Category Archives: Wedding Photography

Change. What does that look like? What does that mean for Smitho Photo?

I have started this blog post more times than I can count over the past couple of weeks and then deleted it as I haven’t been quite sure how to start it or what to say.  This will most likely be longer than I need it to be, so for that I apologize ahead of time!  I have cried, I have prayed, I have leaned upon my husband and put my trust in Jesus.  One of my favorite verses in the bible has always been Jeremiah 29: 11 which reads For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

As some may already know, I have struggled for many years with numerous health issues.  Too many to list in this blog post.  In my lifetime I have underwent countless surgeries including open heart surgery and most recently another revision to my amputation just this November.  Leading up to my most recent surgery last month, I struggled physically more than most even knew.  This summer we had cut way back on how many sessions we booked with Smitho Photo and actually only booked half of what we had booked the year before due to my ability to keep up physically with the demand of the business hoping that would help.  Unfortunately, the demands of the business day in and day out were just too much on my body.  Keeping up with booking, editing, and the behind the scenes work, along with the photographing the sessions and going out on the beach multiple times a week and spending 8 hours at a weddings when we had one booked proved to be just too much.   For every one of those sessions and weddings Mr. Smitho was right there beside of me, helping with lighting and a lot of times shooting along with me.

When we first decided to start the business, Adam and I did so as a team.  The name Smitho actually came from the nickname Adam’s boss gave him years ago at work.  It just stuck and fit, so that became the name of our business.  If you have ever had a session with us or had any interactions with us then you know we work as a team.   We have learned together.  We have attended conferences through the professional photographers association.  He knows more about lighting and the equipment we use than I could ever dream of.  He is a tech junkie and loves to play with light and color gels and new concepts.   All of the work below and actually all work in this post will be his gorgeous art!  I always tell him that I’m jealous that he gets to have all the fun while I make sure I get all the safe shots!

We have worked tirelessly together for countless hours day in and day out to make Smitho Photo into the business it is today.  We have done it honestly and the right way.  We pay our taxes, we make sure that we do everything legally.   We are part of our professional organization.  We take pride in our art.  We don’t just go out and take pictures because we have a nice camera and then charge people.  We have taken the time to learn our craft, and then have continued to work to get it to a professional level that we are proud of.   We have taken workshops, classes, and have worked side by side.  Many times when I’m shooting and it requires special lighting he directs me more than I direct him, haha…. I’m just louder than he is.  He has worked beside me in every single wedding that we have shot thus far.

His work is gorgeous!  He’s patient and pays attention to small details.   He does a great job with detail shots because he always puts a creative spin on them, and sees them in a way that most wouldn’t.

During our weddings, he does a great job of sitting back and watching for intimate emotional shots that show the connection between the couple and each other, or the couple and their family members.  See the pictures below from numerous weddings we have shot.  You can see images he’s shot from the groom first seeing the bride, from during the first dance, or the ceremony, during the send off and reception… he has such a great ability to capture it all.

Usually during beach sessions he has taken the second camera and was busy grabbing candid shots while I was capturing the main images.  Had I needed him to at any time he could have taken over taking the lead images without there being a problem.

He has a knack for balancing the images he takes during a session.  For instance during a wedding day, he does a great job making sure he captures silly pictures that shows the true personality of the bride and groom but also the emotion of the day and the excitement as well.  He thinks things through ahead of time and can see just how a shot needs to be set up for it to work out successfully.

I have taught my Padawan all of my tips and tricks of the trade that I know and physically I am currently in a place where I am unable to keep up with the business in a way that I would like.  Therefore, I am for the foreseeable future going to be handing the reigns over to Mr. Smitho.  I will still be giving him my opinion on…well just about everything… and helping when I able, but the day to day operations and stress, editing, and so forth will be something that he takes over.  We have worked too hard in our business and have built such great relationships with so many clients and after much prayer and discussion could not imagine just giving up and throwing in the towel on this dream of ours.

Unfortunately, after extremely LONG talks with my doctor and our talks as a family, we know that we are making the best decision for our family that we can at the moment.  Once I heal and can focus completely on my health, then at that point we will see how I feel.  As far as Smitho Photo goes and the work that we deliver to our clients, you should still expect to see the same level of work that you’ve come to love as I have full trust and faith in my sweet husband that he can do anything he sets his mind to, and let’s face it… a lot of the shots you’ve seen that you’ve loved were probably his and not mine anyways 😉

For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

And you know what they say… after every rain comes a beautiful rainbow!  Thank you for loving us and our family!  Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we continue through this transition!  We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!!  We are looking forward to seeing you all in 2019!!

 

 

Mr. and Mrs. Gentry

We had the pleasure and honor of capturing Will and Kristy’s gorgeous wedding at The Barn at Rock Creek in Leland last weekend!  It’s such a gorgeous venue to have a wedding!  You can check out The Barn here!

We had a great time and once again I was reminded why we love weddings so much!  There are very few occasions in someones life where they will experience such raw emotion, and this just so happens to be one of those times.

A few months ago we were able to capture Kristy’s bridal portraits.   She told me then that no one but 2 people (her mother and her matron of honor) had seen her dress.  It was going to be a surprise to everyone.  Kristy told me that she never dresses up and would rather be in a t-shirt and jeans any day rather than a dress.  She was such a gorgeous bride which makes that hard to believe.  Here are a few of our favorites from her Bridal Session!

Kristy was one of the most laid back brides I have ever had the pleasure of working with. I really believe that was in part by the help of her wedding planners.  I cannot stress enough the value of having help planning your day!  The girls at Knot Too Shabby Events  worked so hard to make sure every single aspect of Kristy and Will’s day was special.

They had put so much thought into even the smallest details.

This gorgeous bracelet was a gift from Will to Kristy as her wedding present.  Is this not just gorgeous?!?

We first had all of the bridesmaids leave the room while her Matron of Honor, Melissa (who I’m pretty sure was heaven sent!!  She was such an amazing help throughout the bridal portraits and the wedding itself.  There is no telling how many times she straightened Kristy’s train for me!!) helped her get ready. During the time the girls were still getting ready the guys were outside having fun acting a little on the crazy side!

Throughout working with Kristy you could tell that she and her sweet mama Linda shared such a close bond. When I delivered the canvas and printed products of Kristy’s bridals, immediately Linda was overcome with emotion.  Kristy’s wedding day was no different.

That bond wasn’t only shared with her mama, but it was evident very quickly that she was a daddy’s girl at heart.  When we were talking about the timeline for her actual wedding day Kristy wanted me to make sure that we captured her daddy’s reaction to seeing her in her dress for the first time.

When the time came for her daddy to see her I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room.

Will was so excited to see his gorgeous bride come down the isle!  Didn’t he clean up well! 😉 I was giving him a hard time about his mechanic hands.  I told him, as the men in my family used to always tell me, that was a sign of a good man, who knew how to work hard for what they wanted.

I loved how the groomsmen kept looking over at Will to see his reaction to seeing Kristy for the first time.

The wind was blowing so hard that day that poor Kristy had a time with her veil.  I told her later it just gave her more of a story to tell when she was talking about her wedding day!

After a beautiful ceremony, Kristy’s Uncle Gary pronounced them husband and wife.

We had a great time with the bridal party!  They were so much fun to work with and willing to do whatever we asked!

After formal portraits we headed for the reception.

The food for the reception was provided by Middle of the Island and the cake and desserts were from Creative Cake Design by Tammy Hodge and oh so good!  I’m a country girl at heart and nothing makes me happier than yummy southern food!

The first dance as husband and wife and the daddy/daughter dance are always the two points during a wedding day where I hide behind my camera because without a doubt I will have tears in my eyes!   Maybe it’s because as a mama I know how precious these moments are, or maybe it’s because I didn’t have the opportunity to dance with my Daddy on my wedding day due to him having to use a wheelchair.  Who knows…. and maybe it’s just because it’s so doggone sweet!  But either way,  its one of my favorite parts of the day!

Here are a few photos from the reception!

Once the reception was in full swing we were able to slide out for a few minutes and capture a few sunset photos with Kristy and Will.

and of course we had to play around a little bit too!  🙂

They finished the night with a glow stick send off!

And then headed in a limo to Myrtle Beach where they were staying the night!

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Gentry!  I hope you enjoy your honeymoon!  Thank you for allowing us to capture your memories!  Your day was gorgeous!

Be sure to “like” us out on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/smithophoto and our website at http://www.smithophoto.com and last but not least on our instagram page at http://www.instagram.com/smithophoto

Cassie’s Bridal Portraits

I am so excited that I finally get to share these with you!  We took these a few weeks ago and every since I’ve been dying to share them!  Terry and Cassie were married yesterday so now we can finally share these with you!

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In the picture above Adam was squished in a corner with a flash to make sure Cassie’s face was lit up…. sometimes when there is no light we create our own!  If only people saw what goes on behind the scenes to make sure the shots turn out!

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In this shot, Cassie’s very small Matron of honor was hiding directly behind her… once she got her dress fixed, the walkway was so narrow she couldn’t get back around her without stepping on her dress so we just had her sit on the ground and hide… again, no one would ever know what goes into these shots!

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For this picture we may or may not have moved a barricade that was blocking the stairs that said do not enter… it was worth breaking the rules to get the shot!

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I had dreamed of taking images at this venue for a few years and it just never worked out that we could get there.  When we met with Cassie for her initial consultation we talked about locations for her bridal portraits, she was sold on the location.

We initially scheduled her pictures for October… we called to make sure they didn’t decorate for Halloween and they said they didn’t…fast forward to the day before her pictures she called to verify what time they closed and found out the entire castle was decorated with spiderwebs and pumpkins for a fall festival.  So we had to reschedule to just a few weeks before her wedding!

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It was worth the wait and the rush to get them edited and canvases ordered before her big day!

We loved the fireplaces!

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These by far are my favorite pictures to date!  We absolutely love weddings and everything about them!   Tis the season for engagements!  So if you know someone who becomes engaged over Christmas/New Years…. or if you know someone who is already engaged please be sure to send them our way!   There is no greater thank you than the referrals to others!

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Cassie was an absolutely beautiful bride and her wedding day yesterday was gorgeous!  I will be posting later some of the beautiful pictures from her and Terry’s special day.

 

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!

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!

 

 

Allman Wedding

I am super far behind on blog posts!  With Good reason!  I have been busy with doing sessions and editing and all the extras that goes with a busy season of a photographer!  Man have we been busy!  So my goal is to try to get caught up on some blog posts so our most recent work isn’t just seen via facebook.  So a lot of these images if you tune into our FB page which we highly recommend you do… ok actually we insist… so go here now and like our page!

We offer a few different wedding packages.  Some that include just the ceremony.  Some that include getting ready and the ceremony and some that include the entire day.  Chelsea and Zeb were here from out of town and intended on having their reception back at home with their family and friends. So we just covered their getting ready and ceremony.

I knew the first time I met Zeb and introduced myself and he immediately gave me a hug that they were going to be a dream to work with!  Thankfully, I was right!! He and Chelsea were so down to earth and genuinely sweet.

A few from before the ceremony

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I said on Facebook and this still rings true… the skies on their wedding day were some the bluest most beautiful skies I’ve seen!  The weather was absolutely perfect.  The weather in southeastern NC can be a little temperamental, but for their special day it was a dream!

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Zeb, Chelsea, and sweet Zayleigh (LOVE her name!)  were so incredibly sweet and we were so fortunate to be able to capture their gorgeous day!  Congratulations you guys!

Zach and Tori

I met Zach and his family many moons ago when we were attending church together.  I was his youth leader and knew then that he was a special young man.  He didn’t prove me wrong either as now he is a pastor (Man do I feel old!!)  It wasn’t until very recently that I met his bride to be Tori.  She is as sweet as they come.  It was such a complete honor and pleasure to capture these memories for them.  Out of the hundreds of sessions I’ve done over the last few years, these are by far some of my absolute favorites!  If you follow our facebook page which you can do here you probably have already seen a lot of these images.  However, it’s my goal to update the website and blog more often for those who don’t see our fb posts.  Besides who doesn’t love seeing a sweet, young, in love, gorgeous couple more than once!

A75_8577-EditI  had a fellow photographer ask me when I posted their sneak peek how did you get them to act so in love.  I simply didn’t… I didn’t have to tell them much of anything.  They just are exactly as you see.

When we were first talking about locations for their session, I mentioned the castle ruins just past Myrtle Beach, partly because I’m dying to do a session there… but Tori asked me could we do it on her family’s property.  They told me it was a rustic setting with some woods and a barn… Let me just tell you how pleasantly surprised I was to see the location of these pictures.  It was absolutely perfect! There is no wonder this is where she wanted them taken!

This bridge… and this light… it didn’t last long but was so pretty haha… Because of the shading of the trees we ran out of daylight earlier than expected and had to postpone the rest of the shoot until the next day…

B75_8211-Edit B75_8153-Edit B75_8209B75_8165-EditB75_8183-Edit-2 So as we headed to meet them the next day the bottom fell out and I just knew it was going to be a bust but we went anyways… we got there and the clouds cleared just in time for us to finish.  A75_8605  B75_8258-Edit-3 B75_8272 A75_8561-EditCongratulations Zach and Tori on your engagement!  You two are perfect together!