cody & ashley.

ahh, two of my favorite people! Cody is my first cousin, and we grew up practically siblings. I’m so, so thankful he’s dating Ashley, and they’re both so happy. Two peas in a pod, these two. They sorta gross me out ;) hahaha love y’all!

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flowe family.

Ah, I’m so behind on blog posts! I did this shoot last fall. When Carmen called and asked me to do their family pictures, I was so excited! And then she told me how many people it was, and I got super nervous, haha. But I loveee how they turned out.

And since Shelby was celebrating her graduation and turning 16, we dedicated some special time for her. She’s probably one of the prettiest girls I know. Without a doubt. :)

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bobbie brown & her girls

 

Get ready for the longest blog post in the world. I tried to narrow it down, but I couldn’t. My friend Bobbie asked me to do what I love most – capture their life as it is right now. Nothing fancy; just everyday life with her and her girls. These types of shoots are my favorite, it’s what drew me into photography from the start. I love “real life” moments. This, was the most heartfelt shoot I’ve ever done in my life.

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Bobbie, thank you again for asking me to do these for you, and thank you for being one of the best photog friends a girl could ask for!

belk family.

I really, really wish I could put into words the love I have for this family. But I just can’t. They’re the definition of champions, and I’m so grateful to call them my rockstar friends ;)

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boots and curls. in love.

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that.little.face!

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in focus | street photography.

As a photographer, you can take lots of pictures, but it’s the ones with meaning behind them that make them better. If the photographer feels the emotion when taking the photograph, then the person viewing them will too. And I knew with this focus for Click of the Wild, that would have to be my goal; finding emotion.

Where do I start though? How do I set out to find emotion in 2 hours? Because that was the time frame I had to work with. I stopped by South 21 first, because it’s a place with emotional ties. When I was a kid, my grandparents used to take us to eat there on Saturday nights occasionally. One time in particular, they took me and my cousin Anna; we sat in the back seat and sang to the top of our little lungs, talked about boys, talked about the birthmark on her knee, and I ate chicken while everyone else ate the famous trout plate. Anna was killed in a car wreck when she was 16; I was 14 at the time. So memories like that are extra special.

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And even though that has emotional ties for me; it’s still not the kind of emotion I wanted. I know, I’m complicated like that ;)

So then I took randomness, with permission. And yes, asking the permission was awkward because I’m telling y’all, I’m a socially awkward person. If I don’t know you, I’ll be stumbling over words trying to validate myself to sound less weird, but I’ll end up just making it sound even worse. Oh wait, I do that even if I do know you. I just need to be quiet.

Man, I ramble.

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But then…. there was this guy. My socially-awkwardly self made introductions and explained that I was just going to take his picture exactly like he was, he asked if he could stay on his ancient phone, I burst out laughing and told him I would actually prefer that he did. We started making small talk (about guns, which obviously I wasn’t mad about ;)). And about that time, he turns his head in the direction of someone walking towards us, I snap the picture and he says “hey” to the girl walking past us. His eyes followed her as she walked past, and into the restaurant behind him. I laughed at his boldness and said “she’s walking into your joint, go talk to her!”, he turned back to look at me with a big smile and said “actually, we’re supposed to be meeting here for the first time today, but she didn’t recognize me probably because I was talking to you.”

So… maybe this date ended up being tragically wrong; but what if maybe, just maybe, I captured his expression for the first time he’d ever caught glimpse of his future in person? That’s emotion to me.

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in focus | tried and true.

I literally couldn’t grasp the concept of “Tried and True” for this bi-weeks focus for the Click of the Wild. I needed to be explained by the other ‘nerd girls’ ;) plus asked my whole family to explain a concept to me.

 

tried–and–true

adjective 

known to be good or effective : known to be reliable

Like I said, I literally couldn’t grasp the concept. Do flowers count as tried and true? They always come back up, even after a ridiculous harsh winter for us weak-wintering North Carolinian’s.

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Nope, not what I want.

 

Ever since I was a kid, my family has come to this restaurant. We only go a once or twice a year, but it brings back so many memories. I absolutely love it. So… does this count?

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Nah, I’m not feeling that for me either.

 

I love rain. I love trees. No really, I mean I’m kinda obsessed with both. I love rain because it’s calming, When I was a kid, I would play in the rain with my brothers and my friends; so maybe that’s where the love stems from. I love the smell of rain, I love the look of rain, I love that rain has the ability to help things grow, I just love the rain. As for trees; I love that they’re all different. Not one is the same. Some are big, some are tiny, some stand in groups and some stand alone. They represent individuality. But they have nothing to do with ‘tried and true’, so whyyy did I spend so much time taking pictures of it? Ugh, refocusing.. Move along.

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Real talk: ‘tried and true’ is self-reflecting. Looking in the mirror before you judge others. Looking in the mirror to find yourself. Looking in the mirror to wonder if you stay true to yourself. Looking in the mirror to know your own self worth. Looking in the mirror, and being honest about the person it’s reflecting.

I’ve tried it my whole life, and every time I do, it’s humbling, eye-opening and true to realize you have a whole lot of imperfectness in your life to say a word about anyone else. I have to practice this more than I care to openly admit.

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Side note: to get that shot was ridiculous. Plus I’m a self-critic. But just for your giggles, you can imagine me in my room doing this nonsense. Birthday crown and all. Because today is my birthday ;) Clearly, my camera wouldn’t focus like I wanted it to, and this self-reflecting image took way longer than I expected on a Sunday night at 10pm.

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When I first thought of doing the self-reflecting image; I was playing out in my head how I wanted to do it. It was nothing like this, but regardless, I was trying to figure out how I would do it. And that night I had a dream; in the dream I was taking a picture of our dog and his reflection in our pond, but after I snapped the picture I realized there was a little baby deer in the shot. It wasn’t visible to my naked eye, but if i took the picture you could always see the little Bambi in the shot. So the next morning I researched the meaning/interpretation of seeing a deer in your dream, and here’s what it said:

“To see a deer in your dream symbolizes grace, compassion, gentleness, meekness and natural beauty. It has feminine qualities and may point to the feminine aspect within yourself. It also represents independence, alertness, and virility. Consider the symbol to be a pun for someone who is “dear” to you. Alternatively, the dream represents vulnerability and naivety”

After having the dream of the deer and his reflection in the pond, reading that interpretation, and having the idea of self-reflecting; it was a pretty solid sign to me that I needed to figure out how to accomplish this COTW focus.

P.S. If you’ve read this entire post, we’re best friends. It was crazy long.

in focus: unnatural light.

I’m pretty embarrassed about this post. For Click of the Wild this bi-week, I chose “unnatural light”; I did this because I’m a natural light photographer; I don’t mess with off camera light/flashes often at ALL. So I knew this would make me, and the other girls step out of our comfort zone.

Right now, it’s Monday night and the pictures have to be turned in within the next 2 hours, and for the past 2 hours I’ve been driving around in my yard yelling at our dog. Procrastination at it’s finest, y’all.

Why was I driving around in our yard? Because like I said, I don’t ever use flash, I’m down to the wire and realize the only batteries I have for my flash are dead. So this girl is forced to think outside the box. No natural light, 4 hours before deadline, no flash, no models except a dog that absolutely HATES when I pull out my camera. Shoot me please.

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It’s 20 degrees outside, it’s been raining and sleeting, the wind feels like it’s going to take off my outer layer of fat. Which I wouldn’t be mad about. But anyway..

He’s a brat. I told him this multiple times.

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But thennnn, he finally listened to me. He still refused to look at me, but at least I wasn’t chasing him anymore, and trying to avoid getting mowed over by him in our frostbiting weather.

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Dawww, shucks. You’re cute when you wana be.

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I the most unexperienced night-time photographer in the world. I’m so embarrassed to post these pictures. Buttttt, I stepped out of my comfort zone, and thought outside the box. He’s illuminated by the headlights on my car. Girl’s gotta do whatta girls gotta do.

 

in focus: love

It was our week to post on our Click of the Wild blog, and this weeks focus was Love. I was lost as to what to photograph. How do you capture love? I mean, I should know, but without using pictures of a couple from a paid shoot, how was I going to capture love?

I love my family most in this life; and taking magical pictures of them makes life sweeter, but it just wasn’t hitting the spot in my heart for COTW.

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Even though she shoulda been a model ;)

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I love our pond, in the snow and without the snow, and all the random things that remind me of the country.

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But I just didn’t feel it for my “love” word. Still.

And thennn I love it when the neighborhood kids come over, it reminds me of when I was a kid, and those times were some of my favorites.

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But again, not my ‘love’ picture.

So I had to sit back and rethink. Why was I not feeling any of these? I need to think outside of the box of things I love. What does love mean? As a single girl, in a world of instant gratification, I still hold on to the idea that love is a slow burning flame. So, I tried this:

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But I’m still not feeling it.

Okay, so we know how to love, we were born with it. But where did love come from? Who taught us how to love? And that’s when it hit me; a rugged cross, nails, and a crown of thorns displayed love for us long before we existed. He loved me before I loved me. He loved me before my parents loved me. He’s always loved more than our human minds can comprehend, but because of that grace, we are able to love. In a world where peace is hard to find, we still have love.

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“Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” – Matthew 5:44

 

 

 

click of the wild | in this moment

We barely had any snow, we hardly ever do, but when we do, it’s a real good time ;) Our Click of the Wild focus this time was “in this moment”, so I seized opportunity with my sister and her friends :)

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I chose this next picture as my focus picture because it grabs me. They all got to the top of the hill to sled down and I just yelled “stop!”, and they all stopped, right in their tracks, and boom. I love the trees, I love the colors of their clothes in contrast to the white around them. I love their unposed stances. I just love these girls, in general.

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click of the wild | self.

I’m catching up here! Last week’s focus was “Self”. Let’s be real; this was hard, y’all. I’m a procrastinator. I work until dark every day, and the last thing I want is to pull out my big camera at night when I get home from work. So that leaves me 2 weekends to get my focus image done. Well, the first weekend I always think I have the next weekend to work on that ;) So I wait until the last weekend, and in that weekend I think it’s okay to spend a couple of hours at the gym killing myself, and then moving furniture and boxes for about 6 hours, plus find time for my family and friends. I really didn’t think it possible to move. All I wanted to do was lay on my bed, and read a book. So that’s what I did.

I turned on my lamp, set my camera settings, put it on my tripod, laid on my bed, took a picture. Errrnt, bad picture. Got up again, set my camera, laid on my bed, *click*. Terrible picture. This happened over and over again for a solid 5 minutes, until my body cried big alligator tears and I decided I was settling on what I had. :-D

Note to self: don’t procrastinate, and then work your body until you can’t move, and then try a hard project. Just don’t.

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