The Bishops!

I have had the privilege of knowing the Bishops for quite a few years.  I took pictures of the twins for their First Holy Communion – and now they have finished their freshman year of college.  I was lucky to work with Tom for many years while teaching at Coastal Carolina Community College.  My dental assisting students rotated through his practice during the summers, so I was often in and out supervising them.  Shelly has been my “boss” at Christmas Cheer for the past several years.  That woman can sure make a day of exhaustive data entry fun!  I also had the pleasure of taking senior portraits of Jake, Madison and Taylor.

This is a mementos month for Tom.  He’s having a birthday.  I won’t tell you how old he is – but this is a big one.  I mean HUGE!  I can joke because I’m way older than Tom.  When Madison was kidding her dad about being old, I told her to leave him alone since I’m a decade older.  That sweet girl just looked at me and said, “You sure don’t look it.”  Bless her heart!  We decided that since this is a big year for Tom, we would have a family portrait session.  It was great spending time with all of the kids – and with Shelly and Tom.  It’s clients like them that make me love my job so much.

A few from the Bishop session . . .

Happy Birthday, Tom.   I love you and your family!



Sara’s Getting Ready to Graduate

Sara’s goal is to be a photographer.  She is getting ready to graduate, so she wanted some pictures for her graduation announcements and website.  I have known Sara through friends for years, so offered to shoot a mini session for her.  The first day we scheduled, we had a huge storm the morning of the session and the ground was totally soaked.  So we tried again on Friday.  On the way downtown, it started raining so we had to turn back.  The third time was definitely the charm!  We had a beautiful evening to shoot.  Sadly (for me), even more of my great old buildings downtown have been painted and refurbished.  It’s making our downtown area look more pleasant, but my photography sites are slowly but surely disappearing.  On a happy note – my blue doors are starting to look more rustic again.  Of course, the blue doors aren’t really mine, but I think I may have been the first photographer to use them for a backdrop.  And I’m happy to be able to use them again.

Here’s Sara!

I showed a lot of Sara’s serious expression because I LOVE it.  It’s not easy to get a good non-smiling picture where the subject doesn’t look mad.  Like many people, when Sara smiles, she scrunches her eyes up.  I wanted to see those big, beautiful, brown eyes – so no smiles really worked for me!  I wish Sara great luck in her new business venture.


The Dupuis Family

I have known the Dupuis family for many years.  It has been a joy watching Bobbie grow from daddy’s little girl into a college graduate – who is still a daddy’s girl!  I first photographed Bobbie when she was a high school senior over five years ago.  We had the such a great time at her session, I still remember it.  I liked Bobbie’s portraits so much, one of them is still on the slideshow at the top of my blog all these years later.  Bobbie is a graduate of NC State, but she’s a huge Syracuse fan.

Bobbie called me in April with a wonderful idea.  She wanted to purchase a family portrait session for her mom, Lois, for Mother’s Day.  She did all the work for the session – set up the time and location, helped choose everyone’s clothing, and came up with ideas for different groupings.  This is truly one of the best Mother’s Day gifts I can imagine.  For many years to come, the family can enjoy looking at the prints from this session. Bobbie wanted the session to be at their home.  They live in a beautiful development on the river downtown, so it really was a beautiful location.  All we had to do was step into their backyard to have a gorgeous backdrop.  It was a little overcast, but the weather was perfect for an early evening session.

I am so lucky that I have a lot of repeat clients.  It was a treat to get to work with the Dupuis family again!  Bobbie made such a great choice for a Mother’s Day gift.



Jackie and Manny’s Camp Lejeune Wedding!

Over the past decade, I have had the opportunity to work with a lot of amazing couples.  As I have mentioned before, I have never had a Bridezilla darken my door.  My brides tend to be lovely, down-to-earth, incredibly easy going people.  Not sure how I attract such wonderful clients, but I am very thankful for it.  Jackie and Angel (her mom) really enjoyed the planning part of the wedding.  Instead of being stressed out, they had fun with it.  Jackie knew what she wanted and was able to find the vendors who could give it to her.

Jackie and Manny were married on a beautiful May afternoon aboard Camp Lejeune.  Truly, they couldn’t have asked for a better day for their wedding.  The wedding was at the Catholic Chapel which is absolutely stunning.  The reception followed at the Paradise Point Officer’s Club.  I love the Officer’s Club because it’s not only beautiful inside, it sits on the river and is beautiful outside.  Jackie and Manny had an intimate wedding with their closest friends and family.  Manny is from Honduras and is now an officer in the Marine Corps.  One of his relatives traveled all the way from Honduras to attend their wedding.

Enjoy a sneak preview of Jackie and Manny’s wedding.  To start the slidewshow, click on the arrow in the center of the image below.  To view it again, use the icons on the lower right of the image.


Jackie and Manny had the wedding of their dreams.  It was a very simple, sweet, family-oriented wedding full of lifelong friends and intimate stories of their times together.  The guests mingled, laughed and enjoyed themselves immensely.  Congratulations to Jackie and Manny.  May you have a long and happy life together!

Flowers by Forget Me Not Flowers and Gifts.  Hair and make up by Merry Pierson at Shear Magic.  Photography by Charo and Mike for Elise Beall Photography.


Jacklyn’s Bridal Portraits

When Jacklyn called me the first time, I knew she was a bride who had done her homework.  I love that!  She already knew what I offered, which wedding package she wanted, and was ready to set up a time for a consultation. When she and her mom, Angel, came for the consultation, we hit it off immediately.  I fell in love with their positive attitudes and excitement about the wedding planning process.  I was able to give them some advice about other vendors which was really fun.  They decided to use my favorite florist, Forget-Me-Not Flowers and Gifts, and the awesome hair and make-up artist, Merry Pearson at Shear Magic.  I have worked with Forget-Me-Not and Merry for over a decade and they never disappoint.  As we were talking, I mentioned bridal portraits.  This was an idea they were both a bit unfamiliar with since it’s a “southern thing.”  When I showed them examples of bridal portraits, they were all in!

I like bridal portraits for a couple of reasons.  First, it gives me a chance to get to know the bride a little better.  And second, it gives the bride a chance to test out hair, make-up, and to make sure her dress fits well.  Plus, who wouldn’t want to photograph beautiful brides all dressed up in their wedding finery?  The only hard part about bridal portraits is waiting to show them until after the wedding!  Jacklyn and Emanuel were married this afternoon – so now I get to show off some of my favorites from her session.

When possible, we try to photograph bridal portraits inside in a studio setting as well as outside in a natural setting.  The weather was beautiful the day of Jacklyn’s portraits so we were able to get outside.  Everything about the day was perfect.  Jacklyn’s gown was absolutely perfect for her.  Her hair and make-up was exquisite and her bouquet was quite possibly the prettiest I have ever used in a bridal portrait.  First, the studio portraits . . .

We decided to photograph the outdoor portraits at Marston Pavilion aboard Camp Lejeune.  Jacklyn’s husband, Emanuel, is a Marine and their wedding was at the Catholic Chapel about the base with the reception following at the Officer’s Club.  It just made sense to photograph her portraits aboard base as well.

Karen and I had a great time with Jacklyn and Angel.  We talked, laughed and took pictures for a very long time.  In fact, this was probably my longest bridal session ever.  But it was worth it to get so many great portraits.  Both Jacklyn and Angel were relaxed and having fun – until it was time to get the dress back on the hanger and in the bag.  Let’s just say, it’s not easy to do outside on the grass when mosquitoes are biting.

Congratulations Jacklyn and Emanuel.  I’ll be blogging about your beautiful wedding in a couple of days!