Katie and Brennan are Married!

I haven’t blogged in several months.  I do need to go back and show some of the wonderful sessions I’ve photographed during the winter and spring months, but first I have to show Katie and Brennan’s wedding.  I stopped shooting weddings about 7 years ago.  I was lucky to have some very talented photographers who were willing to work with me so that I could continue to offer weddings to my fabulous clients, but my job was behind the scenes – not at the actual wedding.  When Katie decided to get married, I came out of wedding retirement to photograph her wedding.  I’ve watched her grow up, and have photographed all of her life’s major events over the last more than dozen years; I couldn’t say no to her wedding.  And for Katie, I was more than just a photographer.  I helped Katie and her mom, Karen, plan many aspects of her wedding.  She was the most laid back bride I have ever encountered.  Honestly, there was very little that she felt really strongly about.  And when all of the planning started to fall apart an hour before the wedding, she was calm, cool, and collected.  Her amazing attitude made everyone’s job so much easier than it could have been.

Katie and Brennan chose the White Oak River Bistro for their wedding.  The plan was to get married on the river and have the reception inside.  In mid-July we expected it to be hot, but Saturday was steaming.  As I was driving to Swansboro, the heat index was over 105.  But the wedding wasn’t until 7:15 so we knew that it would cool off at least a little before the guests started to arrive.   We just wanted the thunderstorms that were in the forecast to stay away.  However, at about 6:00, the rain started.  At first it was just a drizzle, but then it became a steadier rain.  Denise, the planner at WORB told us not to worry, it would blow over.  As it got closer and closer to the wedding time, I was really starting to worry.  There was a backup plan – the wedding could be moved inside.  But the beautiful setting on the White Oak River was so perfect, we really wanted to be able to have the wedding outside.  Katie never got upset about the possible change in plans – she wanted to marry Brennan and that’s all that really mattered to her.  Just as I was starting to panic, someone said, “Quick – look outside!” There was the most beautiful rainbow over the river. The rest of the day was as magnificent as that rainbow. We rushed to get the guests seated just minutes before the bride was due to walk down the aisle.  Because we were worried that it would start to rain again, the wedding moved quickly.  I have photographed a LOT of weddings through the years and I can guarantee that I have never seen a faster processional, service, and recessional.  Instead of the rain starting again, the skies began clearing as we were taking the pictures after the ceremony.

I can’t imagine a more perfect wedding for Katie and Brennan.  The flowers and details were exquisite, the food delicious, and they had their closest family friends with them to celebrate their marriage.  Katie and Brennan wanted a small, intimate wedding.  It was a very meaningful experience and I am so glad I was able to share it with them.

Venue ~ White Oak River Bistro

Officiant ~ Candy Brown Thompson

Director ~ Chris Phelps

Florist ~ Forget-Me-Not Flowers and Gifts

Music ~ Crystal Strings Quartet

Bridal gown ~ Sherry Hill –  Foxy Lady, Myrtle Beach

Bridesmaid’s dresses ~ David’s Bridal

Cupcakes ~ Mary Kay Rogers

A huge thank you to Lisa Baker Photography.  Lisa was my 2nd photographer for several years when I was photographing weddings on a regular basis.  She came out of wedding photography retirement to help me on Saturday.  It was wonderful working with her again.

It’s fitting that Katie’s wedding will be my last since she and her sister were some of my first portrait clients – way back when.  I will continue to photograph portraits of all types, but my wedding days are well and truly over now.  Katie, thanks for making my last wedding so memorable.

Karen - July 15, 2015 - 1:36 pm

I love all of the pictures, Elise. As usual, you captured the moments perfectly. I can’t thank you enough for all you did to make this wedding happen!


Even though Spring has arrived according to the calendar, the weather is not very Spring-like.  But I knew Spring was here when it was time to take pictures for Jacksonville High School’s Spring Musical – Hairspray.  I always love working with the play.  It’s so nice to see the familiar faces of students I have worked with in the past.  This year I also got to see a lot of new faces.  We were rushed trying to photograph all of the groups and head shots for the program, so I didn’t get to talk to the students much this trip.  I look forward to getting to know them better when I make a return trip to photograph them in costume!

I don’t have room to show all of the pictures from our program session, but you can see them on my website.  Go to www.elisebeall.com and click on Clients.  Then click on the Hairspray gallery to see all of the group and individual pictures.

This is going to be a very fun production, much like High School Musical was this summer.  I love the music and the big dance numbers.  To purchase tickets for the May 7-9 production, call 910-989-2048 or shop online at tinyurl.com/jhsmusical.


Sherrie’s Babies!

Just about a year ago, Sherrie decided she needed a new puppy so she bought Elsa, named after the character in Frozen.  Then she thought Elsa was lonely, so she bought her a playmate, Storm.  Storm came between our two big snow/ice storms last year – hence the name.  We did a puppy shoot in early February and I fell in love with these fur babies.  They were so precious – just little balls of snuggly fur.

It’s hard to believe it has been a year since that puppy session, but the months have flown by.  So Sherrie wanted a one year session for her babies.  She decided to let her third baby, Morgan, be in the pictures, too:-) Somebody had to wrangle these two pups.  One year old puppies are very active, so we weren’t sure how the session would go. Thankfully, Elsa and Storm did a great job.  They were very well behaved and didn’t jump in the creek once!  Although they are larger, they are still the precious, furry, cuddly pups they were a year ago.

You might be getting the idea that Sherrie’s babies are somewhat spoiled.  She does love her babies – all three of them!  And I love Sherrie.  So, I’m sure there will be more pictures of this group in the future.



Onslow Cotillion Christmas Ball ~ 2014

What an honor to be invited to photograph an event for twelve years in a row! I was so excited when the Onslow Cotillion first contacted me in 2003 to photograph their Christmas Ball. I was a very new photographer that first year and quite nervous. Each year when they scheduled me for the Ball, I was thrilled that they appreciated my work enough to have me back. And they had me back again and again! Through the years, it has been one of my favorite events of the holiday season. I have had the opportunity to work with dozens of amazing honorees and their families, as well as lots of Cotillion members. This year the honorees were McNair Moore, Rachel Owens and Lydia Patselas. McNair and Lydia had been in front of my camera more than once, but I had never had the pleasure of meeting Rachel. All three girls were absolutely delightful. They were ready on time,  had fun posing for me, and were willing to try anything.

A very small preview of the hundreds of pictures taken at Cotillion . . .

If you had your picture taken at Cotillion and failed to order before the gallery expired, contact me and I can reactivate the gallery.


Lexie and Katie – One more time!

When kids grow up and get busy, it gets harder and harder to find time for Christmas card portrait sessions.  With Lexie and Katie both in college it was hard to find a time when both of them would be in town and available.  We usually take their Christmas card pictures early in the fall, but this year we had to wait until after Thanksgiving.  We had scheduled their session on a Saturday, but it was cold and rainy that day so we waited until Sunday.  The weather forecast was for warmer temperatures and clear skies.  Well, that didn’t happen!  It was very overcast and dreary and COLD!  To most people, 48 doesn’t sound that cold.  To me, it’s freezing!  Especially when the wind is blowing off the river and it’s damp.  But we had no choice – we had to go for it and hope for the best. Lexie really, really doesn’t like the cold, so she was pretty miserable.  The cold doesn’t bother Katie as much, but she was far from comfortable. Thankfully, these girls look good regardless of the weather. And it helped that Karen, their mom, used a little old fashioned bribery. Plus, we didn’t shoot nearly as long as normal.  We rushed and took just enough pictures for their cards.  Surprisingly enough, we were very happy with the results.  

Within 5 days after taking the pictures, Karen had her cards in hand.  I worked fast so she could get her cards out on time.  Next year, we’re not waiting until December for Christmas card pictures!  Overall, the weather this fall has been very dreary, but if we had scheduled the session earlier at least  it wouldn’t have been so cold.  I’m really not looking forward to January and February.  May have to drag out my boots!

Karen Holder - December 22, 2014 - 12:09 pm

Totally love these pictures! Thanks, Elise!