How would you describe your style? 

Photojournalism with a dash of art history and a piece of myself. I’m a firm believer in important > perfect, and that the hearty beauty that can be found in real, raw moments will long outlast glossy, manufactured shots. I don’t shy away from color or big, whooping, un-Insta-cool laughs. The way I see it, it’s my job to simply be present, to take notice, and to photograph that natural beauty. 

What is your favorite thing to photograph? 

People, either with the people they love or doing what they love to do. The ocean is a close second.

What made you get into photography? 

I grew up loving stories. With a family full of expert storytellers, a mom encouraging my love of books, and early exposure to the significance of everyday stories (thanks, Our State!), I got to learn what makes a good tale - what makes humanity fascinating. To me, photography was a blend of storytelling and artistic expression - the perfect combo for my creative bookworm self. 

How many photos will I get from a shoot?

From a portrait session, somewhere between 40-60. From a wedding, 500-700. For both, I want to give you plenty of wiggle room, so I will be keeping and editing anything I think will be important or useful to you. 

What is the turnaround time?

For portraits, two weeks. For weddings, six weeks. On assignment, whatever the deadline is. :) 

What’s with the weird name?

Thistle and Sun reflects my mission on any given shoot - it is about the interaction and intertwining between reality and beauty. It’s not just about life’s harshness, nor is it about its more glossy, shiny moments. It is my goal to help highlight the beauty right there in the midst of our reality, in spite of (or maybe even because of) the thorns. What I am looking for is hope and light and beauty in your life that I can reflect back to you - everything else is details. From my own experience, I can say that tough times can either blind us to the joys life offers, or it can amplify them. Let’s choose light and joy in the mess, shall we?

What is a shoot with you like?

Casual. Plenty of movement, and lots of puns/sarcasm/Parks and Rec quoting. Minimal equipment, minimal fuss (you won’t find me hauling a light around or stopping traffic). In the words of Leonardo da Vinci, my goal is to portray two things: the subjects themselves, and the intent of their souls. This means figuring out who you are, and how best to bring out that self in photographs. I’ll come to the shoot with some posing and locations in mind, and I’ll do some directing, but then I’ll step back and see where you go with it - I’m going to make sure the shoot fits you as a couple or individual. Portrait sessions last about an hour and a half (that includes walks between locations, a and quick get-to-know-you sit down), and weddings are usually around the eight hour mark. 

What’s on your photography bucket list? 

A couple at sea / A ghost town / A series on people at everyday jobs / Newfoundland (any and all of it) / Something out west, in the Utah/New Mexico area / Environmental portraits with a first lady (look, they said to dream big) / Portraits on the dunes at Kill Devil Hills / Somehow catching the way the streets of Boston feel / Portraits at the zoo (what can I say, part of me is still twelve!) / An NC beach wedding

If you’re interested in doing a shoot off this list shoot me a message - I’ll totally give you a discount to make these happen! 

Can I post my photos on social media?

Definitely! I only ask two things - 1) Please credit Thistle & Sun - word-of-mouth (or tag) is the biggest way my business and the number of stories I tell has grown. 2) No filters, please! I put a lot of work into each and every image that you receive, and it’s honestly tough to see it go out the window with one filter. 

Was that you I saw out in a random field?

Probably. If I get a free couple of hours, I love to jump in my beat up but beloved Camry and cruise the countryside for local sights to photograph. There is always music involved, and usually Cheerwine. So far, I’ve only had one near-shotgun incident, but the farmer in question and I had a nice chat and we’re pretty much friends now. 

Do you travel?

Um, yes! I travel far and wide with a smile (I’m one of those weird people that actually likes airports - I think it’s the combination of people watching and the potential for new experiences). If you’re more than two hour’s drive from my home base in Raleigh, we’ll need to talk about travel fees - fortunately for you, economy has always been my family’s mode for travel; I’m not sure I would know how to do it any other way. 

How do I book a shoot with you?

Just reach out, and we’ll find a date and time that works for the both of us! Fair warning, I don’t work on Sundays (just like Chick-fil-A) - but any other day is fair game.