Wood and Emily have a beautiful little girl named Palmer and they celebrated Father's Day with a little morning mini session at Coquina Beach in Nags Head, North Carolina. It was the perfect snuggle you could ask for with your first born! I've known these parents since we were little kids so it is so inspiring to watch them grow into amazing parents. Thank you to the Beasleys for honoring me the opportunity to document this sweet milestone! Happy 1st Father's Day Wood!
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Our country is slowly opening back up in a safe way. The news networks continue to go on and on about the generosity of our front line heroes throughout these difficult days surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. We also know that behind the scenes, there are also thousands of weddings getting postponed and delayed over and over— thus we wanted to give a silver lining to those lovebirds out there that are ready to tie the knot. Without further adieu, we're beyond excited to be partnering with this incredible team of vendors to give you a fully designed and FREE island elopement wedding to one couple who has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yup, you read that right. You can get married for free! The best part? You can have the built-in adventure by having an exclusive wedding on an island with a few of your loved ones.
Here is what this very generous team is giving away for one couple who has had their dreams put on hold. A fully designed elopement wedding in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina for up to 10 guests plus the couple. After all the craziness, after months of waiting, you can now get married to your love with the ocean at your side, and enjoy the night as you should! All you will be responsible for is your wedding day attire and showing up... everything else— you just let these incredibly talented vendors care of you. We have chosen the date of Friday, July 10, 2020 because we know that these vendors are available and ready to give you the wedding of your dreams.
DATE: Friday, July 10, 2020
(In true elopement fashion, it's a quickie!)
Terms + Conditions:
NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.
Here's the coolest thing about how I know this couple: Meredith and Sam reached out for a wedding inquiry and I noticed Meredith's last name being similar to a close friend of mine and I asked if they were related and guess what? COUSINS! The even crazier part? They live in our neighborhood!!! I love how small the world can be. Fast forward a few months, we decided to do engagement photos on the first pretty day we had in May after a crapload of rain. Their Wrightsville Beach session turned out absolutely perfect. I later found out at the session that this is where Sam had proposed to Meredith! I just love some good ol romance y'all. I am so excited for their Fall wedding. #heavenforbidcovidgoesaway
Love in times of Corona! This beautiful couple decided to go ahead and get hitched and surprised their family on May 15, 2020 at the Mint Museum! Their families thought they were just having a quiet little picnic, but unbeknownst to them, they were about to witness them tie the knot AND have a picnic! They even had it all filmed for their 200 + friends online.
Y'all— THEY. HAD. BAGPIPES. I teared up as soon as I heard them. What an entrance! Thank you Katherine and Tyler for an incredible evening and congratulations!!
My amazing and good lookin’ friends were supposed to get married in front of 200 of their friends and family but instead they eloped yesterday in front of their family at Marker 137 in Wilmington, NC. Covid-19 might be a real pain in their wedding plans, but this virus didn't get in the way of true love! I was extremely honored to capture the vows. I loved that Beth wore her mother’s dress and that Tyler’s brother got ordained on the internet so he was Rev Stew for the day. To top it all off, Buddy got to be the best man. 🐶 Congrats you two!!!! Love you both and can’t wait to celebrate you in July. Thank you for allowing me to capture this intimate elopement!
Even the parents were in a romantic mood after seeing their children tie the knot. Weddings make people so happy—love is a contagious feeling!!
Courtney and Gib are getting married in October at the Angus Barn in Raleigh, NC but they decided to do engagement photos where they live —Wilmington, NC! I just adore these two and the love they share for both each other and for adventure. I was thrilled to hear that Courtney and Gib were up to going to Masonboro Island as an alternative to Wrightsville Beach because all the beaches were closed due to Covid-19. Don't worry, I kept my distance and photographed them flirting from afar with my many lenses! I'm so grateful to capture this beautiful couple get married in just a few short months!
Hunter and Steve had an intimate destination wedding of about 120 people at the Baha Mar Grand Hyatt Resort in Nassau, Bahamas. My husband, second shooter, Sydney and her husband and I were all so thrilled and honored to be a part of this stunning wedding and I wanted to share it with you. This collection highlights various parts of their incredible day so keep in mind, it doesn't even cover it all! After all, there were over 2,000 pictures to hand pick.
In case you are wondering, yes, Hunter and Steve are basically models. While Hunter works in the medical field, she also has a large following on her Instagram as an influencer (@hunter.macintyre). Steve had the side effect of having a model fiance and has been in a few shoots with her. This conditioned them to be so easy and comfortable in front of the camera so honestly, they were a DREAM to work with.
Every detail of this wedding was so perfect thanks to Hunter's matron-of-honor Caitlin and all their amazing vendors:
Venue: Grand Hyatt Baha Mar
Jewelry: Poppy & Co
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Tie: Brackish Bowties
Hair: Kate Thompson — Set Blowout Bar
Video: Jiggy Productions
Flowers: Something Borrowed Blooms
Rentals: Wildflowers Bahamas
Light Sign: Hey Lights Co
Calligraphy: Mason Dixon Designs
Invites: Basic Invite
Officiant: Andrew Boyd + Tyler Cralle
Photographer: Visuals by Helen + Associate: What Sydney Sees
Sydney went to go see the gents around noon and got some stellar getting ready shots. Look at how much Steve is smiling! He is so ready to see his bride for their first look on the rooftop.
Hunter and Steve actually had a first look planned elsewhere on the property but the alternative turned out just as beautiful. Y'ALL, they were able to see the whole island of Nassau on their wedding day. How special is that?
They opted to do a 'first look' because they wanted to assuage all their nerves as well as knock out all the formal photos before the wedding. They were ALL done with the photos before they tied the knot, which was a breath of fresh air for them. They were able to just focus on sunset photos with just the two of them and then dance right on into the party that took place on the Palm Lawn!
Hunter + Steve's wedding was one I'll never forget. They had two officiants (because they couldn't choose just one and they were both loved ones) and they knocked it out of the park. I know it's not easy speaking in front of a crowd but not only did they manage to make everyone laugh, they made almost everyone ugly cry. Kudos to Andrew and Tyler for a job well done! Hunter and Steve went with their own vows which I LOVED —it embraced each of their flaws and strengths—making it so raw and real.
After the ceremony, we had about a 15 minute window until the sun was gone and the Jiggy Productions videographers and I had the best time with these two beauts. They were extra sweet now that they were all done making it official in front of all their closest family and friends.
After I finished sunset photos with Hunter and Steve, I walked up to the reception and I literally gasped for breath. The beauty of it all was mesmerizing. Between the lush greens, milky sunset, the Edison twinkle lights, candles, and the smooth jazz playing from a musical ensemble, I had the g.o.o.s.e.b.u.m.p.s.
The reception was just perfection— you will just love going through these last few photos. Bear with me!
The sparkler exit was short and sweet but it was the cherry on top for the perfect wedding! Incredibly thankful to the MacIntyres for sharing this with Sydney and me. Can we do this again next year?!
Venue: Grand Hyatt Baha Mar
Ceremony: The Waterside Chapel
Jewelry: Poppy & Co
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Tie: Brackish Bowties
Hair: Kate Thompson — Set Blowout Bar
Video: Jiggy Productions
Flowers: Something Borrowed Blooms
Rentals: Wildflowers Bahamas
Light Sign: Hey Lights Co
Calligraphy: Mason Dixon Designs
Invites: Basic Invite
Officiant: Andrew Boyd + Tyler Cralle
Photographers: Visuals by Helen + Associate: What Sydney Sees
poor jess, he has one more girl to worry about.
Don't get me wrong, I love my grandma and we have a whole lot in common—we both love to read, we both love to be outside and we both love our families to pieces, but one thing she isn't fond of is dogs. She would be perfectly happy never seeing another dog again. HAHA. Mind you, she has been traumatized by a few rowdy ones and that's all it took on her thin skin and frail bottom. So you can imagine her surprise and her fake excitement when I told her about her new great grandchild...a furry one at that. Abby came into our lives on February 9th and it's been a whirlwind of poops, pees, barks and snuggles. We just love her so much already. As you can tell, Belle, our old grumpy farting machine loves her too. We were surprised because she still doesn't get along with our cat, MG, even after a year. Labs have an unspoken bond I suppose.
We adopted Abby to give Belle some companionship and to give Abby a great mentor into adulthood. Our close friend Brian has bred a few labs and decided to breed my sister and her husband's dog's sister. So it's a family affair to say the least. We loved how Porter (sister's dog) came out obviously so we wanted one of our own. The funny thing is MG came from Columbia, NC and that's where Abby came from too, so there is something to be said about Eastern NC sugar.
More puppy love coming your way this year. In the meantime, back to your regular program of weddings and romance.
This beautiful bride, Kasey, is proof in the puddin' that you CAN do bridal portraits regardless of the weather. Sometimes it is just not worth rescheduling the hair, makeup, florist, and all that jazz so let's play in the rain!
Kasey picked this venue, Fox Hollow Farms in Washington, North Carolina because she and her now husband were to get married here. Here's the secret, most venues are happy to accommodate you if you are doing the wedding there so always ask!
We took advantage of all that Fox Hollow had to offer between the gazebo, the rain shelters, gorgeous oversized doors, outside fireplace patio, and even went out to the pasture when the rain let up a little bit. BONUS: the horse walked up almost immediately to say hello and made for the most stunning images!
Fox Hollow Farms is a hidden gem just 10 minutes from downtown historic Washington, NC and is the perfect venue for special events, weddings and receptions. They recently added on another wing to the venue that is identical to the North side so you are able to have a wedding indoors should you wish. Want to know the best part? They also have a dressing room! Best feature ever because who wants to ride in a car with your gown on? Naturally Kasey got ready here before her bridal portraits so she was able to feel right at home.
I love that no two bridal portraits are ever the same. It all narrows down to confidence and I take care of the rest! See how many poses you can get in just over an hour. These are just a handful of photos but at the end of the day, all you really need is just one you love! In Kasey's case, she ended up displaying a few different ones at the reception.
Thinking about doing bridal portraits with me and wonder about the steps to take to go about them? Just read this blog post created by yours truly about how you can prepare for your bridal portraits.
Venue: Fox Hollow Farms, Washington, NC
Hair: Kate Bishop at Cosi Belle, Columbia, NC
Makeup:Makeup by Mere, Williamston, NC
Photography: Visuals by Helen, Wilmington,NC
IT'S A FORD CHRISTMAS!
Vintage Ford Truck Christmas Portrait Mini Session | Wilmington, NC
For TWO DAYS ONLY, mini portrait sessions will be on sale for $100 ($125 value).
Sale ends at midnight on November 22nd.
THE SESSION DETAILS:
Sunday December 1st, 2019 | 15 minute slots during 2:30pm-4:30pm
Sessions are 15 minutes long and photographed on location at a private empty lot in Windemere neighborhood in Wilmington, NC. Address will be in your confirmation e-mail.
Set up will include a Vintage white Ford Pick-up truck dressed up with classy Holiday attire, none of that cheesy decor!
Package comes with 8 High Resolution Digital Files (printable up to 16x20 size) which you may choose from a fully edited online gallery. You will receive your images within 24 hours!
Outfits and styling ideas will be provided to all clients upon request.
Great for children of all ages! The whole family is welcome.
Session will be based around the vintage Ford truck.
Dogs are welcome if LEASHED!
Session is for immediate family only, there is an additional charge for extended family. Click here for more info!
TOTAL Session Cost $100 plus tax while on sale. Regular price is $125.
Let me first start out by saying that I've never done the same bridal portrait twice. Every lady I've had the pleasure of photographing has had their own wants, wishes and desires about what they look for in their bridal portrait. If you're reading this far wondering what the heck a bridal portrait is, that's okay, I'll let you in on the secret. These photos are bride-only, where the bride chooses a setting and gets herself dressed in her wedding day attire. These images may be displayed at the wedding itself and/or in the couple’s and relatives' homes after the wedding is over. Bridal portrait sessions are traditional in the South, so if your mother and grandmother took bridal portraits, it’s likely that they’ll hope you to do the same.
If your first thought is "Ugh, I hate attention." Bridal portraits are actually the opposite of attention. These sessions allow you to embrace your beauty without the crowd and attention that usually comes with a wedding.
Other reasons to indulge in a bridal portrait:
1. Be A Shameless Princess! No sense in only enjoying that gorgeous gown only once! You spent the money on the dress and likely spent time on it to get it altered to fit your gorgeous bod, so you might as well try it out and see how it fits before the big day. You don't want that loose strap to drive you nuts when it's time to tie the knot.
2. TRIAL RUN. Most hair and makeup professionals in the wedding industries encourage a practice run before your wedding so you don't have a panic moment like "OMG MY HAIR IS AWFUL BUT I DON'T WANT TO BE RUDE TO THE NICE LADY I BARELY KNOW." Bridal portraits give you the peace of mind that every personal detail regarding you will be as it should be on wedding day.
3. A Great Gift. Now if you're not too keen on showing yourself off at the cake display, you can surely gift these bridals to Mom, Dad, Grandma + Granddad and/or your significant other. It's a timeless gift that you can even share with your future children, assuming of course you want to have offspring ha!
If you are convinced you'd like to do bridal portraits now, you are probably now asking yourself, "How do I prepare for a bridal portrait?" Well I've got you covered with some steps and pretty photos from my past brides!
Okay. You want bridals done. Perfect. How do you figure out timeline? It goes like this.
1. Buy your dress and see how long it takes to get it in.
2. Once you receive dress, try it on and see if it needs to be altered.
3. If so, take it to seamstress and ask for their turnaround time estimation.
4. Go to second fitting and see if it needs another round of tweaks.
5. If you're good to go, e-mail me with your favorite dates that you have available.
6. Once you and I pick out a date, reach out to your venue, makeup and hair vendors (if you have them) and ask if they are available on that date!
Now if you've gotten this far, that means you just want to know how to prepare for the session itself!
2. Your Vision
How do you visualize yourself in your wedding dress? Do you see yourself in a rowboat! Great let's see where we can rent one haha! Do you see yourself on the porch of a historic home? Do you see yourself in a garden? Do you see yourself on your Grandma's front steps? Do you see yourself barefoot on the beach? Do you see yourself at the venue where you are tying the knot? What speaks to YOU? Listen to your instinct and this will help you know where to begin.
If you're totally laid back and nonchalant and want to trust me to pick the place, that's totally okay too! Sometimes it's nice to not make a decision for once during all the wedding planning.
3. Veil or No Veil?
Again, no two bridal portraits have ever been the same. I don't require brides to have a veil! But it sure is pretty :) If you have one, don't forget to pack it! If you're torn, you can always do some with the veil and some photos without it.
4. A Bouquet
Have you ever taken a photo with someone and get that feeling: "What do I do with my hands!!?" A bouquet helps with this very feeling during bridal portraits. These floral gems are not required at all, in fact, half my bridals are done without bouquets. However, if money is a factor in your decision, you can always go fake!
Check out the photo below and take a guess what on whether or not the beautiful blonde golden bride below is holding a fake or real bouquet? Yup. Can't tell right? That bouquet is actually fake. It's proof in the puddin' that a bouquet doesn't have to be expensive. You can make it what you want it to be! You can go for that lush gorgeous bouquet that will mimic your wedding day bouquet or you can literally go fake. Fake it 'till you make it right?
If you're going to bouquet route, often times your florist will be happy to make you one, or you or Mom can piece it together with stems from Trader Joe's!
5. Your bling!
This may seem like common sense, but jewelry is often an after-thought for bridal portrait prep. Don't forget about any family heirlooms and shine that gorgeous bling before your photographs!
6. Your Trust
I know it can be nerve-wracking thinking about taking photos by yourself, like WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR BODY?! But that's where you place your complete trust in me. I will guide you through many poses and the hour(s) will go by just like that and you'll find yourself having SO MUCH FUN.
7. Comfy Shoes
Girl, we all love a good pair of heels. But we all know that they can be uncomfortable! A bridal portrait session requires a good bit of standing so bring your flip flops, or even your rain boats and you can laugh about what's going on under that dress! If you can cover up your comfy shoes up during photos — save the pretty ones for a few photos where you're walking and can see your shoes.
8. Bring the little things, but not the big things:
A few of the little things that are nice to have: Lipstick, oil absorbent cloths, extra bobby pins, safety pins, champagne (why not!?) and water. Hydrate yourself to keep that skin glowing! Also bring a change of clothes if you are arriving to your bridal portrait in your gown.
But if you're thinking about bringing a bed sheet or towel to protect your dress, don't do it! Keep that at home! You only get to wear your gown once and I promise, it's worth to wear it well versus staged. It's also hard to conceal lumpy things like that underneath your train. Don't worry, I won't let you drop your gown in the middle of a mud pit.
9. Your bestie
Make the day YOURS. Bring your best friend, first love & furry companion and/or your mama. I love when my brides bring their personal cheerleaders. However, I do recommend to keep the entourage down to a minimum, 2 people is ideal. Let's be real, we don't need to be herding sheep during your bridals—plenty of time for that during family photos at the wedding, ha!
10. Your Smile
A smile is worth a million bucks, be prepared to use it!
Thinking about Wilmington, North Carolina for your portrait session? You should be! There is a reason my husband and I live here: It's one of our most favorite places in the world! Between the historical downtown waterfront booming with character, the small, close-knit, beach town of Wrightsville beach and the incredibly colorful gardens scattered around the city, you really have everything you could possibly want for beautiful photo shoot scenery. If you just want to cut through all the B.S. of research for your upcoming shoot, check out my top four locations in Wilmington, NC that are indeed FREE to the public. Although some may kindly ask for donations! After all, everything has a cost.
1. Downtown Historical Wilmington, NC
Historical downtown Wilmington, NC gives you a plethora of backdrops. Between the gorgeous bridges, historical buildings, wooden boardwalk, charming mansions, you have a quaint backdrop right out of the Notebook. You can choose to do half of your session walking around the city, then the second half on the boardwalk overlooking the Cape Fear River.
2. Shell Island, the North End Marshes of Wrightsville Beach
Look at all that texture and green! Shell Island is the best place for sunset with a coastal backdrop. If you want to be nestled in with nature, the North end of Wrightsville Beach marsh is the place is for you!
3. The Arboretum
The Arboretum at New Hanover County Garden is a hidden gem just five minutes from Wrightsville Beach that many people prefer if they aren't a sand person or just don't want to deal with that 10mph wind coming off the ocean. This intimate garden features a pond, baby walking bridges, a rose garden and a cute play area for little ones. Want to know the best part? It's FREE! While it is open to the public, you may have some bystanders during your shoot but it has been pretty private almost every shoot I've done there. It may be free, but they kindly ask for donations for park maintenance and care for all the adorable koi fish.
4. South End Beach of Wrightsville Beach, NC
Sunsets, sound, and sea. This is the trifecta that is Wrightsville Beach's South End. You get the blend of the sound and sea and even a bit of marsh textures. Depending on the season, you can even bring your fur babies for easy access and watch all the boaters come in through the inlet.
5.Greenfield Lake Park
Another hidden gem is Greenfield Lake Park. Nestled in the outskirts of downtown Wilmington, this picture-perfect park features a beautiful blue lake with mossy trees, swans, and gazebos. Needless to say, all perfect accents for a photo shoot.
Now that I've shared with you my top five favorite (FREE) locations in Wilmington to do a photoshoot, which speaks to your heart? Let me know what you think and send me an email when you're ready to get your shoot on my calendar!
If you are one of my booked couples, you received a complimentary engagement session right in Wilmington! If you're not a booked couple and just want a little spicy shoot with your honey, then you're probably still wondering: What should my fiance and I wear at our engagement session? It is THE most common question I receive. Don't worry. You're not alone in this. That's why I've created this blog that will always be in my blog sidebar.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Keep it simple.Keep. it. simple. Don't overthink it. You want your love and raw emotions to be the focal point of the photos not your clothes. Wearing a flashy or complicated outfit will distract from the love that brought you here in the first place. Trends come and go, so just think like this while combing through your closet: "Will I be embarrassed to wear this outfit 10 years from now?" If you have any hesitation, it's probably a trend. You'll look at these photos for the rest of your life. The last thing you want to think to yourself is "Why was I wearing that?"
SHOW OFF YOUR PERSONALITY
Personality is everything. If you are goofy and outgoing, wear something vibrant that reflects that. If you're more romantic, go for dark and moody colors. No matter what, your attire should speak to who you are. Don't wear something you'd never in a million years normally wear in every day life.
DON'T BE AFRAID TO BRING OPTIONS, BUT KEEP IT AT TWO.
I always tell my clients to bring two outfits each. Typically a casual and a formal outfit. I try to encourage couples to stay away from shirts with logos or graphics, and to stick to more neutral colors and no busy patterns. Think warm colors, pastels or neutrals, they are always less risky!
With that in mind, stick with two outfits. Don't fall victim to treating your engagement session as a full-fledged fashion photo shoot for two reasons. 1. You'll likely stress yourself out the night before trying to pick out that many outfits. 2. Let's be real, your fiance probably won't enjoy changing every 10 minutes. These are the pictures where you get to remember who you are at the end of the day when it's only the two of you. Two outfits are more than enough to reflect this in couples, and it ensures you won't spend your entire engagement session in a rush to change into the next set of clothes.
If you ever want a second opinion on which outfit is more photographic, don't be afraid to text or email me!
COMPLEMENT EACH OTHER
Complement each other, but don't match. There is absolutely no reason whatsover to have matching outfits unless its for a comedic reason. You both don't need to wear a white button down, different colors are actually preferred. When deciding how you and your partner will dress, look for complementary colors and solid prints. Try to stay away from anything too busy, as it can be an unnecessary distraction in photos. Check out this chart for best colors that complement each other!
THINK ABOUT THE SEASON
Yes.... that's right. I've had a couple ask if they can do bathing suit photos in the dead of 20 degree winter because they were having a destination wedding but that's taking it too far. Take advantage of the season you're in by styling a look that's in tune with the climate and location.No need to be shivering or sweating your way through the photos. When you're uncomfortable, it tends to show in the images.
Winter and Fall: Don't be afraid to bundle up and or accessorize!
Summer and Spring: Channel summertime vibes, think barefoot, flowy maxi dresses, denim jackets.
ASK YOUR FIANCE FOR HIS OPINION
It takes two to make an engagement shoot right? You will find yourself surprised sometimes that your fiance may have some input! He or she might stir up some inspiration too so ask your honey simple questions like these "Would you like to dress up or down? Is there anything you've always wanted to do?" If he/she doesn't care, then don't sweat it and have fun dreaming up the color schemes.
This is Rachel. This beautiful lady is made to be in front of a camera so it goes without saying: this shoot was so much fun! Flawless Makeup by Isla painted her face with color and we went on a little hour long adventure in Wilmington. This was a lifestyle portrait shoot, meaning, we captured genuine moments in beautiful places we'd already be. Nothing planned (except makeup), nothing forced,
no expectations except to have fun. Just how it should be.
We just went outside Rachel's house for half the shoot and then we heard Wrightsville Beach was calling for a gorgeous sunset on the sound so we scooted over to the South end and relished the golden rays.
Megan makes for an absolutely GORGEOUS bride and now that she's finally married to her sweetheart, I can share her bridal portrait collection from a beautiful March day at Rose Hill Plantation. She and her husband Jeremy got married there on March 3oth so it was only fitting that she had her bridal session taken there as well. Between the beautiful manor house, the gazebo, the luscious green lawns, pond and Carolina blue skies followed by a golden sunset, it was all perfect. After a rainy winter, it was a refreshing day to be outside. Fun fact, Megan did her own bouquet for this session—I was stunned at how good she is at piecing together flowers and eucalyptus! Prepare yourself for Megan in all her beauty below.
Hair and Makeup: Jamie Robertson
Dress: New York Bride and Groom
Photography: Visuals by Helen
Candace and Chris had a stunning wedding at the Cape Fear Club. Y’all, they were the cutest lovebirds in Wilmington last night....What an amazing event to kick off 2019 wedding season. ❤️
@ashindigevents • @fiorefineflowers • @onebellebakery • @azalealimousine •@partysuppliers • @lyndseysfinepaper • @bangzhairsalonandspa and thanks @whatsydneysees for all your help second shooting!
The year 2018 was a beautiful year both professionally and personally. I met the most amazing couples, families and human beings and truly adore each of them and their unique stories. Jess and I went through a few big milestones ourselves including love, loss and new joys. Thank you all so much for an unforgettable year. My goal for 2019 is to remember to count our blessings and to take more time to pause because a year goes by so fast. Taking photos professionally sometimes has me neglecting to take personal photos so another goal is to take more photos- even if they are crappy ones-because life is fleeting and the memories are what we have to remember it by.
Visuals by Helen is expanding the team for 2019 and is now hiring a photographer intern to hang out and learn about how to be a creative entrepreneur.
As a PAID photographer intern, you:
-Train as a wedding photographer associate—taking photos at 150+ person weddings.
You would get the less-pressure jobs such as detail shots, behind-the-scenes, getting ready photos and can be present for the fun bride+groom photos too.
-Train as a portrait photographer associate at family and individual sessions.
-Learn how to cull images after shoots, organize, back them up, edit and store away for later-use.
-He or she must have personal DSLR (Nikon preferred so I can offer lenses from my bag).
-He or she must have personal laptop.
-All extra equipment is a plus.
-Competitive hourly wage of $20/hour at weddings with room for financial growth if candidate brings hard work and talent to the table
-$10/hour at portrait sessions as these are less physically and creatively demanding.
-Paid drive-time to shoots at .50/mile.
-Must live in Wilmington, NC area (where we're based).
-Eager to learn and deliver excellent customer service skills (aka, be bubbly as heck).
-High School diploma or GED strongly preferred but not required.
-1-2 years of background in people photography.
-Ability to work long hours on your feet and get in weird positions for the artistic shot.
-Must be go-getter and able to go through motions without having to be told.
-Must be flexible and able to work weekends occasionally.
-Must be okay with going out of town for weddings occasionally. (YAY for traveling to new places!)
-Reliable, insured vehicle and valid U.S. driver's license (so you can come to office or leave early from weddings and get back home).
To apply, please submit your resume, details of your camera bag and a photography portfolio to email@example.com
Remember that 30-day blogging challenge I tried to do back in September? Well, I only lasted 23 days and those 23 days weren't even consecutive if I'm being honest. Here's what happened: life.
Life threw us some curveballs:
1. Hurricane Florence forced us to evacuate and we were gone for 10 days. It also felt like I was throwing it in people's face by posting blogs during the aftermath of hurricane because that meant I had power when millions of people were lucky to find a way to charge their phones.
2. My husband and I bought our very first house and that was not the easiest process in the world. We had an incredible realtor so if you need a recommendation, holler my way. But my takeaway from the home buying process is to shop around for your mortgage consultant advisor BEFORE you know going under contract on a house. Find someone you trust and someone that will get you the rates you deserve based on your credit score. Find someone that will sit down and explain to you exactly what's going on and what each document means no matter how tedious it is. Find someone that will explain a document to you instead of saying "Here sign this." Incredible customer service is valued and goes a long way when you're about to spend a lot of money.
3. After losing Jazzy to a coyote in July, we had been on lookout for kittens to adopt and were flabbergasted with how many offers we got from folks trying to find kitten homes. That being said, we ended up adopting not one, but two kitten rescues while continuing to care for our 9-year-old lab.
So needless to say, I stopped focusing on blogging, and started focusing more on home life, working with the current clients I have and how I could make more money to afford all these life changes. Adulting is hard let me tell you. It doesn't get easier—no sense in lying about that, but it does get more rewarding. Now I'm a proud mom of three furry girls that are now my co-workers and a homeowner with my husband.
I know I don't have to explain myself as this challenge was self-propelled anyway but I did it for a reason, to share with you more about who I am. This, I can continue to promise so check in from time to time. Won't be everyday but it will be purposeful words. This 30-day challenge taught me a few things:
During Jess and I's evacuation, we made a trip to Raleigh and upon a night out with our family, somebody came up to me (that I've never met) and said "I thought I recognized you from your blog!" I kid you not, that actually happened and it was the strangest moment of low-key fame I've ever had... in a good way. It's flattering realizing that people like you are reading these very words. Many people are even writing e-mails with questions especially about my hard-of-hearing upbringing. There seems to be a lot of myths I need to debunk about what it means to be hard of hearing. I'll go through them one by one.
1. "Oh you're deaf, okay you can't talk on phone."
I can't tell you how many customer service representatives tell me I need TTY (teletype)—like Lord, if you already know what I need, go ahead and fix the problem I'm calling about. TTY stands for teletype machines and they are used by SOME people who are deaf or heard-of-hearing to communicate by typing or reading text. I can talk on the phone jussst fine. Go ahead, call me and let's talk!
2. "So if you don't hear very well, you must do sign language."
No, not every hard-of-hearing or deaf individual chooses to American Sign Language as a form of language. Every child or adult makes their own decision but our family decided for me to be mainstream in my communication skills: good ol' fashioned talking. Sure I get insecure if I sound "deaf" when I don't have my cochlear hearing devices in, but I'd rather sound deaf then have to learn a language only about 250,000 people know how to speak (ASL). If someone is calling my bluff, I just do stuff like this:
3. "Bet you can't hear me right now."
Yes, I can hear you. I have cochlear implants that serve as a fancy aid. The better question to ask a deaf or hard-of-hearing person is "Can you understand me?" Even if I have my cochlears in, I might not understand you for many reasons: you're talking too fast, you're covering your mouth (so I can't lip read), you're mumbling, you're speaking too quietly or there is background noise.
4. "OOh, I bet you take out your device when you don't want to listen to someone."
This is actually an insult to me sometimes. You basically just assume that I got three five-thousand dollar surgeries so I could not hear you on purpose? No, I want to hear you, no matter how annoying you are. But that's my personality. Every deaf person has a different personality. If someone really got on my nerves, I'll do what every hearing person does:
5. "How do you watch tv?"
Closed captions are my best friend. My sweet husband has gotten so well-trained that he turns on captions by default without me asking and if we're somewhere else, he'll ask for me sometimes. My family says they still watch tv with subtitles because they got so used to it and liked the funny *sighs vigorously* subtext that came with it.
6. "I bet you wish you could hear."
Let's put it this way, if I could hear, I just know I'd eventually lose my hearing in old age because I LOVE loud music so I'm just beating everyone to the punch and not crying about losing something I never had to begin with. Again, hate it when people assume that being deaf is the worst thing in the world. I gots food, I gots family and I gots a home—that's a lot more than I need.
Thanks for reading Day 23! You're pretty much a total rockstar for reading lots of words. See you tomorrow.
I've been pretty mad and hard on myself for not even being able to keep up with a 30 work-day blogging challenge. Today I was supposed to be done with the challenge and here's day 22 instead. Life has thrown a lot of curveballs lately, and we're all just trying to adapt as best as we can. Jess and I had to evacuate from a hurricane that devastated Wilmington and surrounding areas— the surprising thing is, we got given a hard time about leaving—as if evacuating wasn't sexy and bold enough. That we weren't staying to help when it was all over, guilt tripped at every corner. Not calling anyone out, but here's the thing—when we left, the hurricane was projected to be category four, and there's nothing sexy about being stranded on a roof. There's nothing sexy about purposely putting yourself at risk just so you can tell a story later or save your insured property. Of course there are those who couldn't evacuate due to finances or extenuating circumstances or those who had to stay behind and work—obviously that's an exception.
On our 15+ hour detour home, we had the honor of being able to celebrate two beloved friends, Lauren + Wayland on Saturday. They were actually supposed to get married in Atlantic Beach. As you can imagine, Flo messed that up too so they relocated the festivities to the triangle area with the Friday night being at Carolina Country Club in Raleigh and Saturday night being at Fearrington Village in Pittsboro. They legit planned a wedding in SIX days and as a wedding photographer, let me tell you, that is phenomenal— and it goes to tell you that long engagements are overrated. When there's a will, there's a way. Lauren and Wayland had a will to get married and they did it beautifully. It was so hard to not bring my portrait mode out and take pictures all night. I actually got accidentally photobombed by the photographer's camera and took it as a sign that I needed to enjoy the evening with my own two eyes. Thank you two for giving Jess and I a reminder of what life is really about: love, family and friends. Congrats to Lauren and Wayland—y'all belong together and we all know it. Here's to forever.
On Friday, it will have been three months since my lil fur-baby rescue cat Jazzy was killed by a coyote. For those of you who don't know me, Jazzy was my first "child." She was my first pet and meeting her was all an accident. Yes, an accident.
I was on a trip to Raleigh to visit my big sister and her husband, pumping gas at the White's gas station in Mann's Harbor, a little town just over the bridge that goes to Manteo, NC. Out of the corner of my eye, I see this blonde eight or nine-year-old boy crossing a four-lane highway with something in his arms. "Hmm, strange." I remember thinking and before I knew it, he was standing right in front of me with a tiny little fur ball in his arms, a kitten barely a month old—severely malnourished and shaking in fear. Blue eyes staring back at me. He asks me meekly if I'd like to have her—that his cat accidentally had babies and she was the last of the litter and they couldn't afford to keep her. The gas pump clicks in its completion so I check on it and then I see the boy in the corner of my eye again—he's running back across the highway‚ hands free. My passenger door was open because I had reached in there to get my wallet and just below the seat, I see the kitten curled up right next to my stinky tennis shoes on the floorboard. She was already struggling to keep her eyes open —she was three seconds away from nap time. My heart melted and I plugged in a new destination: Williamston Vet (next semi-big town I'd drive through in my trip to Raleigh). I needed to know how I was going to keep her alive that day.
Turns out she was flea-ridden and hadn't eaten in three days but as soon as I saw she was healthy otherwise, I knew I had to keep her. Mind you this was the most spontaneous move I had ever done. But she got me through breaking up a two-year dead-end relationship—she was the companionship I needed to encourage me to break things off. She was not only my first child but the cat responsible for changing my life. If I hadn't gotten her, I would not have ultimately met Jess. Sounds like crazy logic I know but Jazzy did more than just meow. She saw me through the biggest times in my life, rode on huge car trips with me and was my number one office co-worker.
On the night of July 23, my parents were visiting Jess and I in Wilmington and brought their dogs whom were wild with curiosity for her (as you can imagine, chill cats don't usually love hyper dogs) so we put her outside while we were eating (she was a very well-trained indoor-outdoor cat). We called her in before bed but she didn't come but figured she was afraid of the dogs and she often was nocturnal in the summer because she wanted to escape the heat. The next morning Jess found a pack of fur and her punctured collar in our yard and came to me with an expression of concern. He knew July 22 was the last time we will ever see her. I couldn't believe how long it took me to stop crying because I felt like I failed her.
With that said, on the three-month anniversary of her death, Jess and I have been compelled to search for another kitten rescue. If you, or someone you know has a litter of beautiful furry kittens (long-haired female preferred), Jess and I would love to have their contact information. As there are enough abandoned, unwanted or unhoused kittens out there, we are not interested in a bred kitten. We want to celebrate Jazzy's life by finding another rescue to love and raise.
We promise we're good parents, what happened to her was a freak thing and we have made a promise to not allow our next cat out at night no matter the circumstance. We are so looking forward to filling in the hole Jazzy left in our hearts.
This time last week, Jess and I were trying to figure out what to do and where to go as Hurricane Florence's projected path was anything but predictable. We didn't know if it made more sense to go North, West or South because Florence basically doing the cha-cha slide gaining strength to become a potential category four storm. As I am from the Outer Banks and have survived terrible category one and twos, we weren't about to see what category four would be like in our hometown of Wilmington, N.C. During all the projections, the one constant seemed to be landfall between Atlantic Beach and Wilmington so we knew that much and decided to make a spontaneous decision to evacuate to Nokomis, Florida. We have a dear friend whose dad has a rental property in Florida so we took him up on his offer and tried to rally our families to come with us. To no avail on our persuasion skills, we ended up just packing up two weeks worth of clothes and our fur-baby Belle and taking the 9 hour trek to the Sunshine state by ourselves. Jess and I made the last minute decision to leave N.C. because we knew with the size of this hurricane, everyone was going to be affected no matter what direction it took.
It has been heartbreaking seeing all that has been going on in Wilmington and surrounding areas and watching our loved ones struggle through 4 days of no power, downed trees and damaged property. However, we are so grateful to hear everyone is safe-and-sound so far. Between rising flood waters and bands of storms packing tornadoes, we know it's not over 'till it's over. Jess and I are unable to get back into Wilmington due to the rivers surrounding Wilmington being at a record all-time high. Wilmington is essentially an island. At one point, the only way there was by boat or plane. We have decided since we own no property yet and we are both able to work from home— to let the first responders and linemen do their thing before we come home. We have felt so grateful that were able to evacuate at a low-cost because we know that's not the opportunity that everyone has. That's why we've been low-key about where we've been for the last six days.
I'm going to take a wild guess and say you've probably gotten enough of destruction photos from North Carolina so I wanted to share some images from Jess and I's stay in Nokomis, Florida. Fun fact, Florida basically calls Summer, the Winter down here so there is hardly anyone here. Nokomis rests on the gulf side just South of Sarasota and here happens to be where the Red Tide is—meaning floating dead fish everywhere. This is what the Florida coast line goes through after prolonged periods of warm weather and warm water generate disease through bloomed algae called —it ultimately prevents oxygen supply to the animals of the sea so they suffocate slowly to death and end up upside down on the surface of the water. The toxic algae bloom has been killing marine life and apparently triggering respiratory issues among some residents and Gov. Rick Scott has been pouring funding into resolutions and cleanup for the Red Tide. Residents are getting increasingly frustrated for clean water. We have been blown away with how much this affects the sea-side towns and how it affects the fishing, the tourism and even the few residents that are here. Apparently it's been the worst this year than it has been in a long time. Usually lasting three weeks, this year the Red Tide has been spanning three months and counting.
Jess and I tried to go 25 miles south and see if there was any pools of unaffected areas but didn't have much luck except a few catfish. While the water is slowly regaining its blue color, it's still very much a graveyard of the sea animals. We didn't take any photos of that because it's just truly disturbing, but this goes to tell you that everywhere in the world, there are places dealing with their little environmental crisis. For Florida, it's the tide, for North Carolina, it is the hurricane. At the end of the day, you just gotta remember we have a lot to be grateful for. We are lucky to live in such a beautiful, safe and strong country like America.
Huge thanks to the Schlegel family for giving us a home away from home for the last six days. Thank you to our friends, neighbors and family that have been checking on our home. We can't wait to get back and start our road to recovery back in Wilmington, NC. Wilmington, let us know what you need us to bring. Stay tuned.
So...the talk of the hour seems to be the impending Hurricane Florence. My way of coping: Whipping up two tomato pies since Florence has gotta like Italian food right? As we live in Wilmington, Jess and I have gotten so many sweet texts from friends and family sharing concern for our hometown and asking what we're going to do. Here's what we're going to do: We're bookin' it out of here. As of right now, the forecast model is calling for a direct hit and then it's just going to sit in water off the coast for at least three days. This is the absolute worst forecast because the longer it sits, the more damage it creates. Eastern North Carolina is about to get a rude awakenin'. This coming Friday, I was supposed to capture Clara and Zack's wedding at Kitty Hawk Pier but unfortunately those plans have been postponed until further notice. My soul actually feels for them because they are so ready to be married and now they have to share their big weekend with our Italian neighbor to the East. Weddings aside, people's lives might change forever as we know it so it has been a very anxious couple of days for us North Carolinians.
In the meantime, we'll be taking photos of everything in our house for inventory in case we need to claim our renter's insurance, packing up our five cases of water, batteries, desktop computer, three camera bags, our boat, dog, and our beloved paintings from Granddad because we don't know what this place will look like when we get back.
Please pray for every single person who calls the coast of North Carolina, home. We need it.
Ps. This may go without saying but we may lose power, which results in not being able to keep up with the promise of the 30-day blogging challenge. Forgive me if this happens but will tune in with all the updates if the wi-fi keeps chuggin' along.
Clara and Zack were supposed to get married in Kitty Hawk this Friday but the Outer Banks has been issued a mandatory evacuation for visitors and residents due to the unwanted and impending arrival of Hurricane Florence. Life as we know it means that this pier might not even exist this time next week. As of right now, forecasts are calling for this ~450 mile wide and possible category 5 hurricane to directly hit Jess and I's home of Wilmington. Let's just say this 30 work-day blogging challenge might have to be put on hold. Prayers for everyone who calls North Carolina home.
The Outer Banks is essentially a skinny sandbar with the real estate mixture of beach boxes on stilts and 23 bedroom mansions fit for kings. No matter the place you stay, the fact remains that the Outer Banks thrives on a tourist economy more than anything so we WELCOME them because without them, the economy would cease to exist (in my personal opinion).
Being an OBX native, I have a Google Document of information regarding of recommendations that I give to friends before they visit the Outer Banks for the first time. This Google docs has changed over the years as establishments have come and gone but my top five favorite things to do at home have remained the same.
For day 18 of the 30-day blogging challenge, I talk about home and the best local and touristy things to do.
1. Fishing: You would basically be an idiot to travel several hundred miles and cross two bridges and NOT see the Atlantic Ocean. But if you want to see the Outer Banks from a different perspective, I recommend fishing off shore. Whether it be a charter or on your lil tugboat, take in the beauty of the Outer Banks by inhaling salt air all around you. My husband will 100% vouch for this because he left Red Oak, NC to go fishing in Hatteras just about every weekend in his teenage years. If you need a recommendation for a crew to go out with, e-mail me and my husband, Jess will feed my ear with all kinds of names.
2. Kitty Hawk Kites: This is kind of a three-fold recommendation because this company offers three major things to the outer Banks public: Since it was founded by John Harris in 1974, to initially provide instruction, products, and service to the burgeoning new sport of hang gliding, it is now a business that has expanded into flight school, aviation and outdoor sales and retail. So basically, you can go hang gliding in the morning, and go shopping that afternoon. It's a BEAUTIFUL way to see just how tiny the Outer Banks is, get overwhelmed by how life is larger than you and just drop everything and go shopping for some new outdoor gear because you wanna go explore it all with your new R.E.I's.
If you're afraid of heights, just go across the street from Kitty Haw Kites and hike up Jockey's Ridge, which is essentially the largest sandbox in the country.
3. Live Music Scene: Oh my gosh, I'm not just saying this but the Outer Banks is home to some of the most talented musicians I know and they have all this drive to make it through an Outer Banks winter by singing at restaurants every single night. They are passionate about what they do so they will never fail to entertain you with their melodies. Check out the Outer Banks live music calendar here to see where you should go for dinner and catch a show while you're at it!
5. Nags Head Woods: Again, dog mom here so nature walks are right up my alley every time I go home to the OBX because I love exercising and I love exercising with dogs even more. Nags Head Woods is home to some of the most beautiful marsh and forest trails that it's literally one of my favorite places to visit in the the entire island. Every time I go, I see something I've never seen before. Not because it's a big sanctuary, it's not, but because the seasons change, the tides change, the trails meander and it can all seem a little new no matter how many times you take a walk there. Full disclosure, please wait till a frost to go if you don't want to worry about ticks! It is nature after all and nature brings bugggs.