Just for Fun: This Month’s Supermoon

I happened to be at the beach on a clear night for this month’s “supermoon“.

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Family Portraits Are For Grown-Ups Too! {Burlington NC Family Photography}

We had the good fortune to have Nate’s parents in town recently for a family visit. It can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of a vacation, trying to fit in all your favorite things to do. But it is so important to take some time for family photos. Especially if you live some distance apart. And doubly especially if you have grown up children. Why? This is one of my personal soap box issues, so bear with me if you’ve heard this from me before.

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As a professional photographer, nearly all of my inquires are for photographing weddings or families with small children. I find it fascinating that once we graduate from High School, most of us no longer get regular photographs from a photographer. Sometimes not even taking time for family photos on our iPhones.

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So here is my gentle reminder to you: Every mom deserves a hug from her son, no matter that he is all grown up. And a beautiful photograph to reminder her that she is loved, wherever he may be.

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Sneak Peek: Mitch + Katie ::: Engagement Party @ Braeburn Farm in Snow Camp NC

Casual and fun, Mitch and Katie celebrated their engagement with a farm style party full of sunshine, laughter, friends, family, bourbon, bbq, gorgeous sunset and campfire fun. Guests were treated to a hayride tour of the farm, where they raise a heritage breed of cattle called Red Devons. Charlie “Doc” Sydnor tells the history of the Braeburn Farm, their conservation efforts and why they sought out this special breed for their grass-fed operation. Afterwards… Barbecue, bourbon and yard games, overlooking the 500+acre farm.

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To Mitch & Katie, We love you guys. Great party. Perfect day. So glad we got to celebrate with you. See you two soon  :) ~ Sarah & Nate

Luck-y Life: I’ve run away to the beach!!

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I’ve spent quite a bit of time staring out to sea. Just soaking it all up. The feeling of space and openness and distance. It is so easy to get caught up in the cyclical rhythm of daily life. It might be a beautiful, fulfilling, passionate life. But we can all benefit from a break now and again. To pull back and look at our life and our heart’s wishes from outside the circle of daily routine. Sometimes we just need permission to rest from our to-do list, both physically and mentally.

A few lovely things I’ve seen this week….

 

The ocean after sunset:

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Dusk on a cloudy day:

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Sunset before the storm:

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This is the first of what I hope to be many trips down to the Myrtle Beach and Grand Strand area this summer and fall. If you will be vacationing in the area and want to plan a beach portrait session, contact me and we can compare schedules ;)

Monday’s in Bloom: Translucent Daffodil

A little something pretty to start your week off :)
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I love how these white daffodils have gone slightly curly and translucent. I often keep flowers long after their “prime”, watching how they change. In this, I suppose I have an appreciation for the Wabi Sabi-like ideas that nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect. Those are very freeing ideas for an artist and for life. ~ Sarah

Luck-y Life: Cultivating Joie de Vivre

I was reading a blog post today on inspiring joie de vivre in your home that got me thinking about this little vase on the windowsill in my kitchen. Because it’s beautiful, yes… I love the blue and green with an airy cloud of white. That alone would make me smile every time I look at it. But even more than that, it has memories tied to it. Purchased on a recent trip to Asheville, this little vase always reminds of the joy of friends, fun, adventure. And the baby’s breath, they are from a bouquet of roses that my dad brought me on my birthday.

So much of the beauty in life is about the small things that layer up to create a series of joyful moments. While this may just be a pretty picture to you, it’s a symbol to me of the many small things I have to be grateful for and a reminder to open myself up to “the keen enjoyment of life”.

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He(Art) Walk for Benevolence Farm — {Graham NC Charity Benefit Event Photography}

“I felt like I should be holding it together better. But I couldn’t. I just cried the whole way through.” Event Host, Shirley

We are greeted by masked figures straight out of the pages of a fairytale. Thus begins our journey. This band of animal musicians leads us in a gentle dance across the fields, past the poet reciting her words of wisdom by the pond and into the woods.

 

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Three women are standing there in the changing light.

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They begin to sing their lament, weaving together their stories of how they came to find themselves on the wrong side of the law, what it was like to loose everything, how they have grown and changed and overcome and fallen down again, their struggles to find someone who would believe in them again. To give them a chance.

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As the women grow silent again, the strains of a violin can be heard in the hands of a small boy slowly walking into the shadows.

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He leads us to a clearing with a shocking sight. Women in white dresses who are stuck. Literally buried in the ground; to their ankles, to their shins, to their waist.

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One gets free and begins to walk toward the light. She stops to help the next woman pull her leg free. Together, they see the woman ahead of them, buried to her waist… The one who has given up. They rush to comfort her while frantically trying to dig her out. They convince her to join them… to try digging herself out again.

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Finally freed, they pull her out of the hole and support her, step by step, until she can walk on her own two feet.

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As this story is played out over and over again across the field, step by step they move forwards and together.

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Sad, scared, hopeful, discouraged, angry, apprehensive, resolute, determined. Together they walk out of the woods, over the bridge separating them from the wide open fields ahead.

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As we stream through the gate, a great white bird glides over the crest of a hill to greet us. A harbinger of hope and opportunity ahead.

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We had the lovely opportunity to donate our services for this event benefitting Benevolence Farm.

“Benevolence Farm will provide a transitional living program for up to 12 women leaving North Carolina prisons. We recognize that change must come from within, but can be cultivated and inspired through a supportive, natural environment. Our goal is to give our participants the time and space — figuratively and literally — to make real, lasting changes.”

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Many of you may not know this, but my mother and step-father founded a very similar organization about 5 years ago. They serve a different population (men overcoming addiction) but have the same goals. To create a safe place for the healing and rebuilding of lives. To provide the structure, support, compassion and tough love needed to find a new way of being. Sharing their belief that change is possible and that your past choices do not have to forever define your future. ~ Sarah


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A few of the people who brought this magical day to life:

Event Designer: MARIELLE HARE
Venue: The Sculpture farm of SHIRLEY & WAYNE, Graham NC
Dancers: LEAH WILKS, NICOLE DAGESSE & Crew
Puppeteers: Paperhand Puppet Intervention – DONOVAN ZIMMERMAN & Crew
Poetry Recitation: JAKI SHELTON GREEN
Live music: Bucket Brothers
Actors: JANE HOLDING, CASEY ROBERTSON, KATIE NUNN
Catering: CAMERON RATLIFF  & PATTI GALLIVAN of Saxapahaw General Store Catering with food donations from Cozi Farm & Braeburn Farm
Photography: SARAH COOK & NATE PERRY of Luck Photography
Videography: JOANNE HERSHFIELD
Event Volunteers: KAT BAWDEN , DANIELLE PURIFOY, MEG VANDEUSEN, LINDSEY PAYDON, EAMONN O’BRIEN, RHONDA GOOLSBY

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Happy Late Birthday to Me! ::: Chevron Camera Bag from Ketti

I’ve been wanting a grab and go camera bag for everyday life. Not the “we’ve got everything in here” kind of bag that I use for professional work. Something smaller. Something cute. Something easy and fun. So I saved up some gift money and sprung for a little something for my birthday. This darling thing just arrived in the mail and I’m smitten. This particular pattern is now retired, but you can find it in other adorable styles at: http://www.kettihandbags.com

 

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