Patricia Suzanne Wedding Photography » Raleigh and Boone NC Wedding and Boudoir Photography

Ah, what a fun wedding to shoot!  My husband, David, and I became friends with Luke’s father when he did some surveying for us years ago, so when Luke and Kelsey got engaged, they gave me a call.  Both the ceremony and reception took place at Top of the Hill in Chapel Hill (both Kelsey and Luke both attended UNC) and they got ready at nearby Carolina Inn.  I loved the elegant but relaxed vibe of this wedding, which was so representative of Luke and Kelsey!  We started the day with getting ready shots at the beautiful Carolina Inn, beginning with detail shots of Kelsey’s dress, etc:

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We used the gorgeous black and white tile hallway for our first look photos and some of our portraits:

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Then it was over to Top of the Hill for more portraits:

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And some pre-ceremony fun:

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And then it was time for the ceremony:

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Since the ceremony and reception were in the same space at Top of the Hill, the guests moved into the other room and entertained themselves with pool and darts:

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You had me at cupcake:

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First dance and dancing with parents.  I love that there’s still natural light coming in:

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We wanted to do a few more portraits with Luke and Kelsey at sunset and the manager at Top of the Hill was kind enough to give us access to their roof.  Cool, right?  Unfortunately the only access is up a ladder and through a trap door and while I’m not afraid of heights exactly, I don’t like edges or transitions lol!  I managed to make it up okay with all of my equipment, and even more impressive was watching Kelsey do it all it her wedding gown!  I think the pictures were well worth it:

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If going up was scary, coming back down was twice as bad, but cake makes everything better:

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Kelsey and Luke know how to have a good time.  Before going to dental school, Luke was in a band, so as you’d expect this crowd had a great time on the dance floor:

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And one last sparkler-lit kiss to send them off:

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When I first met my husband, we used to take long walks with our dogs in the woods behind the farm.  We had a loop we would walk that the dogs loved; lots of unfenced woods to romp in, a creek we crossed twice, and a pond we always stopped at where they could swim.  The pond was at the bottom of the back pasture of a gorgeous piece of property that was owned by an old friend of David’s.  Every day when we stopped there, I would think to myself how picture perfect the pasture was and what a beautiful setting it would be for a wedding.  Fast forward several years….and it’s now a wedding venue!  It’s called The Little Herb House and you can actually have your ceremony down in that same exact pasture we used to walk through years ago!  I had the privilege of shooting the wedding of Sandy and Dan, who were actually the very first couple to get married in the pasture location!

Before the ceremony though, we did getting ready and first look shots.  I love this shot of Sandy’s dress hanging outside in one of the beautiful gardens:

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And first look:

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And another one of the beautiful bride:

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And now for the ceremony.  Isn’t this pasture just perfect?

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Of course we had to do portraits down in the pasture as well:

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The reception was in the barn.  It was almost surreal how different it looked from when our friend, Charlie, kept his horses and airplanes in it!

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And then the party started….

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In the 12 plus years I’ve been a wedding photographer, I’ve seen a lot of post processing trends come and go.  When I first started shooting professionally, digital photography had just become the norm.  With digital photography came the ability for the photographer to manipulate the images in the computer, or “post process.”  At its most basic, post processing adjusts things like color and contrast to most closely match how the subject really appeared.   Or the photographer can take it further and digitally manipulate an image to reach an artistic goal.  12 years ago, hand tinting (where most of the image is in black and white with one aspect such as the bouquet in color) had become passé and a technique called cross processing was in style.  It produced images with high contrast and super saturated colors.  After a couple of years, the trend changed again as trends do.  Using something called textures became all the rage after a photographer using that technique won several awards at one of the national photography conventions.  This technique involved layering an image of something textural over the main image and then tweaking the opacity to get the desired result.  You could even purchase textures collections from prominent photographers to use in Photoshop.  Everyone was doing it.

For the last few years, the big trend has been tinting.  If you’ve looked at wedding photography recently, I’m sure you’ve seen it.  It usually features subdued colors and contrast with an overall pink or yellow tone.  It strives to mimic the look of when the sun shines in the lens and bleaches out the image, or the bleached out look of a vintage photo.  Pretty, right?  Well, to me, yes and no.  I actually have a couple of big issues with it.  One, a big part of any wedding is the colors you choose, and this technique does not correctly capture them.  Did you find the perfect shade of off white for your wedding dress?  With this technique, in your pictures it will be pink or yellow.

My bigger concern, however, is what happens after this trend passes, as all trends do.  Let me put it in terms of fashion.  Styles come and go.  Bell bottoms, blue eye shadow, mini skirts, maxi dresses, skinny jeans, acid wash jeans, biker shorts, hoop skirts, corsets.  Some might have been mistakes, some we might want to come back into style.  But while wardrobes can be updated as fashions change, you only get a single shot at your wedding photography.  If you had to pick one fashion to have for the rest of your life, would you choose a trend like eighties big hair and shoulder pads or would you go with something classic?  Imagine pulling out your wedding album 10 or 20 years from now when all the trends have changed and having to explain to viewers that that “weird” color was the style at that time.

What I prefer to do is capture a wedding as accurately as I can.  It should be a visual documentation of the events that occurred, keeping the story as authentic as possible.  In my opinion, the better an image is, the less the amount of “fixing” needs to be done in the computer.  Too often post processing is a crutch photographers lean on when their technical skills are lacking.  A skilled photographer’s images should look good straight out of the camera.  Does that mean there is no room for artistic interpretation in wedding photography?  Absolutely not!  As wedding photographers, we should be both journalists and artists.  A good example of this can be found on my blog here:  https://www.patriciasuzannephotography.com/?p=13.  But I feel it is more appropriate to artistically alter just a few select images rather than reform the entire wedding.  That way you have a few striking conversation pieces but the majority are beautifully classic images that will never go out of fashion.

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Abby and Ben and GoatPINIMAGE

Abby and Ben were married at Celebrity Dairy, which is a goat dairy just outside of Siler City, NC.  When I was growing up, we lived on some acreage in Northern California and had some livestock, including my pony and, unfortunately, 2 goats named Laverne and Shirley.  It was my sister’s and my chore every morning before school to milk the goats.  The goats were sweet and I liked them just fine, but I hated goats’ milk.  To this day, I can’t stand the smell of goats’ milk or even products made from it like goats’ milk soap!  But, goats are cute and I love outdoor wedding venues and Celebrity Dairy is no exception.

DSC_0005-525PINIMAGEDSC_0468-984PINIMAGEThis little guy was my shadow for a good part of the day:

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There is an Inn at the dairy, which is where Abby got ready with the help of her mother and her sister, matron of honor.  Getting ready shots are usually some of my favorites as they can be so emotional:

DSC_0034-554PINIMAGEDSC_0029-549PINIMAGEDetail shot of the rings hanging on the old-fashioned room key:

DSC_0014-534PINIMAGEAbby and Ben did a very emotional first look:

DSC_0056-576PINIMAGEDSC_0068-588PINIMAGEDSC_0067-587PINIMAGEFollowed by portraits:

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DSC_0140-660PINIMAGEMore tears during the ceremony:

DSC_0278-795PINIMAGEAnd laughter during the reception:

DSC_0121-637PINIMAGEDSC_0059-578PINIMAGEDSC_0390-905PINIMAGEAnd a few shots from the balcony to finish things off:

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