Category Archives: Uncategorized

A memo to us when we are good

Oh, how I absolutely love this.
Here’s to the dreamers.

xoxo
Amaris

Can I make a confession? (Of course I can.)

There is a photographer I know on the internet – facebook, Twitter, Instagram – and every time I post any photo I’ve taken, I am painfully and acutely aware that she is there. That she can see. And I wish this wasn’t true, but it is: I am painfully and acutely aware when she says, by saying nothing at all, that I am not good enough.

Farm7

And it makes me mad. But do you know what makes me madder? The fact that I care. That I measure my worth over and over again by the standards of someone I barely even know. That I give one person that much power over me, over how I feel about this dream that I am following.

KJ7

And I have heard other seasoned photographers making fun of people just starting out. People like me. And…

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Our last giveaway!

For now. 🙂

At the beginning of this year, we decided to give things away for my birthday.  Hi, I’m Amaris – the lead photographer here – and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a birthday than giving gifts to all sorts of other folks!  And I was right.  It was one of the best things EVER.

On our fifth day of giveaways, we decided to go all out.  Five winners would each receive a one-hour session here in RDU on February 22nd – yes, next Saturday!  The sessions would include a dozen edited images for each recipient as well as our complete adoration and gratitude.  All we asked was for each of you to tell us who you loved.  And you all did *not* disappoint!  Two of our winners aren’t even old enough to drive a car, but the love for them shared by their mothers completely won us over.
Meet one of them.  Her name is Chloe.

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Chloe is the beaming blonde holding her baby sister!

Her Momma writes:
Love. Such a simple word but a word that conveys so much emotion. The word almost doesn’t do the feeling justice. I love my daughter, Chloe, with all of my heart. She inspires me, entertains me, and encourages me. Since the time she entered my life, over 11 years ago, my life took on a new purpose and I’m so proud of the lovely young lady she has become.

Chloe hasn’t been without her own set of challenges, however. The only life Chloe has memory of is a life lived at literally two separate houses, with two separate families, and essentially two separate lives. She has had to endure the loss of a beloved grandmother and come to terms with two devastating and life-changing divorces between two different sets of important people in her life within the last two years. She has been on the receiving end of bullying and mistreatment by other children so severe that we were recently forced to switch her to a completely different school (where she is adjusting wonderfully, I might add). Somehow despite all of these things, Chloe remains full of life, love, and hope. She is really the most well adjusted kid I’ve ever known and as much as I’d like to take the credit I really can’t — it’s all her!

I would love to make her feel special and beautiful because she gives so much love and joy to others and is so deserving!

We are SO excited to spend time with Chloe making beautiful photos and encouraging her during a rough season.  Portraits really give worth.

The other four winners should have received an email from us with our congratulations and we will be highlighting each of them the week after our sessions!
As we celebrate love at a beautiful wedding this weekend, I hope that you do the same.  The concept of today may be a bit flawed, or a lot flawed, but the root idea is amazing to me.  Be kind and show love – even if someone doesn’t deserve it.  Maybe especially so then.
Words give worth, too.

xoxo times a gajillion,
Amaris

Anything great starts with a surprise.

Alright, 2014, I don’t know if I’m 100% ready for you, but let’s get crackin’, yeah?  There’s a lot of incredible things standing at the top of the chute – like a line of 4 year olds – and I’m standing at the bottom, excited while also praying I don’t get kicked in the face.

For those of you that have participated these past few days, thank you!!  Giving things away was, I think, the most fun thing I’ve done in this business.  You sent photos of your reactions and messages of kindness I never saw coming.  It was fantastical!

If you didn’t see yesterday’s post, you should go do that here.  It’s the biggest giveaway of them all and you have until 11:59pm on February 1st to enter!  So, go.  Go check it out.  Don’t worry, I’ll wait. 🙂

Last year was my first official year doing this job full-time.  Over 150 of you graced the other side of my lens and it was ab.so.lutely magical.  I tripped a few times, learned a *lot* (like good night, a lot), and did my best to keep moving forward.  There’s a quote in Rocky Balboa that really helped these past 365 days: “It’s not about how hard you hit.  It’s about how hard you can get hit and still keep moving forward.”  If you ever want to learn intimately about yourself, start a business.  You learn your faults, whose really got your back, how to say no and what you really really love.

My love is people.  I am overjoyed to chase kids with a camera and wear ridiculous costumes and help keep brides sane in an effort to show folks how incredible they really are.  It’s a great job and someone has to do it! 🙂

As I’ve learned a lot about this biz and myself, 2014 feels like a new page with a chance to treat others (and myself) better.  Our new pricing is an attempt to do part of that.  As always, win-win situations are at the heart of my drive.  Everyone deserves stunning photos!  I will believe this forever.  Today’s surprise is part of my effort to treat others better.  Specifically, brides and grooms!

Every wedding photographer is different and it’s an *incredibly* important day.  If you hear nothing else, hear me well on this – pick someone who fits your budget and fits YOU.  Cheap and inconsiderate photographers lead to bad photos.  Pick someone you LIKE.  Ok, thanks for hanging in there. 🙂

We offer only all day coverage with at least two photographers.  The end.

No, but seriously, I attended a friends wedding in Georgia a few years ago and she came up to me, panicked.  “Amaris, can you capture our exit?  Our 5 hours ran out 15mins ago and we don’t have anyone!”  No bride should ever have to experience this on her wedding day!  So, we always show up about halfway through the brides hair appointment and we are there until the bride & groom leave.  We spend the whole day with your families.  We capture the whole day.

All of our wedding day coverage includes an engagement session, as well.  This is a great way to learn how we work together, get you somewhat used to a camera and have some fun!

We meet with our couples at least three times before ceremony day to discuss schedule and see how our team can help.  Every couple has found this helpful.  We are also always present at rehearsal, in order to meet your families and capture some images on (what is usually) a more relaxed day.  A goodie bag for the bride comes with me to her hair appointment and images post in 6-8 weeks.  Every image of yours is hosted in an online gallery with rights to print for personal use.

For 2014, wedding coverage for us will start at $3300.  As always, we are totally down to travel!  We’ve got bookings confirmed already and I’m excited about this year.

Heres the surprise. 🙂 I might love this more than yesterdays.

This year, we are inviting 3 couples with 2014 dates to have us as their wedding photography team and pay what they are able.  Yep, 3 couples will pay what they can for full wedding coverage!  We hope it will allow an incredible couple who might otherwise not have photos to get a great experience or allow a couple to sign with us who are a great fit, but just can’t get the budget there.  I am so excited!

Each couple will need to apply, letting us know their date, location, number of guests and estimated photography budget.  Just be straight with us.  We will help, if we are able!  To get started, click “Who We Are” right up top here and fill out the form.

A few of our favorite wedding images from 2013 are below.  We *love* what we do and are excited about the possibilities!  Ok, 2014, let’s get started.

We have cancelled Professional Headshot Night.

It’s true.
Due to a mix of things, we’ve had to put Headshot Night on the back burner to another yet-to-be-determined time.  As someone who values people and their efforts and loves a great cause, I hate to do this.
However, if something won’t be profitable for all parties involved, then we just won’t do it.  Corral is a great organization and we love them and their mission.  It saddens me to not be able to help their current campaign.
But, in the words of a friend who is a Vice President of a local company, “Sometimes, even great ideas take time to catch on.”  We get that an event like Headshot Night is unique and new to an area like Raleigh.  Novel things sometimes don’t click for everyone and we must adapt accordingly.
Sitti Restaurant remains so supportive and gracious.  They are full of solid people who take care of others really well.  It is for this reason that we partnered with them and we are grateful for their kindness.  If you haven’t visited them yet, you should make that happen!
To all who have purchased a ticket, please get in touch (you’re welcome to just hit “Reply All” to this email) and we’d love to make sure you’re taken care of regarding portraiture.  For the price already paid, we are happy to schedule a mini-session with you – a value of $180.  You’ll receive at least a dozen images, rather than just two, and our eternal gratitude.
If you were thinking of paying at the door, we’re happy to extend the same arrangement to you.  Simply get in touch with us!
To all of you, thank you very much for believing in crazy ideas and in small business.  Thank you for sharing with your people and for your support.  It means everything.
Tons of Love,
amaris

Good to see you, America.

A few thousand images are currently finding their way to my non-mobile backup & I am sitting here in the new studio space on my fifth official day.  There are two other meetings going on, I had a salted caramel mocha this morning from our in-house coffee shop and a new Mucha calendar officially graces the wall.

It is so nice to be back in America.

If you follow us on social media, you’ve seen some of the amazing folks I got to spend time with while abroad.   Asti, Italy is gorgeous.   Prague was, too.  Vegas isn’t my cup of tea, but I am so so glad I got to be present for my baby brother’s wedding day!  I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunities I had while on the go.  And breakfast with my family is never a boring time.  We laughed so hard.

The past five weeks of wandering have been good.  Really hard, too, on quite a lot of levels.  But, as I told Alison earlier today, take mistakes and be better for them.
I’ll let the pictures in the gallery below tell the rest of the story.

Now home, there are a lot of absolutely wonderful things on deck for the next month!  Two beautiful & really close friends are marrying their loves and we have been invited to capture both weddings – which I cannot even tell you how excited I am.  Engagements in the mountains of Virginia (yeah, Juliette & Dave!), quite a few families to spend time with, and two big events.  The first is a Professional Headshot Night at Sitti in downtown Raleigh.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit one of my favorite non-profits on this whole big earth, CORRAL, and who doesn’t love a beer on someone else’s tab?  (Hint: That’s my tab.  Just for the record.)

We wrap up all that is beautiful in October with a visit from one of my favorite people and my very first gallery show!  Approximately 25 of my images will grace the walls of City Gallery in downtown Raleigh and I would really love to see you.  Plus, you’d get to meet the favorite in town. 😉
Come visit.

In Light & Laughter,
amaris

A few favorites from the wandering:

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