BOONE, NC WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER 

north carolina & destination wedding photographer

 

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FACES OF HIGH SOUTH EVENT PROFESSIONALS | HOW SPACE | BOONE, NC

May 28, 2018

Back in April, I had the opportunity to photograph 21 of the most talented, beautiful and kind spirits in our wedding professional community here in the High Country. Only a few had I met before so many new friendships were made. Each person met with me for 10 minutes at the HOW Space  in Downtown Boone, posing against the prettiest little scene set up by my dear friend Paige Ulmer of The Laurel Collective. To say that the day was one, big ongoing party is an understatement. I had the absolute best time getting to meet and know these ladies better outside of their work. So thankful for our sweet and supportive community here in the High Country! I want to invite you to learn more about these incredible women of High South Event Professionals below and maybe even contact them to make your big day absolutely perfect! 

 

 

 

 

Meris Gantt

The Whole Shebang - Owner

Wedding & Event Planning

www.wholeshebangevents.com

 

What was your "A-HA moment" in starting your business? What made you decide to do what you do?​ I had a newborn and was in Real Estate at the time which was really taxing and not super rewarding. The former owner of The Whole Shebang, who I knew and who had also planned my wedding, was moving away and one day I just thought, "I think I would be good at wedding planning. I'm going to ask if I can take over the business when she leaves." I asked and she said yes. Then I read a bunch of books by Emily Post. To be fair, I had a theatre degree and 15 years of the service industry under my belt so I wasn't completely clueless : )​

What is the most rewarding part of your job?​ I'm kind of a nerd and love the office work and creating systems and making my life/work/weddings more efficient. Another favorite is the first call/meeting where I get to learn about the clients and match them up with the perfect team for their style and budget. Oh, and the wedding days are super rewarding, too obviously but really I'm in love with the whole process.

​What are you favorite hobbies/non-related work activities? Ugh, so many. I mainly enjoy music, wine, cooking, yoga, reading, things around the house etc but also love marketing (yes, that's a hobby!) Oh, and we're starting a podcast​...maybe multiple podcasts...so many things!

Any tips or advice you would like to give to couples who are currently in the planning stage? ​Figure out what your actual budget is and then pretend it's 15-20% lower! If you're delegating tasks to your friends be super specific, leave no gray areas. Be real about your guest list vs. the space/budget and have a rock solid rain plan. Don't get too caught up in the details and lose sight of what's really important. Oh, and be nice to your parents - they're only trying to help. This is a big day for them, too!

BEST career moment?​ It's really hard to say. I don't know that I could possibly pick just one. My goal is just to work with the nicest, most awesome people possible so that every wedding feels like a "career moment" no matter the size or scale.

 

 

DeAnna Reid

Edenhouse - Owner

Floral Design & Wedding Coordination

www.edenhousenc.com

 

What was your "A-HA moment" in starting your business? What made you decide to do what you do?​ This is a tough question. I honestly had no intentions of starting my own business or ever thought I would. When I graduated from college I couldn't find a job in the field I graduated in. I had to take whatever I could find. I hopped from a few jobs here and there and in the mean time I was helping friends with their weddings. One of the last jobs I held I was let go due to being one of the newer employees and they were condensing their staffing. I was then left with no job and honestly no hope. After helping a few friends with their weddings word got around and a few other people started reaching out to me to design their flowers and help with coordination. They knew I had no job and I felt they were just doing me a favor!! I didn't see a future in it AT ALL! But, one thing led to another and here I am still doing the same thing I started with 4 years ago. Looking back it was a blessing in disguise that I lost my job because now I am doing what I love and what I was called to do.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?​ The most rewarding part is seeing the look on bride's faces when you present them with their bouquet. Sometimes there are uncontrollable tears of joy and sometimes I get BIG bear hugs of appreciation. Knowing that I have held a small part in their wedding day or wedding planning process is so rewarding.

​What are you favorite hobbies/non-related work activities? Most of all I love spending time with my family! Whether we're outside exploring together or just simply relaxing around a fire that's hands down my favorite. I enjoy getting lost in trying new recipes, spending lots of time in the kitchen cooking. I love being outside with my hands in the dirt, planting or landscaping. Lastly, a guilty pleasure of mine is crocheting, can't get enough YARN in my life!

Any tips or advice you would like to give to couples who are currently in the planning stage? ​The best advice I can give is it's never too early to book your vendors. Vendors book up so quickly and typically a year in advance. So never think it's too early to begin looking or booking!

BEST career moment?​ I can't say I have a BEST or favorite career moment. I would say that each wedding brings a new perspective of awesomeness to the job. I'm just so thankful to be doing a job that never feels like work. Everyday is a good day when you're doing what you love.

 

 

Paige Ulmer

The Laurel Collective - Owner

Event Styling & Design

www.thelaurelcollective.com

 

What was your "A-HA moment" in starting your business? What made you decide to do what you do?​ I am learning something new almost everyday! I decided to start The Laurel Collective when I facilitated a corporate event with the sole purpose for the staff to be appreciated and seen for who they are and what they do.

Describe your business:​ The Laurel Collective incorporates design elements to accomplish any vibe my client wishes to achieve for weddings, events, and homes. From just helping get all the ducks in a row through a consultation or creating the elements themselves, we love just playing any part!

What is the most rewarding part of your job?​ Getting to walk with people during exciting but sometimes stressful seasons and helping them feel more confident and relaxed!

​What are you favorite hobbies/non-related work activities? Between my husband and I, we run 5 businesses we started that all seemed to flourish at once! We started them because we were passionate about each thing but also because we were doing it in our spare time for fun anyways! We love real estate - from exploring the area we live to rehabbing multiple projects at once, we’re probably walking a fine line to crazy.

Any tips or advice you would like to give to couples who are currently in the planning stage? ​At the end of the day, you get to marry your greatest love. The things that go wrong, you couldn’t control to begin with and they make for a funny story down the road. Try to remember the moments of the day and don’t skimp on a photographer!!!

BEST career moment?​ Getting featured in Junebug Weddings!!!

 

 

Jennifer Thorp

Sutherland Manor - Owner

Wedding & Event Venue

 

Jennifer is currently restoring a historic farm turned wedding venue in Ashe County. She describes the setting below: Sutherland Manor is a beautiful historic farm with a large white farm house, guest cottage and several pioneer era log cabin out buildings. This entire valley of Ashe county is magical. I always say it’s like driving back in time. It was settled by five Sutherland brothers, who all built beautiful farm houses. Four of them still remain. The other three have already been restored by the neighboring farmers and now we’re currently working to restore this place! Historic records date it to 1807; although Farmer Jim Sutherland, my neighbor and a great grandson of the original Sutherland’s, swears it was built in the 1700s. Thomas Sutherland was justice of the peace here in Ashe County and his daughter ran the school. We’ve heard of several weddings that have taken place here and I’d imagine there were plenty more that we don’t know of, most likely officiated by Thomas himself. We’ve completely fallen in love with this homestead. It’s so perfect with big green flat pastures and a stunning view of the Peak rising up beyond the river! I know it will be a beautiful venue some day, hopefully sooner rather than later.

 

Jo Ann Hallmark

Hallmark Cakes - Owner

Bakery 

www.hallmarkcakes.com

 

 

What was your "A-HA moment" in starting your business? What made you decide to do what you do? My business was more of a slow burn. My first wedding cake was for a friend and then gradually people started calling me. When I started, there was not another baker in Blowing Rock doing what I do, and before I knew it, I was in business quite by accident.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Trying new things and meeting happy people!

What are you favorite hobbies/non-related work activities? Sewing and painting

Any tips or advice you would like to give to couples who are currently in the planning stage? Don’t worry too much. Have fun with the process and let yourself enjoy everything.

BEST career moment? Anytime I hear from a really happy customer. I also love getting requests for birthday cakes for the children of couples whose wedding cake I made!

 

 

Hannah Hunt

Golden Thistle Design - Owner

Wedding Floral Design

www.goldenthistledesign.com

 

What was your "A-HA moment" in starting your business? What made you decide to do what you do? That my hobby was considered as viable and valid. And people wanted to pay me to do it.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? The bride's face when she sees her bouquet!

What are you favorite hobbies/non-related work activities? I enjoy landscaping, reading, tea, gardening, creating and my grandbabies!

Any tips or advice you would like to give to couples who are currently in the planning stage? Enjoy it. Relax.

BEST career moment? Working with amazing vendors on the High Country Wedding Guide shoot would definitely be my high point.

 

 

Kathleen Haynes

Haynes Event Productions, Inc. - Owner

Sound Production

www.hayneseventproductions.com

 

What was your "A-HA moment" in starting your business? What made you decide to do what you do? The A-ha moment came right after Scott and I got married. Scott had been managing Farthing Auditorium for a bit and was getting asked a lot to come run sound for this or that. Then we DJ'd our own wedding and realized we needed to put together some equipment and make it legit.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Best part of my job is being the glue that holds a lot of events together and makes them come to life!

What are you favorite hobbies/non-related work activities? My husband and I enjoy hiking and attending live music events that we aren't working.

Any tips or advice you would like to give to couples who are currently in the planning stage? My best advice is that anything goes these days. Do what makes you happy.

BEST career moment? My best career moment was probably when we produced the small show at Westglow that James Taylor came and played as part of the Obama For Victory Campaign Tour :)  

 

Janine Harris

Bundles & Blooms - Owner

Floral Design

www.bundlesandblooms.com

 

What was your "A-HA moment" in starting your business? What made you decide to do what you do? Becoming a florist was something I had dreamed of doing but it was a dream I never really clung to. I didn't think it was for me.I had graduated from college with a degree in International Affairs but there were no doors opening for jobs in that field. So, I was working retail. One day, I asked my coworkers what their dream job was - what would they do if they could do absolutely anything? They in turn asked me the same question and I surprised myself by saying I'd want to be a florist. I began to really think about what that life would look like - is it possible? Could I do it? How? For my birthday that year my aunt gave me a floral design book and my husband gave me a book about how to become a florist as well as tickets to a women's business conference. I could hardly hold back my tears! So much belief in me! A month later, I quit working at Nike after 4.5 years and started my floral journey. My how the Lord has paved the way!

Describe your business: Bundles & Blooms is a wedding floral design company with a passion for locally sourced, seasonal flowers. We seek to embrace the beauty of creation and arrange its blossoms & branches in a way that both best displays its natural grace as well as enhances the beauty of the wedding day.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Oh, the people! By far the people. Getting to know the bride & her fiancé & serving them on their most precious day. It is such a humbling honor. Delivering the bridal bouquet is the pinnacle of the wedding day experience to me. Walking into the bridal suite, into a room buzzing with excitement and nerves and love, into a room where even the closest family is not allowed, blooms in hand - there is no greater honor when it comes to wedding flowers. 

What are you favorite hobbies/non-related work activities? Gardening - I love getting my hands dirty! Also playing the ukulele and crossfit.

Any tips or advice you would like to give to couples who are currently in the planning stage? The planning stage can get stressful and tense. Budgets, decisions and pressure from others can really pile up. Take time to remember WHY you're doing what you're doing. Remember the love that you share and come to realize the most important aspect of your wedding day. It's not the gown or the flowers or the food - it's one another. 

BEST career moment? Wow. I believe it was being asked to participate in the High Country Wedding Guide cover shoot during my first year of floristry. Again, so humbled.

 

Tracie Franks

Tin Can Event Co. - Owner

Vintage Mobile Photobooth

www.tincaneventco.com

 

What was your "A-HA moment" in starting your business? What made you decide to do what you do? Our love for vintage Airstream trailers lead us to creating our flagship VW PhotoBooth. It think it was a Pinterest photo that sparked the idea. We love helping people have fun! Our majors in college were Recreation Mgt.

Describe your business: Beautifully restored vintage vehicles outfitted with state-of-the-art PhotoBooths add creative entertainment to special events.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Seeing people smile & laugh!

What are you favorite hobbies/non-related work activities? Alpine skiing, snowboarding, horseback riding and hiking with our Bernese Mountain Dog.

Any tips or advice you would like to give to couples who are currently in the planning stage? Consider eloping. A big wedding is not for everyone.

BEST career moment? Being part of the Biltmore’s July 4th Celebration last year was a real honor and a lot of fun.

 

Denise Lovin

White Fence Farm, The Horton Hotel - Owner

Wedding & Event Venue, Boutique Hotel

www.whitefencefarmrentals.com // www.thehorton.com

 

What was your "A-HA moment" in starting your business? What made you decide to do what you do? My husband made me do it. Plus, I started my career in event planning, and then because I wanted to take the helping profession "a little deeper," I became a psychologist. Now, back again to event planning and embracing the entire hospitality industry.

Describe your business: We own a wedding venue, vacation rentals and are currently building a boutique hotel and rooftop lounge in downtown Boone. 

What is the most rewarding part of your job? I love creating and connecting to people and working to bring joy, happiness and delight!

What are you favorite hobbies/non-related work activities? I like to read and exercise, currently biking and yogaing.

Any tips or advice you would like to give to couples who are currently in the planning stage? Think out of the box and do what is relevant to you.

BEST career moment? So many but so far it has been creating a hotel to be a place where I would want to stay. 

 

 

Patti Peterson

High Country Calligraphy - Owner

Custom Calligraphy

www.instagram.com/highcountrycalligraphy

 

What was your "A-HA moment" in starting your business? What made you decide to do what you do? Seeing that people were willing to pay for calligraphy services. I can do something most people can't/don't have time to learn. 

Describe your business: I provide calligraphy for weddings -- envelope addressing, signage, table charts and place cards.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? I love being a behind-the-scenes part of making a wedding day special.

What are you favorite hobbies/non-related work activities? I enjoy hiking and working out.

BEST career moment? I'm just starting out but getting my first envelope job last month was pretty exciting!

 

Kelly Carpenter

16 Hands Farm - Owner

Wedding Venue

www.16handsfarm.com

 

What was your "A-HA moment" in starting your business? What made you decide to do what you do? When my very first bride reached out to me and wanted to get married at the farm. I had never given a wedding venue a thought. "A-Ha" maybe I should look into this!!!!

Describe your business: Rustic but elegant barn venue for hosting weddings, private parties, photography sessions and retreats.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Being a part of so many families special times and memories.

What are you favorite hobbies/non-related work activities? I enjoy gardening and horseback riding.

BEST career moment? Relocating to manage a retail store at a very very young age.

 

 

Andi Gelsthorpe

Miss Match Rentals - Owner

Floral Design

www.missmatchrentals.com

 

What was your "A-HA moment" in starting your business? What made you decide to do what you do? I debuted our collection at our wedding in 2009. My guests loved it and so did I. Rob and I wanted to start a business and MMR was our back up plan after trying to figure out how to run a Party Bus business in Boone. We chased the party bus dream to a dead end and MMR was born.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Getting a handwritten thank you note from a bride that appreciated our contribution to her special day.

What are you favorite hobbies/non-related work activities? I like going on long walks in the woods.

Any tips or advice you would like to give to couples who are currently in the planning stage? Figure out what is really important to you and don't sweat the small stuff.

 

Fuschia Moss

Fuschia Moss Floral Design - Owner

Floral Design

www.fuschiamoss.com

 

What was your "A-HA moment" in starting your business? What made you decide to do what you do? My moment was really driven by my children. I was expecting our 3rd child and was working full time at Westglow in the accounting office. At that point I had already been creating floral designs for Westglow weddings, events and weekly fresh designs. I took a leap of faith and went for it! Knowing there was flexibility that a new mother needs and seeing the areas wedding popularity really start growing; I had great confidence in the choice.

Describe your business: Custom event and wedding floral design.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? I still get watery eyes when I pass the bridal bouquet over the the bride. I think seeing the bouquet is a piece of all the planning up to that point. I can truly feel the emotions of the day and the excitement and energy always get to me!

What are you favorite hobbies/non-related work activities? I enjoy anything outside which is why I decided to live in this beautiful place. In the winter, I love snowboarding and the rest of the year you can find my family and I either in the woods camping or hiking. However, we love just spending time at our home, too.

Any tips or advice you would like to give to couples who are currently in the planning stage? Trust your hired professionals. Some of my best work has been when I'm not micromanaged. Creative freedom with direction!

BEST career moment? I have had some pretty amazing moments but usually don't realize it's happened until after the fact! Haha! Often during that final walk through before leaving the venue a nice sense of relief comes over me. Knowing that I did my best to create a beautiful setting for the couple. I could say the cover shot of High Country Wedding Guide and High South Weddings or various other publications, but really it's the day of the event, completing something simple or elaborate....it's all the same feeling.

 

 

Elizabeth Pedroni

Casa Rustica, CR Catering, Fairway Cafe - Owner

Restaurant & Catering

www.crcateringco.com

 

What was your "A-HA moment" in starting your business? What made you decide to do what you do? My husband, Rick, started C.R. Catering Co. in 2007 as a extension of Casa Rustica Restaurant. As the company grew over the years and I was ready to get back to work after having our two daughters, I found my niche in the Catering and Venue sides of our business. I enjoy combining my creativity and organizational skills to ensure we deliver well executed and delicious events!

Describe your business: C.R. Catering Co. has served the high country and beyond for over 10 years. We specialize in Italian and other fares. We customize menus to suit our clients needs and desires! Fairway Cafe & Venue at Boone Golf Club is perfect for rehearsal dinners and offers beautiful views with in-town convenience.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Being such a big part of a couples wedding day can really put the pressure on! The best part of my job is seeing our happy clients at the end of an event and knowing that my staff and husband and I have all come together to make a great event with awesome food!

What are you favorite hobbies/non-related work activities? I enjoy yoga, pilates, and golf. Most importantly, time with my family is the best!!

Any tips or advice you would like to give to couples who are currently in the planning stage? Remember to enjoy the moment you are in at each stage of the planning process.

BEST career moment? Most recently, we catered a seamless event at ASU where we fed over 450 people at 6 different buffet locations in the Student Union.

 

 

 

Megan Drake

The Elegant Event - Owner

Wedding & Event Planning

www.facebook.com/TheElegantEvent

 

What was your "A-HA moment" in starting your business? What made you decide to do what you do? I have always been a "planner." I planned my friends' sleepovers as a middle schooler. I planned our middle school class reunions (I went to a small, private elementary and middle school) when I was in high school. I have just always loved planning events and bringing people together.

Describe your business: The Elegant Event is one of the High Country's premier wedding planning services. We specialize in long distance planning, working with bride's from across the US to plan their dream mountain destination wedding. Whether you need assistance from engagement to I do, or help with day of coordination, we have a team for every bride!

What is the most rewarding part of your job? The joy that a stress-free wedding brings to a bride, groom and their families! Weddings should be an exciting and joyous event, not difficult and stressful! Being able to lift that burden off of my client's shoulders means everything!

What are you favorite hobbies/non-related work activities? I am a mom of 4 kiddos. They range in age from 1-10, so I don't have much time for hobbies. However, I love to travel and experience new places and people! Big trips or small, every few months I'm itching for a new city or town but I'll always come back to my mountains!

Any tips or advice you would like to give to couples who are currently in the planning stage? Hire a planner! Haha! Seriously, people often see a planner as just an added expense, but in reality, we are likely to be able to save you money and we can certainly save you time and stress! Your wedding day should be a celebration, not a day of work!

BEST career moment? From a personal standpoint, making friends with many of my brides has been the BEST! I am still in contact with many of my brides, we text, we grab coffee when they come town. It's sweet! From a professional standpoint, being featured in Carolina Bride magazine was pretty special. It was only my 2nd year in business and it was a pretty big boost for my self confidence!

 

 

Megan Biddix

White Fence Farm, The Horton Hotel - Director of Operations

Wedding & Event Venue, Boutique Hotel

www.whitefencefarmrentals.com // www.thehorton.com

 

 

What was your "A-HA moment" in starting your business? What made you decide to do what you do? I do what I do with Denise because I love to make people happy. This is one of those industries where you get to do that on a regular basis in a really special way.

Describe your business: I am the Director of Hotel Operations for The Horton Hotel and I am the Assistant Property Manager for White Fence Farm. The Horton Hotel is Boone’s first boutique hotel AND rooftop lounge. White Fence Farm is comprised of several vacation rentals & a beautiful, rustic event venue!

What is the most rewarding part of your job? My favorite part about my job is getting to be creative. I also love the fact that I get to learn something new everyday! I always get to make time for researching something industry related and I thrive off of that.

What are you favorite hobbies/non-related work activities? My favorite hobbies are tending my little garden, spending time with my dog and cat, cooking, hiking, running, and yoga! Oh… and reading everything I can get my hands on!

Any tips or advice you would like to give to couples who are currently in the planning stage? Be authentic. I’m laughing at myself as I type this because I’ve never even BEEN in the planning stage personally… but somehow saying that feels right… It seems like there’s a lot of pressure to have a pinterest perfect experience and really I think that you should just make it about you, and have fun!

BEST career moment? My best career moment was probably finding Denise, White Fence Farm and The Horton because working with this business is allowing me to grow in ways I never even imagined and the journey is just beginning!

 

Andrea Elaver

The Whole Shebang - Associate Planner

Wedding & Event Planning

www.wholeshebangevents.com

 

What made you decide to do what you do with Meris?​ The A-HA moment was when I started working with Meris at The Whole Shebang. The way she tells it she asked me to work for her, the way I remember it I asked her to hire me. Either way, it was meant to be and we still love working together.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? I love being the "I got this" person that allows the stars of the show (the wedding party and family) to relax and enjoy the moment. I especially love it when the event is complicated, but I really do "got this" it's such a great feeling.

​What are you favorite hobbies/non-related work activities? When I'm not at work I like to be in motion and outside. I love living in Boone for the hiking and the rivers especially.

Any tips or advice you would like to give to couples who are currently in the planning stage? ​Tips for newly weds is a blog not a comment line! I'd say decide what you care most about, nail those details and then don't sweat the small stuff.

BEST career moment?​ On the second wedding of my career, the mother of the bride surprised the couple with a fireworks show. I was standing with the bride's mother the moment they went off. The bride screamed and cheered and smiled back at us. Her mom grabbed me and we hugged and jumped up and down.

 

Dana Johnson

A Lark Creation - Owner

Wedding & Event Planning

www.alarkcreation.com

 

What was your "A-HA moment" in starting your business? What made you decide to do what you do?​ Planning social events and owning a B&B/Inn is always something I wanted to do. I am a big Gilmore Girls fanatic. It is something I didn't think I would do until much later in life. When I had my son one of my sisters asked why I didn't start the event side now while I am staying home with him. A big lightbulb "A-HA" moment happened and within a month I had officially opened "doors" to A Lark Creation.

Describe your business: We believe that life is worth celebrating so we coordinate and plan all sorts of social events. From birthday parties, baby showers, reunions, and weddings we make it our goal for you and all of your guests to have a joyfully memorable time.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?  I love seeing the unique, personal touches couples bring to their wedding day. Many of the theme or color palettes are the same but always implemented in a different way.

​What are you favorite hobbies/non-related work activities? I try to read as often as I can, hiking with friends and family and traveling everywhere top the list.

Any tips or advice you would like to give to couples who are currently in the planning stage? ​Develop a realistic budget, make a wish list of your "must have" items (certain flowers, more dancing, great food, etc.), and select a coordinator so you can enjoy all of your wedding details from start to finish

BEST career moment?​ Hard to choose! Hearing from couples and their family how smoothly all the wedding events go is a big confidence boost!

 

Brandie Hampton

A Lark Creation - Associate Planner

Wedding & Event Planning

www.alarkcreation.com

 

What was your "A-HA moment" in working with Dana? What made you decide to do what you do?​ I love helping people in every way and seeing people happy.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?​ I love seeing all the weddings come together beautifully.

​What are you favorite hobbies/non-related work activities? I enjoy going to the park with my son, gardening and baking.

Any tips or advice you would like to give to couples who are currently in the planning stage? ​Don’t stress too much and enjoy all the little moments.

BEST career moment?​ As an assistant, I love seeing stressed out brides when they finally see all their hard work and long days pay off and how much they love how their big day turned out!

 

Angela Weaver

Catbird Caravans - Owner

Camper & Bar Rentals

www.instagram.com/catbirdcaravans

 

Catbird Caravans specializes in camper and bar rentals for weddings and events. They have vintage campers, an Airstream and a Serro Scotty. They also offer custom crafted bars.

 

 

And me!

Megan Sheppard

Megan Sheppard Photography - Owner

Wedding, Engagement & Lifestyle Photography

www.megansheppard.com

 

What was your "A-HA moment" in starting your business? What made you decide to do what you do? I've been pretty passionate about photography my whole life. My dad is also a photographer. Several years ago I worked for a publishing company and a close coworker of mine asked me to photograph his wedding. A year later, his sister asked me to photograph her wedding. After posting his sister's wedding, my inbox literally exploded with inquiries for the next year. It hit me like a brick that this could be a real thing. I could actually making a good living doing something that I am passionate about! Here we are now in my 2nd official full year of business with 20+ booked weddings for 2018! I am so thankful to get to live this life. Who else gets to go to a free party every weekend?!
Describe your business: I'm a wedding, engagement and portrait photographer. I am passionate about creating real memories that are timeless and classic. I want your portraits to look true to life so when you look back 60 years from now they will still look relevant. I am also passionate about tangible portraits. I want all of my couples to walk away with something physical from their session that they can look back on. When your grandchildren ask to see your wedding photos, are you going to plug in a USB?

What is the most rewarding part of your job?​ Two things. 1. When bride's find comfort in me and want to be my friend. Most wedding days you can find me not only taking photos but getting down on my hands and knees fluffing dresses, checking bobby pins and loving on grandma. I am so passionate about building relationships with my clients and in return brides completely trusting me and wanting to spend more time with me - because I love them, too! 2. Going through photos is like the Christmas gift that keeps on giving. I get to open presents over and over. You'll hear me hooping and hollering from my office after a session because I'm so excited!

​What are you favorite hobbies/non-related work activities? I have 3 cats, Lester Catt, Gillian, and Mags, who are my babies. When I actually do have free-time, I love playing music with Garrett. If anyone knows me, they know I'm pretty passionate about old country music. I'm talking 40s, 50s, 60s. We used to play shows every week throughout Blowing Rock and Boone but it's been slightly busy the last few years! I used to work at the Grand Ole Opry. One more thing! Garrett and I dream of "river adventures." We're currently in the market to buy kayaks so we can start floating down the river every weekend. 

Any tips or advice you would like to give to couples who are currently in the planning stage? ​Don't skimp on your photographer or wedding planner. I've seen too many brides running around the morning of decorating or trying to coordinate. No matter the cost, you need to hire someone to do that for you. Your job is to ENJOY your day. Also, don't skimp on photos. Your photos are the ONE tangible thing you have left after your big day.

BEST career moment?​ Not necessarily a single moment but I love becoming friends with my brides and keeping touch even after the wedding.

 

 

 

 

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