Cypress Grove Engagement Session in Orlando, FL: Pepe + Shameka

Cypress Grove Engagement Session in Orlando, FL: Pepe + Shameka

It was love at first "swipe." Pepe and I met on a dating app, and I am forever grateful because otherwise I would not have met this wonderful man. He was the first guy I had actually agreed to meet for a date...and the last.

Read More

A Lively New Orleans Destination Wedding: Darius + Jessica

A Lively New Orleans Destination Wedding: Darius + Jessica

Not too long after we started dating, I went outside to see that my car had been hit in the middle of the night. I was working on a film set that morning, and couldn't be late for work to deal with it. I called Darius crying, and without skipping a beat, he asked me for the set address and told me that he would meet me there. He showed up, picked up my keys, and I came home to find out that he had handled absolutely everything for me that day. New tires, insurance called...everything. I knew right then that he was a keeper!

Read More

How to Find a Wedding Photographer You Trust — And Why That Matters

How to Find a Wedding Photographer You Trust — And Why That Matters

Jessica Hunt is based in Columbia, South Carolina and loves to travel to nearby cities like Asheville, Charlotte, Atlanta, and beyond for passionate couples who share her ideals and want to invest in their wedding photography.

Read More

Samantha + English's Puptastic Same-Sex Newlywed Portraits in Columbia, SC

Samantha + English's Puptastic Same-Sex Newlywed Portraits in Columbia, SC

English and Sam decided to bring along their two dogs during their session for photos of all of them together as a family. If you know me, you know that I am always happy when my clients bring along their fur babies. English and Samantha's pups, Kerwin and Zoe, wore a matching bandanna and bowtie set, and rocked out their photos with the couple

Read More

A Fairytale Wedding in Vero Beach, FL: Samantha + Stephanie

A Fairytale Wedding in Vero Beach, FL: Samantha + Stephanie

We have always wanted a fairytale wedding. Our thing is Peter Pan, so when we found the venue in a secret garden with all these magical lights, we knew we had to stick with it and create our own fairytale in our very own secret garden under the stars. The venue was a total accident. I was looking up photographers and saw the venue as part of a styled shoot, and Sam fell in love. I like navy blue, and I’m not sure how we landed on blush, maroon, and gold, but it worked out very well for our fall wedding.

Read More

Mark Maya Photography Is Ready to Capture Your Wedding with Honesty, Vision, and Love

Mark Maya Photography Is Ready to Capture Your Wedding with Honesty, Vision, and Love

Along my journey, I've shared each and every detail about what I've learned with my clients, other photographers, friends, and family. The result has been the forming of an honest community of creative people that have used my stories and experiences to grow and create their own.

Read More

Classic Southern Style in Savannah: Ben + Peter

Classic Southern Style in Savannah: Ben + Peter

Our inspiration for the day was classic and clean, with a white and navy blue color scheme. We wanted to incorporate a lot of natural candle lights, florals and rustic greenery. We didn’t incorporate any cultural or religious traditions. Our best friend was the officiant who added a personal element to our ceremony. We couldn’t have dreamt of another person marrying us. She was truly perfect.

Read More

Real Couples // Art-Inspired Wedding at The Levine Museum of the New South: Shavonne + Travis

Real Couples // Art-Inspired Wedding at The Levine Museum of the New South: Shavonne + Travis

I (Shavonne) planned a cabin trip in Gatlinburg for Travis' 28th birthday party. We were surrounded by long-time friends and a beautiful mountain scenery. According to Travis, it was the one time I wouldn’t suspect a proposal! 

Travis was praying for what I thought was dinner that night. The prayer quickly changed from the “gathering of family and friends” to words of endearment that shook my entire being, and then he proposed. It was beautiful, it was perfect, it was for us. I remember waking up that next morning feeling like I was in the best dream ever.

Originally we were thinking of a rustic style, but that changed when we picked a more modern venue. I had my gown made Mikaella from J Majors bridal. It wasn’t too fancy or heavy and I fell in love with it at first sight. Travis wore a midnight and navy tux. He was so handsome in it!

As for my favorite memories of the wedding day, I have so many! Turning the corner to see my husband standing at the altar, seeing the emotional bond between Travis and his sister as they danced, seeing our friends and family in fellowship, and my first look with my father.

Read More

Real Couples // Two Grooms Commit to Forever at the Rialto Theatre: Michael + Nicholas

Real Couples // Two Grooms Commit to Forever at the Rialto Theatre: Michael + Nicholas

Nicholas and I met the way most twenty-somethings meet these days: social media! We went to separate high schools but were both in theatre programs. Through state festivals we met a mutual friend from yet another school and then became friends on Facebook through him. I was living near Daytona Beach, and Nicholas was living in Tampa. After years of being friends online, I decided to drive down and meet him in person. We had a super casual first date at a Red Robin in the mall and we immediately connected so well. I quickly found myself commuting to and from Tampa sometimes two or three times a week to be together. After three short months, we moved in together, and have been together since.

Read More

Real Couples // A Special Clemson Engagement Session in Columbia: Brent + Cass

Real Couples // A Special Clemson Engagement Session in Columbia: Brent + Cass

I loved being able to document the little looks between these two and learn about their engagement story. When Cass first told me about the way Brent proposed I was ecstatic to hear something as romantic as the story she shared! She told me about how Brent invited her to travel to Paris with him, how they spent a few days in the city as girlfriend and boyfriend, and how he surprised her one morning with the question of a lifetime. Doesn’t that sound dreamy and oh-so-romantic?! Brent and Cass left the country as a couple dating and returned ready to promise each other their forever.

Read More

Real Couple // Fun-Filled Carnival Love Session in Durham, NC: Brittany + Deon

Real Couple // Fun-Filled Carnival Love Session in Durham, NC: Brittany + Deon

Deon and I (Brittany) work at a North Carolina-based health insurance company, and are happily married with three kids.

We met at a high school football game (my school vs. his). I noticed him right away in his white Avirex jacket, black jeans and Diesel shoes. I thought he was staring at me all night (he disputes this!), so I sent my friend to get his number.

We talked on the phone for a few months, then we lost contact when I moved to Charlotte. I don’t quite remember how we got back in touch, but we did. We had a conversation about taking our relationship to the next level and have been inseparable ever since.

We told our photographer Nikia Williams that we wanted to do something different and have a background that we felt captured our personalities. A photo session at the carnival allowed us to re-live our high school days!

Read More

Real Couple // A Tented Garden Wedding in Louisville, KY: Elle + Suzy

Real Couple // A Tented Garden Wedding in Louisville, KY: Elle + Suzy

We met six years ago through mutual friends while I (Elle) was visiting my sister in L.A.. Between Suzy battling food poisoning and my already being half asleep with my PJ's on, it's safe to say that neither of us expected to meet our future life partners that night when Suzy walked into the room. It took no time at all before we were able to find everything and anything to talk about.

Our whimsical crushes on one another could have easily fizzled once I returned home to Kentucky; however, after numerous visits to see one another back and forth across the country, it was pretty clear that our “crushes” were much more than what we had thought. Our mutual adoration, curiosity, and yearning for one another only grew stronger with distance and time. 

Read More

Real Couple // A Natural Setting Engagement Session in Mount Airy, NC: Ashley + Ruthie

Real Couple // A Natural Setting Engagement Session in Mount Airy, NC: Ashley + Ruthie

I'll never forget the moment my whole life changed. As I came down the escalator to the baggage claim, the woman of my dreams was waiting. She had my favorite flowers, hydrangeas, and the most heartfelt card in hand. Her legs were shaking as I approached her, kissing her before exchanging words. I've never lived a more romantic moment than that one. We really haven't been apart much since.

Two girls means two proposals! I asked first, on Elon day, right in front of her college dorm where she had a brick made with her name on it. She graduated there, under the oaks, and so did my dad when he went to Elon in 1972 (another thing that drew me to her). Elon is a special part of our story because it's part of what brought us to NC and allowed our paths to cross. I had flowers, a note, and a necklace with Ashley's married initials monogrammed waiting for her to find at the brick with her name.

The same words in my note she had engraved on the ring box she used to propose to me two days later at the airport where we first met (she's definitely the more romantic one). "Without pause, without a doubt, in a heartbeat, I'll keep choosing you."

Being in our thirties, we both feel like we've waited a long time for the right one. We're thrilled to start our lives together, make our own traditions, get through school these next two years, and work on growing our family. We look forward to the depth of companionship that time will bring to our relationship, knowing that things won't always be perfect or easy, but that we are a team and we will love each other through any storm we may weather.

We chose to have our pictures done in a natural setting because we wanted the focus to be on us and our connection. We are often told that "we look so in love" and wanted that to come across in our pictures without distraction from a busy background.

Read More

Styled Shoot // Hip Engagement Inspiration in Asheville, North Carolina

Styled Shoot // Hip Engagement Inspiration in Asheville, North Carolina

For this styled shoot my goal was to take two models into an environment that was aesthetically less than ideal, and create a stylish, artistic vibe that captured a diverse couple. The two locations were a tennis court and an old archery range surrounded by burlap drapes. 

I wanted Jasmine and Chris to give off a hip, casual, urban vibe while simulating a comfortable connection between the two models so I asked them to wear black to give off that feeling and energy. I envisioned this mixing well with the unique, unorthodox setting. 

During the shoot I wanted Jasmine to represent the traditional "male" role which was a challenge but because of the height difference in both the models it ended up working out through experimenting with switching the "norms" of how a male/female couple should interact. 

I chose to capture this shoot using two different formats: film and digital. I felt this would add to the different urban feel that I was going for.

Read More

Styled Shoot // A Vibrant and Bold Bohemian Styled Wedding

Styled Shoot // A Vibrant and Bold Bohemian Styled Wedding

We wanted to highlight a real couple with real love who have been through real life together. Our couple, Jeanette and Corey, have a history that many can relate to. Their story is one of an experienced love built on lessons of patience and understanding for the both of them. 

Their story started similar to many. As Jeanette would say, "(Cory) made it really easy for me to love him." When the couple met, she was 19 and he was 20. They fell in love, made up, broke up, and even got engaged before deciding to take a break. It took long 7 years before they would reconnect again and eventually pick up right where they left off.  In 2015, the couple wed during an intimate ceremony in their home in front of a host of close family and friends. 

For the Bohemian styled shoot, we created a vision that was a tad different from what you would normally expect. Our designer brought in a color palette of blush pink, red, and teal while incorporating traditional bohemian elements like dream catchers along with vintage furnishings and china. The vibrant, bold design paired with real love was displayed throughout this entire shoot! 

Read More

Real Couples // A Natural Engagement Session in Boca Raton: Kelsey + Kris

Real Couples // A Natural Engagement Session in Boca Raton: Kelsey + Kris

Kris and I met during high school track and field. We have always been polar opposites of one another, but like opposing sides of magnets, we were drawn together. Kris has a way of mellowing out my high-strung nature and keeping me grounded to the here and now. And I like to think that I bring happiness and structure to Kris's life. We've been together (on-again, off-again) for going on 17 years. Being apart during our college years made us both aware of how much better we are together than apart.

Read More

The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Music and Mishaps

The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Music and Mishaps

This was a session I did with a musician hailing from Texas known as Myke B. The Label. Our original idea was to shoot in front of this random red door downtown, but turns out the door wasn't so random. The owner to the building came out and asked us to leave so we had to make do with another location nearby. I'd say the photos turned out well despite our mishap. Also: always double check locations before you try to use them. 

Read More

The Catalyst Wedding Review Podcast // Episode 3: I Dream of NeNe with Allison Davis

The Catalyst Wedding Review Podcast // Episode 3: I Dream of NeNe with Allison Davis

In this third episode of The Catalyst Wedding Review Podcast, Jen and wedding planner Allison Davis review the 2013 8-episode Bravo TV series, I Dream of NeNe. They talk about The Real Housewives of Atlanta, the stereotype of the "sassy black woman," the stigma of mental health care in the black community, prenups, vajazzling, what it really takes to put on a celebrity wedding, and that time Jen had an unfortunate nip slip. 45 is also mentioned, but don't worry, his name has been bleeped out for your comfort.

Read More