December 31, 2017
2017 was an amazing year by all accounts. We traveled a ton (New Orleans, Charleston, and Italy, just to name a few!), spent lots of great time with each other, friends, and #puppygirliris, and got to meet so many new friends in our wonderful clients. We are so lucky to be able to consistently capture these memories for ourselves and for others.
This is our second time writing this kind of post (see 2016’s here!), and it’s not easy. At the beginning of 2017 we told ourselves that we would just keep a folder on our desktop and drop a photo from each session and event we photographed into it along the way. But while this type of post takes a long time, it’s really, really amazing to be able to look back on the year and reflect on some of our favorite memories, something we wouldn’t have been able to do with our little sneaky cheat tactic (which, let’s face it, we were too lazy to keep up with anyway). We hope you enjoy looking through some of our favorite photos from the year. Happy 2018 to you all!
Favorite Personal Photos
Best Photo of 2017 (according to Radhika)
Double exposures are hard to pass up on, and you’ll see more later in this post. But when it involves our puppy girl and a bouquet of flowers AND it’s on FILM? Yup. This is my favorite photo from this year. It’s hard to know whether you’ve landed ANY photo on film, much less a double exposure, until the scans come back. But I’m so, so glad this one turned out! Isn’t Iris a beaut?
Best Photo of 2017 (according to Ian)
Italy was magical and this photo just starts to show the gorgeous sights we were lucky to see every day. The most amazing thing about this photo is that it wasn’t part of a destination. We were just driving home after a day of adventuring and happened to see this spot to stop and watch the sunset. Even though Radhika’s bag was lost and we were tired, isn’t travel about the process and not the destination? We love that even in “unremarkable” spots that aren’t in any guide book, we were able to see such beauty in Italy.
Radhika’s Favorite Photo of Ian
I joke about hating this hat (actually, I’m serious…I do), but this photo, taken in Charleston, really captures Ian. A little bit goofy, a little bit serious about his absolute loves in life (flowered shirts and that hat being at the top of that list), and my favorite adventure buddy. Cannot wait for 2018 with this guy, though I won’t mind if he leaves the hat in 2017.
Ian’s favorite photo of Radhika
I love this photo because it shows me doing what I love to do most: serving my amazing wife. My love language is acts of service, so when I want to show her I care, I do things for her, like make breakfast, pack her lunch for the day, or get her coffee. It might seem like I’m trying to show that I’m such a great guy, but the truth is that anything I do is just a small gesture to try to pay her back for all the incredible things she does for me and for us.
Best Adventure: Italy
One of our favorite photos from the trip includes this photo of Positano. We loved Italy, especially the south where we spent the majority of our time. Driving the windy Amalfi Coast roads was such a thrill (and really scary at times) but worth it for this view. We love this specific one so much because of the olive leaves in the foreground — we loved seeing those beautiful trees everywhere!
Best of: Weddings
Best Ceremony: Becca and Jack
We wrote about this in our journal post about their wedding, but we loved Becca and Jack’s ceremony so much because we weren’t allowed to photograph it! We loved that they wanted everyone present to actually be present. It was a beautiful ceremony for two very sweet people!
Best Dress Shot
Amy and Richard’s wedding was one of our favorites from this year, but this dress shot wowed so many of you! Don’t worry — we were careful and Ian was waiting to catch it. 😉
Most Fear-Inducing Reception Dance
We’ll spare Monica the shots of them before this one, but rest assured that it is terrifying to be fist pumped on chairs during your wedding reception! They sure made it looked good in this one! 🙂
Bailey was so joyful on her wedding day and it was contagious — especially when she laughed these laughs with her head thrown back!
It’s a little hard to beat a reception on a BOAT that sails around the Charleston harbor, which is what followed DC and Evan’s beautiful Charleston wedding. Over the course of the day, we photographed them at four different venues!
Best Dance Party
Suz and MC and their friends know how to have a good time. Most wedding photographers will probably agree that reception dancing isn’t the most thrilling part of the day to photograph…except when you have two fun-loving people and their awesome guests! Every part of their day was gorgeous, but their dance moves took the cake!
Two facts you need to know: 1) This was Natalie’s SECOND dress. 2) It lit up like Aurora’s in Sleeping Beauty during her first dance with Matthew to “Once Upon a Dream.”
Best First Look
I’m not sure how we end up with the most fun couples, but when Sarah pulled this at their first look, we couldn’t stop laughing!
Best Wedding Rings
Sally and Colin’s wedding rings were the epitome of classic and modern all at the same time! We love the sapphires in her engagement ring, and loved capturing them at the Raulston Arboretum after they tied the knot in front of their parents!
Best of Engagements
We loved the locations Suz and MC chose for their engagement session: Whiskey Kitchen in downtown Raleigh and the new home they had bought together!
2018, we’ll take a few more engagement sessions with paper lanterns and other fun activities, thanks!
Most Fun Exploring Session
We loved exploring the Eno River State Park with Margaret and Matt so much that we took Iris there later on to do some exploring ourselves!
Best Flowery Tree Photo
It’s pretty rare that we find this magical a spot and somehow the couple just makes it look better! Well Natalie and Matthew succeeded!
Best Hidden Gem
We lived next to the Finley Golf Course for years, but the first time we got to see it was with Sarah and Frank. Frank works there and was able to show us around and we loved getting to see them at home during their engagement session!
Best Holiday Berry Ring Shot
Marie and David’s chilly December engagement session created the perfect day to photograph her ring on some seasonal berries!
Best Engagement Kiss
Amy and Richard are the cutest, and even their dog, Loki, knows it! We loved getting to know these two over the course of the past year and we think 2018 will have just as much fun in store for them!
Favorite Overall Engagement Session
From the old fashioned cocktails to the flawless styling by Amanda Blair by Design, this session was one for the books. DC and Evan, you two are the best and we love you!
Okay, so maybe this is the only proposal we photographed in 2017, but it was still amazing! Tyler contacted us to capture this moment with Lexi and it was so special! Congratulations, you two!
Best Rainy Day Session
Don’t let this gorgeous Old Well shot fool you — just minutes before this shot was taken, Justin got caught in a massive rain shower! Luckily the sun came out to say good night and allowed us to capture this beautiful photo!
Best Dance/Spin/Dip Sequence
We loved when we caught Rob dance, spin, and dip Tina at their Duke Gardens engagement session and we can’t wait to capture the same at their wedding next year!
Best of Families
We loved seeing this family grow — from maternity to baby shower to newborn to 6 months, isn’t baby Ahana the cutest? We can’t wait to see her in 2018!
Favorite Anniversary Lifestyle
Diana and Matt’s lifestyle session, which included planting new plants for their balcony at home and then making cocktails, was one of favorites of the year! We love when couples include their interests and hobbies in their sessions!
Best Big Brother
Another family we got to see grow this year! Watching Elijah become a big brother to Marigold was so sweet!
Best Baby Shower
We loved capturing all of the thought that went into this baby shower designed by Lauren of the Lion House! The Cannon Room was the perfect setting for it!
Best Big Sister
We love seeing adoring siblings and Laura was no exception. No only did she clearly love holding Link, but she also named him!
Sweet Aniela had such an assortment of bows for her first time on camera! She was the cutest and it was so clear how much her parents adore her!
Best Cupcake Friend
We loved seeing this sweet little one go crazy over a cupcake at his birthday party! That’s how we feel when we see cupcakes, too, Benjamin.
Cutest Christmas Baby
Baby Lucy was all ready for us in her Christmas jammies for her session! She was born so close to the holidays that we had to grab a few shots of her with her parents in front of her first tree!
We are so glad Amanda and Spencer included their bulldog, Jorge, in their maternity session! We fell in love with his adorable face!
Best Maternity Session
Getting to photograph Lauren under the guidance of Perry Vaile was certainly a highlight of this year! This was one of my favorite shots from the session!
Happiest Flying Baby
Little Liam just loved flying with his parents. Even on this chilly, grey day, his smile and giggles brought a little sunshine!
Happiest to be Near Feet
We’ve never seen a baby be so cute and happy near his parents feet before! We were super excited to capture this sweet smile from Wilson.
Get it…hottest session? 🙂 This session was actually very warm in terms of weather, but still one of our most fun from this year due to being able to go to the hot air balloon festival with two of our favorites, Linda and Ross.
Best Snowy Scene
We drove out to Winston Salem on one of the only snowy December days we’ve ever experienced to capture some memories with this soon-to-be family of four! We’re glad we got to get outside and take some photos in the snow with Lauren, Vaughn, and Finn.
Karly and Matt’s third session at the Bradford this year was their anniversary session! They had their engagement session and wedding there this year, so this is surely a special location for them, and we were glad to be able to capture them there!
Editorial & Other
More from this editorial at the Watson House in Emerald Isle is coming soon, but we loved this double exposure of our bride!
Best Real Fake Wedding Couple
Abby and Luke are two of our closest friends and also happen to be the very first couple we ever photographed. They modeled for us for the editorial we did for the Durham Bride and it was exciting to be able to photograph them 6 years later!
Best Fall Photo
We photographed Carly and Dillon, who own the Barn at Valhalla, and happened to capture the leaves at their best! This was one of our favorites.
We captured Amanda’s home after she remodeled and as everything she designs, it was beautiful. More coming soon from this shoot that ended up on Modern Sanctuary!
Most Meaningful Editorial
This editorial at the Parlour at Manns Chapel was as meaningful as it was beautiful. Designed to honor loved ones who have passed at a wedding, this was one of our favorite editorials from 2017!
Casey’s Senior Photos
One of the students from the oldest class at Student U graduated from college and we were thrilled to capture senior photos, at her now alma mater, NCCU, for her!
Best Romeo Juliet Shot
Early on this year, we got to photograph this sweet couple at Merry Hill. This photo on the balcony was one of our favorites!
Thank you all for a wonderful 2017! We hope you have a new year filled with joy, love, and memorable moments!