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Engagement Session – Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens

Julius & Katrina’s engagement session at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

I met this lovely couple at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden for their engagement photos. The weather was hot and humid and very sunny!  To avoid full sun shots, I scouted for good light in unique places that I hadn’t shot before. I love when a situation stretches my creativity and I have clients that are game for whatever I want to try!Inspiration & Design Photography_2154

Katrina and Julius did a great job with harmonious clothing that allowed THEM to be the focus of the portraits. Katrina’s make-up was flawless and perfectly brought out her pretty features. One of which is her incredible smile. They warmed up quickly to my instructions & were natural & comfortable as they got affectionate, playful & snuggly.  Julius did a great job bringing out the joy in Katrina’s heart. She commented “yeah, I like him”. LOL!

She also commented,  “fake eye lashes are the Devil”.  I replied, “But they look so heavenly”! As we wandered the beautiful gardens Katrina limped along in her what I call, “sit & look pretty shoes”. Katrina however had a less affectionate term…TORTURE SHOES! Which she finally had enough of and swapped out for the comfy flats. I’m sure Julius was thinking how thankful he is to be a guy.

You guys were super fun! And in spite of the heat, torture shoes & devil eyelashes, you guys looked effortlessly happy & beautiful together. Thank you for trusting me to capture the essence of your love for each other. I can’t wait to photograph your wedding in September!

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Lindsay & Wally – Cotton Gin Wedding

This Cotton Gin wedding in Monroe NC, was a charming laid back rustic style wedding in lilac & grey.

Wally & Lindsay met in high school  and they have been together ever since. Now seven years later, they proclaimed their love for each other through handwritten vows . But this couple’s deep love for each other doesn’t need to be spoken. You can see it in every touch, & every content smile. Wally is the quiet type, but when he looks at Lindsay, his eyes speak volumes. You know when you watch them, that there is a deep connectedness and comfort in each others company. A trust built through the years. A love built on a solid foundation of respect & adoration.

Cotton Gin Wedding

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Sarah & Darion – Alexander Homestead Wedding

A beautiful spring wedding at the Alexander Homestead Venue in Charlotte, NC.

This venue is perfect for an outdoor wedding. Lots of flowers & trees, a pond, a charming vintage home, an awesome rustic barn for your reception and more!

Inspiration & Design Photography_1972

After years of growing in their faith, as well as their love for each other, they were finally reading their handwritten vows to each other in a beautiful garden, surrounded by the love of family & friends! Darion proposed in Brookgreen Gardens. He caught Sarah off guard and when she turned around and saw him on his knee, she laughed out loud! She thought it was a joke! After so many years together and thinking he was going to propose previously, while on a trip to Disneyland, he certainly surprised her.

I loved all the special stories told during the reception. Stories that brought both tears & laughter. I love hearing about how people met & fell in love. It was evident by all the sentiments that were expressed, that this couple is deeply loved by many.  Both families seemed thrilled to be blended together!

Darion rocked some amazing dance moves, Grandma caught the bouquet, none of the guys wanted to catch the garter and the cupcakes were to die for! After a whirlwind day of beauty, love, laughter and fun, the bride and groom ended the celebration with a stroll through the streamers.

Congratulations Sarah & Darion, your wedding was perfect!! And you are perfect for each other! I  know God has special plans for your life. May you enjoy each moment of every day together…

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Bridal Session – Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens

Sarah’s Bridal session – Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens

I have to say, I LOVE bridal sessions! And I LOVE gardens. So I was pretty much in Photography heaven doing Sarah’s Bridal Portraits. The weather was the perfect temperature, with a soft breeze blowing and soft sunlight filtered by hazy clouds.

bridal session at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens

Sarah’s fiance proposed in the GORGEOUS Brookgreen Gardens in Myrtle Beach, so another botanical garden was the perfect location for her bridals! She was a sweetheart to work with and I loved her enthusiasm and openness to get all posy after she warmed up to the camera.

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Engagement Session – Uptown Charlotte

Leslie & Jason’s engagement session at 1st Ward Park, uptown Charlotte.

It was a fabulously sunny & breezy day when I met Leslie & Jason for their engagement session at 1st Ward Park. This adorable couple let their fun and romance shine through in spite of being a bit camera shy.

I love the clothing choice Leslie decided on. The more dressed up feel went great with the city vibe and the colors were perfect for the water backdrop and variations of blue in the buildings. I love the color harmony.

This hardworking couple have been together 7 years! And Leslie remarked that she thinks they kissed more during their engagement session, than they have their entire relationship! my bad, LOL! See how fun an engagement session can be? Wink, Wink.

Leslie & Jason you guys did awesome! I can’t wait to photograph the wedding in October.

engagement session 1st Ward Park

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Editor’s Choice Award winner for 2016!

Inspiration & Design Photography wins Editor’s Choice Award 2016!

I was beyond surprised to open my inbox today & find out that I won the 2016 Editor’s Choice Award! The email said CONGRATULATIONS,  pop the champagne! Since it’s still morning I will refrain from that, however, I may do a happy dance in my office 🙂

This is more than just winning an award, it’s about not giving up. It’s about trying new things. It’s about finding your way when you are feeling lost. For those of you who read my blog posts, you know that 2015 was the first year of submitting my work for publication. I had no idea what my efforts would bring, but I figured it didn’t hurt to try. And what a wonderful end to my first year of effort!

I was feeling  like a guppy in a new area of the ocean filled with talented Beluga whales!! But in that large sea of talent, I knew that I needed to try to make a name for myself  as a somewhat newbie to the Charlotte Market area. Since my business had ALWAYS grown via REFERRALS, it felt foreign to be in an area so saturated with talent and competing with many photographers who had been in the area for a long time gathering a ripple of referrals and vendor connections.

Entering my work has helped my google rankings, encouraged my little guppy heart and hopefully will help me swim with the Beluga whales once again!

2016 Editor's Choice Award

The Editors’ Choice Awards honor Two Bright Lights members whose talent was continually recognized by top print magazines, blogs and websites. Your hard work and commitment to getting published places you among the top 5% featured, from a community made up of over 40,000 photographers and event professionals. Using Two Bright Lights, you and your colleagues were featured in media outlets that included POPSUGAR, The Knot, Green Wedding Shoes, Borrowed & Blue, Munaluchi Bride Magazine, Destination Weddings & Honeymoons and Southern Weddings Magazine.

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Wedding Do-over Contest Extended

Wedding do-over contest extended until February 29th!! Get your entries in!

I was really excited when I decided to run a Wedding Do-over Contest. I was thrilled about the idea of helping bridal couples that had ruined wedding photographs by offering my services free of charge to do a styled shoot for them.

I have heard so many horror stories over the years and continue to hear sad stories of couples who were heart broken over their awful wedding photos. Photos so bad they didn’t post even one on Facebook.  Photos that they paid for and a year later still don’t have. Photos that were taken but the photographer went out of business. Memories that were captured, but the card they were captured on, was lost or damaged. I’ve heard just about every scenario imaginable. I bet most of you reading this post knows of someone who has a wedding photo story, that doesn’t end well.

The editor of Every Last Detail even shared her story in hopes of helping future brides not make the same mistake. You can read her story HERE

wedding do-over contest extended

I thought I would receive numerous stories, but I did not. I even paid to promote this free offer, so more couples would hear and have the opportunity at a chance to redo their wedding photos. But with no valid entries, there can be no winners.

I know time can slip away and opportunities can be missed. But I don’t want that to be the end of the story. Therefore, I want to offer one more opportunity to you or someone you know, who could really use a do-over! Get the word out to the person(s) you know who need to hear about this contest.

See the original entry requirements HERE . Get your entries to me by midnight on February 29th email to info@inspirationanddesign.com Any winners will be announced March 5th.

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Vintage Valentine Shoot Featured On Wedding Opera!

Vintage Valentine’s shoot featured on Wedding Opera!

What a perfect day to have my Valentine Styled Shoot featured…ON VALENTINE’S DAY!

I truly love everything about this styled shoot. As I mentioned in my original post, my love of vintage, the 50’s & Valentine’s Day, made this an incredibly fun endeavor!

I was super excited when the Wedding Opera, which considers world wide submissions, selected to feature my styled Valentine shoot on Valentine’s Day!

You can see the full feature HERE .  Thanks again to all the vendors that made this shoot possible. For links to each vendor, visit the full post  HERE .

Thanks to Wedding Opera for the opportunity to be featured on your  pages of beautiful inspiration!

Vintage Valentine Styled Shoot

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Voted one of the Best Photographers in Charlotte NC

Inspiration & Design Photography was chosen as one of the best photographers in the area!

I was thrilled when I received an email  October 2015,  from Forrest Kolb at Expertise, stating that out of hundreds of photographers, I had been selected as one of the best wedding photographers in Charlotte!

“My name is Forrest Kolb and I’m the Director of Community at Expertise.com. I’ve been excited to finally connect with you to share the great news that we have chosen Inspiration & Design Photography as one of our Top Picks for wedding photographers in Charlotte!

We’ve spent the past few months going through literally hundreds of wedding photographers in and around Charlotte and your business made our list of best wedding photographers in the area.”

Thank you Forrest, I feel VERY HONORED  to be chosen for this award, because Charlotte NC, has some of the BEST photographers I’ve seen. We have so much talent in our area, which makes me even more  HUMBLED to be one of a select few.

Thank you to EXPERTISE for their effort and research and thank you for this Award!

 

Best wedding Photographers in Charlotte NC

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Vintage Valentine Styled Shoot

Vintage Valentine styled shoot at Ritchie Hill in Concord, NC.

I have always loved Valentine’s Day. It takes me back to being in grade school. I remember creating mail packets that we would attach to the back of our chairs. Even as a child I LOVED to create. So creating a pretty “mail box” to receive my assortment of  Valentines, was delightful. However, the anticipation of the candy & desserts to come, were beyond thrilling in my 3rd grade world!

Being a nostalgic-romantic at heart, one of my treasured hobbies was to spend special time with my best friend, browsing the numerous antique stores in our California shopping area. I began collecting china, linens, handkerchiefs and other items, mostly from the 50’s era. As well as anything shabby chic. Thanks to Rachel Ashwell, one of America’s top designers who created the rich, inviting, practical time worn style.

Vintage Valentine styled shoot

I love watching period movies and have a special fondness for the 50’s. On January 9th, I came up with an exciting idea. Why not combine my love of Valentines Day, my cherished antiques and my fascination with the 50’s  into a themed vintage Valentine Styled Wedding inspiration shoot!

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