Little weddings filled with big love

Little weddings, small weddings, intimate ceremonies, no matter what you call them, they are some of our favorites.Surrounded by just a few close friends and family, everybody is part of the event. No one is there by accident, they are all called there by love for the couple they honor with their presence. For these weddings we can concentrate on the emotions, the details, the connections that make each one so unique.

Detail from beach wedding
Fran’s sand ceremony got everyone involved by scooping a small momento from the beach where they married.
Beautiful young flowergirl
Russell and Gioconda used family for their attendants
shorts make the suit for this wedding
Fun mix of traditional and unconventional formal wear for their beach wedding
a driftwood altar on the Outer banks
Aqua and white make for beautiful wedding colors
Oceanfront wedding with driftwood altar
At a small cottage court near Jeanettes pier, John and Frani take the nest step in their journey
uniting the family on a Kitty hawk beach
Since the couple and their family was bilingual they did the ceremony in two languages.
Nags Head wedding closeup
That driftwood made a great frame as John gets ready to say the big words with Jay Bowman
Friends for ever
She wasn’t letting go of her life grip on his hands
Wedding sign
Russell and Gioconda’s son first held the rings, then this sign during his parents ceremony
 firm grip on her love
She’s never letting go!
baby at the wedding
even the baby gets involved in their sand ceremony
Beach wedding happiness
Jamie and Josh were all smiles as the skies smiled on them after the ceremony
happy mature bride
After all those years of waiting, they are official, and on their way to a new life here on the Outer banks
bridesmaids on the beach
This wedding was hopping right after their beach wedding ceremony
Hilton gardens pierhouse
Kitty hawk pier gives shade and cool breezes after a sunny wedding
John and Frani used their kids as attendants for their beach wedding
beach portrait at wedding
Small weddings give us the chance to do some portraits, this one of John and Franis’ family
happy bride
When her sisters gave their toasts, Gioco was thrilled
under the pier
Hiding under the pier, a few private moments for the bride and groom on Kitty Hawk beach
one happy couple
Away from the family they find a moment of peace.
Kitty hawk Pier
Up on the pier is a great place to do some posed shots at your beach wedding

Mornings can be magic!

Some families, especially those with infants and toddlers, know that their best times don’t always occur at sunset. Others just want to have an early session so they can go about the day without worrying about getting back to the house, cleaning up, napping the little ones, or clock watching while they wait for an evening session, so they opt for an early morning session. Here are a few sweet ones from early in the season, early in the day. Is your family ready to play in the sunrise?

Family beach pictures at sunrise
Lauren, Stephen and the new guy in the warm glow of sunrise
girl splashing at the beach
Late in a shoot, we can relax and let the kids fly, and it can make some very sweet shots
Family on the beach
Lauren and her two favorite men sharing a moment in the early morning
Boys n the Outer banks beach.
Nobody has the same bond as brothers, and it starts early
Women at the beach
Backlighting in the morning gives that special look to the water
running on the beach
We like to do some of the guys alone, and later the girls when we can. The action helps everybody get into the process
bright morning pictures at the beach.
The little man gets a lift as the waves tickle his feet on the North Carolina beach
Ladies on the beach in soft light
We like to get any combination in the family while we can, and I’m glad we didn’t miss this one
couple at the beach
We did her seniors a few years ago, now she brings a new love into her life
Little girl beach picture
Getting away from the sun for a minute, Becca’s face lit up by itself.
Toddler at the beach
While we pause for a break, this guy gave me the “uh,huh” look.
Nags Head beach family portrait
Some mornings give a warm glow that looks great on newborns
Corolla lighthouse with girls
At the Whalehead Club in Corolla, the trees are a major attraction to those who want something different.
Toddler portrait at the beach
Happy boys come from happy families
Strolling the Corolla beach in the early morning
Sometimes days without strong sun make for easy smiles for the kids.
Rainbow and family beach portrait
Lucky enough to be here, we got the extra bonus of a rainbow right after a shower at sunrise
Senior girl at the beach
Next year we get to do Cass’s senior portraits, this year it was part of the family beach pictures

What editing does for your portraits!

After a session on the beach we know the job of making your portraits look great has just begun. The fun part, getting to meet your family, playing with the kids, directing traffic,  and helping you look your best out there is behind us and now the second part of our job is starting. We have hours ahead of cropping, correcting color, brightness, and contrast, punching up that reflection, taming highlights, opening shadows on anywhere from 50 or 60 images to sometimes 100 or more if the kids were having a good time and showing themselves off, all before we format the images and post them to your gallery for you to view and enjoy. This is all a part of what you should expect from a professional portrait photographer. We are thankful for the time and investment you made in trusting us for your portraits, and we always hope to repay that by putting our time, effort and skills into editing your family portraits so you look your best. Not every studio does that, some will be happy to grab your images from the camera, burn you a disc and send you on your way. Others will edit and go even further to retouch every image they shoot and of course have to build this into the price you pay for your session. In this entry we will show you the difference between edited and unedited images from some recent sessions. If you like what you see in the “after” portraits, be sure and call us for your next sitting and see what we can do for you!

Local color correction applied,

Naturally beautiful, bringing out her warm skin and hair color along with the water gilds the lily.

After the sun sets, the color cools and desaturates, editing recovers skin tones.

Editing enhanced his color as well as highlighting the rim light that late afternoon sun brings
open shade is very cool and low in contrast and saturation.
On a dreary day, after the little bit of sun has gone, use of fill flash and then editing gave them a warm healthy glow

Some qualities of early, somewhat cloudy light are great, the softness, the open eyes it allows, but not the color so much. Compare this with the unedited version to see how we help the skin tones as well as the sky and background

That late afternoon backlighting is nice, but off color, so in this one the little lady is helped by color and contrast correction.

The light angle gave us soft light to wrap her in, but still a bit cool and blue, so tweaking the color temperature and saturation levels brought her to life

Another wonderful senior session at the Whalehead Club!

Corolla gave us this storm cloud off in the distance for effect.
Soft shade flattered her as we started
Both bright and sweet, they made a perfect set for sibling portraits
The sea oats were at their best, soft tan to work with her golden hair
Her outfit was an excellent choice with the white clouds and soft blue sky
When the wind and waves work together we get sweet reflections.
I really like this brother and sister shot with the mirrors
She wore the breeze well.
The dune ridge was right for the sun setting behind Cassidy and Connor
The navy dress works well with her tan, and the location finger piers gave her a place to show her length
Connor’s height was easy to compose with the poles to stretch back on.
The shade of the trees let his eyes relax before the sun starts to mellow
Over in the shade her face showcases her natural beauty
Again, looking for the soft front light and sharp backlight found us this, Mom’s favorite of Connor.
So many great options at this location, the bridge with repeating framing elements and her beautiful smile.
Her curls and the light wrapped her in gold.
Before it gives up, the direct light over the sound is warm and flattering
From within the wooden bridge, many gorgeous variations on the light are there for the taking
Without the color you can see more of the shape and essence of the subject, and she is beautiful without color.
Connor’s sweet buddy was very patient with us throughout and deserved a little attention
As the sun kissed the water, Cassidy gazed with longing at the sight, a great reminder of what we have all the time.

A favorite spot, with a favorite family.

Shelley, Todd, Cooper, Jamison and sometimes Unkie have been frequent fliers with us on their summer vacations, playing on the beaches in Duck, around their pool and various spots on the Outer Banks, so something different was in order this year. They chose well, and off to the Whalehead Club in Corolla we rolled. It gave them a chance to get away from the bright light on the beach, gave me a chance to use more backlighting as we worked on through the evening. The bridge also lets me use framing elements, and sillhouettes over the water as the sun kisses the Currituck sound. Most of our clients are friends by the time we are through with a session, and those that we see year in and year out are good friends. The Haley family is high on that list, every year the boys show more personality, have more fun, and get some ideas of their own to add to our shoots. If you want to know why we are reluctant to do mini-sessions, 20 minute quickies, or assembly line stuff, Todd and Shelley are the reason why – because our family portrait customers deserve all of our attention along with all our skills, and why we do what we do.

Jamison started us off as he took possession of the little pier.
Whalehead Cub, Corolla North carolina
Cooper with an easy smile.
brothers on the water
Here on the water they are confined a bit as we shoot
wooden bridge, Whalehead club
Once we cleared the spiders we could use the arches as frames.
With a gap toothed grin, Cooper needed a couple with a serious side, which he really doesn’t have.
Todd always smiles, always.
Cooper is growing up.
Sunsets at the Whalehead club are beautiful, and every once in a while a bird graces us.
Currituck beach lighthouse
Cooper was anxious to climb, so we did.
Not to be outdone, he made sure he was further up than his little brother
Shelley, her brother, husband and two boys hit the sweet spot with the light and location
Shelley and “Unkie” popped one for their Mom to have.
Bet you never saw this before! LOL