Friday, August 28, 2009

Engagement Story: Allison and Scott

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Once upon a time Scott and Allison went on their first date to Helios.
They had a wonderful time sharing about their life stories, dreams and goals across the table.


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Allison and Scott fell in love... and so the transformation happened where they were no longer sharing coffee across the table.  No way.  Sharing coffee snuggled up to one another became much more preferable.  And then they decided to marry in September 2009... and I am confident that they will live happily ever after.

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I will hop out of fancy story telling mode and go back to Ashley story telling mode :)
I love it when couples have specific, special places that they like to incorporate into their shoots somehow.  Helios was a perfect place to use in the shoot!

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Scott is an architect and mentioned his love of lines, shapes, etc.  
I let the love for lines be my guide as we did the downtown Raleigh portion of their shoot...

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Back in June when I put out the blog survey, I asked what did you want to see on the blog.  
A few of you wrote that you would like to see before and after- the shot before my work in photoshop and then after.  The following pictures are an example of that.  
The first shot is right out of the camera.  The second is after some love in photoshop.


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These two took formal dance lessons for their reception.  
Why not practice in the middle of the street with threatening storm clouds overhead?!

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Luckily we were headed in the opposite direction of those dark clouds to Preston Country Club in Cary.  This is where Scott and Allison will get married in a week!
These two are also golf players (Allison's family is big into golf as well) so they knew they had to grab some shots on the green :)

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Allison totally knows how to putt- I think Scott just wanted some more snuggle time :)
If you are a guy dreading your engagement session, dread it no more.  
I mean, come on, you get to snuggle and smooch on your hot fiance'!

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LOVE these next few...

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Scott and Allison- I had so much fun running around Raleigh and Cary with you two!  Your wedding is right around the corner and I am thrilled that David and I get to be a part of it!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Facebook Story :) For Fun!

Don't lie to me- I know you are all on Facebook :)  

I have a Story Photographer's page over there in that world.  I generally post the images I have blogged so that the people involved can be tagged in their pictures.  

Lately I have had several brides ask me for some nontraditional options or ideas for their wedding days.  I have decided that I am going to offer random wedding ideas/advice/trends/etc status updates from that page.  I see lots of cool stuff at weddings and I would love to help pass along ideas to you!  Head on over and "become a fan" of the page so you can see these random suggestions- they will probably not end up on the blog... HOWEVER, I will give you one right now...

I love the website "Offbeat Bride: altar your thinking".  They have an advice column and a reader wrote in to ask for alternatives to a unity candle/sand ceremony.  The columnist brings up a great idea of a ring warming.  This concept works better for a smaller wedding I would thing, but the officiant explains to the guests that the rings will be passed from person to person, and everyone is to offer up a wedding blessing, loving thoughts, a prayer (whatever you are so inclined to do) when one of the rings gets to them.  Then when the rings reach the front they are all warmed up with love from the very people who support your relationship the most.  LOVE THAT.   David and I also found an alternative to the candles or the sand in that we had both of our parents walk us in/down the aisle.  Instead of asking "who gives this bride", we had our parents hold each of our hands and then all four of them brought mine and David's hands together while our officiants did a reading about what our hands would be to each other.  This was one of my favorite parts of the ceremony.  

Here is the shot of the hands uniting- courtesy of Rebecca Mill!
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Think outside the box!  If you don't like a specific wedding tradition or do not feel like it reflects your personalities, find a new one! :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Engagement Story: Kristin and Scott

It is always nice to leave the redness of Wolfpack territory and head over to Tar Heel heaven :)  
Don't hate now, just because I grew up in NC State's front yard does not mean that I wear red during basketball season.  My Mom grew up a UNC-CH sports fan and it happened to rub off on my sister and I.  

Kristin and Scott met in high school... they graduated and headed to two different colleges.  Scott just couldn't stay far from Kristin so he transferred to Carolina to be with her.  Scott saw another engagement shoot I did on Facebook and contacted me from there.  They were brave enough to wake up early to do the shoot on a morning that was just threatening to rain.  I just loved everything about their shoot- including the fact that a few minutes after we finished the shoot the rain came pouring down.

A favorite place to start for most Tarheels- the Old Well.

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I believe I remember Scott telling me that there is a legend that if you sit with (or kiss) your love on this bench then you will be together forever-- is that right Scott?
I am sure it will work that way for these two!

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Walking around the quad... I am sure they were reminiscing.

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I have to admit that UNC-CH's bell tower is much prettier than NC State's...

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Scott is so excited to be engaged to Kristen :)

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HELLO adorable couple against an adorable blue ceiling!

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Nothing like an outfit change and a stroll down Franklin St...

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If you have not noticed yet, Scott is a cuddly man.  
He was totally loving it that he got to cuddle and smooch on Kristin so much during this shoot.

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You know, I just saw the rings of the tree stump as a symbol for all the wonderful moments/minutes/days/weeks/months/years that Kristin and Scott will have together.

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Kristin, it is so obvious this man ADORES you!  Love that!

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Kristin and Scott- Thanks for getting up early to hang out with me in Chapel Hill!  I had such a great time with you two and cannot wait for you to see the rest of your images.  Hope the wedding planning continues to go well!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Social Story: Salvation Army of Wake Co.- New Building

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I keep trying to open with descriptive words to introduce you to the shoot in this blog post... but it is so hard to find the right ones.  First of all, I will warn you that if you are offended by drug/alcohol paraphernalia you might want to skip out on this post.  

As I have mentioned on the blog before, I do the shooting for the Salvation Army in downtown Raleigh.  The images scrolling on the home page are from the first annual report that I shot.  I love getting to help out such an amazing social ministry.  I am always learning new ways that the Salvation Army serves those in Wake County.  This assignment was much different than the others I had helped with.  At times I felt like I was in a movie, or CSI tv show.  

The Salvation Army was given a new, larger building to move into - it will be called The Center for Hope.  The only downside is that is going to take quite a bit of renovation to get it ready.  They have had this building for two years now.  In the first year they had it, the staff decided to store the coats from their coat drive in the warehouse-esque second floor of the new building.  The coats were sorted-men, women, and children- and then boxed up in separate piles to wait for distribution.  One day the people came in to sort and found that one of the men's boxes had been open, a few coats were missing.  Then they noticed that the children's coat boxes had been lined up to form a row of beds, with adult body imprints on top.  

Homeless people had discovered a way into this abandoned building.
Since then the building has housed homeless people, particularly during the evening.  Only a few people have been caught by the police, while there is evidence left behind during the day time that there are many more

Just in the past month, a few staff members had visited the building and were devastated to find toys and toddler sized shoes in one of the rooms a few inches away from heroine.  Now there was proof that it was no longer just men using this building for shelter.

The people that need the Salvation Army have found the building long before the money has been completely raised, and are waiting.  They are waiting for the amazing programs and resources that can change their lives, turn their lives in a different direction.  Visit the Salvation Army website I have linked above to make a contribution to their Capitol Campaign so that those children and their families can get the help they need.

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Lottery ticket...

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The staff is still trying to figure out what the circular piles of rocks mean.  
The people that have been staying in the building have these in different sizes in the different office rooms.  Maybe it has something to do with marking territory?

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Sadly the people that have been sneaking into the building have slowly trashed the place.
They have stripped the place of copper and other metals.  
There are holes in the ceiling to sneak in through, 
allowing rain in to ruin carpets and create mold.

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One of the coat collection boxes that I mentioned earlier in the post...

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Shopping cart full of rocks and broken cement.

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I learned that the substance in the aluminum foil is/was heroine... 
and the irony is that it is sitting on top of a children's book entitled "Hippo Learns to Help"

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It seems as though who ever has deemed themselves in charge of the night time colony has "their room" completely covered in rocks and other collected items.  The floor was so completely covered that the door opened far enough to let a body slide through.
I am not going to lie-I was terrified when I stuck my camera in there that I would pull it back out and see someone looking at me from behind the door.

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Thanks for hanging in there and reading all the text that goes along with this post.  I was so ready to share this story with you.  If you feel the pull to help contribute to the Capital Campaign to raise money to renovate this building please contact the Salvation Army.