Scotland on Film | Part 1 - Glasgow + Edinburgh | Wedding Photographer

[Personal] Honeymoon to Scotland on Film | Glasgow, Edinburgh, Loch Ness, & Isle of Skye | Part 1

I've always wanted to go to Scotland.  I imagined myself roaming the moors with my pocket sized Jane Eyre tucked in my coat, next to my heart.  I imagined how the rain would feel as it hit my face, pressing on, climbing up the next hill to find... something.  Something beautiful and soul crushing.  Something melancholy and breathtaking.  I knew that my spirit would dance and sing in this landscape.

I was supposed to be in Australia with Chris (my husband).  He was going to be there for three weeks for work and the plan was that I would come at the end.  We'd meet in Brisbane, rent a car, and drive along the Gold Coast together - like a second honeymoon.  I bought the ticket for my flight, started making plans to not get eaten by sharks and kicked in the face by kangaroos, and the kids made plans to go to their grandparents' house for two whole weeks.  Then, Chris came home and said the dates for his trip had changed.  Instant bummer.

I had already purchased the very expensive flight without the option of getting a full refund and the kids were so excited to go to their grandparents (and the grandparents equally,  if not more excited).  It seemed rather lame to drop them off for two weeks alone back home and lose money on the flight, so I decided I'd still leave to go somewhere.

And then I was left with the choice of where to go.  I could - 1. Go to Australia alone.  Do this second honeymoon thing by myself, which seemed not very romantic and maybe slightly dangerous considering all the poisonous and scary things that these nature/wildlife documentaries say live there,  2.  Go to Australia but then hop a flight to New Zealand for just a couple hundred dollars more.  I've always wanted to find The Shire and return the ring to Mordor, but without a Sam, I probably wouldn't make it or 3. I could go exchange my very expensive ticket and go to either Isle of Skye or Barcelona.

I wrestled with this for a bit, but as I was 6 weeks out from the date of departure and don't have a Sam or time to research what a proper Australian snake bite kit might entail, I had to make my decision quickly.  I decided on option 3 - and since I'd be there in July (and I don't enjoy heat very much) and a few weeks isn't much time to learn another language, I changed my ticket to fly into Glasgow.

So then, which cameras to bring with me?  I had purchased a Pentax 645n** in the Fall, so that and my trusty Olympus 35mm that I purchased at a thrift store for $25 (with a big ziplock back of film) became my travel partners and most of my trip was captured on Portra 400 film (35mm + 120mm).

**I've since sold my Pentax 645 and miss it terribly looking through these photos.

 

Glasgow

I got very little sleep on the flight to Glasgow from JFK.  The airport in Glasgow was empty - no shops in the terminal on the way out.  It felt like no was there.  The bus wasn't where the signs said it would be and once on the bus, it didn't make my scheduled stop.  I suppose that afforded me a bit of time to walk around on the way to finding the train station I should have been at.  I went to George Square and saw a large statue of Sir Walter Scott.  The pigeons were plentiful, several seemed to think it was a game to see how closely they could fly to my head without hitting me.  Queen Street Station was right at the square, conveniently.  It's a small glass covered station.  I purchased a ticket to Edinburgh and stood around until I realized there was already a train to Edinburgh waiting.

Once on the train, passing through the countryside, I realized a bit how lost I felt.  I had left all of my travel planning notes behind by accident with only sketchy memories of the plans I had made a couple weeks before.  Several people within view had chosen seats with outlets so that they could plug their phones in.  Mine wasn't dead, but it was rather useless.  I was back to the days when not so long ago I followed maps to get to where I was going.  Except that I didn't have a map at the moment either, so back to relying on my memory again.  I kept telling myself that as long as I could get to my first Airbnb, I would be fine.

Edinburgh

It was mostly fine, getting off the train and finding my way to Tron Square where my Airbnb was located.  I got a bit turned around since some of the streets didn't meet up where I thought that they would.  It reminded me of our honeymoon in Rome, the streets curving around and never taking you to where you thought they should.

Most of these photos are a bit out of order and seeing as how this was all a year ago and I have no one else to remind me of the goings on of that trip - I'll have to refer to my travel journal where I kept maps, notes, day entries, and film log.

7/18, 8:00pm -
I found Edinburgh Castle and a burrito bowl in Greenmarket Square.  I almost got hit by a taxi crossing the street.  Someone stalled their car out in the square where I was earlier.  I think that will be me on Friday when I get my rental car.  I am regretting the decision to get the car in the city.
It felt like it took forever to get to my Airbnb.  Will - the host - is so nice.  He mad eme a sandwich when I arrived.  After taking my shoes off and devouring the sandwich, I took a shower and a 90 min nap.  Best shower.  Best nap.
There are couples and families everywhere.  There's a daycare behind the apartment building that I'm staying in.  All the signs that I should be home with my own - or they should be here with me.  Everyone appears to be a tourist in this part of the city.
The sun sets at 9:43 tonight and will rise tomorrow before 5am.
The plan is to visit Edinburgh Castle, Prince Street Gardens, and ride the Ferris Wheel there. 

Part 2 will include sunrise at Arthur's Seat, an extinct volcano in Edinburgh, and cover my adventure out of the city to Loch Ness and the drive to Skye.

Nancy + Tom | Lands End Plantation | Herford, NC

Intimate Backyard Wedding | Lands End Plantation | Hertford, North Carolina | Virginia Beach Fine Art Documentary Photographer

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Gracious, y'all - I have been meaning to blog Nancy and Tom's gorgeous southern wedding at the incredibly quaint Lands End Plantation for months.  They came all the way from the other side of Virginia (Roanoke) to have their wedding at the relatively new venue owned and operated by friends of theirs after helping with renovations to the property to get it ready to open.

You might remember Nancy and Tom from their engagement session at McAffee's Knob.  Certainly not a hike that I'll soon forget - the two hours up the mountain in (mostly) darkness before sunrise gave us a lot of time to get to know each other and when their wedding day arrived, I felt like a close friend among their guests.

Although their wedding was intimate in number of guests, their friends and family came from all over.  Nancy’s parents came all the way from Mexico!

Their day was full of love, joy, and so many special moments, here are a few of my favorites in no particular order…

- Nancy’s dress is made by one of my favorite designers - Rue de Seine.  As my husband and I begin to plan our ten year vow renewal (coming up in 2020), this is the designer I’ll be looking towards for my gown.  You might look them up and gasp at the price tag - but for those of us who can't quite hang in that price bracket, Nancy shared a secret with me that she found her dress second hand. 
- Traditionally, the bride and groom walk back down the aisle at the end of their ceremony, but not these two!  They said their vows in front of two open doors and at the end, after their first kiss as husband and wife, Tom picked Nancy up, carried her through the threshold, and together they walked off towards their reception.
- I am always touched by the joy that radiates from the parents of my couples.  It’s an honor to walk your little girl down the aisle, especially in these modern times of non-traditional weddings.  I am an absolute believer that the meaning behind these traditions doesn’t have anything to do with why we do them now.  These days, a father walking his child down the aisle has nothing to do with an exchange of property - it means quite simply and beautifully that as a parent, they will walk with you - with love and support through the big and the small joys and challenges.  You could read that on Nancy’s father’s face and I’m not ashamed a bit to admit that I may have started to cry when Nancy’s mother gave her a big hug before Nancy joined Tom at the very front.
- What North Carolina wedding would be complete without BBQ?!  Yum.
- Tom had practiced dipping Nancy during their engagement session and totally nailed it!  During our portrait time together close to sunset, Tom grabbed Nancy and this time, instead of nailing the dip, he dropped her.  *insert OMG circle mouth emoji face here*  Nancy just burst out laughing immediately.  BEST.  REACTION.  EVER.
- The band.  If you’re thinking of having a live band at your wedding, I absolutely recommend you book that band and hire me.  Not enough people have live bands at their weddings these days!  It’s a great alternative to hiring a DJ (who totally play great music too) and there’s nothing like the lead singer getting everyone pumped on the dance floor.

Shoutout to Val for helping me with this wedding and managing to make her way back to Hampton Roads through the fog.  You’re the best <3

 

Deb + James | Peaks of Otter Elopement | Blue Ridge, Virginia

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Deb and James had a ceremony with family planned when they decided to take a trip to the mountains to say their vows, privately - without a minister, at Sharp Top in the Virginia Blue Ridge mountains.  The parkway was fickle with us, sprinkling rain at times and billowing in fog.  Then suddenly, it was sunny.  You really never know what you're going to get in the mountains , but these two kept an open mind and for that, they were rewarded.

Big thank you to Jessie, who accompanied me there and back.  There are a few of her shots mixed in here.

Stanek Family | Newborn Session at Home | Norfolk, VA

I don't photograph a ton of newborn sessions, but when I do, they're instantly my favorite.  Maybe partly because I'm getting so close to having another squishy babe in my own house.

My sweet friend Bethany is friends with the Stanek Family and asked me to take her place for their newborn session at home.  They were such troopers not having tons of information on what to expect from me (we met the day of their session and only texted back and forth a few times), but they were absolute naturals.  They are so taken with their first born little boy and it made my job so easy.

I dare you to look at these and not want a squishy little one for your home too. :)

Katie + Adam | Heritage Park Engagement | Blacksburg, VA | Lynchburg Wedding Photographer

Katie and Adam's engagement session was so much fun.  We were supposed to go to Wind Rock, not terribly far away from where our session ended up, but because of the snow and the roads to get there not being maintained - we had to find ourselves a new location - one that would speak to the beauty that Katie and Adam get to experience every day while they live here.

I can't believe I've never been to Blacksburg!  So many of our friends are Hokies, but since we are not and often find ourselves in the mountains going only as south as Roanoke, we had never seen the expansive beauty of Virginia Tech and how amazing the surrounding area is.  The New River comes through Virginia so close to here and the scenery was especially beautiful because of all the snow that began to fall the night before we were to arrive.

They were such troopers, even in the wind that chilled the air.  I can't wait for their wedding in Pembroke in July.

Shiela + David | Commune Neon District Wedding | Norfolk, VA | Richmond Wedding Photographer

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Farm to Table Intimate Wedding | Commune | Neon District, Norfolk, Virginia | Norfolk Fine Art Documentary Photographer

I feel like I've waited my career to book a wedding at Commune in the Neon District of Norfolk.  That's not entirely fair, since it hasn't been Commune in that building for very long, but when you're talking about farm to table food and amazing lattes, time stretches out.  I couldn't have asked for a better wedding with which to kick off the 2018 season.  Good food - good company - an amazing couple like David and Shiela - what more could you ask for?

The weather was a dream, especially for March.  You never know what the weather will do in Hampton Roads, even when you’re looking at the forecast for the day you’re in.  When they call for rain, the sun shines and when they say it’ll be cloudy you find yourself drenched in rain.  We don’t always reach the temperature they call for and sometimes we go way above.  You really never know.  March has a tendency to bring snow out of the blue.  Instead, Shiela and David were gifted clear skies and warm temperatures.  

The couple got ready at their home in a neighborhood bordering my own, with their close friends, family, and their two adorable pups.  David was busy finishing some of their reception details when I arrived - complete with a spreadsheet seating arrangement in front of him.  I don’t think I’ve seen a more detailed spreadsheet in my life - these two had it together and the details proved it.

Getting ready can often feel chaotic, running around trying to get everything done before rushing out to the next thing.  It’s the excitement and anticipation buzzing about in the air giving everyone the jitters.

Shiela had told me that they were most excited about eating delicious food and dancing with their friends and family on their wedding day.  Every bit of the day was about having a good time with those closest to them, many of which traveled from quite a distance to be present.  As a military couple, you’re often moving around and not incredibly close (geographically) to family and friends so it’s quite the event when everyone that you care for and love the most comes together in the same room to share a meal, party together, and celebrate this moment.  I’m not sure if the two of them stopped smiling all day.

A semi-secret detail is that the sword that David is wearing belonged to his father and his grandfather before him.  Quite an honor to have such an heirloom by your side on such an important day and a perfect way to remember people so special to you.

Commune didn’t disappoint - the food was outstanding as always but the cupcakes were divine.  I know where I’ll be ordering my next birthday cake!

This was the first wedding that Andrea, my awesome intern this year, has attended.  There’s a couple of her images thrown into this mix.

Ceremony/ Reception Venue/ Caterer : Commune
First Look/ Family Formal Location : The Hermitage Museum & Gardens
Dress : David's Bridal
DJ : Astro Entertainment