So, you want to do a photo session and you want the ‘best’ location…. but with so many incredible locations in the triangle area, how do you know which one is ‘best’?

First of all – there is no ‘best’ – so it’s more important to think of it in terms of ‘best fit’ for your family and style.  There are several ways to begin to find your perfect spot – the first being – ask ME!  I have photographed in pretty much all of the usual locations in the triangle area.  From rustic old farms to manicured gardens, to urban spots – so I have a fairly good idea what’s available.

Additionally, look through my portfolio and blog and see which images speak to you.  Note what it is about the image you love – is it the colors & tones, or the big trees or the clean lines or the soft light etc etc?  Even if we don’t use the SAME location, knowing what you are drawn to will help me guide you to the right place for you.

Remember to consider where the art will hang too… will a photo of you all in a downtown / sleek environment look right hanging on your walls if you decorate in a cottage style?

Something a lot of people don’t really consider is places that might not be generally used as ‘locations’.  Do you like to go canoeing as a family – maybe we go DO THAT.  Maybe you visit the farmers market weekly for fresh ingredients – LET’S GO!  I am a *huge fan* of using locations that aren’t just pretty, but that mean something to you.  Imagine how you’ll smile when you pass by the images hanging on  your wall as you remember how it feels to BE in  your special place.  No amazing park can make you feel that.

In short, my best advice is not to ask your friends where they did their family portraits, but let’s chat about you, and what you want and need, and I will make that happen for you!

che

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Did you know there’s an outdoor theater (like, with a stage, not a movie screen) right near downtown Raleigh?  it’s the Raleigh Little Theater, and when they aren’t putting on performances (so, like, most of the time) – it’s a GREAT place for family  / bridal / engagement photos.

There are two halves to this park – the first space is the amphitheater & stage area.  The amphitheater seats are all made of stone, and it’s ringed with gigantic trees which filter the light so perfectly.

For a change in texture, there’s the actual stage, which is rustic wood planks – and looks GREAT in the fall when the leaves change color and everything feels warm and earthy.

The other half of the park is the Rose Garden – which looks fantastic most of year – from about March or April until just about Thanksgiving.   There are tons of different color rose bushes – but that’s not the only feature.   There’s a really cool curved stone-pillar arbor that has a pergola type top for vines to weave through – making fairy tale looking images for sure!

There’s also a shelter there –  but it looks more like a fairy tale cottage than a picnic shelter – as it’s made of stone on two sides and has large window cut outs that are perfect for sitting in.

My favorite part of the park though is this one huge tree.  It’s in a little garden area with lush hostas and winding gravel paths and the bark has such incredible texture, and huge roots that sit atop the ground – great for sitting on and climbing!

If you’re looking for a charming, sweet place, this is the place for you!

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I am lucky enough to live in a part of the United States with some (ok, a lot) of history.  North Carolina has been here a long time; granted, not long like Rome long – but long for America.  With that come parks and buildings that have been here a while, and they show a great patina of age.  What is it that attracts us all to older buildings?  Is it their steadfastness?  Their ability to remain standing though progress marches on around them?  I think they speak of a time when life was slower and more purposeful  – and I think that in today’s hurry-up society, we are all absolutely drawn to that feeling.  It connects us to our collective history, and reminds us to slow down and enjoy the moment and the space in which we live.

Historic Yates Mill Park is one such location that I love to visit with my sessions, no matter if they are family, or engagement related.  When you first drive in, there’s this beautiful field – with a little hill boasting a giant tree right on top.  Sometimes the grasses are tall, sometimes short, but the buttery light that washes over this spot both morning and late afternoon is beautiful no matter what.   The field is ringed with a split-rail fence, which allows for a place for kids to climb, and is perfect for adding an architectural element to images.

Moving just past the parking lot you find a sweet little stone-walled bridge, flanked by some of the fluffiest / fuzziest purple bushes that look like something out of a Dr. Suess story – so fun!  The curvature of the bridge brings interesting lines and softness into your photos too.

From here we walk down the path in the woods (kids love this! we’re exploring!) and we come to a clearing with a cool log cabin building (complete with old wagon wheel!) as well as the back side of the old grist mill.  then a beautiful stone path down to the creek and the *waterfall*. Yep, waterfall – right here in Raleigh.

There are lots of other great spaces around the back side of the dam,  big trees, boulders for climbing and grassy clearings for playing – all in all, it’s a fabulous place for family or engagement photos!

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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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Before I tell you all about how awesome Elizabeth & Ken’s wedding was – I’ve done something a little different with this blog post.   Usually there’s ONE blog post per event and I combine color & black / white images to tell the story – except with this one, I felt that I could create TWO posts, one in color and one in black & white – just for fun 😉   This one is all in color -bright, fun and colorful.  Tomorrow I’ll post the yang to this yin, and I’ll be curious to see which one you like better!

I recently had the pleasure of photographing the wedding of Elizabeth and Ken at the Brier Creek Country Club on a gorgeous sunny day in May.

One of the first things that I love about this couple is that they’ve been together for over 10 years – so they are truly partners, very much in love and both families are already very comfortable with each other so it made for a very relaxed, open and emotional day.   There was a lot of humor during the ceremony about them ‘finally’ getting married 😉

Another really cool thing about Elizabeth is that she’s of Czechloslovakian heritage, (as in, her parents are actually from there!) so she made a point to bring that into play as well….  and there will be more on that later!

Elizabeth had a fantastic wedding team to help make her day perfect…. love the look?  Here’s who she worked with:

Catering & Venue:  Brier Creek Country Club

Florist: Dogwood Tree Floral Designs

Lighting & PA:  Island Sounds

Band: Sirsy

Planner: Sally Oakley Weddings & Events

2nd Photographer: Nieto Photography

 

Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC color_0715Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC color_0716Elizabeth & Ken opted for a “first look” (which was AWESOME) and I loved the shots of her heading out to meet him!Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC color_0717Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC color_0718Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC color_0719Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC color_0720Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC color_0721Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC color_0722Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC color_0723Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC color_0724Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC color_0725Then this happened. Elizabeth put on a traditional Chezch outfit to dance with her dad.  It was priceless!   And, the Best man’s toast ‘assisted’ by his daughter – too cute!Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC color_0726Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC color_0727Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC color_0728For real?!?  So, this band has been a favorite of Elizabeth and Ken’s for years. They are from NY but came down for the wedding – and as the night was winding down – Ken gets UP ON STAGE and plays guitar and sings to his bride.  I died.Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC color_0729Then SHE JOINS HIM. It just gets better and better!Raleigh Wedding Photographer - Brier Creek CC color_0730

Elizabeth & Ken – I wish you all the very best life has to offer – glad you are ‘finally’ married!!!

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