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Kaylyn’s Maternity Session// Iron Station, NC Baby Photographer

My best friend gave birth to her first baby 2 days ago! I got the news that Kay was in labor at the VERY beginning of a wedding I was photographing this past Saturday. I jokingly thought to myself… “Lilah Rose, I will never forgive you if you enter this world before I get to the hospital tonight!” I went to the hospital around midnight, left, and returned once I heard Kay was starting to push. That little Lilah bug, sure enough, heard my thoughts from earlier and arrived just 10 minutes after I got to the hospital for the second time. OBVIOUSLY, she knew Aunt Brookie had to be at the hospital to properly document her entrance into the world (Joking!… ha. ha. but seriously) I still haven’t had the opportunity to snuggle her, since she went straight to the NICU after delivery, but my time will come and I hope that anyone reading this will send prayers for little Lilah and her parents while she remains in the NICU.

Here are some of my favorites from Kay’s maternity photography session that we took at her home with Lilah’s “big” furry sister, Bitsie.

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Newborn Photography Session in Lincolnton, NC

It’s always a blessing to be able to give back to someone. This past month, I was able to give a little bit of my heart and passion to someone that put a LOT of their heart into my dance education for many years. Miss Lindsey, as I refer to her, just gave birth to her second baby girl this December and asked me to photograph little Clara’s newborn photo session. I hope Lindsey, baby Clara, and their family will truly treasure these memories of Clara’s little 3-day-old self that were photographed at their home in Lincolnton, NC. Thank you so much Lindsey for asking me to photograph this special time in your family’s life, for being a true role model, and for being a loyal client for the past several years. I can’t wait to see you all again soon!

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Christmas Minis 2015 // Family Photography in the Lake Norman area

I’ve felt like a world traveler this Christmas Season… well, maybe just a “Carolina traveler”. I tried something a little different this holiday season for my Christmas mini sessions and I absolutely LOVED it! I let YOU GUYS decide where to go… Okay, I may have offered up a few ideas 😉 Nonetheless, I had a blast finding new locations over the last 2 months and working my tush off while I was at it! I am so thankful to have had the pleasure of photographing 27… yes, TWENTY SEVEN, beautiful families this season. We photographed together in Denver, Iron Station, Catawba, Rock Hill, Gastonia, Charlotte, Concord, Huntersville, Lincolnton, Lenoir, Maiden, Cherryville, and Mooresville. I feel like the master of location finders at this point and am so excited for the NEXT round of seasonal minis! Check out these incredibly precious moments that I witnessed this Christmas season!

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May you all have a blessed Christmas and a prosperous new year!

XOXO- Brook

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MY engagement session // Iron Station, NC

As the old saying goes, you truly don’t know what you’re in for until you are in it. I photograph Engagement sessions on a regular basis. I do what I can to help my brides plan for everything from the clothes they’ll wear to the location. So OBVIOUSLY, when I began planning my own engagement session I thought, “I got this!” EEENNTT! (that was a buzzer noise, in case you had a hard time sounding that out) Wrong. In real life… when you want something fabulous… it doesn’t come easy. Especially when your future hubby is as particular as you are. The questions went ON and ON with him and there is no way on earth that I’m the only bride to experience this! For 2 months I heard, “What am I going to wear? Where are we taking the photos? What about the dog? Should I cut my hair?” All I wanted was simple… one casual outfit for us and one fabulous outfit, both of which needed to incorporate our wedding colors. Seth was off work for 3 days the week before our engagement session. He “didn’t want to” go shopping on those days to find his outfits so… the DAY BEFORE our session I went to the mall and literally bought everything I saw that was burgundy. Including the burgundy sports coat that we saw in the store together a month before and he refused to try on. Seth came home from work that evening to a kitchen full of potential outfits hanging from the doorways and each dining room chair:)

This is how I see it. If your guy doesn’t like shopping, shop for him and put him in whatever you think looks good. Of course, he gave me grief about what I brought home… “Velvetttt, Brook?? Everyone expects YOU to wear eccentric clothes, but there is NO WAY that I’m wearing that jacket.” Mehehehe. After he saw the photos he said, “Wow, that jacket really pops in the photos. I did look pretty good after all.” Mmmhmm.

Aside from the impeccable wardrobe selection that I knew was going to look fabulous, I also already knew that Seth literally had zero clue what to expect when it came to having his photo taken professionally. Oddly enough, I feel that HE was way more comfortable in front of the camera than I was. Our photographer, Marylou, was pretty awesome at giving direction, but sometimes I couldn’t help but think… “OMG there has got to be so much neck happening from this angle. My hair is out of control right now. Ew, this is my “bad side,” but I trust her. I’m probably going to look like Miss Piggy in all of these photos.” I knew that all I needed to do was chill and trust Marylou and in the end I truly could not have asked for more perfect photos of Seth and I. It was everything I wanted. Our future wedding venue. A creek. Seth wearing boots. Big curly hair. Our favorite field. Golden light and sun flare. Woods. Velvet. Our wedding color, Marsala. Seth in that jacket! And a laid back & super skilled photographer to capture our memories for us perfectly. Thank you so very much, Marylou, for dealing with our crazy dog, our awkwardness, and my fumbles while wearing heels in a field of briers. I can’t wait for more excitement during my bridal portraits!

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PHOTOGRAPHER | ALL BLISS PHOTOGRAPHY

VENUES | VESUVIUS VINEYARDS + PRIVATE PROPERTY IN IRON STATION, NC

HAIR | EVA RUDOLPH of SALON UTOPIA in CORNELIUS, NC

 

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Bluffton SC Bridal Portraits // Colleton River Plantation Club

My cousin Meryl has always been like a big sister to me. How lucky am I to say that I was born with a best friend? We’re so close that I was actually due to be born on her 3rd birthday, but decided to make my mom suffer an extra week before I was ready to pop out. The day I was born, my forever best friend came to the hospital and met me for the first time. We’ve been making memories together ever since.

From day one, she has annoyed the ever-loving-crap out of me….

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Attempted to steal my faint spotlight whenever possible…

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Including the time that she and I we were flower girls for my parents wedding and she stepped on the train of my dress as we were walking down the aisle forcing me to breakout in waterworks…

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She taught me the “Two bits, four bits” cheer and that singing the FSU chant was never allowed in Nana’s house (she’d learned that lesson the hard way)…

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She helped me figure out that in our family your Halloween costume always has to top your costume from the year before…

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When we were young, she and a group of her friends were jumping off of our Papaw’s old houseboat into the lake. I was too scared to jump so she pushed me anyway. That might have sounded awful, but after that push I wasn’t scared to jump anymore. Thanks for being my “pusher,” Meryl…

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And when I told her that I was going to be a wedding photographer she said, “how can I help?” She’s been the most amazing and thoughtful second shooter I could have ever imagined…

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And mostly, she has been there for 90% of anything that I’ve ever asked of her… the other 10% of the time that she couldn’t be there for me she was doing something for someone else… like throwing a baby shower, helping friends move, babysitting, or being a bridesmaid in 5,000 different weddings. She’s always on the move, always doing what she can to be there for everyone she loves, and being a “pusher” when she feels her voice of encouragement is needed…

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We’ve played dress-up ever since I can remember, fantasizing about the day that she or I would walk down the aisle. After watching every Disney movie ever made a thousand times, we knew that we were never going to be true “princesses”, but both enjoyed dressing like them, pretending to be them, and dreaming of our Happily Ever After.

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She was always “the bride” way back when and she finally got to live out her dream with the most amazing groom this past weekend. As they soak up the sun on their honeymoon this week, I think back at how beautiful her day was. Highlights I’ll never forget include her almost sister in law taking song requests in the dressing room and Meryl blurting out (as if she had been thinking about this for a gazillion years) “Just play Regulators by Nate Dogg…”, which ultimately turned into a pre-ceremony dance party with all the bridesmaids. Then there was the incredibly thoughtful gift she gave me, my mom, and her mom… along with the site of Chris watching Meryl walk down the aisle with sweet tears rolling down his cheeks… the ring warming ceremony she asked all of her guests and attendants to be a part of… watching Chris spin Meryl around on the dancefloor during their first dance while her dress floated like a cloud… me going around to ask some special men in Meryl’s life if they would step in for a few short seconds on the dancefloor in memory of her dad in order for Meryl to have a father-daughter dance… the sheer joy on her face as each of her special guys was individually announced to share a dance with her while “little miss magic” played in the background… finally getting to dance the “wobble” at a wedding that we weren’t working at and completely losing our minds like it was 1997 when Backstreet Boys came on… All of those moments I never want to forget and feel so privileged to have been a part of and witnessed.

Meryl and I had a discussion early on in her engagement that I wanted to be completely present with her on her wedding day as her Maid of Honor, which meant that I would hang back on anything photography related during the wedding. She found a great photography team (Dianne Personett Photography). Although Dianne and her husband were hired to photograph the wedding, Meryl and I made a special trip to Colleton River about a month before her wedding to photograph her bridal portraits. It felt like we were 5 years old again, playing dress up. Thank you so much, Meryl, for allowing me to be a part of your wedding experience. Like I said when I asked you to be my Matron of Honor… You are the sun on a cloudy day, my favorite laugh in a room full of people, and the most encouraging woman I’ve ever met. Chris is so lucky to have found a wife as wonderful as you!

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VENUE | Colleton River Plantation Club at the Dye Clubhouse

DRESS | Roz La Kelin Diamond Collection ‘Zsa Zsa’ gown : style 5767T … purchased at Mecklenburg Bridal Gallery

VEIL | Roz La Kelin for Mecklenburg Bridal Gallery... monogramming from Etsy

FLOWERS | Carolina Roses

HAIR | Eva Rudolph of Salon Utopia in Cornelius, NC

ENGAGEMENT RING | Diamonds Direct of Southpark

EARRINGS | The Lily Rose

BRACELET | Charming Charlie

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