Class of 2017.

Phew. Many of you know that this was a crap year for us. We had a significant death in the family, a laundry closet that was flooded, two cats in the emergency hospital, a computer that died, and a small kitchen fire that Carolyn valiantly extinguished… saving the lives of everyone in attendance. We blame 100% of the bad things that happened to us on a small wooden tiki carving we discovered under the dryer in said pre-flooded laundry closet, but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, it sucked. We were hit with one thing after the other. But you know what didn’t suck? Our 2017 professional year. It ruled. Every single one of our clients was sane, kind, welcoming, pleasant, and fabulous in every way. We got hugs and thank you letters and toys for our cats and invitations to drinks and gatherings and copies of Hocus Pocus on DVD. You all took immense care of us this year when we needed it most, and we can’t thank you enough. You all were a very special class indeed, and we’re glad to see you graduate ::sheds tear::. I’m not sure where you’re graduating to… but… come back and visit us, please. We love each and every one of you. Thanks for making a bad year have tremendously good moments.

The year end “Class Of” posts date back to 2011.

2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011

Winter weddings hold a special place in our hearts. There’s always cafe lights, darker color schemes, and a general sense of merriment. And sometimes, if you’re lucky, a dog with a floral collar named Beryl. And, if you’re even more lucky than that, an amazing bride and groom who have impeccable taste in just about everything. They chose an incredible team of vendors (hellooo to our wedding officiant, Barbara Lodge! hellooo to a dress Lauren purchased from our previous wedding client Susan’s shop Gilded Bridal! hellooo to Stephanie Sevilla, makeup extraordinaire! hellooooo to Peter Lamb and the Wolves who we adore working with each and every time! and finally helloooo to Patty Gallivan, the General Store’s amazing wedding coordinator!). They also chose an incredible color palette (yay burgundy!), a gorgeous wooden altar that Evan’s dad handcrafted, muffs for the girls instead of bouquets, tiny little gold animals standing on small slices of geodes for their placecards that Lauren put all together herself, and a hot chocolate bar that was beautiful. Their entire setup was incredible, down to their modern chairs. It was killer.

Lauren and Evan found us through a mutual friend and we are so glad that they did. They are sweet and cooperative and really good looking and follow directions well and have that cute dog we mentioned earlier. They also did a fake snow exit, which is the first we’ve ever seen, and I have to say that it’s a pretty brilliant idea and also eco friendly. You can do this with potato flakes for an DIY idea and then add water to whomever’s hair to make instant potatoes to eat later. Their bridesmaids and groomsmen were all really nice and their cake topper spectacular. We had wonderful weather, good food, and great music. All hail the winter weddings! They are super cozy feeling, and we hope you feel the love right now. Congratulations, Lauren and Evan!

– Date: December 2, 2017
– Ceremony + Reception Venue: Haw River Ballroom // Saxapahaw, NC
– First Dance Song: “Can’t Nobody Love You” – The Zombies
– Lauren’s Occupation: Compliance and Government Relations Officer at a neato code school, Coding Dojo
– Evan’s Occupation: Super secret security sleuth, better known as Systems Administration at the State Employee’s Credit Union
– How You Met: The Internets (“Through friends” for our parents)
– Interesting Fact: Evan can juggle though he pretends like he can’t and Lauren lived in New Zealand but never met a hobbit.
– Honeymoon: Cape Town, South Africa
– Vendor Credits: Officiant – Reverend Barbara Lodge // Band – Peter Lamb and the Wolves // Florist – Wylde Flowers // Cake – Sugarland // Caterer – Saxapahaw General Store // Hair and Makeup – Stephanie Sevilla // Coordinator – Patty Gallivan // Dress – Elizabeth Dye // Bridal Salon – Gilded Bridal // Seamstress – Marie Cordella // Groomsmen Suits – ASOS

Gather ’round, children, and let me tell you a story. Several years ago I started to get some severe, lightning-esque stabbing in my wrists. It only happened every once in a while for a few weeks. I thought I might have sprained something. Then, gradually, my arms started to go numb, sort of like I’d hit my funny bone. It started in my right arm first, then spread to my left. Initially it was a bit perplexing and annoying. But gradually it grew more and more difficult for me to edit. I went to several doctors who said it could be carpal tunnel “presenting strangely,” a result of overusing my mouse, typing, and editing photographs. Those things all require a great amount of small, repetitive wrist movements. So they gave me wrists braces (one for each arm – stylin’!) and I wore those around for some time.

Unfortunately my symptoms progressed. I went back to the doctor, who said that it was possible that I had cubital tunnel syndrome, a condition where the ulnar nerve in your elbow gets stretched out. This often occurs as a result of constantly having your elbow bent, so hairstylists and pitchers often get this. They thought that, since I was having my arms bent holding a camera up to my face quite frequently, that this was probably the cause. I was told to sleep with my arms straight, and to keep my arms as straight as possible the rest of the time. Unfortunately my symptoms progressed. Now it was getting more and more difficult to do basic things. I could barely hold cups, utensils, or brush my teeth. The numbness and tingling became quite painful.

At this point, I could no longer edit photographs. I could barely use my computer at all, and even answering emails was painful for me. I was forced to outsource my editing. I hired a company to whom I gave my preset and general way of doing things, and they sent me back weddings and shoots edited, which was an absolute lifesaver for both my clients and myself. During this time, my lovely chiropractor (and former client) Cortney Dice who is a miracle worker and has solved several long-standing medical mysteries for me, hypothesized that perhaps my doctor’s new diagnosis was almost correct, but not quite. I still wasn’t getting better, but rather worse. She realized that the ulnar nerve pain I was experiencing wasn’t coming from a pinch in my elbows (cubital tunnel) but rather in my shoulders (thoracic outlet). Due to carrying very heavy camera equipment bags on my shoulders, as well as using a camera strap that allowed me to carry two cameras at the same time by resting on the tops of my shoulders, I was compressing the nerves in my shoulders. That nerve compression caused a variety of symptoms down my arms. All I had to do to stop it was to start carrying my cameras on my hips (which is why it looks like we’re cowboys now) and to stop carrying a purse for a while. I laid on a foam roller and stretched out my shoulders, and that was it! It was gone in literally a matter of weeks from Cortney first identifying it to me not carrying weight on my shoulders anymore.

So what, pray tell, does any of this have to do with Sharon and Paul? Geoff and I were advertising that we would be coming to the Tucson, Arizona area around November if anyone wanted portraits, and we were contacted by Sharon. Sharon knew of us because she was one of the people who edited my photographs for me when I could not! SMALL world, but also wonderful world. We weren’t allowed to know who edited the photographs for us through this company so I didn’t know it was Sharon, and I am glad that I do now so I could thank her for helping me when I couldn’t function! Thank you, Sharon, for your amazing editing work that kept our business alive and functioning. You are truly a miracle worker who kept keep me afloat during a very scary time, and I am so glad that you are in this line of business!

Sharon is, in addition to being a wonderful editor, a professional equestrian photographer who adores horses, Halloween, and her husband Paul. You can find her lovely and talented work at http://www.sharonfibelkorn.com/. She and Paul live in California, where Paul is a sound guy. And by “sound guy” I mean SOUND GUY. Harrison Ford! George Clooney! Katy Perry! Everyone. Microphones and award shows and all sorts of crazy impressive stuff. His list of accomplishments is pretty stellar. Together, him and Sharon are one talented couple, and we could not be more honored to have them come out to Arizona to get pictures with us all the way from California! We had a blast working with them and I think they had a good time too despite the 90 degree heat and the excessive hiking and the rocks and the stabby plants. It is a small but wonderful world, and sometimes you get to meet the wonderful, helpful people who played huge roles in your life behind the scenes, and we are so, so happy we did. We love you, Sharon and Paul! Thank you for becoming our clients.