Courtney and Haylee

For the past couple of years, I have been extremely slack about blogging my portrait sessions.  I have decided it’s time to catch up!  Every time I have a few minutes, I’ll post one of last year’s sessions that I never got around to blogging.  I have such wonderful clients, I need to share them with the world!

I love it that some of my closest friends love pictures of their children as much as I love photographing their children!  I can’t remember when I first photographed Courtney and Haylee, but I do remember doing Courtney’s pictures when she was in early elementary school. Now she’s a student at Carolina.  And Haylee still had all of her baby teeth when she first got in front of my camera.  Now she’s half way through high school.  I get a mini-session with Courtney and Haylee every fall so that their mom, Lynn, has great pictures for her Christmas cards.  When you walk through Stacy and Lynn’s house, you can see my pictures of the girls everywhere – everything from large canvases on the walls to stone tiles on shelves and framed prints on nearly every surface.  Lynn even decorates her kitchen with my pictures.  I love it!

Here is a small collection from last fall’s Christmas card session.

It has been such a joy to watch Courtney and Haylee grow up and become such beautiful, talented young women.  Love my job!


Mini – A different kind of newborn session!

I have been shooting quite a few newborn sessions lately.  I’ll get them blogged really soon.  But first, a very different kind of newborn session.  Meet my new granddog, Mini!  Mini has an older brother, Max, who we did newborn pictures for about six years ago.  When Megan and Eric decided it was time to add to their family, Megan started planning for a newborn session for Mini.  She collected props and had a kazillion ideas she wanted to try.  What she didn’t realize . . . six week old puppies don’t exactly do what you want them to.  And they don’t give you much time to work.  Mini only has two speeds – fast forward and asleep.   She is quite adorable, but refused some of the poses we tried.  She got so tired, she finally just collapsed.  Sweet Mini is great to cuddle with.  I got some good snuggle time with her when she was too sleepy to lick, kiss and bite me.

Here’s Mini!

I get a lot of phone calls keeping me updated about Mini.  They usually start out, “She’s sooooo cute!”  This afternoon’s phone call started a bit differently.  The first thing I heard was, “She’s so BAD!”  Like most mothers, Megan doesn’t remember when Max was a little puppy and how he chewed everything in sight.  Today Mini ate grass, sticks and mud.  She is growing up way too quickly.  Puppies, like babies, just don’t stay small nearly long enough.


Thoroughly Modern Millie ~ The Jacksonville High School Musical

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  No, not Christmas – though Christmas is pretty awesome.  It’s time for the Jacksonville High School musical – Thoroughly Modern Millie.  This is my seventh year photographing the musicals at JHS.  It all started when Spencer Anderson was trying out for the lead in Damn Yankees as a freshman.  His mom, Melissa, asked me if I would photograph the dress rehearsal if he got the part.  I had been photographing Spencer since his elementary school days, so of course I agreed.  Spencer got the lead and the rest is history! Now, not only do I photograph the dress rehearsal, I take the pictures for the program, the cast picture, and individual and group pictures of the students in costume.  This has turned into a major project and one of my favorites of the year.  I learned quickly that the students involved in the musical are absolutely wonderful to work with.  I can’t even think of enough positive adjectives to describe them.  They are so committed to the musical that they give up hours and hours every week of the spring semester.  Because of the days lost for snow this year, they are even practicing on weekends to get ready for the show which is nearly a month earlier than normal.  These kids are enthusiastic, respectful, helpful, considerate  - quite simply amazing.

To be honest, I wasn’t familiar with the show, Thoroughly Modern Millie.  The movie came out in 1967 and starred Julie Andrews, Mary Tyler Moore and Carol Channing.  The musical took Broadway by storm in 2002 winning six Tonys, including Best Musical.  The leads in the musical at JHS are: Millie ~ Allie Carlton, Jimmy ~ Wesley Walker, Dorothy ~ Caroline Orr, Mrs. Meers ~ Avery Anderson,  and Trevor Fraydon III ~ Marco Carlton.  All of these students except Caroline have been on stage in previous shows.  I wish I could name each student, but the list is way too long.  The stage is filled with beautiful voices, period costumes, and dancing galore!  It’s always fun to see the students grow from year to year and this year’s production does a wonderful job of showcasing the talent at Jacksonville High School.  I left the dress rehearsal with a big smile on my face still humming the songs in the show.

It’s not too late to get tickets for next weekend’s production.  Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door.  To purchase ticket,  call JHS  at 910-989-2048 or e-mail  I know you’ll enjoy Thoroughly Modern Millie as much as I did!


The Senior Experience!

At Elise Beall Photography, it’s all about YOU!  Each high school senior is unique and extraordinary, so we think your portrait experience should be unique, also. You wear what you want to wear and we photograph you at the location of your choice.  We allow you to wear several different outfits to show the real you at your very best.  We also allow you to bring a friend, or sibling, or pet to be in a few portraits with you.  Your senior year is filled with special moments and we are there to document those important times in your life.

Your senior experience begins with your Senior Portrait Session.  The session can include a 30 minute studio mini-session where you can choose two outfits and two backgrounds.  Then we go to the location of your choice where you can change clothes as often as you wish until we run out of time.  The location portrait session lasts approximately an hour.

Elise Beall Photography offers custom designed graduation announcements using images from your Senior Portrait Session.  No two seniors from the same class will have the same announcement.  Again, you are unique – so shouldn’t your graduation announcement be just as unique?

Senior Prom is a very important night, so Elise Beall Photography is available to take portraits of you and your date.  The Prom Mini-Session is only available for Elise Beall Photography Seniors.  We offer a variety of poses of you and your date together and individually.

Your senior year culminates with Graduation.  Cap and Gown Portrait Mini-Sessions are available to offer lasting memories of your graduation.

Along with prints, Elise Beall Photography offers a variety of products for seniors including, but not limited to, Portrait Albums, Accordion Mini-Albums, and Stone Tiles.

To view pricing for Senior Sessions, go to and click on Info and Pricing.  On the website, be sure to view the Senior Portrait Gallery to see dozens and dozens of beautiful senior portraits.  Specials are offered during the spring and early summer, so be sure to follow Elise Beall Photography on Facebook to keep informed.  Limited sessions are available on weekends, so if you need to book a session on Saturday or Sunday, be sure to call early.   For questions, don’t hesitate to call Elise at 910-389-2937 or use the contact form to e-mail me your questions.

Be Yourself . . . Be Extraordinary!  Choose the Elise Beall Photography Senior Experience!


Andrea & Jason’s Wedding: The Lake House at Bulow Charleston, SC

I adore weddings.  All weddings.  But this weekend’s wedding was extra special.  The bride is someone I have loved dearly since the moment she was born.  Andrea is my first-born niece.  When she was a baby living in Raleigh, I would drive from Goldsboro to have lunch with her.  While attending Carolina, I nearly always stopped in Raleigh on my way home for a quick visit.  When Rusty and I lived at Camp Tuscarora, Andrea had her own bedroom at our house.  Occasionally her mom would let her come spend weekends with us.  At the time I didn’t understand why she couldn’t come EVERY weekend.  I used to jokingly tell Anne, Andrea’s mom, that she was selfish.  However, when Megan was born and I realized that weekends were our best family time, I finally got it.

Andrea and Jason dated for quite a number of years, so Jason was really a part of our family long before the wedding.  While Jason and Andrea are both Pharmacists by profession, Jason is a man of many talents.  He is a musician, writer, comedian – you name it, Jason can do it.  We are so pleased to welcome Jason to the Wessell clan!

Andrea and Jason planned every aspect of their Charleston wedding.  Jason was a very hands-on groom.  And Andrea was a very calm and drama-free bride.  They both knew what they wanted and kept working at it until the details all came together.  Originally they had wanted to be married later in the Spring.  But the venue they chose had one weekend open that worked for them – March 1.  They wanted an outdoor wedding and knew they might be pushing it with the weather but decided to take a chance.  Thank goodness it all worked out for them.  It rained several times the day of the wedding, but cleared up about an hour before the ceremony.  And the temperature was a little cool, but very pleasant.  Amazingly their wedding weekend fell between the many cold fronts we have suffered through this winter.

The Lake House at Bulow was a perfect setting.  It was rustically beautiful, quiet, and peaceful.  There were moments during the ceremony that brought tears to my eyes – like when her father gave her away and we could hear him tell her, “You will always be my baby.”  My brother doesn’t exactly whisper when he speaks, so I think even the guests on the back row heard that:-)  And there was lots of laughter.  One of the readings was I Got You Babe.  The reader was filled with enthusiasm and the guests even sang the last line with him.  The reception was filled with great music, delicious food and some serious dancing.  I can’t imagine what Jason and Andrea could have done to make their wedding more special.

A sneak peak of Andrea and Jason’s wedding . . .


Andrea and Jason . . . I love you from the sun, to the moon, to the stars and back.  It was an honor being present to witness you pledge your lives to each other.

Photography by Charo and Mike ( for Elise Beall Photography.

Miriam - March 4, 2014 - 10:42 pm


Beth - March 5, 2014 - 8:35 am


Jennifer Sugg Hill - March 5, 2014 - 11:58 am

The pictures are breathtaking. Andrea makes a beautiful bride. Congratulations!

Mary Helen Taylor - March 5, 2014 - 3:29 pm

Beautiful! I am so happy for you all. Congrats!

Karen Allison - March 6, 2014 - 4:44 pm

Thank you for sharing. Such a beautiful happy family.

Anne - March 6, 2014 - 8:31 pm

I can’t stop looking at these. What a perfect wedding!