Maternity on a mountain...

Jessica and I have been friends for so long I honestly don't know how many years its been.  We have been through so much life together and I was so excited  when she told me the news that she was pregnant with baby #2! Especially after she wasn't even suppose to have 1 child! God is good AMEN?!

Sweet Skylar will be here in just under a month! 

So Jessica and I had the "bright" idea of going to the top of Crowders Mountain to get some really fun maternity pictures. Well google lied to me...

What I thought was a 3 mile hike to the top and back ended up being almost 5!!! We didn't find this out until over half way there. And being the determined stubborn women we are, Jessica and I pushed on to the top of the mountain.

Despite all the stares from strangers, all the stops ;) and running out of water we made it safely to the top and WOW was it beautiful!

I am so blessed and honored to have a friend like Jessica.  I love like a sister, she might as well be :). God knew what He was doing when he made our paths cross.  I can't wait to see what the future hold for both of us!

"Fresh Sessions?" What is that? Eww I don't want you in my labor room, but I want newborn pictures...What do I do??

Ok so longest title ever.


But seriously its what is probably going on in a 39 week prego mom's mind when deciding wether or not she wants to have birth pictures, first 24 hour pictures, none at all or all 3 lol.  

Allowing someone to come into your room whilst you are delivering a human watermelon isn't exactly what most people think is worth spending money on or even sane.  Honestly ask me before I had my daughter if I wanted birth Photography and I probably would have laughed, dead paned, and said NO.

Really when we first started our business birth photography wasn't really on my list of interested in photographing.

God really did a number in my heart to even consider it, but here is why I do it:

1. Though a child's birth is something imprinted in the mind and not easily forgotten, (I can tell you almost every detail of Zoey's birth honestly) I feel that sometimes a photo speaks louder than words. A photo can say things that words themselves cannot express.

2. There are moments that you are so excited about (example below your other children seeing their new sister for the first time) that you don't need to be enjoying on your phone trying to get a picture and celebrating at the same time. It is best done "in real time." It leaves you hands free and allows that memory to stick through interaction.

3. Whether it be "Birth photos" or "first 24 pictures" you won't regret having pictures of your childs "Firsts" first smile, first yawn, first throw up, first nursing experience, first crazy hair day etc... I still to this day LOVE going back and seeing old pictures of myself growing up. My mom has a collection of photos I am constantly asking her to look at so I can see how much I have changed and grown.

Those are just a few reasons why I do what I do.  I genuinely get REALLY excited when a mom asks me to do "Fresh sessions." Its such a beautiful display of God's hands at work. 

Sometimes I think its so easy to look at the stars and look and the ocean and go, "WOW God you made that how wonderful and beautiful!!" And don't get me wrong that is completely true, but how often to we look at people that way?  Or even ourselves? We are fearfully and wonderfully made (psalm 139:14).  Known by our Father before the foundation of the earth.  Cared for more than the birds. (Matt6:26).

God is *Elohim* the ultimate creator and artist of this earth.

And I want to share that raw beauty of birth whilst keeping the modestly of mom, dad, and baby intact.

I want to point all the Glory and praise back to God. Nothing in the pictures I (or we) take do we want any kind of praise for.  Our mission here on earth is to make disciples and bring God the most glory.  

Thats our life thats our purpose.....

To God be the Glory. 

-Gabby Johnson


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Best Light Best Practices

Congratulations! You're engaged! For better or worse, now begins the process of planning your big day. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources online and in print to help with the mind-numbing number of details that go into making your special day the best it can possibly be. One of those details is the photography. We've put together a few things to keep in mind that can help make your photos turn out as well as they possibly can.

Gabby and I are predominately natural/available light photographers. That means we work with the light that's already there and use fancy photographer tricks to make it look amazing. We use flash when needed, but not all that often except for late night wedding receptions when the sun's gone to bed and there's no natural light to speak of. 

Now, not all natural lighting situations are equal. Some situations are great for making amazing pictures, others require a little more work, and some are very difficult indeed. I think we've worked with just about whatever you can think of... 

Many lighting factors are beyond human intervention, but there are a few things that you can control when planning your wedding that affect how the light turns out, and therefore play a big part in making your photos as good as they can be. 

The Providence Cotton Mill offers a unique blend of indoor and outdoor with a whole lot of character!

The Providence Cotton Mill offers a unique blend of indoor and outdoor with a whole lot of character!

Picking your venue is one of the biggest planning steps in preparing for your wedding day. It's the backdrop for all your photos (topic for a different day), and plays a big part in setting the mood for your day and therefore your photos. When considering how your photos, you can consider a few things Is it an outdoor venue? Is it shaded or does the sun come streaming in unrestricted? If it's indoors, what kind of lighting do they have set up? Is there a lot of light coming in from the windows? Does the venue have mixed lighting? I know, that's a lot of questions! Fortunately, your photographer should be able to help answer those with you so you don't have to worry with all the technical stuff. 

Golden Hour makes for amazing, glowing images.

Golden Hour makes for amazing, glowing images.

Our favorite light to work with is called "golden hour," the light in the last hour before sunset or the first hour after sunrise. It's a magical, warm, glowing light that bathes everything in amazing contrast and colors. Basically, it's pretty light and makes for great photos. The way to get golden hour light for your ceremony is to have your wedding during or just before that hour window. Alternatively, having your couple's photos during golden hour makes for magnificent portraits that you will cherish for many many years. And, of course, for golden hour light, outdoors is best. Even if your ceremony is indoors, having a few minutes to get outside for your couple's portraits will be a very worth while investment of your time. 

Back light makes for beautiful "dimensional" images with lots of character.

Back light makes for beautiful "dimensional" images with lots of character.

If you don't want to have your ceremony later in the day, a good second is to shoot for (pun somewhat intended) backlighting. That's as simple as it sounds: keep the light to your back. You don't have to worry too much about your couple's photos, but during your ceremony, planning to have the sun somewhat behind you will help make for beautiful images with lots of "pop."

Having a big window handy is your best friend for your indoor photos, like this getting-ready photo.

Having a big window handy is your best friend for your indoor photos, like this getting-ready photo.

What if you can't get outside you may ask? In that case, big pretty windows are your friend. They make for the same pretty colors and soft shadows you get from outdoor lighting without letting in the cold...or rain...or bugs...

The hardest light to make look pretty is high noon light with no cover. It's possible, just much more challenging. Keeping your ceremony out of direct, mid-day sunlight will help a lot in many ways. The easiest solution is to plan your ceremony later in the day when the light will be gentler.

Every wedding is unique and special, so your photos will come out differently than someone else's, but these are just some quick tips to help you give your photos the best chance before your photographer even shows up. 

Have you heard any good planning tricks to make the most of your photos? Let us know in the comments or get in touch directly at


Boyd & Gabby



Congratulations Abigail!

When we got the Facebook message to take pictures for Abigail, we were super excited! Abigail currently is dating a pretty awesome guy that Boyd and I have known since 2009.

Stephen Thomas.

A guy we are so in awe of when we see his dedication to the Lord. So we knew Abigail had to be pretty amazing too. 

And she was. 

She is graduating from Wingate University this year, May 2016. We had never been to Wingate University before, but we were in awe of how beautiful the campus was.  

We started off by taking pictures of where Abigail "lives." Her plans after college are to continue studying embryology. So for her undergrad, she "lived" in the science building. 

Of course, we tried to get some pictures of her and Stephen to celebrate their relationship. They were both just so precious and we could not get over it. We love seeing couples that love the Lord! 

We pray that she can continue in her studies in what she loves and be able to share the Gospel with the gifts and talents God has given her. Congratulations Abigail! 



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