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Well, it’s that time again!  Spring is one of my favorite times of the year – it’s sunny, warm, the flowers are blooming, and… it’s Graduation Season!  I remember when I graduated from East Carolina University – I was so full of ideas and ready to show the world what I was capable of, but still so unsure of what I would be doing with “life outside of school”.  Luckily, things fell into place (as they tend to do) and I am so happy with where life has led me.

One thing is for sure though – With the school year wrapping up, there’s always a fresh batch of seniors getting ready to graduate, and it’s a bittersweet time for me.  As the ECU Marching Pirates photographer, I grow to love these students year after year, and it’s harder for me every year knowing the sweet faces that are graduating.  Chances are, with the majority, I won’t ever see these students again except for their occasional appearances at football games down the road or if they pop up on Facebook.  That goes the same for many of their friends and classmates that won’t get to see much of them anymore, as most students graduate and move away from Greenville.  Even still, many get jobs right after graduation (or go on their ‘big adventure’) and don’t return “home” to where their family is.  It is certainly a season of change, and with so much uncertainty, change, romance, adventure, etc, time flies by QUICKLY!

So to help you embrace the change (and help your mother do the same), I love offering Senior Sessions to college students.  Now, a lot of people think that Senior Sessions or Grad Sessions are just for High Schoolers…  Not the case!  Yes, High School is a crazy exciting and important time in your life, but you know what?  So is college.  People really change when they go to college – they find themselves, their passion or calling, they make the best friends of their life from all over the country and world (not just the neighbors from down the road), and they’re often making a huge transition not from one school to another (with some increased freedom), but from school to the REAL WORLD.  It’s a time of lasts – your last time as a carefree student, your last time living with roommates, last time running “Barefoot on the Mall” through campus or playing capture the flag …. for some, it’s one of the last opportunities you have to be silly and maybe a little juvenile, because we all end up growing up with responsibilities after school ends.  (Okay, now I’m crying!)  :)

So help yourself, your mother, and your friends reminisce on your time at ECU.  Nearly everyone I know that has been a Pirate is a Pirate for Life.  I’ve never seen or experienced so much passion and pride for a school, and it’s amazing!  Put on your Purple and Gold, wear your cap and gown, run around campus with me for a fun-filled and exciting photo session to capture some of your last moments on campus.  Get your friends together for a “farewell/see you later” session before you part ways.  These are times you’ll look back on with a happy heart and fond memories.  Make them last forever!

Time slots are booking up FAST and I want you to have an opportunity to get in on the fun!  Message me through the contact link here on the site to reserve your spot soon for sessions this Sunday, April 27th!

East Carolina University ECU Senior Mini Sessions for Grads - Spring 2014 { Amanda Brendle Photography, Greenville, NC Photographer }

Clothing is so much fun for me to photograph.  It has pushed me out of my comfort zone many times with learning how to be more creative and inspiring, and leaves me to take extra care in making sure that everything is perfect.

When I photograph couples, it is different – the main part is that they engage with each other!  I can tell a couple “walk that way”, “hold hands”, “give each other a smooch!”, etc.  They can laugh and giggle with each other and have fun without knowing I am there at times.

With product photography models, it is TOTALLY different!  And I’ll tell you this – it can be completely awkward at times.  I am so focused on taking pictures of their legs, their wrists, the shirt they’re wearing, and I forget to talk to them.  Oops!  ;)  So I have learned the importance of building the relationship with the girls I work with and – of course – having fun.  I have to be mindful that, as opposed to a portrait session where I want them to have my subject engage with me or pose at times, the focus is less on the person and more on the product.  Hair, makeup, and styling are all so critical!

I had the pleasure of doing a ton of photography in 2013 for Allie, of CoziBear Boutique.  Her shop and offering has grown SO MUCH in the past year, and I am so proud of where she is today!  I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with her products… it is always so much fun!

Here is the first shoot I did for her a year ago, with models Lindsay H. and little Gracie P.!

CoziBear Boutique Leg warmers | Raleigh, NC Product Photographer Amanda Brendle PhotographyCoziBear Boutique Leg warmers | Raleigh, NC Product Photographer Amanda Brendle PhotographyCoziBear Boutique Leg warmers | Raleigh, NC Product Photographer Amanda Brendle PhotographyCoziBear Boutique Leg warmers | Raleigh, NC Product Photographer Amanda Brendle PhotographyCoziBear Boutique Leg warmers | Raleigh, NC Product Photographer Amanda Brendle PhotographyCoziBear Boutique Leg warmers | Raleigh, NC Product Photographer Amanda Brendle PhotographyCoziBear Boutique Leg warmers | Raleigh, NC Product Photographer Amanda Brendle Photography

Happy Valentines Day!

Today is the day many have been waiting for… the announcement of the “Win your Wedding Photography” contest winners!

It has been an exciting couple of weeks with the sweetest love stories and couples who entered to win (See their love stories here).  I am so thankful to be in an industry where couples are willing to share their stories with me and that I have the privilege to capture sweet moments in time with them, be it on their wedding day, or even an engagement or “I Still Do” session.

The voting was INTENSE.. by that, I mean I think each couple took the lead at some point in time.  At the end of the first (and perhaps second) day, there were 3 couples running neck-and-neck with the same number of votes!  What an exciting contest, and it was awesome to see the love and support pouring in through votes, comments, and posts online asking for support from the couples and their loved ones.

So without further ado, here are your winners…

The winning couple of FREE Wedding Photography is:
Jordan Cook & Amanda Wilson!!

Wedding Photography Contest Winners Amanda Wilson & Jordan Cook | Amanda Brendle Photography - Raleigh, NC Wedding Photographer

They had nearly 1900 votes come in on Facebook for them in only about a week’s time – That is amazing!  Jordan and Amanda certainly took to social media and got a strong following going for them.  Congratulations!!

 

As a special surprise, I challenged the entrants earlier this week to have their friends and family comment on the blog, and I told them I would draw a random comment to win that couple a secret prize.   The winner there is:
Wedding Photography Contest Comment | Amanda Brendle Photography - Raleigh, NC Wedding Photographer

Brandon Martel & Jenna Sapp!

With that, Brandon and Jenna have won 25% off any of my wedding photography packages they choose!

 

As a Thank You to the rest of the entrants, they will receive 10% off any of my wedding photography packages for their upcoming nuptials!

Thank you so much to all of the entrants, their friends, family, and supporters.  I am so honored to have been able to share their stories with you, and celebrate their love!  Give our winners a shout-out in the comments below!

One of my earliest product photography clients, Ellie (A Felt Affair) has been such a believer of me over the years. I still remember the first pictures I took for her! Admittedly, I was pretty nervous and quite unsure how to start, but I quickly got a hang of it, developed a process, and it is so fun to go back through time to see how my style has changed and grown!

Last week I did some photography for her a bit different than normal, but that’s also because her newest creations are a bit different than her normal craft!

As you can tell from her shop name, Ellie kind of has a thing for felt. Her garlands are more than precious, and she takes the highest care in crafting and packaging each order to perfection! She is so creative and clever, and I love seeing what she comes up with every season. :)

Her newest creation? Felt hair clippies! When I say these things are cute, it’s got a capital “C”. I don’t know how one manipulates something as simple as felt into this much adorableness (can that please be a word?), but she just nails it every time.

Keep an eye out for these out on Paxton Cove this week – if you miss them there, be sure to check out her shop to see it all!

After announcing my first giveaway, I have been so excited to see the entries that came in! (See original post here)  These couples are all so awesome, and I can’t wait to share them all with you!  Please be sure to thank them for sharing their love stories with us… they are all too sweet!

We are now in the VOTING phase!  Check out all of the entries on Facebook and vote for your favorite couple.  You may vote once per day until the contest closes on February 12th, so be sure to share away!

Now, time to hear all about our Top 5!  Their love stories are posted here – read why they think they should win on the Facebook page!

 

Brandon Martel & Jenna Sapp
Wedding Location: New Bern, NC

How they met: “We met at ECU Marching Pirates Band Camp 2006. It was the first few days of college, and neither of us knowing many people, we ended up sitting with a big group of people at a dinner break. We ended up eating dinner together for the next four years.”

Engagement Story: “It was my last full week of school before the Christmas holiday. I had had a bad day at school and when I came home I saw a dozen roses on the counter. Then, Brandon walked up to me and asked me to marry him. I then and cried and laughed for about an hour. Then we took pictures and told everyone we know. Best Monday Ever.”

VOTE FOR BRANDON & JENNA

 


 

Mason Snuggs & Ally Rumley
Wedding Location: Burlington, NC

How they met: “Mason and I actually went to elementary school together. He is a year older than me in school and we played together in our schools after school program but we weren’t close friends. We eventually had a class together his senior year and my junior and sat right next to one another. We then became very close friends and after six months of being just friends he asked me to be his girl friend. So we are high school sweet hearts.”

Engagement Story: “After dating one year and ten months Mason said he wanted to take me out for a nice dinner but wouldn’t tell me where he was taking me. He ended up taking me to the Melting Pot in Greensboro, NC. After eating our four course meal, I noticed he was acting funny but I didn’t think anything of it. But I knew something was wrong with him when he turned down cheesecake dipped in chocolate. Mason then looked in my eyes and asked “Are you sure you wanna marry me?” My reply was “Of course, what kind of question is that?” He then took off my infinity ring he gave me for our one year anniversary, went around to my side of the booth, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was beyond surprised, happy, excited, and touched. He is my best friend, my everything, my life, and I cannot imagine my life without him.”

VOTE FOR MASON & ALLY

 


 

Jordan Cook & Amanda Wilson
Wedding Location: Leicester, NC

How they met: “We met in 2009 in high school.  Jordan was a freshman and I was a sophomore.   He asked me to be his girlfriend the typical way any high school student would back in the day… via a social networking site, but Jordan and I were more than “boyfriend and girlfriend” throughout high school.  We were each others’ best friend.”

Engagement Story: “We met in 2009 in high school.  Jordan was a freshman and I was a sophomore.   He asked me to be his girlfriend the typical way any high school student would back in the day… via a social networking site, but Jordan and I were more than “boyfriend and girlfriend” throughout high school.  We were each others’ best friend.  Last summer, Jordan took me on a vacation to the Outer Banks, where he had a surprise in store.  On July 5th as we were overlooking the ocean, he took me by the hand and asked me to marry him.  Overwhelmed with joy I gave him a huge hug and I said yes!”

VOTE FOR JORDAN & AMANDA

 


 

Garrett Brown & Sarah Boyce
Wedding Location: La Grange, NC

How they met: ”We met at East Carolina University in 2006, both as members of the Marching Pirates (tuba players at that!).  We didn’t start dating until the summer of 2009 but we have been going strong and bothering each other ever since!”

Engagement Story:  ”We were engaged on April 20th, 2013 in Greenville.  That day started out like a normal Saturday morning, taking our dog, Colby, for a walk on the local Greenway.  We reached a bench located by the river and stopped like we normally did.  Then, with Colby right between us, Garrett got down on one knee and the rest is history!”

VOTE FOR GARRETT & SARAH

 


 

Diondre Johnson & Shaquitta Townsend
Wedding Location: Greensboro, NC

How they met: “We met in a team meeting at work. He kept trying to debate everything I said. Even though he liked to debate EVERYTHING I said, I thought he was a good guy. After getting to know him I told him that he would make someone a good husband some day. Months later he says that he saw me in a different light. He said I was wearing this shirt ( the ugliest shirt I own) but it made him see me as someone that he wanted to pursue. He tried to ask me out, but it was always at the end of the day and I was ready to go, so I left. After 3 days he finally asked me out. We dated for a few months and he got friend-zoned until one day we went on a date and we were talking to another couple and I realized that he was no longer just my friend… I had fallen in love.”

Engagement Story: “We were engaged on New Years Day right after midnight. We were in church, when the pastor finished the sermon he walked up front and started telling our story then called me up front. Our song is John Legend All of Me. When the song started playing I knew. He got on one knee and was crying too hard to initially say anything, but eventually he got it out and I cried like a baby. I actually forgot to breathe for a second.”

VOTE FOR DIONDRE & SHAQUITTA