Monthly Archives: April 2012

Taylor + Patrick. Randleman Engagement Session.

Taylor + Patrick are dear friends of ours. We’ve known them for just a few years but our hangouts, double-date dinners, and late night talks about marriage have been so meaningful. They are one of the most fun couples I know! Patrick is always making everyone laugh and Taylor is always laughing with him. They are perfect for each other. And I’ve never known a couple more intent on learning. I wish everyone was as honest as they are about life! They are always communicating, always asking questions, and always open to advice and wisdom. I know that God is going to seriously bless their marriage because of their diligence with their relationship. I know they are counting down the days to the wedding and so are we!

Patrick and Taylor mentioned a few locations that really meant a lot to them so we spent the afternoon driving to a few different spots and listening to stories about how they met, and hearing about wedding plans! We started at this lumberyard in Randleman. It had such amazing backdrops!

Seriously… this wall of fans is so amazing!

I love this classic smiley portrait of these two . . .

Cute cute cute!

I love this vine wall. Taylor loved hugging Patrick ;)

We kind of wanted to hang out at this river all day… it was so nice outside!

We were able to get in Taylor + Patrick’s school, where they first met. I love these few shots in the cafeteria. . .

Patrick’s mom just recently sold his childhood home. We stopped by to take a couple of photos in the backyard. I love that he carved their names into this branch. . .

Patrick was totally workin’ this hat!!

I think every girl loves a piggy back ride. . .

Taylor + Patrick, we love you guys so much! So excited about all the date nights and marriage conversations to come :)

Lauren + Zach. Durham Engagement Session.

Lauren + Zach = adorable.

We shot their engagement session in the Tobacco District in Durham, where they got engaged just a couple of months ago. It was perfect. Perfect location, perfect weather, perfect adorable couple! Can’t wait for their wedding in July :)

These two met in school at UNC Chapel Hill and have been together ever since. . .

We made sure to stop in front of Bay 7, where the actual proposal happened. Zach arranged to have a candlelit dinner prepared and popped the question in February!

Love this one . . .

We found the cutest wall to shoot in front of. . . “Home of the 15 cent lunch”! Can you imagine?

I love Lauren’s laugh/smile.

Zach showed us some cool skills. I love Lauren’s laugh after he landed.

I told Zach and Lauren to go stand back in the trees. . . but Zach was a little too tall.

I’m a little jealous of Lauren + Zach’s coordinating style. The only time Jonathan + I coordinate is when we both accidentally wear black v-neck t-shirts at the same time. Ha!

This wall is fantastic. . .

I think Lauren got quite a catch, don’t you? ;)

These are two of my faves from this session.

I love Lauren’s classic solitaire engagement ring. Can’t wait to see these two exchange wedding bands in a few months!

Baby Adeline. NC Family Photographer.

| Posted in: babies, family

If you’re anything like me, you just can’t get enough of babies! Their sweet chubby cheeks, bright little eyes, and perfect lips. . . You just wanna squeeze them! Well, I’m really excited to share some photos of one of the sweetest baby girls out there right now. But this is more than a post about a beautiful baby girl. It’s the story of a family’s journey. A story that I joined October 31st, 2010.

Back up a little bit. . . Sometime in September 2010 I started applying to be part of Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, a non-profit organization that helps families deal with infant loss through portraiture. The organization is made up of a network of volunteer photographers all around the country that respond to calls from families and hospitals dealing with the loss of an infant before/during birth and show up to do some of the only portraits these families will have with their little one. I had been thinking about joining for months but just hadn’t worked up the courage. I have a very tender heart. I didn’t think that I could deal with grieving families and tears and sadness. But as I read more about the NILMDTS mission : “To introduce remembrance photography to parents suffering the loss of a baby with the free gift of professional portraiture. We believe these images serve as an important step in the family’s healing process by honoring their child’s legacy” and read stories from their photographers, I knew I should join.

I finally sent in my application and was accepted as a volunteer photographer. Honestly, I didn’t give it much thought after I was accepted until I received the phone call on October 31st. A local hospital – about an hour from my house – had a family in need of a NILMDTS photographer and couldn’t find anyone else willing to come out at such short notice. Jonathan and I were headed to a friend’s house so we quickly turned around, got my camera, printed directions to the hospital, and I left for Chapel Hill. I cried all the way to the hospital. Fast forward a little bit and I was in Kasey + Adam’s delivery room. There were parents and siblings and nurses and everyone seemed so happy to see me… We went through the process of photographing baby Annabelle with her family and I couldn’t help but notice how peaceful the room was. Adam and Kasey were so kind and sweet. Sad that their baby girl had passed, but happy that they got to hold her, and kiss her, and spend time with her. It was honestly one of the most beautiful and touching things I’ve ever witnessed.

A few weeks later, after I had sent the images and slideshow, I received the sweetest “thank you” note from Kasey and Adam. In fact, I still have it pinned on my board in my office. . .

“Alexa, I honestly can’t express to you how grateful I am for what you have done for my family. We have looked at the pictures and watched the slideshow over and over again, and cried and cried. It’s the kind of crying we need, though. We were so blessed to get to work with you – you were so kind to my family, especially Annabelle, and you captured the most beautiful memories. You have given us something that comes as close as possible to actually being there with Annabelle. . . From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

It is this family, and this thank you note, that has kept me volunteering for NILMDTS for the past year and a half. I’ve served over eleven families so far and not all of them have been so kind. Some sessions have been way harder. And I know every family deals with grief differently but Kasey and Adam and Annabelle gave me the encouragement to keep providing this gift to other families.

 

Kasey shared with me this past fall that they were expecting another baby girl in February and hoped I could do some family portraits once she arrived. Enter baby Adeline. She’s a lucky, lucky girl to be part of this amazing family!

We started the morning with some portraits of Adeline on her changing table. Turns out, it’s one of her favorite places! Isn’t she beautiful?

I love this photo on the left, where Adeline is looking at her daddy.

This one kills me. She’s so stinkin’ adorable!!

She was mesmerized by the camera. . . Lucky me! I love her beautiful blue eyes :)

We called this a “sandwich kiss” in my family. . .

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You can see where Adeline gets her good looks… And I like how she’s waving at the camera in the second picture!

We tried to get Adeline to smile the whole time and she just wouldn’t do it! I didn’t even know I caught this little half-smile until I looked at the images on my computer.

She wasn’t too happy about this hat at first. . .

. . . but then she was too tired to protest for long.

Kasey is such a gorgeous mama!

Another half-smile for daddy. . . Kasey said it’s almost a running joke now that Adeline only smiles at her dad! Hopefully that’ll change soon ;)

This teddy bear is in the photos we took of Annabelle at the hospital. I love that Adeline will grow up knowing about her big sister and how important they both are to this entire family!

Adam and Kasey – I’m so thankful that I got to take part in your family’s story again. You are both amazing parents and a blessing to be around!

Tonya + Jon. Engaged!

I’ve got another adorable couple to share with you today! I met Tonya + Jon at the Weddings Show in Raleigh earlier this year and was hoping that we would get to work together on their engagement session and wedding. They are such a fun-loving, sweet pair and it was so fun running around Raleigh photographing them. At our first consultation, Jon and Tonya told me the story of their relationship – from meeting online, to finding out they had been attending the same church and never knew it! They were meant to be ;) We started the session at Meredith College, where Tonya attended school. . .

These two are always making each other laugh. . .

Isn’t this gorgeous? I think Jon did a pretty good job ;)

The weather here in NC has been incredible lately! Beautiful sunshine and warm temps are bringing out gorgeous greenery and flowers everywhere. I love it!

Jon and Tonya are getting married at Flanders Art Gallery in Raleigh next month. We had fun trying some less traditional engagement photos. . .

An outfit change and a quick drive to downtown Raleigh to finish out the session. . . Don’t you love Tonya’s smile?

We stopped by Morning Times Coffee, where Tonya and Jon had their first date.

I think they’re in love, don’t you? ;)

Jon was cracking us up during the session. Every time we stopped to take a photo, he would strike a pose!

We finished the session back at Morning Times. This is the table that Tonya and Jon sat at during their first date. The guy in the window reflection was kind enough to let us borrow it for a couple minutes :)

Tonya + Jon, I cannot wait for your wedding! You guys were such a blast to photograph and I am so excited to see you exchange vows in just a few short weeks :)