Friday, December 20, 2013

Butlers, table for 4!

Back in November I was happy to be able to take the maternity/family photos of our friends Adam and Marianne. A few years back we were fortunate to take their first maternity photos when they were expecting Baby Bee (Max) and I'm so glad they thought of us again when expecting Baby Bear (Hayden). 

I had been holding out on this blog post because Hayden surprised us a couple weeks early and I wanted to get the.."after" photo but I just can't wait any longer. I'll just have to post the "after" photos in a whole separate blog post. It's the cross I bear. 

Onto the photos!

It was a mild beautiful November day when I met Adam and Marianne at the art museum. It's a good thing we did these photos when we did. I think Hayden was born two to three weeks later!

As always Marianne was a glowing portrait of pregnancy. 

Gotta love the itty bitty baby shoes! Max is going to be a great older brother. I'm really looking forward to watching them grow up together! 

Thanks for reading! One more blog post to finish off the holiday photo marathon!

Liz DiNatale

Monday, December 9, 2013

Family Photos - Webb 2013

Just when it started getting really cold it seems everyone wanted to go ahead and get their family photos in. Luckily, I can bundle up but lord I feel bad for my subject sometimes. On a brisk Saturday morning, I met my day job boss at one of my favorite photo locations, Yates Mill Pond. It turns out that on that particular Saturday it was about 12 other photographers' favorite photo location too! 

I had to make these two cuties sit and wait while another group got out of their shot behind them. Luckily, they were rather accommodating. It may have helped that their reward was Smarties. 

It was nice to give my boss orders for a morning. I might have enjoyed that a little too much. 

All for the sake of photography of course!

I think it's really cute when a family has two kids and one obviously takes after one parent and the other obviously takes after the other parent. 

What a great, fun family! 

Thanks to the Webb family for spending the morning with me! 

On a side note in the  Bourne movies the character, Jason Bourne's real name is David Webb. My boss is Jason Bourne. HA!

Liz DiNatale

Friday, December 6, 2013

Anne, Bob & the Pups

I love it when I get to take people's photos year after year. I get to see how they've changed, how their kids have grown or in this case,  how their dogs have grown! Last year about this time I met Anne, Bob, Storm and Hawk for the first time. We chatted about their recent relocation from Hawaii and about their pups because I was flabbergasted by these guys. Storm was a full grown long haired German Shepherd at 140 pounds and Hawk a mere puppy at 90 lbs. 

Well...Hawk grew up...

He's on the left. Big love bugs. 

So with Storm getting older, Hawk has grown a little protective over who pets him; he doesn't seem to like it when strangers do. I thought it was so sweet when he didn't mind me petting Storm. I think he remembers me! 

For this years photoshoot we visited the Duke Gardens. It was such a nice day that Sunday that the rest of Durham was there as well. Everyplace we stopped to take photos we either had to wait for someone to leave or someone moved in right after us. At one point we were being trailed by a bride and her entourage.

It was so great to see Anne, Bob and the pups again. Gotta love great people with great dogs!

 Thanks for another great photoshoot Anne and Bob! Happy Holidays!

Liz DiNatale

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Micah & Cali - {Engagement}

It's time to hear from my esteemed colleague, Jess Hawn again!

The Rain Didn't Stop Him!
You always hear people say, "Those two are perfect for each other."  Well,  it couldn't be more true with these two.  It takes a special girl to handle my brother-in-law, Micah. Cali sure has her hands full with this one!  She doesn't seem to mind...

Micah grew up on the farm and spends a lot of time there with his family. What better place to propose to Cali? So in November among the cows, hay, mud and, yes, rain (does that mean twice the good luck?) Micah asked Cali to join his family. 

They are planning for a "10-4" wedding date.  I'm looking forward to lots of laughter, love and black diesel smoke.....

Welcome to the family Cali and bravo Micah!!!

Jess Hawn

Monday, December 2, 2013

Drew and Kathleen - {Wedded Bliss}

It all starts with a ring and a promise 

Jess and I were thrilled to witness the recent union of two great people, Kathleen and Drew. We've enjoyed getting to know these two as they took the steps into a life together. They were fantastic at their engagement session and equally awesome for their wedding; I've never met a pair so calm and collected. 

Kathleen was the epitome of classic Hollywood elegance in her daringly tall heels and her classic dress. 

I loved the simple beauty about her outfit. 

And I have to say, out of all the weddings I've been to or had the pleasure of working, this wedding party and family were the easiest to organize and most cooperative! They were also very tough. It was not warm by this lake. 

Kathleen and Drew, thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to capture your beautiful wedding. We had a great time with you all and I hope to work with you again!

Daww this picture melts my heart! 

Liz DiNatale

Friday, November 8, 2013

Kara & Pipper - Pet Photography

For my second installment of holiday photos I present to you something completely different: Pet Photography!

A few weekends ago, the day following an epic wedding (teasers coming soon), I enjoyed meeting Kara and her pup, Pipper. It was such a nice photoshoot to have after such a hectic day. We simply took a stroll along the Tobacco Trail and snapped a few photos when we came upon something neat. 

Pipper was such a lovable pup!

It was a great afternoon! Thanks Kara and Pipper for going on a walk with me! It was a pleasure working with you both!

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Liz DiNatale

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Cubbage Family Photos 2013

A few weekends ago my husband and I had the pleasure of visiting our friends in Lynchburg, VA where a few escaped NC State alums are hiding. I met Laurissa at my first engineering internship at Hazen and Sawyer and we've been friends since. She had already graduated from Environmental Engineering and was a great example for a rising female engineer. There's not a whole lot of us after all! Since I started SOR, I've been capturing her family as it's grown, it's been so much fun. 
That's why I was thrilled when she asked us to visit this year and to bring my camera! This was the first chance to snag some photos of her newest son, Everett, and I couldn't wait. 

We took a drive up the blue ridge parkway for about an hour and found some beautiful colors. I do love fall!

I've never had a baby so corporative! 

I'm excited to watch these boys grow up. 

Laurissa & Doug Cubbage Family 2013! 

Liz DiNatale

Friday, October 18, 2013

Photo Friday: Lonesome

Happy Friday!!! 

It's been a hell of an October for me so far. I found myself in Breckenridge Colorado at the beginning of the month for a 2 week long class on streams. Miraculously, I broke away the Sunday before last and hiked up to see some old mining relics and a couple lakes called the Mohawk Lakes. If you're ever in Breck, when there's not 5 feet of snow, I'd highly recommend that hike. It's absolutely beautiful. 

The trail it's pretty direct and before you know it you're out of the thick trees and on the rocks. That's when you start seeing these old tiny cabins. The first one you come to has no roof and a fallen tree has collapsed most of it. But if you keep going you find this gem right next to some glorious falls. I can only imagine how lonely a night would be up on the mountain alone in this cabin with  nothing but the falls to listen to. 

I've got a busy schedule of family photo shoots this month. I'm looking forward to sharing them all with you! 

Thanks for reading and enjoy your weekend!

Liz DiNatale

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ashley Mitchell - Bridals Full Edition

Last Saturday Ashley said those solemn vows and became Mrs. Ashley Mitchell. We all applauded as the new couple walked hand in hand back down the aisle and we spent the rest of the evening celebrating their blessed union. Everything was lovely and I'm very excited to see the photos her photographers produce. I came there as a friend and not a photographer, so as odd as it felt, I left my camera at home. 

We had a great time and stayed until they turned on the lights and ushered us out. And now because their day has come and gone, I can finally, with great pleasure, do a full blog post of Ashley's bridal portraits! I'm friggin giddy. I've wanted to show these off for weeks now!

No more yammering, onto the photos!

The State Club on NC Sate's Centennial Campus has a huge grand ballroom with very shiny marble floors. They complimented Ashley's beautiful white dress wonderfully. 

Remember her teaser post featuring that huge chandelier and a silhouette of Ashley? Here's the other side of that photo series. 

These next few are some of my favorites. 

I love how you can see every delicate fold of her beautiful dress in these. 

This one...this is my favorite. Gotta love the cathedral veil. 

This is a close second. She looks so happy and genuine in this photo. 

Alright, I'll leave it at that. I'd post them all but I think that would be overkill. I had so much fun doing these photos with Ashley and her mom. Thanks again ladies, you were wonderful!

Liz DiNatale

Friday, September 13, 2013

Off topic: DC

The weekend before last I took a short road trip with a friend to the north. Since I was heading all the way to NY and it's quite the drive, I convinced my friend to tag along for half the trip and gave her a reason to visit friends in DC. 

I was pretty excited about my layover in DC. I hadn't visited the city since I was a little girl. The bits and pieces I remember about that trip involved mostly Star Trek and matching family shirts. Yes...we were that family. Considering my incredible improvement in photography equipment since that time (I had no camera) I decided to take advantage of my time in DC and photograph some of my favorite monuments. 

So after an awesome night of local brew-pubs, subway systems and air mattress sleeping, I awoke early to beat all the tourists. I had no idea that by doing so I'd run right into the prime "run around the monuments" time. It was an event for sure. I managed to capture several people sweating in running shorts, oh well.

Here are some of my favorites from my early morning saunter around DC. 

The Lincoln Memorial has always been one of my favorites. 

This was a bunch of Navy guys out doing their PT

The Washington Monument reflected in the Vietnam War Monument. 

I never appreciated these monuments when I was a kid. But being out there alone on a cool Saturday morning with just my thoughts and my camera to keep me company...they meant a whole lot more. I'm very glad that we have them. 

Now's the time to think about family photos for holidays cards! This week alone I booked 3 new photoshoots. Stay tuned for lots of awesome smiling faces!

Liz DiNatale

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ashley Sonday - Bridals

You know the ride at Disney World, "It's a Small World"? Yeah I hate that ride too but the saying can't be more true. Somehow two very separate parts of my life collided when my former roommate, Will Mitchell, met a girl who I went to high school with but never really knew. Even when I first met Ashley through Will, it never really clicked. But then at their engagement party, I got to talking with one of her bridesmaids and found out that SHE had gone to school with me too! She and Ashley were in the class of 02 at Green Hope High School, I was the class of 03. Then, like a wave of consciousness, I remembered Ashley! It's a small friggin world. (I promptly went home and looked her up in my year books). 

I was never sure who Will would end up with. I'd known him for years, living with us in two different houses, working at several different jobs and moving to three different states; he was a nomad and everyone knew it. Somehow North Carolina claimed him and as luck would have it, he met Ashley. She's already polished off a few of his rough edges and perhaps he has scuffed up a few of hers. They balance each other out wonderfully and make a beautiful team. Who could ask for more. 

Onto the point...I'm slightly in love with weddings. Can you tell? I love being a part of them. I love seeing a bride all done up and all a flutter with excitement. I love seeing a groom nervous as hell but deliriously happy. I love the opulence of a gorgeous dress. Which is why when my friends are getting married and I hear they're not getting  bridal portraits from their photographer, I ask if they'd mind modeling their dress for me for my portfolio. It gives me a chance to add pictures to my website and to practice my craft. It gives them a chance to wear that gorgeous dress on a day filled with much less stress and truly enjoy it. And it's downright fun! 

Some of my friends haven't gone for it and that's too bad but luckily it didn't take much convincing to get Ashley to agree to a free bridal portrait session. She left the venue option up to me and I choose The State Club on NC State's centennial campus. It's a gorgeous building that lent itself very well to a bridal portrait session. This building is complete with a massive room with polished marble floors, a grand piano, a grand staircase, lovely leather chairs and sofas, a massive chandelier and floor to ceiling windows. Perfect. 

I wish I could show you all of the gorgeous photos we captured that day but I don't want to ruin the surprise for Ashley's guests and most of all, Will. Ashley and I did agree on one photo that I could publish today. A lovely silhouette with just a hint of things to come. 

Ashley makes a beautiful bride. Will is gonna cry.

Liz DiNatale

Friday, July 26, 2013

Photo Friday: Smartphone Picture

It really is a testament to how far phone cameras have come when the picture I'm using for this challenge doesn't suck. 

I remember the days when not everyone had a phone capable of taking pictures. I remember the commercials promoting those "picture phones". They would produce the most rudimentary, grainy, blurry but to us at the time, amazing photos. Nowadays my cell phone takes better pictures than my first digital camera. 

So the story behind this picture is a tale of a harrowing escape from doom. Also known as, my race against an approaching storm on my bicycle. Every Wednesday (or so) I ride with a group called Ol Mello Velo. We meet up in Apex and usually ride out into Chatham County, Morrisville, etc. The route on this day was directly in the course of an approaching thunderstorm. We all decided collectively and independently that we'd ride as far as we could and turn around when the storm got too close. All seemed fine in the beginning but then the storm picked up pace and all of a sudden it was on top of us. Some of us took a loop home, I turned around and bolted back to my car. That was the fastest pace I've ever held on my own (I might have had a trail wind). I had been at my car with my bike loaded no longer than a minute before the big raindrops started and then the heavens opened up. 

This picture was taken where I turned around. You can see the wall of approaching clouds so clearly. It was very ominous. 

Today on the other hand is absolutely gorgeous. What a rare treat in July. Enjoy today and the weekend! We've got one more month of hot temperatures ahead of us and this weekend will be a nice break!

Liz DiNatale

Friday, July 12, 2013

Photo Friday: After Dark

Welcome back to weekly Photo Fridays!! It's been a while...I was preoccupied with passing the Professional Engineering exam and then passing it again because I didn't pass it the first time (whoops). But now I'm less occupied and getting the photography itch (I hear there's no cure). 

I'll start off easy with a photo I took almost a year ago. The Photo Friday challenge word was "After Dark" which inspired me to do the editing on this photo that you see. This pathway was at the top of the Craggy Gardens hiking trail. The trees are tons and tons of Mountain Laurel (or Rhododendron, I never can tell the difference if they're not blooming). The way the path whines and curves through the Laurel makes for a very ethereal/creepy scene. I imagine when these trees are blooming this path would be much more jovial than sinister. 

It's good to be back. I hope to post these Friday photos regularly now. Thanks for reading!

Liz DiNatale

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Hamiltons

Have you ever had a "heart-dog"? Or cat, bird or any other pet (although I think cats and dogs have an easier time attaching to our souls). They're the dog that melts your soul and becomes your heartbeat so when they pass, your soul aches and your heart slows. The dog you'll think of for the rest of your life and you'll always say "Ah, she was a good dog; the best dog". I'm not Bill but if I had to guess, I'd say Krissy is his heart-dog. 

This dog has more nicknames than I can keep track of. The ones I remember are, Krissy, Krissy-Lou and Lou-Dog. I'm pretty sure there's many more. That's what you get when you're owner is this guy:

Bill got Krissy while he was still in school at NC State and she's been his loyal companion since. She's the only dog I know that jumped from level ground and caught a bird mid flight because it was taunting her. If you get her really happy, she'll grin her pearly whites at you. And when you can't find her in the house, it's because she's curled up in Bill or Mish's laundry basket. 

I'm sad to say that recently she was diagnosed with heart failure. But in true Krissy fashion you'd never guess by her demeanor. She's a little thinner than she used to be (due to the meds) but she still has that sparkle in her eye. 

And she's very lucky to have these guys as dog parents. They've gone to great lengths to keep her with us.

As a birthday present to Bill, I took these (and many more) photos around NC State's campus. While this was my second choice for locations I think it worked out better. It was rather fitting. 

Thank you Bill, Mish and Krissy for being great photo subjects. I hope Krissy has many more joyful months ahead of her. I'm glad I was able to do these photos for Bill and Mish. And I am so thankful for the strong heart of a hound. 

The Hamiltons - May 5, 2013

Liz DiNatale

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Margo - Class of 2013!

This latest post is from Jess and she writes:
Easter weekend I had the pleasure of hanging out with my younger cousin, Brandon, his girlfriend, Margo, and her family for some fun shooting around my home town of Lincolnton.  Man, things have changed there!

Margo wanted to capture some shots downtown, at the golf course, and on the farm.  Even though I grew up in Lincolnton, I haven't wandered around town in years so they had to give ME directions.  It was comical. 

We shared many laughs on the farm.  Between Ranger (the horse) trying to eat Margo, the numerous cows relieving themselves right beside us, and then us trying to dodge the cow pies, I'd say the shoot was an eventful one.

  Margo graduates in May and will begin her journey through college!  Thank you Margo for being such a fantastic photo subject! You'll do amazingly in life, and it's been a pleasure getting to know you behind the camera!

Jess Hawn