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Uptown Graffiti Finds

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Today I was able to convince a few friends of mine to venture uptown with me for a photoshoot. After all, Its a shame that we live so close to the city and never truly experience it aside from the nightlife scene and museum hotspots.

The four of us parked at a fairly known location and set off across the tracks in search of an interesting urban landscape. We walked in the opposite direction of the metropolitan city, under a bridge and found what we found was what appeared to be a parking lot and demolished building, however, on the crumbling walls surrounding the bleak cracked asphalt covered with litter and broken glass, was the most impressive graffiti art.

Although the trash heaped in the corners of the lot, and empty to-go containers scattered the pavement, we found it an alluring place to capture the side of the city no one cares to really see. There was no waste management here, no city beatification projects conspiring by the benefactors of the metropolitan area. Although we found the there to be great beauty in the landscape that we found and photographed, there was also a forlorn melancholy to the area, as we watched what appeared to be the homeless population huddle under the bridges, and cross these forgotten graffitied parking lots to other destinations.

on a better note, while we were taking photos, posing, and climbing the crumbling walls of this infrastructure we met a nice man who is a native to the city and felt comfortable enough to talk with us for a little while. He told us that the best place to find graffiti was the railroad tracks a mile away, thats were he said her did his best work. He was also king enough to let me photograph him.Although we didn't get to the railroads today, it seems like a place we would have to return to next time we drive out to the city to check out more graffiti art.

There was something so enchanting about these public displays of art that are hardly ever seen by the public, almost forgotten.

Fall Frolicking

I just want to live in a world of coffee, campfires, cabins, and golden trees, and run around with a camera and a notebook learning the inner workings of everything real- Victoria Erickson

Seeing that it's the first day of the thanksgiving holiday weekend I decided that there was no better time to scope out new places in my area. So, at 5:30am when my alarm woke me; It was still dark. I consider calling the whole ordeal off to enjoy my one morning of sleeping in, but somehow I had convinced one of my nearest and dearest friends to wake up with me before sunrise, drive out into the middle of nowhere, and take photos with me on what could possibly be the coldest day in November. The temperature read 29 degrees when I left my house with two thermoses of coffee and camera in hand. When I pulled in front of her house I was worried she too had considered going back to bed, but sure enough she popped out of the house into the view of the porch light and headed down the drive way.

When I say it was cold... we could see our breath, and required many minutes of motivational speeches to get out of the car and head down a beaten path which rumor has it, leads to a walkable bank of a nearby river.

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The photographs from this outing make it seem like we were warmer that we were. but take my word for it. It was cold.

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All in all though, I was excited to get to spend time with my friend. Luckily after the photoshoot was done we went and got breakfast to warm our hands and our spirits.

Crowders Mountain Surprise Engagement

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When Carson first contacted me about shooting his proposal I was thrilled. What could be more exciting than witnessing one of the most pivotal and magical moments in a woman life (and probably most stressful in a mans)? I was slightly worried however, when he told me his plan. Unfortunately  my athleticism and personal fitness was not at an all time high, and he was proposing on the top of Crowders Mountain. The day of the proposal was beautiful, it was blue skies, sunshine, and slightly chilly wind over the mountain top. It was obvious that god created the perfect day for these two. I met Carson's good friends at the bottom of the backside trail, they were assigned to bring his guitar up to the top. So we hiked up bright and early at 9:00 am and waited for the couple to arrive. After about an hour of patiently waiting and catching our breath from the accent, we got the 10 min warning notification that he and his soon to be fiancee were nearing the top of the mountain. His friends hid behind some rocks along with his guitar and I pretended to be a tourist photographer (she luckily didn't know me so I blended in.) However, after he brought his guitar out and some random girl started snapping photos of them, its safe to say she knew something was up. 

 

His friends and I listened as he played her the most romantic song on his guitar that he wrote specifically for her and this proposal; and he couldn't have picked a better spot to serenade her. The cliff side looked over the entire surrounding area for miles out it was mesmerizing and picture perfect. The horizon even had a beautiful distant view of the charlotte skyline where I had traveled from earlier that morning.

As anticipated he popped the question!

There were tears and laughter and so much love in this moment and I know that I am so privileged to have played a small part in it.My heart is so full from witnessing such a pure and spontaneous moment between two people. I could not have imaged anything better for my first experience photographing a proposal.

Smitten at Smith Lake

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DSC_0025 I met Brooklyn and Justin at Smith Lake in Mt. Pleasant today for an engagement shoot, for mid February, it was a beautiful partly sunny and 65 day. Apart from the weather, it was amazing moreover to help capture the love and affection between two people.

Brooklyn and Justin also brought a surprise along with them, their recently adopted puppy and their two horses. It was magical and fun getting to photography these two with their growing animal family.

Ps. The horses had a good time too!

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Wedding Bells at the Ballantyne Hotel

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This past weekend I had the honor to shoot a beautiful wedding at the Ballantyne Hotel in Charlotte. The event took place in the two story atrium with floor to ceiling windows and a magnificent iron spiral staircase. Each step was adorned with candles along with each of the tables, adding a warm and cozy glow to the space.  We were able to sneak off into the garden terrace for a few short moment before the guests arrived, even in after the stress of quickly planning the wedding in a short time frame, it was obvious how much these two adored each other. Amy and Dennis make an amazing power couple that is sought after by so many people today, it was a great experience working with them. These photos were taken shortly before sunset with the pond and golf green in the back ground, it was picturesque and sunlit, adding to the romance of the night.

This wasn't just any wedding, however, you see they bride and groom disguised their event as an engagement party. Their guest had no idea that a preacher would be coming toward the end of the night to wed them. There was nothing more charming than seeing the surprise on the faces of their closest friends and family when they realized what they would be witnessing. When Amy descended the stairway in her white dress all eyes were on her. It was so overwhelming and enchanting to be able to capture such a pivotal moment in the lives of this couple; and nothing is more enduring than a bond made before God, and surrounded by all of your friends and family.