Venue: Alexander Homestead | Planner: Christi West from Alexander Homestead | 2nd Shooter: Stephanie Pulliam from Indigo Photography #stephandstef | Makeup: Beautiful Faces by Melissa | Flowers: Pink Petunia Designs | Dress: Winnie Couture | Cake: The Icing and the Cake
Winding turns through a sea of pines and maples led Nicole and I to our destination on a mountain: Castle Ladyhawke; a former residence turned event venue in charming Tuckasegee NC. This venue is like no other. Not only is the drive up slightly nerve wracking (only a 40° incline); the views are breath taking and the castle itself a collection of beautiful medieval décor, cozy nooks, labyrinthine halls and staircases and luxurious furnishings. When I found Danae getting ready upstairs, I found a group of fairy tale maidens and their wee babes enjoying champagne, snacking and relishing in a beautiful vanity chamber adjacent to the honeymoon suite. Absolutely magical.
The title of this blogpost comes from something Mark said to Nicole. Minutes after the ceremony, she asked him; so has it sunk in yet? He just shook his head and smiled; then said "this is the best day of my life." *swoon*
Thank you Danae and Mark for choosing me as your wedding photographer, it was a beautiful afternoon and evening and I couldn't have asked for a more joyful group. Congratulations to you both! xo
If I'm leaving someone out; Please comment below so I can tag them properly!
I have had the pleasure of working with local restaurant group that specializes in sports bars and all things Americana. I may not be the world's biggest sports fan (no, really?), but I sure do love a good burger or plate of delicious wings.
I have been shooting tethered lately so that I can keep an eye on color, composition and focus with my laptop. I think it's really been helping.
So take a look and try not to lick the screen if you can. ha!
I love this place. What can I say? I'm hooked. I am a restaurant veteran. A long time server and bartender (now retired behind my camera), but I am so comfortable in a restaurant setting... especially when I believe in the business. And customshop.. I believe. OHHH I believe. From the delicious and carefully selected wines and cocktails to the architecturally assembled charcuteries to every single plate that comes out of the kitchen. The name of the game is passion.
People probably overuse the word "passion."
He's passionate. She's passionate. They're passionate. I'm passionate. Passion Passion Passion. Are you sick of it now?
But passion is the only all encompassing word I can think of. It means intensity with a devotion to your craft, it brings to mind that the heart is very much involved. It's the non-blinking ardor and admiration that you see in a Chef's face as he or she carefully plate their selections for restaurant guests... perfectly composing the melody that is your meal. Each element has a purpose and a place and must be the perfect execution of the Chef's vision.
Passion is love for what you do. A level of care and commitment that reveals the artist within. Instead of a paint brush, it's your hand and a potato ricer. Instead of chiaroscuro (particular attention to light and dark in renaissance realism) , it's a balance of temperature. The plate is your canvas. The restaurant, your gallery. Patrons are patrons and customshop your patrons have been converted to believers; just like me. I believe in Customshop... and luckily they don't ask you to drink the kool aid--but you should probably try a cocktail or two.
Special thank you to Trey Wilson (owner & Chef), Dre Pico (Chef) & Chip Townsend (sommelier, bar & FOH manager) for putting together some lovely cocktails and meals! Also thank you to Amy Herman from Vintage Charlotte , Corria Smith (Customshop's Social Media Manager) and my hand models: Roey Haviv, Diane Ritz and Mac Jones. bisou bisou xoxo
My camera was wet in all directions. From the splashing of bodies into the water and from the sweat stinging my cheeks and smearing the LCD screen... it was incredibly hot and I welcomed every cool drop. I'm sure my camera was thankful as well.
Though you may not think of "team sports" when you think of me, I am all for them.. especially when it concerns our youth. When we work as a team in a group setting, especially in sports; we learn how to compete respectfully, how to challenge ourselves both mentally and physically and learn how to deal with disappointment when we don't excel and also how to gracefully win against our opponents.
I was not sure what I was getting into when I showed up to this swim meet to document the last meet of the season. I didn't know what to expect. I found myself in awe... and inspired. By the emotion, the excitement, the anxiety and the connections between parents, children, friends, volunteers and coaches.
We wrapped up the day with a bit of JJ Red Hots from the food truck and I have to say... they were delicious. Special thanks to Shamus Coneys of Shamus Films for the video (link at the bottom!).
Make sure to check out this awesome video by Shamus Coneys! @shamusfilms
Special thanks to the volunteers, family, coaches and awesome swimmers on all teams. You do great things for your community. Stay cool.