It’s their wedding day!  SOOOOOO excited to be present to document Melinda and Will’s wedding today, but in an attempt to catch up a bit on blogging I thought I would share their amazing Duke Gardens engagement session that we shot in April!

It was a perfect but a little humid spring day.  We were just starting to get into heat and I tell you what, the heat between these two….. EPIC!  These guys are absolutely perfect for each other and I will admit I was a wee bit nervous going in to the engagement session because other than our connection with ECU and Duke, I was trying to figure out some things to make these guys laugh and really enjoy their time with me.  Well, I should have never been nervous at all because these guys ROCKED their engagement session!

We went to some of my favorite places and even tried a few new ones and we had perfect light y’all.  PERFECT light for this perfect couple!

Enjoy a few from their engagement session and stay tuned because they tie the knot TODAY at St. Francis Church and Wakefield Plantation!

~Hugs~

Rebecca

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Part One of Sarah & Donnie’s Barclay Villa wedding outside of Raleigh, NC was all about preparations and the beautiful ceremony and now on to the portraits and of course the PARTY!  Such a fun day and I know this couple had the best time on their wedding day!

Congrats again guys!

~Hugs~

Rebecca

Wedding coordination : Shawn Schindler Events – Raleigh, NC

Ladies Hair & Makeup : Mattie Johnson – Raleigh, NC

Sarah’s Dress : Maggie Sottero at Carolina Bridal World – Smithfiled, NC

Sarah’s Shoes : Nina

Bridesmaid Dresses : Davids’ Bridal – Raleigh, NC

Jewelry : Charming Charlie

Officiant : Katherine Williams with Ceremonies by Katherine – Raleigh, NC

Florist : Expressions of Love – Fuquay Varina, NC
Wedding cake : Ashley Cakes  – Raleigh, NC
DJ/Entertainment & Photo Booth : Eric “Animal” Mills with Stylus S.E. – Apex, NC
Catering : Unforgettable Food Affairs – Raleigh, NC
Venue : Barclay Villa – Angier, NC
Second Photographer : Jim Coleman
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I have been getting a lot of curiosity and views on my posts of behind the scenes screen shots to show you the work that I put into a composite image.  I do at least one for every newborn session and often many.  I also use them for maternity sessions and milestone sessions.  Sometimes I have had to use them for weddings – those are mostly for ease of editing and speeding the process along; with newborn and baby photography I utilize composites for SAFETY.  Safety is always the reason and when you see the SOOC (straight out of camera) images you will see why.

No child could or should hold them selves up by only their arms, wrists and hands and nor should they be suspended over something without a hand there to protect them and something below them.  This is a photoshoot and safety should ALWAYS be the top priority of any professional newborn photographer.  Those Pinterist fails you see all over the internet, not only are those that think they can do it on their own, they are also taking great risks with a very tiny life.

I have started taking screen shots of what I am actually doing on the computer when I am editing so you can see for yourself the work that goes into it.  There is A LOT of work, knowledge and stuff that goes into taking newborn portraits and one of the many reasons why you should know what precautions your photographer takes to keep your child safe during your session.

Sharing here a few screen shots from me editing the images.  Note the “scene” image the fabric swing was only filled with a beanbag to give it fullness. I had to extend the stick and cherry blossoms by quite a bit to achieve the look I was after.  Professional-Newborn-photographer-based-in-Raleigh-North-Carolina-studioProfessional-Newborn-photographer-based-in-Raleigh-North-Carolina-studioProfessional-Newborn-photographer-based-in-Raleigh-North-Carolina-studioProfessional-Newborn-photographer-based-in-Raleigh-North-Carolina-studioProfessional-Newborn-photographer-based-in-Raleigh-North-Carolina-studioProfessional-Newborn-photographer-based-in-Raleigh-North-Carolina-studioProfessional-Newborn-photographer-based-in-Raleigh-North-Carolina-studioProfessional-Newborn-photographer-based-in-Raleigh-North-Carolina-studioProfessional-Newborn-photographer-based-in-Raleigh-North-Carolina-studioProfessional-Newborn-photographer-based-in-Raleigh-North-Carolina-studioProfessional-Newborn-photographer-based-in-Raleigh-North-Carolina-studioProfessional-Newborn-photographer-based-in-Raleigh-North-Carolina-studio

NOTE : The only image that actually has the baby in it there is a beanbag below her and I only needed an inch of clearance to get a free space below the baby.  Professional-Newborn-photographer-based-in-Raleigh-North-Carolina-studio

FINAL EDIT – After some warping and lots of re-building to get what I was going for – there she is sleeping from a brand of cherry blossoms !

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Next one is extending the canvas – adding a wooden plank secondary to studio restrictions.  I got the perfect smile and pose of big sister but because of the height of the stroller, I ended up with not enough of the wood wall behind them on the left.

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Professional-Newborn-photographer-based-in-Raleigh-North-Carolina-studioFINAL EDIT!

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Last is a popular one – “froggy” or head in hands pose is ONLY performed safely with hands always on the baby.  I lowered the opacity on the layers so you can see the two images that I used to make this composite.  I also fixed the angle of the crown because when I completed it, something looked a little off so I used another image with the crown included and tilted it to my liking.

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Hope you enjoyed some magic and remember that what you see in the final image is not always shot as is in camera.  Hiring a professional and SAFE photographer for your newborn session should be priority one.  Too many photographers claim training and do not practice it when they are in session.

~Hugs~

Rebecca

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We had such a beautiful morning for this family session and a very energetic toddler that was actually really, really excited about his baby sister!  We had some fun exploring Historic Oak View Park and then we went back to the studio and sister actually took a little nap – Ha!  It was cute and unexpected – well, and ADORABLE!

My favorite images from this session though was when I was trying to get mom to interact with baby and dad to interact with toddler and well – toddler decided that he wanted to crawl OVER dad and mom to get to his baby sister!  So cute, unexpected and well – I think a moment to be treasured forever.  I love sitting back and watching these moments happen.  Family interacting with each other and being unscripted and unposed; mixed in with the smile and look at the camera, that is what I strive for!

Enjoy!

~Hugs~

Rebecca

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I had a request from my friend Rachel that is the editor of the magazine I shoot monthly sessions for in Durham, to take some pictures of her step son and their new puppy Hope!  And what an adorable fur ball she is!  SO soft and sweet!  This was to be a Father’s Day gift for Jack’s dad (and while I am biased, I think pictures and in particular canvas artwork is the BEST gift.)

I do often have a vision in mind for myself of an image I want to make sure I capture.  Sometimes it is visions of “wouldn’t it be cute if…..” and then eventually I have the perfect session to put it into action!  I knew that we wanted to get some great pictures of a boy and his dog – looking at the camera, going for a walk, etc.  But I had a vision of a profile image of the boy and his dog that was so much about connection between the two of them and less about the connection of the two with the camera.

The stage was set and we had a perfect day at Duke Gardens in Durham, NC and while it was a bit busy even for a week day; I couldn’t blame all the visitors though – it was a gorgeous and perfect day for a stroll through the gardens!  I did monopolize the top of the stairs/arbor area for a few minutes and we got the frame that I was hoping for.  Jack looking down at Hope and Hope sitting in obedience and friendship looking up at her human.

Such a glorious moment – and I only got a few frames of it before Hope was off again!  It is defiantly a favorite and Rachel purchased a beautiful and BIG canvas of it for over their fireplace.

It gives me so much joy to share some favorites from this beautiful spring Durham, NC session – enjoy Jack and Hope!

~Hugs~

Rebecca

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