I've always been drawn to the beauty of words. They have the ability to imbue great meaning but also to transform into a unique visual texture.Read More
A wedding is an occasion filled with the promise of possibility and the joy of celebrating the unique love story between two individuals. But it's also a day overflowing with expectations and itineraries ... and rarely enough time. That's why I offer bridal sessions as part of my wedding services, both as an add-on option and included in my higher end packages.
A bridal session provides a valuable opportunity to meet up at least a month before the chaos and pressures of the big day to ensure that there is a wealth of images showcasing the bride taken with intention, creativity, and time. Do you want to make sure you perfect the right hair and makeup look? A bridal session is a perfect test run to ensure you've got the right approach well in advance. And that dress you've invested ample time and money on? Let's capture a collection of gorgeous images that will showcase every last detail to be cherished for years to come. Are you nervous about looking your best in your wedding day photos? The bridal session provides a chance for us to spend time together building rapport and a knowledge of posing and shooting approaches, a true gift that results in a deeper familiarity and comfort. Would you like to try a different photo approach than your wedding day will allow? Try an in studio session for a calm, private, and controlled environment or an entirely different location for variety. A bridal session not only ensures a collection of added portraits and details to print, share, and preserve after the wedding day, it also provides the opportunity to have a favorite shot on display at the wedding reception.
With this in mind I recently did a styled bridal shoot in my studio to showcase the value of the un-rushed, one-on-one time these sessions provide. We explored two different looks with two dresses and hair looks. Many thanks to my gorgeous model Jillian Summers and the stellar Asheville-based vendors who were so generous with their time and resources. Dresses, earrings, and accessories provided by Wildflower Bridal (Dress One: "Marcie" by Anna Kara; Dress Two: "Agnessa" by Wtoo). Hair and Makeup by Ali Lawless. Bouquet by Flora.
To create with love, integrity, and a passion for the act of connection is at the heart of work for many of us. Our collective skills and resources build a stronger community with every step we take together toward something beautiful and meaningful. It was with great joy that I recently worked with longtime client OWL Bakery to capture their new cake offerings, made with their signature intention and grace. Featuring seasonal ingredients and botanical decorations, OWL's custom cakes for weddings, events, and special occasions are truly works of art. Exquisite fresh flowers generously provided by Flora.
Visuals are a critical component of how businesses engage with clients, particularly in today's image driven social media landscape. The unique story of who you are and what you have to offer can (and should!) be effectively communicated in visuals that both entice and retain a loyal following. The opportunity to bring life to the intention of the daily practice and longterm vision of a business in a way that has such a strong impact is something I take on with great respect and joy.
Debbie Bartok and her daughter purchased a cafe in Asheville's River Arts District over a year ago and have worked tirelessly to build a new business that speaks to their personal commitment toward excellence. Coming from a family with deep roots in the Asheville restaurant industry, there was a long history of passion for providing quality products and service as a means of fostering community. With a recent rebrand as Ultra Coffee Bar and a new web site (by Blue Dozen Design) I was brought in to create the right aesthetic vision for their new public identity.
I aimed to provide them with a collection of visuals that fit the bright and airy feel of their newly renovated space while capturing the accessible appeal of their menu of mindfully sourced coffee and espresso, extensive selection of sandwiches and salads (with plenty of vegan and gluten free options), and delicious baked goods. Some of my favorite images appear below. If you're in the Asheville area, do stop by their space and show them some love.
As I expand my photography business to include weddings I'm discovering so many extraordinary, creative individuals who flourish through connection and community. In our own ways we all strive to bring people together. I recently worked with custom letterpress and design studio Cotton Blossom Press to create some new images for her rebranded business launch. Owner Macon York started her letterpress business years ago as many of us do, through a sincere and persistent attraction to the art and the enthusiastic urging of friends. Over the years she has pursued a devotion to designing personalized wedding suites, stationery, announcements, business cards, and more that tell the unique stories of her clients in ways that are both artful and impactful. Here are some favorites from our recent shoot.
Sometimes you see someone and simply become enthralled. As a photographer it's natural to find yourself studying the people around you, taking in their unique characteristics, style, and personalities. But it takes a rare person to completely stop you in your tracks. When I met Karen Blanco I knew in an instant that I wanted to photograph her. I was, of course, struck with Karen's magnificent red hair and luminous porcelain skin but also her accessibility, kindness, and grace. During a weekend filled with snow, ice, and frigid temperatures we gathered with hair stylist and makeup artist Zhenya Lazarchuk at my studio to make some magic together. These are some of my favorite images from that afternoon. Featuring Serenity + Scott cosmetics.
It wasn't long ago that I had an epiphany that helped me realize that I could approach head shots MY way with the same creativity and passion I give to all my work. Now I absolutely love providing clients with images they can use to connect with others. Head shots provide an opportunity to communicate who you are. Are you calm and approachable? Do you bring a sense of warmth and accessibility? Are you a joyful presence helping those around you relax? Do you convey a sense of confidence and professionalism? During my artful head shot sessions it's my job to try and capture any number of character traits and instill them into an image. In the process I learn so much about my extraordinary clients and the good work they seek to perform in the world. I collaborate in advance with each client to pinpoint their specific goals and preferences. Creative individuals within community help to fuel and lift each other.
Are you looking for a new public face for your brand, business, or passion? Let's work together to make sure you're giving the best first impression possible.
Working with businesses to help develop and grow their visual identity in our modern, social media driven landscape has become a real passion for me. How thrilling it is when those businesses have such a strong foundation of integrity to their work. I have teamed up with Echoview, a local farm, fiber mill, and manufacturer of fine goods to create a wealth of new images as they focus on rebranding and expansion efforts. Their rich and growing collection of products include sustainably sourced yarns and knitting kits, luxurious knit home goods such as blankets and pillows, and wearables from shawls to socks.
It's absolutely thrilling to photograph beautiful products and collaborate with bright and motivated people. When I am blessed with clients that have a foundation grounded in making smarter and more sustainable choices for us and our planet my enthusiasm ramps up to a new level. Photographing products with such a sense of quality, intention, and honesty has been an honor.
Are you a maker or business owner wanting to add visual power to your brand? Are you eager to bring what you love to a wider audience? Whether you're seeking artful head shots, customized product photography, lifestyle images that help tell your unique story, or a helping hand navigating and leveraging visuals with social media tools, I'd like to help.
There is a lot of trust exchanged between photographer and client, particularly when the task at hand is to help create a visual identity for one's business. Mary Frances Flowers launched her jewelry business years ago, but she had yet to enlist professional help with model photography. Capturing the right aesthetic and mood was key. What a wonderful process it was to showcase the wearability and elegance of her work with gorgeous model Jackie as our muse. The images we created aim to demonstrate the wearability of the work and the effortlessness in which they rest upon the body, all with a bright, clean sensibility. You can find detail images of the entire collection are viewable on her site.
Mary Frances starts her pieces in wax or as natural objects (ex: turtle shell, porcupine quill, birch bark). Those original pieces are then cast into metal and then finalized with little touches.
While we utilized her entire line of jewelry in the shoot, our primary focus was to highlight her Spring 2016 collection, The Pantone Collection, inspired by this year's shared colors of the year Rose Quartz and Serenity. Each piece of jewelry is offered in three color ways: solid sterling silver with blue lace agate stones, yellow gold over silver with rose quartz stones, and rose gold over silver with white howlite stones. Each piece is named after an inspiring woman in her life, from dear friends to family members. There is also a line of detachable, interchangeable tassels that can be clipped onto specific earring and necklace pieces in the collection.
View the Spring 2016 collection and all of Mary Frances Flower's work on her freshly updated site HERE.
Some collaborations are simply meant to happen. With a longtime interest in herbalism and natural health I longed to find an opportunity where my personal interests and business opportunities could overlap. Enter Katie Vie, a self described "sensualist," highly respected massage therapist, and passionate expert and teacher in aromatherapy. Our paths crossed just as she was trying to bring renewed attention to her line of hand-blended botanicals, River Island Apothecary. She sought new imagery to showcase her product line while also wanting to expand her presence on social media, both creative challenges I was thrilled to accept.
What we created was a visual look that is accessible while maintaining the handmade touch, interwoven with a spirit of magic, intention, and ritual.
River Island Apothecary's line of anointing oils was our starting point. Crafted from jojoba oil and essential oils, these they are offered in a collection of seven archetypes that honor the complex facets of women. Featured in ritual or simply put upon the body as perfume, they are to be used to evoke and embody the spirit they represent. I chose to create composed still life assemblages with mindfully collected components (tarot cards, specimens, ephemera) that honor each archetype's nature. The rest of the product line--from the bestselling Green Man Beard & Skin Oil and Immortelle Facial Serum to the Magnifiscent Cream and Muscle Melt--were featured in images that find unity between light and darkness with accents of natural elements including ingredient components, flowers, moss, and evergreens. My studio was a constant parade of scents and potions, and I was in heaven.
Please do show some support to Katie's wonderful line of products at her Etsy store HERE, and follow her over on Facebook and Instagram. You'll find more beautiful images of her careful, intentional work there in coming weeks and into the future.
I recently had the joy and honor to spend a couple days with Tara Jensen of Smoke Signals Bakery, a small, wood-fired bakery tucked away in quiet Marshall, North Carolina. While Tara has a weekly practice of bakes, her primary focus is now centered on creating and fostering community through workshops, monthly gatherings, and customized mentorship experiences. In her own words, Tara's approach to both personal and professional life follows this approach: "Don't let fear get in the way of your dreams." While witnessing and participating in her process of baking forty gorgeous loaves of bread and four artful apple pies, a mindful meditation steeped in intention and respect for ingredients, community, and process, I gained a new understanding of how food connects and nourishes. From the mixing of ingredients and rolling out dough to the constant tending to the fire and the final, glorious bake, each beautiful moment in my visit was a reminder of the power of practice and the commitment to a purpose.
Bon Appetit magazine refers to Tara as "one of the best bakers in America" and recently featured her in a lengthy profile here.
Find out more about Tara and Smoke Signals Bakery here. Her increasingly popular workshops and monthly pizza gatherings are certainly worth checking out. And hop on over to her always inspiring (and incredibly popular) Instagram feed here.
I'm getting braver in my photography as I gain confidence in my skills and creativity. This momentum allows me to take more chances while also trusting my instinct. This recent creative shoot embraced this spirit with an exploration of translucent and reflective surfaces. I'm looking forward to incorporating some of these techniques and materials in future shoots, including beauty and fashion, head shots and portraits, and even weddings. Model: Olivia Baranowski MUA: Jen O'Leary
A year ago I introduced my friends Koli and Jen based upon an instinctual spark. I'm not usually one to set people up, but something told me there would be the possibility of magic between these two beautiful souls. I'm so glad I did. Last month I had the joy and honor of officiating AND photographing their wedding. I'm so thrilled to have witnessed the birth and evolution of their deep and extraordinary love. Listen and act upon instinct, and it will reward you.
Weddings are as unique as the individuals they seek to unite. This was palpably felt in this case where everything from the intimate home setting to the ritual and words woven through the ceremony all embodied the intention of two distinct beings creating one life. With the flurry of energy of the six children between them and a rush to venture off to a celebratory lunch we were able to capture these beautiful portraits both inside their home and in their backyard in just a half hour's time. Sometimes magic is just right there, and you simply need to catch it in your hands ... or your lens.
It was an honor to be so integrated into such a beautiful day and a joy to commemorate such a profound connection. Are you seeking someone to capture the quiet intimacy of YOUR remarkable love? I'm booking weddings for 2016 now.
"I'd like you to take portraits of my food." That's how my collaboration with Susannah Gebhart of OWL Bakery began.
I initially encountered Susannah and her sublime baked goods at a wedding I photographed. There was something truly unique in the artistry and attention to craftsmanship in her work that caught my eye and palette, and we developed a fast mutual curiosity and respect for each other's work. My interest in expanding my photography business was timed perfectly with her own business growth, and we joined forced for what has now become one of my favorite creative collaborations this year.
Specializing in naturally leavened breads and European-inspired pastries OWL Bakery offers items that are handmade with intention with a focus on seasonal, local ingredients and artful details. Select offerings are currently available at High Five Coffee in Asheville and The Dripolator in Black Mountain. This coming year, Susannah and her team will be opening up a storefront bakery and coffee shop in West Asheville, the neighborhood we both call home. That new location will offer wood-fired hearth breads, exquisite pastries, full coffee and tea service, and simple breakfast and lunch fare.
Please check out and support OWL Bakery through the newly launched web site HERE. You'll currently find a short menu of offerings, including the best croissants I've ever eaten and a selection of pies for your holiday table. The menu will be expanding, so please stay tuned.
Below you'll find a selection of some of my favorite images we've taken so far. I hope there will be many more to share in the future.
I find colors to be greatly affecting. They communicate mood, conjure memories, and even evoke a sense of place and time. During a recent creative shoot with lovely model Jacqueline this power of color came to the forefront with a stunning handmade, hand-dyed silk gown by couture designer Liz White. Crafted from exquisite layers of sensual celadon green and cinched at the waist with a mossy band, the dress informed the entire approach of the shoot with the incorporation of whispers of sheer fabric, lush green foliage, and earthy olive backgrounds. An air of luxury and sensuality unfolds easily with such beauty at hand. Find this dress and others by Liz for sale at Belle Epoque Bespoke.
As a portrait photographer one of my main interests is in capturing intimacy of character in my subjects. I seek to reveal the light within.
When I started to be approached with inquiries for head shots I honestly wasn't sure it was a good fit for my skills and interests. But then I reevaluated my own definition of what a head shot actually is. Aren't we all trying to communicate who we are, what we stand for, and what we have to offer to an increasingly visual world? Head shots, if done well, can serve as invaluable tools for creative individuals to communicate who they are to their clients and community. Shouldn't the process of producing those images merit the same personalized, custom care that I give to all of my portrait clients? And that's the moment where I got excited.
And with that shift I have been enjoying folding this work into my repertoire this past year. It has allowed me to connect with some truly remarkable artists and entrepreneurs while providing them with a public "face" to best represent them and their businesses online and in print. By connecting with them, I have helped them connect with others.
In that spirit I wanted to share select images from a recent session I had with Erin Derham, an extraordinary oral historian and documentary filmmaker. She came to me seeking an update to her public image. Through several conversations on her needs and preferences and a delightful afternoon shoot we came up with a variety of options that she can use for her web site and social media but also as she appears at film festivals and professional conferences. Be sure to check out Erin and her work here.
Every shoot contains its own lessons. A recent session with young sisters taught me that every subject -- no matter how young -- can blossom in front of the lens when treated with kindness, respect, and sensitivity. I had never done portraits of children before, but I took the leap after learning that their mom was a follower of my work and wanted me to showcase the beauty and spirit of her daughters using my unique perspective and style. We spent a couple of beautiful hours together capturing the girls in individual portraits and together. Watching their energy softly shift from nervousness into collaboration was a sincere joy and resulted in some really beautiful images that they and their parents will cherish for many years to come. Some of my favorites are showcased here.
NOTE: These images are used with kind permission. Names are not included by request of the parents out of respect to the fact that the subjects are minors.
It was a delight to recently photograph the Fall / Winter 2015 collection for Sew Moe. Independent designer Moe Donnelly's line of custom-fit original clothing weds fine craftsmanship and practicality with quality fabrics and highly wearable, modern design elements. The images we created showcase the spirit of outdoor adventures that inspired the collection. Features including lush fabrics and unique details (ample hoods, comfortable thumb holes, warm linings) demonstrate Moe's attention to quality and garments that can become beloved wardrobe staples for years to come. Find the entire line of available garments at the Sew Moe shop here.
Thanks to Ashley English at Small Measure for the use of her beautiful homestead as our location.
Sometimes you meet people and feel an immediate sense of kinship. Such is the case with photographer / educator / curator Lydia See. With her usual generous spirit of collaboration, Lydia recently joined me for a shoot that enabled me to explore some material-based ideas, including manipulation of various kinds of paper, used as backdrops, sets, and filters. I like to prepare just enough for a shoot, dig through preliminary sketches and gathered materials, knowing that I'll have the opportunity to execute some of the ideas I see in my imagination. But there is always room for spontaneity and--let's just admit it--happy accidents. The concept that took two minutes to create can be just as good or far exceed the one that took a couple hours.
Even the most creative among us need to be nourished by inspiration, process, and play. Action helps fuels momentum. With that spirit in mind I recently gathered a bunch of materials--paint, plastic, fabric, paper--and enlisted the help of the etherial beauty Kalyn to work through some ideas I've been sketching out in my mind. I'm constantly reminded that such work should not be an occasional spark but a fire that is tended always.