Raleigh Wedding Photographer – Jouel and Spencer

Raleigh Wedding Photographer – Jouel and Spencer

Weddings are full of moments, the big and the small. Some of the smallest, in my experience, can seem the biggest when the day is done. Take a peek at the stolen kiss I was able to capture. This is what it’s all about, guys. Small, beautiful moments in time you can’t get back, and don’t want to miss. It never fails, people are always so appreciative of quality photography when it comes to their weddings. You spend a year or more planning this huge, beautiful event, and when it’s over, you realize it passed so quickly, you weren’t able to get to experience every beautiful moment you spent so long planning. That’s where I come in. I’m here to ensure that your wedding day is not only well documented but that it is treated with the respect and care it deserves.

This was such a fun group of people to work with! It was an absolute pleasure to get to know their personalities better. The bride and groom, Jouel and Spener, were married at the Five Points Center in Raleigh, NC. After snapping some hilarious shot with the newlyweds and their bridal party, we made the short trip to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences for the ceremony. What an amazingly unique place to celebrate your vows! So cool!

Thank you so much, Spencer and Jouel, for letting me partake in such a fun night! It was an honor getting to know you both deeper. Best wishes for a lifetime full of happiness, laughter and love.


Youngsville Wedding Photographer – Brian and Mandi

Youngsville Wedding Photographer – Brian and Mandi

This wedding can be easily summed up in one word. Classic. Every detail of Mandi and Brian’s wedding was filled with elegant, timeless beauty. Mandi prepared for the big day with her beautiful bridal party at the Lion’s Gate Inn, in Wake Forest, NC. This pristinely maintained, restored estate home operates as a bed-and-breakfast on the historic Main Street in the heart of Wake Forest. I don’t think she could have asked for a more gorgeous, relaxing environment to get ready in!

The wedding was held at Grace Haven Fellowship in Youngsville, NC. The venue is quietly located on 72 peaceful acres in the heart of North Carolina. It truly was a perfect location for Brian and Mandi’s intimate ceremony. The guest list was filled with close family and friends of the bride and groom, excited and honored to celebrate the marriage of these two beautiful souls.

I love watching the unity ceremony when photographing weddings. The profound symbolism of two lives becoming one touches and warms my heart. The look of excited anticipation on Mandi’s face in the picture below is simply priceless.

After the reception, Brian and Mandi rode off into the sunset in a style perfectly fitting their wedding– a gorgeous classic Pontiac Firebird Trans Am.  My kind of send off! Getting to know this couple more was an absolute pleasure. I wish you both a long, beautiful life filled with years of love and laughter.

A Small and Beautiful Charlottesville Wedding – Ciara and Matt

A Small and Beautiful Charlottesville Wedding – Ciara and Matt

While every style of wedding has it’s perks, intimate weddings have to be my favorite. Your closest friends and family gather together to celebrate the beauty of your love. What I love, is capturing the joy and fellowship these people share through events such as this.

They decided on a date in mid-September in Charlottesville, NC. These early fall dates are some of the best to work with. The persistent heat of summer resides and is taken place by a fresh nip in the air. A perfect time to start a new journey together.

Their wedding was held in the Old Metropolitan Hall, located in downtown Charlottesville and just a few short steps from the University of Virginia and in the beautiful Downtown Mall area. Recently renovated in 2013, this location has so much personality. As a photographer, it yielded amazing opportunities to get some truly stunning shots.

The bride looked absolutely beautiful adorned with crimson and white flowers in her hair. It tied in perfectly with the red and black theme of the wedding. I love that they incorporated their dogs, being a huge dog lover myself! Take a peek at their cake topper! Little details like that truly make weddings unforgettable and personal.

Ciara and Matt were wonderful clients to work with. It was a blast getting to know more about them as a couple, and was an honor to get to be a part of this exciting time in their lives.

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A Lake Gaston Wedding – Blended Light Photography

What a beautiful day Neal and Chelsea had for their Saturday wedding on the shores of Lake Gaston.  While originally from the Raleigh area, the couple lives in San Fransisco and had arrived here on a red-eye flight just 2 days before.  We met on Friday to touch on some of the important details for their day and get a feel for the area.

Saturday’s pre-ceremony images were a collection of locations that the bride loved during her days at the lake while growing up.  We used simple techniques to create some great couple pictures before the wedding for the happy couple.

A first for me, but truthfully not shocking, the bride and her bridal party arrived to the ceremony by boat.  A short walk down the pier and they were at their lakeside ceremony location.  Post-ceremony, we worked through the formals of family and the bridal party.

As everyone ate, I took time to watch the skies, hoping for a gorgeous sunset as the clouds began to roll in.  Unfortunately, the clouds came in a little too late.  With clouds there though, I still used the time to create some moody couple portraits.  Darkening the exposure a touch brought the clouds to life, so to keep the couple exposed, I used a single flash about 25 feet away and aimed slightly high to prevent spill onto the pier.  It was a great set of images for Neal and Chelsea to display in their house.

Congrats to Neal and Chelsea on making their relationship official and best wishes in the future!

To see more of my wedding work, visit www.blendedlightphotography.com!

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A Raleigh Crabtree Wedding – Blended Light Photography

After a great engagement session with Tiffanie and Darrell, I was super excited to get to their wedding.  And, their wedding didn’t disappoint.  With a lively group of bridesmaids and groomsmen, the getting ready images were a fun collection of personalities and precious moments.  Their ceremony was at St. James Methodist Church and the reception was back at the Raleigh Crabtree Marriott.  The Main Ballroom was beautifully lit with blue uplighting and the decor of the room was exceptional, a wonderful atmosphere and setting for the truly heartfelt toasts the couple would receive.

This was one of the first chances I’ve had to do a wedding with uplighting.  To ensure that I kept the colorful lighting in the images, I used a slightly higher shutter speed than necessary combined with 2 off camera flashes to ensure both well lit subjects and beautiful blue backgrounds.

After the toasts were completed, the couple rolled right into opening the dance floor for their guests, who gladly brought strong moves to the floor.  Everyone was happy to participate in the dancing, including both sets of parents.

We rounded out the night with a great sparkler exit in front of the hotel and a short pause for a last kiss of the night.

If anyone is looking for a great venue for your Raleigh area wedding, the Crabtree Marriott should be on your short list.

For more of my work, check out www.blendedlightphotography.com!

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Photography Locations in Raleigh NC

Specializing in wedding, senior, and family photos

The Best Raleigh North Carolina Locations for Photography


Downtown Raleigh

Downtown Raleigh offers unlimited possibilities when it comes to location photography.  Whether it’s a bridal, engagement, family or senior session, this area offers everything – large trees on grassy lawns, lots of architecture, light, shadows and other people for some context.  Even at night, it remains relatively well lit, making a great location for some stunning after hours images.


Umstead State Park

Nestled just off Glenwood Avenue, Umstead State Park brings the beauty of nature to city life.  Wooded areas, overlooks and gravel paths make this location a tremendous choice for any type of photography.  It is especially exceptional in the fall when the trees burst with color and add a warm glow to everything.


A Local Mall

With Raleigh being the main shopping experience for a lot of the state, why not do something a little different?  With all the malls in the area, try doing a shoot in one of them.  You get many of the same features that make images Downtown unique (the lighting and the people), but you also get a location that isn’t used and a temperature controlled arena.  It’s also weather controlled so no concern about rain.  Personal favorite choice:  Crabtree.


You might wonder how on earth the focus of the image can be on you with all this “traffic”around?  Well, let’s discuss.  First, I shoot a pair of full frame Nikon D750.  Full frame cameras give a greater control over the area of the image that’s in focus, but it’s only part of the equation.  I couple my D750s with a Sigma 35 1.485 1.4 or Nikon 70-200 2.8 VRII (if there is some working room).  The 35 and 85 are small aperture lenses, meaning they require very little light function and have a very thin area of focus.  Given enough working room, I’ll almost always choose to shoot my 70-200.  By zooming out to 200, I am able to compress the background and, coupled with the 2.8 aperture, throw a significant portion of the image out of focus, leaving you standing out from the crowd and surrounded in beauty.


So there you go.  A couple location you knew about and one you’ve never thought about – almost guaranteed – and how I shoot them!  For questions about any of these or my service, contact me at contact@blendedlightphotography.com.

Questions for your Raleigh Wedding Photography

Specializing in weddings, seniors and families


Questions to ask your Wedding Photographer


It seems like every wedding magazine touches on questions that you should ask all your vendors.  Some of them are quite good; some are less than important.  Here are my top 3 questions you should ask your potential wedding photographer.

1.  Turn around time:  How quickly do you want your images?  Two weeks, four weeks, two months?  Every photographer processes their images differently and by the time your mid-summer wedding arrives, they may already be behind from the previous wedding photography sessions.  This delay will, ultimately, mean your pictures are waiting as well.  In the same manner your 5:00 wedding should start at 5:00, a delivery time should be accomplished.  Without a defined timeline, you’re already behind.

2.  Gear:  Let’s be honest here – unless you are a photographer, you probably don’t know much about the difference between Canon and Nikon or anyone else.  And that’s OK.  What you should want to know about is replication.  Your photographer should have overlap in their lenses, more than one camera body, more than one flash.  Why?  Things happen.  What happens if you photographers only camera “bites the bullet” the day before your wedding?  You should also be asking about the camera’s memory.  Some cameras today come with two memory card slots and your photographer should be using those cameras.  All of my cameras (Nikon d750s and D5) have two slots and I run them as backups, meaning what’s on card one is on card two, an immediate backup in case a card fails.

3.  Flexibility:  Somewhere through your wedding day, something is going to cause hitch.  A groomsman runs late, hair and makeup take longer than anticipated.  It’s OK – breathe!!  The schedule that you developed as perfect, probably won’t survive.  You need to make sure your photographer is flexible and can roll with some of the punches.  Some can, but some get thrown off by the schedule delays.  You should hear confidence in your’s photographer voice when discussing flexibility, and he/she should be able to talk openly about other options for getting some of the images you could miss when the schedule goes awry.

Hopefully, you gained a couple of bits insight fro this post and can apply it as you plan for your wedding.  As always, contact me at contact@blendedlightphotography.com if I can help you in any way.  I’d love to talk with you!

Raleigh Senior Photography – New Post June 2016

Raleigh Senior Photography – June 2016


Being a top photographer, I’m always looking for ways to capture important moments in my client’s lives, be it their wedding day, a transitional moment in their lives, or a precious moment that would be lost forever otherwise. Several factors play into attaining the best shots, which embrace the very essence of the subject. For me, it’s location, my gear, and most critically that my clients are engaged at the moment with me during our session together.

Kim and Valerie Session – Senior Portraits

What an enjoyable day working with these two amazing Seniors in early June 2016.  The weather was warm but not quite unbearable, well worth it for the fantastic natural light.  This particular day also happened to be my first day out with my Nikon D5, so a bonus for me. The Nikon D5 lived up to my every expectation; comfort, reaction, and my confidence with this model met a new high, the further we went into our shoot.  Neither the ladies nor the camera was disappointed.  We worked in the central area of UNC-CH, hitting most of the landmarks that someone new to campus would want to see – the Old Well, the Belltower – and then used the beauty of campus to round out the session.  Using my trusted and dependable Nikon SB-910s for supplemental lighting and shooting while using wide apertures, I worked to make the ladies pop out from their sounding and bring out their beauty. Great session and congrats to these ladies for working hard and finishing their Global MBA!

Please enjoy a few samples from our session, below.  I believe you’ll agree with me that we had the perfect trifecta; location, camera equipment and subjects. 

Feel free to drop me a line at contact@blendedlightphotography.com

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Raleigh Senior Photographer – New Post June 2016

Raleigh Senior Photography – June 2016 Collection


Being a professional Raleigh Senior Portrait photographer means that every session I do I want my clients to love their experience and their photos.  Whether it’s a wedding, senior session or family session, I want all my customers to walk away with a fun and memorable experience and the highest quality images possible.

Li – Senior Portraits

Li came recommended to me by Kim and Valerie, fellow classmates whom Senior portraits I did the day before.  In addition, Li brought her daughter and mother in law along, and we included them in the session – kind of a mini-family session.

We hit the Old Well, the Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower and used the beauty of UNC’s open campus to create some fantastic senior and family images.  Day 2 with my Nikon D5 once again didn’t disappoint, and the images came out beautiful.  The day wasn’t without a slight struggle – I managed to forget my bounce cards.  No problem!  I took my Nikon SB-910s off camera and used them to provide a small bit of off-camera fill light.

Beautiful images resulted and Li loves them! Which is the best compliment in the world!!


Feel free to drop me a line at contact@blendedlightphotography.com

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Raleigh Wedding Photography – New Post June 24 2016

Raleigh Wedding Photography Mike and Rachel June 2016

A Raleigh Photographer Experience

I had the awesome privilege to share Mike and Rachel’s big day with them at Starlight Meadows on a warmer than normal June day! It’s occasions such as these as the reason I throw myself into Raleigh wedding photography!

As with any wedding, we encountered some issues early on – Rachel’s father hospitalized, setup ran a little tight, a wreck involving one of the guests right at the entrance to the location, followed by the swarm of first respondents that were called out.  Luckily, everyone was OK, or will be OK. The sunset made its way to a location that made it even more beautiful with a genuinely warm and cozy feel.

The 5:00 pm start time was pushed back to a little after 6:00 pm, which worked to my advantage.  The later start put the setting sun right behind the couple during the session, just barely peeking over the trees and giving the ceremony a tremendous warm feel.  It also provided some great rim light for the formals and the couple pictures which occurred after dinner.  The couple’s friends and family provided some very moving toasts and the evening of dancing rounded out the evening.

I chose to use a single off camera SB-910 coupled with on camera on one camera and a Yongnuo remote trigger on the other to light the dance floor.  The wooden supports from the barn itself made some great natural frames for the images and the natural beauty surrounding the location directly added to the pictures. Such a fantastic location for this Raleigh wedding!

Congrats to Mike and Rachel on a beautiful wedding surrounded by love and warmth!  Best wishes to you guys in your marriage!

Feel free to drop me a line at contact@blendedlightphotography.com

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