All posts by smithophoto

David and Shabnam

A75_7369David and Shabnam were visiting from Arizona for their special day.   I’m always intrigued how people find our little Brunswick County Beaches from all over the US.  His sister had retired to Holden Beach.  Shabnam told me she wanted all day coverage and that the most important thing to her was her pictures. I was able to spend about 3 hours doing nothing but portraits of the bride and groom.  For a wedding photographer that was a dream!

A75_7586We went to multiple locations in and around Holden Beach to capture their portraits before we headed over to the beach for their beautiful ceremony.

B75_7017-Edit B75_6971-2 B75_6929 A75_7568 A75_7545 A75_7454-2 A75_7360-Edit A75_7315The ceremony was so sweet.  The weather was perfect!  The colors of the chair wraps worked so well against the white sand and blue skies!  Shabnam even had friends and coworkers that flew from Arizona just to be there for her special day!

B75_7124 A75_7609 A75_7669 B75_7122 B75_7209 B75_7199 B75_7257 B75_7281 B75_7359We then had their reception at the Oyster Harbor club house.  When it came time for sunset we knew we wanted to slide out of the reception and head over to the water to do sunset pictures… lucky for us, the kayak dock in Oyster Harbor gave us a gorgeous view!

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Thank you Shabnam and David for allowing us to be part of your beautiful day!  Congratulations!

Drew and Melva

Drew and Melva were married at Holden Beach earlier this month.   They had a private ceremony at Oyster Harbor.  I first met them a few weeks before when they came down to do wedding announcement pictures.  They were dressed in their wedding attire and wanted pictures done before the wedding so they could send out announcement cards, as they were having a reception back home with their family and friends.  What a neat idea!  We met on probably the coldest Thursday afternoon in April!  We would wrap Melva up in a jacket in between pictures because it was so windy and cold.  Here are a few from that day.

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You’d never know we were freezing cold.  But fast forward to their big day and the weather was perfect!  The sun was shining and most importantly it was WARM!   When I went in to where Melva was she was so calm!  She was probably the most relaxed bride I’ve ever come in contact with.

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She told me Drew had one request for the wedding.  Besides having a ceremony on the water he wanted bagpipers.  I had seen bag pipers before, but never fully paid attention to how they are played.  I thought they were so cool!  Andy and Ann Simpson with Simpson Bagpipers did a phenomenal job!

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Melva’s son walked her down the isle and her daughter was her maid of honor.  A75_7092-2 B75_6261

Their day went flawlessly!

A75_7117 B75_6162 B75_6170-2 B75_6371 B75_6372 B75_6378They finished their day with a quaint reception at the Oyster Harbor club house.

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Congratulations Melva and Drew!  Thank you for allowing us to be part of your special day!  We wish you nothing but happiness!

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Stay tuned to the blog as this was just the first of the 4 weddings we had during the month of May!

Just how important are professional pictures of me with my kids?

This will be long, but definitely worth the read… You will also learn very quickly that although I have a masters degree and have years upon years of education under my belt I’m not the english major my sister is.  I’m not an eloquent writer and I just hope by the end of this my point comes across.

I recently gave a presentation and as part of the presentation I was looking for pictures from when I was a small child.  I have boxes upon boxes of old images.  I was born with a multitude of health issues.   When I was brought home from the hospital my mom came to stay at my grandparents house.  My grandfather and I developed an undeniable bond like no other.grandaddy

I continued to stay with my mother and grandparents… After my mother and father were married, they moved to a place of their own.  Every time, they’d take me home with them I’d become extremely sick and end up in the hospital.   When my grandfather would arrive, my fever would break and I would start coming around again.  The doctors couldn’t explain it but, after much contemplation my parents decided to allow me to stay with my grandparents, although they remained a very active part of my life.

So as I started to prepare my presentation I found picture after picture of me by myself as a child and countless pictures of me and my grandfather.  I realized, my grandmother, the patriarch of our family… I had very few pictures of.  They were almost non-existent.  As a small child the only picture I could find was this one at a Shriner fish fry fundraiser… not the best picture to say the least. Picture1

I know there are only a few in existence of me and my mother as well, although I couldn’t find them before my presentation.  My Nana played a vital role in my life growing up.  She worked tirelessly and was always giving to others.  We always had someone else living with us, that she had taken in who didn’t have anywhere else to go.  If she saw someone walking she would stop and pick them up, bring them home, feed them a hot meal, and then take them where they wanted to go… in the 80’s that was still safe to do.   My precious Nana…  who decorated for every. single. holiday,  who loved her Polaroid camera,  who was devoted to her disabled husband, was never in front of the camera.

My first year in college I got a phone call, that Nana had a massive stroke.  Her speech was affected, her memory and mind were affected, and she had slight paralysis.  It took countless hours of physical therapy and OT to get some sort of normalcy back to her life.  However, from that date forward she was never the same.

As I waded through picture after picture, I just knew there had to be more pictures in there of her, and sadly there just wasn’t.  I came across some pictures I took with my cell phone back in 2012 many years after her first stroke on mothers day with my mom and with my Nana on Facebook.  They hadn’t been printed, and if they were they’d be so pixelated from the terrible quality they wouldn’t print well.

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In today’s modern world, it is so easy to grab your cell phone and take a “selfie” with you and your kids, or parents, or whoever.  Gone is the day that you carry around a real camera to family events.  Then you take those selfies and upload them to social media for the world to see…. but have you ever thought about what happens if your profile if the social media sites were deleted?  What happens in 20-30 years from now when your children are looking back, digging through trying to find pictures of you.  Will they find them?

My grandmother is now in a memory care facility.  I see her weekly and cherish every minute we get together.  I even convinced her a few months ago to let me take her picture.   She’s as beautiful now as she’s ever been but pictures just aren’t the same.   Every time she has a ministroke a little more of nana as I knew her slips away.  It’s a constant reminder of the fragility of life.   As of late we have more bad days than good days… and nothing is as it once was…. A75_4546-Edit

This is why I decided to do Mommy and Me mini-sessions and why I decided to discount them as much as I did.  I want anyone who is interested to be able to have the opportunity to capture those precious memories that will span among generations for years to come.   You can go here to book your session.  This was the ad for the sessions that were ran on Facebook.

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These sessions are so personal for me… they are something that I’d given anything to have from when I was a small child with my mother and grandmother.  I also realized as I went through this that I have very few pictures of me with my own babies…  Since having our second child last July I have been overly self conscious with my appearance and hate the way I look in pictures… As a photographer it’s just easier for me to be behind the camera…  so I have vowed to do these myself as well.  Mr. Smitho  is a great photographer as well and I will have ours done as well… even if I’m dreading it just to make sure we’re capturing our memories!

Last year I took a picture of Nana’s  hands intertwined in my daughters hands.  To date it is my favorite picture that I’ve ever taken.  It speaks so deeply to my heart.  Those hands that held me so many nights, now wrinkled, calloused, and tired… in the sweet youthful hands of my daughter.  I’m reminded of what’s important.  At the end of the day, when it is all said and done, we will have our memories, and pictures.  smithophoto (1 of 1)

The Millikens!

If it weren’t for this precious family my husband and I would have never met.  Most do not know how me and Mr. Smitho met… While I was attending UNC-Wilmington, using an ancient version of instant messenger named ICQ.  He was looking for a girl in his class to get a homework assignment.  He found me instead… his first words to me were “do I know you?” haha not to bore you with a whole lot of details but we realized we were from the same county but attended different high schools… When I told him I attended UNCW he told me the only person I know at UNCW is a girl named Carmen…   I Said funny… my suite-mate and good friend is named Carmen…  come to find out it was the same person…  He worked with her boyfriend and they had went to high school together… After doing some investigating with her that he wasn’t a weird stalked we would chat briefly online here and there… it wasn’t until a couple years later that we would finally meet up…   Almost exactly to the day , 14 years later and we’re still together!  Now Carmen and her then boyfriend are married and have a precious little girl!  How gorgeous is this mama??  A75_3943-Edit-Edit

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Those eyes!!  and she wasn’t a fan at all of her cake! A75_4219-Edit-2  A75_4042-Edit A75_4058-Edit A75_3846-Edit She’s so incredibly beautiful…

You may remember her sweet newborn pictures…

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I’d have to say she’s only gotten prettier as she’s gotten older 🙂

Happy Birthday sweet girl!!

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The McMillan Family

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Oh this sweet family!!!  I am SO behind on our blog posts!!  We were so busy back in November when I did their session I just realized I never posted their session on the blog or on our facebook page!!!  I’m finally getting time to take a breather!  We are working on updating all the images in our galleries on our website…yes it’s quite sad I have a 7 month old and the image on my website of me is still a maternity picture!   Anywho…  I LOVED how these turned out so I just had to share them with you albeit 2 months later!

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I met Lisa when she was working with my sister in law… at a birthday party for my niece… She had this gorgeous baby boy then and I was just waiting for the day I could get him in front of my camera… He was shy at first and wasn’t too sure of this crazy woman acting like a fool or her big camera…however…with a little bribery and a little bit of playing around and he was perfect!

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How gorgeous is this sweet boy?!?

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and one more of his sweet mommy and daddy for good measure!

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I LOVE when a beautiful family, beautiful lighting, and a beautiful location all comes together… It’s my favorite!  I promise promise this year to stay more up on posting when I have sessions on our blog and on our facebook page!!

If you haven’t liked our Facebook page please do so!

Nancy and Keith’s Happily Ever After

Nancy and Keith were married October 10th at  “Memory Maker” in Ocean Isle Beach.  Memory Maker is one of the most beautiful beach houses I’ve ever seen.  You can check it out here.  It made the perfect backdrop for their special day.  When I sat down with Nancy the day before her wedding she said you do know it’s going to rain right?  Of course I tried saying maybe not… we’ll wait and see.  Trying to give her a glimmer of hope that every weather station we looked at was wrong.  Most brides would have had a complete fit that their wedding wasn’t going to happen just as they had planned out on the beach.  But not Nancy.  She and Keith both, were so easy going and willing to just go with the flow.  The morning of her wedding I had hope that maybe just maybe the rain would hold off but by lunch time it was pouring and continued to do so most of the night.  At least though, they say rain on your wedding day is a sign of good luck!

Getting ready…

Their wedding party was so much fun!  You wouldn’t know that some of these shots were taken with Mr. Smitho or myself standing in the pouring rain to get it.

We had to get creative with the bridal shots and the shots of the bride and groom due to the rain.  We wanted them to be unique, also wanted to show the venue and setting , and to hopefully make it so that you didn’t see all the rain.

The reception was so sweet.  I have to admit I became quite misty eyed watching Nancy and her Daddy dance.  It was such a precious moment when her daddy became emotional.  One of my favorite pictures of the reception is the guys catching the garter.  If you can zoom in on their faces.  They were hilarious!

So despite the rain and all the unforeseen circumstances Nancy and Keith’s day was perfect!  She was so gorgeous!  I told her she looked like Katie Holmes.  She and Keith were so perfect together and you couldn’t help but feel the love they shared for one another.

Congratulations on your wedding!  We wish you many years of happiness!

 

 

Updates in the world of Smitho Photo-A glimpse into our lives!

This will be long… but it’s long overdue!  When you hire Smitho Photo you are hiring a husband and wife team!  By reading our about page (because I’m sure you’ve combed every inch of our awesome website), you would learn that Adam and I have a daughter Lexi who is 6.  What you may not learn because I desperately need to update it like every other part of the website, is last October we announced we’d be adding a new addition to our family.

After what seemed like forever, I learned what the true meaning of anxiety was.  Taking my 9 month pregnant self and putting it in front of my own camera was a scary experience!  I’ve always struggled with my weight and been super self conscious.  But this was our last baby and I wanted to remember myself just as I was…

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After a difficult pregnancy riddled  with doctors upon  doctors, gestational diabetes, insulin injections, and numerous ultrasounds our sweet precious Landon James was born July 2nd weighing in at 8lbs 9oz.

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Our family was now complete!

I had a c-section so after a week of the hospital, after a few days home I was determined to take Landon’s newborn pictures myself.  I’m still not quite sure what I was thinking.  My sweet boy gave me a run for my money!  But in the end Mommy won!  Adam plays guitar.  The guitar in these photos are actually his Papa’s guitar who we named Landon after.  My prayer was that he didn’t pee on this precious one of a kind heirloom!  He humored mommy and refrained!

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During the transition to a family of 4, Lexi somehow grew up overnight.  She all of a sudden seemed maturer and lost both of her front teeth.  It was also time for Landon’s 3 month pictures.  So what happens when there’s milestones happening and your mommy is a photographer… well you document them!

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And in closing… Since it’s now November of course we had to throw Halloween in the mix.  We have a few HUGE Star Wars fans in our house…yes we already have our tickets purchased and in hand for the new movie!  Lexi wanted to be Princess Leia… well you would think with anything and everything branded Star Wars these days that would be an easy task!  Not so much…   So Grandma came to our rescue with making her incredibly awesome Princess Leia costume.   Mommy and Daddy made the belt and we had to settle for a light Saber b/c a blaster was no where to be found!  We also couldn’t find an infant Ewok costume!  Imagine the horror!  How could they not have an Ewok costume for a 3 month old!?!  It is absolutely necessary!  I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything cuter!  If you don’t know what Ewoks are you need to look them up!  I want Wickett to come live at my house!

So if you’ve made it this far in this incredibly long blog post I’m impressed!  You see when you choose Smitho Photo.  You’re not jsut choosing a husband and wife team. You are choosing a family.  You are helping pay for dance lessons and tball for our sweet girl.  You are paying for diapers and eventually sports for our little boy.  You are helping support our small family.  That’s why your continued support and business means so much to us.  That’s why your referral to you coworkers and friends means so much to us.  Because to us this is personal.

I will leave you with our sweet Ewok and Princess Leia herself!

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