“I dream of you walking at night along the streams
of the country of my birth, warm blooms and the nightsongs
of birds opening around you as you walk.
You are holding in your body the dark seed of my sleep.This comes after silence. Was it something I said
that bound me to you, some mere promise
or, worse, the fear of loneliness and death?
A man lost in the woods in the dark, I stood
still and said nothing. And then there rose in me,
like the earth’s empowering brew rising
in root and branch, the words of a dream of you
I did not know I had dreamed. I was a wanderer
who feels the solace of his native land
under his feet again and moving in his blood.
I went on, blind and faithful. Where I stepped
my track was there to steady me. It was no abyss
that lay before me, but only the level ground.Sometimes our life reminds me
of a forest in which there is a graceful clearing
and in that opening a house,
an orchard and garden,
comfortable shades, and flowers
red and yellow in the sun, a pattern
made in the light for the light to return to.
The forest is mostly dark, its ways
to be made anew day after day, the dark
richer than the light and more blessed,
provided we stay brave
enough to keep on going in.Though we drink till we burst
we cannot have it all, or want it all.
In its abundance it survives our thirst.
In the evening we come down to the shore
to drink our fill, and sleep, while it
flows through the regions of the dark.
It does not hold us, except we keep returning
to its rich waters thirsty. We enter,
willing to die, into the commonwealth of its joy.I give you the life I have let live for the love of you:
a clump of orange-blooming weeds beside the road,
the young orchard waiting in the snow, our own life
that we have planted in the ground, as I
have planted mine in you. I give you my love for all
beautiful and honest women that you gather to yourself
again and again, and satisfy–and this poem,
no more mine than any man’s who has loved a woman.”
– Wendell Berry, The Country of Marriage
Haley and Cody chose Blowing Rock (Moses Cone and Bass Lake) for their engagement portraits and it was then that we learned that neither of them was white hot with excitement about being in front of the camera. But their session was lovely because it’s hard to see a couple wander in nature and not think about Berry’s rustic and romantic poem “The Country of Marriage.” It’s hard not to think about all the unspoken things that make them them. Ryan and I contain a universe as a couple and so do these two.
Bass Lake was the first stop so we could get better sunset views for the second portion of the shoot at the fields around Moses Cone Manor. The location at sunset did not disappoint with the last shots coming as the sun went behind the mountains. There were lots of moments of laughter and picking on Ryan, which always makes a session fun (in my opinion).
Haley and Cody will be married in September 2016 at River Run Farm in Valle Crucis. Stay tuned to see the amazing farm with big open fields, barns and river-front wedding sites and these two, building a new country between them.
Sweet Jaxon… Hello, from all of us and welcome, young pup. Your parents are so happy you’re here. And so is your older brother, Luke, although he may alternately hug and pummel you for the next 18-23 years. Luke was ALLLL about you during your very first portrait session, but experience shows us that you may borrow something of his when you’re 10 or 12 years old and really make him mad and then, well, don’t blame us if there’s a rumble. Of course you could end up being like the Wright Brothers or the Gershwins and do something big, but I digress.
Below are your feet and they’re pretty perfect. That’s a good start.
Jaxon, you were born on July 21st and 6 days later, your sweet parents carried you into our studios where you were an absolute dream to photograph. You slept like a champ, took only a few little snack breaks and were as sweet as humanly possible. Your name, Jaxon, means “God has been gracious,” and He has been.
I would give my kingdom to know what you’re thinking about in this pic below. It’s the smile of a man who already knows something big is waiting just down the road.
There’s a great story about 2 brothers talking, both grown men, and one is getting ready for an important event in his life … a big, BIG day. His brother asks, “so are you ready?” And he responds, “Yep. It’s either going to be a HUGE success or a COMPLETE disaster,” and his brother smiles and says, “good!”
When the time comes, and you and Luke (and any other siblings who may come along in your tribe) are cheering each other on, remember that. Support the BIG gesture. I’m personally sick of the phrase “go big or go home,” but the sentiment is right on.
Dream big, succeed big, play big, reach out in big ways and if you’re going to fail, then fail trying to accomplish something that matters to you. Don’t just get by. Don’t phone it in. Look at that picture of you smirking knowingly and swing for the fences.
And good luck, dude. We’ll be watching with interest.
The story behind this note from famous children’s author Roald Dahl is pretty simple. You know Dahl even if you don’t think you do. He penned many books for kids, but the standouts are Fantastic Mr. Fox, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and BFG (Big Friendly Giant). A little British girl, Amy, sent Mr. Dahl a letter after reading BFG, where the Giant catches dreams in a net. Along with her letter Amy sent a bottle with “a dream in it.” To make the dream, Amy and her father combined oil, colored water and glitter. You can see from Dahl’s response that he thought it was special. His note to her was too and she still has it even now in her 30s.
We race through life, always planning to stop to say the BIG THANK YOU. We thank vendors, clients, strangers, friends, and God every day. We write thank you cards. That’s how we were raised.
But then the next thing needs doing and the next. Yes, we’re busy. Yes, we have photos we need to upload so that we can share them with the clients who are waiting excitedly. Yes we want to share them with you all. We’ve worked weddings, waited on weather and nursing babies, schlepped up mountains and light poles, tiptoed through churches and orchards. We always want that 25th hour, that 8th day,
but regardless of the where, when, who or how
of our photography business, the one theme always present is gratitude.
You all send us your dreams in the form of ideas of how you want to remember your family, your wedding day, your children, your celebration on film. We shake the bottle of color and glitter and try to deliver. But make no mistake, it’s all of us together that make the dream and we cannot thank you enough for making our life of dream delivery possible.
So, thank you, thank you, thank you ALL OF YOU who’ve made our life so much richer. We hope to keep working with and enjoying you all for many years to come. And we also pray that only the best dreams blow through your windows each night.
With love from,
Misty & Ryan
If you were hoping to get a piece of cake with Clemson paws on it, see a completely glamorous bride, and a husband who cannot stop smiling, you missed it. You missed the cake. The rest is below. Jason, Jessica and their nearest and dearest gathered last month to celebrate them at their wedding at St. John’s UMC in Rock Hill, SC. It was fun, tender and hot as blazes, but we took the images that made them the happiest. The couple shared this: “We are blown away at the moments you captured. We are weepy just thinking about it. You created memories for us that we will always have and that we will return to for the rest of our lives.” Mission accomplished.
If you want to see what can be done with high heels AND mountain views, I hope you’ll check out Jessica and Jason’s engagement portraits. I can’t tease it any more than that.
Jessica told us that her favorite photo is of her with Jason as they walked back up the aisle as husband and wife. We agree. You can tell how crazy in love they are. We also loved the simplicity and classic nature of their wedding – the colors, the church, the flowers, everything was gorgeously understated, elegant and lovely.
St. John’s provided us with so many opportunities to shoot, but we love photos of these two outside especially. To wit: a lamppost was scaled in the making of these memories…. we suffer for our art.
The reception was held at Gettys Art Center in Rock Hill, because the bride and groom vibed on the old interiors of the place. True enough, it’s an amazing spot for a reception. One – air conditioning in July! Big plus. Two – beautiful stained wood paneling.
Jessica: “We cried when we danced with our parents. I didn’t expect my dad to dance with me. I was 100% surprised. It was quite possibly the best moment I have ever had with him. And I loved seeing the photos of Jason dancing with his mom.”
In the spirit of sharing the love for other wedding vendors, we ask our clients who they hired. Here are those chosen by Jessica and Jason: Wedding gown: Castle, Spartanburg, SC
Wedding coordinator /planner: Crystal Beck. Jessica told us that she was “a game changer.” The bride didn’t worry about anything.
Flowers: Jasn’e Creative Design.
DJ or band: Split Second Sound out of Charlotte NC. “Eric was the BEST! I would hire him again tomorrow if I had a reason.”
Catering: Essie’s Catering. Yummy food.
Cake and desserts: Carrie Shafer. “She is a friend- doesn’t do it professionally but they were DELICIOUS.”
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 weddings, brides, 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.
“We were so happy to see cousins we hadn’t seen in a long time, friends from Hawaii, Seattle, Colorado, all hanging out, chattering and later playing music for the ceremony. We loved our DJ, photographers and how much love we felt surrounded with. If we were to give a couple advice about their wedding, we’d tell them to get married in the mountains and make the wedding a full weekend, an inclusive event.”
Katie Speights and Tim Mahon were married at Twickenham House in Jefferson, NC on June 18 this year and it was one of our all time favorite weddings (and they are one of our all time favorite couples to have ever worked with). Katie is a wedding planner in Charleston, SC and she applied all her expertise to her own wedding. Everything was on schedule, flowed seamlessly, looked amazing and everyone was relaxed and having fun the entire day. The extra touches were, quite frankly, inspired – and Tim was a part of one of the sweetest. He wrote a note on the bottom of Katie’s shoes (see above) that she only noticed when she was getting ready.
We photographed their engagement portraits at The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC so clearly these two adore the mountains. Even their sweetheart of a dog is named Saluda (google it). The wedding was small, intimate and personal. It focused on marriage, family and friends, the most important aspects. The day was an intersection of both elegance and personal touches: Katie’s Mom made the cakes, using recipes passed down through generations. A close friend of Katie’s “did” everyone’s hair and makeup. The same friend undercut her own hair with the couple’s initials surrounded by a heart.
Tim & Katie wrote the table assignments on their snowboards and a canvas candid photo of the pair with an I Love You message was used as the guest book. Finally, an artist friend drew and designed their can cozies to include Saluda’s profile. Those were only a few of the thoughtful details, gang. Katie plied her trade, big time.
Twickenham has an overlook on the side of a mountain. Photographing Katie and Tim there was a must on our to do list. We snuck them away from their reception to make the climb. That climb itself is a blog, but we keep our couples counsel close and quiet. <insert smile here>. The two were so beautiful and happy relishing in the moment while we captured images that may very well be some of our all time favorites.
The sunset could not have been better if we’d ordered back drops from Cecille B. DeMille. Watching friends gather after we’d photographed the couple, was one of the sweeter and more beautiful moments of a day filled with beauty and love.
We’d be nuts not to mention the other vendors who contributed to this amazingly cool wedding.
Katie’s gown: Jean’s Bridal – Charleston, SC
Wedding and reception venue reception: Twickenham House and Hall
Flowers: Flowers by Desi
Music/DJ: Dan with On Target
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 babies and kids, engagements and weddings, brides 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.