Merry Christmas!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6
As we prepare to gather with family and friends we wanted to wish all of you a peaceful and joyful Christmas.
The Records - Chris, Betsy, Alison and Sean
May your Christmas be filled with peace, joy and love.

May your Christmas be filled with peace, joy and love.





Ballet Photography - The Nutcracker

There is so much gloom and doom around these days that it seems a perfect time to get a respite by taking in the North Carolina Dance Theatre's (NCDT) performance of the holiday classic The Nutcracker.
Thursday night's dress rehearsal was a delight with beautiful music by the Charlotte Symphony, incredible colorful costumes and of course amazing dancing from the NCDT professionals along with help from area children.
Please remember these images are all copyrighted.
Happy Holidays!
Jasmine Perry is Clara

Jasmine Perry is Clara

Randolph Ward gets some hang time as a toy soldier

Randolph Ward gets some hang time as a toy soldier

Children get an up-close look at the toy soldier

Children get an up-close look at the toy soldier

Mark Diamond's Drosselmeyer with Clara

Mark Diamond's Drosselmeyer with Clara

Soldiers come to the rescue in Clara's dream

Soldiers come to the rescue in Clara's dream

The mice fight back

The mice fight back

The mouse king is ready to rumble

The Mouse King is ready to rumble

Sasha Janes and Anna Gerberich soar

Sasha Janes and Anna Gerberich soar

Snowflakes all around

Snowflakes all around

Anna Gerberich performs a solo

Anna Gerberich performs a solo

An angel waits to perform

An angel waits to perform

Another angel

Another angel

Dry ice, cool lights and small angels - gotta love it

Dry ice, cool lights and small angels - gotta love it

I obviously liked the little angels

I obviously liked the little angels

Mayu Tanigaito and Jhe Russell

Mayu Tanigaito and Jhe Russell

Carolina Rendon Okolova and her colorful helpers

Carolina Rendon Okolova and her colorful helpers

Mother Ginger played by Carlie Mills

Mother Ginger played by Carlie Mills

Sarah James performs

Sarah James performs

Joseph Watson gets ready to perform

Joseph Watson gets ready to perform

Joseph Watson lifts Carolina Rendon Okolova

Joseph Watson lifts Carolina Rendon Okolova

Dancer detail

Dancer detail

Beautiful detailing in Traci Gilchrest's costume

Beautiful detailing in Traci Gilchrest's costume

Traci Gilchrest and Addul Manzano

Traci Gilchrest and Addul Manzano

Addul Manzano in full flight

Addul Manzano

Jasmine Perry prepares to take a bow for her role as Clara

Jasmine Perry prepares to take a bow for her role as Clara





Odds and Ends - Panthers, Curry and Jimmy V

It's a great time to be a sports fan in Charlotte with the Carolina Panthers scoring a huge win over Tampa Bay on Monday night football and another season of college basketball hitting full stride.

We're big Panther fans and we're among the thousands of area fans who have jumped on the Davidson Wildcat bandwagon following their amazing run in the NCAA Tournament last year. Davidson's Stephen Curry has emerged as one the best players in the country and he even has NBA star LeBron James in his cheering section.

My son Sean and I have been following Curry since his freshman season and we got to take some photographs at a few home games last year. Click here to see some of our pictures from last season.

Davidson had a big win over NC State here in Charlotte Saturday and I tuned in Tuesday night to watch the Wildcats play West Virginia in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Curry was having an off night early on but ended the game in his usual dramatic fashion and hit two 3-pointers in the final 90 seconds to lead Davidson to a 68-65 win.

Curry's determined effort fit well with Jim Valvano's call to "never give up" when he faced his battle with cancer. For those too young to remember, Valvano was the charismatic NC State coach who led the Wolfpack to an incredibly unlikely national championship in 1983. The images of Valvano running around the floor looking for someone to hug are etched in most sports fans' memories.

Valvano would lose his battle with cancer in 1993 at the age of 47. But before he died he started the Jimmy V foundation to raise money to fight the disease. To date, the Jimmy V foundation has earned in excess of $80 million.

At halftime of last night's game, ESPN aired Valvano's speech at the ESPY awards where he received the Arthur Ashe award. I hadn't seen the speech in years and it really resonated with me at this particular time.

Both of my parents and my younger brother and sister have battled cancer.

Valvano's message was particularly hopeful in this time of economic turmoil and negativity. He calls for people to enjoy life today and to value their families.

He said a good day involves taking time to laugh, think and to be moved to tears.

And, most of all, he calls us to "never give up."

If you've got 10 minutes to spare, check out the video below. It's well worth you time.

Jimmy V on the ESPY Awards





Professional Spotlight: Ballantyne Resort

We get the opportunity to work with so many great wedding professionals so we've decided to periodically spotlight a few we consider to be among the very best.
Although many of our events take us to other great cities, we thought we'd start right here at home in Charlotte.
Ballantyne Resort is a Mobil Four-Star and AAA Four-Diamond resort that offers amazing rooms, food, spa facilities, golf course and the famous Dana Rader Golf School (which even helped this hacker lower his handicap). And as if that isn't enough, it's a great venue for weddings.
We got a first-hand experience in August at Jackie and Stuart's amazing wedding reception at Ballantyne.
Catering sales manager Kelly G. Randazzo and the staff do a fantastic job handling all the details and making all of the guests feel welcome and special.
Contact Kelly to plan your event.
Ballantyne Resort

Ballantyne Resort

The resort offers many amenities and impeccable service

The resort offers many amenities and impeccable service

Catering sales manager Kelly Randazzo does a great job coordinating weddings and events

Catering sales manager Kelly Randazzo does a great job coordinating weddings and events





Little Black Book Listing

We've been asked to join the Little Black Book, an exclusive group of wedding vendors put together by the people at the Style Me Pretty blog.
We're glad to be a part of this handpicked listing of the very best wedding professionals from around the country.
Click here to see our new listing.
Style Me Pretty's Little Black Book

Style Me Pretty's Little Black Book





New Family Member - Roxy the Photo Dog

We added a new member to the family today.
We lost our beloved dog Shadow to cancer a few months back and we'd been thinking about getting another dog. We've been considering a yellow lab for some time but we weren't too sure we were ready to deal with a puppy.
Betsy just happened upon an online listing for a 1-year-old yellow lab and we decided to take a look. A really nice family had adopted Roxy but was having trouble giving her the attention she needed.
We fell in love with her right away. Just a beautiful dog with a great disposition.
I wasn't sure about her name at first but it's growing on me. Roxy Record, it just might work.
Roxy is very friendly

Roxy is very friendly

She is working on her fetching skills

She is working on her fetching skills

She is keeping track of the many squirrels in our backyard

Keeping track of the many squirrels in our backyard

Roxy on the run

Roxy on the run





Featured in Southern Weddings! Clary and Robert

The Southern Weddings magazine blog just did an awesome feature on one of our recent weddings.
Clary and Robert were married here in Charlotte in August. You should check the links to read Clary's hilarious story about her experience buying her dress at the Vera Wang store in New York.
To see the two-part post, click here Part One and here Part Two.
Thanks to Editor-in-Chief Lara Casey and her staff! They do a fantastic job and we're happy to be featured on such a beautiful site!
And congratulations to Clary and Robert. Your incredible wedding was a joy to photograph!

The Southern Weddings blog

Part of the Southern Weddings feature and Clary and Robert

Part of the Southern Weddings feature on Clary and Robert





Jackie and Stuart's Charlotte Wedding (Part Two - The Reception)

Following the ceremony at Myers Park Presbyterian Church, Jackie and Stuart's wedding celebration moved to the Ballantyne Resort.
The evening kicked off with a cocktail party complete with a signature cocktail - the "Fogalino."
As I peeked inside the ballroom I was treated to a spectacular vision that came from the combination of the efforts of Sha Sha Harnik of Distinctive Events in Charleston, Todd Crawford of Crawford and Company Florist in Charlotte and the staff at the Ballantyne Resort. The cake by Jill Delmastro of Wedding Cakes by Jill added even more elegance to the setting.
I need to mention the efforts of Lee MacLeod of Sterling Event Planners, Ballantyne catering sales manager Kelly Randazzo, Ballantyne's events concierge Sarah Slovensky and Jennifer Wouters from Soiree Charlotte. Jennifer did an amazing job as the point person for the event.
The team from Cinematrimony, led by Darin Holiday, was also great to work with and I appreciate their unobtrusive style.
The Atlanta 80's cover band The Breakfast Club kept the party going all night and a photo booth from Party Booths was another nice touch.
Jackie and Stu are such a fun couple and they made the night all huge party for everyone. Thanks to you both and to your families for a fantastic event.
Jackie and Stuart outside the Ballantyne Resort

Jackie and Stuart outside the Ballantyne Resort

Signature cocktail - the "Fogalino"

Signature cocktail - the "Fogalino"

An amazing setting insdie the Ballantyne Resort

An amazing setting inside the Ballantyne Resort

All the details were done to perfection

All the details were done to perfection

An incredible cake by Jill Delmastro of Wedding Cakes by Jill

An incredible cake by Jill Delmastro of Wedding Cakes by Jill

The staff at the Ballantyne Resort did a fantastic job

The staff at the Ballantyne Resort is top notch

The wedding party made some grand entrances

The wedding party made some grand entrances

Jackie and Stu's first dance

Jackie and Stu's first dance

Group hug after the first dance

Group hug after the first dance

Jackie's grandfather gave a wonderful speech

Jackie's grandfather gave a wonderful speech

Jackie and Stu get words of wisdom from her grandfather

Jackie and Stu get words of wisdom from her grandfather

Jackie and the wedding party react to a speech by her father

Jackie and the wedding party react to a speech by her father

Stuart's father is a minister and he gave the blessing

Stuart's father is a minister and he gave the blessing

The first course arrives

The first course arrives

Jackie dances with her father

Jackie dances with her father

Jackie gives her father a big hug at the end of their dance

Jackie shows her appreciation to her father

Jackie's grandmother has a great time on the dance floor

Jackie's grandmother has a great time on the dance floor

Looking for a photo opportunity

Looking for a photo opportunity

Jackie gets things moving on the dance floor

Jackie gets things moving on the dance floor

Jackie and her mother enjoy the reception

Jackie and her mother enjoy the reception

Atlanta 80's cover band The Breakfast Club gets some backup vocals from the bride

Atlanta 80's cover band The Breakfast Club gets some backup vocals from the bride

They wore their sunglasses at night, as per Jackie's request

They wore their sunglasses at night, as per Jackie's request

Jackie's father took a break for cigars and single malt scotch

Jackie's father took a break for cigars and single malt scotch

Jackie did a little fake-out on the first attempt at the bouquet toss

Jackie did a little fake-out on the first attempt at the bouquet toss

Jackie and Stu make their exit

Jackie and Stu make their exit

Sparkers light the way for the escape

Sparklers light the way for the escape

Jackie and Stu met at a golf course so the golf cart was very fitting

Jackie and Stu met during college while working at a golf course so the cart was very fitting





Jackie and Stuart's Charlotte Wedding (Part One)

We've been very fortunate to photograph some incredible weddings during the past few months.
Jackie and Stuart's wedding in Charlotte Saturday included all of the elements needed for a great event. Great people, excellent venues and talented wedding professionals. Also in abundant supply was something that sometimes gets overlooked - fun.
I first got to know Jackie and Stu at their engagement party at Providence Country Club in March. They were so easy to work with and I saw first-hand their love of family and laughter. Earlier this month, we did  Jackie's bridal portrait session at the Duke Mansion.
I knew going in that this was going to be a special day with some amazing moments. Stuart's father, the Rev. Arthur Ford Fogartie, led the service and was helped by Catholic priest, the Rev. Patrick's Cahill, from Jackie's church. Stuart's grandfather, the Rev. James Eugene Fogartie, was pastor at Myers Park Presbyterian for almost 20 years.
Our company photographer, Laura Mueller, worked as a second photographer and helped document a full day of activities. We ended up with so many great images that I decided to split this wedding into two blog posts.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for images from the reception and many more details from this beautiful affair at the Ballantyne Resort Hotel.
I have to give a special mention to wedding coordinator Jennifer Wouters of Soiree Charlotte. She helped coordinate a multitude of people who helped make this day.
It was so refreshing to work with Jackie and Stu and their families - people who all know how to have fun.
Jackie And Stuart at Myers Park Presbyterian Church

Jackie And Stuart at Myers Park Presbyterian Church

Laura's shot of Jackie watching her new sister-in-law Drew getting her hair done by Penn from Roland's Salon

Laura's shot of Jackie watching her new sister-in-law to-be Drew getting her hair done by Penn from Roland's Salon

Another Laura photo of Jackie with her "double cousin" Lauren at the Ballantyne Resort

Another Laura photo of Jackie with her "double cousin" Lauren at the Ballantyne Resort

Jackie's grandparents watch people arrive at Myers Park Presbyterian Church

Jackie's grandparents watch people arrive at Myers Park Presbyterian Church

Groomsman gets an assist with his tie prior to the ceremony

Groomsman gets an assist with his tie prior to the ceremony

Jackie looking gorgeous prior to the service

Jackie looking gorgeous prior to the service

Helping hands as Jackie gets ready

Helping hands as Jackie gets ready

Michael looks on as Penn assists Jackie with her veil

Michael looks on as Penn assists Jackie with her veil

Bridesmaid Leighton is the sister of Ross, whose wedding we photographed in August. It was great to see her and her parents

Bridesmaid Leighton is the sister of Ross, whose wedding we photographed in August. It was great to see her and her parents

Lauran touches up Jackie's lips

Lauren touches up Jackie's lips

Bridesmaids have some fun waiting for the wedding

Bridesmaids have some fun waiting for the wedding

Stuart's sister Drew waits for the signal to start the ceremony

Stuart's sister Drew waits for the signal to start the ceremony

Jackie and her dad head down the aisle

Jackie and her father head down the aisle

Stu waits for his new bride

Stu waits for his bride

Stuart's father, the Rev. Arthur Ford Fogartie, conducts the service with an assist from the Rev. Patrick Cahill

Stuart's father, the Rev. Arthur Ford Fogartie, conducts the service with an assist from the Rev. Patrick Cahill

Jackie and Stu make their way back down the aisle

Jackie and Stu make their way back down the aisle

A quiet moment right after the ceremony

A quiet moment right after the ceremony

Jackie's beautiful bouquet, phalaenopsis orchids by Crawford and Company

Jackie's beautiful bouquet, phalaenopsis orchids by Crawford and Company

Having some fun after the ceremony

Having some fun after the ceremony

Jackie and Stu take a moment before heading to the reception

Jackie and Stu pause before heading to the reception





Lake Norman Wedding - Amy and Rob

Our weddings have taken us to many fantastic locations throughout the Carolinas and beyond but it's always nice to photograph an event close to home.
Amy and Rob chose Saint Therese Catholic Church in Mooresville for their ceremony and the Peninsula Club in the Lake Norman area for their reception.
October is often a fantastic month for weddings in North Carolina as the temperatures cool and the humidity drops. And Saturday turned out to be a beautiful day albeit a bit cool for the area.
Rob's slight fumbling of his vows gave everyone a good laugh and everything else went off without a hitch.
Thanks to Peninsula Club catering manager Diane Stevens who was so helpful and did a wonderful job throughout the night. Carolyn Shepard of the Carolyn Shepard Design Group did her usual stellar job on the flowers and table decor.
It was so great to see Anne and Kelly, whose wedding I photographed one year ago today. See photos from their wedding by clicking here. I also ran into a friend, Chris, another former client, whose lovely wife Heidi had another commitment and couldn't attend. Their sons Grant and Anderson are among our favorite subjects.
Diane got us some golf carts and we took Amy and Rob down near Lake Norman for some fun pictures. The crisp, fall evening and the backdrop of the Peninsula Club made for some awesome images.
Thanks Amy and Rob and good luck to you both!
Amy and Rob at the Peninsula Club at Lake Norman

Amy and Rob at the Peninsula Club at Lake Norman

A beautiful fall sky at Saint Gherese Catholic Church in Mooresville

A beautiful fall sky at Saint Therese Catholic Church in Mooresville

Amy's dress was eye-popping

Amy's dress was eye-popping

Amy looked beautiful

Amy looked radiant

Amy and her dad compare notes as they wait for their entrance

Amy and her dad compare notes as they wait for their entrance

All eyes are on Amy as she walks down the aisle

All eyes are on Amy as she walks down the aisle

The Monsignor Richard Bellow blesses the couple

The Monsignor Richard Bellow blesses the couple

A smile after the kiss

A smile after the kiss

Amy and Rob relax after the ceremony

Amy and Rob relax after the ceremony

That darn paparazzi is always around

Those darn paparazzi are always around

Beautiful boquet and dress

Beautiful bouquet and dress

Amy at the Peninsula Club

Amy at the Peninsula Club

Amy jokes with the wedding party

Amy jokes with the wedding party

Outside the Peninsula Club

Outside the Peninsula Club

Amy and Rob enjoy the moment

Amy and Rob enjoy the moment

On the docks at the Peninsula Club

On the docks at the Peninsula Club

A nice place for a stroll

A nice place for a stroll

I love the color and lines in this image

I love the color and lines in this image

Gorgeous table decor from the Carolyn Shepard Design Group

Gorgeous table decor from the Carolyn Shepard Design Group

Happy Anniversary to Anne and Kelly, whose wedding I photographed one year ago today. Congrats!

Happy Anniversary to Anne and Kelly, whose wedding I photographed one year ago today. Congrats!

Nice cake.

Memorable wedding cake

First dance.

First dance.

Amy snuck a little extra cake on Rob's face

Amy snuck a little extra cake on Rob's face

DJ Michael Catlow kept everyone moving

DJ Michael Catlow kept everyone moving

Amy and Rob share a slow dance

Amy and Rob share a slow dance