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Category Archives: Bridals

We talked about several locations, but when Lauren and her momma saw Church Point Manor, they were sold on having Lauren’s bridal session there.  Church Point Manor is a beautiful bed and breakfast in Virginia Beach, VA.  off of Shore Drive. I have photographed weddings, and brides there several times, and it’s still one of my favorite locations for intimate weddings and bridal sessions.  One of these days I am just gonna go and enjoy a couple of nights stay there just because!  Every room is beautiful and although we did not get to use the bridal suite (which is amazing) because it was occupied…the room we had was just as beautiful I think you will agree and the grounds amazing.

Lauren, you were simply a stunning bride.  You are beautiful inside and out and it was pure joy to capture these images and your sweet personality and be apart of your legacy.  I wish I could post every single one…but these are just a few of my favorite photos and moments…

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I love the moments getting ready

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Second photograph of the day! Ahh. Window Light how I love thee.

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Third and her momma’s favorite.

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Classic beauty right here!

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And the real Lauren was bound to show up! 🙂

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The bibles are part of her legacy…Her mom’s baby bible that was carried when she got married, Laurens baby bible and her granddaddy’s pastoral book.

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But these three… Princess One…Princess Two and the One who made Princess Two into a Princess…the older sister Meghan. 🙂  Her words. LOL.

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Lauren, I know Herbert is smiling from Heaven, that you would include him in your special day. <3

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I love bridal sessions for many reasons, but the most important one is that you get to take your time and enjoy the session without the rush of the wedding day, sometimes limiting the photos you are able to capture.  Plus it’s a trial run on feeling pretty for your wedding day! So make sure you add bridal portrait to your wedding packages.

This was a beautiful day!

Brides  Beautiful Dress: Williamsburg Bridal and Formal.  The designer is Casablanca

Special thanks to Deb Byrd and Church Point Manor for making this day special for Lauren.




It’s hard to believe that in a few short weeks..this little one that I love so much will be a year old.  It’s been a a QUICK year.

Not sure how or where time went.

I never thought of myself as a child photographer, that was until Amelia Grace was born.

Once she started getting older and started developing her personality, it’s been so fun to photograph her.

I think I really like photographing children but that’s easy to say when it’s Amelia  because she knows and loves me and my camera.

 When it comes to photographing other children…it all depends on how they react to strangers and how quickly I can warm up to them or them to me,

as well as their temperament. But I love trying…and playing with them.

We took Amelia out to a small farm in Suffolk…where we played in pumpkins, cotton, buckets of corn, cornfields,  pumpkins and a pig named Carl.

The cotton fields they had around were smushed and pounded into the ground by the dozens of preschoolers that visit the farm

So as we left I said a little prayer..Lord, I really would love to photographer Amelia in a pretty cotton field if you could point us in the right direction…

And within seconds He answered the simple prayer of an ernest Mia.  and Wa-La. There was the prettiest cotton field that had not been harvested yet.

Complete with a perfect little area for us to pull off park and photograph her.  It was the best shots of the day…funny how that works.

Amelia Grace…one day when you read these blogs and see the photos I hope you have good memories of our adventures.

I love you.

Love Mia.


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Oh..Mia. You crack me up.  🙂  This is her peek-a-boo face.

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My two babies…I love them so!  Wet sloppy baby kisses are the BEST!

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Although I live near Va Beach and Coastal VA and I photograph a lot of weddings locally…I LOVE to travel to distant locations for engagement and weddings…and on occasion I also get to do bridals in destination locations!  AND include a little Civil War History!

This bridal session was held on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina in Atlantic Beach, at Ft Macon.

This  fort was built in 1826 and protected the Crystal Coast during the Civil War.

When we arrived…at 5pm.  We thought we had until 8 to shoot…

..but within 5 min of starting the shoot the guard told us he was closing up the inside of the fort in 15 min…

We all stared at each other in disbelief…for a second then got to work!

We had less than 15 min to shoot most of the following images….before being kicked out!

But we were determined and had a plan….

Sam’s sisters boy friend was gonna keep the guard busy with questions! 🙂 while we ran from place to place setting up our images…

The very first shot could totally be seen as a silhouette of a bride during the Civil War era.


The texture and architecture in this fort is nothing short of amazing….then to be surrounded by a beautiful beach….just icing on the cake!

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We quickly moved inside to the barracks and hallways of the fort….the arch way doors went on and on…totally amazing…

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We quickly set Sam up on the stair case that was as majestic as they come for a fort!

There had to be a female somewhere along the way that helped with the design 😉

I do believe I heard the angels singing when this photo was taken….or at least they were doing a loud hallelujah high five!

This was my favorite and Sam’s favorite of the day!


The guard…said times up…gotta go but look what we found outside….the wooden doors were just as amazing…


And a cellar bunker….


Then it was off to the beach…for some sunset photos…just look at that golden sun!

We plan on going back for Sam and Steven’s first anniversary to do a shoot on these walls!


The beach….the dunes….the light…the sunset….it was simply an amazing night…with a very excited beautiful bride with her momma…and sister.


Cotton Candy Sky in one direction..and orange from another direction….Crystal Coast…you do not disappoint when it comes to fabulous sunsets!

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Sam loves orange so the heavens obliged her with orange sunset.

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She sent Steven a little love note that we used in a sneak peek….


And that’s a wrap….Despite the running around like crazy people because the fort closed earlier than what we anticipated…

and despite we were a sweating like crazy…

we were able to accomplish some pretty cool bridals for Sam to share with her family….kids…and grandkids one day.


You were a beautiful bride….with a sweet heart…and wonderful family.
I can’t wait to blog your wedding too!



  • Tia - October 8, 2014 - 4:32 PM

    Beautiful! I love the silhouette and the staircase one the most but they were all amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Cathe Deibert Baird - October 8, 2014 - 11:19 PM

    These are absolutely beautiful, I feel as though I’m right there in your moment!!! Love cuz, Love!ReplyCancel

One of the HARDEST things for me is to shoot a bridal session of a breathtaking bride and not be able to post or share any images for weeks sometimes months!!!

 To say I had a hard time narrowing down these images for Megan’s final gallery for her to pick her favs from…

….is quite the understatement of the year….

….but here they are…


The chair was a gift from her daddy to her momma on their 3rd wedding anniversary…a beautiful antique folding chair.

These first few images were take at Lake Bowen, in South Carolina.


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Then we went to the wedding day venue Lenora’s Legacy in Campobello South Carolina.  What a beautiful location for a wedding.

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This is the image she chose to display at their reception.

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We went back to the location of  Megan and Adams engagement session to do some bridals at this AMAZING  little old cottage ruins.

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We finished the night by chasing the sunset so we could also capture the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background.

What a beautiful end to a beautiful day with a beautiful bride!

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You were a beautiful bride Megan!




It was the perfect day…
For a bridal session up at Smith Mountain Lake.   The sky was blue, the clouds were puffy, the bride was beautiful.  A perfect combination.  I didn’t realize at the moment that I was getting sick…throat a bit scratchy but nothing serious I thought…but by the end of the session and the drive back to my hotel…I was in full blown cold/flu mode.  But I didn’t let that stop me from capturing a very beautiful and excited bride to be.  That moment when you slip on your dress and realize this is real…Ellen was so excited to be finally getting her bridals done, it was one of those times in a girls life she will never forget.  Thank you Ellen and Mary for allowing me to be apart of these special moments.

©Melody Gillikin Photography 2014

©Melody Gillikin Photography 2014

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