Cynthia Viola Photography

wedding photographer

Sarah Jane and Taylor - Lifepointe Church Wedding, Raleigh, NC

Wedding PhotographyCynthia ViolaComment
Happiness, not in another place, but this place. Not for another hour, but this hour.
— Walt Whitman

Taylor and Sarah Jane met just a couple years ago while attending church together. They both played in the band and kept running into each other at practices. They worked well together in that setting and it wasn't long before they found themselves hanging out longer after practice and later with other friends. Before they knew it, they were in love and the rest is history. 

Raleigh Fall Wedding

As their pastor, Joel, recalled during the ceremony, they had both thought of each other as opposites when they met. He thought she was a little loud and she thought he was a little quite. This was not a problem, Joel pointed out though, because as musicians they could appreciate the dynamic both forces could make in a song. Without the forte' we couldn't understand the quiet moments and without the piano we couldn't realize just how resounding the music could be. 

I love that analogy so much. Especially for them and for their story. They both wanted to incorporate music throughout the day and did so in such moving ways. Rather than a first dance they decided to offer a first song to their guests. As they took the stage the room got quite and their harmonies filled the space with their love for each other. They followed with songs dedicated to each of their parents for all the support and encouragement they've been given and finally they joined a group of their closest band friends to get everyone on their feet.

You guys! I had the best time with you this weekend! (It didn't hurt that practically all your friends are also my friends and three or my former couples were also there celebrating with you, but that's beside the point) ;) I hope the mountains are treating you well and can't wait to see you when you get back! 

Raleigh Fall Wedding
Raleigh Fall Wedding
Raleigh Fall Wedding
Fall Raleigh Wedding
Fall Raleigh Wedding
Fall Raleigh Wedding
Fall Raleigh Wedding
Fall Raleigh Wedding
Fall Raleigh Wedding
Fall Raleigh Wedding
Fall Raleigh Wedding
Fall Raleigh Wedding
Fall Raleigh Wedding
Fall Raleigh Wedding



Photography: Cynthia Viola

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Lifepointe Church, North Raleigh

Bride's Dress & Bridesmaids' Dresses: David's Bridal 

Groom's and Groomsmens' Attire: Belk

Rings: Johnson's Jeweler's of Raleigh

Coordinator & Florals: Dave Duty

Hair and Makeup: Rebecca Ledbetter

Band: Scott Gratton, Ryan Hughes, Douug Upton, Stephen Wesner, Tad Akers, David White

Officiant: Joel Close

Cake: Joyce Ledbetter

Catering: Milton's Pizza 

Photobooth: Laugh Out Loud Photobooth 

Invitations: David's Bridal

Why You Shouldn't Anticipate Their Reaction

Wedding Photography, 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

It's not uncommon for a mom or perhaps a bridesmaid, even an officiant to pull me aside before the ceremony or first look begins and say, "Now make sure you get his reaction, I just know he is going to lose it!" I, of course, assure them I will do my best and that the moment is just going to be perfect. 

While this sentiment is meant as excitement for the couple, and nerves just make people say things because they've heard others say them; I've found in practice that it sets up both the couple and those who love them for failure or disappointment. 

If you expect your love to cry and they don't, or drop to their knees and they don't, or do a happy dance and they don't, it immediately makes you wonder if maybe you're not dazzling enough. Maybe he doesn't like the dress you chose, or she thinks your hair looks funny. Maybe they're just ready to get this part over with so they can get to the party. Maybe they're getting cold feet. In reality, maybe your love is just not a crier. Maybe instead you've rendered them speechless and all they can do is take you in. 

Might I suggest instead to have no expectations, only love.

Rather than worrying about how they're going to respond to you, focus instead on taking them in, fully. Notice the way her curls fall across her face (her stylist put in a lot of work to make that happen you know), notice that he put on your favorite cologne and breath in deeply, notice the shy look on her face as she twirls (she's a little nervous you won't like her dress), notice how he fidgets with his watch and sways back and forth (he's a nervous too, this feels like a first date after all).

When you commit to just living fully in the moment and allowing your love and your family and friends do the same, I promise the day will be more fulfilling, more surprising, more memorable. You be you and let them be them.

Live in the present and let me capture the memories. 

Annnnnnnnd the same theory applies to the proposal of course... 

And one more...can't resist. :)

Dreamy, Adventurous, Joyful

Family Portraits, Wedding Photography, Personal, Bridal PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
— Douglas Adams
Moses Cone , Blowing Rock

Moses Cone, Blowing Rock

I have often been asked how I would describe my photography and honestly, in eight years it has probably evolved more than I have. From the type of sessions I choose to take, to the locations and time of day, to the types of filters (or lack thereof), from Photoshop to Lightroom and back again.

Taking a bird's eye view of my entire collection however, I have noticed a pattern and would like to move forward more intentionally in this way. I would love for all of my images to represent one or all of the following: dreamy, adventurous and joyful. 

Durham, NC

Durham, NC

Dreamy says to me: "I've finally found the one my heart loves and I'm ready to embark on this journey."

Adventurous brings out my inner child. I grew up in the mountains exploring hidden creeks for crawdads, four wheeling as a teen, and mountain biking and snowboarding in college. I'm not sure I could name anything I won't try at least once so I love it when photo sessions take me into new territories. Many of those territories have taught me not to go back (architecture photography for example...see my friend Sterling for that) but failures only take you one step closer to success. Many new territories, like the forest above, are everything I hope for and more.

Joyful says "There is no where else I'd rather be than right here, in this moment, with these people." It says, "For just a moment I forgot about the paper due Monday, or the laundry piling up, or the cancer, and I remembered to live."

May my life's work tell a story that brings out the good in people. A story that reminds us we are all human - the same - living one moment at a time.

Fearrington Inn , Pittsboro, NC

Fearrington Inn, Pittsboro, NC

What do you hope for in your life's work? I'd love to hear your story.