Jess | Sweet & Southern Bridals

You’ve seen my instagram full of pictures from Jess and Reece’s wedding - now I get to come back and share her bridals with you! Jess is THE most graceful, kind hearted person I’ve met in a loooong time. No joke. She is intentional with her relationships with her friends, intentional with her relationship with God, and is seriously such a bright light everywhere she goes. I’m thrilled to share the pictures we took on her family farm before her wedding day. It’s almost like you can feel the excitement she feels towards marrying Reece coming from these pictures!

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Punch Buggy Love | Styled Shoot in Greenville, SC

On September 9 I drove to Greenville for a day of photography, friends, and mentorship with the Foster Collective. We had 5 (!!!) styled shoots and therefore 5 A M A Z I N G couples that I can’t WAIT to showcase. It was so informative to be able to work closely with such incredible mentors and grow in my confidence as a photographer but also as a business owner. This shoot was our first of the day. I love this couple and I love how these photos turned out! Enjoy!

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A Girl & Her Horse | Timberlake, NC

Finally posting this session from a couple weeks ago and so excited to share! I've known MJ and her mama for forever, and our moms are really close. I drove out with my mom and little sister to her barn and took some portraits -- isn't she stunning?! And isn't that horse stunning?! I can't wait to get back to her barn (hopefully soon) and photograph her again! 

Behind the Lens | My 22nd Birthday!

Hi friends! I'm so excited to share today's post with you - it is FINALLY my birthday! To celebrate turning 22, below are 22 things I've learned in life so far with some pictures of my favorite memories as a 21 year old.

1. What is done in love is done well.

2. Chipotle > Moe's. 

3. Give more grace than you want to.

4. There's no such thing as giving too many hugs.

5. Bad days are always made better when you call mom.

6. Dry shampoo saves lives.

7. Put your phone down.

8. When someone says you hurt them, you don't get to decide whether or not that's true.

9. Say you're sorry.

10. Babies don't keep. Snuggle them lots.

11. There is a seat for everyone at the table.

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12. Everything has a season, a time, and a purpose.

13. Sisters truly were put on this planet to be your best friends. I have mine.

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14. It is impossible to not cry when watching a wedding video.

15. Little gifts go a long way. 

16. Comparison is the thief of joy. 

17. Empowered women empower women.

18. Learn to accept the apologies you never got.

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19. If you have to think about it, it's probably too white to wear to a wedding.

20. Say a prayer even when you don't feel like it.

21. There is no such thing as too much Dr. Pepper.

22. Try your best.

When I'm 22, I will...

  • launch a wedding blog with my best friend April, BISOUS
  • travel to Puerto Rico for the first time (!!!) to work on a huge surprise
  • drink way more Dr. Pepper than I'm supposed to
  • ...and spend too many nights binge watching Netflix 
  • soak up time with my huge, sweet, Southern family
  • invest more into my photography
  • be more intentional in my relationships with others
  • give back every month. I think Polly would've liked to hear about that.
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Jasper Bryn | A Birth Story | North Carolina Birth Photographer

Jasper Bryn | A Birth Story | North Carolina Birth Photographer

When you have two friends like Tess and Tanner, every day really does just get better. I thought their wedding day was the best, but boy, was I wrong. There is nothing like standing next to your best friend when she says forever to the love of her life, but there is truly nothing like watching that same best friend hold her first child. Just when you think you know love, something little comes along to remind you just how big it really is.

Morgan | North Carolina Farmhouse Maternity

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I first met Morgan on Instagram (lol). We had mutual friends and lived in the same hometown but never knew each other. She kept popping up on my explore page, so eventually I didn’t care if it was creepy and followed her. Fast forward a couple of weeks and I DMed her on Instagram asking if she’d let me use my camera to tell part of her family’s story. What a freaking incredible story, too. One full of grace and heartbreak and patience and anger and joy. I drove out to her farmhouse as the sun was going to sleep, sat across from her on her couch, and talked like we were old friends.

Morgan and her husband Kam fought fertility for more than 5 years. A little before I visited for the first time, they lost their baby Sage. We met in the month that would have been her due date. If you know me, you know I want to be a mama more than anything on this planet, so her story hurt me, kept me up at night, and front-lined all of my prayers. Here were two people desperate to make their dream come true without any answers or reasons why when nothing went as planned. Here were two people facing obstacles everyday that so many are lucky to miss: questions lacking in self awareness, dismissive suggestions of "when you stop trying it'll happen", leaving doctor appointments just as confused as they were going in.

On January 12, 2018, I was scrolling through the same Instagram feed where Morgan and I became friends to find a PREGNANCY ANNOUNCEMENT. A couple of weeks ago, I drove the same back roads out to Morgan and Kam. She opened her farmhouse door with a BABY BUMP, + she is due ANY DAY NOW. I couldn’t help but get teary as I watched the farmhouse slip out of my view as I drove back home. Really honored to have photographed this mama in a place she built + loves.

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"Student, sales associate, supervisor, manager, army wife, civilian wife, entrepreneur, sewist, dog mama, infertile mama, angel mama, rainbow mama, best friend, greenhouse tender, hydrographic surveyor, renovator; I’ve filled many different roles just since high school. Most of them were totally unexpected. The only one I never liked the sound of was housewife. I’m not a dang housewife. Sure I do the laundry and cook a few meals and spend a ton of time sewing, but I’m just as happy to wear a tool belt and some carhartts over a dress and apron. Homemaker. That’s more like it. I do what I need to do to make our house feel like home and it’s been one of my most satisfying and rewarding roles yet. This is what I want to be for my little family and it just feels so right."

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Abby & Caleb | An Intimate Summer Wedding at Windy Hill Farm

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It's mid July in the mountains of North Carolina. I'm in a college apartment next to App State, sitting in a bright bedroom with the windows open, cross legged on the bed across from Abby. She has her back leaned against the wall, hair up in a messy curly but still so easily pretty bun. There are wedding magazines across the bedspread, pages flipped open while I scroll through Pinterest on my phone. On her finger is a total gem, a ring that glistens and shimmers even with the smallest movement and is perfectly Abby. It's the night before we wake up with the sun to take pictures with Caleb, her high school sweetheart and fiance. That day we moved across the tops of mountains in Boone, NC to take photos that would soon spread across Save the Dates and canvases on display at their wedding.

Less than a year later after taking those pictures, I got out of my car at Windy Hill Farm and walked towards the farmhouse, camera in hand.

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The inside of the farmhouse is filled to the brim with life in the form of a wall covered in family photos and sharpie marks on the edges of door frames to measure how tall kids grow. The stairs wind around to the second story of the house, and when I start my way to the top I hear girls excitedly talking with music playing. This is IT! The girl I've known since third grade is going to be a wife. I turn to face two bedrooms side by side, and there Abby sits, in a robe in an old wooden chair and her hair up in pins. She's a BRIDE! It's surreal! Something about interning with a wedding planner and attending my fair share of weddings this season makes me automatically tear up when I see all of the details finally coming together, even if I don't know the couple. This time though, it's so much more special! 

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We've known each other since middle school. His cousin has been my best friend since I was 12, so I attended all of his family cookouts and birthday parties before we even started dating. During my junior year of high school (his senior year), we had a math class together, we started hanging out after his Friday night football games, and the rest is history!

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Our first look was our favorite moment of the whole day. We had some quiet time together to calm our nerves and share our handwritten and more intimate vows.

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One of my favorite moments: the DJ asked all married couples to take the floor for a special dance. Slowly the DJ asked those who have been married 5, 10, 20, etc. years to have a seat. Left on the dance floor was the couple who had been married the longest - over SIXTY years! The pair then gave the new Mr & Mrs some marriage advice. Such an intentional and sweet way to include guests!

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If anyone deserves a love like this, it is sweet Abby. Abby & Caleb, I've said it before and I'll say it again: what an honor. I can't wait to see how your story unfolds.


VENUE: Windy Hill Farm | PHOTO: Savannah Ward | VIDEO: Hannah Booth | DRESS: Michelle Teague Couture | MAKE UP: Emily Cecil | HAIR: Samantha Lee | FLORAL: Fifty Flowers | COORDINATOR: Cynthia Garcia of Exquisite Events | BRIDE'S SHOES: Steve Madden | BRIDAL ACCESSORIES: Veil by Michelle Teague Couture, bracelet from BHLDN | BRIDE'S RINGS: Rosado's Box | BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Azazie | GROOM + MEN SUITS: Generation Tux | TIES: Staghandmade | OFFICIANT: Ray McKinnion | CATERING: The Q Shack | CAKE/BAKED GOODS: The bride's sweet mama! | DJ: Dow Oak Events

Behind the Lens | Meet Mackinzie!

As we prep to head into Abby and Caleb's wedding weekend (!!!), I'm feeling incredibly thankful to have my best friend Mackinzie by my side as a second shooter! Upon booking with Abby and Caleb, I reached out to Mackinzie and asked if she'd be willing to come along for the ride. SO blessed to be able to cross such a big "to do" off my bucket list alongside her! Especially since she's been a huge part of my life since I was 15. And now you get to meet her :)

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MOUNTAINS OR BEACH

Beach

DREAM TRAVEL SPOT

New Zealand

DOGS OR CATS

Dogs

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A MOVIE YOU'VE SEEN AT LEAST 5 TIMES

Pink Panther

WORDS YOU LIVE BY

No rain, no flowers

TOP 3 FAVORITE ARTISTS

Sam Smith, Lizzo, Justin Timberlake

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TOP PET PEEVES

Chewing with your mouth open and when things don't have a place (untidiness)

A SHOW TO BINGE WATCH

Grey's Anatomy, Jane the Virgin

MUST READ BOOK

The Nightingale

WHY YOU TAKE PICTURES

Creating tangible memories

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Mackinzie and I in New York, 2016

WHY I LOVE MACKINZIE

1. Her heart for adventure | This girl is ALWAYS ready to go somewhere with me! I can't tell you how many times I've driven through the night with her, music blaring, brainstorming about our future weddings and houses

2. Her love to serve | Mackinzie is one of the most helpful people I know, willing to give someone a hand no matter what. 

3. Her creativity | Step into her room and you'll wish you had Mackinzie to design your whole life. The tiny twinkly lights, the incredible pictures from her travels....just ugh. 

4. The friendship that never changes | We've basically been in a long distance friendship since we went off to college in 2014, but no matter what I know I can always call or text her and everything is the same as it was when we spent days on end with each other in Chapel Hill or planning road trips. As I grow up, I've come to realize that the amount of friends you have isn't important, but the quality of the friends you do have is something to pay attention to. This girly is going to be my BFF for forever and a day! Can't wait to see all of our Pinterest boards and daydreams come to life :) 

I can't WAIT to share photos from Abby and Caleb's wedding day! Be sure to follow along over on Instagram and pay attention to my stories for some behind the scenes! xo

Haley | Hillsborough, NC Senior Session

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I'm the oldest of six cousins and Haley is next in line. She'll start her freshman year of college at NC State in the Fall and I'm feelin' ALL THE FEELS. Growing up with her has been the the coolest experience. She is compassionate, wicked smart, and insanely beautiful with a servant's heart and great taste in clothes :) Today is her last ever dance recital, where she's danced with her best friends for more than a decade, so I wanted to share her senior pictures on a special day! It's okay if you're teary because #same.

Press PLAY to hear Haley's song from her first ever solo, grab a tissue, and listen as you scroll.

"It’s the oldest story in the world: one day you’re seventeen and planning for someday, and then quietly, without you ever really noticing, someday is today, and that someday is yesterday, and this is your life.”

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YOU ARE MY WHOLE WORLD and I'm so proud of you. You are also the only and I mean ONLY reason I will wear pack red. :) Rock it out, baby bubba!

Behind the Lens | Spring

I thought it would be fun to start a new kinda personal series where I take the time to review a couple of months. In an effort to get to know you better and be your friend (please), I want you to know as much about me as you possibly can before I take your pictures! These are by no means edited to perfection or precisely posed but these are little squares pulled from my personal Instagram account that sum up this spring semester - aka my last semester of college EVER.

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Right now this season is rounding out to be a looooot slower than how it started, in a good way. I don't have to study anything? Or do homework? Or pull any all nighters in the library? MIND. BLOWN. After graduating I went right into a full time job. While I'm closing out my time as an intern for a wedding planner (ugh NO I don't want to GO), I'm nannying to the sweeeeetest sweetest little nugget you'd ever meet (hence my daily reads switching from textbooks to infant sleep manuals) and really trying to invest in this photography. Thank you thank you for being patient with me and supporting me as I work to grow!

Row 1 | My sweet kitten Scout on his first snow day, my best friend Katie, winter wonderland

Row 2 | Girl's night at church, modeling for The Authentic Woman (grab your copy!), spring break at a music festival

Row 3 | Spring break at a music festival, a weekend in Florida, and do gummy bears taste different depending on the color??!

Row 4 | A weekend in Florida, my first wedding of my intern season (!!!), graduation pictures (sooo weird being in front of the camera instead of behind)

Row 5 | Celebrating my friend Courtney, celebrating LDOC with Jodie, Saturday night in the city with April

Row 6 | Celebrating my graduation at Top Golf with my best friends, impulse decision to see Kenny Chesney, and my WHOLE ENTIRE HEART IN ONE PHOTO: my family.


Summer Goals

To be completed by my next journal entry

  • Read one book per week (and I'll update those titles here as I go, in case you're interested)
  • Choose and complete a new devotional from She Reads Truth
  • Complete my Portraits for Polly goal (raise $500) (read more here) 
  • Find a house to live in (!!!)
  • Visit Nashville, TN to see my family
  • Exercise at LEAST 2-3 times per week
  • Book at least 3 weddings for 2019 year

Do you have summer goals? Let's talk about them! Comment what you're hoping to accomplish this season.