Emily Warren | Old Salem Bridal Portraits

Photos by Brittany Butterworth Photography

When chatting with the bride, Emily, about the location for her bridal portrait session, she mentioned how much she loved Old Salem historic district in Winston Salem, North Carolina.  I inquired about her love for this place and she stated it was where she and Taylor had their engagement photos done. She really loved the look of the old houses and buildings, the original brick walkways, and what the history represented.  So naturally, this is where we chose to shoot her bridal portraits. And boy am I glad she did! The images of Emily in her beautifully fitted wedding dress from David’s Bridal are stunning!

We spent our time together at a few of my favorite photo spots at Old Salem incorporating what Emily loved about this location.  We began in an open field to get a greener background and a little more of nature before moving to the brick buildings.  Emily brought along her grandmother’s blush pink Victorian chair to use during her session.  It was the perfect addition to the overall look.  She said this chair had been in their family for some time and her grandmother had planned to reupholster it.  Hopefully, she changes her mind since the light rose pink is a trending color right now.

Old Salem is declared a National Historic Landmark where it depicts the Moravian settlement in North Carolina during the 18th and 19th centuries.  Many of the buildings are original and have only been restored over the years by homeowners.  There’s such rich history in this small part of Winston Salem and we have the Moravians from 1766 to thank for that.

Our photo session took us to a few different, but fun places throughout Old Salem combining brick walkways and steps, white columns, and picket fences.  Emily laughed and danced throughout her photo session, completely comfortable in front of the camera.  She had her sister and mother there for assistance; they made Emily giggle with silly faces and reminding her of funny moments they had shared together in their childhood.  Emily’s bubbly personality shone through in the images!

Now that the wedding is behind us, it is so nice to share these gorgeous final images of Emily!

Location: Old Salem Museum and Gardens

Dress:  David’s Bridal

Hair & Makeup: Hair by Kristin Nicks

 

Logan Bowling | College Senior Session

senior women's lacrosse player lacrosse stick

Photos by Brittany Butterworth Photography

Logan Bowling, a native of Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina came to Salem College her Freshman year in 2015, excited about starting her undergraduate career. An academic scholarship and the promise of playing softball brought her to Winston Salem, North Carolina, home of the oldest women’s educational institution still in operation in the United States.   It was founded in 1772 by the Moravian Church. The liberal arts school has a long history of educating young women and maintains the motto of “Knowledge and Virtue.”

Logan, her sweet mother, and grandmother met me on the Salem College campus for her senior photo session, dawning a beautiful royal blue dress (one of Salem’s school colors) which complimented her summer tan and long blonde hair.  She was all smiles and ready to jump in front of the camera! We began the session on the college’s campus center, which is usually bustling with students during the school year.  We were lucky to have scheduled our session the week before move-in began, so the campus was relatively quiet, peaceful, and open to our creative exploration! Logan danced and laughed throughout the session, proudly wearing her cap and gown, and honor society cords for a couple of photos.

Logan changed into a more comfortable and casual outfit so we took advantage of Salem College’s many beautiful brick pathways and stairs, finally landing on the main building’s steps.  Logan’s smile radiated as she proudly showed off her beloved campus, where she’s made many memories with new friends and learned so much in her career field over the last couple of years.

To finish out our photo session together, we ended up on the athletic field with Logan in her lacrosse uniform. I know you’re wondering, “Lacrosse? I thought she played softball.” Logan took up the sport of lacrosse in 2016 and has maintained a position on Salem College’s team ever since.  Instead of a softball uniform with pants, she now wears a jersey with her lucky number ‘7’ and a lacrosse skirt.  She has sported the number ‘7’ since her sports career began at a very young age!

As a Senior, Logan has one more year to go until she is an official SC alumni.  The Exercise Science major has her eyes set on the May 2019 Graduation, but is excited to enjoy her last year and all that it will bring. When asked what she plans to do after graduation, she simply replied that she will be enjoying a few days under an umbrella on the beach!  After a break from reality and a little relaxation, she will be going to obtain her Doctorate in Physical Therapy.  She has submitted her grad school applications and will be anxious to receive the acceptance letters in the beginning of 2019.  I wish her the best of luck in her Senior year of undergraduate school and am excited to see where this wonderful next chapter in life takes her!

 

 

The Hoge Girls | Equine Photo Session

Photos by Brittany Butterworth Photography

Riley and Berkley Hoge have been horse crazy ever since their parents could remember! They’ve played with Breyers, ridden their grandparent’s horses, gone to horse summer camps, and taken advantage of every possible pony ride at a birthday or trail ride on vacations.  Riley began riding when she was 11 and Berkley began at the age of 8. The first time the girls rode a horse was at Seabrook Island Equestrian Center for 30 minute pony rides; that’s when the horse craze began!  Berkley and Riley have been around horses since they were young; their Grandpa Ed, Grandma Kelly, and Aunt Shelby have horses in Ohio, where they’ve enjoyed learning the basics and the occasional trail ride.  What started as just beginner lessons to try out this whole horse deal, led them to become permanent riders at Sunnybrook Farm in Advance, North Carolina.

Riley enjoys learning Dressage and Jumping on her leased horse, Scout, a 9-year-old American Paint mix, who has been a therapy horse for mentally and physically handicapped individuals.  They just became a riding duo less than a year ago.  She’s learned a lot with Scout so far, including Intro Level Dressage and Show Jumping.  They recently competed at a local Combined Training event in Dressage and rode really well, considering they were a new pair.  Her favorite memory with Scout was when they had a phenomenal jump lesson back in April; he was so good!  Riley’s favorite thing about Scout is his sweet and goofy personality.  She enjoys buying him gourmet horse treats and pampering him with lots of love.

Photos by Brittany Butterworth PhotographyPhotos by Brittany Butterworth PhotographyBerkley has been leasing, riding and showing Dok for over 2 years, developing their partnership as they go.  Dok is a registered 24-year-old Purebred Arabian, retired from the show-ring, and living his best life at Sunnybrook Farm.  Dok enjoys teaching Berkley the ropes of Dressage and showing at open horse shows. On the same hand, Berkley loves learning what Dok has to teach her.  They have had their fair share of life lessons.  Berkley credits Dok teaching her to never give up and to keep working hard.  She pampers him with treats, neck scratches, and lots of hugs and in return, he gives her his trust and confidence.  Berkley’s favorite memory with Dok was at a horse show in Raleigh when Dok stole a pita chip she was eating.  He thought it was delicious and he started getting a bit greedy and shoving her with his nose signaling that he wanted more!

Photos by Brittany Butterworth PhotographyPhotos by Brittany Butterworth Photography

These two sisters are in it for the long haul! They spend most of their summer vacation at the barn; grooming, riding, and grazing their beloved partners.  Often begging their parents to go to the barn every chance they get!

Photos by Brittany Butterworth PhotographyWe had a wonderful time on this summer evening, photographing the four together during their equine photo session.  Lots of laughs and huge smiles were shared.  And the quote ‘Sisters who ride together, stay together’ was coined!

Photos by Brittany Butterworth Photography

Location: Sunnybrook Farm in Advance, North Carolina

Hair: Jessica Smith at Gemini Hair Fashions in Advance, North Carolina.

Just a dusting of snow…

Children sledding in the snow

The weather forecasters knew it was a difficult snowstorm to accurately predict, they said it themselves.  A giant snow storm swept from Maine all the way down to Texas, moving briskly from West to East dumping snow, ice, and sleet in every place it touched – while maintaining below freezing temperatures. The conditions in North Carolina were ripe for a good snowfall.  

Snow covered bench and trees

But what had been originally forecasted for only a dusting of snow during the morning hours of Wednesday, turned into 7 inches of fresh powder across 16 hours.  Our area officially closed down for 2 days.  As many people know, it takes only less than an inch of snow in this Southern state to shut everything down.

My fiancé and I decided to venture out in our 4-wheel drive Volvo during the height of the snowfall, to enjoy the snowy sights of Downtown Winston-Salem and to take a couple of snow photos.  

Snow covered Volvo XC60 in streetMan walking dog in snow

We ventured to Innovation Quarter, Long Branch Trail bridge, Liberty Street, the Artivity Park, and to the West End and Ardmore neighborhoods and Miller Park.  

Snow in the Artivity park

Snow on bridgeLong Branch Trail signSnow on church stepssnow at the bar

The photos we captured were magical!  The many layers of falling snowflakes provided depth to each image, transforming them into wintery pieces of art.  

snow on city streetssnow on streets and buildingsCity view of buildingssnow on building

Downtown was mostly deserted except for a few cars, city buses, and people walking down the street.

snow on brick buildingdog's head out of car window

Snow days are my favorite.  The quiet falling snow creates so much peace.  It is a gentle reminder to slow down and relax during our bustling lives.  A time to enjoy a hot cup of chocolate and watch the snowflakes accumulate outside.  I always appreciate these delicate snow storms that bring calm for just a little while.

hot chocolate with marshmallowscat looking out window

Soon enough the sun does come out again, shining brightly on the reflective snow and the morning rays settle their golden cast on everything it can reach.  The warmth begins to melt the layers of powder and just like that, the peaceful snow day is soon just a memory.

Locations:

ARTivity on the Green Park

The Tap West End

Long Branch Trail

Miller Park

Bailey Power Plant

So the Adventure Continues…

 

Imagine having the most beautiful wedding at your family’s farm surrounded by all of your closest relatives and dear friends while you exchange your vows on the front lawn. Everyone sharing special moments, lots of laughter, and dancing the night away until it was too darn cold on a late November night to continue. Then immediately the next day being whisked away by your adoring husband to Italy on your forever honeymoon. Sounds like a dream, right?

Well…This was quite the wonderful reality for Bride-to-Be, Summer who took only 6 months to plan her entire wedding and details to a ‘T’ all the while preparing for what many would call “The Dream Life” in Italy.  Summer, a former high school math teacher turned military wife and travel blogger met her husband Stephen, a paratrooper for the United States Army, on eHarmony in 2016. Their quickly budding relationship hit its first roadblock soon after they had been dating.  Stephen was scheduled to be deployed to Italy for 3 years to continue his service.  They successfully managed a long-distance relationship with Summer flying over to visit Stephen on his long breaks enjoying each other’s company in the beautiful Italian countryside and traveling to other European countries together.  They were soon engaged and officially married in the middle of 2017. They just couldn’t wait any longer!  Summer left her teaching job readying herself for the military life and big move overseas to be with her husband.  But first an official ceremony and after-party to celebrate was a must.  Since Summer was a little girl, it had been her ultimate dream to be wed to her forever husband on her family farm.  Stephen recognized the importance of this event for her; he along with her family set out to make her dreams come true!

Antique plate set up at wedding receptionWedding reception tent

Summer and Stephen exchanged their vows in front of family and friends on November 25th, 2017 at Dillon Farms in Colfax, North Carolina.

wedding couple holding hands at ceremony

It was an unseasonably warm day for the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  While many people were still in food coma from Turkey Day, there was quite the hustle and bustle on the farm. The Bride and Bridesmaids enjoyed mimosas while getting dolled up for the big event.  The Mother of the Bride, Terri was putting the finishing touches on the ceremony site complete with a spray of roses and greenery on the wooden altar handcrafted specifically for the their ceremony.  The Father of the Bride made sure the Reception and Cocktail areas were exactly how Summer had envisioned; cozy, floral, and inviting for all the guests to enjoy after the ceremony.  The Groom and Groomsmen enjoyed snacks and manly cocktails while relaxing in the family’s RV as they watched Star Wars.

The ceremony took place in the front yard of the Dillon home. A semi circle of white chairs faced the altar filled with excited guests witnessing the couple’s vow exchange.

Wedding guests seated at ceremonyStephen ,dressed in his Army Service Uniform stood along side his Best Man and Officiant – Summer’s Uncle, a U.S. Air Force retiree. Summer was escorted by her father from their farmhouse down the long driveway to her final destination, in the hands of Stephen.

A very touching poem was read called These Hands reminding Summer & Stephen the importance of their joining their lives together.

wedding couple holding hands at ceremony

“These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.

These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.

These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.

These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.

These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.

These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.

And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.” –Author Unknown

A lot of happy and sad tears were shed as the day progressed. A happy time of celebrating their union but also many goodbyes before their adventure continued 5000 miles across the ocean. After the ceremony, guests took their chairs to the reception tent awaiting the arrival of the bride and groom. Their first dance was to the Feels Like Home song by Chantal followed by the father daughter dance with a surprise twist. Summer and Vic had been secretly planning a choreographed duo to The Time of My Life by Bill Medley and 24K Magic by Bruno Mars. It was quite the hit as they busted a few planned moves on the dance floor as Stephen and guests watched. The party continued on with more dancing, laughter, and hugs.

Father Daughter Wedding Dance

Dancing at wedding receptioncake cutting at wedding

It was a bittersweet farewell as the night came to a close. The happy couple were sent off by excited guests via a fiery sparkler exit ending with a big bear hug from the Bride’s father.  It had been a very successful wedding day.

 

The newlyweds were ready to begin their next adventure together in Italy! We wish them the best as they live out their dreams and forever honeymoon. We look forward to following their journey as they navigate this next part of their adventure!

Congratulations SGT & Mrs. Stephen Bowers!!!

Groom holding wedding dress for bride

Vendors

Venue: Dillon Farm

Dress: Church Street Bridal

Suits: Men’s Wearhouse/ ARMY

Makeup & Hair: Hilarie Abel with The Loft Salon

DJ: DJ Vittles

Catering: Ron Bullock Jr from The SmokeHouse Bandits BBQ Competition Cooking Team

Cake & Cupcakes: Godino’s Bakery

Wedding Coordinator: Susan Orr

Wedding Photographer: Brittany Butterworth Photography

Planning, Design, Hand Lettering: Summer Bowers, Outside This Small Town

Florals: Terri Dillon

Tent, Ceremony, & Reception Rentals: Triad Event Rentals

Bartender: Jaclyn Dienes

Wood Pieces: Dillon Lawn & Tree Service

 

 

 

 

Sarah’s Maternity Session

Sarah & Blake | Maternity Session

 

Sarah and Blake’s maternity session was a particularly special shoot. Sarah and I have been childhood friends since we were the age of three and have managed to maintain a healthy, supportive friendship for the last 25 years — especially through all of life’s events, changes, and  many moves. It was an honor to photograph Sarah’s maternity session and capture their excitement.

Sarah and Blake reside in Franklin, Virginia, where Blake operates his own turf farm, and Sarah is busy working as an occupational therapist for the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. They have been happily married for 3 years, but have been together for a total of 6! Both Sarah and Blake are enjoying focusing on the arrival of their newborn and embracing the changes that they are going through together.

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It’s A Boy!

Baby Walker Thomas Phillips is due October 8th and the parents-to-be are quite excited. While he will be their first baby, the couple considers Walker’s fur sibling, Brutus, to be just as special and loved. Brutus still isn’t quite sure what to think about all of the new differences in his life, between moving into a new home and the set up of a nursery — which they have decorated in a neutral theme, except for a pop of bright colors dotted throughout.

Sarah says she is most excited about getting to see what her newborn will look like and who he will resemble the most. One of the things she has ultimately enjoyed about her pregnancy is feeling him move and says it is such a surreal feeling, one that she is certain she will miss once he’s here!

The soon-to-be parents have been given advice from their loved ones about their successes and blunders in parenthood, and have been showered with an abundance of love and support from their friends and family. All of these, in turn, have helped them prepare for this next chapter in their lives of parenthood. I am ecstatic to celebrate in life’s newest changes for them and cannot wait to welcome Baby Walker into the world.

Maggie & Chas ⎸A Walk to Remember.

Maggie & Chas' engagement session at River Road Farms in Franklin, Virginia

Maggie and Chas’s engagement session, located at the beautiful River Road Farm in Franklin, Virginia was full of laughter, dancing and chit chat about their upcoming wedding. It was a cool morning in August that we spent roaming the hay fields, pastures, and farm lands looking for the picture perfect spots.

The couple picked an ideal location to showcase their interests. Both Maggie and Chas love to be outdoors — whether that means they’re hiking, walking their dog, or taking trips to places they’ve never been before. On Saturdays during college football season, you can bet that Chas will be rooting for Tennessee while Maggie is pulling for her VT Hokies! They may be sipping on their favorite homemade limon/watermelon mojitos, especially if the two teams decide to play each other again. And on Sundays, you can find them at their favorite breakfast spot, the Roanoker, before going to church.

In fact, it was during one of these beloved activities that “the proposal” happened. As Maggie describes it, “it was a normal morning”, consisting of blueberry waffles and sausage for breakfast. They walked their dog, Coal, like normal, stopping briefly at a bridge over the river that ran between two parks. Maggie had turned her back for a second taking in the view and when she turned around, she discovered Chas down on one knee professing his love for her. Most of what Chas said was a blur, Maggie recalls, but of course she said “Yes!” and they laughed and cried joyfully. This is one walk they’ll remember for years to come.

Maggie will make a gorgeous bride for their summertime wedding in June of next year. I look forward to photographing their special day and know it will be magical, if these pictures are any inkling of what’s to come.

Made it to the One Year mark!

Hooray! It has been One Year!

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365 days since I stepped out from under the corporate world of stability, routine, and complacency. 365 days since I stepped into the life of unknowns, 100% commission, and building a business of my own focused on the craft of photography. While also focusing on the freedoms and rewards that come with owning, operating, and managing my very own, one (wo)man business. I’ve enjoyed making my own decisions, flexible schedule, and deciding how I want to run my business while providing an exceptional service and product to my wonderful, loyal clients. I could easily write down all the goals I have met along the way, and all of my personal accomplishments in the last year, but that’s not how I measure my business’ success. I can only measure it with the many lessons I have learned. The uncomfortable, hard-fought, hours-long lessons that have taught me to be a better photographer, a better entrepreneur, and an even better businesswoman.

I have failed at some things. I have been rejected. I have been so defeated, I’ve wanted to call it quits. I have been in situations where I’ve had no idea how to handle them. It’s been tough being the sole operator. I am the good guy, the bad guy, and everything in between. There’s no asking my boss for permission or to handle issues. There’s no referring to a seasoned coworker for their guidance. There’s just me working with what knowledge I have attained throughout my time in the corporate world, through attaining my bachelor’s degree, and through my certification in health coaching. All in all, I have relied on myself for the answers, making decisions based off of my morals, my gut feelings, and my knowledge base. I’ve learned how to wear many hats, juggle the daily tasks, and continue to be creative and open-minded in my photography.

The biggest reward has been delivering images to my clients from their sessions, events, and weddings days, the special moments I had the honor to capture with my camera. I receive the most enjoyment when I see my clients’ faces when first viewing their images.  Knowing I have documented a specific moment in time that they will never repeat, but can always cherish because of the images is immeasurable. It makes the long hours and difficult times so worth it.

Somehow along the way, I have luckily built a tribe of wonderful people to have on my side when I am faced with difficult moments or need the extra encouragement. These people have offered their unwavering support, professional advice, and empowerment to make the right decisions. They have taught me how to sell my brand, how to photograph in unfavorable circumstances, how to build my online presence, and so much more. They have also celebrated my wins knowing how hard I worked to get that W.  They have also mourned some of my losses, reminding me to get back on my feet to try again.  Without my tribe of people, I wouldn’t be as knowledgable, as confident, as empowered to continue this journey to continue my passion.

Running a business isn’t for the faint of heart and sometimes I have wondered if I am strong enough to do it. I have questioned myself if this is really what I am meant to do, but I have this internal curiosity, much like a cat. A curiosity to see what is around the next corner, what lesson I can learn from the next inquiry, what will come from the next photography opportunity.  I’ve learned I can’t give up because I owe it to myself to keep trying.  Because if I don’t try, then I won’t learn or grow.  If I don’t grow, I will just be mediocre.  If I don’t try to be better than I was the day before, the photo session before, the client before, then I am only guaranteeing myself not to succeed. So success and growth is what I will continue to chase with my curious mind.

I’ve learned to face adversity with open arms, inviting in what I don’t know and tackling what I can. My first year in business has been nothing shy of successful, full of old and new clients, exciting photography opportunities, and new endeavors and paths to entertain.  My business has pushed me, challenged me, and forced me to be uncomfortable and to be better. The growth that has happened in those uncomfortable moments is immeasurable. I welcome Year 2 and gladly look forward to the new lessons I will learn, and the amazing clients I will have the opportunity to work with, giving them images of the special moments in time that they will be able to enjoy and cherish for a lifetime.

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Photo 65 & 66 – Baby Ben

There’s something so intriguing about watching a tiny human morph before your eyes into a real person. I’ve had the pleasure to encounter this over the last 9 months with Ben. Every time I see him, he has learned a new “trick” or more formally, a new cognitive behavior. At 9 months, he is full of laughter, curiosity, and 6 teeth.  He is trying to feed himself, play with musical toys, and make sense of the world around him. Watching him learn and grow reminds me that, we as adults, can also learn a lot from children and how they see the world. Even though they may not cognitively understand every aspect of life, they are living in the present and taking in the world that is around them. Enjoying the many different sights, sounds, and feelings, these developing babies have the opportunity to relish in the wonderful parts of life. Enjoy photo 65 and 66 of #365photochallenge

Photo 64 – HydroYES!

Recently learned about an awesome new store that just opened up in mid-February here in Winston Salem called Colony Urban Farm Store. I’ve been following them on Facebook and decided to check it out today. And WOW, they are providing very different products than one would be used to seeing in a farm store. Colony Urban is a small, family owned and operated store specializing in supplies for backyard chicken keeping, beekeeping, hydroponics and much more! They also sell seeds, local honey, eggs, cheese, and beeswax candles to name a few. Josh (co-owner) spent 30 minutes teaching us about the ins-and-outs of hydroponic gardening and to say the least, we are hooked! We will be back again! Check them out!

Photo 64 of 365 is of the fast growing sweet pepper plants grown hydroponically at Urban Colony Farm Store.

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img_0480(Entrance to Urban Farm Colony)