2016 Highlights

Hi guys!  Happy 2017.  When this New Year's Eve came around I was looking back on some of my favorite photographs from the year and it hit me that despite how a lot of us viewed 2016 - there are a ton of pretty funny memes out there painting it as the worst year ever - I do believe that if we all dig deep we can find a lot of amazing things that happened as well.

     So in keeping with that spirit, I chose some of my favorite and most meaningful photos from 2016.  It was probably the busiest year, photography-wise, and I can't wait to see what 2017 has in store.  That being said, I hope you enjoy these photographs from 2016!

-jenelle

Kelsey and Joe's wedding was undoubtably one of my favorites this year.  As I was editing these photos I came across this one and just stayed on it for a minute.  I love the movement all around Kelsey while she is in her own world.  I don't know what she was thinking, but it reminded me of my own wedding day, and how quickly it all went by.  There were a few times that I stopped and just let it all sink in.  A wedding is great, but marriage is a very big deal...a wonderful, scary, and fulfilling kind of big deal.  So maybe Kelsey was thinking about that.  Who knows.

Anyone who knows me very well has heard me talk about Richard Israel.  He and I met over two years ago and he was kind enough to take me under his wings.  I've learned countless things from Richard - and from his whole amazing family, for that matter - but would you believe that some of the biggest things have little to do with "photography" and more to do with the actual people he's photographing?  Well, that and good composition.  Here he is at a wedding reception, talking to some guests, getting to know them on a real level.  I'm so grateful that he is not only my photography mentor but a very dear friend.

I assisted Richard with a wedding in Charlotte this fall, and I was excited to find out the reception was held at Sugar Creek Brewery.  Sugar Creek brews high quality Belgian style beers in one of the most lovely breweries in Charlotte.   The whole wedding was great, but I was especially excited to photograph, yes, the beer.  Surprise, surprise: I'm a pretty big craft beer fan and whenever I can photograph it I am pretty happy.  In fact, if I could make my photography career out of photographing breweries, weddings, and doing portraits I would just be the happiest.

Since childhood I've had an affinity for the violin, so when Idunn, a violinist, reached out for some portraits with her instrument, it was a "Heck yes!" from me.  In my opinion, the violin is one of the most beautiful instruments and conveys emotion like no other.  Idunn played her violin that day as though it was just a part of her that she was sharing with me and the other people wandering around the UNCC Botanical Gardens.  I was simply a meek observer, lucky enough to capture the music around me.

I'll admit it: I really love a picture that nearly - or maybe totally - makes me cry when I see it.  At Josh and Raquel's wedding I really enjoyed Josh's mom; she was just the sweetest, with a lot of love for her son.  When I was photographing them dancing, I vividly remember stepping back and just watching and actually tearing up, which rarely happens, but when it does I gain even more resolve to capture the moment as it was.

So these guys are in the band Tigerdog.  They've all been really good friends since their High School days and have done numerous musical projects alone and together since then.  Pictured above, Ryan, Danny, and Dave are playing at Petra's Piano Bar in Plaza Midwood, impressing the crowd with their original and high-energy music.  Oh, and did I mention that my husband is the bass player and is super talented?  

Jake and Jenee's wedding was a turning point in weddings I've had the opportunity to be a part of.  It was undeniably cool.  Jake and Jenee have such an amazing love between them, and their wedding was an expression of that.  

There is nothing like a first look on your wedding day.  Aly and David's was certainly one of the sweetest, and their wedding just an all around dream.  One of my best friend's Anastasia and I photographed this wedding together and we both agreed that if they all could be like this one we'd do one every weekend.

What would life be like without pets?  I really don't want to know.  Ella - pictured on the left - entered my life about six years ago when I was working at a doggy day care and she was one of our foster dogs that I simply fell in love with.  She's a little baby.  And Winston is the newest addition to the family.  We officially got him this December and I genuinely never thought getting a second dog could be such an easy transition.  He's so cuddly and sweet, and even when Ella asserts herself as the alpha dog in the family - despite the size difference - Winston is so submissive.  All of that being said, I love these two pups!

After a year filled with wedding photography, I was really excited to photograph one of my co-workers  little kids and nephews .  They couldn't have been sweeter.  There's something really unique in photographing kids, especially when they have the opportunity to run around and just  be .  And honestly, no matter how many bad things happened in your life - or on a much broader scale America and the world - looking at faces like these gives me hope and joy like nothing else.

After a year filled with wedding photography, I was really excited to photograph one of my co-workers little kids and nephews.  They couldn't have been sweeter.  There's something really unique in photographing kids, especially when they have the opportunity to run around and just be.  And honestly, no matter how many bad things happened in your life - or on a much broader scale America and the world - looking at faces like these gives me hope and joy like nothing else.

Here's to many more memories in 2017!

The Gaffney Family

It's been about one year since I photographed this awesome family, Sara, Kary, London, and Izzy.  I absolutely love these guys, and they couldn't be easier to photograph and have fun with!

     London & Izzy have grown so much in one year, and to see their personalities form is the best.  They got into it even more this year, sharing their cute photo ideas with me as we walked along.  They are the cutest sibling duo!

     I had a lot of favorites from the day, but these are just a few of the highlights.  I hope you enjoy!

-jenelle

Aly & David

On a gorgeous Sunday in October I - along with Anastasia Merriken - had the pleasure of photographing Aly & David on their big day.  

     Aly and David have something really special between them.  Just before Aly came through the woods to see David for the first time that day in her dress, David read a letter from her.  It was a beautiful moment, and whatever it said meant a lot to him.  And you could tell once they saw each other that any cares just melted away and they had each other.  

     From there it was off to a lovely ceremony and reception.  One of my favorite aspects of the reception is the Father/Daughter dance, and this wedding was no exception.  So special.  Also, most awesome reception decor goes to this wedding!  Each table was a different Disney movie theme - I included Ariel and Elsa here, but also featured was Snow White, Mulan, Jasmine, and more.  So cute!

     I hope you enjoy these highlights from Aly and David's story...

-jenelle

Venue: The Providence Cotton Mill

Wedding Coordinator: Sommer Sholtes,  Elegant and Classy Events

Caterer: Pinky's Westside Grill

Cake & Cupcakes: Stephanie Darville

Kelsey & Joe

I am so excited to be sharing these pictures with you today.  Kelsey and Joe were married this past October at Hotel Domestique, just outside of Greenville, South Carolina, and it was such a wonderful, elegant day.

     Joe and Kelsey reside in New York City - my favorite city - but Kelsey is originally from the South.  She is such a lovely mix of a "Southern Belle" (polite, graceful, sweet) and a big city lady (direct, open-minded, and self-sufficient).  Then there is Joe, who has such a palpable charisma and charm.  The look on his face when he saw Kelsey during the first look was priceless!  I love being around people with big personalities like theirs.  They were just so invested in the day - every moment, every guest, every family member - and it made capturing them such a joy.

     And one last thing: I assisted Richard Israel on this wedding, so make sure you check out his incredible blog right here.   

     I hope you enjoy this glimpse into Kelsey and Joe's story...

-jenelle

Jordan, Bailey, Noah, & Matthew

This week I had the opportunity to capture these sweet kids.  Jordan and Bailey belong to Heather, one of the sweetest, most involved Mom's out there, and Noah and Matthew belong to her brother Chris.

     As we were talking during our time together, Heather and I agreed that it is such an amazing thing for her and brother's children to grow up near each other.  It's easy to see right away how much they all love each other and enjoy playing together.  What a blessing!

     Also, a bonus of the day was that Chris and Heather's Mom, Jerry, was able to make it out for a few pictures with the kids.  I had already heard so many lovely things about her and what a special Mom and Grandmother she is, and those things couldn't have been more true.

     Enjoy these moments from the afternoon!

-jenelle