Cynthia Viola Photography

Engagement Portraits

Dorothea Dix Park Sunflower Field Engagement Session | Kristin and Matt

Engagement PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Love is when they give you a piece of your soul, that you never knew was missing.
— Torquato Tasso
Sunflower Field at Dix Park Engagement Session

When I saw Kristin sitting in Matt’s lap, whispering something in his ear in a quiet corner of Alexa and Landon’s wedding I had a feeling they’d be up next. When I saw their engagement post about a year later all the little butterflies in my stomach just fluttered away.

No matter how many love stories I get to witness, I’ll never get over the grandness of it all. The little moments in the quiet corners, the epic life changing ones involving a ring, and the beautiful conversations about wonderful memories shared and futures to come.

Sunflower Field at Dix Park Engagement Session

I went out to Whiskey Kitchen with these last night to get to know them a little better before our big shoot this morning at the Dix Park Sunflower Field and heard all about their beautiful adventures all over the world and how they’d dreamed one day to have their honeymoon in Hawaii. While in Savannah, he took her on a walk to a beautiful park and told her their next trip would be Hawaii…then he got down on a knee.

I just get all the good feels every time I think of it. These two complete each other in every way. They’re pretty different as far as personalities go, but they way they move together and fill in the pieces that are missing is as beautiful as it gets, they’re perfect for each other.

Sunflower Field at Dix Park Engagement Session
Sunflower Field at Dix Park Engagement Session
Sunflower Field at Dix Park Engagement Session

Thank you so much for inviting me to capture your memories you guys! I cannot wait til the big day!!

Downtown Charlotte Engagement Session | Amy and Jeff

Engagement PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.
— Wayne Dyer
Uptown Charlotte Engagement Photos

Charlotte gets extremely hot and humid in the summer months so I suggested Amy and Jeff do a sunrise session instead of sunset so that they weren’t completely melting in every photo, and boy am I glad they agreed. It was around 95-100 degrees every evening the past week but only 75-80 in the mornings! Still warm, but definitely manageable.

I remember asking them about their proposal story when we had our first conversation and they were a little shy about it, saying their proposal was not picture perfect. Apparently he was really nervous and she had had a bad day so it “just sort of happened” but it’s anti-climatic nature has given them something to laugh about for a long time, they said. I have to say that I just LOVE that they have such a great attitude about it. I knew right away we’d be a great fit because of it. The truth is, things simply don’t always go the way we plan and when we have unrealistic expectations, we are often greeted with disappointment.

We discussed this often as we had to keep adjusting the engagement session when weather and locations fell through but they maintained a great attitude the whole time. I know the big day will be a breeze. (Even though that too is up in the air, as their venue fell through recently and they’ve had to postpone!)

Uptown Charlotte Engagement Photos

They didn’t have any real specific plans for the photos, all she knew was that she wanted photos in front of this adorable confetti hearts wall downtown as well as the magic carpet mural. So of course we started there, then just explored the city. It was perfect.

Uptown Charlotte Engagement Photos

Right as we were about to move on to another location, a train passed by! I told them to jump together real quick and I’d try to catch it! They nailed it of course.

Uptown Charlotte Engagement Photos
Uptown Charlotte Engagement Photos

You guys I’m so excited I get to be a part of your big day (whenever that happens!) You are simply perfect for each other and I know we’re going to have so much fun!

Jetton Park Engagement Session | Rich and Sarah

Engagement PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting
— Paulo Coelho
Engagement photos at Jetton Park

The Charlotte Summer heat was sweltering as I walked around Jetton Park with Sarah and Rich for their engagement session Wednesday, but they were rockstars anyway. Three outfits changes and circling the park a couple times to find the best light would be too much for most people, but they powered through and we were able to finish with a bourbon just up the street as a reward.

I knew these two were going to be fun because they wanted to wear their team jerseys for some of the photos, and their baseball teams are rivals. Rich explained that the family jokingly gave Sarah a hard time for agreeing to marry him because of it. They are a great fit regardless of team preferences though.

I asked them to share their favorite moment in their relationship so far and both of them had the same favorite, their proposal in Cancun! How could you choose anything different after something so epic though?!? They were so sweet as they reminisced about it and were even able to show me photos! I can’t wait to see how they form new favorites through the years.

Engagement photos at Jetton Park
Engagement photos at Jetton Park

Luckily their college teams are in different conferences so they’re able to happily support each others’ teams at games.

Engagement photos at Jetton Park

You guys thank you so much for letting me capture this special season! Cannot wait til May!

Jetton Park Engagement Session | Sarah and Davis

Engagement PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Be foolishly in love, because love is all there is.
— Rumi
Engagement photos at Jetton Park

When Sarah told me she smiles like Chandler on Friends, I couldn’t help but laugh. This beauty couldn’t be awkward if she tried. With a big bright smile all morning she kept looking to Davis as if to ask if she was doing it right, and all he could do was give an even bigger smile in return.

These two met at UNC Charlotte and dated for a couple years before Davis surprised her with a proposal at one of her bucket list spots! Shenandoah National Park! How amazing is that?!? (If national parks are on your bucket list, we’re a perfect match by the way)

Engagement photos at Jetton Park
Engagement photos at Jetton Park

We had to reschedule a few times because the weather kept being uncooperative but it was totally worth it as yesterday morning was incredible! They rolled up bright and early and even brought me breakfast since we were getting such an early start, such a thoughtful couple!

As they were talking about their future plans I couldn’t help but smile since they’re similar to mine. Lots of dogs were involved and possibly a cat, they might have envisioned a farm, but no matter what was discussed, they were together. As they should be, a perfect match if I ever saw one.

Engagement photos at Jetton Park

You guys thank you so much for including me on this journey of yours! I cannot wait til the big day next April!!

JC Raulston Arboretum Engagement | Molly and Nick

Engagement PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Her heart was wild but I didn’t want to catch it, I wanted to run with it to set mine free
— Atticus
Engagement Photos at NC State Arboretum

There are not enough words to describe how much I adore these two. I’ve been following along with their adventures before they even knew they were in love and so many of us cheered them on as they found each other and found themselves in each other.

I feel like Molly is my little sister in many ways, we’ve been hanging out since she was in middle school, same with Nick really. And then both of their parents have been mentors to me in various capacities for years, they’re truly a match made in heaven. I was overjoyed at the thought of capturing this epic moment for them. It seriously feels like yesterday I was capturing both of their senior portraits.

We got mobbed by mosquitos as we walked through the JC Raulston Arboretum for their Engagement Portraits and I even stepped in an ant hill half way through the shoot but didn’t even care, these two are so easy to work with, we just laughed it off. I absolutely loved asking them questions about their future, because they’re dreamers like me and on that topic they could talk for hours. Hearing them plan out their future grandparent names and how cool they’d be made me giggle, but also made my heart explode. I can see that exact future for them as clear as day.

Engagement Photos at NC State Arboretum
Engagement Photos at NC State Arboretum
Engagement Photos at NC State Arboretum
Engagement Photos at NC State Arboretum

You guys I could not be happier for you. This is just the beginning of your best adventure yet!

If you enjoyed this post you might also enjoy this Arboretum Session with Addy Miller or this rainy engagement in Alpine Groves

St. George Street Engagement | Kendall and Alfred

Engagement PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Love isn’t losing yourself. Love is finding who you are in the arms of another person
— Marisa Donnelly
St. Augustine Engagement photos

You guys, I had so much fun last night! Kendall and Alfred drove down from Raleigh to have an engagement session here in St. Augustine with their sweet pup Macy and we had a blast! We had planned to start on Saint George Street and move along to the beach, but we were having so much fun there they decided to buy a couple drinks and cigars and just hang in the city. We were so glad too because one of Florida's daily rain storms rolled in when we were finishing up and we got trapped under an abandoned house's garage over-hang to stay dry!

It's always fun to walk around a crowed street and take portraits while people bustle by because it captures a moment in life that shows no matter how many things or people are trying to distract your attention, you only have eyes for your love. It's also fun because sometimes people see you being adorable and say things like "what a picture perfect moment you guys!" and you get to say, "we know!" and point out your photographer hiding in the bushes. Haha! 

They will be eloping to the gorgeous cliffs of California in March then coming back here for a Trash the Dress Session and I cannot wait!! Kendall said she doesn't let her adventurous side out much but she wants to let loose for a day and I couldn't be more happy to help her do it!

St. Augustine Engagement photos
St. Augustine Engagement photos
St. Augustine Engagement photos
St. Augustine Engagement photos

Thank you guys for letting me participate in your St. Aug adventure! Can't wait til the spring!

If you enjoyed this you might also enjoy this St. Augustine Trash the Dress Session or this St. Augustine Engagement Session

Alpine Groves Engagement | Beth and Sean

Engagement PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do rather than the ones you did
— Mark Twain
Rainy engagement shoot

It has been nothing but adventure with these two from the moment we met. Beth and Sean actually won a session with me right when I moved down here last year. I was trying to get to know new families and couples and we hit it off right away! Hurricane Irma had just swept through leaving behind scattered storms and a billion mosquitos so we got to know each other real quick as we sat in the car waiting for a particularly heavy storm to pass. (In Florida, I learned very quickly, you just wait out the storm, you rarely need to cancel the shoot).

 Their first couple photoshoot  involved dancing in the rain and this one was no different. You could say they're pros by now, but it's important to know how to take on less than pleasant situations with your love. How you handle them together will either grow your relationship or hurt it. These two don't seem to even blink when life throws crazy at them. I know they're going to be amazing together for life. 

They've been dating for 5 years, and still blush when the other gives them a compliment. I love it. We attempted to stay dry with the umbrellas at first, but eventually just let it go, there was no use. Nothing makes me happier than a couple willing to let loose and just let life happen. The images are more real and the memories lasting. After all, there's nothing memorable about a shoot where you did everything you were told, smiled when you were supposed to, and nothing went wrong. You'll end up with pretty images, but they won't tell a story. The story comes in the pouring rain and the wet feet and failed "Dirty Dancing" jump attempts. It comes in the secrets given and laughter shared.

I'm grateful for you both Sean and Beth! Can't wait til April!

Rainy engagement shoot
Engagement shoot in the rain
Engagement shoot in the rain
Engagement shoot in the rain

If you enjoyed this you might also enjoy this rainy couple session, and this one at North Beach Pier

 

Couple Portraits in Palm Coast Kalypso and Roma

Engagement PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
The world’s a roller coaster and I am not strapped in
Maybe I should hold with care, but my hands are busy in the air
— Incubus
2018-03-29_0001.jpg

Her instructions were to drive down a specific road until you saw a red bridge, park in the grass nearby and we'd figure out the rest together. I'm pretty sure that's how every adventure is supposed to start. 

There is one thing I know for sure though: Kalypso and Roma know how to have a good time. From the very early sunrise to the first silly prompting to the jungle safari, these two love birds were all in and that makes all the difference on a photo session. They were willing to try new things, be silly and just have fun together. I knew we'd become great friends before we even met. (It doesn't hurt that Kalypso is also a photographer

I'm also not the least bit surprised that one of their happiest memories together was running out of gas, walking two miles and ending up in a random state park napping in a hammock for 4 hours. That sounds like the very best kind of adventure to me: carefree, full of life and undaunted by little mishaps. 

I'm so happy to have met you both! I'm definitely hoping we can make some camping adventures happen soon, and either way, thank you for getting up extra early to make these images happen!

Palm Coast Florida couple portraits
Palm Coast Florida couple portraits
Palm Coast Florida couple portraits
Palm Coast Florida couple portraits
Palm Coast Florida couple portraits

If you enjoyed these photos you might also enjoy Beth and Sean's adventurous couple portraits or Why Sunrise is the Perfect Time for Portraits

Friendship Fountain Engagement | Chessie and Carlile

Engagement PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.
— Ann Landers
Jacksonville Skyline Engagement Photos

When you've known a person since middle school, and fallen slowly in love over the years, there's just something a little different about the relationship. It has a permanence to it that is not easily shaken and a depth that can be seen with every quiet glance or gentle touch. 

Chessie and Carlile chose Friendship Fountain in Jacksonville as their location for their sunrise portraits and I must say, it was well worth the early drive. The city, so quiet at this hour was alive with possibility. The fountain area, we found when we arrived, was actually being transformed into a festival so we had to dance around workers and dodge tents in the background but I am in love with this new location! 

These two love birds were such naturals I barely felt like I was prompting them at all, full of laughter and great stories, their smiles spoke volumes and we had so much fun exploring the park. You guys I am so excited for you and cannot wait for your Bowing Oaks Plantation Wedding in December!

Jacksonville Skyline Engagement Photos
Jacksonville Skyline Engagement Photos
Jacksonville Skyline Engagement Photos
Jacksonville Skyline Engagement Photos
Jacksonville Skyline Engagement Photos
Jacksonville Skyline Engagement Photos

Venue: Friendship Fountain

Hair: Miss.Kash

Make Up: Jafaea Patterson

If you enjoyed this post you might also enjoy Safy and Randy's Anniversary in Downtown Raleigh, or Rudi and Nick's Engagement on Beech Mountain

North Beach Family Photography | Joey, Daniella and Isabella

Family Portraits, Engagement PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared
— Buddha
Family Engagement Session

I love it when a photo session can double as both family portraits and an engagement! These two cuties met in high school and have been inseparable ever since. With little Isabella sitting up now and their June wedding fast approaching, a photo session was a must!

We had planned to shoot at Vilano because of the beautiful rocks and such but it was just too crowded so Joey said he had access to a secluded entrance to North Beach and off we went! I could not have been more excited as we pulled in. Huge Oak trees towered over the entrance with beautiful trails and a nearly empty beach with dock. Perfection.

Family Engagement Session
Family Engagement Session

From promise rings to engagement rings, and now little Isa has one too. SO precious.

Family Engagement Session
Family Engagement Session
Family Engagement Session
Family Engagement Session
Family Engagement Session

It was just so sweet watching little Isabella's toes touch the water and the sand for the first time. It's too bad it was freezing or she probably would have jumped right in! Thank you guys for letting me capture such a special moment for you! Congratulations!! 

You might also enjoy photos from these two family/engagement sessions: Jordan & Alex and Jessica and Jeffery

Engagement Session at UNC Chapel Hill | Annie and Stephen

Engagement PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
If I had my life to live again, I’d find you sooner.
— Kobi Yamada
Engagement at the Well

Watching two people like Annie and Stephen commit to loving one another for the rest of their lives is such a beautiful thing. From the very first shot yesterday they were super comfortable with each other and with whatever crazy idea I threw their way. Their smiles spoke for themselves as they shared with each other their favorite things and laughed at each other's jokes. I cannot tell you how incredible it is to get a couple in front of the camera and know instantly they are your people. (You can guess at it at the initial consult based on their personalities, but it's hard to know for sure til they're actually in front of the camera). We had so much fun walking all over UNC Chapel Hill's campus where she graduated. 

Annie and I texted back and forth all week, prepared to move the session at a moment's notice if we needed to as the weather kept changing it's mind which day it wanted to be sunny and which a total wash out. We were all prepared to dance in the rain to make it happen but were SO grateful the sun came out and made the shoot a total dream. It was amazing seeing students out on every lawn across campus soaking in every ounce of sun they could before it could hide again behind a cloud. 

You guys I had a blast! Your love flows so freely with each other, I cannot wait to spend your wedding day with you! I hope you love your engagement photos!!

Engagement at the Well
Engagement at the Well
Engagement at the Well
Engagement at the Well
Engagement at the Well

If you enjoyed this post you might also enjoy: This Chapel Hill Wedding or  Gabrielle and Baron's Engagement

Engagement Session at Lake Norman | Susan and Ron

Engagement PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade... And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.
— Ron White
Lake Norman Engagement

I cannot TELL you how excited I am to be capturing Susie and Ron's wedding in April. I was around when they first started dating a couple years ago and got to watch their love grow every month as I went to Charlotte to visit my brothers. Susie is their momma and basically mine. Together she and Ron are two of the most generous and welcoming people I've ever met. 

Susie is funny, affectionate, care free and full of life. She welcomed me into her life as a daughter from day one and I am blessed beyond measure to be able to call her anytime I need to chat about all of life's crazy moments. Ron is one of the hardest workers I've ever met, but he also loves to have a good time and be surrounded by his friends. In the few years I've known him he has opened his home to soooo many people who were in a tight spot and needed shelter for a season, he has the biggest heart their is, though he loves to mask it with his incredible sense of humor. Ron can take the worst of situations, turn it into a joke and make everyone more comfortable, it blows my mind. 

They are truly perfect for each other and I am SO honored that I get to participate in this next grand adventure! 

Lake Norman Engagement
Lake Norman Engagement
Lake Norman Engagement
Lake Norman Engagement

 

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy Matthew and Hollie's Proposal or Rudi and Nick's Engagement.

Engagement Session at Ravine Gardens | Kristin and Emerson

Engagement PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
When you meet the one who changes the way your heart beats, dance with them to that rhythm for as long as the song lasts
— Kirk Dietrich
Engagement Photos at Ravine Gardens

So Kristin is basically my sister. We met a couple years ago when my brother and sister in law were getting married (her sister) and became fast friends as we helped set up the wedding. And Emerson too! He is a ninja with wood work and all things handy, the wedding just wouldn't have happened on time without him. I'm pretty sure Kristin and Emerson were the only ones on the dance floor more than AJ and I as well, and they were fantastic! I love watching people who love to dance. So obviously we had to incorporate that into today's session a bit. ;)

We had never been to Ravine Gardens State Park before but it looked so beautiful online it seemed like a great place to check out. We were not disappointed. Gorgeous Spanish moss, bamboo, bridges, rock walls, and we barely even got past the main entrance! Can't wait to explore the whole thing. 

The season of engagement is so so fast. You spend the whole thing planning the big day and it can be easy to forget to plan for your marriage and also to just step back and enjoy this sweet time. Engagement sessions are my favorite way to give couples the opportunity to love on each other, laugh, play and tell each other what they are most looking forward to in marriage and what they love most about each other.

Watching Emerson and Kristin share their whispers and giggles made me smile every time. I SO loved exploring this new park with you both! Congratulations on your engagement! 

Engagement Photos at Ravine Gardens
Engagement Photos at Ravine Gardens
Engagement Photos at Ravine Gardens
Engagement Photos at Ravine Gardens
Engagement Photos at Ravine Gardens
Engagement Photos at Ravine Gardens

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy Beth and Sean's couple session or Anna and Anthony's engagement. 

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

Washington Oaks Park Couple Session | Beth + Sean

Engagement PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade... And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.
— Ron White
Washington Oaks Engagement Session

I knew we were a perfect match when the pouring rain didn't cause Beth and Sean to pause for even a second. They asked, "If we could keep your camera dry could we just shoot in the rain?" Ummm, yes please! Luckily it faded to a drizzle, but I absolutely adore adventurous couples and these two did not disappoint. It rained the entire session and they did were not phased at all. The Hurricane Irma induced mosquitos that insisted on finding ways around the layers and layers of bug repellant were no match for their determination to just have fun. Makes me so happy :)

They have been dating for 4 years now and were experts on picking on each other and making each other laugh. When I told them to reenact their first dance (from the wedding they met at) they didn't pretend it was ballroom dancing, they immediately threw their arms up in the air as if Kanye had just dropped a beat. You just have to love people who don't take themselves too seriously. 

You guys I had SO much fun! Thank you for battling the bugs like proper ninjas and dancing in the rain with me!

Washington Oaks Engagement Session
Washington Oaks Engagement Session
Washington Oaks Engagement Session
Washington Oaks Engagement Session
Washington Oaks Engagement Session
Washington Oaks Engagement Session
Washington Oaks Engagement Session
Washington Oaks Engagement Session

Downtown St. Augustine Engagement Session | Gabby + Baron

Engagement PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Ximendez-Fatio House Engagement Session

Oh my goodness, I love that these two met while they were serving as missionaries together. Due to Gabrielle's hint of shyness and the general nature of the trip it took them some time to really get acquainted, but once they did they were hooked. Now here they are planning their future together (with their lovable pets) and building dreams of more trips and owning a home together. 

They took me to their gorgeous wedding venue, Ximendez-Fatio House for photos and we had the added bonus of the sunrise over the water just down the adorable cobblestone street. St. Augustine has a plethora of hidden gems around every corner making it an incredible place to shoot. 

I'm having such a hard time choosing these images you guys! Can't wait for you to see the full gallery! 

Downtown St Augustine Engagement Session
Ximendez-Fatio House Engagement Session
Downtown St Augustine Engagement Session
Ximendez-Fatio House Engagement Session
Ximendez-Fatio House Engagement Session
Ximendez-Fatio House Engagement Session
Downtown St Augustine Engagement Photos
Ximendez-Fatio House Engagement Session

Vilano Beach Engagement Session | Heather + Kyle

Engagement PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Love has nothing to do with what you’re expecting to get – only what you’re expecting to give – which is everything
— Katharine Hepburn
Vilano Beach Engagement Session

I'm so excited I finally got to meet these two cuties who won the giveaway last month! Heather said she had never won anything so it's super fun they were able to squeeze in an engagement session just nineteen days before their big day! 

When Hurricane Irma took out a good chunk of Vilano Beach and the homes lining it's shores, we weren't sure we were going to be able to meet there for our session (or that they would be able to hold their wedding ceremony there) but Irma cut us some slack and left just enough of the beach around its famous rocks and we were able to have a beautiful session. 

I couldn't be more excited for you guys!! Congratulations again!

 

Vilano Beach Engagement Session
Vilano Beach Engagement Session
Vilano Beach Engagement Session
Vilano Beach Engagement Session
Vilano Beach Engagement Session
Vilano Beach Engagement Session
Vilano Beach Engagement Session
Vilano Beach Engagement Session
Vilano Beach Engagement Session

Amy and Owen Engaged at NCMA

Engagement PortraitsCynthia Viola2 Comments
We loved with a love that was more than love
— Edgar Allan Poe
NC Museum of Art Engagement Session

Amy and Owen were a dream to work with. Not every couple is excited about the idea of making out in the bushes of a public park; it can take some time to get warmed up to the idea even if you are madly in love, but these two were naturals right away. They were so in sync, most of the time I felt like I was working with just one person. From their excellent verbal communication to body language and subtle looks, they knew just how to blend right into each other. 

The NC Art Museum was a perfect backdrop not just for it's beauty but for it's connection to their story. Long walks here in their early days was a seed for their love to grow and I love that they included it in their engagement session. 

NC Museum of Art Engagement Session
NC Museum of Art Engagement Session
NC Museum of Art Engagement Session
NC Museum of Art Engagement Session
NC Museum of Art Engagement Session
NC Museum of Art Engagement Session
NC Museum of Art Engagement Session

For their save the dates they used a selfie taken in front of the famous rings on the museum grounds; It was a special moment for them because it was the first time they declared their love for each other. They wanted to recreate the image on this session which I thought was super powerful, because an engagement is nothing if not a declaration to the world that you love this one the most. 

NC Museum of Art Engagement Session
NC Museum of Art Engagement Session
NC Museum of Art Engagement Session
NC Museum of Art Engagement Session
NC Museum of Art Engagement Session

Toward the end of the session we were quite literally chasing daylight. The Art Museum's grounds are quite large and walking from one area to the next can take a surprising amount of time. We kept having so much fun in one spot we'd forget we needed to move on in order to fit it all in! Oops! No worries though, these two were beautiful in front of every backdrop, and I cannot wait to explore Downtown Raleigh with them on the big day! 

NC Museum of Art Engagement Session

I had so much fun you guys!! Thank you for everything!

Pullen Park Engagement | Anna and Anthony

Engagement PortraitsCynthia Viola2 Comments
Once in awhile, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale
— Anonymous
Engagement session Raleigh NC

You guys I am so in love with these two cuties! Oh my goodness. Anna and Anthony are two of the SWEETEST people you will ever meet! They met at NC State while studying accounting and are generally a little quiet I would say, but you get them talking about how much they love each other and their dreams for the future together - they light right up. Would you just look at these smiles! 

Engagement session Raleigh NC

Seriously though...

When you've found the one your heart loves it really doesn't matter what you do, so long as you're together. These two totally rocked their engagement session and I am ecstatic about their River Ridge wedding this October! We had to postpone a couple times due to rain but Pullen Park was just perfect this time, and we're hoping all that previous rain was to ensure it won't be raining in October ;)

Thank you Anna and Anthony! I had so much fun adventuring with you, totally worth the wait!! 

6 Tips for Rocking your First Couple’s Photoshoot

Engagement PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love.
— Robert Fulghum

I lit up like a summer lightening bug when I saw that Safy had made a blog post about our photo session together! They were simply one of the best couples I've ever worked with and quickly became friends I know we'll hang out with again soon. We all have similar adventuring passions and love to try new things. We've even been texting back and forth ever since checking to see if the other has tried each new place we love (Like Sir Walter Coffee!) 

When I saw that she had posted the blog to help other couples know how to prep for their own sessions I immediately asked if I could use it as a guest blog post, she has such great advice! So without further ado, here's Burly and Puff's 6 tips for Rocking Your First Couple's Photoshoot

 

Burly and Puff

You and bae have signed up for a couple’s photoshoot. Now what? You’ve got the outfit and the posing to worry about. Need some help? Look no further! Here are 6 tips to help you rock your first couple’s photoshoot.

Burly and Puff

In the month of March, I had this crazy streak of luck. I won $2 in the North Carolina Lottery. Chickfila gave me three extra nuggets during lunch one time. I also won a free couple’s photoshoot through an Instagram giveaway for a local photographer!

This was a huge deal for Randy and me. When we got engaged, no photoshoot. We didn’t have a wedding so we didn’t think a wedding photoshoot was necessary. Winning this photoshoot was amazing! We were so happy to have our own set of super cute photos. With this being our very first photoshoot as a couple (and Randy’s first photoshoot ever) we were a little nervous about the process. What do we wear? Will we be hella awkward? You know… normal fears.

The day came and we ended up rocking our shoot! The weather was beautiful. Our photographer was the bomb. Our outfits photographed well. Everything just seemed to fall into place. After going through this experience, I want to share 6 tips for rocking your first couple’s photoshoot.

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1. Build a Relationship with your Photographer

This is really key in shaking away the jitters of your first couple’s photoshoot. Our photographer was Cynthia Viola and she was AH-MAY-ZING. After we won our photoshoot she reached out to us, gave us her contact information, her helpful tips, etc. Leading up to our shoot she sent us friendly reminders and was always there if we had questions. When we met her on the day of our photoshoot, it felt like we already knew her and that she knew us. That in itself made us feel more comfortable.

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2. Research Couple’s Photoshoot Poses, Don’t Practice

Google and Instagram are great resources! The key to looking natural is to let the poses flow. If you practice the poses before your couple’s photoshoot, you may just go through the poses and your photos will look too posed and stiff. By researching your poses you can at least get some ideas of what to do. A lot of my favorite photos were captured in between the poses we tried out.

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3. Mind the Weather

This goes for those of you doing outside shoots. When we scheduled our shoot it was supposed to be a warm and sunny Saturday morning. When we checked the forecast a day or two before, turns out the weather changed drastically. FREEZING AND FOGGY. That was where #1 came in. Cynthia messaged me and asked if we wanted to reschedule. If your photographer doesn’t ask you, don’t hesitate to ask them. Being too cold or too hot will show on your face and in your body language.

There is nothing cute about chapped lips, chattering teeth, watery eyes, and red noses in cold weather. Same thing goes for melting makeup and sweating through a shirt in extremely hot conditions. Hey, you’re paying for these bad boys! It’s all about your comfort.

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4. Avoid Coffee

You’ll want your smile to shine in your photos. Avoid coffee and foods/drinks with a lot of dyes. Drinking coffee right before your shoot could leave you with coffee teeth. Coffee breath could also make the kissing shots a little less enjoyable. Just saying… However, we did shoot a few snaps at a coffeeshop. If you’re doing any food or coffee scenes, save them for last.

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5. Wear Outfits you LOVE

Just because a photoshoot seems fancy, you don’t have to go out and buy a new wardrobe. The outfits we’re wearing came out of our closet. If you do opt for a new outfit, wear it before the shoot. Make sure you love the color and the fit. You’ll want to be comfortable. There’s nothing worse than putting on a new top the day of your shoot and it’s itchy, ill-fitting, or too sheer. Your photoshoot is the perfect time to show off YOUR style.

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6. Be Yourselves and Have Fun

Seriously. If you’re not enjoying yourself IT WILL SHOW IN YOUR PHOTOS! Whether you’re a quirky couple or a reserved one, do what makes you feel comfortable. This photoshoot is all about showcasing you two as a couple. Enjoy your little moments together and pretend the camera isn’t even there.

Somehow Cynthia was able to edit out most of the awkwardness, (but she couldn’t get it all). 

Somehow Cynthia was able to edit out most of the awkwardness, (but she couldn’t get it all). 

Burly and Puff