Strollin’ Up The Stream

Here is a fact about me: I don’t get pop culture references very often, if at all. I’m a bit like Captain America in that scene of the Avengers where he pipes in, “I understood that reference!”… ok, no I’m not – but at least I knew that reference. My lack of pop culture knowledge amuses my husband to no end really.

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So when the McMurrays pulled up to their photo session, rolled down the window and exclaimed, “Hi! We’re the Griswolds!!” I actually panicked a little. I thought, WAIT – I thought these were the McMurrays!!! Just smile and say Hello Beth.

It wasn’t until about 5 minutes later I got the joke.

Yep. I immediately liked this bunch.

 

As you can tell the McMurrays are an awesome family with a great sense of humor. Together we all hiked back into the woods a little ways to find this beautiful creek with a series of waterfalls and cascades… which made for some beautiful family portraits!

 

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Surprise!

 

Remember that post a few months back about all the exciting things happening this year in celebration of 10 YEARS of business? Remember the part where I said I would be doing a giveaway or two??? OH YEAH!!

So – I’m announcing the details now!

I will be doing TWO giveaways this year.

The first will be for my portrait clients – a 16×20 CANVAS PRINT from your session!!!

SAAAAAYYY WHAAATT??? That is a $165 value! All family portrait sessions that I have from January 1st – November 1st 2017 will be entered into a drawing, which I will do live on my Facebook account. If you win, you get to pick out your favorite photo, and I do the rest!

The other giveaway I am doing this year is for my beautiful brides!

I’m giving away a one-of-a-kind GORGEOUS LOCKET,

Featuring your photos from your wedding, engagement, or bridal session! All weddings in-between the dates of January 1st – December 1st will be entered into a drawing which I will do live on my Facebook page. The locket features a photo on the front sealed in a permanent resin, a photo on the inside printed on archival paper, a 24″ matching chain, and a black velvet pouch.

Lockets by Chasing Lockets – an exclusive premier photography service.

How exciting is this?? I already can’t wait for November and December! Contact me today to set up your sessions so you can be entered into this contest too!

Christopher and Catherine’s Simply Sweet Special Day

Catherine and Christopher are my latest couple to tie the knot – and what a special day it was. Catherine is honestly one of the sweetest brides I have ever had the pleasure of working with, and it reflected throughout the entire ceremony and reception.

They exchanged vows from one of our most famous overlooks in the mountains, the Fred W. Symmes Chapel in Cleveland, SC. This place is affectionately called by locals “Pretty Place”… and trust me, it IS a very pretty place.

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See what I mean? You can’t go wrong with a view like that!

 

Following the ceremony, we all made our way to downtown Brevard, NC – where we walked along Main Street to Jaime’s Creole Brasserie. If you ever are looking for a fantastic place to eat that is above and beyond the normal small town dining experience, I highly recommend Jaime’s. They atmosphere was relaxed and festive, and the food – to die for!

 

 

Hello Beautiful

2017. Here we are.

10 years ago I was a teenager with a camera and a pocket full of dreams. I dreamed of art school, starting a photography business, and creating a name for myself. In 2007, that is exactly the road I started running down.

My first gig in the photo business world was a horse show the previous year. In 2006, I was noticed by an equestrian photographer in South Carolina who decided to take me under his wing and teach me the ropes of horse show photography (and give me a paying job!). I don’t think he realized how much he was teaching me about self motivation, organization, and basic business operations. After watching and learning from his workflow and set up, I decided to start my own business for our little local horse shows in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. I was “Beth Cole Photography” – and all I had was an entry-level DSLR and two kit lenses. But, I also had a dream – and that is what I built my career on.

For the first two years of my college career, I photographed any horse show I could. I had connections at a local riding club, and I used that foot in the door to shoot any local shows that I could. Most of these horse shows had less than 100 competitors, lasted well over 9 or even 10 hours, and took place in the glaring sun. I’m very fair skinned – so most days ended with me looking like Elmo with a camera. Happy, bright red, and excited for everyone to see their photos from that day. I barely made any money from these events, and that money went straight back into supplies for school. Once I transferred to a four year college with an art program, my mind was blown. I didn’t have to shoot horse shows. I didn’t have to shoot just horses. I could shoot anything I wanted… and since a horse isn’t allowed inside the art building at Brevard College, I started shooting people… and discovered I was more than a one trick pony with a camera.

Fast forward 10 years. Here we are in 2017.

I couldn’t be more proud of how far I have come with this business. I’ve learned so much about the nature of business, marketing, advertising, and records keeping. I’ve devoted myself to serving my customers – to making sure YOU are happy. That is what matters to me… because after all, these are YOUR photographs we are creating. Running a photography business full time is challenging. I tried to make it a part time job that I would juggle with other part time jobs. I spent several years with on and off part time jobs – my favorite being an associate in a fly fishing store. I gained valuable insight into business operations and above all else – customer service. My fellow associates (and the best manager I ever had) opened my eyes to the fact that without you, the wonderful person reading this, there is no “us”. Meaning there is no business without you. I couldn’t have made it ten years in this field without you… and I couldn’t have grown this into a full time business without you. So thank you for that.

So what is next for us? I’m happy to hint that here is where it gets good!!

This blog is one of my new adventures this year. I receive emails, phone calls, and texts all the time asking about advice on equipment, how to take better photos, and other various things related to photography. Most of my friends and customers know that I am an open book – I love to help. So, if you ever have any questions or topics you want to see covered – please let me know!!

More great things I am implementing this year are “Mini-Sessions” – condensed photo sessions for the discerning budget. Because hey – I get it. You don’t always need a full session of photos at full price. These Mini-Sessions will be short and sweet, with a limited number of spaces available for each session. Look for more information on these sessions within the next few weeks. I’m hoping this one helps everyone out!

I also have a few give-aways planned for this year as well – which I can’t wait to reveal the details on those as well!

And last but in no way the least (actually the BIGGEST one in my opinion) are the introductory Guided Photo Tours with me! I am so excited to finally go public with this, as I have been chewing on this idea for a long-long time. I love going out into the field and taking photos. I also love sharing knowledge on how to make your camera do what you want it to! I love teaching – and I’d love to share my passion of photography with you. There will be only TWO Guided Tours this year, with very limited spaces available. I’d love to keep these “classes” small, so I can give everyone the attention they deserve. Special introductory prices will apply this year, as this is my 10 year Celebration year! I will be posting more on these tours next month, so stay tuned!

2017 is going to be great – so let’s have some fun!

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