Sure, we all take photos of sunflowers. Sure, we see them all over Instagram. Sure, some folks are sick of 'em! And if you're sick of them, you may want to skip to another blog post...
Every portrait holds a new opportunity with the lighting, the model, the environment... sure, some things become repetitive but some things are classically beautiful and I'd throw flowers into the latter category.
As the sun set, we went from afternoon light to the golden hour quickly. I love getting a good variety when shooting!
Kristalyn and I created these portraits in under an hour. We both had some free time that evening and I've really been wanting to see the sunflowers. Heads up, Biltmore rotates these so you may want to do a drive by or call before planning a shoot around the sunflowers. They're located near Antler Village.
I also highly recommend the bright yellow canola field in the springtime.
For any clients interested in roaming the Biltmore Estate grounds for their session, I have a seasonal pass which allows me to bring guests in with me for free after 5pm. Some parts of the estate (including the house and rose garden) are closed at that time but there are plenty other spots!
When Aislin's mom Eliza (Aislin's 16) and I decided on a summer styled shoot many months ago, I began dreaming up ideas of how I see summer. If you've followed my work, I'm unlikely to have neon colors and bright light in my portfolio... for the most part ;) so my vision wouldn't be the standard summer scene.
I began imagining dreamy July nights of rolling around in the grass at dusk with fireflies floating around. I imagined eating popsicles on the dock of a lake as the sun set. I imagined how August days ended and the nostalgia of the last days of summer. Denim shorts, romantic dresses, tall grass, pool floats stacked by the shed, bug bites... I should add that all of this dreaming occurred at the end of winter when I was really in la la land.
At some point, the 1999 movie The Virgin Suicides popped into my head and I continued to run with this vision. I partnered with Eric Campbell of Cotton + Denim for styling 2 looks, Erika Stutz for feminine makeup and Natalie Webb for voluminous hair a la the 1970's brush-out. The team brought their A-game when creating a look for Aislin and we had a beautiful evening at Ivy Creek Family Farm for the shoot.
Top and dress: @Anthro_northcarolina
about the book The Virgin Suicides:
In a quiet suburb of Detroit, the five Lisbon sisters--beautiful, eccentric, and obsessively watched by the neighborhood boys--commit suicide one by one over the course of a single year. As the boys observe them from afar, transfixed, they piece together the mystery of the family's fatal melancholy, in this hypnotic and unforgettable novel of adolescent love, disquiet, and death. Jeffrey Eugenides evokes the emotions of youth with haunting sensitivity and dark humor and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time. Adapted into a critically acclaimed film by Sofia Coppola, The Virgin Suicides is a modern classic, a lyrical and timeless tale of sex and suicide that transforms and mythologizes suburban middle-American life.
This book and movie are both very dark and not what comes to mind for most summer styled sessions but I was smitten. This styled session is not reflective of the plot, it is reflective of the cinematic feel Sofia Coppola created.
Being inspired by something shouldn't mean imitation. Inspiration should bring out fresh ideas you didn't know you had to create something new.
Something happened in July that kept me from keeping up with my blogging and Summer Series. What happened?
I took a break.
I flew to Clearwater where my close family lives and took some time off from the hustle.
We ate lots of seafood, played in the gulf and saw my childhood best friend.
We drank fruity cocktails, cannon-balled into the hotel pool and took afternoon naps.
We watched sunsets, got caught in Florida storms and popped champagne for no good reason.
We visited my Nana who is in her mid 90's and we visited the Pulse tragedy location/memorial.
I'm back in Asheville making changes and working on the August Summer Series. See you out there as we all enjoy the last couple months of summer!
Part II, less talk and more color.
Let's just admire how wonderful all the shades of green are.
Look one was a gorgeous LWD Couture emerald gown with embellishments to highlight the waist. The cloud coverage was strong and the fog was rolling in. We were on this mountain bald at a lucky time of year when the grass was getting green yet the trees were still bare. It felt like we were in Ireland.
We really got to show off the Susie Saltzman ring and Floressence Flowers bouquet in Look 2. The second gown by LWD Couture was a hue somewhere between purple and grey, a smokey color that was so flattering. The bouquet was full of peach and green with hints of purple, the whole look flowed so well.
Then the sun set quickly, we took advantage and just kept snapping.
Invited by the best Asheville duo, Jameykay & Arlie, to this styled shoot, I could not have been more thrilled! Jameykay and Arlie are friends of mine and continuously rocking out their own styled shoots; I was so honored to be asked along to this one!
First off I'm sharing my favorite black and whites. Kendra modeled and she became the perfect accentuation with the mountaintop setting. The sun set fast and the breeze blew in but you'd never know by what pro Kendra is.
Each gown was created by Liz White Couture, another incredible local talent. Her gowns wow me each time I see them in person. In part two of this this post, I'll share the color photos to enjoy the detail of each dress.
I'm all about brides going for an alternative look and I can really see some brides-to-be embracing a style like this.
We can't forget the other details here. The floral crown was created by Florescence Flowers and what I've enjoyed about their work is how they can run with a concept. When J&A set this up, they provided minimal direction and Floresscence just gets it.
And the ring. It complements the gown so well and is another touch of an alternative bride.
You'll likely see Susie Saltzsman work all over Instagram, tucked into every beautiful wedding.
Pt. II will show off the shades of green, peach, and purple-grey, stay tuned.
Eloping to a popular outdoor spot can have its pros and cons. For pros, its popular for a reason so you must be catching a killer view + the ease of access (aka Craggy Pinnacle). For cons, you may be giving up a private ceremony, other visitors may become your audience or be a distraction.
There are two ways to combat this and still have the outdoor elopement you've imagined.
1. Stick with the same intended "popular" spot and follow these tips:
2. Find an off-the-beaten-path spot and follow these tips:
No matter which way you choose, don't let bystanders ruin any moment of your ceremony. Do the best planning you can in advance then let the day unfold and roll with it.
Or… are they?
Black bears, snakes and other wildlife are here in Western North Carolina. That’s part of the reason we love nature, right?
Most of us just want to leave them alone and be left alone.
If we're hiking together, here's the plan...
If a bear doesn’t see us or seem to care, let him or her meander on their merry way. Stay calm, avoid eye contact and simply back away so we are not perceived as a threat.
Do not run, climb a tree or play dead.
If a bear approaches us aggressively, we use the Bear Pepper Spray. Easier said than done but this isn’t too likely so let’s just keep this tip in our back pocket.
Resources: NPS & Center for Wildlife Information