Finley James - A Birth Story

I was so excited to be able to photograph this sweet baby's birth.  His parents are also a husband/wife photography team and we have been friends for several years now.  Im so blessed and thankful for my job.  A job that documents LIFE.  Life's moments that you literally will never ever get back.  This day was beautiful.  Momma was a total rockstar! I love getting feedback like this below.  Sometimes as photographers we are much more than just there to take pictures. We are there for support and love.  

"WOW! That's awesome!! So many moments that you captured that we didn't even realize you were there. Love the tone and emotion in these.  What's even more amazing, is that I clearly remember every time I looked at you during delivery I never once saw you holding the camera up. I always just saw your eyes looking back at me and you whispering words to me."

 

Congratulations Misty and Ryan!  He is a doll baby. 

He is 6... crazy how fast it all goes.

We started taking these images when I was 39 weeks pregnant on to Jase being 1 week old then yearly after that.  Im late posting this year's image but it was taken a day past his 6 year birthday this year.  Its going to get interesting how this plays out the bigger he gets! I used blogstomp to create this collage so it wouldn't let me put it in the exact order so just be creative with your eyes! =) 

 

Precious Life. Beautiful Day.

How can I describe this experience in one blog post.  Brittany and I had been texting back and forth about how she was feeling.  Anytime I know Ive got a birth I get anxious closer to time wanting to be sure Im there when need be.  The night of baby Stella's birth I had literally just laid down and got a text from Brittany that they were headed to the birthing center.  I jumped back up and headed out within 8 mins.  The drive to the birthing center seemed short I guess because I was so excited to get there.  As I arrived the staff was super welcoming and led me to the birthing room.  This was my first water birth to document and it was a little new.  Its completely different atmosphere than a hospital in a wonderful way.  Brittany was in the birthing tub with Matt sitting next to her holding her hand for support.  The room was relaxed and quiet so Mom could focus on laboring and not lots of people, noises and machines.  Once the harder contractions came and baby Stella made her debut it was so beautiful.  The entire thing.  The entire birth.  The entire experience.  Watch Baby Stella's birth story here: 

Meredith and John : Engaged

We are super excited about spending the day with this sweet couple tomorrow!  They will get married at Chetola Resort in beautiful Blowing Rock NC.  We shot their engagement this past Spring in the Blue Ridge Mountains and even the fog makes beautiful images.  See you both tomorrow! Much Love. Ryan and Joy 

Meet Ashley : Portaits | Prayers Needed

This blog post was originally done on October 10, 2013.  Scroll down for an update as of today August 30, 201510/10/13 Meet Ashley and Sailym! A 31 year old single mom to a very vibrant and beautiful 6 year old little girl.  Ashley and I met several years ago and became friends.  Sometimes you meet people in places that you would never think of finding a friend.   Ashley is an inspiration to us all... let me just tell her story briefly.  When I met Ashley in 2011 we slowly began chatting and then that led to exchanging contact information.  She is truly a beautiful person inside and out.  A very caring and wonderful loving Mom.   In January 2012 Ashley was having stomach pain that led to severe stomach pain with other complications...by April 2012 Dr's find a large tumor weighing 5lbs in her abdomen area and she is told it needs to be removed immediately.   Along with the tumor they removed 1 kidney.  She is diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer called Leiomyosarcoma (LMS) - cancer of smooth muscle.  Not only is Ashley only 30 but this cancer only affects men in there mid 50's or older.   Ashley had extensive radiation after this surgery that made her very sick but soon she was told she was cancer free.  A little while later she began feeling sick again and the Dr's found spots on her liver...Ashley had a 2nd surgery to remove 1/3 of her liver.  Only two months later she is told she has spots on her liver again and hip.  Ashley is now going through very extensive chemotherapy treatments, daily shots and many many drives to Duke to visit her Dr.  Her latest report wasn't the best BUT the Dr's say they already have their next plan!!  We all go through life each day thinking of the small things we need to do or not to do, worrying over things, and living our daily lives.  I ask you from the bottom of my heart to pray...PRAY hard and often for Ashley to be healed.

We got together this past July to do this shoot of Ashley and Sailym... they are so beautiful!!!!

There will be a "donate" button at the bottom of this page.  ALL donations will 100% be given to Ashley for all of the expense and continued expense of her treatments, gas, etc.  I ask again to take time to pray, send positive thoughts, and love to Ashley, Sailym and family.  *Hair/Makeup by Jasey Price "Salon on Park Square" A video of Ashley's story by her friend Suzanne

Facebook page for Ashley:

 

UPDATE: 2012:  Ashley is still fighting hard!! PRAYERS Please as this is not easy or simple. She has been in and out of the hospital ALOT lately and spending much time trying to keep food down as the meds are making her very very sick. Please pray for healing. She goes back soon for a scan to recheck her tumors.

 

UPDATE August 30, 2015

My sweet friend Ashley was healed as she passed away Wednesday August 26, 2015.  Her battle with this disease was beyond understanding.  She was a fighter and that's putting it lightly.  You see that smile in all of these images... IT NEVER STOPPED.  We learn so much from others if we just listen.  I am so incredibly blessed to have met Ashley and have the chance to know her, her beautiful daughter and her husband Chris.  I am also so thankful Ashley met Chris and she married her Prince.  Love shows.  Love shines. Love those you love. Our days are numbered.

Its ironic or maybe its not... maybe that's how God planned it.  Our Pastor spoke this morning on "giving".  Giving your heart, your talents, your love, and finances to others.  Doing so without expecting anything back.  Ashley often said I was "her angel" and how much she was thankful we were friends.  What she didn't realize is what she taught me.  You see she didn't loose hope, faith or love during her entire battle.  Ive scrolled through many text conversations and friends the way she handled the sickness, the pain, and the many days of unknown is beyond my understanding.  Ashley had many other hard ships in her life besides cancer one being loosing her own Mother when Ashley was just 16.  Lets take our days to love on and give to others in what ever way we can.   I did often tell her I loved her via text, card or phone but I feel it wasn't enough.  Take time to tell those you love just how much you love them. 

Ryan and I were able to capture Ashley and Chris' wedding this past May.  Lets be honest... Ashley felt horrible.  She didn't have much strength at all and was walking on a cracked foot.  All of this didn't stop her from soaking in the day, the moments, the love.   I wanted to share a few images from their wonderful day.  Please be sure to read below the images to see how we can continue to bless Ashley!

In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made to "Sailym's Fund."  Deposits may be made at the State Employees Credit Union or mailed to the SECU branch in Wilksboro.  The account title is shared with her great-aunt, Rebecca Kilby. 

This is a way we can continue to shine love to Ashley's beautiful daughter.