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durham nc engagement photography | krystina & justin
durham nc engagement photography | krystina & justin
Autumn is upon us and that means it's peak season for weddings and engagement sessions! The vast majority of people who book me mention they do so as they like my use of available light and my documentary style, but also want a few relaxed portraits together. Obviously, when we take photos like this, the whole documentary approach has to go out of the window, but I do want my engagement photos to capture the true personalities and dynamics of each couple and their relationships. To do this, I look for the light, position my couples in that light, and then throw out some ideas in order to get a reaction, or not, as the case may be. I also try ... READ MORE
monumental church & vmfa richmond wedding – mary catherine & peter
monumental church & vmfa richmond wedding – mary catherine & peter
I shoot most of my weddings in Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill, so it was really great to get the chance for a change of scenery and head up to Richmond for Mary Catherine and Peter's Monumental Church & VMFA Richmond wedding a few weeks ago. You'll see from the photos that there was quite a variety to the look and feel of each of the settings throughout the day. From the getting ready at the salon and the hotel, through to the ceremony at the Monumental Church (built in 1814) and the reception in the Marble Hall of the VMFA, it really was a photographer's dream. As always, I took a very photojournalistic approach to photographing ... READ MORE
carolina inn & duke chapel wedding – kathleen & michael
carolina inn & duke chapel wedding – kathleen & michael
Happy New Year, everyone! What better way to head into the home straight of my 2018 season and kick off the blog for 2019 than with a classic in the form of Kathleen & Michael's Carolina Inn & Duke Chapel wedding? This truly was a gorgeous day in all senses of the word:  beautiful venues, fabulous weather, and lovely people - it truly had it all. Carolina Inn & Duke Chapel weddings are always a highlight of my calendar, so it was great to get the chance to photograph a Christmas wedding there with all the festive decorations on show. Erin and I started the day with Kathleen & Michael at the Carolina Inn, where they were ... READ MORE
holy name of jesus cathedral wedding – erin & mike
holy name of jesus cathedral wedding – erin & mike
Wow! How can September be here already? This summer seems to have totally flown by and I've just realised it's been ages since I've blogged. So, let's fix that right away. Today, it's back to Raleigh for Erin and Mike's beautiful Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral wedding from a few weeks back. I love weddings of all types, but I have to admit I'm a bit of a sucker for church weddings. Especially so when they take place in a church as awe-inspiring as the Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral in downtown Raleigh. It may be a modern building, but it retains a lot of the character of older churches and its classic architecture, high ceilings and vast dome ... READ MORE
duke gardens durham wedding photography – anh & david
duke gardens durham wedding photography – anh & david
Regular visitors to my website will know I love working on Duke Gardens weddings and it was such a treat to photograph Anh & David's wedding there a few weeks back. But rather than me tell you about it, here's Anh herself with a quick recap of how she found me and how the planning and the day itself  went down: "I am the kind of bride who puts a lot of time and effort into researching each and every vendor till I find a perfect match. I rank my wedding vendors in an excel spreadsheet and Joe was my number one choice in the photographer category. My husband and I planned our wedding on a moderate budget but we knew we had to prioritize ... READ MORE
historic wakefield barn wedding – hannah & wayne
historic wakefield barn wedding – hannah & wayne
A quick post and run today as I am heading out for a double-header weekend of events. But I couldn't let the weekend pass without posting some of my favourites from Hannah & Wayne's Historic Wakefield Barn wedding from last month. With Hannah hailing from England and Wayne from right here in the USA, two families came together from either side of the pond to make a truly unique event. Even the rain showers through the day brought their own special charm to the proceedings. Definitely made the English continent feel at home! I want to give a special shout-out to Blake and the team at Souther Oak Events for putting on such an amazing day ... READ MORE
melrose knitting mill wedding photography – johnique & derrick
melrose knitting mill wedding photography – johnique & derrick
Hi everyone! So, here we are – spring is finally here and the 2019 wedding season is well and truly underway. I’m really happy for 2 reasons: 1) the sun is out and 2) I’ve just finished working on this beautiful Melrose Knitting Mill wedding photography from a few weeks back. Johnique and Derrick’s was actually the first of two weddings I shot at Melrose that same weekend. It’s not often I shoot two consecutive weddings at the same venue, so I think this gives me a great opportunity to maybe show two very different, but equally beautiful weddings back-to-back. I always strive to capture the personality and uniqueness of each of my coupl ... READ MORE
21c museum hotel durham wedding – kortne & terry
21c museum hotel durham wedding – kortne & terry
I closed out 2018 right back at the very spot I began the year last January: the fab 21c Museum Hotel in downtown Durham, NC. Back then it was for Brandy & Gabe's big day, this time it was for Kortne & Terry's 21c Museum Hotel wedding, which just happened to fall on New Year's Eve. So I saw in the New Year with this fabulous couple and the party was still raging when I left around 1am. Kortne & Terry had mentioned they wanted a Gatsby theme for their wedding and the vintage vibe of the night, along with the classic look of Kortne's dress and Terry's white tuxedo jacket definitely came through in the images. Big congrats and tha ... READ MORE
duke gardens engagement session – nikki & john
duke gardens engagement session – nikki & john
It's been a while since I shared an engagement session and I've shot quite a few over the last few weeks. So let's put that right! Here's a Duke Gardens engagement session I photographed a few weeks ago. I've known Nikki for a few years through some corporate work I did a few years back with what is now The Pink Ceiling. So I was really pleased when, a few months back, I heard that she'd got engaged to John and wanted me to photograph her wedding for her. As I always like to do, we met up at a bar for a few drinks to chat and loosen up a bit before heading over to the gardens. I like to make it a natural progression from when we meet to wh ... READ MORE
melrose knitting mill wedding – melanie & anthony
melrose knitting mill wedding – melanie & anthony
Another day and we're back for another Melrose Knitting Mill wedding for Melanie and Anthony's nuptials. I'd met with Melanie and Anthony last summer for their rainy engagement session and I was really looking forward to their big day. In my last post featuring Johnique & Derrick's wedding day, which was also at Melrose, I mentioned the fact I thought it might be a good idea for me to use the fact I was shooting back-to-back days at the same venue to highlight how each couple's character and personality influences the look and feel of their photos. I don't necessarily come into the day knowing how that is going to pan out, but I often ... READ MORE
biltmore wedding photographer – anneké & andrew
biltmore wedding photographer – anneké & andrew
Simply a beautiful wedding day with a very sweet couple who are very obviously very much in love with each other. Anneke & Andrew were married at the Lioncrest at Biltmore. This was my first Biltmore wedding and I hope it's the first of many. The day was beautifully planned by Shayla and her brilliant team at Sharpe Pursuits. I was ably assisted my good friend and compatriot Richard Israel. Here are just a few of my favourites that tell the story of the day. READ MORE
planning your wedding photography, part 1 – the getting ready
planning your wedding photography, part 1 – the getting ready
Background My main aim when photographing a wedding is for your wedding photos to tell the authentic story of your big day, the moments that make it unique and the relationships between people. That being said, it really does pay to plan ahead and have everything lined up so the day flows as expected and your photographs turn out the best they possibly can. Just a little forethought can make a big difference so that you can come into your day as relaxed and stress-free as possible. Even if you've considered hiring a wedding planner or day-of coordinator, it'll be good for you to know where your photographer's thinking lies and how you can le ... READ MORE
pavilion at carriage farm wedding – ashley & devon
pavilion at carriage farm wedding – ashley & devon
Early last month, I headed out to photograph my first ever Pavilion at Carriage Farm wedding for the lovely Ashley & Devon. After the excitement of the weather we had in September, I was pleased to see the forecast and that we were going to be blessed with a beautiful sunny day out in the countryside. I met up with Ashley and her bridesmaids in the bridal suite at the venue while Erin headed over to hang out with Devon and his entourage. As I say, I'd never shot at the Pavilion at Carriage Farm before. If you've never seen it, it really is a great venue with a lot of clean, directional natural light, especially in the bridal suite. If ... READ MORE
bishop’s bay country club destination wedding – abby & chad
bishop’s bay country club destination wedding – abby & chad
I first met Abby & Chad last autumn when they booked me for their Duke Gardens engagement session. I do get quite a few clients who are getting married in other states who just want an engagement session. So it was really flattering when Abby & Chad contacted me after the shoot to ask me if I would be willing to fly up to Wisconsin to photograph their wedding. I don't class myself as a destination wedding photographer per se. I spent many years travelling internationally on a weekly basis when I worked in sales and marketing, so, nowadays, I'm happy shooting weddings close to home so I can be with my wife and kids. Of course, being En ... READ MORE
angus barn wedding – tyler & blake
angus barn wedding – tyler & blake
Tyler & Blake were married at a beautiful sunset ceremony by the lake at the Pavilion at Angus Barn. I met with up with Tyler at her home where she and her bridesmaids were getting ready. It's always great fun hanging out with the girls and we had a lot of quality time to take some detail shots of the dress, shoes, etc. while they were getting their hair and makeup done. We then stepped outside for some group photos of the bridesmaids and individual shots with the bride before heading back in for some individual portraits using the gorgeous window light at Tyler's house. The Angus Barn is always a beautiful place to get married and we ... READ MORE
angle amphitheater at duke gardens wedding – katherine & andy
angle amphitheater at duke gardens wedding – katherine & andy
They say rain on your wedding day is good luck, which is great news for Katherine & Andy given that we dodged thunder storms pretty much all day for their outdoor Duke Gardens wedding ceremony a few weeks ago. Everything was looking fine in the morning, but the grey skies rolled in right as we got to the gardens and pretty much all our plans for the first look and portraits before the ceremony had to be pushed back by about an hour. Luckily, the skies eventually cleared and we were able to get outside and make some beautiful images. I love bright, sunny days, but, as en Englishman, I have a very soft spot for rainy days too!  The grey ... READ MORE
village chapel & pinehurst resort wedding – melissa & matt
village chapel & pinehurst resort wedding – melissa & matt
I really can't think of a way I could possibly have put a better ribbon on the first half of 2018 than with Melissa & Matt's gorgeous Village Chapel & Pinehurst Resort wedding on the last weekend of June. Anyone who follows this blog will know I'm a bit of a sucker for church weddings and the Village Chapel in the heart of Pinehurst is a really lovely venue to get married in. This wedding was really unique though, as the officiant in the Catholic ceremony was none other than Deacon Don Longano - who also happens to be Melissa's dad! With such a personal element to the ceremony, it really was very special indeed with plenty of great ad ... READ MORE
duke gardens wedding photography – lauren & ricky
duke gardens wedding photography – lauren & ricky
Summer is upon us and I've just got back from my home country of England where I spent a fortnight travelling around the country catching up with friends and family. So now it's time to catch up on work and for me to share a recent wedding that I shot at Duke Gardens for the fabulous Lauren & Ricky. As you can see, we were blessed with wonderful weather for their outdoor ceremony and reception and the day went by in a total blur. Luckily, the photos do a great job of telling the story of the day, which it's what it's all about after all. A huge shout-out to the great people who came together to make it such a fabulous day: Ceremony ... READ MORE
downtown durham engagement photography – melanie & anthony
downtown durham engagement photography – melanie & anthony
Rain Stops Play - Well, actually it was the catalyst for a really fun (and different) engagement shoot with Melanie and Anthony. We met up at West End Wine Bar in Durham and were on our way out when the heavens opened and a summer rainstorm was suddenly unleashed upon us. It was a total downpour, so we headed back inside. The original plan was to wait it out, but as the rain never looked like letting up, we switched gears and started using the environment we were in for some portraits. Melanie and Anthony had originally wanted a vintage Hollywood vibe for their engagement session anyway, so we walked to some of the cool spots in downtown Durh ... READ MORE
duke chapel & cotton room wedding photographer – hannah & andrew
duke chapel & cotton room wedding photographer – hannah & andrew
Wedding season is in full swing and it's been super busy around these parts, but I'm coming up for air with a quick blog post from Hannah and Andrew's beautiful spring wedding which took place at Duke Chapel and The Cotton Room just up the road in Durham, NC. My first stop for the day was the King's Daughter's Inn where Hannah, her family and her bridesmaids were getting ready. The Trinity Suite is such a great room to get ready in as it has a lovely sunroom with an abundance of natural light. From there we headed over to Duke Gardens for Hannah and Andrew's first look. It was threatening to rain and we had a back-up plan for the first loo ... READ MORE
may-lew farm wedding photography –  macy & jordan
may-lew farm wedding photography –  macy & jordan
Macy & Jordan had a gorgeous wedding last month out in the Eastern NC countryside near Farmville. The amazing May-Lew Farm provided the backdrop for the ceremony and reception and the ceremony took place just down the road at the Farmville United Methodist Church.  It was a beautiful day in two amazing locations and a lot of fun was had by all! Here are just a few of my faves from Macy & Jordan's day. Congratulations to the happy couple!! READ MORE
good shepherd & melrose knitting mill wedding – lauren & dennis
good shepherd & melrose knitting mill wedding – lauren & dennis
Well, what a fun day this was! Lauren and Dennis's Good Shepherd & Melrose Knitting Mill wedding!! Lauren and Dennis live out in California, so I actually met them for the very first time on their wedding day. Till then we'd been talking via email and a Skype meeting. Even through our limited communication, though, I could tell they were a really cool couple. And this was finally confirmed when I rocked up to The Church of the Good Shepherd in downtown Raleigh and finally got to hang out with them. And what better day to do that than their wedding day? This was my first time shooting at the Good Shepherd and what a beautiful church it ... READ MORE
st. mary’s & umstead wedding photographer – sarah & jake
st. mary’s & umstead wedding photographer – sarah & jake
Sarah & Jake were married back in February in a beautiful, intimate ceremony at St. Mary's School Chapel in downtown Raleigh followed by a full-on party at their reception at The Umstead. These are two amazing venues for a wedding: Built in 1855, St. Mary's Chapel has a fabulous vintage feel to it, which beautifully complemented Sarah's dress and Jake's classic tuxedo look. Conversely, The Umstead, which opened its doors in 2007, is a super modern design with sleek, elegant architecture that provides a fabulous backdrop for the getting ready and wedding reception part of the day. I really enjoyed photographing the fusion of the feel of th ... READ MORE
parker j pfister’s french revolution workshop review
parker j pfister’s french revolution workshop review
Hi everyone! I'm just getting back from a week in an 11th century French château with 11 other photographers having my melon twisted by the amazing, inspiring Parker J Pfister, gentleman, scholar and artistic genius. Those who know me know I love spending time stepping back and recharging my creative and artistic batteries whenever I can and this was a great opportunity to do so surrounded by a group of fellow creatives and professionals. Over the course of 7 days, we dived deep, unpacked our mental luggage, analyzed our artistic selves, dreamt up some crazy visions, learnt new techniques, ran amok through an abandoned abbey, communed with ... READ MORE
river landing country club wedding – megan & chad
river landing country club wedding – megan & chad
OK, so this River Landing Country Club wedding is going to be the final wedding to hit the blog in 2017, and, as far as I'm concerned, it's a great way to wrap up the year. Yes, it's a bit of a corker! Let's see: Fab bride and groom? Check! Awesome wedding party? Check!! Beautiful locations? Check!!! T-Rex first dance? CHECK!!! The list goes on... Megan and Chad were really great to work with. Megan is a photographer herself, so I was very flattered when she reached out to me to ask me to shoot her wedding. Given that she lives in VA, we pretty much planned everything via phone and email and hadn't actually met till the wedding day itse ... READ MORE
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