And, just like that, we’re already headlong into August. It’s been whirlwind of a year so far, and I’m still very much catching up on my blogging. This is a wedding from May that marked my second ever St Mary Coptic Church & Prestonwood CC wedding combo. Considering we also started the day at downtown Cary’s Mayton Inn, we had a really great combination of venues to work in. I really enjoyed the diversity of the imagery I was able to create for Pina & AJ.
How it all started:
Pina & AJ met back in the summer of 2017 when Pina first moved to NC from NYC for med school. She didn’t know anyone and met AJ at the church they were later to get married in. The relationship was a slow burn to get started, but then Pina recounts:
“When I finished my first year of medical school, I was going back home for the summer and I had a trip planned to Greece with my friends. I was telling AJ this and he jokingly asked if I could get him something “Greeky” while I was there. Then he sent me a text saying: “I want to see you before you leave.” In my head, I was, like, “What?! This must mean something!”, but I had no idea what to make of it.
And so I did manage to see him at our fellowship meeting that week right before I left for 10 weeks. Then on my last day in Greece, something made me text AJ (probably a little crush I had): “Did you really want something Greeky?” And a few hours later, I was on a mission to find him an “aluminum or wooden cross ” to wear around his neck. Gosh, is he picky!
Four weeks later, I am back in NC and I go to the fellowship meeting on Friday and run into AJ. I tell him I forgot his cross and I will bring it on Sunday. AJ then says, “Oh, that’s no problem. I can just come get it.” Mind you, I live an hour away, so I thought he was just joking!
The next morning, I get a text from him saying he wanted to stop by and pick up his cross. Umm, what!? Why is he coming when I told him I would bring it? I start panicking and the first thing I do is call my dad (only child problems). My dad tells me to relax and just go meet him at a coffee shop. And so I did and gave him his cross.
We talked a lot that day, got to know each other and I showed him around my campus.
Fast-forward 17 days later, AJ asked me to dinner, and that was our very first date. And the rest is history.”
Why Joe Payne Photography?
“We searched and searched for a photographer for what seemed like forever. We reached out to many, looked at many portfolios and nothing seemed to really stand out. Though they were all good, their photos weren’t unique. When we came across your photos, they seemed different. They stood out in a way that is honestly hard to describe (probably because I don’t know all the technical photography terms). Your photos look natural yet very eloquent. Your work resembles that of passion, dedication and hard work, yet at the same time, looks effortlessly beautiful. You seem to capture couples in their natural state. We are hoping to see lots of smiles and unnoticed captured moments of love and joy. I would also love to see some of those mysterious pictures of the couple that you seem to be very talented at! We hope to see Joe Payne at work and doing his thing :)”
And how was your experience?
“Simply put, we valued our wedding photos as the most important piece of our whole wedding. We fell in love with Joe’s photos the instant we viewed his gallery on his page. Joe was very responsive and answered all of our questions. He talked with us and made sure he understood our vision. He is a phenomenal photographer and his work is so evident of this. His style is so unique because he captures details and moments you may be completely unaware of. His photos spell out a perfect story. He is so passionate about what he does and we loved having him. We highly highly recommend, you will have no regrets!”
Ceremony: St. Mary Coptic Orthodox Church / Reception, Catering & Cake: Prestonwood Country Club / Planner: The Royal Ribbon / Accommodations: The Mayton Inn / Florist: Fresh Affairs / DJ: Dynamic Excitement / Dresses: Lana Addison Bridal / Tuxedo: Indochino / Hair: Melissa Dunn / Makeup: In God’s Image / Limo: Lifestyle Limousine / Vintage Car: Carolina Classic Car Rentals / Videographer: Morgan Scott Films / Assistant Photographer: Steve Jamroz
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