Charlie and Alysse: NYC Engagement

In 2010, my sophomore year of college, I met the one and only Alysse Papkoff through a mutual friend (looking at you KP). Back then, I didn’t even realize we’d become friends, much less the kind of forever friends that plan weddings together and talk weekly about things that mean nothing and things that mean everything. I probably have more text’s than I can count over the past few years from her that say something like “Lets have a wedding” or “Who’s gonna get married so we can have a wedding?” (a great excuse for the whole college gang to be in the same place at the same time). So, when Charlie proposed to Alysse outside of their King Street Apartment in Soho, the only necessary response was “WE’RE HAVING A WEDDING!”

Not to make this an Alysse love fest, but…I love Alysse, so that’s what’s going to happen. (You’re fine too, Charlie, but I’ll get to that in a second.) There are SO many reasons why I value my friendship with Alysse. First of all, she’s hysterical – just ask her. In truth, I have never left time spent with her without laughter. Even times that are tearfilled or difficult, she finds a way to get a laugh out of others. She’s strong. She’s had more than a lot of people’s lifetime of hardships, but she absolutely makes it through beautifully, gracefully and with admirable strength. She’s kind. She’s dramatic (in the best way). She’s a beauty for sure! She make sure I feel valuable as a friend and as a person, so I’m sure she offers that to others, and that is an invaluable quality to have in a friend.

I first heard Charlie’s name over 5 years ago in a Rugged Ware House shoe aisle (you may have heard this story, but i’ll tell it again for the newbies). Alysse declared she may buy this pair of Vans (or’s up for debate) for her boyfriend, Charlie, to which Amanda and I replied. “What?!” – and that’s how we found out she had a boyfriend, in true Alysse fashion. They have lived in New York for a while now, so I don’t get to see Alysse and Charlie interact on an everyday basis, but spending this weekend with them was SO much fun, and it’s comforting to see how good they are to one another. Charlie is patient – He’s the kind of guy who walks all the way back to the apartment while we get coffee so Alysse can have flat shoes to walk in instead of heels. He’s the kind of guy that doesn’t complain about it. He’s the kind of guy who stops by the store on the way home and grabs snacks for the 5 girls overtaking his apartment to visit Alysse. These are little things, but they matter. Charlie, thank you for loving my friend!

Now usually when someone says, “Let’s take pictures in the brightest of bright blinding parts of the day” (I’m paraphrasing) I usually say, “That lighting is the worst. let’s not” HOWEVER – we had one window of unbooked time on this NYC trip (and try saying “no” to Alysse Papkoff, I dare you.) so, we faced the sun on a building top (because we wanted to be extra close to it, ya know..) and made this engagement session happen! Charlie’s mom gave us access to her apartment rooftop and then we traveled through the west village and down to the waterfront to capture these images of Alysse and Charlie in the place they call home. I’m so thankful I got to do this. It really doesn’t feel like work when this is who you get to work for. Enjoy these, you guys!! I love you so much and I can’t wait to be back in your neck of the woods. WE’RE HAVING A WEDDING!!!


Shoutout to Amanda Miller for being the BEST photographers assistant for this shoot and  carrying all the things while simultaneously taking behind the scenes photos and video. ❤




Charlottesville Homecoming

When DeAnne contacted me about photographing her daughter, Delaney, for senior homecoming, I did not expect the story that was to follow! It’s ridiculously cute and added so much excitement to this session. Delaney’s family was vacationing at Virginia Beach this past summer and while swimming in the ocean she met a boy. *swoon* Delaney told me he taught her how to surf and they spent the next few “days in the waves and nights on the boardwalk” as DeAnne stated. Vacation came to and end and Kyle (afformentioned boy), returned to his home…in OHIO..and Delaney and her family returned to Virginia, both never really expecting to see each other again.

As we all know, there are a million ways to keep up with each other these days and that is precisely what Kyle and Delaney did. They have been in touch every day since they met and formed such a special relationship. Delaney wanted Kyle to be able to accompany her to her senior year homecoming at Charlottesville High, and she got her wish. Kyle FLEW FROM OHIO to attend the dance with Delaney and take these portraits with her (good move, Kyle. Am I right?!?).

This session was so sweet (and nostalgic..I loved high school – weird I know – and it was fun to be in the midst of that again.). Kyle and Delaney were PRECIOUS and so caring toward one another. It was so obvious that what they have built since the summer is very unique. Some of Delaney’s friends from school came to join the shoot with their families at Boars Head Inn (which is a BEAUTIFUL location as you’ll see below!). It was such a pleasure to meet the Tharp family and capture such a sweet story. Delaney is as sweet as she is beautiful, and is it just me or does Kyle look exactly like actor Grant Gustin who plays The Flash?! They sure did look like a movie!



Wes and Laura: Engaged

This is not the first time I have captured this BEAUTIFUL couple. Laura was a bridesmaid in a wedding I shot earlier this year, and I snagged a few photos of her and her fiancé, Wes, on the dance floor. At the time I had no idea who they were (the coolest couple ever – thats who) or that in just a few months I would be shooting their engagement session in Washington D.C. Let me tell you, I was SO DOWN to shoot int D.C. This wasn’t a destination shoot for them. They live and breath this city, so it was so fitting to have their session in the midst of it. Wes is the manager of the Hyatt Place Washington D.C/White House and Laura works for the Nations Parks Service for the White House. I told you they were cool, didn’t I?! Laura was giving off some major Olivia Pope vibes in that white dress. People on a tour bus even started pointing, staring and taking pictures because they looked like movie starts and I was following them around with a camera.

Wes and Laura are so incredibly sweet, funny, full of life and kind! We had so much fun. There was a lot of laughter in this session which was mostly me making fun of Wes (sorry..) and fawning over Laura because she’s perfect. Wes is an avid Eagles fan and Laura is INSANE at yoga, so we incorporated that into their shoot! Laura, Wes and I have been talking about this shoot for a while and I LOVED that they came into it with vision and excitement. Afterward they took me out to lunch (so sweet, I know) where we had GREAT sushi and got to know each other even more. It’s not every day or every business that you can have lunch with your clients and really feel like you’re just hanging out with friends talking about life. They were so encouraging and just plain good to be around.

It took a lot of will power to not share every single image from this shoot with you, but there were literally hundreds, and I want this to be a blog post of reasonable length! Congratulations Wes and Laura! I truly can not wait to capture your wedding next year. If this is your engagement shoot, I can’t imagine how gorgeous your wedding will be!!

























Click Here to View the Full Gallery!

Amanda: Senior

I met the Holmes family when I was around 11 or 12 years old through dance lessons, church and Mr. Holmes was my middle school vice principle. Amanda (now a senior!!) was only 3 years old at the time – now I feel old..(insert eye roll). Robin, Amanda’s mom, contacted me about her senior pictures, and I honestly did not realize Amanda was old enough to be a senior! She indeed is, and she is beautiful!

Amanda is having a bit of a different start to her senior year than most. Last week, one week after we did her senior pictures, she underwent brain surgery for a Chiari Malformation and is now on the mend. She will be in recovery for at least 6 weeks and hopefully the months of chronic headaches she has been living with and powering through will be gone! If you have a moment, say a prayer for Amanda as she recovers and that she can successfully dive into the rest of her senior year pain free!

Amanda and her family moved  a few hours away from our hometown a few years back, but they have returned and it was so nice to see them again and take these portraits on a beautiful farm owned by close family friends of both of our families – Jake and Kleo Garland! When the Holmes family moved, they were unable to take their dog, Belle, and Jake and Kleo actually took care of Belle for them. Amanda got to spend some time with Belle who followed us around during her shoot and made her way into a few frames with Amanda.

Congratulations on your final year of high school, Amanda! I am praying for your recovery and hoping you can get back in the swing of things soon and enjoy this exciting time in your life! Enjoy the pictures!!

Hi, Belle!

Her grandma’s ring

Amanda wanted to re-create a senior picture that her brother had taken during his senior pictures.

Andrea and Hunter: Married

I have photographed weddings for people I “know” before, but this was different. I have known Andrea for the majority of my life. She was probably 2 or 3 when we first met at church functions and family birthday parties. She grew up just a few miles from me. We have so many memories together and a friendship that has seen many years and seasons. This wedding was a a bit more personal to me than most and when Andrea asked me to photograph her and Hunter saying “I Do”, I had no idea that I would be sitting in a room with a great group of girls before Andrea walked down the isle crying tears of hope and joy for my sweet friend as they prayed over her. She was (and is) so happy and it was tangible.

These images will help us all remember that truly wonderful day, but there are a few words and moments that I will honestly never forget. Andrea gave Hunter a journal before the wedding and I think she filled it 2/3’s of the way with notes to Hunter. He patiently read through every word quietly, until one page – I don’t know what it said – when his eyes teared up and his voice cracked as he said, “She got me”, followed by sweet laughter. Hunter wrote a letter for Andrea as well and when she opened it she said, “He never writes this much!” Andrea read it quietly in a room with me and the videographer while making good use of her new monogrammed handkerchief, and when she finished she looked up teary eyed and shrugged her shoulders a little. I looked at her inquiring what that shrug meant and she replied SO honestly and sweetly, “I just can’t believe this is happening. It feels too good to be true.” It is true, and I’ll never forget it or the complete joy I felt for her in that moment.

I have to remember that you’re likely here for these pictures, not for my longwinded recollection of the day, but guys, it was SUCH a good day. I remember the joyful exclamations and “Whoooos!” when Andrea declared that she was getting married outside rain or no rain. I remember how it rained ALL day until the sky perfectly cleared up minutes before the ceremony started and not another drop of rain fell. I remember how Hunter was so ready to marry his bride, so much so that he exclaimed, “I WILL.” after the first line of Pastor Jeffrey’s “Do you take Andrea..” charge (there were several more lines to go). I remember giving the camera a rest for a minute and dancing with my best friends. I remember a coffee date months ago where Andrea and I sat and talked for hours about life and God and planning and family and marriage, and we both cried and thought forward to what this day would mean. I don’t think either of us foresaw the perfection that it was. I don’t use the word “perfect” lightly, but it’s the word Andrea has used repeatedly since the conclusion of that day, and if it was perfect to her and Hunter, then I will use it with pride.

Hunter & Andrea, your wedding was unforgettable. I’m so happy I could witness the start of your life together, and I am so excited that you two get to take it on with each other, and more importantly with the God you have included in your wedding day and in your life. Something you both know well is that life is not perfect. On the days of life that don’t live up to the sheer perfection you experienced this September, I pray that you two will be each others stream in the desert and that you will look to the One who joined you. What God brought together let no man separate. I love you and hope these images help you hold on to every piece of your wedding day. Congratulations once again, friends. ❤

Here are a few of my favorites from the day! There is a link at the bottom to see the full day!






I love this picture because I told Hunter to say something sweet in Andrea’s ear and he proceeded to sing the lyrics to Whisper….”hey Lil’ Mama lemme whisper in your ear”. Needless to say, that is a genuine laugh!




















































To view Full Day’s Gallery click here!


Andrea: Bridal

When Andrea suggested we do her bridal portrait session at a lavender farm, I was ALL in. She scheduled an appointment with White Oak Lavender Farm in Harrisonburg, Virginia. I told Andrea that I had never been there before and I was so excited to shoot in a new location! When I pulled into the farm I realized that not only had I been there before, but I had shot there before about 5 or 6 years ago when I was in college. (whoops). Nonetheless, I could not have been more excited for this shoot. You can see why!

Andrea’s mother-in-law, Sandra, had the date added to Andrea’s dress – something blue. 🙂

The day we shot these foreshadowed Andrea and Hunter’s wedding day and we didn’t even know it! It was calling for rain the entire day, but Andrea and I held out and prayed that the skies would hold back and we could have the bridal shoot that she had dreamed of – and just like this past weekend on her wedding day – prayers were answered and we had exactly what we’d hoped for. It began to rain the second we got into our cars to leave the farm, and I looked up and thanked the Lord!

I will forever be obsessed with this image!

Lavender is in full bloom in June and July. Andrea’s session was in mid August, so again, we were hopeful that there would be lavender left to make an appearence in her portraits, and it was!

Andrea, I know I have said it a dozen times, but I am so glad I was the one to capture this season of your life. You are truly beautiful, but how gorgeous you are in these pictures pales in comparison to the who you are – to your character. I am so happy to call you a friend. Could you imagine when we were 8 and 9 years old in dance classes and Sunday school together or in high school show choir and me crashing half of your family gatherings that our lives would unfold and merge in this way? I definitely didn’t, but I am joyous that they have. Love you, friend. I can’t wait to share your wedding day!

Venue: White Oak Lavender Farm Dress:  Celebration Bridal, Flowers: Bloom by Doyle’s, Hair: Carrie Anne England with Arte Dei Capelli Salon, Make-up: Chantay with In Your Face Make-Up Art

Willow: Dancer

My mom posted on Facebook the other day, as countless moms posted their child’s first day of school pictures, that this will be the first year in 25 years that she doesn’t have a child starting school, and the first year in almost 27 years that she doesn’t have a child in dance classes. Willow, the youngest of our bunch, has graduated high school and had her last dance recital! *cue tears and “how the time flies” cliches*. But foreal, time flies! Willow is 18 (!!!) and headed of to The College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine in just two weeks where she will take off her dancing shoes and put on her “Human Ecology”/Environmentalist shoes and start her college education!

Willow is many things. She is tall and she is beautiful, as everyone can see in these images and the countless images I post of her, but she is much more than that! She has overcome a lot in her 18 years, and though she is still young and has so much more life ahead of her, she seems to have turned out pretty okay. 😉 There isn’ t a perfect teenage out there, we all know that, but she’s definitely my favorite teenager. She is smart. She is funny. She thinks I’m funny (which is one of the best things about her, obviously.) She is passionate. She is quiet and reserved and loud and outgoing at the same time. She is loved.

Willow, this is the part of your life where you are on your own more than you have ever been in your 18 years. At the risk of sounding like a mom, here I go with some college bound advice. Make good choices. Call Mom. If you need help, ask. Don’t jump off the bridge because all of your friends did (peer pressure and all that jazz). If your friends can’t handle you being different than them, they aren’t your friends. It’s okay to be weird. Care about people. Be a quality friend, even if it’s not always reciprocated. Dad is probably right. Cultivate a relationship with God and talk to Him even when it’s hard or not the cool thing to do, because when everyone else bails – He won’t. Don’t learn that the hard way. You’ll likely make some friends that will be in your life for the rest of your life. Choose wisely. Remember that I love you and I will drive 16 hours to be there any day of the week if you needed me.


Your Big Sister – Emily

“Bad Decision”

🔜‼️🎙NEW MUSIC!!!!!!!!!! 🎙🔜‼️
That’s right! I am excited to announce that I am releasing my single, “Bad Decision”, this month!!!! I wrote this song last March in Nashville, TN and had the opportunity to play it live several times there. Now, with an amazing team of musicians and an a great producer, we have brought it to life in an entirely new way! A lot of work and vision has gone into this song and it is the first release of much more to come!! I’ll be giving more information soon about release dates and how you can listen!!!! Spread the word. There’s music on the way.