James & Emily Wed || Glasgow Barn || Fredericksburg, VA

Durham, NC based photography

Megan, Keith, & Iris | Durham, NC

I always feel a deep honor when I develop a continued relationship with a family, couple, or individual. It feels like a confirmation that I was able to capture a bit of their family in a way they felt honest and genuine. Megan and Keith have been those clients. I've been photographing this adorable family since before little Iris made them three. I always look forward to photographing the Pardues. Not only because of the giggle-fest that typically ensues, but also the bits of conversation, hearing updates about their lives, getting to know them beyond what is captured in front of the camera. 

Jenny & Alex | Married Rocklands Farms, MD

As I keep warm on this rain-filled, icy Durham day, I think back to a wedding this year that despite the rain remained filled with all warmth and love. 

Alex and Jenny's wedding centered around being laid-back and intimate; a party where they could celebrate with their dear family and friends.And that it was. Under the open Maryland sky, her father married the couple. Friends played live music throughout the ceremony and into the meal. Jenny's amazing sister-in-law (a professional planner) made sure that the details were taken care of so Jenny and Alex could simply be enveloped by the momentous occasion. No one seemed to notice the drizzle between cocktails, oysters, and lawn games. Especially once the bourbon bar made a debut (a generous gift by the bride's brother). All in all, the pictures speak for themselves-- a wedding full of sharing and recieving love. 

Amber & Travis Married | Raleigh Wedding Photography

Remember Amber and Travis? Their sunrise engagement session did not do justice their kindness and love towards each other. I find myself blessed to have met people so thoughtful and kind. Amber and Travis' wedding day reflected the love they hold for each other and their community.  

 

Thanks again you two for allowing me to capture your day. 

venue // All Saints Chapel // www.allsaints1875.com

catering // The Q Shack Raleigh // www.theqshack.com

photo booth // Classic Carolina Photobooths // www.ccphotobooths.com/

 

Caffe Bellezza | Durham, NC Photographer

From the quality of the espresso to the the wood counters he reclaimed from his grandfather's barn, Tim Morris of Caffe Bellezza spares no attention to detail with his coffee truck.  I got to know Tim through his partner-in-crime Julie (a rather brilliant and kind person in her own right that I deeply enjoy calling "friend"). In the three years I've lived in Durham, I've rarely seen Tim without a tasty beverage in hand--coffee or otherwise. When they announced the forthcoming coffee truck I knew I would frequent regularly. Lest you be skeptical of how a person could make a delicious cup of coffee away from a brick and mortar storefront, I'll tell you that this truck is more of a traveling coffee heaven than a trailer. The only solar-powered food truck in North Carolina, this thing is equipped with a really, really fancy espresso machine, several electric kettles, highly accurate scales, and a giant red professional grinder that looks like a fire truck standing up. I don't need to know the technical terms, I'm the photographer here mind you. And if these pictures don't convince you, that means you might have to (YOU SHOULD!) take a trip to the Durham Farmer's Market to grab a cup for yourself. 

Caffe Bellezza has recently entered into the wedding scene. With espresso in hand, Caffe Bellezza now travels to your wedding venue of choice and serves up your guests North Carolina's best caffeinated brew. The following pictures are from one such intimate Durham nuptial. 

At the end of the day I cannot speak more highly of Tim, Julie and Caffe Bellezza. They are people who care about sustainability, the quality of their product, and the community it impacts. 

I am also please to share a half-pound of Caffe Bellezza house roast with all my wedded couples this 2014-2015 season. So regardless if you are in D.C. or San Francisco, I am pleased to share with you a piece of this piece of earth I'm learning to call home.  

The Sugam Family | Durham, NC

Durham, meet one of your newest residents, Max Sugam. Laura and Jon are nothing but excited and endeared by this little one. I must say, that I love the families that find me and these three are no exception. 

Heather & Matt | D.C. Wedding

In the midst of #snowapocalypse2014 Matt and Heather married. The clouds parted, the snow melted, and for a weekend it was in the mid 60s, sunny, and perfect. They made working with them not only enjoyable but easy-- and this ease came through in their entire wedding.  From handwritten (yes, HANDWRITTEN) notes to all the guest to thoughtful toasts, this wedding was one to savor. 

Whitney+Jordan | A Mountain Portrait Session

Every year since my college graduation my dear college buddies have gotten together for some New Years shenanigans. This year we ventured up to the Pennsylvania Appalachians to enjoy a cozy cabin and some mountain snow. Whitney and Jordan, two of these college dears, might be the most endearing people I know. Endearing enough to put up with me dragging them out into the cold for some photos. 2014-01-04_0001.jpg 2014-01-04_0004.jpg 2014-01-04_0003.jpg 2014-01-04_0002.jpg 2014-01-04_0012.jpg 2014-01-04_0007.jpg 2014-01-04_0006.jpg 2014-01-04_0010.jpg 2014-01-04_0011.jpg 2014-01-04_0014.jpg 2014-01-04_0009.jpg 2014-01-04_0017.jpg 2014-01-04_0008.jpg 2014-01-04_0005.jpg 2014-01-04_0015.jpg 2014-01-04_0016.jpg 2014-01-04_0013.jpg

Amber + Travis | A Sunrise Engagement Session In Durham, NC

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Though I am certainly a morning bird, I don’t expect everyone to be. Waking up with a cup of coffee and cozying up in the peaceful morning has become a ritual of my adult life. Fall sunrises, especially, have a warm glow that exudes the last bits of summer warmth. I was thrilled when Amber and Travis agreed to a 6:45 engagement session to capture some of that crisp, golden light. Braving a rather chilly, fall sunrise, they gleefully explored Durham with me. We spent the morning laughing, sharing stories, and sipping hot chocolates. Amber and Travis might be two of the kindest people you could meet, making this photographer thrilled for their May wedding.2013-12-21_0019.jpg 2013-12-21_0020.jpg 2013-12-21_0021.jpg 2013-12-21_0022.jpg 2013-12-21_0023.jpg 2013-12-21_0024.jpg 2013-12-21_0025.jpg 2013-12-21_0026.jpg 2013-12-21_0027.jpg 2013-12-21_0028.jpg 2013-12-21_0029.jpg 2013-12-21_0030.jpg 2013-12-21_0031.jpg 2013-12-21_0032.jpg 2013-12-21_0033.jpg 2013-12-21_0034.jpg 2013-12-21_0035.jpg 2013-12-21_0036.jpg 2013-12-21_0037.jpg

The McCabe Family

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Meet the sweet McCabe family. Jen and Shaune, with the dear toddler Meara and infant Rex, made for a lovely Saturday afternoon at the park. They were such great sports in the heat and humidity, none of which could squelch little Meara's adoration and attention towards her baby brother. I hope you enjoy these sweet images wherever you are this Wednesday.

The Coyle Family

I had the loveliest afternoon with Megan, Baby Finn, and Justin, also known as the Coyle family. Remember Megan and Baby Finn from a few weeks ago? No? Oh you must go look! Our evening was once again filled with baby giggles, family laughter, and the newly walking baby Finn trying to make some runs for it. Also, I just love all the red hair in this little clan, particularly Megan's gorgeous hair in contrast to the woodsy background. Enjoy!

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Portraits - Carl Kenney

Carl Kenney Pressed and Brewed

Carl Kenney writes over at Rev-elution and works as a local activist here in Durham, NC. I consider Carl to be a coffee shop pastor, making his home in the heart of Durham. Carl was named the best serious columnist of 2011 by the North Carolina Press Association for his work with the News & Observer's community paper The Durham News. He also teaches at Duke's Center for Documentary Studies.

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Megan + Baby Finn

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After a long heatwave here in N.C. (a.k.a. Summer), this past week has been delightful. Cool mornings, soft breezes, and almost no humidity. When Megan and baby Finn came over for the afternoon, of course we would end up outside enjoying the weather. Creamy light, fresh cut grass and 80 degree, no-humidity weather made for a perfect afternoon with these new friends.IMG_4403

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#BlueberryJam

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Summer time growing up was a time of canning jams, sauces, and all sorts of goodness that we would then break open later Winter. Making jam was always my favorite, for as my mom kindly reminded me today, it was the task in which my sister and I would race to lick the spoons and bowls of all their sticky sweetness. Most people assume making jam is a difficult task. The process, however, is much simpler than most people think. Sometimes just some visual aids clears up the entire process. The full directions will be posted at the end the post.

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I grew up using Sure-Jell by Certo. And for those who like to avoid gelatin, Sure-Jell is vegan. In the package you will find directions for the kind of berry you turning into delicious jam. Precision endures as the key to good jam. Read over these directions a couple times, and measure everything out before hand. IMG_3365 You can either mash your berries or use of food processor. If you are going to use a fruit processor only pulse the berries. You want the berries only to be crushed, not purred. 6, 2 second pulses on low will do the trick. And regardless of what method you use, be sure to only do a cup at a time. This ensure an even texture.  IMG_3394

Sugar. Oh Sugar. We all want to cut back on sugar intake, but homemade jam is not the place. By cutting back on sugar you risk your jam not setting properly. 7 cups is required for blueberry jam 7 cups it should be. IMG_3376Once you mash all your berries, mix in the sugar, the lemon juice, and crushed berries. Make sure you pick a pot large enough (6-8 qts). As the jam cooks down it foams. No body want hot, purple, liquid all over their stove.  IMG_3416

Do not stop stirring. pressedandbrewed1The jarring process remains the part most people worry about. How do you know that the jam won't spoil? How do you make sure the jar seals? This is the process my mother and grandmother have used. Wash out your jars with hot water, or put them through the dishwasher. Bring a small sauce pan to a simmer then take it off the stove placing the lids in the water. The lids can sit there during the cooking process of the jam. As soon as you take the jam off the stove, ladle it into each jar up to 1/8 in. of the rim. Wipe the rim down completely clean, threads and all, with a paper towel. Take a lid out of the warm water, give a good shake dry, and place the lid on top. Screw on the rim. Tighten the rim as much as you can. Afterwards, turn the jar upside down on a towel, and let sit for 20 minutes. Your jam will come out just fine. You are pouring bowling liquid in a jar and vacuum sealing it. After the 20 minutes, check the top of the jar. If you can still press down the button, flip the jar back over. If not, your jam has sealed and set and you can flip it right-side-up. IMG_3473Tada! You have jam!

Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 4 pt. blueberries washed, stemmed, and crushed.
  • 1 lemon
  • 7 cups sugar
  • 2 pouches CERTO Sure-Jell

Directions:

  • (1) Wash jars and screw rims in hot soapy water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Shake dry when before use.
  • (2) Prepare fruit, crushing berries 1 cup at a time. I add a good amount of lemon zest into the fruit. It give the jam a fresh flavor.
  • (3) Stir together in 6-8qt. pot berries, sugar, and lemon.
  • (4) Bring to a rolling boil, one that does not stop bubbling while stirring. Remember STIR CONSTANTLY!
  • (5) Stir in pectin. Return to a boil for 1 minute and remove from heat. If any foam has formed over the jam, skim off with metal spoon.
  • (6) Ladle quickly into jars. Follow direction above for sealing.
  • (7) Let sit for 24 hours.