Shana and Brandon were married under a large oak tree in the lovely courtyard of the Renaissance Southpark Hotel. Their beautiful ceremony was followed by a boisterous reception inside the hotel ballroom where the couple danced the night away with their friends and family. The courtyard, converted into a swanky lounge after the cocktail crowd moved into the ballroom, proved to be the perfect retreat for anyone wanting to rest their dancing feet.
Shana and Brandon actually met 4 years ago while hanging out with mutual friends at a neighborhood pool. Shana quickly noticed Brandon and soon learned that he was the brother of one of her friends. Brandon attempted to get Shana’s attention by whizzing a football within inches of her head. When they eventually spoke, the chemistry was instantaneous. They made plans to see each other again and the rest is history.
I am so grateful to my second shooter, Erin Hanks, for her amazing images, to Jim Redmond for running such a tight ship at the Renaissance Hotel SouthPark, and to all of the vendors who provided their talents for Shana and Brandon’s big day.
Shana’s undeniable beauty and cheerful disposition made our bridal portrait session feel like anything but work for me. It didn’t hurt matters that she showed up in an elegant and feminine lace stunner from New York Bride & Groom–her hair beautifully styled in a half updo by the endlessly talented Mandi English.
Shana and her sweet Mom met me on a gusty afternoon in uptown Charlotte. We selected a variety of lovely backdrops within just a few city blocks (I never want to make brides travel too far in new shoes). Using the strong breeze to her advantage, Shana floated effortlessly from scene to scene, happily chatting with me and her Mom along the way. We had such a fabulous time together. I left the session counting the days until I could photograph Shana and her gorgeous groom Brandon on their wedding day at Renaissance Hotel Southpark. Stay tuned for that one…
One of the best parts of being a family portrait photographer is getting to witness the growth and change in my clients’ lives over the years. I started photographing the King family when Deborah and Paul were pregnant with their 1st child, Abigail. We often have portrait sessions at Why Not An American Ark, an incredible equestrian center and petting zoo in Monroe, NC where Deborah, a tremendous animal lover, boards her horse. Over the years, I have been able to photograph Abigail in fields of sunflowers, chasing swans around a pond, petting a baby zebra, or canoodling with camels. The zoo is also home to peacocks, goats, pigs, chickens, a miniature pony, a baby kangaroo, foxes, and many more…
Abigail is four years old now, and she has a new and equally adorable baby sister, Clara, to share the spotlight with. Since Clara is still a bit too little for the farm, we decided to hold our most recent family portrait session at the King’s home. We got started in the early morning light, on a blanket in the backyard. We wrapped the session in the girls’ playroom, giggling and snuggling in the soft light of a large window.
I can’t ask for a better family portrait client than the Yett family. I have known Britt since I was 10 years old; that was the year she joined my sister Ashley’s 9th grade class at Charlotte Latin School. She became one of Ashley’s best friends in high school, and they are still friends today, some 25 years later. I remember Britt as being quite the athlete. My sister says she excelled at the high jump, although the only time my sister recalls her practicing was during her actual track meets–she was a natural. Funny that she met her future husband, David, while struggling through a tennis match with her father at Quail Hollow Country Club. Britt’s natural athletic ability was completely failing her, prompting her father to approach the tennis pro to inquire about lessons for her. When the tennis pro removed his sunglasses, Britt was horrified. She not only knew the guy, they had gone to high school together at Charlotte Latin. She recalls that David, a year older than Britt, ran with the popular jock crowd. a group quite different than her own. He probably didn’t even know she existed when they were in school together. Regardless, lessons were scheduled, flirting ensued, and before long, they were an item. Now, many years later, they are happily married and are the proud creators of two of the sweetest boys I have ever had the pleasure of photographing.
Britt has been an avid supporter of my business since she started her family with David 6 years ago. I was delighted when she got in touch to schedule a family portrait session for this summer. I couldn’t wait to get together and catch up, to see Connor and how much he has grown, and to meet her new little man, Luke, now 3. It had really been too long. She wanted to do something unique for the family session–split it in half, taking some of the pictures with her and the boys before Father’s Day as a gift for David, then schedule the second half of the session for after Father’s Day, including David in the fun. Not a problem for me. I love surprises and this way I got to see her twice. In order to keep things intimate yet not spoil the surprise, we decided to have the session at Britt’s parents’ house, one of the loveliest homes where I have ever had the pleasure of working. The home itself is just stunning, and the property is beautifully landscaped and dotted with old growth trees. We met late in the day on two very warm afternoons for our sessions. Despite the mosquitoes, they couldn’t have gone better.
Brittany was the first bride to hire me to be her wedding photographer over the phone–we didn’t have our official introduction until I saw her on her wedding day, right before she slipped into her stunning dress. When we initially spoke, Brittany was facing the the daunting challenge of long distance wedding planning around her already busy schedule. She was living in Johnson City, Tennessee; her fiance, Phillip, was in Clover, South Carolina; and she was planning her wedding at Tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rock, NC. I have family just outside Johnson City, my father grew up in Clover, and Blowing Rock is right next door to where I went to school at ASU in Boone. Needless to say, we had plenty to talk about and became fast friends.
Brittany and Phillip wanted a smaller celebration centered around the children that would be in attendance, specifically her daughter and Phillip’s two sons. Tweetsie was a lighthearted, unconventional choice with plenty of activities for the kiddos. All of the wedding guests received a park pass so, after a brief reception, everyone was set loose in the park to enjoy the games and rides. Brittany and Phillip joined in the fun, decked out in their wedding day best.
To my surprise, Brittany and Phillip’s wedding was the park’s first official wedding. We had such a fantastic time on a truly beautiful piece of property. I am hopeful more couples will consider this unique location.