Olivia and Caleb - Newlyweds at Max Patch

Olivia and Caleb - Newlyweds at Max Patch

Wow! I haven’t blogged in SO LONG. We’ve been busy photographing and filming births, weddings, and sessions, but I’m finally emerging from the haze of busy season to bring you a glimpse into this BEAUTIFUL day with two absolutely beautiful people.

Grayson's Newborn Session

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Grayson's Newborn Session

It’s always such an honor when people I know approach me to photograph them and their little ones. This session was no exception. I met Kayla on the first day of kindergarten, and we were quickly best friends. This lasted through elementary school. We saw each other through dance recitals, cheerleading, and summers spent exploring the outdoors from sunrise to sundown. Our different interests and new friends in high school drew us slowly away from each other, but we shared the same first job as teenagers, and to this day we’ve always kept in touch. When she reached out to me over Facebook about capturing her little guy’s newborn photos, I couldn’t have been more excited to see her and play a small part in this new stage of her life.

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Heather's Mountaintop Maternity Session

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Heather's Mountaintop Maternity Session

Heather’s maternity session had to be postponed due to a huge thunderstorm with a tornado warning (not ideal portrait weather…), but the few days of waiting was totally worth it! She and her sweet family joined me on the most beautiful spring day in one of the most beautiful locations in the high country for a session full of giggles, rock climbing adventures, and baby belly cuddles.

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Olivia & Caleb   |   Amity Creek Farms   |   Granite Falls, NC Wedding

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Olivia & Caleb | Amity Creek Farms | Granite Falls, NC Wedding

Emotional. Spiritual. Joyful.

These three words are the first that come to mind when I think about Olivia and Caleb’s gorgeous wedding. Their wedding was only a few days ago, but I’m already glued to my computer screen editing away. I just can’t help myself. Every little detail was perfection. SO. MUCH. PRETTY. But why would I tell you about it when you can see for yourself…

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Willow's Birth, NICU Life, and Our Time at the Ronald McDonald House

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Willow's Birth, NICU Life, and Our Time at the Ronald McDonald House

Looking back on the birth of our daughter has me flooded with emotions I’ve buried for over a year now. She turned one year old a few days ago, and only now am I able to edit and share the photos from her time in NICU. I remember looking through the photos I took within a few days of finally getting home from the hospital, but the pain was too recent to relive. But now, over a year later, I’m excited to share Willow’s birth story and hope it gives fellow NICU parents comfort that they’re not alone and that there’s plenty of life ahead outside of the hospital walls.

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Laney   |   3-Year Portrait Session   |   Valle Crucis, North Carolina

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Laney | 3-Year Portrait Session | Valle Crucis, North Carolina

I’ve had the privilege of photographing sweet little Laney since her newborn photos. Every year, her family joins me for a portrait session. This year was a little bittersweet. Their pup Rivers, the sweetest dog on the planet, passed away before our yearly session. While we missed Rivers’ sweet presence, seeing how Laney has grown over the past year was incredible. She’s so full of joy, a true free spirit. We spent our time together twirling in the field, playing in a cold creek, and basking in one of our first spring sunsets of the year.

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Hilary & John's Blue Ridge Engagement Session

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Hilary & John's Blue Ridge Engagement Session

These two lovebirds journeyed from Chicago to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina for their engagement photos, and believe me when I say that this session will go down in history as the most playful, musical, down-to-earth 2 hours of my career. We laughed, sat on very uncomfortable rocks, and made a few puppy dog friends along the trail. Oh, and did I mention that John brought his favorite guitar along, too. And can that boy play or what! Needless to say, this was a session I’ll remember forever.

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Burke's 2nd Birthday Photos on the Blue Ridge Parkway

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Burke's 2nd Birthday Photos on the Blue Ridge Parkway

As a photographer, sessions on the Blue Ridge Parkway have my HEART! Adorable baby - or should I say “big boy” - Burke turned 2 in February, so I joined him and his growing family right off the Blue Ridge Parkway for some portraits to capture this sweet transitional time in their life together.

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Emily and Spencer's Linville Falls Engagement Session

Emily and Spencer's Linville Falls Engagement Session

You can’t go wrong with an engagement session that requires hiking boots! Steven and I met up with these two at Linville Falls. We hiked to the base of the waterfall and back before heading down a bumpy (to put it mildly) road to a stunning view of the mountains above and gorge below.

Sabrina & Blake   |   02.02.19

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Sabrina & Blake | 02.02.19

Sabrina and Blake have such a sweet dynamic - and that really showed through with their “first touch” before their wedding ceremony. But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself… Just take a good look at this gorgeousness from their wedding at The Warehouse in Hickory, NC, and see for yourself just how much these two adore one another…

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What is a "First 48" Session?

What is a "First 48" Session?

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I’m sure any mama can relate to the momentous feeling of responsibility,
happiness, and overwhelming love the first moment you hold the little life you
created. I felt this immense need and responsibility to capture my son’s first days of life. He was growing, changing, and developing with every moment of every day, and I was desperate to hold onto moments I knew I’d never get back.

The magic of professional photography allows us to pause these sweet moments in time and relive them forever. First 48 sessions take place sometime within – you guessed it – the first two days of the newborn’s life. I feel so honored to be let into the sacred space of safety, warmth, and love surrounding a new little family, and my heart is warmed with the knowledge that the moments I’m able to capture for my families are ones they’ll treasure forever.


Here are a few reasons why you might consider a “First 48” session:


1. This is a special transition time for your family.

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I know from experience that the love you and your spouse share before having a child is a world different than the love between you from the moment you become parents. Steven became much more than my husband and my best friend in those first days as “Mommy” and “Daddy.” He was my caregiver when I couldn’t stand by myself. He was my rock when our son was put in NICU less than an hour after birth. He provided more love and support than I thought anyone was capable of giving. Our love grew as much in those first days after Landon’s birth as it had grown in the 7 years we had been together, and I wish I had more photos of us together to document that special shift in our bond.


2. For the first few days, taking photos will be the last thing on your mind.


Capturing the sweet chaos of the first few days of your baby’s life is so
important. Looking back, the days surrounding my son’s birth were a blur of labor, nurses and doctors, learning to breastfeed, acclimating to my new role as a mommy, and welcoming guests. I barely had enough time to shower, much less spend time taking photos.


3. Professional photos are timeless.


In this day of cellphone portrait mode, attachable phone lenses, and Instagram filters, digital photos are easy to come by. Thousands of photos are shared daily over social media, and selfies are more common than studio portraits. Progressing technology is a beautiful thing, but what are we losing in the process?

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We are sacrificing timeless treasures in exchange for small file sizes and trends of the moment. Cell phone shots are poor quality and can’t be printed without pixilation. In short, they aren’t timeless. On the other hand, professional photos are just that: professional – in both style and durability. Prints provide you with memories you can physically hold onto and pass down to future generations. When it comes to the photo files themselves, I save every file from every session indefinitely, so they’re yours for life.


4. Step out from behind the camera to be present in the moment.


This is one I’ve had to learn the hard way. Rather than try to snap quick cell phone shots of your little one between visits from family and nurses, breastfeeding sessions, and precious moments of sleep, why not give that responsibility to someone else? While you may not typically enjoy being in front of the camera, you’ll be so glad you relinquished the responsibility of photographing your little one. And years down the road when you look back at the photos from your baby’s first days, your child will see snapshots of cuddles with Mommy and Daddy – not just blurry, pixelated cell phone images of him or her alone.


5. Share a beautiful, genuine representation of your memories with friends and family.

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The first few days as a newly formed family are precious, so many parents choose to limit visitors to focus on bonding with their little one. A “First 48” session allows family and friends to witness baby’s first days without infringing on this bonding time.


Contact me, Chelsea with Flightless Bird Photography, for information on booking your very own “First 48” session. Nothing would make me happier or more honored than being invited into this special time in your lives.

 

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Blueberry Picking

Blueberry Picking

Mountain summers are the best. Most days, it's sunny and 70 with a light afternoon rain to cool off the evening just in time for bonfires, cookouts, and front porch sitting. Nature welcomes you in like an old friend, and the parks and parkway are brimming with people ready to soak in the sunlight. Everyone with a drop of mountain blood running through their veins agrees that summer is meant for being outdoors. Boone folks know to soak up all the summertime we can, because before we all know a winter is just around the corner...

Alex and Dave's Downtown Raleigh Engagement Session

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Alex and Dave's Downtown Raleigh Engagement Session

This shoot was so different than what I'm used to. I'm a small town girl from the mountains of North Carolina, so my sessions usually involve escaping into nature rather than experiencing the urban jungle. Getting out of my comfort zone was the change I didn't know I needed! I had such a great time with these two, and I can't wait for their wedding in my neck of the woods in October! 

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Chloe & Tyler | 04.01.17

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Chloe & Tyler | 04.01.17

Fur babies, an industrial sawmill, a vintage car... These are just a few of the elements that made up a gorgeous day for Chloe and Tyler. They were married at The Sawmill in Greenville, South Carolina on April Fool's Day. Needless to say, there were plenty of laughs and good times at this wedding. 

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