The Five Love Languages

One of my all time favorite things to learn about and discuss is the five love languages. Dr. Gary Chapman wrote a book in 1995 about how people both perceive and show love in different ways. He categorized these 5 ways as: receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch. In order to be able to connect with your partner on a deeper level, it is important to not only know what the love languages are, but which ones are important to you and your partner. There are tests you can take online to figure out your love language but I just want to take a little time to break each one down for you in layman's terms so you can start applying them to your daily life! 

Receiving Gifts - Personally, this is one of my love languages, it's one of the ways I show affection. I do it with my friends and family as well as my clients. I will always stop and buy little trinkets on vacation or even at the grocery store just to show "I'm thinking of you." At Christmas, I LOVE to give presents. I send all of my brides customized wedding boxes and I love picking things out for them. However, I'm not all about getting presents. If you want to show me you care, I don't want elaborate gifts, there are other things I'd rather you do or say that mean more to me. 

Quality Time - This is how I'd prefer you show me that you care. My biggest pet peeve is when someone is on their phone when we're spending time together. I want you to be present and in the moment with me. Once again, it doesn't have to be anything elaborate, snuggled up on the couch watching a movie is just fine. To me, this is all about the time spent together more so than what we're actually doing. 

Words of Affirmation - This one is pretty straightforward. Sometimes it is just nice to hear how much someone appreciates you. A simple "thanks for doing the dishes tonight" can really go a long way. Also, flirting tends to get lost in relationships after a while. Tell your partner they look good!

Acts of Service - How many of you would absolutely love it if you came home to a clean house? Or maybe dinner being made? These actions rather than words are another way to show that you love and appreciate one another and want to help each other out.

Physical Touch - Although this one may seem very simple, you have to keep in mind that physical displays of affection also fall into this category. Are you all for kissing in public and holding hands every chance you get? What if your partner is uncomfortable with that?  

At the end of the day, everything always comes down to communication. Without talking to your partner, you will never have a successful relationship. Maybe sit down with them tonight and talk to them about which love languages they think they use to show love and which ones they use to perceive love (hint: they aren't always the same ones!) If you are always trying to show love through physical touch and they perceive love more through something like words of affirmation, try to consider that and make it a point to tell them how much they mean to you every once in a while!

Raleigh Senior Spokesmodel Search | Class of 2018

Calling all Class of 2018 Seniors! I need your help! Are you currently a high school senior in the Raleigh-Durham area? I am a photographer brand new to the area and I'm trying to meet some new faces!

I am so excited to launch this year's senior spokesmodel program! If you are a high school senior, I'm sure you know that a huge part of graduating is taking senior pictures. It's your chance to get all dressed to the nine's pick a photographer, go around to some of the coolest spots, and strike your best model poses. Of course, the best part is then posting them ALL over social media and watching the likes and comments pour in! So this year, I'm going to build a team of high school seniors to represent my brand, get my photos out there into the world of social media, and give you the opportunity to make some money just by sharing your photos and referring your friends. 

I am looking for outgoing, high school seniors to work alongside in a referral program. You will receive tons of perks along the way including high resolution digital files for social media, print credits, highly discounted sessions, and a few surprise goodies along the way. Take a look at my website, feel free to reach out if you have any questions, and head over to when you're ready to apply!

Raleigh, North Carolina Sibling Portrait Session | JC Raulston Arboretum

Cody and I had the pleasure of meeting these sweet siblings and taking their portraits this weekend. Cooper, Sydney, and JD were so sweet together and we had so much fun exploring the arboretum in Raleigh with them. 

This cactus garden is one of my absolute favorite places to take photographs in Raleigh, I love the colors here and it's so much fun to be able to swing the little ones down the steps! 

JD's smile is the absolute sweetest, he was definitely the center of attention for part of our portrait session. But can you blame me? Look at that face, I could have taken a million photos of him! 

Sydney was such a natural, she made my job so easy. I love the way her portraits came out because they really seem to capture her easy going spirit.

Cooper is graduating high school this year so we took his senior portraits and by the end of our portrait session he had the posing down to a science! 

As you can imagine, Sydney and Cooper are like all teenage siblings, they get along just as much as they fight but at the end of the day we got them to cooperate and at least pretend that they liked each other. We had a blast photographing them. If you'd like to see more photos from their session head on over to the full gallery


Rissell + Chris Allen | Love At First Sight

Raise your hand if you've ever been sitting there watching a sappy rom-com and been like okay, come on now y'all there is no way this kind of love story happens in real life? Yeah, we've all been there. Today, I'm bringing you one of those, too good to be true, happily ever after love stories. Rissell is from the Dominican Republic and came to Raleigh to visit her nephew. She didn't speak very much English but while she was here she met a handsome stranger at a restaurant who asked for her number. Yep, you guessed it. That handsome stranger is now her husband, Chris. 

Rissell said that they swapped text messaged and he asked her on a date. He took her to a holiday party and introduced her to lots of friends and family.

Meanwhile, keep in mind she still didn't know very much English. She says, "he was very patient and tried to teach me English and he learned a little Spanish to speak with me." (I promise I'm not crying.. you're crying!) How stinking sweet is that! 

In the short time I spent with Rissell and Chris I could tell how much they love each other and how much fun they have together. They have been married almost 7 years and still act like newlyweds, totally and completely in love. So of course, I had to ask them what their tips for newlyweds would be. Chris had some absolutely wonderful advice, "Remember the feeling of when you first met and how you were drawn together. Keep those feelings fresh everyday!" Rissell recommended, "Just have fun with your husband, learn the art of compromise, and never give up on each other." Friends and family also gave them wonderful advice. Never go to sleep mad at one another and always remember to put God first in your marriage. You can tell they do these things in their relationship.

Also, just for fun, I asked their favorite date restaurants. The Cheesecake Factory, Fujisan Japanese Steak House, and Los Tres Magueyes Mexican Restaurant topped their list (I will definetely be trying to two local places soon, they look absolutely delicious!) 

Rissell and Chris, I had a wonderful time with you both and I'm wishing you all the happiness in the world! 


To see the full album go to


Even though it was absolutely freezing, I had so much fun photographing Holly and her family at Lafayette Village in Raleigh this weekend. There were so many laughs and snuggles to keep warm!

Can we just take a second to appreciate how perfect and festive their outfits are!? I'm absolutely in love.

There were kisses to be had by all and a couple tickle fights as well..

I am so glad we braved the cold and got the chance to capture these moments. I'm pretty sure I couldn't have possibly found a more loving and fun family!

Zach + Jessica

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for the ability to fly to Georgia for a weekend to do an engagement session with an old friend.

I'm thankful that Zach found someone to love him at his goofiest. Jessica and Zach are the perfect combination of sweet and goofy and we had a blast together.

I'm thankful we had the opportunity to go to downtown Senoia, Georgia (where The Walking Dead and various other TV shows and movies have been filmed) for their engagement photos.

I am thankful for this gorgeous alley and Michael Escobar for teaching me to think outside the box and that it's always okay (and encouraged) to have a little fun. 

I'm thankful for Fall weather and Zach's taste in diamonds (isn't Jessica's ring gorgeous!?)

I'm thankful that my job lets me be surrounded by love and laughter. 

I'm thankful for Zach and Jessica's natural chemistry that made my job so easy.

Most importantly, I'm thankful that these two found each other and that we get to celebrate their love and marriage in March! 

Click Here to see their full album!

Should You Do a First Look? The Pros and Cons

One of the biggest parts of planning your wedding now is going on Pinterest, looking up all the gorgeous wedding ideas, and seeing what's best for you and your wedding. A current trend is doing a first look before the wedding but a lot of brides are having a hard time deciding whether or not it is right for them. 

As a photographer, I see the benefits of doing a first look. Intimate photos of the couple during the first look and a portrait session before the ceremony. It also allows you to do family and bridal party photos before the ceremony so the couple has the chance to enjoy their reception rather than being whisked away to take photos. 

However, personally, tradition is a huge part of a wedding. If you are more of a traditional couple, and want the groom to see the bride for the first time walking down the aisle, don't go with the trends.

You always have more of a compromise in the option to do an "around the corner" where the bride and groom can exchange letters or gifts, hold each other's hands, and talk to calm their nerves before the ceremony. 

In the end, do what is best for you and makes sense for you as a couple. Your wedding day is all about you, your relationship, and what best represents your love for one another!

Andrew + Shelby

When my brother and his girlfriend asked me to do a couples shoot with them while I was back in my hometown, of course I had to! They were so much fun to work with and it was so obvious that their relationship is built on laughter and just being goofy together. We joked that after the session we would have a solid 7 good photos (without somebody making a goofy face or having their eyes closed), and I think we got way more than that!

There may or may not have been some licking involved here...

How perfect is Andrew's shirt though!? Our parents brought it back from Hungary and if I had to pick a shirt to represent him, this would be it. I love it!

I will forever be in love with shooting during the golden hour. How gorgeous is this light!

After their session, I decided to have a little fun and put them on the spot to see how well they know each other. I asked them a couple fun questions about each other so let's see how they did!

Well, at least they got a couple right.. But how funny is it to see how different their answers about their first date are! Sorry to put y'all on the spot, but I had fun with it at least.