Turkey hunt musings

I keep writing and deleting and writing and deleting. My feelings about guns are complicated. Our world is complicated. There is so much that needs to change. As a mother and a thoughtful human being, I support everything about the movement to curb gun violence. How can anyone not.

As paradoxes go, I also support turkey hunting. I joined my husband and son Saturday morning and it was something special. Creek rolled out of bed at 5:30 ready to go. Apple juice, blanket, extra diapers, binoculars and his Nerf gun. We trekked through the quiet dark woods and set up shop in a tent on the edge of a field. We whispered and waited. The sun came up. No gobblers, just a hen and a crow. Nothing to shoot. But Creek was learning. He was absorbing all the sounds and nuances of the nature around us. Rem was teaching him how to call for birds and how to sit patiently. He soaked it all in. When we decided it was time to go, he took a few shots at the decoy with his Nerf gun and we had a good laugh. No turkey dinner for us but I’m so thankful my son is growing up outdoors with these types of experiences.

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Kelly & Steven :: A Homemade Wedding in Durham

Without a doubt, one of my favorite weddings. Kelly and Steven were married on a November afternoon at their home in Durham. The day was full of personal touches. Friends baked bread and made soups and strung up lights outside. A special lady made their cake and the most delicious raspberry sauce to spoon on top. Their cats roamed about and their favorite songs played all day. Kelly and Steven were the most beautiful, generous hosts to their loved ones and to me. It was a day for the books and an honor to document. 

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Brown Family

Geez! Almost three months since my last blog post. Spring has been full of shooting, editing, mothering, building a house and finding time for myself here and there too. Not to mention a jaunt to New Orleans for an incredible learning experience with some of the most talented photographers in the country. I don't want anymore time to pass though without sharing a few recent family sessions that completely fill my heart. This is one of them.

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Wyoming

The last time I was in Jackson Hole, my six-month-old Creek was in my arms so I managed a lot of scenic snuggles but only a handful of iPhone snaps. More recently though, we were there with friends and child-free so I was basically as happy as could be hiking, exploring and taking pictures whenever I darn well pleased. We ate and drank and listened to some really really good music. It was heaven. Truth be told, our trip was back in September but I'm just now finding the time to share on my blog. 

A note about the woman pictured below in crazy leggings and socks: She was all of 80 years old, face full of deep wrinkles, and out hiking alone with her dog named Winner Winner Chicken Dinner. She was an artist with a pottery studio in town. We chatted a while on the trail and I so wish I'd had the courage to ask to photograph her. Instead, I turned and snapped one as we parted ways. Lesson learned. 

Sutton Family

This beautiful family of four invited me to go sailing with them a few Sundays ago on the Pamlico River. It brought back all kinds of memories as I had not been on a sailboat since my summers at Camp Seafarer and then again as a teenager on a trip through the BVI's. Sailing is a pretty magical experience and I kind of fell in love with it all over again - even on our bitter cold day! Brooks and Lee and their little ones have been making memories on Jeanie B for more than a decade and I love that I got to hop aboard for a ride. 

Baby Jack

I met and photographed adorable baby Jack at just three weeks old. I've known his mama for a long time which made our session extra special. We shared a lot of laughs which is basically just the only sensible way to handle life with a newborn. It was a great afternoon. 

Taft Family

Ahhh six months old is such a wonderful little age. Thomas has so much personality and the best expressions. His parents love him so dearly and they are quickly becoming one of my favorite little families to photograph. We had such a good morning together. 

Rachel & Michael

I spent an evening with these two in Pink Hill this past October making some pretty pictures before they say "I do" in the spring. We had the best time exploring around special old buildings and cotton fields. Rachel and Michael are so warm and so kind and so crazy about each other and their wedding can't get here fast enough. It's going to be a good one!

Moore Family

I photographed this beautiful family for the third time in November and love the images too much not to share on the blog. So, I'm finally getting around to it! The three little ones are such individuals with the sweetest personalities. We explored all around outdoors at the North Carolina Museum of Art. A perfect fall day it was!

Andrews Family

This past fall I photographed Austin and her two boys at a special little house on the river in Bayview. It was a great evening just letting the boys play and explore and do their thing - and for me, enjoying a cocktail with their mama. (There's really nothing I love more than drinking on the job.) It was my third time photographing these kiddos and that makes me very happy. 

Molly & Todd

Well, blogging has taken a backseat lately to shooting and editing and holiday-ing and mothering. But, I'm back now and kicking things off with some images from my first engagement session of the year with Molly and Todd at Lake Crabtree. We had a beautiful afternoon together and now I'm basically just counting the days until their fall vineyard wedding in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Valenzuela Family

I had the pleasure of photographing this beautiful family several weeks ago in Zebulon. They wore pink in honor of Patricia's fight against breast cancer. Patricia works long hours cleaning rooms in the Heart Center at Wake Med and yet maintains the most incredible spirit. She and her husband Salomon, both from El Salvador, are raising two kind, smart girls and I loved so much being with them at their home. Before I left, Patricia asked Salomon to snap a picture of us together in their living room. She said she wanted to save it in her journal which all but put tears in my eyes. Beautiful people right here. 

Emily & Kevin

This pretty mama was literally glowing the other night during our maternity session. I met her and her husband Kevin at the art museum in Raleigh and we had the best time together. Pregnancy is one of my most favorite seasons to document. 

Hogan Family

I love this family and I loved my night with them several weeks ago at the beach. Here's a little peek at our time together. The first photo? Cohen may or may not have been sizing me up like a buck. 

Taft Family

An adorable baby, a sweet dog and a gorgeous light-filled home are what make my job not a job. New parents madly in love with their fresh little boy creature are the icing on top. I love everything about this beautiful newborn session. 

Proctor Family

I have all the feels for this recent family session in Greenville. Jordan and Rocky are so authentic and beautiful and interesting and did not care even a little bit that sweat was running down their faces. They played with and loved on their three precious children a few nights ago at Jordan's parents' house while I documented. It was everything I love.

South River

Naked babies, late afternoon sunlight and a water hose are pretty much the only ingredients needed for a memorable summer weekend. Creek and his cousin Julia played their hearts out not long ago at my husband's family's special old house in South River - set just off the Neuse across from Oriental. Homemade strawberry icecream and well-poured gin and tonics were other good ingredients.