All posts by smithophoto

Young Love

We had a young man contact us to capture his proposal to his girlfriend while they were here on vacation.  He was so sweet and had thought of everything, months in advance.  What we had to figure out was how to get close to him without his girlfriend suspecting anything.

I asked Makayla, Mr. Smitho’s drop dead gorgeous cousin if she’d be willing to model for me so that I could be taking pictures of her when they walked up we could be close to them for the proposal!  Lucky for us, Wade Makayla’s equally as drop dead gorgeous boyfriend just so happened to have graduated and returned home from Ohio State University just a few weeks ago.

(In case you missed the seriously adorable couple who got engaged that day you can find some of their pictures here) 

After finishing up Makayla and Wades gallery I could not decide which ones to share…  so I decided I would make a blog post and share them here !

The lighting was perfect and the wind blew her hair just right.   If you are ever around these two it is evident in a matter of seconds just how in love they are.   Their laughter was infectious!

I didn’t have to direct or pose them… I was able to stand back and just capture the moment!

I told Makayla that she could be a model!

But then she gets it honest.

At Easter I had the privilege of photographing her parents.  Her mama is Adam’s first cousin.  She and Mark, Makayla’s daddy were high school sweethearts.  They have been married 25 years this year and we did a photo session to commemorate their anniversary.

I am so blessed to be able to call them family!  When I married Adam, I gained an amazing extended family.  Not only do they all look like they walked off the page of a magazine… If I ever need a babysitter, I know we can call Aunt Mo and if she’s not busy she’ll be there.  Most of my family lives out of town now and so to have someone we can call on that will take care of my babies as if they were her own is a Godsend!

Make sure you like our facebook page   and our Instagram page 

to keep up to date on our latest work!  We are booking into August and September right now and still have our beach special pricing happening.  Also, if you are getting married later this year or next year, NOW is the time to get on our calendar.  There are several dates for next year already booked!  We would love to be the ones to capture your memories!

Mr. and Mrs. Gentry

We had the pleasure and honor of capturing Will and Kristy’s gorgeous wedding at The Barn at Rock Creek in Leland last weekend!  It’s such a gorgeous venue to have a wedding!  You can check out The Barn here!

We had a great time and once again I was reminded why we love weddings so much!  There are very few occasions in someones life where they will experience such raw emotion, and this just so happens to be one of those times.

A few months ago we were able to capture Kristy’s bridal portraits.   She told me then that no one but 2 people (her mother and her matron of honor) had seen her dress.  It was going to be a surprise to everyone.  Kristy told me that she never dresses up and would rather be in a t-shirt and jeans any day rather than a dress.  She was such a gorgeous bride which makes that hard to believe.  Here are a few of our favorites from her Bridal Session!

Kristy was one of the most laid back brides I have ever had the pleasure of working with. I really believe that was in part by the help of her wedding planners.  I cannot stress enough the value of having help planning your day!  The girls at Knot Too Shabby Events  worked so hard to make sure every single aspect of Kristy and Will’s day was special.

They had put so much thought into even the smallest details.

This gorgeous bracelet was a gift from Will to Kristy as her wedding present.  Is this not just gorgeous?!?

We first had all of the bridesmaids leave the room while her Matron of Honor, Melissa (who I’m pretty sure was heaven sent!!  She was such an amazing help throughout the bridal portraits and the wedding itself.  There is no telling how many times she straightened Kristy’s train for me!!) helped her get ready. During the time the girls were still getting ready the guys were outside having fun acting a little on the crazy side!

Throughout working with Kristy you could tell that she and her sweet mama Linda shared such a close bond. When I delivered the canvas and printed products of Kristy’s bridals, immediately Linda was overcome with emotion.  Kristy’s wedding day was no different.

That bond wasn’t only shared with her mama, but it was evident very quickly that she was a daddy’s girl at heart.  When we were talking about the timeline for her actual wedding day Kristy wanted me to make sure that we captured her daddy’s reaction to seeing her in her dress for the first time.

When the time came for her daddy to see her I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room.

Will was so excited to see his gorgeous bride come down the isle!  Didn’t he clean up well! 😉 I was giving him a hard time about his mechanic hands.  I told him, as the men in my family used to always tell me, that was a sign of a good man, who knew how to work hard for what they wanted.

I loved how the groomsmen kept looking over at Will to see his reaction to seeing Kristy for the first time.

The wind was blowing so hard that day that poor Kristy had a time with her veil.  I told her later it just gave her more of a story to tell when she was talking about her wedding day!

After a beautiful ceremony, Kristy’s Uncle Gary pronounced them husband and wife.

We had a great time with the bridal party!  They were so much fun to work with and willing to do whatever we asked!

After formal portraits we headed for the reception.

The food for the reception was provided by Middle of the Island and the cake and desserts were from Creative Cake Design by Tammy Hodge and oh so good!  I’m a country girl at heart and nothing makes me happier than yummy southern food!

The first dance as husband and wife and the daddy/daughter dance are always the two points during a wedding day where I hide behind my camera because without a doubt I will have tears in my eyes!   Maybe it’s because as a mama I know how precious these moments are, or maybe it’s because I didn’t have the opportunity to dance with my Daddy on my wedding day due to him having to use a wheelchair.  Who knows…. and maybe it’s just because it’s so doggone sweet!  But either way,  its one of my favorite parts of the day!

Here are a few photos from the reception!

Once the reception was in full swing we were able to slide out for a few minutes and capture a few sunset photos with Kristy and Will.

and of course we had to play around a little bit too!  🙂

They finished the night with a glow stick send off!

And then headed in a limo to Myrtle Beach where they were staying the night!

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Gentry!  I hope you enjoy your honeymoon!  Thank you for allowing us to capture your memories!  Your day was gorgeous!

Be sure to “like” us out on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/smithophoto and our website at http://www.smithophoto.com and last but not least on our instagram page at http://www.instagram.com/smithophoto

Motherhood… A day in the life

When I was little I always dreamed of having babies of my own.  I wasn’t sure that would ever happen.  I was born with multiple health issues…  Doctors said I would never walk, I would never run, and I as I got older I would probably be in a wheelchair.  When I was 19 I was told I needed open heart surgery and that my heart was enlarged.  I remember laying on the gurney at Duke Hospital, petrified, and I remember thinking to myself that this was it.  I had made the mistake of reading up on the surgery beforehand… never. ever. do that.  A surgeon would have my heart in his hands while my body was connected to a machine that would breathe for me.  I thought about if this was really it, then I ‘d never know what it was like to get married.  I would never experience being pregnant or having babies…nor would I buy my own home… or have a real job… and the list went on and on…  Thankfully, my journey didn’t end there… my story wasn’t over… it was just beginning.

Being a mother is the most rewarding, the most frustrating, the most exhausting, the most humbling, and the single most important thing I will ever do in my lifetime.   We aren’t to a point in our photography business where I can do it full time and stay at home, so every day I get up, get everyone ready for the day, and I go to work.  I am fortunate to have a great job with full benefits, but I long for the day I can come home.  I feel like I miss SO much working.  And while we work to get our photography business built, we work two jobs which increases the time away from our kids.  But, that makes the time we do get to spend with them even more precious.

I thought about this morning as I had time before the kids woke up… how many things we take for granted day in and day out.  I thought about all the things I am going to miss one day, when they are grown and no longer at home with families of their own.  As we work to build our business… as we work to support our family… we are overlooking the little things…

So I decided to spend a few minutes capturing our morning.

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My house is never perfectly clean… my house is full of dog hair… from our very rotten furbaby…. there are toys in the floor, and inevitably a basket full of dirty clothes overflows into the floor of my bedroom.  Seriously… somewhere we have about 15 missing people hiding that contribute to the dirty clothes.. There is no way 4 people can create the mountain of clothes that collects in this house!

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There are crumbs from cookies….

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Somewhere you may find a juice cup that was hidden and never found…

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But one day there will be no more juice cups… there will be no more cookie crumbs… or the sound of giggling… the blaring cartoons, or the obnoxious toys…

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There won’t be toy’s strewn in the floor, or the pitter patters of little feet in the hallway

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So when it’s all said and done….. and they are grown… with families of their own… I hope they know that mommy always tried… that she loves them fiercely with all that she is…. that while she is far far from perfect… she strives to be the very best that she can possibly be.  There are days that I make mistakes… that I get frustrated… that I get overwhelmed… and days that I’m just plain exhausted… but I will never stop trying… I will never stop believing in their ability to be amazing…  I am the mama of two precious… gorgeous babies… they are my biggest blessings and and my proudest accomplishments!  I may not always get it right…and that’s ok… we’re not expected to… but I will never stop trying to be the very best me that I can be. Because they deserve that.  And if I could go back and tell that scared little 19 year old girl on that hospital gurney at Duke one thing… it would be breathe… take it all in… it will all be ok and one day your struggles will turn into your story….and your story will be amazing…  God has so many blessings lined up for you… so breathe and live in the moment!

God isn’t done with me yet!  (Thank the Lord!) My story isn’t over yet… so while I write my story… I vow to do better capturing it.  I capture so many other memories for everyone else sometimes, I forget that I have my own memories to capture!

Are you capturing your memories? How are you writing your story?

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Cassie’s Bridal Portraits

I am so excited that I finally get to share these with you!  We took these a few weeks ago and every since I’ve been dying to share them!  Terry and Cassie were married yesterday so now we can finally share these with you!

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In the picture above Adam was squished in a corner with a flash to make sure Cassie’s face was lit up…. sometimes when there is no light we create our own!  If only people saw what goes on behind the scenes to make sure the shots turn out!

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In this shot, Cassie’s very small Matron of honor was hiding directly behind her… once she got her dress fixed, the walkway was so narrow she couldn’t get back around her without stepping on her dress so we just had her sit on the ground and hide… again, no one would ever know what goes into these shots!

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For this picture we may or may not have moved a barricade that was blocking the stairs that said do not enter… it was worth breaking the rules to get the shot!

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I had dreamed of taking images at this venue for a few years and it just never worked out that we could get there.  When we met with Cassie for her initial consultation we talked about locations for her bridal portraits, she was sold on the location.

We initially scheduled her pictures for October… we called to make sure they didn’t decorate for Halloween and they said they didn’t…fast forward to the day before her pictures she called to verify what time they closed and found out the entire castle was decorated with spiderwebs and pumpkins for a fall festival.  So we had to reschedule to just a few weeks before her wedding!

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It was worth the wait and the rush to get them edited and canvases ordered before her big day!

We loved the fireplaces!

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These by far are my favorite pictures to date!  We absolutely love weddings and everything about them!   Tis the season for engagements!  So if you know someone who becomes engaged over Christmas/New Years…. or if you know someone who is already engaged please be sure to send them our way!   There is no greater thank you than the referrals to others!

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Cassie was an absolutely beautiful bride and her wedding day yesterday was gorgeous!  I will be posting later some of the beautiful pictures from her and Terry’s special day.

 

Dreams do come TRUE

You may have noticed that we haven’t created a blog post in quite sometime.  There are many many benefits of living in paradise.  We have the luxury of living within 3 miles of two of the most beautiful beaches in North Carolina.  We can hear waves from our front porch year round and can smell the salt air when we pull up in our driveway.   During the summertime however, you won’t find us swinging on our front porch.  On any given evening, when the light is gorgeous and golden, you will find us at one of our area beaches capturing memories of those who have ventured to NC on vacation.

Already this year we have had the distinct honor of photographing over 80 families.   Between family sessions, weddings, and events, we have hand edited and delivered over 10,000 images!!! The majority of those sessions were beach sessions that occurred this summer.  As we reflected back over the summer at all the families we had the opportunity to meet, we were so humbled.  You see, we don’t just take pictures.  As cliche as it sounds… we pride ourselves in creating memories.  With camera phones at everyone’s disposal, anyone can take a picture.  It takes time and dedication and talent to create art.  We are dedicated to our craft and work tirelessly to create one of a kind images that will stand the test of time.  We want to capture your family in ways that you will cherish for many years to come.  We are excited to say we are already booking sessions for next summer!

This summer we had all types of sessions.  I wanted to take a few moments to highlight some of our sessions and share some of the images that you may have missed from those sessions.  We had many large families.  Our largest family session to date was a sweet family that we captured at Holden Beach.  Their grandparents had started the tradition of coming to the beach for over 50 years.  I don’t know that I’ve ever been so impressed with the closeness of a family.

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I received an email from the granddaughter who had booked the session, that the matriarch of their family, Ms. Marthalee who had started the tradition of coming to Holden all those years ago had passed away.  This was just a little over a month after these pictures were taken.  She was so beautiful and absolutely loved the beach.

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What a reminder of the importance of having pictures taken!  We heard story after story of families who had vacationed together for years but hadn’t ever had professional pictures taken.   We loved working with so many large family groups!  This is just a small sample of those families.

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Some of our favorite sessions included cute couples who were excited to announce new additions were on the way!

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We can’t wait for them all to return next summer with their sweet bundles of joy!

As always we dealt with crazy weather.  There is a saying in Southeastern NC, if you don’t like the weather wait 10 minutes and it will change!  We had rain and rainbows!

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and of course incredibly gorgeous sunsets!

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We had fun themed sessions like this one from the notebook.  This may have been one of my favorites to date.

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We were able to capture sweet young love…

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as well as couples who were celebrating years of being happily married.

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We loved seeing parents interact with their babies… both big and small!

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and of course grandparents with their grandbabies!

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You can only imagine with all of these different families the countless incredibly gorgeous children we encountered this summer!

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We heard over and over this summer, we didn’t realize this experience would be so much fun…. and my goodness did we ever have fun!

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and of course with having edited over 10,000 images this year already there’s no way we could ever begin to share them all…. but hopefully you will see how much we have loved sharing our summer with you.  We have SO enjoyed capturing your memories and are so humbled that you chose us!  We hope that most importantly you cherish these memories for decades to come!

We are already booking sessions for next summer!  Last year in March we were almost completely booked for July!  If you are interested in booking a family session, don’t wait until it’s too late to get on our calendar!

Thank you for an amazing summer and for helping us realize our dreams!

Christie and Adam Smith

 

David and Shabnam

A75_7369David and Shabnam were visiting from Arizona for their special day.   I’m always intrigued how people find our little Brunswick County Beaches from all over the US.  His sister had retired to Holden Beach.  Shabnam told me she wanted all day coverage and that the most important thing to her was her pictures. I was able to spend about 3 hours doing nothing but portraits of the bride and groom.  For a wedding photographer that was a dream!

A75_7586We went to multiple locations in and around Holden Beach to capture their portraits before we headed over to the beach for their beautiful ceremony.

B75_7017-Edit B75_6971-2 B75_6929 A75_7568 A75_7545 A75_7454-2 A75_7360-Edit A75_7315The ceremony was so sweet.  The weather was perfect!  The colors of the chair wraps worked so well against the white sand and blue skies!  Shabnam even had friends and coworkers that flew from Arizona just to be there for her special day!

B75_7124 A75_7609 A75_7669 B75_7122 B75_7209 B75_7199 B75_7257 B75_7281 B75_7359We then had their reception at the Oyster Harbor club house.  When it came time for sunset we knew we wanted to slide out of the reception and head over to the water to do sunset pictures… lucky for us, the kayak dock in Oyster Harbor gave us a gorgeous view!

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Thank you Shabnam and David for allowing us to be part of your beautiful day!  Congratulations!

Drew and Melva

Drew and Melva were married at Holden Beach earlier this month.   They had a private ceremony at Oyster Harbor.  I first met them a few weeks before when they came down to do wedding announcement pictures.  They were dressed in their wedding attire and wanted pictures done before the wedding so they could send out announcement cards, as they were having a reception back home with their family and friends.  What a neat idea!  We met on probably the coldest Thursday afternoon in April!  We would wrap Melva up in a jacket in between pictures because it was so windy and cold.  Here are a few from that day.

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You’d never know we were freezing cold.  But fast forward to their big day and the weather was perfect!  The sun was shining and most importantly it was WARM!   When I went in to where Melva was she was so calm!  She was probably the most relaxed bride I’ve ever come in contact with.

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She told me Drew had one request for the wedding.  Besides having a ceremony on the water he wanted bagpipers.  I had seen bag pipers before, but never fully paid attention to how they are played.  I thought they were so cool!  Andy and Ann Simpson with Simpson Bagpipers did a phenomenal job!

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Melva’s son walked her down the isle and her daughter was her maid of honor.  A75_7092-2 B75_6261

Their day went flawlessly!

A75_7117 B75_6162 B75_6170-2 B75_6371 B75_6372 B75_6378They finished their day with a quaint reception at the Oyster Harbor club house.

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Congratulations Melva and Drew!  Thank you for allowing us to be part of your special day!  We wish you nothing but happiness!

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Stay tuned to the blog as this was just the first of the 4 weddings we had during the month of May!