This past weekend I had the absolute pleasure of photographing Steve Bellavita’s 60th SURPRISE birthday party. I love this family. Andy and I both live a good distance from our families, and while nobody could EVER replace them, it’s nice to be a part of another family’s lives like Andy and I are with the Bellavitas. From Sonja’s kids, to Poppie’s last photos, and now Steve’s 60th birthday…I always have a blast.
I made the cake. Thanks to South Carolina heat/humidity the icing kept melting. At least it tasted good!
The rest of the spread…
And now…a lot of hug pictures. Hey, he hadn’t seen some of these people in over 40 years!
Well, not this one…it’s his daughter.
Time to roast the birthday boy!
Pretty sure this story had to do with ‘little bald head’…you had to be there.
These two guys were always up to no good…
Sonja and Stephanie’s speeches. Quite the tear jerkers, aren’t they?
The four amigos
Chef Brian! The food was fantastic!
I love making and decorating cakes. Love. It. However, I’m usually limited to sheet cakes with pretty decorations. Today I got to make a 3 tiered cake! I’ve only done one before, and that was back in high school. I didn’t know you needed dowels for support so the cake was a little lopsided to say the least. Not this one…okay, maybe a little, but it’s so much better than the first one I made. Complete with fresh strawberries from the Peach Stand down the street. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but…’dooo doo do doooooo!’
This past weekend I was at my parent’s house, and overheard my brother and his girlfriend talking…talking about how Aimee was going to cut Jacob’s hair. Not just a buzz cut, a real hair cut. I’ve only given a ‘real’ hair cut once before in my life, and that was to my boyfriend years ago…and it ended with one side of his hair about an inch shorter than the other side. I’m still sorry about that, Ian. Anyway, I knew I had to document this. Unfortunately, after about an hour and a half I got too tired and went to bed…so there is no after picture.
The look of confidence…
Obviously not finished…
A little unsure?
Aimee still cool as a cucumber.
The closest I got to an ‘after’ picture. I think Aimee continued for another hour.
Today I did a bridal shoot, and it was killing me not to be able to upload any of the photos until the wedding…so I purposely shot this photo so I could put it on here. Can’t wait till July!
Monday I drove up to Winston-Salem for a volunteer photo shoot for Save the Cherubs. Occasionally I scan Craigslist for photography gigs, and I am so glad I happened upon this ad. Save the Cherubs is a support group raising awareness of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernias–or CDH. CDH is where the diaphram fails to close completely and is left with a hole where organs can invade the chest cavity…causing the lungs to not develop properly. This is only a tiny bit of information on CDH. To read more visit their website.
There were 3 photo shoots for the Save the Cherubs ad campaign. One of little 2 year old Sophia, a survior of CDH. The second was of Kendrah, pregnant with a cherub on the way. And the third, remembering Zoe, lost last year to CDH.
Meet Sophia! You could never tell how sick this little girl was. She has the energy of 2 kids, and a laugh that could rival a soundbite on a hallmark card.
Cole–brother to Zoe–was such a huge help. Sophia loved him!
Meet Kendrah! Her and Chris are expecting little Oz in July. Kendrah was such a trooper with all the poses we were having her do. She is already such a strong woman, and I know that with Chris by her side, there is nothing she can’t do.
The last shoot was probably the most emotional and raw photoshoot I’ve ever done. We went over to Erin and Aaron’s (yes they have the same name) house to take pictures in Zoe’s nursery. Poor little Zoe lost her battle with CDH last October. Erin is one of the stongest women I’ve ever met. Despite such a tragic loss, that only happened last year, she still has a spunk about her that says, “I will not be brought down”. It was truly a blessing meeting her. It really puts everything in perspective. My husband and I suffered a miscarriage last fall, and while it was tragic…I’m sure it doesn’t compare to losing a child you knew and held. Grab the tissues everyone…
Big brother Cole with the cat he gave Zoe.
They had casts made of Zoe’s hands and feet so they would always remember what they looked like.
Such a powerful image.
Outside at Zoe’s garden.
Releasing balloons in memory of Zoe.
Thank you guys so much! Every single one of you are inspirational.
This past weekend I got to go behind the scenes at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, MD. One of my favorite photography clients, Amy, works there, and I asked if I could get a ‘VIP’ pass. I was thinking maybe I’d just a little closer than most people. I had no idea how up close and personal I would be. I mean…I got to pet a penguin! Thank you so much, Amy! I had a blast!
Look, it’s a screech owl!
The penguin I pet! Surprisingly soft.
Amy would whip out a different animal every 5 min. It was a surprise every time.
After Amy had to leave, I wandered around the zoo. First animal was the Okapi. How cool is it!
All I got of the Zebra and Rhino…
I’m sure everyone has heard the phrase, “the camera loves her”. I knew what it meant, but I didn’t REALLY know until starting photography. Meet Madison…or “Maddie”. She is my good friend, Sonja’s, daughter, and the camera really does love her! I’ve always loved the model/fashion shows on tv (America’s Next Top Model, Project Runway, etc…I know, guilty pleasure). I am convinced that Maddie is going to be a model, so she has become one of my little side projects. Keep an eye out for her!