» Blog

Category Archives: Family

I have known the Hammond’s for a long long time…they are a family that is dear to my heart…Roger and Jean have seen my family through some pretty tough times, and have celebrated love and life with us as well.  Roger is the pastor that married my daughter and Justin,  and I photographed their daughter Anna’s weddings…and was present at Amy and Luke’s wedding…I even have a photo with a Lama to prove it.  :). and Luke was the DJ at my daughters surprise engagement and then her wedding… So when Jean contacted me about coming to Hatteras to photograph their family for the day I did not hesitate to say yes.  It was a 3 hour drive both ways, but that did not matter at all….I loved being with them….and the 30 lbs of crab legs for dinner…was just a bonus surprise. 🙂

Roger and Jean, and their 4 kids, husbands and wives and 7 grand children all get together every two years and do this!!!!  How cool is that and so important!    So Thank you for trusting me with your family photos!  It was a TON of fun!   Hammond Family 1 Hammond Family 2

Hammond Family 4

Poor little guy lost his ballon not once, not twice but three times in a matter of 5 min.  Finally grandma had to come to the rescue!

Hammond Family 3

Luke said…”you picked a great night to come down” we are having crab legs…30 lbs of crab legs!!!!!!  I know that NC is considered God’s country but this just sealed it for me I knew I was in heaven.

Hammond Family 5

These kids are a tight knit bunch!

Hammond Family 6 Hammond Family 7

This crab was not quite ready for the steamer.

Hammond Family 8 Hammond Family 9 Hammond Family 10

We also had a birthday girl!  They were celebrating Bailey’s 11th birthday!

Hammond Family 11

Can you just smell those?  I mean really…

Hammond Family 12

As the birthday girl…everyone had to crack one crab leg open for her.

Hammond Family 13

So much laughter…so much love…so much fun!

Hammond Family 14 Hammond Family 15

Luke! haha..

Hammond Family 16

Her momma made her fried ice cream for her cake!  Yum!  Make a wish…

Hammond Family 17 Hammond Family 18 Hammond Family 19 Hammond Family 20 Hammond Family 21 Hammond Family 22

Boys against girls in modeling skills. Sorry girls..boys got this one!

Hammond Family 23

Especially this one!!!!  <3

Hammond Family 24

Everyone washed up, changed clothes and we headed down to the beach for some fun family photos.

Hammond Family 25 Hammond Family 26 Hammond Family 27 Hammond Family 28 Hammond Family 29 Hammond Family 30 Hammond Family 31 Hammond Family 32 Hammond Family 33 Hammond Family 34

The grands!

Hammond Family 35 Hammond Family 36

Jonathan and Laurel and their crew.

Hammond Family 37 Hammond Family 38 Hammond Family 39

David and Heather and their crew.

Hammond Family 40 Hammond Family 41

OMG…the ever photogenic dynamic duo Luke and Amy

Hammond Family 42 Hammond Family 43

My sweet Anna Banana and her adorable husband Andrew.

Hammond Family 44 Hammond Family 45

Roger and Jean…The two who started this whole clan!

Hammond Family 46 Hammond Family 47 Hammond Family 48

Hammond Family 49 Hammond Family 50 Hammond Family 51 Hammond Family 52 Hammond Family 53

I totally feel this little guy….this is how I feel when I have to leave the beach.

Hammond Family 54 Hammond Family 55


Hammond Family 56

We attempted what we thought would be a GREAT and beautiful idea…Japanese lantern release…

Roger’s crashed and burned…Luke ran for the hose

We were all laughing so hard…well except Anna she was begging us not to release anymore…

But we finally got one to go off into the night

and I am pretty sure I saw it come down as I was leaving Hatteras Island.

Hammond Family 57 Hammond Family 58

Fun times!

Thank you again for including me in your day!

It was so much fun!

This family is most definitely Anchored in Love!




I met this girl named Heather..almost 5 years ago at a style shoot, she had driven from Richmond to Va Beach to attend, she had the funkiest fun hair and I loved it!!   We were instant friends and then became more like family.  We are both wedding photographers and just about from the time we met we have photographed almost every one of our weddings together, unless we were both booked for a wedding at the same time or had another photographer already lined up…we have held boudoir marathons at some gorgeous locations…we have traveled to WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Professionals International) in Vegas together, we have laughed so hard we had to cross our legs, we have cried on each others shoulders and talked each other down from wanting to hurt someone because we were so mad….we have been there for each other….we have had our fights and said our “I’m sorry” for being a jerk moments…like family.

I have watched her kids grow up…and I have become friends with her mom and a host of other gals who get together to have girls days….and they are full of fun and laughter and sushi! I can say we are more like family than friends…yet both.

After a recent wedding we photographed together I stayed an extra day to once again photograph her family…it’s one of those things that every family needs to do at least once a year and it meant so much to her as a mom as it should because our kids grow up so fast…so I was happy to be there again to capture them!  And as I look back at the first family session I did with them almost 3 years ago, it amazes me how time is flying by, and how fast these kids are growing up.

The one on the left cracks me up to this day taken back in 2011…it was a genuine stressful moment that happens sometimes in sessions with 3 kids :).

The one on the right was just a fun…”scream for me” as we laughed remembering and laughing about the photo on the left. <3

I am yet again laughing hysterically at the one on the left….Bray’s face at Heather screaming…just makes me laugh.

Hartsell Family 2015-11

Heather and I know a lot about each other as friends often do….but there are 3 things I know for absolute certain about Heather that make her so awesome…she loves and respects her momma to the moon and back , She adores and would die for her children, and she is madly in love with her husband Robbie.

Love ya girl, I have said it a dozen times…I am so glad that God crossed our paths almost 5 years ago, and I know He did this for a reason. 🙂

Here is their beautiful family.


Hartsell Family 2015-2


Hartsell Family 2015-1

Hartsell Family 2015-3


Hartsell Family 2015-4 Hartsell Family 2015-5 Hartsell Family 2015-6 Hartsell Family 2015-7 Hartsell Family 2015-8

When it comes to Robbie…I know she means this statement with all her heart. She often says he’s her rock.

These two are solid as a rock!



I was so glad we were able to capture your family again!





  • Julie - June 16, 2015 - 5:49 PM

    Love you Mel!ReplyCancel

    • mgillikin - June 23, 2015 - 9:37 AM

      Love all of ya’ll too. <3ReplyCancel