Rickelman Family | Family Beach Session on Topsail Island

Summer is my favorite time of year because it means great families like the Rickelmans come on vacation and I get to spend a night on the beach! This is the second time I’ve been fortunate to work with this amazing family and it’s amazing seeing how much Sawyer has grown in the past two years. Having family photos done while you’re on vacation is such a great time because everyone is so relaxed and has a blast!

father and son playing on beach family on beach grandparents with grandson on beach grandparents with grandson on beach parents with son on beach father and son on beach mother holding son on beach little boy sitting in sand on beach family sitting in sand on beach extended family group on beach couple standing in water on beach couple on beach vacation couple looking at each other on beach

couple standing in waves at beach at sunset

couple kissing while standing in waves at beach at sunset Parents with adult children on beach siblings on beach

Ms Q | Sunrise Beach Boudoir | Emerald Isle, North Carolina

Waking up before the sun is not something I normally do, but I will gladly make an exception for sunrise beach sessions on Emerald Isle. We met Ms Q when she came in for one of the specials we offered in July and she loved her session so much she decided to go ahead and have a full session on the beach and we’re so excited she did.

We met before the sun came up at a great little spot and walked to the beach together, chatting along the way. With boudoir sessions we tend to bond on a different level so it really ends up feeling more like friends hanging out and a photo shoot happens. Another great perk of getting to the beach so early, it was nearly deserted, giving us plenty of privacy most of the session. Since the beach is public, we do keep things a bit more modest than a studio session but we were still able to get the shots we wanted!

Litalee was with us to provide a helping hand with lighting so some of the images are natural light but quite a few were done using “OCF”, or “Off Camera Flash”, a great lighting technique that allows us to capture amazing details in both the sky and subject, in this case Ms Q.

woman lying in sand on beach woman standing on beach woman standing in water on beach woman in shirt and bikini in water on beach black and white image of woman on beach woman in bikini kneeling on beach anonymous portrait of a woman on the beach black and white portrait of a woman woman kneeling on beach being hit by wave woman lying on beach woman getting hit by waves woman in waves on beach woman sitting in water on beach black and white portrait of woman sitting in water woman from behind with waves woman standing on beach woman from behind on beach woman standing on beach looking over shoulder at sunrise woman reclining on beach

woman lying on beach smiling at reflection

woman lying on beach, reflected in water, black and white

silhouette of woman standing on beach woman standing in water with lace robe woman kneeling in waves on beach woman kneeling in white tank top on beach being hit by a wave woman smiling while kneeling in water woman holding bikini top on beach woman holding bikini top over her shoulder being hit by wave semi silhouette of woman sitting on beach silhouette of woman sitting on beach at sunrise

Violet is One | Jacksonville NC Children’s Photographer

I have known Violet’s mom since we both moved here a couple of years ago and I was so excited to finally have them in front of my camera! Violet’s mom is as obsessed with Disney as I am, if not more so (is that possible?!) so when she said she had an Alice in Wonderland theme in mind, I knew it was going to be amazing! Cat was the one who brought everything, including making the cake herself. The small details are amazing when you look closer you notice more and more. In addition to the dress, there’s a mischievous Cheshire Cat chilling in the background, the clocks, the birdcage, even an actual tea set, everything was so well planned! We chose a location in Jacksonville that has gorgeous light and set everything up. Lil miss wasn’t too sure about staying in one area but seemed to have some fun during all of this!
(Don’t worry, the candle is totally edible!)
Check out more images in her Facebook album!

toddler dressed as alice standing holding onto table toddler girl cake smash, alice in wonderland themed baby eating candle alice in wonderland themed cake smash close up baby holding a clock happy baby holding clock baby eating clock smiling baby holding clock baby drinking tea happy baby at tea party

Ansley | New Bern Senior Photography

Ansley’s mom had reached out in the fall about scheduling her senior session and with everything going on in a senior year we decided on spring photos. Of course, Covid happened but we were able to schedule her session once restrictions eased up a bit and followed the protocols!

They decided on downtown New Bern, which is one of my absolute favorite cities and has some amazing hidden gem spots. We played around with outfits, spots, and lighting thanks to my awesome assistant, Litalee.

Ansley is a super sweet girl with so much joy, even with everything that’s been going on lately.

Congratulations, Ansley!

teen girl in prom dress in front of palace gate teen girl standing in front of chalk drawn wings on brick wall closer up shot of teen girl leaning against brick wall in alley teen girl leaning against brick wall in alley senior girl standing in middle of street teen girl jumping in middle of street teen girl with college acceptance letter teen girl holding college acceptance letter teen girl on bench senior girl leaning on lamp post near fountain senior girl in front of wooden bear teen girl standing in front of chalk drawn wings on brick wall high school senior girl standing on sidewalk, grad cap & tassels senior girl with tassels & cap standing in gateway brunette teen girl in blue dress teen girl in blue gown spinning in street senior girl twirling in prom dress teen girl in prom dress in front of palace gates, tighter image

Family Vacation Photos | Emerald Isle & Topsail Beach Photography

My corner of the world is opening back up, slowly & surely, and a lot of the beach rentals are allowing their guests to keep their reservations. We would love to capture memories of your time at the beach! Whether it’s your whole extended family, you & the kids, or perhaps just you & your significant other, the beach is a fantastic place for a photo session. The natural light during golden hour, and the waves coming off the Atlantic Ocean are gorgeous. Here are just some images from sessions at the beach!
If you are interested in booking please reach out directly, we’d love to get you on our schedule!

Dad dancing with daughter in a yellow dress on the beach at sunset family on beach at sunset family under pier Family walking on beach Family on beach at sunset Family on beach at sunset couple in water at beach Couple reflected in water on beach Family with dogs in pavilion Family on beach at sunset little girl on beach, surprised couple standing in waves at beach at sunset couple walking down the beach holding hands at sunset couple dancing on beach at sunset couple cuddling on beach during sunset couple kissing while standing in waves at beach at sunset family having a tickle fight on the beach Sisters standing at water's edge on beach Family standing at water's edge at beach with a reflection of them in the water

Name Your Own Price Special | Jacksonville NC Portrait Photography

The Governor has said in recent press conferences that businesses that are able to maintain proper social distancing can reopen so that means we are open for sessions! To celebrate I’m offering Name Your Own Price sessions! You can give me your budget and I’ll tell you your options OR you can pick out the specifics of your session yourself and I’ll tell you what the price for your custom package is. Choose your session length (20, 30, 45, or 60 minutes) and how many high resolution images with print release you’d like (1-20). All sessions come with social media files of all edited images & a gallery app, too.

Full details: must be in the Jacksonville or Swansboro areas for a session less than an hour, available for sessions set between May 11 and May 29th, minimum $100. Cannot be combined with any other offer, discount, special, incentive, or deal. Available for couples, families, children, and maternity. Not available for seniors, homecoming, boudoir, elopements or mermaid sessions. Additional high resolution images will be available for purchase after your session.

Jenny & Billy | New Bern Engagement Photography

This day was SO much fun! If you haven’t already, you can check out my previous two blog posts about this styled session here and here. It was held at Tryon Palace in New Bern, a beautiful city with a real small town feel. The models are Jenny Pearson (IG) & Billy Vaughn and it was organized by Reatta Oxendine.

Jenny & Billy were actually the models I photographed first that day and one of the very rare times I’ve done anything other than a homecoming in direct sunlight that wasn’t golden hour. To be totally honest, I actually liked it and I’m glad I was able to have them look at each other a lot to avoid really harsh shadows on their faces in addition to squinting! Unlike the last couple I posted, these two are a real life couple. Like the last couple I posted, they are super sweet & fun to work with.

couple in front of cabin betrothed couple in front of cabin looking at each other engaged couple laughing in front of cabin man and woman in front of cabin, engagement couple in front of wooden building in dappled light couple kissing in front of cabin couple looking at each other, engagement session couple smooching at the blacksmith's shop couple on couch in front of tall hedge while canoodling couple sitting on couch, looking at each other, in front of hedge Couple kissing on couch in front of hedge man on one knee kissing his fiancee in front of a tall hedge man proposing while she sits on a couch in front of a hedge Man standing and looking down at fiancee who sits on a couch couple kissing on couch outside Man grabbing his bride to be's tushy in front of a cabin

Molly & Vlad | Jacksonville NC Elopement Photography

Remember that styled shoot I mentioned before? This gorgeous couple was a part of the same styled shoot! The theme was French Provincial and held at Tryon Palace. It was organized by Reatta Oxendine, makeup by Breanna Pridgen Beauty (FB), hair by Mercedes Quinn(FB IG), models are Molly Stone & Vlad Gregorovitch.

These images are supposed to be an “elopement”, when a couple goes off on their own and gets married, sometimes in secret, but usually without a large ceremony and reception. To complete this idea, she is in a wedding gown & he’s in a suit. Here’s the thing, they aren’t an in real life couple, they are actually amazing last minute models who were able to fill in when the original models got sick and didn’t even meet until she was already getting her hair done! They were so much fun to work with, very silly. Unaware we didn’t know about this, when someone asked how long they’d been together, Molly joked “2 years!” and waited for a laugh and then had to explain they met that morning, which shocked everyone there!

I’m not sure how styled sessions normally work, but whenever I would see a model not in use, I would jump to them and work with them either one on one or with a couple of other photographers (there were about 20 there that day!). My familiarity with the Palace grounds definitely paid off and I was able to grab Molly, Vlad, Mercedes (who, after doing hair for the models was kind enough to be my lighting assistant for the day), and another photographer and took them to the cannon and the gazebo that are almost hidden gems.

The Palace is an amazing location for your wedding or special event as well as photo sessions! Whether it’s an elopement, engagement, maternity, or even boudoir, I’m always up for a session at the Palace!

couple standing in gateway in front of palace couple in gateway to palace with masks groom dipping bride in front of palace couple standing at door to palace Groom holding bride while leaning against cannon behind the palace wedding couple in walkway in front of tree Bride & groom cuddling in front of Palace Bride kissing groom on cheek Bride & groom kissing in the sunshine bride looking at groom Bride & groom embracing bride & groom in the stable, leaning on ladder bride and groom in stable looking at each other groom leaning against ladder and holding bride bridal couple in the garden black & white image of bride & groom in the garden

bride & groom leaning against cannon with tryon palace in the background

Elopement groom holding his bride while he leans against a cannon with the back of Tryon Palace in the background.

bride & groom in gazebo Bride & groom snuggling close in the gazebo Groom leaning against gazebo bridal couple in garden pathway groom kissing bride's cheek Bride dancing with groom bridal couple dancing Bridal couple canoodling in front of palace Groom kissing bride's forehead

Taylor | New Bern NC Boudoir Photography

As a photographer, there are many different ways to have sessions. My most common are client sessions, when you come to me and we plan your session together. I’ve also done a few sessions with models where we come together and create magic. For the first time ever, I took part in a Styled Session with a group of photographers that was organized and put on by an event coordinator. In this case, the coordinator was Reatta Oxendine and the location was one of my favorites: Tryon Palace. You may recognize the palace from this maternity session and this boudoir session. The model is Taylor Gales Henderson (IG), makeup by Alicia J Sawyer (IG) hair by Mercedes Quinn (IG FB), Lingerie provided by Sarafina Dreams (IG FB Etsy), bouquet was done by Mother of Wild Flower House & Event Co (IG FB Website). As you see, there were a lot of people involved in this session and there were about 20 photographers there so there was a lot going on, including other models, too! I’ll be posting those separately so be sure to keep an eye on the blog!

woman standing i ngarden full length image of woman dancing in garden in a robe woman dancing around in garden woman laughing in garden woman in white robe standing in the sun in the garden lady in robe smiling at camera in a garden woman playing with hair in garden, looking fown woman playing with hair in garden woman in robe standing in garden woman standing in front of fence with her eyes closed woman on ladder in robe woman in white robe standing in garden woman in robe arching on brick wall woman in robe in front of palace fence woman standing in front of fence

Ms L | Jacksonville NC Boudoir Photography

I have been looking forward to Ms L’s session for a while now and when we realized how soon Mercedes was moving we knew we HAD to get her session in before that happened. Ms L make look familiar, yes, she is exactly who you think she is! Being her session and being on hand for all my other sessions, she knew a lot of what we’d be doing well in advance so there were moments where I’d start explaining what I wanted her to do and she just snapped into it, it was fantastic and a little disconcerting to be totally honest. It was like she was reading my mind!

Woman in black dress lying on couch woman lying on sheepskin rug woman lying on white floor woman in red robe standing in hallway woman in red robe silhouetted in hallway woman in red robe reclining on couch black and white image of woman standing against wall woman arching on wall woman with face turned away leaning against black wall woman in bodysuit on black wall woman arching against red wall woman in jean jacket standing against wall woman leaning against grey wall in denim jacket woman in black teddy lying on bed black and white image of woman lying in bed surrounded by gems woman lying n bed surrounded by gems