I went to Corey and Joe’s house to photograph the arrival of their newborn baby girl Harper, and arrived to find an elated set of parents, one very beautiful girl, and two VERY EXCITED DOGGOS! Corey told me that she’s always wanted to be a mother and it shows! She was surprisingly awake and looking fabulous and I think she was running on 100% excitement. And AS SHE SHOULD BE because Harper is a little bundle of adorable joy. She was a trooper through the entire session and multiple costume changes, and also gets along well with her two doggo siblings, Sandy and Bailey. Harper is the proud owner of a little dreamboat of a nursery – completely with sweet wooden toy camera! – that her parents put together for her, as well a series of what I’ve determined to be extremely cute baby clothes (there were too many that I wanted to put her in, and while we didn’t get to all of them, we DID get to the fox pants, thank goodness). Joe was also super excited to have a baby girl, and together him and Corey make a great couple and great parents (Joe was super sweet to make sure Corey was eating during the session, but then I promptly took her breakfast and put it in the closet, sorry). Can’t wait to see what adventures await Harper, and what a fierce little photographer she may become.

Back in 2017, one of my most popular sessions I shot involved a pit bull named Wilma and her love for destroying large, plush animals and sleeping on the couch. Geoff and I fell in love with Wilma, as she’s one of the most RIDICULOUS and charismatic dogs we’ve ever met, as well as the laziest (also recently proven when Jessica e-mailed me a bunch of pictures from Wilma’s daycare, of which she’s laying down in literally all of them while other dogs run all over her). Wilma has a brother, Britton, who is kind of anxious and can be shy, so he was not part of the first photo shoot, but Jessica and Dustin decided they wanted to try to make it work for their wedding photos on Thursday (they were married at the courthouse on Thursday, and did photos at home with the dogs, then had their wedding reception party on Saturday). AND IT TURNS OUT THAT BRITTON IS EQUALLY AS RIDICULOUS BUT ALSO LOVES CAMERAS. Wilma, perhaps upset that she wasn’t the sole star of the afternoon, spent most of her time with us staring intently at a lizard on the deck, while Britton hammed it up repeatedly. When Wilma wasn’t staring at lizards, she was busy violently shaking off her beautiful floral collar and then rolling around in the yard to the point where nobody could get her up.

Normally I might feel kind of bad writing an entire paragraph about their dogs instead of about their wedding but I 100% know that Jessica and Dustin will not mind. But now that I have discussed their dogs, whom I adore, I will discuss Jessica and Dustin, WHOM I ADORE. I feel like someone who wears glitter shoes that say “FRENCH FRIES” doesn’t really need an explanation as to why you love them but I will attempt anyway. Jessica exudes the most happiness and enthusiasm of anyone you’ve ever met. And in an entirely way too negative world, I love her. She is everything great and happy and positive and wonderful. She also likes incredible art, and sends it to me, for which the walls of my house are eternally grateful (the cat art here is by Casey Weldon, which were thank-you cards to her bridesmaids, and the plant art is by Angela Deane, which were also gifts to her bridesmaids). And Dustin LOVES Jessica and I’m fairly certain it’s for all the same reasons, and they make each other laugh so hard, and then it makes me laugh and I truly just want to hug them all the time. Dustin likes really old cars (one of his Volkswagens that he’s fixing up makes an appearance in this shoot) and working on sound equipment, and I appreciate men who have cool hobbies and like to work with their hands. Together, their house is incredible and joyous and they have a 70s built-in oven that’s chartreuse. Regretful that the 8 of us (four people, 2 dogs, 2 cats) were not married but will settle for friendship instead.

Date: April 27, 2019
Ceremony Venue: Wake County Justice Center // Raleigh
Reception Venue: Neuse River Brewing Company // Raleigh
First Dance Song: “I Only Have Eyes for You” – The Flamingos
Jessica’s Occupation: Hospitality
Dustin’s Occupation: Sound Engineer
How You Met: Through Jessica’s Brother
Honeymoon: Savannah, GA
DJ: DJ Nyce
Florist: Teacup Floral
Cake: Cupcake Shop
Caterer: El Molcajete Food Truck, Southern Harvest
Hair: Bride
Makeup (Ceremony): Michelle Clark Makeup
Coordinator (Reception): Amanda Scott, a Swanky Affair

Caroline and Brian came into Raleigh all the way from Charlotte to have their engagement portraits taken, and we are lucky to have had the opportunity to meet them! Finally, Carolyn was able to unite with someone who loves school supplies as much as she does, despite no longer being in school and despite not longer being a teacher. :D They also shared our love of 80s movies and reminisced about past job horror stories. On top of all this, we were pleased to find out that only one half of Caroline and Brian enjoy the Goonies and the Princess Bride, much like only one half of Carolyn and Geoff. We wish they lived closer so 50% of us could try to convince the other 50% that the movies are good (or bad, depending on what side you’re on).

These guys met in Raleigh, went on their first date to Gravy and the Raleigh Times (both of which we visited during the session), and have since moved to Charlotte. They’re getting married in Wilmington next spring as a middle ground of their families’ and their own locations. Brian likes golf and refused Carolyn’s suggestion that they go mini-golfing for their engagement session, and Caroline wouldn’t let him bring his golf clubs into downtown. Caroline was both her high school mascot and their¬†prom queen, and also cries at emotional stories about children throwing out the first pitch on ESPN. They’ve both solidly convinced us that the West Wing is probably a good show to start after we run through House of Cards. We had a great time with these two, and we are so happy they came out to Raleigh to see us! Here’s a few of our favorites.
engagement photographer raleigh nc