We’ve been friends with Mandi and Bumble since we were classmates in the same birth class when we were pregnant with our first children. Now, four babies and four years later, the Millers opened their home to us for an afternoon of playtime at the farm.
I don’t think I’ve ever met someone with more personality and sass than Orianna. Our family session had been in the works for quite some time, and when the day of the session finally came, the outcome exceeded my highest expectations.
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.
Now that I’ve shared some of her wedding photos from last weekend, I’m so excited to post a few photos from Nicole’s bridal session at Lindsey Plantation back in January!
When you know, you know. These two knew from the first time they met at Starbucks, and on Saturday they made a commitment to forever by each other’s side.
Hanna’s wedding was a little over a week ago, so it’s high time to share these portraits of her gorgeousness! I’m in LOVE with this dress - and not to mention her bouquet by Log House Florist!
Hanna and Matthew were married on the most beautiful March day last Saturday in Moore, SC. I swear, spring arrived just in time for their day. Matthew fell for Hanna when they were young kids, and it was such an honor to watch their love story reach this new chapter.
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.
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.
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 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…
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.
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?
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.
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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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...
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!
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.
Sharing photos from past weddings always transports me back in time. In the case of Courtney and Matt's wedding day, I can still smell the floral scent of spring in the air. I feel the April sunshine meeting the breeze, and I sense the excitement and emotion behind every tearful glance and warm smile.
I'm always up for shooting in the rain. While some photographers are bummed by rainy weather, I embrace it as an opportunity for me to step outside of my comfort zone. It takes a special kind of couple to jump on board with this madness, so I was thrilled when Sarah and Mario wanted to move forward with their engagement session rather than reschedule...
I took the morning off to focus on me.
My son and I went for a walk at a local trail. He fell asleep eating his peanut butter sandwich, and I listened to the "Purposeful Life" podcast while he slept. Lately, I've been intrigued by minimalism and simplicity - and how these notions look in various areas of life.
Sometimes, I get so consumed with my work that I sacrifice my personal time, health, and time with my family - without even realizing that's what I'm doing at the time. It's busy season. Deadlines are quickly approaching and work is piling up, so I've got to learn to be more intentional with my time.
I realized today that I accomplish more when I'm truly present. I know it sounds obvious and simple, but wearing one hat at a time - be it "photographer" or "mother" or "wife" or "friend" - allows me to give my all in that situation. It's not fair to my work, my son, or my friends and family for me to only give them a small part of myself. So that's going to change.
I took a few minutes this morning to pray and meditate on a new word to be the foundation for the rest of my year, and I landed on "renew." I want to renew every facet of my life in the hope of awakening the best version of myself. My decisions, intentions, and plans for the rest of 2017 will be based upon their likelihood of renewing specific areas of my life. Tomorrow, renewal may look like creating my own set of editing presets to keep my work cohesive and consistent across the board. Today, it was me taking the time to breathe and create a new mindset.
What does renewal look like for you? What is your word for 2017?
In an effort to consolidate my blog and website, I'm switching blogging platforms. Everything will now be accessible from this website! YAY! So for all of my Wordpress followers, you can now find me here indefinitely. :)
With that said, any new guests to my blog are welcome to check out previous posts at www.flightlessbirdphoto.wordpress.com.
Thanks for visiting!