asheville anniversary photos

I say it often, but I truly mean it when I say that it’s an incredible honor to be a storyteller.  In Sarah’s first email, she opened up about loss, love, and hope in the three years of their marriage.  I adored her candor and big heart.  Sarah + Jason asked me to photograph them at this point in their journey, before kids and other momentous changes occur. I loved spending a gorgeous winter evening with them, wandering around Durant Trails in Raleigh, a place where they walk their sweet pup and spend time together.

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My mom used to scold me as a child because I would stay up way past my bedtime, reading by my closet light.  You’re going to strain your eyes! 

My love for reading hasn’t subsided.  In fact, I feel like my taste in literature is similar to music. I can pretty much read/listen to anything and be entertained. Of course, I tend to usually pick up my favorite genres:  fiction or mystery novels. I always love reading reviews from other people about their current favorite reads, especially when trying to find a new author. I thought I would start to post reviews regularly about what I’ve been reading.

This fall (well, all year), we travelled a ton, so I made it through quite a few books.  Here is my take:

/// Brain On Fire by Susannah Cahalan:  This was a fast read that I almost finished on a two-hour train ride to Barcelona. It chronicles a true story of a journalist who acquires a rare brain infection that scarily cannot be diagnosed. The book is like a ticking clock until the end. The reporting is powerful, and it’s an eye-opening story to issues in our current health care system.  4.5/5

/// The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt:  Donna is an eloquent writer known for beautiful storytelling and thorough character development. She also won the Pulitzer for this novel. It’s taken me months to finish, mostly because the writing is wonderful but dense. I’ve had to pick it up and put it down a few times to actually get to the last page. The story begins with a boy who steals a painting after a bomb goes off in MMOA, and the rest of the novel navigates through the long-lasting effects of such a traumatic event. This is the second book of hers that I’ve read, and I enjoyed this one the most; however, both were heavily laden with drugs and substance abuse. Albeit honest and revealing, I found myself disconnecting at times because of it.  All in all, it is a stunning story worth the read.  4.5/5

/// Daily Rituals by Mason Currey:  This was given to me by a dear friend for my birthday.  It’s showcases an intimate look at the habits of some of the world’s most famous artists. It’s captivating and equally interesting. I read a couple pages every night before I went to sleep and enjoyed learning a bit about history.  5/5

/// #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso:  This was another quick read. This book chronicles Sophia’s quick rise to fame and fortune, even with a tough childhood. Her book was inspiring, and I finished feeling like I could take on the world.  4.5/5

/// Hope To Die by James Patterson:  James Patterson is one of my favorite mystery writers. His stories always suck me in, forcing me to turn the pages faster and faster until I get to the end. I’ve read a few of his series, and the Alex Cross series is a great one, for sure.  Hope To Die is the latest book on the shelves, and I finished it in a few sittings. The book picks up from the previous book with Alex Cross trying to find his family that has been kidnapped.  I can’t ever jump into a series in the middle, but this one is worth reading, even if you don’t want to start 20 books back.  5/5

/// The Complete Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman:  I picked this up at Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site in Munich on impulse.  I’m not a comic book reader typically, but the cartoonish drawings in this book make sense in telling such a dark story.  Art chronicles the relationship with his father as he recounts his story about WWII and surviving the Holocaust.  The story is moving, sad, and even funny at times.  It was also a Pulitzer winner years ago.  I would highly, highly recommend this book.  5/5

/// The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult:  Jodi is another favorite author of mine, and I’ve almost read her entire portfolio.  The Storyteller is one of my favorites that she’s written, mostly because I enjoy stories about WWII.  Even though this is fictional, it casts a light on such a harsh historical event.  The book tells two sides of the Holocaust:  one of a survivor, and another of a Nazi. Jodi’s suspenseful writing makes the story a page-turner.  5/5




  • Stephanie Rita - I also love Daily Rituals. And I do the same thing, read a couple pages before bed! I need to read Girlboss!ReplyCancel

  • kasey loftin - jodi picoult is one of my favorites as well. i’ve read 6 or 7 of her books. so good. not sure if you’ve read it but one of my favorite books i recommend to fellow book lovers is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I really believe Foer is one of the greatest authors of our generation.

    happy reading!ReplyCancel



This is the third time that I’ve had the honor of capturing the Rogers family.  Each time I photograph them, they add a new family member–this time was sweet baby Link.  Nicole envisioned getting some incredible photos of all four of them, but reality was that Jax wasn’t having it.  It was a toddler-tantrum kind of afternoon, and sometimes family sessions just work out that way. It’s real life. However, I told her afterwards that some of my favorite images were of her soothing her sons and being a good mom.

This is why I love real life sessions. The images may not be perfect, but they will be true. The fleeting moments are the ones that I’m chasing.

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I’m kind of a sentimental sap, especially when it comes to holiday traditions. Every Christmas since we’ve been married, we pull out our polaroid camera and make some images of us and putting ornaments on our tree.  The on-camera flash is unflattering, the selfies are always blurry, the images are never centered, and Poa never cooperates. However, I always find joy flipping through old polaroids in the box when I add to the stack each Christmas. I want to remember how we could never put out our stockings because Poa would take them (see the second to last image). I want to remember how we only had a couple ornaments on our teensy-tiny pine bush tree on our first married Christmas.  I want to watch our hair change length, glasses change with the trends, and faces get older.