Meet the astonishing, Ashley – one of my sweetest Carolina brides! Ashley and Tyler finally tied the knot a few weeks ago and I can finally share these beautiful images! I have been saving this bridal portrait session since last fall and am so thrilled to finally reveal the enchanting images we captured on the perfect late October afternoon at one of Charlotte, North Carolina’s historic landmark, the Duke Mansion. This venue is the perfect mix of sweet southern charm and modern vintage luxury with endless photography possibilities in every corner of the mansion and throughout the gardens. The fall air and color palette made the session even more delightful.
Our day started at my makeup studio where my bridal hairstylist, Lizzy Rivera and I met with Ashley for her “bridal” trial session. My bridal trial sessions are "full makeup" applications so I always suggest that my brides use it for their portrait sessions - or at least go out with it on so she can see the full day potential of the hair and makeup. For Ashley's hair, Lizzy created some soft beachy curls with a styling wand and pulled it together as a half up, half down style with a twisted base for the veil placement. Ashley normally does not wear much makeup at all so I wanted to create a look that she would feel comfortable in. Makeup can make you feel "not like yourself" so it was very important to give her just enough without over doing it. I was also keeping her husband, Tyler, in mind since Ashley mentioned he likes her more "natural." It was hard to stop myself since Ashley has some gorgeous features! I started out with perfecting her skin with the lightweight airbrush makeup. Airbrush makeup is an air light and soft, natural alternative to the "traditional" or "conventional" foundation and is highly recommended if you want your makeup to stay fresh looking and matte without the shine. I also love it for special occasions where you will be photographed throughout the day, and where you just don't have time for touch-ups. Airbrush makeup looked stunning on Ashley's skin and it gave her the soft bridal glow. For her eyes, I used a cool neutral palette to create the romantic bridal soft smokey eyes. Ashley has incredible hazel eyes with a mix of blue gray, so this was the perfect amount of color to enhance it and give it a soft "pop." She had amazing, strong lashes so I just added a little wispie flair at the corners to complete her doll-like eyes. Finishing with a soft pink nude lipstick just made her look even more like a sweet southern Barbie! After completing her beautiful look, we headed to the mansion to start the bridal portrait session.
There were some light showers earlier in the day so we started the session indoors so the ground can dry up in time for our outdoor shots. Luckily the sun shined through the overcast just enough for the soft veil lighting. The mansion also has the most gorgeous chandeliers that adds that "glam" to any portrait session being photographed there. The foyer is one of my favorite places to start since that space has the best natural lighting and beautiful french doors that open to the stunning back yard gazebo scenery. We couldn't of asked for a more perfect day as it was the perfect cool temperature with the perfect amount of light for the soft ambience we wanted to capture in our images. The leaves and gardens were a lush green with some specks of autumn colors. I loved using my Canon 70-200mm lens to create the immaculate bokeh of fresh light and florals with that touch of glamour ambience.
The two hours we spent walking around the mansion was just the perfect amount of time for the session. It gave us time to enjoy the experience and tour the beautiful historic landmark. I seriously could of continued the session for another 2 hours! It was simply a beautiful session that I couldn't wait to get back to the studio and share a teaser! So without further adieu, here are the teasers (and then some more). I absolutely loved every single shot we took and Ashley agreed to!