Rebecca Ames Photography | Durham Wedding Photographer

The Shamps: A day in the life | Chapel Hill, North Carolina

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I LOVE this family. I got to meet them when Mindy was still pregnant with Riley and we have done a whole lotta sessions together now, starting with his birth! I'm even going back next month for Riley's second birthday. They are some of my favorite people in the whole world and I'm so glad that I get to call them friends now. I also love this kid! I think since I was there from the very beginning, it's like he's one of my own. He even loves me too! He calls me "Be-beee" and gives me the very best hugs! 

So, this session. This is a day in the life. Nothing is posed. I told them to do absolutely nothing. I just hung out and took photos. They are imperfect, but that's what makes them perfect. This is them just hanging out and spending their day the way they normally spend their day. Mommy swam some laps, daddy got mommy flowers (making him look like the best husband to the photographer), daddy went to work (we even visited daddy at the office", lunch, naps, playing with toys, reading books, all the usual stuff. 

Oh, and I've got to say a couple more things about this family and just give them a shameless plug. Jordan and Mindy are also really fantastic photographers. Before Riley was born they were the owners/photographers of JAM Photography and I'm sad that the world lost the pleasure of booking them for their family sessions. They are super talented, way more than me, and I keep getting blown away that they keep having me come over and take their photos. Also, Jordan is the co-founder of a social network/journaling app called Noteables. You should check it out, create an account, think about how it would be super awesome for your school/workplace/etc. and then talk to Jordan and set that up. 

Heather & Colin: Engaged | Coker Arboretum. Chapel Hill, North Carolina

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Heather and Colin came down from DC for their engagement session, and I was so thrilled that that I finally got to meet them. They are both super sweet, and really cute. They really ooze warm fuzzies and I imagine their wedding is going to be filled with so much laughter and friends that I am so excited and can't wait for it to happen.

The news called for storms and we made it all the way through most of the session when the rain finally hit for the last 15 minutes. They were such good sports and still rocked the photos, even though we were totally soaked. 

The Webers: Family | at home. Pittsboro, North Carolina

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I love this family. This is the fifth time I've photographed them. I got to be there for their oldest's birth and now, I get to call them friends. I'm so glad about that, because they are just good people. I was so thrilled to go out and meet Astrid! She is adorable and perfect and totally squeezable (I know this, because I cuddled her for a good amount of time. She smelled divine). 

Lysandra also is the owner/designer for Geek Chic Clothing and she hooked me up with a gorgeous skirt during the shoot. 

Cathy & William: Wedding | The Burwell School. Hillsborough, North Carolina

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Cathy and William had a small, intimate wedding at The Burwell School. They invited twelve people to celebrate their day with them. It was a lovely affair, close and with lots of laughter. I love that Cathy had decided to wear a cherry red wedding dress. It's such a great color on her (She was gorgeous!) and it just showed off how non-traditional wedding theirs was. During the ceremony, her two sons played music for everyone. It was a treat!

The Vespas: Family | Auntie Em's Farm. Denver, Colorado

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Jen is my bestie. I love her and we've been best friends since we met ten years ago. She's one of the best people I know, always caring, never judgmental, and always totally there for you. She was also the first family in front of my camera ever, when she was pregnant with the younger of the two girls, Sophia, so I was thrilled to go visit my friend and take their pictures. 

P.S. This place is not really called Auntie Em's Farm (as the fictional farm is located in Kansas), but when Jen sent me pics of the location she found, I thought it was missing Dorothy and a dog named Toto. 

Brad & Hayes: Wedding | The Barn & Gardens of The Little Herb House. Raleigh, North Carolina

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When Brad and Hayes first emailed me, I have to admit, I was rather smitten with the idea of a farm wedding. The Little Herb House looked gorgeous and I was excited. I think I said something like, "you have to book me, because I have to shoot there", or something. When I got to meet Brad and Hayes over a cup of coffee, I was no longer super excited about the venue, but super excited about them as a couple. I found them super interesting, really nice and really just wanted to ask them to be my new friends and, yeah sure, it would be cool if they booked me as their photographer too. They are adventurers, they go on safaris, they hike, run marathons, they love the outdoors and I just knew they were my kind of people. Then, Brad told me how he proposed to Hayes, and I was so happy that I got a chance to meet this couple. I like them. I like how much they smile together, I like the way Hayes seems so much happier when Brad is around. 

When their wedding came around, Jessi and I pulled into the driveway and I was just like, wow! Brad went seriously DIY crazy, the barn was gorgeous! Then, they had a not-first look where they held hands on each side of the barn, so stinking sweet....Enough writing. Look at the photos of the day!

You can see all of the images and order prints here

Special thanks to Jessi Blakely for second shooting.

Vendors:
Venue: The Little Herb House   //   Catering: The Humble Pig   //   Cake: Sugar Euphoria   //   DJ: Joe Bunn DJ Co. (Mitch)

Family vacation | The Great Smoky Mountain National Park. North Carolina and Tennesse

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Day ONE

We headed out to The Great Smoky Mountain National Park on my husband's birthday. A great way to celebrate a birthday, if you ask me. The girls were so excited. They were thrilled to be going camping in the mountains for a few days. THRILLED! Especially, once we actually made it into the park because it was just gorgeous. All those rolling mountains and landscapes that seem to go on forever. We made it to the Smokemont Campground on the first day and took a little hike from there. A 3/4 mile loop right off of our campsite. Cool little bridges, a beautiful creek, and all sorts of pretty everywhere. 

Day TWO

We packed up our gear and headed to the Elkmont Campground with a quick stop at Clingman's Dome. This is the highest peak in the park and we were excited for the views. Unfortunately/fortunately it was foggy and sprinkly, but still stunning with all that pretty hazy light.  We have never been to the Smokies before and wanted to see which part we liked the best. This was great because there was a creek right behind our tent and we got to listen to the rushing water all night and the girls got to play in the water and, again, gorgeous. 

Day THREE

We left the Elkmont Campround and headed towards Cosby, but on the way we had to stop and surprise the girls with horseback riding. It is one of my favorite childhood memories and the girls needed that one too. 

After that, we hiked the mountain to Grotto Falls. It was gorgeous and well worth the walk. I love waterfalls. LOVE. They bring me such a calm joy that makes me so contently happy. 

note: I didn't bring a tripod on this trip and tried to handhold to blur the water. This was at 1/10th of a second on my knees. I couldn't go slower than that. Bah.

Day FOUR

We headed over to the Catalooche Campground via a windy dirt road. It took a while. This place may be the most remote in the whole park. It was well worth the drive. It was just gorgeous. The girls were thrilled to find a swimming hole with a rope swing. We spent most of the day right there in the freezing river. Then we played bocce ball and Greg and I kicked the girl's butts. 17-6. It was awesome because they were talking to much trash. 
And yes, I did make everyone stop what they were doing to pose for family photos. 

and then we went home and the kids ate the most giant plate of pancakes ever.

Also, I wish I could go on vacations with people and document all their adventures. Why isn't this a thing? This should be a thing, because it would be awesome.

Megan & John: Family | Chataqua State Park. Boulder, CO

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I first met Megan and John right before we moved from Colorado to North Carolina. They booked me for a couples session and we met up in Fort Collins, about a week or two before we left the state. When I went back for a wedding in Colorado last month, I got to meet up with Megan and John while I was out there and catch up and see the newest addition to their family. It was so great to see Megan and John, super happy as new parents with their new Love Glow. I swear, their smiles were bigger this time around. I was also thrilled because Megan and John were willing to cater to my whims and venture up to the mountains (okay, foothills). Win-Win! I miss mountains living out here in the Piedmont of North Carolina and I have always wanted to explore the Flatirons. They were always so close, yet I never went. It was gorgeous and the light was just golden and spectacular!