I know I’ve said it before, but engagement sessions are really some of my most favorite thing to photograph. Think about it – you have two people madly in love, happy to be together and you get to just go hang out and make cool art with them. How could this not be fantastic?

Phuong and Michael were planning a wedding in New Orleans and already had all of their vendors lined up for that (too bad!  I would have loved to go to NOLA!) but they found me for their engagement photos so it’s all good.  As I always offer two locations for every engagement session, and this was in the middle of summer (so think, HOT) we figured at least one of the locations should be indoors  -you know, for sanity.  She has a pretty modern classic aesthetic so we chose the new Hunt Library on the Campus of NCSU. This place is so cool – I have to go back!  It’s big and bright, lots of cool pops of color, great architectural lines – really just everything you could want.  Then we ventured out to the JC Raulston Arboretum for a softer location in the late afternoon sun.  Oh how I love the late afternoon sun.

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Usually when I book a wedding, we plan an engagement session – a time when the couple and I can go out, get to know each other, visit some of their favorite places and make some great images.  Well, Emma had another idea.  She wanted to know if instead I could come and be a part of their wedding shower luncheon – so I could meet all of their most favorite people and photograph a day and event  that would really mean something to them. Of Course!   I also loved that instead of a ‘bridal’ shower – they had a ‘wedding’s shower. I mean, why shouldn’t he get to have some fun too?!

One of my most favorite things to photograph is people enjoying themselves – you can’t fake that kind of real joy – and when you put people in a room with all of their favorites, feed them amazing food (thanks Fearrington House!) and give them gifts? Yeah, there’s really joy there.

So that’s what we did!  Then after lunch we spent just about 30 minutes walking the property for some downtime and made some portraits.  All in all, I’d say it was great use of their ‘engagement’ session!

I know their cheesy, but sometimes a good party game is just what you need. Love these toilet paper dresses!See that cat there?  That’s Cheddar. Ok, it’s only a stand-up of the REAL cheddar, who of course isn’t allowed into a nice restaurant. But they LOVE their Cheddar-cat so naturally, he had to at least be represented.OMG. If you haven’t eaten at the Fearrington House – you are SO missing out.  This was incredible.  Delectable, scrumptious and any other word you can think of to mean, ‘yummy’ .With lunch and the festivities over, we headed outside for some portraits….Emma will tell you that she’s  a little self-concious in front of the camera – but as long as she was there with Minh, she was totally fine 🙂 Thanks y’all for a great wedding shower!

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Hey, so, do you maybe want to come to Alaska and photograph our wedding?  WHAT?! YES!!

That’s pretty much how that went down.  One of my requests if I was going to fly all the way to Alaska was that we get dressed back up (ok, not ‘we’  – I was wearing jeans) and head out in to the mountains for a couple’s portrait session… which honestly is one of the smartest things I’ve asked for.  The mountains there are so incredibly pretty.   Especially if you live somewhere without mountains – or with ‘mountains’ like the Appalachians, which are cute, but not at all like what  you see in Alaska. Those mountains are *majestic*.    So – off we went.  or up.  Up we went. It was not the prettiest day – grey, cloudy, no sun -but we didn’t care.  There was still some snow on the ground  – IN MAY – but we still had a blast.

This place – Hatcher’s Pass  – is an old mining area – there’s an actual mine we couldn’t get to without walking uphill about a mile in the snow. nope. So – we stayed at the ‘base camp’ area that has these super cute red a-frame cabins (you can rent them!!).  My little photographer heart was so happy. This place. This couple. y’all- if anyone else ever wants me to go anywhere like this – just call.  I’m on the next plane.

These red cabins – WHAT?!

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So, I was on facebook one day (shocking, I know) and I see a photo that my niece had posted – it was a wedding invitation that she had just received.  The wedding was for her very best friend, Carly – who happens to live in Alaska.  Naturally, I immediately commented something like – “OMG – I’m totally coming to photograph your wedding!!!”    Yes, I know Alaska isn’t Iceland, but it’s still pretty cool, and I really super wanted to go and photograph this.  Carly & I talked a bit – and in the end it worked out – and I was getting a plane ticket to go photograph her wedding.

There was one little requirement that I had – that she and Austin get dressed back up the following day and come with me into the mountains for session where we could take as long as we wanted and not be rushed by wedding day timelines…. check back later for that post – because it’s really pretty cool.

Their wedding was adorable – they are both young, 19, I believe, and the whole thing was total labor of love of their friends and family – everyone chipped in to help decorate and prepare for their day.  Did it rain? Yep. Did we care? Nope.  They had their wedding in a barn, out in the middle of nowhere (like most things in Alaska) and even with the chill and the rain – everyone had a fantastic day.  Carly really couldn’t stop smiling all day – she was so very excited to be marrying Austin.

Just check out all this Alaskan goodness!

Gloryview Farm is the kind of place where the owner’s dogs run free and that’s totally perfect.The barn was just FULL of cool treasures – like check out that red piano?!  And nothing beats barn light – really.She really could not stop smiling!! I love it when my couples are THIS EXCITED to be getting married 😉As I mentioned, it was raining…… so, Carly had to wait in her dad’s car before walking down the aisle – there was just no other place she could be and not be seen –Literally the fastest ceremony I have ever photographed…. like…. 4 minutes maybe?  The groom’s father performed the ceremony, and he was SO nervous to be speaking in front of a crowd…. it was ‘do you? and do you?  – great. you’re married!’ Did I mention they had a cotton candy machine? no?  well, they did. because what fun family gathering doesn’t have cotton candy?  and if it doesn’t – it totally should!The image to the right is Carly and my niece – they are such good friends they even have matching tats- love it!LOL – see above – blue cotton candy. This is what happens!Thank you Carly & Austin for having me out to your gorgeous Alaskan countryside for this wedding.  I was so very happy to be a part of your special day.  Cheers!

Jen

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Just yesterday I published a post about Elizabeth & Ken’s beautiful May Wedding at the Brier Creek Country Club – and I mentioned that I was actually going to post this wedding TWICE – with a little twist.  Yesterday’s post was all in color – and today’s is all in black & white.

I’d love to hear in the comments what you think!

Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC MOODY_0731Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC MOODY_0732Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC MOODY_0733I love this one above.  love it.Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC MOODY_0734Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC MOODY_0735Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC MOODY_0736Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC MOODY_0737Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC MOODY_0738Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC MOODY_0739Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC MOODY_0740Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC MOODY_0741Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC MOODY_0742Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC MOODY_0743Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC MOODY_0744Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC MOODY_0745Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC MOODY_0746Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC MOODY_0747Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC MOODY_0748Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC MOODY_0749Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC MOODY_0750Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC MOODY_0751Well, what do you think?  Personally, I adore the black & white and could easily have done the whole album this way 😉  but that’s me.

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