about helen

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Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington, NC based photographer

with a passport ready to go.


I was born into love. My parents recognized my unexpected hearing loss from infancy and embraced me with nothing but love. Now my life's mission is to use my strongest sense—my vision— to know love, to love deeply and to capture it.

Whether your love is your fiancé, your child, your family, or your life's work, I'm here to celebrate it with you.

When I'm not in creativity mode, I'm a mother, dog mom and wife. In my spare time, I like to cook, boat, walk, write a children's book, or repaint furniture.

See our work

The Usuals

Alma Mater

I went to UNC-CH with focus in English and Creative Writing and worked on the Daily Tar Heel Newspaper Photo Staff for three years of college. There is where I fell in love with documentary photography.

Hometown vs Home

I was born and raised on the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina. I also started Visuals By Helen there in 2013 in my parent's den after teaching art for a year. I was inspired from my time working with other wedding photographers and the Outer Banks is predominantly a wedding destination island so I drained all my savings for nicer equipment and did the dang thing and haven't looked back since! I now am based out of Wilmington, NC and still love booking weddings in my hometown so I have double the excuse to see my family!


I met my husband during the summer of 2015 on the Outer Banks and married him in 2018 in Wilmington, NC where we have lived ever since. We love our new hometown so much we decided to start our family here and currently raise our daughter, Peyton to love the sound of a chumming boat motor and crashing waves.

Fun Fact #1

I'm significantly hard of hearing and wear bilateral cochlear implants. I don't use sign language but I can lip-read almost flawlessly so we can vibe across the room if you wanna!

Fun Fact #2

Even though I grew up on the Outer Banks, I went to high school in Lynchburg, Virginia because I wanted to go to a smaller school to outgrow my shyness and learn how to advocate for myself.

Fun Fact #3

My husband and I have a senior chocolate lab and a two year old yellow lab who we bred with a friend's lab and together they had a litter of eight puppies in our garage in August 2021!

Fun Fact #4

A year before we started dating, Jess and I went out on a sport fishing boat and my sister and I reeled in our first white marlins simultaneously!

The boat caught a grand slam that day.

rachael- associate photographer and detail extraordinaire

Rachael is the fun loving, extra organized one in this crew. She'll very likely be the one calling names during the wedding day family pics and doing it so efficiently you'll blink, and be like "Wait that's it? Easy peasy." Rachael is also amazing at details. She makes a table-scape look like the art that it is. She's a Tarheel alum and Outer Banks native like Helen and currently resides in the beautiful historic downtown Manteo, NC with her husband of 18 years and Mia, their Chartreux cat. Rachael is Helen's date for weddings focused in the Outer Banks or Northeastern North Carolina.

© Beth Ely Photography

sydney- associate & licensed drone photographer and candid documenter

Sydney is the behind-the-scenes candid documenter. Like you'd never know Grandma was boo-hooin' on the front row unless she was there. She's also a licensed drone photographer so if you've got the outdoor wedding of your dreams in mind, she's there to capture it from the sky. Sydney moved to Wilmington in 2013 when she transferred from Appalachian State to UNCW and does photography full time and is also Helen's sidekick for weddings based in Wilmington and Southeastern North Carolina.

here to laugh with you