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Destination Portrait Photographer

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Today, with the hurricane barreling down on Myrtle Beach, SC where my sister lives, I’ve had little else on my mind. She’s staying there with her husband so they can take care of her elderly father-in-law who can’t leave. It’s made me think a lot of this photograph called “Adrift” I did of my son, Jobe, years ago there. Jobe and I were playing in the ocean and he was on a little surfboard. During one of the quieter moments, when the waves were separating us from everyone else around, I grabbed this shot with one of those crappy waterproof Kodak disposable cameras and it captured one of the most meaningful images of my child I’ve ever taken. There are...

Awards | Fearless Photographers | Battleship Engagement Session

  Confession. I am ridiculously competitive. Not so much with other people but definitely with myself. I set impossible goals (never shoot the same image twice), am impossibly hard on myself, and strive to one up myself with every shoot. So this morning, when I won another Fearless Award, I launched straight over the moon. Happy Valentines Day to me!!!! Fearless Photographers is a unique photography directory of more than 3000 of the world’s most amazing wedding photographers serving couples who truly love photography. It is also my favorite competition that I take part in. I love how these photographers from every corner of the earth strive, with every shoot, to create, stun, and push boundaries with their art form. And...

Magical Ripley’s Aquarium Bridal Session in Myrtle Beach, SC

    It was torrentially down-pouring during Charlotte’s bridal session. We had to come up with a quick alternative somewhere in Myrtle Beach, SC that wouldn’t cost a bloody fortune so I took a shot in the dark and called Ripley’s Aquarium and told them of our woes. They totally stepped up, invited us in free of charge, and let us have full run of the joint! This is absolutely one of my favorite images. Charlotte was crouching on the other side of the seahorse tank. I had my assistant lighting her from the left with a Lumecube. The seahorses, of course, followed instructions so well and all gathered on the front left of the tank so I had almost...

Destination Wedding Details & Portraiture at Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, California

When Marissa and Huntington got married at Terranea Resort a few weeks ago, I knew how important the detail shot of her dress would be to her. I got to spend some time playing and shot the dress on multiple backgrounds but this double exposure is my absolute favorite. I shot 2 exposures, the first was a very small painting hanging in the kitchen that had wonderful colors and brush strokes. For the second shot, I hung the gown from a light fixture in the hallway. By setting the camera to the Light mode, the dress overwrote the colors in the painting. Then I brought the two original images as well as the double exposure into Adobe Photoshop, layered them...


Playful Downtown Engagement Session | Durham, NC

Since tomorrow is their wedding day, I figured it’s the perfect time to share some of my favorite images from Lauren and Bryan’s downtown Durham engagement session. Their dog, Raleigh even graced us with his presence and put up with my antics for a while. We wandered the streets, alleyways and did a little light B&E. I can’t wait to shoot this wedding tomorrow. They are calling for rain but the bride doesn’t care and we’re all in for an adventure! Check back in in a few days for an update!

fine art portrait with reflection and leopard heels, engagement session, midwood, charlotte, NC

Fashionable Urban Engagement Session | Midwood Neighborhood | Charlotte, NC

When I first heard from this gorgeous couple, the call actually came from Matt and his British accent took me straight back to my joyous time at Oxford. Then when I met him and Kelli, my photographer’s heart went all aflutter. They are beautiful, cool, devoted to one another and absolutely hilarious. And even better, they LIKE being photographed so the walls came down so much quicker. We moved straight into the intimacy of the shoot and were playing and getting the coolest shots right from the start. For their engagement session, we chose the Midwood neighborhood in Charlotte specifically for the crosswalk in the first image in the post. I had seen the graphic painting on a previous trip...

Engagement session in Greensboro, NC, bride and groom silhouetted behind colorful painting.

Colorful, Playful Engagement Session at Natty Greene’s and Downtown Greensboro. NC

Elizabeth is an academic and Jordan is a doctor. I like working with people who work such high intensity jobs because they are almost always my bravest couples. They love art and because of that they are willing to play, be silly, and just really let loose in front of the camera. For their session, we recreated their first date – a trip to Natty Greene’s Pub in downtown Greensboro followed by a little stroll downtown. We even found a beautiful patch of light to play in behind what I can only assume is an abandoned building. Then we went back to their apartment and made some of the very best cupcakes I’ve ever had in my life. Jordan, if this...

Couple kisses in mist at art structure Artivity on the Green in Winston-Salem NC during their engagement session.

Playful, Romantic Romance Session in Winston-Salem, NC

Sometime couples are reserved when we first meet and it takes a little while to bring out the love story. Not with Jim and Ashley. Their love is palpable and a sight to behold. As was their willingness to do anything I asked of them. Because of their embracing bravery, these shots are beyond everything I ever envisioned and they are the perfect representation of this destined love story. Please, enjoy and wish them very well.

view from inside battleship of couple kissing on deck during engagement session in Wilmington, NC

Dawn and Dan | Battleship NC Engagement Session | Wilmington, NC

Engagement sessions are the very best when we can shoot somewhere that is meaningful to the couple. Dawn and Dan met in the Navy so after much discussion, we settled on the USS North Caolina Battleship as the location for the shoot. With a wonderfully adventurous bride, a battleship as a backdrop, and a man in uniform, it was an absolutely awesome engagement session for us all! Dawn and I carpooled from Asheville, NC and met Dan in Wilmington, NC. We had permission to stay on the ship long after it was closed to visitors and we spent lots of time both below decks and above. Perfect skies and a playful couple? I know their upcoming wedding will be incredible!

bride and groom sit on top of canoe in Camp Pinnacle outdoor campground wedding in Asheville, NC

Playful, Romantic Outdoor Campgound Wedding with Afterglow Session

Traci: What is the absolute best thing about Scott? What would he say about you? Kristen: I think his best qualities are his talent and his dedication to the things he cares about. He has told me before that my best qualities are my sense of humor and my compassion. Kristen and Scott found my website after googling North Carolina fine art wedding photographers. Um, thank you, google! Without it, I would not have had the chance to meet this uber cool, relaxed and sweet couple. Kristen is angelically beautiful and Scott is romantic and handsome. Kristen and Scott LOVE to travel so they chose a special destination for their wedding at Camp Pinnacle, near Hanging Rock. Kristen and Scott...

Couple embracing each other standing in a river at the Pisgah National Forest in Ashville, NC

Kristen and Mark | Pisgah National Forest Engagement Session | Asheville, NC

I am a firm believer that powerful, telling photographs require everyone involved to go the extra mile. For Kristen and Mark’s engagement session, that extra mile turned into a round trip of over a hundred miles. It was a side trip well worth taking. Kristen and Mark met while river rafting in Idaho Springs. Even today, their lives revolve around water. Mark is a fireman and Kristen works for a white water rafting organization. It was a must that water be a backdrop for their session. We finally decided that the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville, NC was our destination. At the start of our session, we struck out on the Blue Ridge Parkway. While it was extraordinarily beautiful, it...

Bride in wedding dressing standing near Pisgah National Forest waterfall during bridal session

Pisgah National Forest Bridal Session | Asheville, NC

When McCotta suggested we shoot her sunrise bridal session at Pisgah National Forest near Asheville, NC, I must admit, I got a little weak in the knees. I knew the light would be magical but what I didn’t realize was how much she would be willing to do for me and for the shots. We hiked into spectacular locations and shocked hikers along the way as she marched past them in her full wedding gown regalia. It was a site to behold. When we got to the last waterfall of the morning, I wasn’t sure how we were going to get her into the cave behind the falls, but she just soldiered on and the results were astounding. McCotta, thank...