I definitely cried when Jen texted me asking if I’d take their pregnancy announcement photos. I’ve known these ladies as teachers, and then as friends, and in every stage of our friendship I have been genuinely moved by their love for each other.
These are two of the kindest, warmest, most courageous humans I know, and I am so excited they are going to be parents!! Here are a few snaps from our session in their front yard.
(They called the babe their “little dragon”!!)
They used a sign from their wedding for the announcing – because their last name is pronounced “cook” it sounds out like “cooking for two” – except now it will be three! And featured in these photos are their darling dogs, who are about to be big siblings.
Graduation is just a few weeks away for these handsome fellas! I met all these guys around the time I started in Divinity School – Garrett in my spiritual formation group, Ross in a Spirituality Class where we’d become fast queer theology buds, and Brian first at my husband’s field education placement. I am so excited to see what ministry they will be doing – especially because all of them have such clear, compassionate ways of caring for their friends.
We were so thankful to the Church of the Advocate in Chapel Hill for allowing us to take a few headshots for these guys before they have their own parishes to run!
Best part of the shoot? The church cat stopping by to say hello!
Y’all remember Ashley and Josh’s sweet elopement in Duke Gardens? Well meet the rest of the family! Ashley asked if I’d be around Easter weekend (I was) because her whole family would be in town. Her mom’s dream, she said, was to take some portraits bearing t-shirts from their favorite restaurant.
Little did I know it would be the Salty Dog from Hilton Head, SC! (You may remember my mom is from Bluffton, SC, just over the bridge.) What a beautiful, interconnected world.
It was so tender to see four generations together!
To this beautiful family: thanks for letting me witness your love for each other and be a part of your family weekend!
It’s hard to believe it, but graduation is less than 100 days away for most university students! Minoka, one of the kindest and most genuine people I know, is getting ready to get her diploma from Duke Divinity School. To celebrate, we took a few pictures around campus!
She was SUCH a trooper meeting me, not only at sunrise, but even sported her beautiful smile in the pouring rain that swiftly ensued in the early morning!
If you’re interested in your own senior or graduation portraits, contact me for details! (Discount for graduate students!)
We went down to Bluffton for a funeral. It had been a decade since I’d seen Spanish Moss clinging to live oaks. The bluff on the river was the same, really; there were more houses across the water but the sun still caught in those grey tendrils on the branches, just like I remembered.
It was good, good to say goodbye like this with the water and the palm trees rustling.
I’ve known these two beauties for a long time – like, since the middle school blue-eyeshadow-to-my-eyebrows-phase long time. Thankfully, they’ve stuck around! We all met through a combination of school and youth group, and our lives have been these beautiful intersecting collisions ever since, not least of which was Sarah and I being classmates in seminary together.
Over the weekend, central North Carolina had our semi-annual snowpocalypse; despite it being a balmy 60 degrees on Christmas, temperatures plummeted into the teens and below, and the roads were slick with ice. Our road still hasn’t melted.
Four inches is hardly enough to compare with my first winter in Massachusetts; I remember the first significant snow fall being something close to four or five feet. And admittedly, it’s taken three winters away from New England for me to love the stuff again. But this time around, I couldn’t wait to strap on the dusty ski pants and venture out. Bonus: Sarah and Gabe wanted to do the same!
Thanks for playing in the snow with me, y’all! And for sticking around for so long.
I don’t know about you, but my social media has been clogged with people lamenting how horrible 2016 has been. And, I feel those feelings too; there has been a lot of global-wide fear and harm done. Celebrating the good does not diminish the impact of the wrong, but I want to take a moment and choose to look back at some of my cherished memories from this year. My most favorite moments were largely not photographed by me, or photographed at all. But for the ones I have, I cherish.
So, 2016, in closure:
Wishing you all a safe and rejuvenating New Year’s, and let’s get ready to spread more love in 2017!
I was sitting in an all-but-empty theatre when Ashley sent me a message asking if I’d be around the week of Christmas to take some pictures. I will! I replied, darting up a quick glance at the previews before the film started. And to my query “what kind of photoshoot are you thinking?” she replied, “Josh and I are going to the courthouse to get married!”
The phone all but fell out of my hands!
As it turns out, the courthouse would be closed the day before Christmas Eve, and so through a flurry of texts Ashley told me they had relocated to Duke Gardens. It was bright, and cold, and a gorgeous day to get married.
Ashley met me at my car, a little breathless from the walk and the excitement, and we trod over to a little stone-stepped spot overlooking the gardens where her parents, grandparents, colleague/officiant, and soon-to-be husband awaited. I couldn’t stop grinning. Everyone was so calm, so centered. Ashley told me they’d found a wonderful woman at Lowes Foods to do the boutonnière and bridal bouquet, and they’d had their rings engraved on Black Friday. I had never been surrounded by so many peaceful people on a wedding day, in that sparkling almost-Christmas sun.
After Nana helped affix the boutonnière, the ceremony began. John 15 was read and vows were made.
All was calm, all was bright.
Ashley’s parents signed the certificate and everyone posed for a few portraits. Then, Ashley and Josh and I took a little stroll about the gardens.
After we wrapped up the photo-taking, Ashley and Josh headed back to their car. They were heading home, for a wedding luncheon of her mother’s lasagna (a favorite) and to put on their coziest flannels.
Christmas morning J & I woke up lazy and late, as we’d both been in the midnight service the eve prior. All our animal babies were snug about us … until I unwrapped my favorite present, that is! A practice chanter! For learning the bagpipes!
J’s Christmas gift trend to me is slowly but surely becoming this: buying me the artistic thing I need to reach the dream I’ve always had. These pictures were taken on last year’s gift, my beloved Canon Rebel. And here we are.
We made our way East for an afternoon with my in-laws, who happily posed for some family portraits in the mild December sun. (It’s a rare white Christmas down south, y’all).
Despite the fact that J and his little sister slid so easily back into the days when he would push her around in the swing, Grayson is growing up. She’s bound for college in the fall! So we took a few senior portraits.
A few more pictures later, it was time for a scrumptious dinner and then on to the next Christmas festivities with my mother and brothers and, of course, more cats.
I hope whatever holiday(s) you are cherishing that they are warm and full of light. Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Blessed Kwanzaa, and Happy Solstice from Photos by Lizzie!