Category Archives: Uncategorized

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!

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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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

 

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!

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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!

Be sure to like us on facebook!

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

The Millikens!

If it weren’t for this precious family my husband and I would have never met.  Most do not know how me and Mr. Smitho met… While I was attending UNC-Wilmington, using an ancient version of instant messenger named ICQ.  He was looking for a girl in his class to get a homework assignment.  He found me instead… his first words to me were “do I know you?” haha not to bore you with a whole lot of details but we realized we were from the same county but attended different high schools… When I told him I attended UNCW he told me the only person I know at UNCW is a girl named Carmen…   I Said funny… my suite-mate and good friend is named Carmen…  come to find out it was the same person…  He worked with her boyfriend and they had went to high school together… After doing some investigating with her that he wasn’t a weird stalked we would chat briefly online here and there… it wasn’t until a couple years later that we would finally meet up…   Almost exactly to the day , 14 years later and we’re still together!  Now Carmen and her then boyfriend are married and have a precious little girl!  How gorgeous is this mama??  A75_3943-Edit-Edit

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Those eyes!!  and she wasn’t a fan at all of her cake! A75_4219-Edit-2  A75_4042-Edit A75_4058-Edit A75_3846-Edit She’s so incredibly beautiful…

You may remember her sweet newborn pictures…

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I’d have to say she’s only gotten prettier as she’s gotten older 🙂

Happy Birthday sweet girl!!

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Ava turns ONE!!

We’ve had the opportunity to capture Ms. Ava a few times over the past year and have enjoyed so much watching her grow!  She is such a cutie!  In case you missed all of her adorableness on facebook we wanted to make sure we shared it here also!

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She was such a ham and at one is already walking! She made our job super  easy!

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And she LOVED her cupcake!

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Happy Birthday Sweet girl!

1000 likes equals discounts and Dunlap Family Session

We are so humbled and excited to see we have reached 1000 likes on our Facebook Page!  We just started our business a little over a year ago and are so thankful for the continued support of our friends, family, and community.  We cannot wait to see what is to come in the life of Smitho Photo!  To say thank you for your support, we are offering 10% off of any family beach session booked for the month of September if booked before August 1st.  Why the month of September you may ask.  We are officially out on maternity leave until our sweet baby boy arrives in just two short weeks.  We have already started booking sessions into late August and into the Fall!  So get your session booked and get on our calendar before it’s too late! Mention this blog post and receive 10% off of your session fee as our way of saying thank you for your continued support!! 

 

We had the opportunity to meet Brittany and her sweet family from Georgia recently.  She warned us beforehand that her 2 year old may take some warming up.  However, she was precious and more than cooperative.  I think maybe the promise of ice cream once her pictures were done from her grandparents probably helped a lot!  Due to summer storms, our session had to be rescheduled for later in the week.  With the chance of storms looming for that afternoon I was afraid we were going to have to reschedule again but luckily the rain held off and it was a beautiful day at Ocean Isle Beach.  We met at 7:30 and the sun was still so bright overhead and it was SO hot!  But this family was troopers and didn’t let the heat stop them at all!  Some of these shots we had already shared on our Facebook page but will be sharing them again in case you missed them!  

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