Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone | Boone, NC Wedding Photographer

If you scour my yearbooks from 6th grade until my senior year in high school, you will only find my photo in two yearbooks. I used to go to great lengths to avoid having my picture taken when I was younger. I remember going to extremes in order to miss picture day, from faking sick to skipping school, I would do anything to get out of it! I hated the way that I looked in photographs.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard from clients and friends that they “take horrible photos” or that they “never look good in pictures.” It pains me to hear that because I know how that feels all too well. And it's still something I battled with today. Still, no matter how much we despise it, people insist on doing it anyway! You end up submitting only because there's that thought in the back of your mind (maybe subconsciously) that you'll regret not having physical proof of who you are today to look back on.

Come to find out, there may be a perfectly logical explanation for why we don't like seeing ourselves in 2D. Based on something called the Mere-Exposure Effect we like things that are familiar to us. You see, we're used to viewing a mirror reflection of ourselves, and when we are photographed that mental image is then flipped which plays mind-games on our brains. Maybe it's not that we don't like what we see in the image of ourselves, maybe it's just weird because we're not used to seeing ourselves in that way?!

Now that you know my secret about going to ridiculous measures in order to avoid having my picture taken, you get that I can sympathize with you because I've been where you are. However, I recently stepped on the other side of the camera to experience firsthand what it's like for my clients. I'll be honest, I felt awkward at first because I had no clue what I was doing even though I direct my clients all the time. Once I was on the receiving end I sort of froze up, and just made a lot of funny faces to make up for my lack of modeling skills! Exposing myself in that way had me feeling extremely vulnerable but it was also a very freeing experience, too.

My lovely assistant/intern/mentee, Raejan, captured these images of me. She is an aspiring photographer so this was new for her, too, but we had a blast, and It wasn't so scary after all!

Relax! And act “normal.” In other words, be yourself! You don't have to be a supermodel in order for your photographer to get great shots. Besides, having your photos made is about more than just the way you look. No one is less photogenic because they don't fit the mold of what some folks in society thinks is beautiful. We are all worthy of having our stories told! It's a matter of trusting the person behind the lens to tell yours in a way that is authentic to you. When you're comfortable and having fun your personality naturally shines!

So, tell me, how do you feel about having your picture taken?! Love it? Hate it? Let me know here in the comments or on WW FB page!

If facing your fears and being liberated by an uplifting experience that will leave you feeling like a gazillion bucks sounds like a good time, then you'll love the Limited Edition Celebrate You Sessions I am offering to welcome the awakening of SPRING! The unforgettable experience I'm offering is about CELEBRATING YOU and who you are right now, today. You'll have fun, walk away feeling more confident and beautiful, and you'll also have some gorgeous images of yourself captured that will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy! 

It's time to redefine self-love. Click here to find out why: 
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Redefining Self-Love w/ Celebrate You Sessions | Boone, NC Photographer

I sought out the definition of self-love recently just because I was curious, and I was astonished to see how it was defined. To give you a quick idea of what I discovered, here are a few synonyms for Self-Love: conceit, narcissism, and vanity.

Boone, NC Photographer

Not what I expected AT ALL! I was somewhat irked by my findings because self-love is something that I struggle with in my life (or so I thought), and it was unsettling to think that the actual meaning of self-love is contradictory to what I truly desire.

I've since decided to redefine self-love because embodying that state-of-being is not tied to what the dictionary tells me to believe. How do you define self-love?!

Boone NC Photographer | Celebrate You Sessions
Celebrate You Session Coming April 1st, 2014

Here's what I know: everyone suffers from self-image issues. Me. You. Your next door neighbor. Your colleagues. EVERYONE!

I've come to the conclusion that the difference between self-image issues and an abundance of self-love is confidence. There comes a time when we need to ignore our inner critic, that menacing voice inside our head that whispers, “You're not good enough.”

Confidence can be a fragile thing. 

It can come flooding in one moment and stripped from you with a well-intentioned but hate-laced comment the next. I'm continually amazed at how quickly that can be destroyed if I'm not mindful enough to combat such thoughts. 

While it can be damaging in some cases, it's all part of life's many struggles. Our challenges are what help us grow and evolve into better versions of ourselves. Otherwise, we stay the same and stagnate.

Boone, NC Portrait Photographer

Something to remember while you're on this journey is that you are worth far more than the opinion of others. Don't let others define you. And don't get caught up in their definitions of what's beautiful and what's not. A healthy self-image starts within.

Ask yourself: “Are these thoughts, self-doubts, criticisms, etc. really true?” Look that devil straight in the eye and face those demons because you have to make the decision to not let those trolls take over whether they're internal or external. Little by little, you release the power that it has over you and your flaws become your strengths.

Choose to be happy with who you are, really own it so that you can experience what it feels like to be vulnerable in all its glory. Have the courage to let yourself be seen. Leave your insecurities at the door. Have fun!

Celebrate You Portrait Sessions | Boone, NC Photographer
Raejan on the Greenway Trail in Boone, NC

If facing your fears and being liberated by an uplifting experience that will leave you feeling like a gazillion bucks sounds like a good time, then you'll love the Limited Edition Celebrate You Sessions I am offering to welcome the awakening of SPRING! 

Who's ready to start fresh?!

The unforgettable experience I'm offering is about CELEBRATING YOU and who you are right now, today. You'll have fun, walk away feeling more confident and beautiful, and you'll also have some gorgeous images of yourself captured that will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy!

Celebrate You Sessions include: 

• 1-hour session for 1 person on-location in Boone, NC 
• up to 10 hi-resolution digital downloads w/ printing rights
• a website and smartphone app to quickly and easily share images with friends and family 
• ALL for $299 + tax.

Photographer Boone, NC

If you're interested in booking your exclusive Celebrate You Session or for more details, simply send me an email at and I'll get you on the schedule! |

If you know a Mother, Wife, BFF, Sister, Mentor, etc. who could benefit from a life-changing experience such as this, please help spread the word by sharing with them! Thank you! 

Can you share your thoughts on this new offering? Does it sound like something you want to do? I'd love to get your feedback here in the comments or on the WW Facebook page!

Behind-the-Scenes: Adventures in a Wooded Wonderland | Boone, NC Photographer

You know, falling from anything higher than 6-ft. is considered a DEATH FALL, right?!,” Jack, the owner of Camp Sky Ranch, said. Suddenly, that 8-ft. tall ladder I was staring at leaned up against the wall looked more like a skyscraper to me. “Did you seriously just use the word DEATH FALL?!,” I exclaimed, as I quickly laughed it off. I only entertained the thought of a DEATH FALL for a second or so before deciding to bring it to the shoot despite his friendly warning. There was no way I was going to let my unfounded anxiety about heights deter my desire to shoot from above! After all, I had a vision and I was on a mission!

From the moment I introduced the idea of doing an Alice in Wonderland wedding themed shoot to Andi of Miss Match Rentals, we began planning with reckless abandon! I've been hording all sorts of Alice in Wonderland inspiration on a Pinterest board for the past few years which helped move things along swiftly. By the time Andi asked Desi of Desi's Floral and Design Studio to join us, a whirlwind of wacky ideas started to storm in and a foundation was soon forged.

Behind-the-Scenes of Alice in Wonderland Photoshoot
From left to right: Raejan: Diverse Accomplice & Finger Fire Fighter // Rob: King of the Handsome Lemmy & Hardworking American // Andi: Psychedelic Queen & Plate Peddler // Jessica: High Ladder Climber & Soulful Image Collector  // Jack: Maple Tree Syrup Tapper & Chief Camp Ranger // Desi: Handmade Prop Goddess & Freestyle Florist // Wendy: Sugar Whisperer & Master Snow Globe Maker

Andi, Desi, and I had a beer-infused brainstorming session at the Appalachian Mountain Brewery here in Boone a month or so before the shoot to get our creative juices flowing and to solidify our intentions. The frenzy of inspiration resulted in an intoxicating exchange. Ideas were the easy part. Corralling our concepts was the biggest challenge! Getting other vendors involved who were as elated as we were required a lot less effort than I thought thanks to the awesome network of wedding vendors here in Boone, NC. We gained momentum pretty rapidly after that.

Location Scouting for Alice in Wonderland Shoot @ Camp Sky Ranch
Location scouting for Alice in Wonderland Styled Shoot @ Camp Sky Ranch
While scouting locations at Camp Sky Ranch we wanted something that felt magical and mesmerizing for our backdrop, so when Jack took us up to this special spot that was once an apple orchard, we were enraptured by the beauty of the bare forest and windy, gravel road. The woodland scene he shuttled us to was more perfect than we could have imagined, we thought that it would set the whole tone for the shoot nicely. I'll admit, it was a HUGE pain in the butt to get everyone and everything to our secret hideaway because it required a 4x4 vehicle to access, but it was definitely worth it for this secluded spread!

Alice in Wonderland Photoshoot Assistant
Raejan, Photography Assistant Extraordinaire 
Behind-the-Scenes @ Alice in Wonderland Styled Shoot
Paparazzi getting their shots in before we lose light!

Once our barn wood table(s) were delivered and put into place, everything started taking shape. It was impressive to witness a big ol' pile of stuff transform into a storybook scene from one of my/our favorite childhood fantasies. The thoughtfully decorated 24-foot table(s) supplied by Upper Barn were situated in the middle of the road to act as the center-stage for the entire production. It took nearly 3-hours to put all of the details in place before the set was perfected and photo-ready.

Behind-the-Scenes @ Alice in Wonderland Photoshoot
Everything starting to transform @ the Alice in Wonderland Wedding Inspiration Shoot (iPhone Pics)
I had, roughly, two hours—not including the many warm up breaks our freezing models needed—to shoot everything before we started losing light. Things ran smoothly due to some extensive pre-planning, thankfully, only a few hiccups were encountered throughout the day. I knew from my experience as a wedding photographer that not everything would go according to plan, but we managed just fine no matter what was flung our way!

Behind-the-Scenes @ Alice in Wonderland Wedding Inspiration Shoot
The 24-foot table getting set-up on the day of the shoot (iPhone Pics)

To say that everyone took this theme and ran with it would be an understatement. We all had our “jobs to do” but it was the group effort that made this shoot run so seamlessly from idea to conception! With every meeting, email, text, and phone call our plans morphed and cemented with great ease. Before we knew it the time flashed by as we feverishly neared the finish line.

One thing that made this whole production a success was that everyone was eager to see what we envisioned come to fruition. We were all chomping at the bit to unleash our creativity and bring this shoot to life! What an incredible experience it was to have the opportunity to work with some of the most esteemed professionals in the wedding industry here in (and around) Boone, NC. 

Wayfaring Wanderer (Boone NC Photographer) Behind-the-Scenes
I spy Wayfaring Wanderer!

I am so honored and grateful to have been a part of this styled shoot. Thank you for taking a look at this behind-the-scenes peek at our Alice in Wonderland Wedding Inspiration collaboration. I'll be sharing the actual images from the shoot soon so stay tuned! 

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Photographer: Wayfaring Wanderer // Rentals: Miss Match Rentals // Florals + Styling: Desi's Floral and Design Studio // Venue: Camp Sky Ranch Events // Teacakes & Mini-cupcakes:The Gamekeeper Restaurant and Bar // Farm Tables: Upper Barn// Make up: Beautiful Bride on Location (Marion Edwards) // Dress: Did Someone Say Party? // Model: Caitlin Lovell // Photography Assistant: Raejan Danger Dunn

Want to see more of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland? Be sure to "like" the Wayfaring Wanderer FB page to get connected! I would also encourage you to visit the pages of the other vendors listed above and show them some love, too!