Cynthia Viola Photography

The Painter Family - Home Session

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.
— Audrey Hepburn
Charlotte Lifestyle Session

These beautiful ones have been dancing in front of my lens for several years now, it's been so amazing watching their little family grow. If Dylan is not just the cutest little thing with her bright smile and bouncy ponytail, I don't know who is. 

Courtney wanted to do a home session this round and I thought that was an awesome idea as they have just moved to Charlotte and bought such a beautiful and well lit home new home! Just like their home in Raleigh, it felt so comfortable when I walked in and it was the perfect setting for a morning filled with giggles.

Backyard Family Photos
Backyard Family Photos

Even though the whole neighborhood is under construction right now, we were able to sneak in some backyard and streetside photos as well. Little Dylan loves to ride her scooter up and down the street. 

Backyard Family Photos
Backyard Family Photos
Backyard Family Photos
Backyard Family Photos

Grandma was visiting, so of course we couldn't resist a few snuggles. 

Home session

Dylan absolutely looooooves her piano and insisted on showing me what she's learned so far! We had so much fun!

Rose Garden Family Portraits | Rafidi Family

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
We do not remember days, we remember moments
— Cesare Pavese
family of 4 at the raleigh rose garden

Engagement, wedding, maternity, and now two kiddos and 5 years later these two are still deeply in love and crazy about their incredible girls. We had plenty of time to catch up as little Grace led us around The Raleigh Rose Garden seeking the best rose and the coolest hiding places.

Johnny said his favorite thing about two girls is that they really love each other. Next, Hannah asked Grace who her best friend was and without hesitation she said Zoe. Apparently they love to fall asleep next to each other and wake up giggling. I love that SO much! Siblings are the very best!

The garden was of course, still beautiful, with or without the fall sunshine, still vibrant and filled with flowers! I hope you guys enjoy a few of these images from this afternoon!

1 year old
3 year old exploring
family of 4 at the raleigh rose garden

Ward Family at Home

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.
— Maya Angelou
Backyard Family Portraits

Oh my goodness these cutie pies are SO much fun to photograph! Always with huge smiles on their faces and words of encouragement and kindness on their lips. It's hard to believe we've been friends for so many years now. I absolutely LOVE these two little ones and Emi's expressions on this shoot are to die for! 

Backyard Family Portraits

When Kathryn told me little Emi was catching a cold we debated postponing the shoot but she suggested using their backyard instead of a park in case we needed to take her in real quick and of course it worked like a charm! They have a super cute little neighborhood so we were able to include the kiddos AND Gnarles their incredible pup...who is a pretty big fan of kisses ;) 

Backyard Family Portraits

Sloane, as always, was a gem, and more than willing to accept all of Gnarles' kisses! 

Backyard Family Portraits
Backyard Family Portraits
Backyard Family Portraits
Backyard Family Portraits

Pullen Park Family Photo Session | Veraolivero Family

Family Portraits, Senior PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Not everyone is meant to make a difference. But for me, the choice to lead an ordinary life is no longer an option.
— Peter Parker

Considering Alex sported a Spider Man graphic tee at the end of the session, I figured a Peter Parker quote would be acceptable. ;) 

Senior Session at Pullen Park

I had a blast with these guys last night! Alex is graduating this year so this was technically a senior session, but it's so much better when the whole family is involved! Having Joey tease him in the background and asking him questions about crushes and his future brought out his natural modeling skills. Then Joey stepped in showing they were BOTH naturals! Love it! 

Elizabeth and Roscari were no different, everyone came prepared to have a great time and there was plenty of joy to go around. The weather at Pullen Park was amazing allowing us to walk all over the park, and Elizabeth was the hero of the day walking the entire park and climbing hills and train tracks in her heels! She kept skewering a few leaves which always made the boys laugh, we had so much fun! Here's a few images from the day!

lgbtq family photos
Pullen Park Senior Session
Pullen Park Senior Session
Senior portraits pullen park
lgbtq family photos
Pullen park senior session
Pullen Park Senior Session
lgbtq family photos

Mommy and Me Session | Jessica and Eden

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime full of adventures
— Lewis Carroll
Fall at Lake Johnson

When Jessica told me she wasn't interested in any posed photos, that she just wanted someone to follow her around as she and Eden did what they always do - adventure through the world - I knew we'd be a perfect fit. 

I've been able to get to know Jess over the past few months at Iron Tribe and I love watching not only how she interacts with Eden, but how she leads by example what it means to be strong, adventurous, and confident. She treats her like an adult which I love, she talks to her calmly when she gets fussy, and she explains things carefully, never tiring of her questions and always just as excited about the 20th leave or pine cone or tree as she was the first. 

They make a great team and it was so fun watching them play at Lake Johnson. Can't wait for our camping trip next week you guys!! 

Fall at Lake Johnson Park
Fall at Lake Johnson Park
Fall at Lake Johnson Park
Fall at Lake Johnson Park
Fall at Lake Johnson Park

No tree was too high or path too overgrown for Eden, she just jumped right into it, fully expecting her momma to be right behind her... and she always was. 

Fall at Lake Johnson Park

Barclay Villa Wedding | Jenelle + Billy

Wedding PhotographyCynthia Viola2 Comments
Take my hand, take a breath
Pull me close and take one step
— Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens
Barclay Villa, Angier NC

You guys! This was a fairytale wedding for the history books, complete with Princess and Castle! Billy even proposed to Jenelle in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland, CA!

When we first met, Jenelle shared some stories about their relationship and how she really loves all things Disney. She said she used to keep the High School Musical Soundtrack in her car and whenever Billy would drive it, he would cue the CD to play "Can I have this Dance" for the next time she got in because it was her favorite. How sweet is that?!?! Oh my goodness what a keeper!! 

Disney Princess Themed Wedding

Also, Billy told Jenelle that the song that played in his head when he was getting up the nerve to kiss her for the first time was "Kiss the Girl" from the Little Mermaid. First of all, that a song was even playing in his head is adorable, but that it was a disney song to match her style just gives me ALLL the feels! I love that he just steps right into her fairytale and owns his role as Prince Charming! Jenelle actually surprised HIM by having the DJ play the song during the ceremony's first kiss as well! SO fun! 

 During the ceremony they did a "hand-fastening ceremony" and the mother of the bride made the intricate cord that was wrapped around their hands while they "tied the knot," she also helped put together the bouquets! Everyone was so gracious and welcoming all weekend. So many guests flew in from California and other places across the country, and all of them had stories to tell and so much love to give to Jenelle and Billy. Everyone was laughing and crying as the beautiful toasts were shared and completely in awe as they floated across the dance floor in complete Beauty and the Beast flair!

It was such an honor to be a part of your big day you guys! I loved every little detail and especially the way you interacted together! Never more than a few steps away from each other and always with a smile on your face! I hope you enjoy reliving it through the images!

Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding

Billy had a note waiting for her when she entered the bridal suite titled "To the love of my life." Such a charmer!

Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Wedding Rings
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding

Barclay Villa has a beautiful balcony above the ceremony garden where the bride can present herself like a princess before coming down the aisle. You could hear everyone's breath catch as Jenelle stepped out, just like Cinderella at the ball. 

Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding

Right after she smashed cake in Billy's face, she said she'd been waiting to do that for ten years! Haha! 

Disney Princess Themed Wedding
Disney Princess Themed Wedding

They were having so much fun they *might have ran through the sparklers twice! Love it! What an incredible day you guys! And a beautiful start to your life together :)

Disney Princess Themed Wedding

 

The Vendors who made the day possible:

Photography: Cynthia Viola

Venue: Barclay Villa

Wedding Coordinator & Florist: In Your Dreams by Drema

Bride's Gown: David's Bridal

Groom's Attire: Men's Warehouse

Bride's Ring: Verragio

Groom's Ring: Christian Bauer

Bride's Perfume: Sephora Disney Collection "So This Is Love"

Groom's Cologne: Giorgio Armani- Acqua Di Gio

Hair & Make-up: Katie Winslow

Officiant: Tyler Koch

DJ: JD with Anything Music 

Ballroom Dancing Lessons: Fred Astaire Dance Studio

Videographer: Nathan Head

Catering: Unforgettable Food Affairs

Cake Baker: Sweet Traditions

Linen/Chair/Tent Services: CE Rental

Getaway Car: All About U Limousine Service

Invitations: Indian Wedding Cards

Charlotte Family Portraits | The Mayhews

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
Tree Farm family portraits

Somewhere in the middle of rural Carolina lies a magical hidden forest where chipmunks busily prepare for winter, pine needles fall gently to the ground and if you wait patiently and are pure of heart, you'll be greeted by the enchanted fairy princess. 

Ok... so maybe that's not *exactly how it went down, but I feel like I found the childhood equivalent of a speakeasy. You have to drive past it three times, whisper the secret password to the fairy sitting on the mushroom at the entrance and then be transported to a magical land.

When Brentlee said she found a gorgeous tree farm as she was scrolling through Instagram but didn't know the exact location...just somewhere in a little town off a rural road... I could just taste the adventure! I got out to the general area an hour early and just started driving slowly down all the roads, pulling over and checking out areas that looked promising until I saw a tiny hidden sign that looked like it might actually be the place. I was not disappointed. 

After hiking through the brush a few yards it opened up to this incredible dream land and I felt like skipping! (ok maybe I did a little) It was incredible and when I confirmed with them where to find my car we were off on our adventure!

 Thank you so much guys for suggesting this and being willing to hike a little to make it happen!

Tree Farm family portraits
Tree Farm family portraits
Tree Farm family portraits
Tree Farm family portraits
Tree Farm family portraits
Tree Farm family portraits
Tree Farm family portraits
Tree Farm family portraits
Tree Farm family portraits

Extended Family Session | The Coles

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass...It’s about learning to dance in the rain
— Vivian Greene
Extended Family Session, Boone NC

I'll never forget arriving to shoot Amy and Kevin's wedding several years ago with storm clouds looming on the horizon and Cathy walking up to everyone she saw, giving them a bear hug and repeating this quote.

Cathy is one of those people who arrive with such a force of joy and compassion that before you know it she has become a lifelong friend. I've worked with hundreds of families over the years and of course I love them all, but there are some that I get to spend time with across multiple weddings and other celebrations, like the Coles, and for that reason they become a part of my own extended family. 

Extended Family Session, Boone NC

This epic gathering of all the kids and grandkids (except Holly!! Miss you!) was filled with every emotion in the book. The kids live all across the country so getting them in one location at the same time is no easy feat. In fact we had precisely a 30 minute window when everyone could be there at the exact same time so we hustled to make the large group portrait happen in exactly that time frame while playing with the rest of the portraits before and after.

Tears of joy were in full swing as everyone hugged and made jokes, drank bourbon hot chocolates, roasted marshmallows and chased around the kiddos. There were other tears as well; as we thought back through all the joyful celebrations and difficult hospital stays, tears of gratefulness for a life well lived and sorrow for a hopeful yet uncertain future. It's situations like this that have me just bawling behind this computer screen as I type. I love these guys so much and it's so hard to watch them in pain. Fortunately they all have a grand view of the world so the positivity abounded. 

Cathy and Dayton's relationship is one for the history books...they have provided such an incredible legacy for their children. One overflowing with love, acceptance, determination and unadulterated joy. I am so grateful for every moment I get to spend with them and overwhelmed with the incredible gift the artist's life affords: to be able to be so close to so many families and feel my heart explode with love as they welcome me with open arms into their homes over and over again. Thank you for all the hugs yesterday guys! Miss you already!

Extended Family Session, Boone NC
Extended Family Session, Boone NC

If you look close, you'll see the snow falling!

Extended Family Session, Boone NC
Extended Family Session, Boone NC
Extended Family Session, Boone NC
Extended Family Session, Boone NC
Extended Family Session, Boone NC

Adam created a low salt version of his famous almonds to accommodate Dayton's dietary needs. They were well received :)

Extended Family Session, Boone NC
Extended Family Session, Boone NC
Extended Family Session, Boone NC

Basically everyone knows by now that smore's, bourbon and cigars are like my three favorite things. That and the community that typically surrounds all three. Love that the kiddos got to participate in this joy first hand. (well, at least the marshmallow part) ;)

Extended Family Session, Boone NC
Extended Family Session, Boone NC
Extended Family Session, Boone NC

Even the littlest one made his appearance just in time for the celebration. It's so exciting watching your family continue to grow Cathy and Datyon!  

Pullen Park Anniversary Session | Caity and Al

Anniversary PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies
— Aristotle
Maternity Photos

I was SO excited to catch up with Caity and Al this morning at Pullen Park! They've had such a busy year building a new home and getting ready to welcome a new little into the world! It seems like just last week we were walking around Eno River for their engagements and yesterday downtown for their beautiful wedding. Cannot believe it's been a whole year!

There's just something about anniversary sessions though. At an engagement shoot you're nervous and excited. You're not real sure about making out in a public park, but you're head over heels for each other so you do it anyway. Then the wedding day comes and you're just as excited but there's a timeline to be mindful of and guests you haven't seen in years to greet and it all goes by so fast you barely noticed you even had a few moments to spend together. Then there's an anniversary session. 

At this point you've just spent the last year doing life together. Some things were amazing, some things went wrong and you worked though it and on the other side you have a better understanding of each other, and your love is deeper. So it's at this point behind the lens that you can just breathe each other in, savor the last incredible year and enjoy each others continued presence in your life. Thanks for a great session today guys! So excited for this next season and can't wait to come back up in January to meet little Dylan!

Anniversary Photos
Maternity Photos
Anniversary Photos
Maternity Photos
Anniversary Photos
Anniversary Photos

When you have the opportunity to really consider all you've been through, it can be overwhelming. Caity had me all teary eyed behind the lens! I just love these guys. 

Maternity Photos
Anniversary Photos
Anniversary Photos

Joyner Park Family Portraits | The Peabody's

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
There is no way to happiness - happiness is the way.
— Thich Nhat Hanh
Family of Five

It's so fun having the opportunity to watch families grow, and cheer each other on. I had the opportunity to photograph these cuties a couple years ago and Abbey's senior portraits earlier this year. They are so supportive of each others dreams and goals. They're about to send Abbey off to college and little Hadley is preparing to perform on Who's got Talent with her impressive gymnastic and contortionist skills. They all just love each other so much, it made me so happy to capture them together. 

We could not get over how gorgeous it was this afternoon at Joyner Park, the October air was cool and crisp yet the sun provided that incredible glow through the changing trees. I hope you enjoy a few of these images from our session! 

Family of Five
Family of Five
Daddy Daughter
Family of Five
Family of Five
Family of Five

 

 

River Ridge Golf Club Wedding | Anna + Anthony

Wedding PhotographyCynthia Viola2 Comments
Happiness, not in another place, but this place. Not for another hour, but this hour
— Walt Whitman
Golf Course Wedding

I'm not sure I've ever met a couple with more adorable smiles. These two are both always so happy and then when they see each other they light up just that much more, it's absolutely precious. I knew today was going to be a great day the moment I saw them interact together at their engagement session. Once one of them would start giggling then the other would start and the smiles never left their faces. 

We got rained out of their engagements a couple times and we were hoping that would mean the universe got it out of it's system so that the big day would be beautiful and we were not disappointed! Would you just look at those Carolina skies! The day was perfect!

River Ridge Golf Wedding
Golf Course Wedding Rehearsal
Golf Course Wedding

Unfortunately Anna's dear grandfather passed just a short time before the wedding even though he was trying very hard to make it, so they honored him by placing a piece of his flannel shirt right next to her heart. Her sister Sarah embroidered it for her. 

Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding details
Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding bridesmaids
Golf Course Wedding groomsmen
Golf Course Wedding bridesmaids
Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding bridesmaids
Golf Course Wedding

I absolutely love the unique traditions that I get to experience at every celebration. Anna's bouquet was fastened to grandmother's bible that she had carried in her wedding and also Anna's mother had carried at her wedding. When she showed it to her grandmother she said it took her right back to her own wedding day. So special.

Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding ceremony
Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding ceremony
Golf Course Wedding ceremony
Golf Course Wedding ceremony
Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding party
Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding party
Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding
Also, if you plan to use any of these images for your facebook profiles and whatnot, please download them from here (rather than taking a screen shot either here or on the blog).
Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding

They chose Old Fashioneds and Gin Tonics as their 'his and her' drinks for the evening which everyone loved!  

Golf Course Wedding
Golf Course Wedding Reception
Golf Course Wedding Reception

Everyone had a blast, dancing and singing the night away. Huge smiles on everyone's faces, especially the new Mr. and Mrs. Noone could out-dance Anna on the dance floor though. One after another everyone took turns spinning her around and singing at the top of their lungs. It was such a fun party! Thank you guys for letting us participate in your perfect day!!  

Golf Course Wedding Reception
Golf Course Wedding Reception

 

 

The Vendors who made the day possible:

Photographers - Cynthia and A.J. Viola with assistance from Brittany Sloan

Ceremony and Reception Venue - River Ridge Golf and Country Club

Coordinator - Miranda Day

Wedding Dress - Savvi Formal Wear

Bridesmaid Dresses - David's Bridal

Groom's Attire - Jos. A. Bank

Bride's Ring - Diamonds Direct

Groom's Ring - Zales

Hair and Make Up - Kristi Martinson @ WINK

Florist -Lou Ann Wollett @ Southern Petals

Officiant - Tom Latimer

Musician - Justin Morehead

DJ - Erick Berrones with PC Productions

Videographer - Kayla Spivey with Blue Sparrow Productions

Catering - The Q Shack

Cake - Publix

Linen/Chair/Tent Services - CE Rental

Get Away Car - Carolina Car Service

Invitations - David's Bridal

Arbor - Homemade Bride

Dorothy Dix Park Family Portraits | Romero Family

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart
— Helen Keller
Extended Family Photos

It gives my heart great joy when families know how to have fun together. These guys not only had fun this morning but they brought all the love with them. The kiddos wanted to make sure they had an individual photo with every family member there and were more than willing to cuddle and bear hug and be super sweet together for the photos. 

If there's any advice I can give to families before coming to a session, it's to come with an open mind and heart. We'll certainly go our best to get "proper" portraits up front but when you have the freedom to be yourselves and let the kids decide what we're going to do next, the images are so much more fun and filled with genuine smiles and laughter. 

Thanks for being awesome this morning you guys!! 

Extended Family Photos
Extended Family Photos

Little Leo loved stealing my stool every time I stepped off of it, so of course we had to snag a photo of him sitting on it for his second birthday portrait! :)

Extended Family Photos
Extended Family Photos
Extended Family Photos

Celina loves her daddy SO much. I'm pretty sure we took at least 100 images of just those two being sweet. There's just nothing better than a family that loves each other. 

Extended Family Photos
Extended Family Photos

Knightdale Station Family Portraits | Prieto Family

Family PortraitsCynthia Viola2 Comments
Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold
— Zelda Fitzgerald
sisters running

Oh my goodness, I have been photographing this incredible family since these two beautiful twins were still in their momma's belly, and have followed with all the kiddos now. It has been such a blessing to watch them grow up and see how they care for each other. Marsha and Christopher are amazing parents and their love overflows through their girls. They take such good care of little Henry and were so happy to carry him around and help him walk. 

They invited me out to their beautiful new home to capture these images and while we were surrounded by construction, we managed to sneak in a few spots that made it look like a dreamy forest instead. The girls were a little hesitant about the bugs, but once I showed them a few photos they were eager to run through the tall grass. When it came to their parents kissing for photos though, they weren't having it! Haha! Kids are so funny. 

I hope you enjoy a few of these images from our session! Thank you guys for always being such generous hosts! 

sisters
family portraits
Family of 6
mom and sisters
Family of 6
Family of 6
Family of 6
Family of 6
Family of 6

Oaks at Salem Wedding | Katrin + Ryan

Wedding PhotographyCynthia ViolaComment
Love doesn’t make the world go ‘round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile
— Franklin P. Jones
Oaks at Salem Wedding

Katrin and Ryan’s wedding was such a peaceful, laid back day! I love it when couples just go with the flow and don't let details overwhelm them. They knew they had a great team at the Oaks making everything happen so they took everything in stride and were that much more excited when they finally go to see each other!

The day started with an enchanting fog over the pond and ended in the most beautiful glowy light imaginable! Two of my favorite details from the day: the lace sown onto Katrin's dress from her mother's dress and the engraving Ryan had put into her wedding band, a phrase they say to each other often... I love ya, "to the moon and back." 

I think one of my favorite parts of the day was getting to watch Katrin interact with her sister Marissa. They are so similar and yet so different at the same time! They picked on each other, and Marissa definitely picked on Ryan, as she had been the entire engagement, but when it came to her reception speech, she poured on the love for them both. I also loved Katrin's dad’s reaction when he saw her for the first time. I could tear up just thinking about it. There were so many sweet moments that happened throughout the day!

Watching two people like Katrin and Ryan commit to loving one another for the rest of their lives is such a beautiful thing. I hope you love these two and their beautiful Oaks of Salem wedding as much as I do! Enjoy!

Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Bloomworks wedding bouquet
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding

They didn't want to see each other before the ceremony, but they did like the idea of just holding hands and being able to say "hey" and check on each other before hand. We found a perfect doorway to make that happen and they both eased each other's nerves perfectly. They were all smiles the rest of the day just knowing that the other was just as excited as they were!

Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Bloomworks wedding bouquet
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding groom
Oaks of Salem Wedding groomsmen
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding ceremony
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding bridesmaids
Oaks of Salem Wedding party
Oaks of Salem Wedding groomsmen

Oh my goodness, these guys cracked me up so much! Love it when the wedding party jumps right in and decides to play and just have fun celebrating the couple!

Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks of Salem Wedding
Oaks at Salem Wedding
Oaks at Salem Wedding
Oaks at Salem Wedding
Oaks at Salem Wedding
Oaks at Salem Wedding
Oaks at Salem Wedding
Oaks at Salem Wedding
Oaks at Salem Wedding first dance
Oaks at Salem Wedding reception
Oaks at Salem Wedding reception
Oaks at Salem Wedding reception
Oaks at Salem Wedding reception
Oaks at Salem Wedding reception
Oaks at Salem Wedding reception
Oaks at Salem Wedding reception

 

The Vendors who made the day possible:

Photography: Cynthia & A.J. Viola with assistance from Brittany Sloan

Venue/Coordinator: Veni @ The Oaks at Salem, Apex

Bride's Gown: Lana Addison Bridal

Bridesmaids Gowns: Bella Bridesmaids

Groom's Attire: The Black Tux

Florist: Bloomworks

Officiant: Jody Welker

DJ: All Events DJs

Catering: Catering Works

Cake Baker: Clarke, a bridesmaid :)

Linen/Chair Services: Party Reflections

Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas

 

Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding | Hollie + Matthew

Wedding PhotographyCynthia ViolaComment
Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own
— Robert A. Heinlein

These two blew me away with their love the moment I met them. Matthew had invited me to capture their proposal earlier this year and I knew before I even met Hollie how special this was going to be simply because of the way he talked about her: never without a smile on her face and doing everything she can to make others feel loved. 

She did not disappoint. Hollie's love for people is the very first thing you notice about her; you cannot help but be drawn to her and the way she smiles when she looks at her groom is another level entirely. Matthew is her constant and they are incredible together. 

Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding

As for this weekend, the words that permeated the day as their guests described them were humility, loyalty and love. These two are adored by everyone they know. One of their best men, Deontra, aptly compared them to peanut butter and jelly (complete with props) and said if you've had a jelly sandwich you know it's pretty good, but not quite complete. And you also know if you've had a peanut butter sandwich it's pretty good, but it's missing something. Together though, you've got one heck of a dynamic duo. Hollie and Matthew complete each other in every way. 

Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding Rehearsal
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding

Hollie wore her sister's wedding veil and Matthew's mother, Linda let her borrow her pearl earrings. 

Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding details
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding details
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding groomsmen
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding groomsmen
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding Bridesmaids
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding flower girl
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding groomsmen
Barn of Chapel Hill bride
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding groomsmen
Barn of Chapel Hill bride
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding bridesmaids
Barn of Chapel Hill father daughter first look

We didn't actually set up a father-daughter first look as we so often do but it happened to work out that when they did see each other for the first time they brought us all to tears. Hollie and Ricky have such a special relationship, the way smile at each other will melt your heart. From the rehearsal to the first look to the ceremony and first dance I was wiping away tears every time they were together! 

Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding

Matthew and Trey have known each other for several years; when he heard Trey play the sax in college he told him he wanted him to play at his wedding some day. Trey not only flew up for the wedding, but also the proposal in the park! I just adore the deep relationships both Hollie and have with everyone who participated in their big day!

Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding Ceremony

During the ceremony, in addition to sharing their first communion together as a married couple, they braided a beautiful rope to symbolize God partnering with them in their marriage to make it strong. This was another piece of the day that could not go unnoticed, they both acknowledged God first and foremost in everything they did and said. So many blessings to be grateful for. 

Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding ceremony
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding party
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding party
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding reception
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding reception
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding reception
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding reception
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding reception
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding reception
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding sparkler exit
Barn of Chapel Hill Wedding sparkler exit

You guys! I cannot thank you enough for letting us participate in your story. You overwhelmed us with your generosity and love all weekend, so grateful to count you among our friends and cannot wait to watch your love story unfold. Love you guys!

 

The vendors who made the day possible:

Photographers: Cynthia and A.J. Viola with assistance from Brittany Sloan

Venue: The Barn of Chapel Hill

Coordinator: Cheryl-Anne with Kast Events

Bride's Dress: Lana Addison Bridal

Groom's attire: Men's Warehouse

Both Rings: Jared's The Galleria of Jewelry

Hair and Makeup: Ashley Mooney

Florist: The Barn of Chapel Hill at Wild Flora Farm

Officiant: Pastor Steve Williams

DJ: DJ Kevin Timothee

Saxophonist: Trey Daniels

Pianist: Chris Moten

Videographer: David with Charis

Photobooth: ZimZoom

Catering: Empire Eats Catering

Bartending: The Kindred Team

Cake Baker: Michelle at Pink Flower Sweets and Suppers

Linens/Chair/Tent Services: CE Rental

Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas

 

Anniversaries Bring Meaning to the Ordinary

Anniversary PortraitsCynthia Viola2 Comments
The best thing to hold onto in life is each other
— Audrey Hepburn
first wedding anniversary photo shoot

I love anniversaries. (Birthdays and New Years as well) They remind us how far we have come. 

It's incredibly easy to get lost in the hubbub of life: to buy a house, get a promotion, make some babies, finish school. All of it is wonderful and fills our days with direction and our future with dreams. But I believe it's the moments we stop to take a look around that give our life meaning. 

It's great to fall in love and get married, but if you never stop to look each other in the eye, breathe each other in and savor the passing moments, you'll find yourself looking back over the past 25 or 50 years wondering how you got there. 100 nights of Netflix and Chill is fun, but it'll never replace 100 seconds of looking each other in the eye and saying "I love you, thank you for giving me the past year of your life. Let's do it again."

first wedding anniversary photo shoot

The same can be said of anything I suppose. If you don't stop to savor moments with your children at every age they'll be 30 before you know it and you'll wonder where the time went. Sunday afternoons at your parents house become a chore to check of your 'to do' list if you're running 100mph. But if you stop to listen to one of their stories, or capture of photo of them holding hands while they walk out onto the porch, the moment lasts forever and you don't have to wonder when they got so old, and why you weren't there to see it.

I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to capture a few of these "pauses" between engagement sessions, weddings, anniversaries, births and other celebrations. Witnessing others savor the moments of their lives is a constant reminder for me to do the same. 

first wedding anniversary photo shoot

Addy Miller Senior Portraits at JC Raulston Arboretum

Senior PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable
— Mary Oliver
Addy Miller Senior Portraits

Oh my goodness, I tried not to be toooo excited as I gave Addy a hug and asked her what her vision was for her session. I've technically known her family for a few years now but never had the opportunity to take her portrait. She's worked with so many different photographers in her incredible acting career I was a little intimidated. It's much easier to work with someone who's never been in front of a camera because they don't know what to expect. She has so many amazing portraits by phenomenal photographers on IMDB I was honestly shocked she asked me to do her seniors.

That said, she was incredible to work with, super professional, relaxed and didn't take herself too seriously. We talked about the same things I talk about with any senior: prom, future plans, her boyfriend Drew (who accompanied her on the shoot), and perhaps a little about her upcoming films. ;)

Addy I'm so excited for you! Both for graduation and your future, you're quite the gem, can't wait to see where the road takes you. Have SO much fun!

Addy Miller Senior Portraits
Addy Miller Senior Portraits
Addy Miller Senior Portraits
Addy Miller Senior Portraits
Addy Miller Senior Portraits

Wake Forest High School Senior | Lindsay

Senior PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless when facing them
— Rabindranath Tagore
Wake Forest High Senior Photos

Wow, it blew my mind this morning when I realized how long I have been photographing the Rifenburg family! What began as a wedding for Lindsay's aunt Colleen, turned into family portraits, then senior portraits for all three girls now, and even the totally epic holiday parties for her parents' company. These guys seriously know how to have fun and it is most evident, I think, in Lindsay's passion for race car driving. Seriously a girl after my own heart. 

Not only is she a skilled driver, she's incredibly intelligent. She'll be graduating from Wake Forest High an entire year early so she can knock out her Bachelor's and move on to her Master's Degree quickly. 

This October weather was perfect as we explored Downtown Wake Forest, her friend Rachel joined us to make the session more fun and of course we had to snag a few of the two of them together. Congratulations Lindsay, this year is going to be amazing!

Wake Forest High Senior Photos
Wake Forest High Senior Photos
Wake Forest High Senior Photos
Wake Forest High Senior Photos

Joyner Park Extended Family Photo Session

Family Portraits, Engagement PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life
— Lisa Weedn
Family of 6 Joyner Park

I've known this sweet family for years now. From various church encounters and youth group gatherings to the dance floor at several weddings to partnering with them to make BREW Coffee Bar happen in it's initial stages and now we're planning Jessica and Jeff's 2018 wedding! It's been such a fun few years!

Dan is hysterical. Whether he's offering to pay for the wedding in gold doubloons, trying to order pizza delivered to Raleigh from Viola's Restaurant in Florida, or discussing Disney Princess outfits that would be best to wear for the photoshoot, he always keeps me on my toes! 

I've I've combined Senior Sessions with Family Sessions before, but never an Engagement Session. It was so fun to see the family pick on Jessica and Jeff from behind me while I got a few romantic portraits and then again when Dan and Kathy had a turn! These guys know how to have fun, and they topped off the session with Dan's 1971 Ford LTD. So fun!

Engagement Session Joyner Park
Family of 6 Joyner Park
Family of 6 Joyner Park
Family of 6 Joyner Park
Family of 6 Joyner Park
Engagement Session Joyner Park
Engagement Session Joyner Park
Family of 6 Joyner Park
Family of 6 Joyner Park
Family of 6 Joyner Park
Family of 6 Joyner Park

Steampunk Family Photo Session with The Ritch's

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Once in awhile, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale
— Anonymous
Steampunk themed photo shoot

I know I say it every year, but I just LOVE the Ritch family! For 5 years now they have made their family photos into an event they are able to get really excited about! Even little Phoenix gets excited! Courtney comes up with a theme and gets to work on costumes and props and together we find the best location to fulfill her vision. 

This year was steampunk, though I'm sure she could also pull of gorgeous gypsy princess as well. ;) The props for steampunk are infinite and Phoenix LOVED being a pilot. Josh loves to fly him through the air and adding the goggles this time made him feel like a real fighter pilot, complete with sound effects as he shot the camera. 

I had so much fun shooting these you guys! Can't wait to see what you come up with next year!!

Steampunk themed photo shoot
Steampunk themed photo shoot
Steampunk themed photo shoot
Steampunk themed photo shoot
Steampunk themed photo shoot
Steampunk themed photo shoot
Steampunk themed photo shoot
Steampunk themed photo shoot
Steampunk themed photo shoot
Steampunk themed photo shoot
Steampunk themed photo shoot
Steampunk themed photo shoot