler,  Sydney’s boyfriend, had to go chasing it for us and put it back together.  You see  Sydney is a total girly girl and she “bedazzled” her hat! Tyler picked up all those little jewels and put them back on the top of her hat.    It was so sweet of him to do that.   2018-12-17_00072018-12-17_00262018-12-17_00232018-12-18_00022018-12-17_00202018-12-17_00272018-12-17_00142018-12-17_00212018-12-17_00112018-12-17_00242018-12-17_00252018-12-17_00172018-12-17_00192018-12-17_0013The “bedazzled” hat after Tyler put it back together. 2018-12-17_00092018-12-17_00102018-12-17_00122018-12-18_00062018-12-17_00082018-12-18_00032018-12-17_00062018-12-18_00012018-12-17_00032018-12-17_0001Sydney, you are a sweet, beautiful girl, inside and out, and I wish you happiness and joy in all that you do!

Best of luck!

~Laura