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Frank & Alyssa . wedding

June 14, 2010

I couldn’t believe it was here. I mean, I know I spent the previous year talking and dreaming and then entire weekend at her house, but can today really be Alyssa’s wedding day? But, here it was. And I was so incredibly excited! I love weddings and I love shooting weddings. I think it’s the love that gets me. The love in relationships. Not just between bride and groom (though they are precious, indeed), but family and friends. I love that we celebrate love. We come together, all dressed up, to celebrate, support, and love the couple who are starting a new life together. There is such joy and excitement at a wedding. This wedding was no exception. Actually, it was probably the rule. Such love. *sigh* It was wonderful.

Frank and Alyssa, I love you dearly. I’m so excited for you two, your future together. and the great plans God has for you. Alyssa, thank you for allowing me to be a part of your big day, and not just behind the lens. I truly felt like part of the bridal party and my heart rejoiced. I hope that you love your photos and, though this part makes me a little nervous if I’m honest, I hope you show them to your children and grandchildren with pride. Thank you.

(P.S. This may be a rather long post; be forewarned.)

These are so Alyssa: funky, elegant, and fabulous. Seriously, look at these SHOES! I die. Really, I die.

She was adorable, the whole day. She never slowed down, but she was always smiling, always laughing. Once, when it was just Alyssa, her mother, and I waiting for her father, we all got really quite. I couldn’t hold back the tears. If we hadn’t pulled ourselves together; well, one more minute and we’d have lost it for real. Alyssa and her mom kept saying “Ok, okay. That was it. We’re done. No more tears.” And laugh at each other.

When Thomas saw his little girl for the first time, it was a very special moment.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the room. Thomas has cancer, incurable in the eyes of man. He was told at one point that he may not live to walk his daughter down the isle. But that was two years ago. And God is merciful. He has seen Thomas and his family through many a tough time. This moment was truly a gift.

Though they decided against a first look, Alyssa wanted one more chance to squeeze her man’s hand before she walked down the isle to meet him, to marry him.

She looks lost in his eyes. So precious.

Married, married. Hurrah!

Frank and his boys, looking rather dashing.

Originally, I was supposed to have an hour with Frank and Alyssa after the ceremony, but as the day went on, that time kept getting cut and cut. I’m proud of the fact that I ended up with 7mins total and I think we got some great shots. Some of my favorites, actually.

Ever, by the way.

Hello, lens flare.  Thanks for gracing us with your presence. You are gorgeous.

There were some wonderfully hilarious toasts…

… some adorable first dancing…

… some touching father-daughter dancing…

… and then we danced the night away…

… and that was that.


Alyssa . bridal

May 19, 2010

It’s been a while, has it not? It seems as if time has stood still and at times, flew by. So much has happened, yet I’m in the same place. I’m going to be an intern next year (more to come on that), I’ve had a camera crap out on my so I bought another then it, too, crapped out on me (grrrrrumble), many friends have recently become engaged (and goodness, how excited I am for you all!),  and  the wedding of one of my dearest and closest friends, Alyssa.  I’ve know Alyssa for four years, I believe, and these years have been filled with many things but mainly laughter and good times. The best of times. Haha. Oh, I love this girl dearly. I’m honored that she asked me to shoot her wedding, her “big day.” It was an added pleasure to be able to traipse around in the woods and fields with her.

It may have been the hottest day yet when we ventured out to shoot Alyssa’s bridal portraits, but she was such a trooper!

One of my very favorites and the image displayed at the reception:

She’s stunning. And so naturally photogenic.

This image, below, has caused me a lot of pain. I’m backing up to set up the shot and notice that I’m standing in knee high weeds. I don’t really think anything of the itching as I’m allergic to grass/weeds/such when I touch it. I glanced down as I was walking back to the car and, with fear in my heart, realized the leaves were ominously shaped and oily looking. Uh oh. Well nothing happens so I write it off. Long story short, I contracted poison something (ivy, oak, or sumac) from my mid-thigh to ankle on the back of my left leg and completely covering my right foot/ankle. It turned out to be systemic so I got a shot of steroids and a six-day dosage to dry it up. It seemed to be working wonders and then new lesions started showing up two or three days ago. AHHH! Haha. The itching is killing me. But it was worth it to get the shot. 🙂

Alyssa and Frank were married this past Saturday and it was simply wonderful. Look for that post in the days to come. Frank and Alyssa, I love you dearly! I hope you’re enjoying the Outer Banks.

Crafty . personal

January 4, 2010

I love being crafty. Making things with my hands. Turning old, unused things into something neat and adorable. I love creating things and remaking things some people would consider rubbish. I love it! I wish I got to do more of it… This year I did!

Around Christmas time, I was inspired by Summer over at {GREY}likesweddings to put some effort into my gift wrapping (here is an example from her blog); something I have never done. I didn’t do anything too fancy, just a little brown craft paper, some hemp, ribbon, and scraps of newspaper, and I was in business. And I have to be completely honest: I adored it! I will be coordinating and crafting for my gifts forevermore, Christmas or other. The days of averagely wrapped gifts are over. Thank you Summer!

Made this snowflake out of newspaper in the same fashion as these flakes of my previous post. I had to free-hand my square, but it turned out pretty nice, if you ask me. Actually, if you did ask me I’d say it was adorable. But I say that about crafts.

On a side note, here’s an image of  one of the beauties I made for my friends this year. This is Miles and I made him for my friend Courtney. (Image: Courtney Reece Photography) How cute is he, with his little tie? Haha.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

A Snowflake How-To . personal

December 8, 2009

.for Courtney.

I love this time of year.  Where we listen to Christmas music all day. Parents surprise kids and buy a real Christmas tree. Succumb to random bouts of baking sweets. Sit on the floor and wrap gifts. Shop with mom. Decorate the tree twice, since it fell over the first time. Plan our amazing family pictures. Spend the evening just being a family and ending in a group hug. Whisper secrety-secrets about Christmas goodies. Snuggle on the couch ’cause it’s so cold. Drink hot cocoa like it’s going out of style. Build gingerbread houses with the sole purpose of blowing them up. Bonfires, s’mores, and hot cider backyard at the church. Crave peppermint mochas everyday. And make snowflakes enough to cover every inch of window space, and beyond.

Since it’s that most wonderful time of the year and in NC we rarely get a good, substantial snow, we here at the Butt house make our own snow. I attempted to instruct a friend in making six-sided snowflakes over an internet chat, and failed miserably, so I thought I’d post an step-by-step how-to.

1. Fold a piece of paper in half, then in quarters.

2. Unfold the paper once and with the open end of the paper at the bottom, fold the left top corner down and to the right, making a point. It’s very important to make the point where you creased the paper when you folded it into quarters.  Like, whoa. No pressure, but it’s vitally important.

3. Fold the right top corner down and to the left.

4. Lining the edge up with the other side of the cone, flatten the folds. Now, unless you’re amazing at estimating, you’ll need to open up the right flap and make sure the left edge on the inside lines up with the crease made by the right folding over.

5. Turn your paper around until it looks like a fox’s head. Haha. Courtney, see what I meant? It looks like a fox. Or a triangle. Whatever. Then cut off the right ‘ear,’ following the line in the paper. You’ll want it to look like the right image when you complete this step. A one-eared fox.

6.Take the right ‘point’ and fold it towards the left side, making a very pointy point at the bottom. This step sounds ridiculous, but just look at the pictures and it’ll make more sense. I hope…

7.With one deft stroke, cut off the last extraneous bit of paper again following the edge paper. After this final cut, you should have a very nicely shaped cone. This is the ‘base of operations’ for the making of snowflakes. And don’t worry; a perfect cone will take some time and practice, but they aren’t that difficult.

8.At this point, feel free to experiment!

9. Do what feels right! Go crazy! Be creative!

Savvy’s flake before opening…

And what a lovely snowflake! It has mustaches cut into it. Total accident.

A few of my favorite flakes this year, to give you some inspiration. But remember: every snowflake is unique. So don’t worry if it looks “right.” If it came out in one piece, it’s right. 🙂

So proud of this one: it looks like a real flake! Yay, that’s what I was going for. Hehe.

One precaution: don’t completely cut off either edge. Cut as much out of it as you can, if you like, but leave at least a little piece on either side or your snowflake will look like…

This. A bunch of pieces, instead of one flake.

And that’s it! If this is unclear, let me know and I’ll try to make it more user-friendly.

In the meantime, I’d love to see what you come up with! Have a lovely Tuesday evening, everyone!

Operation Christmas Child. personal

December 5, 2009

We have always wanted to do it. To fill a shoe box and bring some measure of joy to a child, somewhere in the world. We have the best intentions! Some years, we even buy the stuff. Despite all our intentions, we have never sent a shoe box. Until this year. But this year, this year, we finally followed through.  And I was so blessed by it.

A group from our church decided to volunteer at the OCC processing center here in Charlotte and I jumped at the opertunity. Apparently, it is really difficult to ‘get in’ to help, there are so many people who volunteer. I was not sure how it was going to go… I only knew two or three people from our group and the rest  of our group were mainly youth groupers. In the end, I had an amazing time.

It wasn’t because I knew everyone I was working with. It wasn’t because it was THE most fun I’ve ever had. It wasn’t because I was comfortable in the situation. It wasn’t because of anything I thought it would be. It was amazing because I was a very small part of something huge. Something that glorified the Lord and spread the good news of salvation to the nations. I loved it because I was serving.

I was coming alongside hundreds of people from all over the nation and world to serve a purpose bigger than any of us. I was reaching out to children everywhere, even though all I did was pass inspected shoe boxes to a couple of guys to fit into a box.

That’s all I did. But it was so much more. In those short four hours of volunteering, I realized a few things about myself.

– I love serving.

– I love working with my hands AND my heart.

– I love being a small part of something big.

– I love meeting new people  and having our Savior in common.

– I want to be a bigger part of OCC.

These realizations could mean nothing. I could decide to overlook them, forget about them, or even discard them. It’s up to me. And I’m choosing to act. I feel a call to act.  I’m not sure where this road will lead me but I am so excited to learn things about myself and act on the things I learn. I’m excited to see where God will take me, what he has for me.

Nathan & Melanie . anytime

November 21, 2009

Oh. My. Cheese.

Ok. So, I scheduled this shoot with Melanie and started getting really excited at the day drew ever nearer. The night before the shoot a group of people from our college ministry went to a David Crowder concert and as we were heading out Melanie & I were talking about our shoot when she asked if I would be open to including her boyfriend, Nathan. Now you see, I adore shooting couples; possibly more than individuals, so of COURSE I jumped at this, literally. I think I hopped a little bit. If not physically, definitely mentally. (Yes, I CAN jump mentally. Now what? Oh!)

There were a few firsts for me on this shoot:

1. I had never had a couple where the guy was reluctant to shoot in the street but the girl was fine with it (excited, even)

2. I had never coveted someone’s hair as badly as I want Melanie’s hair. Wowzers, it’s amazing.

3. I had never refrained from shooting somewhere because of NO TRESPASSING signs before, but Nathan was adamant. (I know. You’re not supposed to shoot there, buuuuut I do. Haha.)

4. This sounds so lame, but I had never gotten so many shots tack sharp in one session. AHH. Made me so so happy.

5. I had never been THAT close to being creamed by traffic while on a shoot. No, never. Never been that close to traffic. Ever. It was amazing.

Hope you guys love your images as much as I love them! It was such a joy working with you; I had so much fun! Love you!




Don’t you just want to die over her hair?! It’s insane. I love it to death.

Oh my oh my.

So cute. So Melanie.

And she assure me she would be an awful model. Yeah, she liiiiiiied. Big time.

Aw! I love this shot.

Mmm. Stunning. Those eyes.

Nathan, you have a great smile. Thanks for not being a typical guy in front of the camera. It’s such a pleasure working with guys who aren’t camera shy or just don’t care.


My favorite from this session and high in the runnings for favorite image of 2009, I love it that much.

I told them where to sit and as I walked back to frame my shot, I hear Melanie say something like “Oh yes. This is normal. We always go out and sit here like this, on the side of the road” to the cars that drove by. Haha. ♥

Melanie, that sign says ‘smoking.’ Yes. Yes you are.

I love it when little purple flowers match my lovely model’s outfit. *sigh*

Mmhmm. My job is so, so easy.

Want an awesome story to tell? Want an adventure like no other? Go on a photo shoot with me. Haha. Just ask Melanie some time. We almost died. By rush hour traffic. You cannot say I won’t take a risk to get the shot.


I’ll upload the rest of the session’s amazing images soon. Well, as soon as my computer decides to cooperate. Stay tuned.

Luis & Becky . engagement

November 20, 2009

Now that they’re man and wife, I think it’s about time to post Luis & Becky’s engagement session. Its so cool to look back at these images as I’m culling through their wedding images. I can’t wait to show you some shots from their special day!

When they arrived at our initial meeting with four people instead of the assume two, I knew this was one fun group of people. We decided to shoot their engagement session in downtown Raleigh and it was such a treat for me to head back to my ‘home town’ area again. Though I lived and photographed in that area before, we were able to shoot in places I had never been. So it was old and familiar, but new and exciting.

Luis and Becky are adorable. She has some serious fabulousness just bursting to get out and he is pretty camera shy. Like that-smile-is-so-so-forced, shy. Well, until he looks at Becky. Then he can’t help but smile and relax which definitely made me smile. Just looking at her put him at ease.

It was a pleasure spending time with you two! You guys were total troupers, holding out in the rain! Thanks for trusting me and getting a little wet! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives. Love ya!


See? He has an amazing thinking-about-Becky smile.

This image right here? Yeah. I love it.