A James River Elopement | Belle Eve Photography | Virginia Wedding Photographer

A little less than a year ago two people took a trip to a beach along the James River, yet they did not know each other. Jacob was standing at the water’s edge, looking out toward the horizon and taking in the beautiful day. As Emily was walking by, Jacob turned around and literally ran into her. This moment was the start of a beautiful relationship. From then on, they knew they would be together. They began dating and their love flourished. Since Jacob’s orders from the Army were going to move him elsewhere, they decided to elope on the very spot where they met. On a chilly April morning, with only a minister, their parents, and several close friends they united their lives together in marriage in the most beautiful ceremony as the fog hovered over the James River.

The bride wore an ivory bohemian inspired dress adorned with lace on fluted sleeves along with her grandmother’s gold locket with pictures of her late grandparents. The groom wore navy trousers and a crisp white shirt along with a skinny floral tie. The ceremony was brief and included their vows, exchanging rings,and their first kiss as husband and wife as their loving families and friends stood on the sand nearby and supported this new union. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to capture this part of their journey. Congratulations, Emily and Jacob!

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An Historic Yorktown Teen Session | Beauty Revived Runner-up | Belle Eve Photography

It was a warm summer evening when I had the honor of meeting Lydia and her family in Historic Yorktown, Virginia to photograph her as the runner-up for the Beauty Revived “50 Beautiful Children” campaign. The Beauty Revived organization emphasizes and promotes the inner beauty of children, teens, and women.

Lydia is a beautiful, sweet gal who truly shines. It wasn’t her external beauty, however, that motivated Sharon, a family friend, to nominate her for the “50 Beautiful Children” campaign. When asked “What makes this child truly beautiful?”, Sharon wrote: “Lydia is truly beautiful in appearance, but her heart is what is most beautiful. She is a young teenager but she doesn’t seem to be swayed in the ways that most teen girls are. There is a purity about her. She loves God deeply and steps into moments that reflect His love and affirmation of her God given gifts and talents. She also has a strong confidence about her, willing to step into the hard things. She also loves people with depth, a beautiful thing for a young woman her age.”

The inner strength and faith of Lydia is inspiring. She has a heart for others that manifests in a maturity beyond her years. As an elementary school student she and her sister sold lemonade to raise money for poor children in Haiti. As a teen, she has become a Bible study leader for her peers- the youngest one last summer, in fact.

It isn’t always easy to be a leader. Leadership can often mean standing on your own two feet even when you are the only one standing. Sometimes it means walking alone because you took a stand for doing what is right. It takes courage, and Lydia most definitely has this beautiful quality.

Hello 2019! | Virginia Portrait and Wedding Photographer | Belle Eve Photography

 

View More: http://belleevephotography.pass.us/boxwood-inn-vintage-styled-shootAs I sit in the living room on my favorite sea green vintage couch, I can’t help but feel so very grateful for 2018.  It was an incredible year of growth for Belle Eve Photography.  It was a year, in fact, that surpassed my expectations.  Each year I set personal and professional goals for myself.  A few of the goals I set for my photography business were:

1. Upgrade Website

The first goal I tackled in 2018 was to upgrade our website.  I like to reflect and reevaluate it so that my clients can get to know me and how I roll and become acquainted with my process and portfolio.  I desire for my website to have helpful content in addition to being a friendly storefront that clients can visit.  The upgrades also helped clients to find the “storefront” easier, which doubled the traffic and resulted in doubling the number of bookings from the previous year!

2. Serve Clients Well

Next, since serving clients well is really important to me, I created a bridal guide.  This has been a fantastic tool to share with my sweet brides, which tells a little more about me and explains the booking process.  Having this information available to share when I meet with brides has helped to both educate and put them at ease.  I truly love serving people and sharing about how I will preserve the legacy of those special moments in a memorable, professional way.

3. Get Published

My third goal was to get my work published at least once in 2018.  For photographers, getting published does several things.  It increases the SEO (search engine optimization) which directs more people to our website that we can potentially serve.  It also increases the chances for my work to be seen by prospective couples when they are researching ideas and vendors for their weddings.  I was published not once, but four times…five if you count the local television spot with one of my clients (she’s super cute, too!).  Check out our features here:

https://www.hillcitybride.com/2018/10/vintage-wedding/

http://www.beautyrevived.com/meet-paisley-with-belle-eve-photography/

(Featured in print in “Beauty Revived- 50 Beautiful Children” magazine)

https://wtkr.com/2018/08/14/beauty-revived-national-campaign-features-local-child-for-kindness/

http://prettypearbride.com/styled-shoot-fairy-tale-cinderella-styled-shoot-in-virginia-belle-eve-photography/

So here we are now in 2019.  I am so excited to see what this year will bring!  I have created new goals for 2019 using Powersheets from Cultivate What Matters.  It is my first year using Powersheets, and I cannot wait to have a purposeful year both personally and professionally!

Above all, thank you!!  Thank you, 2018 clients, for an amazing year.  It has truly been an honor to serve so many incredibly kind couples and families.   Take a look below for some of our favorite moments!

 

 

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A Teal and Gray Wedding at Jennette’s Pier |Nags Head, North Carolina

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Kristen and Chris’s teal and gray wedding at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina was full of classic beauty adorned with crisp ivory florals.  Weddings always portray the feeling of romance as two lives are joined together, but this wedding really stood out.  Not only was it a stunningly beautiful beach and pier setting, it also left an indelible impression of the importance of marriage, family and friendship.  The endearing moments on this day were priceless.

However, before I share about those moments, I have to tell you how their story began.  Kristen and Chris met during Beach Week in 2011.  For those of you who don’t know, Beach Week is a celebration of graduating high school seniors where students from all over Hampton Roads converge on the Outer Banks, North Carolina.    They both happened to be down there with friends.  While at a party, she noticed him across the room (cue romantic music).  Kristen thought that Chris looked familiar, then realized that he was a friend of her best friend’s boyfriend.  They soon began to get to know one another as they double dated that summer with her best friend and her boyfriend (Chris’s friend).  On September 28, 2011, Chris asked her to officially be his girlfriend.  Exactly 7 years later, on the same date they decided to be in a relationship, they married in the Outer Banks- the place where their lives began. (Sounds just about like a romantic movie, right?)

When I asked what marriage meant to them, they said this:  “…the commitment of marriage means becoming a family.  It means decisions are no longer made with just yourself in mind.  It means having a partner to share life with, knowing you have the most important person on your team, always.  It’s comfort, safety, security.  It’s plans and dreams of the future together.  It means to always love, to always trust, and to always make that person feel treasured.”  These beautiful words were manifested in the details, the ceremony, and in the presence of family and friends on their wedding day.

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When I arrived to the bride’s beach house, it was absolutely pouring down a monsoon amount of rain.  Even though we had a rain plan, crazy rain like that can produce panic about the details of the day.  This couple and their families were so calm, though.  They just kept everything in perspective, remembering the reason they were all going to Jennette’s Pier.  Ultimately, as much as I adore taking beautiful pictures, gorgeous details do not ensure a beautiful marriage relationship.  Investing in your relationship with your spouse and your families, however, will definitely have a positive effect on  your marriage.  This is what Kristen and Chris are about.

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I loved how the bride and groom included their families as they got ready.  These are moments and traditions that will be shared with future generations.  The bride’s mother, Karen, helped Kristen with the finishing touches of getting ready, which included lacing up the back of her lovely wedding gown and placing the veil, made with tulle from the veil Karen wore on her own wedding day, on Kristen’s head.  Meanwhile, the groom’s grandfather helped him with his tie as they conversed and spent time together in the hours before the ceremony.

The skies became clear less than an hour before the ceremony began.  I was so happy that they were able to proceed with the wedding outside on the pier.  The ceremony overlooked the green waters of the Atlantic Ocean, with the wind whipping.  Guests could see what seemed like miles of pier in front of them.  After a lovely ukulele prelude, the bridal party began to walk down the aisle.  When Kristen approached the threshold of the door to walk down the aisle, the joy was palpable.  Her two brothers, representing their late father, proudly walked their sister down the aisle to give her away to her groom.  Kristen just beamed as she made eye contact with Chris.  There they were, exactly 7 years later, ready to commit the rest of their lives together- a love story coming full circle.  During the ceremony, they used a plant to symbolize the joining of two people and their families together.  My favorite part, though was the smiles on their faces after their first kiss as husband and wife.  Y’all, they were glowing!  They were all smiles as they recessed up the aisle, hand in hand.  I have no doubt that they will have an incredible marriage.  Best wishes, Kristen and Chris!

*See vendors at end of blog post.

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Vendors:

Venue:  Jennette’s Pier

Planner: Shelby White

Caterer: Sugar Creek Catering

Cake: Deb Wright

Flowers: M&M Flowers Virginia

Wedding Gown:  Morilee by Madeline Gardner

Bridesmaids Dresses:   Lulu’s    Show Me Your Mumu

Hair and Make-up Artist:  Glimmer Hair and Make-Up OBX

DJ: Soundwavz Entertainment

Rentals:  Metro Rental

Video:  Delta Studios

Christmas Mini Sessions

3hello friend image  November has flown by so quickly and the holiday season is about to begin!  (Just a week until Thanksgiving.)  (No, I haven’t starting my Thanksgiving prep either.) Can you believe that December is right around the corner, too? Time is important, friend, isn’t it?  Family time should always come first and when the holiday season hits, it can become a struggle to keep everything in balance.  It is so easy to get overwhelmed with all of the tree decorating, tree lighting, parties, concerts, baking, shopping, preparing for the arrival of family, all while maintaining focus on the reason for the season when you suddenly realize- “we have to get our family portraits for the holidays!!”   (Insert stress….trying not to panic….and trying to keep a smile on your face…)

Just in time for the holiday season, we are now booking mini sessions.  What is a mini session?  It is a short portrait session (20 minutes) designed to capture you and your family.  On Saturday, December 1, 2018, mini sessions will take place in Historic Yorktown.  On Saturday, December 8, 2018, mini sessions will take place in Williamsburg.  Session spots are limited, so if you have family portraits on your mind, let us know so we can get you on the calendar! 🙂 2bepWINTER-5x7-vertical-2back

Vintage Styled Shoot |The Historic Boxwood Inn | Newport News, Virginia

View More: http://belleevephotography.pass.us/boxwood-inn-vintage-styled-shootThe resounding horn of a train draws you into the historic era of The Historic Boxwood Inn, a newly renovated wedding and event venue located in Newport News, Virginia.  It is easy to imagine the hustle and bustle of people boarding and arriving from the train station across the street as the steam from a steam engine billows into the air during World War II as it lurches forward to travel to the next station.   You can practically hear the swing band trumpeting out as people dance and celebrate in midcentury elegance, visiting this very charming Inn to conduct business in the general store or to comfortably stay the night.  These are days gone by, however the new owners of The Historic Boxwood Inn truly cherish the historic aspect of this unique venue and have preserved its charm as they renovated.  When we toured the Inn, we could clearly imagine this era and integrated it into our styled shoot.  This incredible vendor team did not disappoint.   (See the list of vendors at the end of this blog post.)  Everything was absolutely beautiful and we enjoyed seeing it all come together.   Check us out also on Hill City Bride!

 

View More: http://belleevephotography.pass.us/boxwood-inn-vintage-styled-shoot

 

Cake: Kadi Bakes ~ Kadi Spruill

Planner: Two Rivers Events ~ Kari Scruggs

Make-up:  Beauty by Rachel Mills ~Rachel Mills

Hair: Kadi Spruill

Stationery:  Kalos Designs ~ Suzy Matthews

Videographer: Brian Charles Films ~Charles Townsend

Venue: The Historic Boxwood Inn ~ J.J. and Lisa Murray

Rentals: Hampton Roads Event Rentals

Florist: I Do Weddings With Love ~ Annette Lindsey

Dress:  Truly Yours Bridal

Models:  Stella Mora and Miguel Mendoza

A Yorktown Beach Maternity Session |Belle Eve Photography

Maternity_Session_Yorktown_Beach_Yorktown_Virginia_Belle_Eve_Photography-17It never gets old.  Seeing the miracle of a new life about to unfold in the lives of soon to be new parents never loses its luster.  The excitement, the tenderness between two people in love, the dreams of what the new baby will look like, imagining ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes.   You imagine the life you will have with your baby.  You envision the books you will read to him or her.  But mostly, you imagine what it will be like to love a person you’ve never met.  “Will I actually be able to love this precious gift of life enough?”  And yet, this does happen because of the love God gives us.  This is a portion of the miracle of a new life.

Ashley and Ronnie were such joy to capture at Yorktown Beach in Yorktown, Virginia.  We were so fortunate, too, that the rain held off just in time for their maternity session!  The glowy light perfectly illuminated this sweet couple as we captured them as well as their adorable details.  It is common to say that a pregnant woman is glowing, but Ashley really did glow!   She was truly radiant in her white and blue dress and joyful grin.

One of my favorite things about their maternity session was the unique details.  Ashley and Ronnie brought several items to incorporate into their session, including a 3D ultrasound picture.  I love, by the way, how ultrasound technology can now show you your chlld’s cute little features!  And where was this when I had my kiddos just a *few* years ago?? 😉  This session was completely precious, and we wish Ashley and Ronnie the best as they begin the journey of parenthood.

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