Julie + Josh's Wedding || Lansing, North Carolina

I've been to a lot of weddings. Like, a lot. So, clients generally ask bits of advice, or pick my brain on their own day. And while every couple is different, the one piece I never hesitate to give is that you should always stay true to yourself. Is music your thing? Warm up your pipes and dedicate a ballad to your significant other. Think garter removal and tosses are hella awkward? Don't do 'em. Obsessed with the color purple? Ditch the white gown and go with violet. Don't hold on to the (let's be real here) mostly arbitrary traditions that matrimony bring to mind, and focus on what will make you delighted and joyful on your day.

Julie and Josh? They're rockstars at this. They wanted something as low fuss as it was intimate with their closest friends and family, and they wanted it under the absolutely majestic giant tree that sits below the family summer cabin in the foothills of North Carolina. And so...they did it.

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They kicked off the weekend with a dinner full of delicious homemade goodies next to the lazily rolling river of the little cabin community.

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The day-of was one of the most low-key I've ever experienced. Emotions were high and excited, but fuss was basically non-existant.

Julie's friend Krystal was in charge of the officiating, and she absolutely nailed it (even if she brought on the waterworks with her perfectly placed song lyrics and bits of advice for Josh and Julie).

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There was a First Look that was kept off-camera to be truly intimate and special, and then it was time for the show to get rollin'.

Josh, a fabulously talented musician, has a guitar string around his wedding band, and played Julie down the 'aisle', which was actually the hillside.

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Surrounded by their nearest and dearest and doggiest, and beneath that most glorious of trees, they said their I-Dos.

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We breezed through the formal portraits, and while hoofing it back to the cabin reception, I somehow convinced Julie to hop in the river. And by somehow, I mean we were both sweaty messes, and it was an absolutely genius idea.

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Plus, ya know, it looks pretty badass.

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The chill reception was full of amazingly delicious food, enough craft beer to start a tasting room, and, of course, fabulous live jams. 

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I loved every second of this fabulous wedding weekend, and I'm so stoked for Julie and Josh to keep living and loving completely on their own terms. Thank y'all for having me be a part of your day! -MEJ

Swearman Babybump || Kent Island, Maryland

It never ceases to absolutely delight me when I get to work with folks I've known most of my life, especially when they're hitting huge milestones like their first kiddo! Mandy and I went to school together growing up, and now she's a kickass teacher. I am super excited for her and Sean for the birth of their son, especially after this b-e-a-uuuutiful golden hour session we had capturing The Bump.

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Of course, Baby Boy #1 had to be on hand for this session - Handsome hopped in a few of our shots and was a total ham for the camera.

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I can't tell what's more radiant - this incredible Chesapeake Bay sunset, or these parents to be! So looking forward to meeting your little man soon, thanks for the fabulous shoot, Sean and Mandy (and Handsome!). -MEJ

Mikaela's Senior Portrait Session || Kent Island, Maryland

Mmmm, another beautiful golden hour! This time with the bright and wonderful Mikeala for her senior portraits.

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She brought along her dog B, and I'm not entirely sure if Mikaela knew how much of a show stealer her sweet girl would be...

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No. Seriously.

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Y'all know I love dogs, but this pup was too much cute to handle!

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TOO. CUTE!

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Miss Mikaela is a senior at Queen Anne's County High School, where she kicks booty on the cheer squad and is looking forward to graduating asap!

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I can't wait to see what you take on after this great milestone, Mikaela - best of luck and all the puppy kisses in the world to ya! -MEJ