Family Vacation | destination photos

There’s a reason why the baseball team in Asheville, NC is called the Tourists. North Carolina, from pretty much west to east, is a gorgeous part of the world. So every year, families from all over head to the mountains, piedmont and beaches to explore and relax. Ryan and I love destination photo shoots, especially of families who’ve come from all over the state and country to our Blue Ridge Mountains and parkway, Blowing Rock, rolling Wilkes county, the high country, the Biltmore House and elsewhere. Some are on vacation, some are at family reunions, others are couples getting engaged, but they all want portraits in this lush landscape that’s our backyard. Of course, we’re happy to oblige!

Hobens at the family vacation camp

Arnold family outdoor spring peach orchard photos by Pixels On Paper Portrait Photographers photos

Hoben family reunion on family property in Roaring Gap NC.

Charleston SC engagement portraits

The Picard family descended upon the NC Mountains to celebrate Easter together.

Pixels on Paper Photography outdoor portrait garden photo

The Ellis Family visits from Charlotte for portraits together.

McCoy Outdoor Family Portrait Photography near the Blue Ridge Parkway

Poland Outdoor Family Portrait Photography photo

The entire Poland family together during a rare occasion in Boone NC.

The Allen family on vacation at Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock NC.

pixels on paper charlotte nc outdoor family portrait photographers photo

Rogers Outdoor Family Portrait Photography in Charlotte NC

Pixels on Paper 3 Generations of Family in Linville NC Outdoor photo

The Perry family together for portraits at their vacation home in Grandfather Mountain Country Club.

Some families, like the Hobens who all met up in Roaring Gap last summer, have property they own and want portraits celebrating them in that place. Others are just traveling through for the summer fun in our area and choose a site or ask for our help (we’ve got tons of ideas) while they’re together, relaxed and enjoying the views. We also have families who live close by and summer break is the first opportunity they have to coordinate a portrait session. They come to our outdoor portrait garden or we meet them on the parkway or in a special location and go from there. One thing we hear – sadly too often – is that people regret not having more photos of the entire family together. So if you’ve been thinking about it, contact us. We’ll help get you started and you’ll have a summer 2017 memory or two to frame!

 

 

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Class of 2017 senior portraits | Sunny Paiton

Every time we photograph a newborn session or baby’s first birthday and cake smash photo shoot, we imagine the years unspooling and how wonderful it will be watching that little creature grow up. But the weirdest part is that they DO. We blink and they’re driving, going to prom and graduating from high school. We did not take Paiton Roberts’ baby photos, but we have been photographing the Roberts family for years, so there was already a connection with this wonderful young woman. We’ve watched her move from kid to adult over the past decade. The years in between aren’t many, but the transition is amazing. From 11 to 18, she transformed!

Pixels On Paper Senior Photography Portraits Wilkesboro Boone Blowing Rock Charlotte Photographers

Paiton at 11, 14 and 18 years old.

Pixels On Paper Senior Photography Portraits Wilkesboro Boone Blowing Rock Charlotte PhotographersPixels On Paper Senior Photography Portraits Wilkesboro Boone Blowing Rock Charlotte Photographers Photo

Pixels On Paper Senior Photography Portraits Wilkesboro Boone Blowing Rock Charlotte Photographers PhotoPixels On Paper Senior Photography Portraits Wilkesboro Boone Blowing Rock Charlotte Photographers PhotoPixels On Paper Senior Photography Portraits Wilkesboro Boone Blowing Rock Charlotte Photographers Photo

Paiton attends Millers Creek Christian School, where she is a senior and will graduate in just a few weeks and this young woman is a sweetie. She’s considerate, confident, grounded in her faith and sort of spills light wherever she goes. She’s also already broadening her horizons by interning alongside a dental hygienist at Brushy Mountain Dental in North Wilkesboro. For her senior portraits, Paiton wanted to be surrounded by color and blossoms and the orchard hadn’t dropped all of its blooms yet, so it made the perfect spot on a gorgeous day.Pixels On Paper Senior Photography Portraits Wilkesboro Boone Blowing Rock Charlotte Photographers PhotoPixels On Paper Senior Photography Portraits Wilkesboro Boone Blowing Rock Charlotte Photographers PhotoPixels On Paper Senior Photography Portraits Wilkesboro Boone Blowing Rock Charlotte Photographers Photo

We also created Paiton’s graduation announcement cards and she shines in those as well. We look forward to watching this young woman continue to become whoever she wants to be. We love her!

Pixels On Paper Senior Photography Portraits Wilkesboro Boone Blowing Rock Charlotte Photographers Photo

Paiton’s Graduation Announcement designed and printed by Pixels On Paper

Pixels On Paper Senior Photography Portraits Wilkesboro Boone Blowing Rock Charlotte PhotographersPixels On Paper Senior Photography Portraits Wilkesboro Boone Blowing Rock Charlotte PhotographersPixels On Paper Senior Photography Portraits Wilkesboro Boone Blowing Rock Charlotte PhotographersPixels On Paper Senior Photography Portraits Wilkesboro Boone Blowing Rock Charlotte PhotographersPixels On Paper Senior Photography Portraits Wilkesboro Boone Blowing Rock Charlotte PhotographersPixels On Paper Senior Photography Portraits Wilkesboro Boone Blowing Rock Charlotte PhotographersPixels On Paper Senior Photography Portraits Wilkesboro Boone Blowing Rock Charlotte PhotographersPixels On Paper Senior Photography Portraits Wilkesboro Boone Blowing Rock Charlotte PhotographersPixels On Paper Senior Photography Portraits Wilkesboro Boone Blowing Rock Charlotte PhotographersSave

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Exposed Photography Retreat | Part 2

Last time, I blogged I wrote about a photography workshop and retreat I attended in late March and the pay-off was not only that I learned about natural light and how to manipulate it for photography shoots, but about how – through exercises, conversation and the community and sharing of other photographers – I had some light shined on aspects of myself that needed my attention. Elly’s Photography – and specifically Elly – hosted this retreat, aptly called “Exposed” and in 4 days I learned so much. It was the shot in the arm I needed.
The photos in this blog showcase artificial lighting techniques, including the use of off-camera flashes, gels, and fairly unrealistic kelvin settings.

In case you missed part 1 of this blog post, catch up on it here.
Exposed Photography Workshop and Styled Photoshoot Photos by Misty McGuire Case of Pixels On PaperExposed Photography Workshop and Styled Photoshoot Photos by Misty McGuire Case of Pixels On PaperExposed Photography Workshop and Styled Photoshoot Photos by Misty McGuire Case of Pixels On PaperExposed Photography Workshop and Styled Photoshoot Photos by Misty McGuire Case of Pixels On PaperI mentioned in that last blog that I love using artificial light at photo sessions and that Ryan teases me. You know, if two lights are good then 12 will “really get me what I want.” LOL. For these shots, I practiced with different angles of light and exposure settings, as well as perspective. Some of these techniques I had knowledge of, but suddenly I was able to manipulate them in a way that I never had before. Others were completely new and opened an exciting new world of possibilities for my photos and our clients. My mind was focused, but part of it was note-taking for sessions to come.
Exposed Photography Workshop and Styled Photoshoot Photos by Misty McGuire Case of Pixels On PaperExposed Photography Workshop and Styled Photoshoot Photos by Misty McGuire Case of Pixels On PaperExposed Photography Workshop and Styled Photoshoot Photos by Misty McGuire Case of Pixels On PaperExposed Photography Workshop and Styled Photoshoot Photos by Misty McGuire Case of Pixels On PaperExposed Photography Workshop and Styled Photoshoot Photos by Misty McGuire Case of Pixels On PaperThe setting and the subjects were perfect and while it was a working and experimental time, it felt fun and relaxed. I would wager that I learned as much if not more personally about me and my craft than I did about photography itself. I realized that I needed to be out of my comfort zone to experience all that was in store. I learned that allowing myself to be exposed and vulnerable gives me a different perspective in life and through my camera lens.

I learned that I can only go so far alone. And I learned that I was ridiculously supported during this adventure.Exposed Photography Workshop and Styled Photoshoot Photos by Misty McGuire Case of Pixels On Paper

We love family portraits whether they are set in the studio, the great outdoors, a specific location like the mountains or high country, or on our property in our outdoor portrait garden. Pixels on Paper photographs, engagements and weddingsbrides, and special events and portraits  of all kinds in our Wilkesboro, NC studio. We would be honored to meet with you, learn about you and your family and be a part of taking special portraits that will become, we hope, family heirlooms.

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a photography workshop shines a light in the dark places

Toward the end of March, I struck out on my own and took a leap outside of my comfort zone to attend a photography workshop and retreat. I love perfecting my craft, learning new techniques, comparing notes, etc., and we all need professional renewal, regardless of what we do. The invitation promised a focus on wedding photography, mastering and using lighting and exposure, and connecting with both your clients and your own desires in life. Tricks of the trade meets self-help meets community and introspection. I’d made excuses for not going in the past and this had an extra element of trepidation – spending 4 days in a house with 9 other women, all strangers. But what’s growth without a bit of surrendering to the unknown?Exposed Photography Workshop and Styled Photoshoot Photos by Misty McGuire Case of Pixels On PaperExposed Photography Workshop and Styled Photoshoot Photos by Misty McGuire Case of Pixels On PaperExposed Photography Workshop and Styled Photoshoot Photos by Misty McGuire Case of Pixels On PaperThis retreat was hosted by Elly’s Photography and I’ve been a fan of her work for years… another incentive: meet a fellow traveler, working photographer, wife, business woman. As it turns out, Elly’s really a life coach in addition to wonderful photographer and I found that my need to stretch was more important than my fears of hanging with strangers – without Ryan – in a house for 4 days. I needed it more than I knew.Exposed Photography Workshop and Styled Photoshoot Photos by Misty McGuire Case of Pixels On PaperExposed Photography Workshop and Styled Photoshoot Photos by Misty McGuire Case of Pixels On PaperExposed Photography Workshop and Styled Photoshoot Photos by Misty McGuire Case of Pixels On PaperExposed Photography Workshop and Styled Photoshoot Photos by Misty McGuire Case of Pixels On PaperExposed Photography Workshop and Styled Photoshoot Photos by Misty McGuire Case of Pixels On PaperBoth before and during the retreat, Elly and I spoke for hours so that I’d get the most out of my retreat. She asked questions about what I wanted to learn, what I wanted to see change in our business, how I wanted to connect with our clients. But then there were even harder questions. What are you really passionate about, what drives you, where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 15 years, what is your impact? I did work in “Clearing,” “Dream Casting,” and communication exercises. Photography is easy for me, the personal stuff can be really hard and at times very emotional.

I needed someone to ask me the hard questions. I needed my creativity to be reawakened, to have a new perspective. I needed to have more tools in my tool box to offer our clients. I needed to be surrounded by 9 other creative people that felt the same as me. I ended up having a blast and learning a lot about myself.Exposed Photography Workshop and Styled Photoshoot Photos by Misty McGuire Case of Pixels On PaperExposed Photography Workshop and Styled Photoshoot Photos by Misty McGuire Case of Pixels On PaperExposed Photography Workshop and Styled Photoshoot Photos by Misty McGuire Case of Pixels On PaperThe best part is that, through all of the personal aspects of the retreat, it was mixed with learning new ways of using my camera and seeing both natural and artificial light differently. Over the past 8 years I’ve become very comfortable with using artificial lighting for photography. I can manipulate light to be what I need it to be in almost any situation. This is a good thing. In fact, Ryan often jokes that I always wish I had one more light to add to the scene no matter how many I have. But what I found during the first half of our workshop is that I had stopped looking at natural light the same way. Natural light can be manipulated. It can be found in sources and locations I have ignored. All of the portrait photos in this blog use natural light and it’s not necessarily sunlight. The dark dramatic head shot photos for example were taken in a bathroom stall with a single overhead light on. The photos are not altered or changed in Photoshop at all. They’re straight out of my camera. I am newly empowered and so excited about using what I’ve learned during portrait photography, weddings, events, day in the life shoots and elsewhere.Exposed Photography Workshop and Styled Photoshoot Photos by Misty McGuire Case of Pixels On PaperThe next blog will be a continuance of this one, so stay tuned!

We love family portraits whether they are set in the studio, the great outdoors, a specific location like the mountains or high country, or on our property in our outdoor portrait garden. Pixels on Paper photographs, engagements and weddingsbrides, and special events and portraits  of all kinds in our Wilkesboro, NC studio. We would be honored to meet with you, learn about you and your family and be a part of taking special portraits that will become, we hope, family heirlooms.

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What I Love Thinking About

I know a lady who likes to say, “these are the things I’m thinking about instead what’s bothering me.” She’s not burying her head in the sand or failing to solve problems or face challenges; she practicing what she says the Buddhists call “good thinking.” It takes practice – like most things worth getting good at – but it can change your mood when the world feels all wrong or the people around appear to be on hiatus from being kind.
So here’s what I’m thinking about instead of what worries me about our world.
Pixels on Paper Photography Summer 2016 GardenSpring is here and summer is coming. There’s a great thought. Cooking and eating the food I grow in my garden, cutting flowers, relaxing on my front porch. Yes to that.

And I’m thinking about family. I love mine and we love to photograph families of all sizes. Each one contains a library of stories, memories, legacies and shared laughter, pain and joy. Family is always a happy thought for me.

Babies. Think about a baby you know or one you’ve raised and your mood will shift immediately. I love thinking of babies. Babies in tutus. Babies wearing hats. Babies in overalls. [Digression: babies in overalls is a HILARIOUS concept to me. They are 20-ish inches tall! “They ain’t driving no tractor!!!” “They ain’t bailing no hay!!” But, there they are… in their denim and buckles and it’s just the funniest, sweetest thing. The only way they are being helpful is that you’re belly laughing at the cuteness. Just saying…] Pick your favorite baby image and ponder. You’re happier, right?

pixels on paper photography, portrait photography, family portrait photography, photo studio, outdoor portrait photography, photoPixels Family Spring outdoor portrait photography photoTwinkling lights at night and summer evenings spent by a fire pit, on a porch swing, in a tent or hammock or playing cards by lantern at an old picnic table. I love that kind of light at night.Amanda Walling and Bonnie Hostetler On The Windfall outdoor Wedding West Jefferson NC photo

Mountains. Dance with the one who brung ya, right? I love our mountains and if you’re a hiker, hike. If you have a view, sit back and take it in. I love living in a state replete with mountains and mountain views.

Pixels On Paper wedding photographers. Biltmore Estate engagement portrait Asheville NC photo

Love that lasts. Who doesn’t want to remember that? Give brain power and care and thought to that; you’ll thank yourself. I love thinking about lasting love: some of it is as new as a baby but will last a lifetime and some already as old as a steadfast marriage. It’s all good.
Arnold family outdoor spring peach orchard photos by Pixels On Paper Portrait Photographers photoPixels, on, paper, wood, family, portraits, outdoor, family, portraits, studio, family, portraits, outdoor, family, photos, family, photography, family, photographer, blowing, rock, photography, wilkesboro, photography, wilkesboro, photographer, portrait, photography, portrait, studio, boone, photography, charlotte, portrait, photographers, photoGoing away. I love thinking about travel – allowing myself to escape to my favorite memories and then get excited about the possibilities of travel in the future. Ryan and I have done and seen a lot in our marriage and thinking about that journey makes me smile, regardless of locale.
Home. I think about home and am more full than I could ever describe to you guys. We host you there when you come to our indoor studio or out in the garden, but it’s the center of our world. It’s comfort, it’s creativity, it’s food, it’s gatherings …. our “workin’ week and Sunday rest,” as Auden put it. God blessed us big time with our over-a-century-old home.
Whatever is potentially weighing on you, … take the time – make the room for “good thinking.” List your happy places, people, pets, memories, foods and let that happy into every artery you have inside of you.

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