Generations Portraits | Asheville NC Botanical Gardens

I talk all the time about how much I love photographing Generations Portraits! It’s just so special to have entire families–from grandparents to new babies–all together to love on each other and to make memories together. As families get busier and more spread out, it is that much more meaningful to document the times when we’re all together under one roof, healthy and happy. The Ely Family has a wonderful tradition of coming together in the North Carolina Mountains, and last Thanksgiving was the second time they asked me to document their time together. This time, they were celebrating the addition of sweet Andrew, who is ADORED by the entire family but especially by his three precious big sisters. It was so special to see them all laughing and snuggling on a beautiful fall day at the Botanical Gardens in Asheville NC.

Introducing….The Elys’ Generations Portraits in Asheville NC

Sisters with their Baby Brother Fall Family Generations Portraits in Asheville NC Botanical Gardens Fall Family Generations Portraits in Asheville NC Botanical Gardens Fall Family Generations Portraits in Asheville NC Botanical Gardens Fall Family Generations Portraits in Asheville NC Botanical Gardens

Oh how I love these sweet “in-between” moments during photo sessions. Of course everybody loves a good smiling-at-the-camera portrait, but in 10, 20, 40 years from now, seeing how your grandpa grinned at you, or how you looked up adoringly at your grandmother will mean much, much more than perfectly placed hands and “nice” smiles. These memories and the emotions connected to these memories are why I do what I do.

Fall Family Generations Portraits in Asheville NC Botanical Gardens Fall Family Generations Portraits in Asheville NC Botanical Gardens

Fall in the Carolinas is theeeeeeeeee best. I mean, this light is so amazing. And nobody is even wearing a coat in November! How can you not feel happy and in love with life??

Fall Family Generations Portraits in Asheville NC Botanical Gardens Fall Family Generations Portraits in Asheville NC Botanical Gardens Fall Family Generations Portraits in Asheville NC Botanical Gardens Fall Family Generations Portraits in Asheville NC Botanical Gardens

Grandparent Love is like no other kind of love.

Fall Family Generations Portraits in Asheville NC Botanical Gardens

These sisters are so sweet, so polite, so sincere. And how about the dimples???

Fall Family Generations Portraits in Asheville NC Botanical Gardens Fall Family Generations Portraits in Asheville NC Botanical Gardens

Baby Andrew got some time to shine! As the newest member of the family, he is so incredibly loved. As the baby brother to THREE sisters, he is never without a pair of arms to hold him or a smile to brighten his face.

Fall Family Generations Portraits in Asheville NC Botanical Gardens Fall Family Generations Portraits in Asheville NC Botanical Gardens

Look at this happy boy!

Fall Family Generations Portraits in Asheville NC Botanical Gardens

Now I have no idea what goes on behind closed doors (or how this will change once he’s getting into their dolls and toys!), but I can tell you that during our portrait session, Andrew’s sisters were genuinely in.love with him.

Fall Family Generations Portraits in Asheville NC Botanical Gardens Fall Family Generations Portraits in Asheville NC Botanical Gardens

Fall Family Generations Portraits in Asheville NC Botanical Gardens

And last but not least, one of my very favorites from the entire day!

Fall Family Generations Portraits in Asheville NC Botanical Gardens

As always, you can click “like” to share this post to Facebook, and it makes us feel all warm and fuzzy when you leave comments below. If YOUR family is going to be together for the holidays, contact me now to book Generations Portraits with your crew!

–Amy

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Campbells Covered Bridge Family Portraits | Greer SC

In the fall in the Upstate of SC, there are few things more picturesque than Campbells Covered Bridge family portraits! The Brookshires are an amazing, supportive, sweet family to photograph, and it’s been such a treat to watch their family grow. I first met them for Ava’s newborn portraits, and I got to meet sweet Erin when she, too, was just a few days old. <3 We had lots of fun in the beautiful fall leaves celebrating Erin’s First Birthday and capturing them as a family of four! (And full disclosure: I am a TERRIBLE blogger. This session is one of MANY that I’m “catching up on” posting. Erin is almost 2 now. Oopsie!)

Introducing….The Brookshires, Campbells Covered Bridge Family Portraits

Life, totally unposed and unscripted, but completely perfect anyway!

I love these sweet, snugly moments…

BE STILL MY HEART! How stinking adorable is Big Sis Ava giving her Baby Sis a little tickle on the chin?

Ava | Quiet and thoughtful, then giggly and spunky

After viewing Erin’s newborn portraits, Mom noticed that in the “sweet” sister shots, Ava was actually poking Erin in the ear. We laughed and laughed about that, and then during this cute family moment, Erin put big sis’s finger right on in her mouth. Haha! Tradition, I suppose. 🙂

Campbells Covered Bridge Family Portraits

Erin | Sweet and serious, with adorable cheeks for days!

“Sisters share childhood memories and grown-up dreams.” –Anonymous

Hands down, this was Mom & Dad’s favorite photo from their Campbells Covered Bridge family portraits. I think that in this moment they see their girls becoming friends, learning and leading, and building a sweet bond to last a lifetime.

The lighting inside the covered bridge is SO pretty and dramatic. I love how these rich black & white photos showcase that light, but mostly how they show off these girls’ fun little personalities!

This portrait session wasn’t *just* a family shoot–it was also the day before Erin’s First Birthday! Erin’s Mommy has started her own bakery, and her cakes and cookies are SO CUTE. Check her out at 2 Sweets Bakery! I would alllllllllmost feel badly to eat her adorable frosted cookies, but I do love a good, soft sugar cookie so I’m thinking I could make an exception. Erin’s smash cake was also almost too pretty to eat, but she dug into it anyway. 😉

Campbells Covered Bridge Family Portraits Cake Smash

Happy First Birthday, Erin!

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Bald Rock Senior Portrait | Greenville SC

Madi’s Bald Rock Senior Portrait Session in the mountains of northern Greenville SC reminded me of HOW MUCH I love photographing high school seniors! The short drive up the mountain had us traveling through bursts of rain, overcast skies, and misty fog. As I turned the last bend before the random pull-off parking lot (if you’ve been to Bald Rock, you know what I’m talking about–it’s a bit quirky!), the skies opened and the sun came out! The view looking out from Bald Rock was just perfect, and the rainstorm even gave us a little surprise…but you’ll have to read to the end of this post for that. 😉 As soon as she stepped in front of my camera, Madi was full of quiet confidence, natural posing, and a “Mona Lisa smile” that revealed nothing but the reminder that seniors are full of mystery, hope, confidence, uncertainty, and nostalgia, which combine to create a most beautiful year. It’s not too late to photograph this year’s Seniors, and I would LOVE getting a head start on members of the Class of 2019. If you know of a Senior who needs his or her year captured (both for themselves and also for the Mamas and Daddies who are going to be missing them like crazy), please send them my way.

Introducing Madi…Class of 2018

I’ve said it before, but man I am jealous of people who can pull off the serious face! Madi killed it; when I do it, I just look like I’m coming down with a cold. (Ha!)

The views at Bald Rock are gorgeous, but so are these little patches of greenery and lovely light. Madi was such a natural in front of the camera.

This image…it just speaks to me. One of my favorites from her Bald Rock Senior Portrait Session.

Super cute senior!

Grace and confidence with the whole world in front of her, yet a bit apprehensive about taking that jump. I think this image is such a metaphor for that Senior Year season of lasts…which leads to a whole new season of firsts.

As many times as I’ve shot at Bald Rock, I had never ventured off “the rock” to this wooded patch. I LOVED what we found and how Madi rocked this part of her Bald Rock Senior Portrait Session!

Madi and her sweet Mama…

Remember that rain storm I mentioned on the drive up the mountain? How many times do you get a perfect surprise like this rainbow? It didn’t last long, but it sure was beautiful!

As usual, I’ll end this post with one of my favorites from the session. Every now and then, you just see an image happening and KNOW it’s begging to become a B&W photo. No doubt, this portrait is one of those times.

Best wishes, Madi and the Class of 2018, for a senior year that fills your hearts with memories to last a lifetime!

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Isabella is 1! | Greer City Park Cake Smash and Birthday Portraits

Miss Isabella is turning 1, and we celebrated with a cake smash and birthday portraits in downtown Greer SC at Greer City Park. This little “sweet one” was SO funny when she tried her cake…and she sure loves it when her daddy sings “You Are My Sunshine.” Her little face just lit up every time he would start singing to her, and it was precious. Isa’s Mommy is also celebrating a special birthday very soon, so she took some time to shine as well. This sweet family adores their baby girl, and it was a pleasure to watch them love on her. Happy 1st Birthday Isa and Happy 25th Sarai!

Introducing…Isabella’s 1st Birthday!

How adorable is Isabella’s girly tutu and gorgeous eyes??

Eeek, those little bare feet and huge grin just make me smile!!

Twins much???

I love this series with Isa’s mommy and daddy. I always make sure to photograph parents alone during family portrait sessions. It’s so important to take some time to focus on where your family began and to slow down in the midst of crazy day-to-day life and focus on the love between you. Donovan said the sweetest thing about Sarai: “My wife is my savior in love and life. She loves without question, she loves me for who I am no matter good bad or ugly.” 

One set of Isa’s grandparents were in town during her session, and they were SO CUTE. I love their little kissy faces…and Isa’s “WHAT are you doing??” face. 🙂

Beautiful mommy and baby girl!

This photo just makes me smile SO big! I love Isa’s big ol’ grin, her hot pink shoes, and can we just talk about her chunky little legs? LOVE.

Cute cute cute!

Without a doubt, these are my favorites from Isa’s one-year birthday portraits. So much happy going on here!

Isa’s beautiful mama gets to celebrate her 25th birthday just a few days before Isabella’s first!

A huge thanks to Abbott’s Frozen Custard in downtown Greer for letting Isa smash her cake in their adorable restaurant! This little “sweet one” was so funny exploring her cake!

“Ew, I’m not so sure what this is…hmmm, ok maybe this cake stuff is alright…oh yeah–sugar buzzes are THE BEST!!” –Isabella

Yep, she got over her hesitations and pretty much dove right in!! This picture just cracks me up.

Happy Birthday sweet Isabella!

As always, you can “like” this post below to share on Facebook, scroll over any image to “Pin It” to Pinterest, and leave a comment below to show us some love! Thanks for checking out Isabella’s cake smash and birthday portraits!

–Amy

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  1. Sarai Bennett says:

    Captured my little family’s special day so perfect! Thank you so much Amy!

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Sarah + Chad’s Greenville SC Wedding

Sarah and Chad’s  Greenville SC wedding was the perfect mix of them: bright and vibrant, caring and attuned to others, fun yet serious. Sarah and her bridesmaids danced in the bridal suite to her wedding day playlist while Chad adjusted his pinstripe suit and visited with family and friends. She was a pop of color with her red lipstick, giving air-kisses to all, and he listened closely to the marriage advice given by his 10 year old soon-to-be nephew. During their wedding ceremony, they served their friends and family communion, symbolizing Jesus’ sacrifice and service to us. He beamed at her after they were pronounced husband and wife, and she held him as they swayed to music only they heard.  It was such a pleasure to get to know this couple, who, like my own husband and I, took their time in life finding one another…and their love and their connection is made all the more sweet because of the wait.

Introducing Sarah + Chad, Just Married!

Sarah’s dress from Bravura Bridal Salon was the perfect amounts of sparkle and lace. It was beautiful to photograph, and I just love this verse that’s engraved on the beams of their church.

Weddings are such a special time to incorporate meaningful heirlooms to honor beloved family members. Sarah wore her late Grandmother’s ring and carried the “something blue” handkerchief that her Grandfather purchased from the commissary during WWII and gave to her Grandmother. I love these special details. I also love just how delicate and timeless Sarah’s engagement ring and wedding band are. Just beautiful! (Good job, Chad!!)

All of the ladies’ wedding day jewelry was custom designed. I’m a girl who loves a bit of sparkle, and these iridescent colors were PERFECT with all of the color that Sarah chose for her bridesmaids’ dresses.

Barrett’s Flowers in Taylors SC created bouquets and boutonnieres that were full of sunshine and bright colors. I loved them! Sarah also incorporated more sweet memories of her Grandmother into her bouquet, but having Barrett’s tuck her Grandmother’s sparkly earrings into the flowers.

“Getting Ready” photos have become one of my favorite times to be artistic during the wedding day. I love the way the light and shadows highlight the anticipation and energy as a woman transforms into a bride It’s a beautiful thing to capture.

There’s something about the veil that makes it all real and complete. (And if a bride ever asks me “Should I wear my veil??” the answer is always, always YES!!! I looooove a veil!)

So this image may not be technically “perfect,” but I love it so much anyway. THIS is Sarah. She is confident and joyous, and she was READY to get married!!

A little hallway dancing with her sweet flower girl and ring bearer. How cute are they??

Chad describes becoming smitten with Sarah on their first date: “When I first met Sarah, I was confronted with a beautiful, intelligent, thoughtful, and caring woman. Long flowing locks and bright eyes looked across the table as we talked for hours…closing down the PF Chang’s where we dined. Everything clicked right away and it felt as if I was reuniting with a long lost companion.”

I think this sequence with Sarah and her Dad is just so cute! Because Sarah and Chad live out of state, her parents were responsible for lots of the wedding planning. Her Dad was so sweet and involved and helpful. He also [reluctantly] admits that he got really good at saying “How much do I write the check for?” and “Whatever you want, dear.” 😉

Sarah knew exactly what she wanted when it came to her bridesmaids’ dresses: COLOR! This group of ladies was so fun and vibrant, and their dresses and flowers were the perfect fit. I cannot get over how beautifully their colors pop on camera! I love that Sarah was bold and unapologetic in her choices for their wedding. Taking design risks pays off big time!

Now let’s be clear: the bold design and fashion sense doesn’t end with the girls! Chad and his groomsmen were super sharp in their gray suits and purple accents, and I seriously love Chad’s pinstripes and pops of red.

Chad and some of his Groomsmen. My favorite is totally the middle image of nephew Jackson, who was very serious when I asked if he had any marriage advice for Chad. I would love to know what was being said here!

Chad and his beautiful Moms. I love these looks of pride on their faces.

Sweet, sweet, sweet Mama’s love.

When Sarah was describing Chad to me, she said that she mosts loves his “patience, kindness, and thoughtfulness and strong sense of caring for those around him.”  I love how these portraits reflect that peace abut him.

I always ask my second photographer to go on into the sanctuary to capture the bride and her dad coming into the church, and that’s because *I* want to stick around for those final sweet moments between the bride and her dad.

Sarah grew up in the Lutheran Church of Our Savior, and her parents also got married here! I loved the beautiful architecture and bold stained glass windows.

Another of my favorite times on a couple’s wedding is what I call “Glow Time.” If a couple doesn’t do a First Look before their ceremony, those few minutes after they walk up the aisle are the FIRST time of the day that they are together without being in front of the whole church. These moments are when they can get lost in their own little world and let it sink in that they’re actually, finally married! I ask all of my couples to carve out a few minutes just for them to celebrate in their own way. The next few images are from Sarah and Chad’s Glow Time, and I just love how in tune to each other they are.

Although every couple celebrates their Glow Time a little differently, it’s nearly universal for them to take a peek at their hands and new bling!

Another hallmark of my approach to weddings is capturing “real moments and true emotions.” I will always, always get that smiling-at-the-camera Christmas card shot, but I love to give folks a space to laugh and giggle and snuggle in ways that are fun and relaxed. This shot of Sarah and Chad’s wedding party is such a fun moment!

These colors and sweet family/friends are just gorgeous!!

I crack up every time I see this photo. 🙂 I love all the variety of expressions in the background!!

 

It warms my heart to see the way that in-love couples look at each other.

“I feel that I am my most balanced and best self [with him]. I don’t change to be what he wants as he accepts me for who I am, flaws and all!….I am always ‘home’ with him.” –Sarah

“Sarah has all the perfect attributes and we fit together in such a beautiful way….I’ve never felt so loved nor felt so much love for another.” –Chad

I always have a “super-favorite” from every wedding, I think this is it from Sarah and Chad’s!

Sarah and Chad’s reception was at Thornblade Country Club, and the ballroom was filled with so many loved ones, many who had traveled long distances to help celebrate.

The Boomers from East Coast Entertainment kept the dance floor hopping for this Greenville SC wedding reception. Live bands are so fun!

Paul Hoke from Heirloom Entertainment was the MC for the evening, and he brought several special touches that I just loved.  One was special introductions as each of the wedding party were introduced. It was neat for guests to get to know more about these important members of the wedding day. Another was retelling Sarah and Chad’s love story, seen below.

My favorite part of the reception, something that Heirloom Entertainment arranged, was for Sarah and Chad to have a “last Last Dance.” After the band played their final song, Megan from Thornblade guided the guests downstairs to line up for the rose petal exit. Sarah and Chad (and of course me and my camera) stayed in the ballroom so they could have one final dance on their wedding day…a few minutes alone in a day that is hectic and hurried yet all about them…some time to reflect on their day, in their reception space, and soak in the last moments of this incredible day that was filled with amazing moments.

Sarah and Chad, I am so glad to know you through your wedding. Watching you love each other and love your friends and family so well was a beautiful thing. I wish you a lifetime of love and joy together.

–Amy

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