Nicki Metcalf »

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Tips For Wedding Photographers

For all of you creatives out there who are a) just starting out or b) have had your business for years, I have a key word that is going to change your life : “UNFOLLOW“. Okay, don’t get me wrong, it sounds harsh but really it’s a life saver. Let me give you a back story. Three years ago when I started out as a wedding photographer I followed everyone, and I mean EVERYONE. I would religiously follow their blogs and even try to manipulate their styles (I know I’m not alone in this). I thought that by following people I was learning new things when really, I was hurting myself. I don’t think there is anything wrong with following people, in fact I still follow a ton of people. The thing is- you need to know what is safe for your creativity and heart.  Being a creative is a precious gift, and a talent given from God so why not treasure it? The more attention I gave to what others were doing the more I became insecure with myself.  I started comparing myself and really – lost who I was. Lets be real – we have all been there. The scenario goes like this – you are innocently scrolling through Instagram or Facebook and you see a fellow creative’s work. You click it, and then you glance back at your own work and your mind starts racing. The negative feelings start pouring in ; “Why am I not where they are? I’m not as good as them. I should do _____ like them.” The list goes on and you know what you are doing? You are poisoning your creative flow. The best advice I can give is to simply click, “unfollow”. Social media is not bad if you monitor it. Does it mean you don’t like the person? No! It just means that you don’t need to see everything they post, that way, you can focus on your own talents. Focus on what YOU can contribute to this world. After all – you were uniquely made and there is only one of you so why not embrace it?

 

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Cross Keys Barn Wedding harrisonburg Virginia

Alana & Travis’ Cross Key’s Barn wedding in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Harrisonburg, Virginia was gorgeous. I mean, seriously, just look at that view. The sun was beaming through the clouds creating the most beautiful day ever.

Alana and Travis have been such a fun couple to get to know. Our first time we spent together (at their engagement session) we ran around the mountains of Charlottesville trying to find the perfect spot to shoot at. We didn’t have a clue where we were going but we had fun in the process! We ended the night with amazing ice-cream at the downtown mall and all the craziness of finding a perfect spot was worth it.

I got to know Alana on a more personal level throughout the planning process and felt as if I gained a little sister.  This bubbly girl is always smiling and always so grateful for everything in life that comes her way. I didn’t know Travis as well as Alana, but I did learn something about him – he is a family man and showed that on his wedding day. Travis showed his gratefulness through his tears. To see a man tear up as much as Travis did was absolutely beautiful. I even had to hold back tears watching him!  I couldn’t be  happier for this couple and the beautiful life ahead of them!
Cross Keys Barn Wedding Harrisonburg Virginia Nicki Metcalf Photo
Cross Keys Barn Wedding Harrisonburg Virginia
Cross Keys Barn Wedding Harrisonburg Virginia Nicki Metcalf Photo
Cross Keys Barn Wedding Harrisonburg Virginia
Cross Keys Barn Wedding Harrisonburg Virginia Nicki Metcalf Photo
Cross Keys Barn Wedding Harrisonburg Virginia Nicki Metcalf Photo
Cross Keys Barn Wedding Harrisonburg Virginia
Cross Keys Barn Wedding Harrisonburg Virginia
Cross Keys Barn Wedding Harrisonburg Virginia Nicki Metcalf Photo
Cross Keys Barn Wedding Harrisonburg Virginia Nicki Metcalf Photo
Cross Keys Barn Wedding Harrisonburg Virginia
Cross Keys Barn Wedding Harrisonburg Virginia Nicki Metcalf Photo
Cross Keys Barn Wedding Harrisonburg Virginia Nicki Metcalf Photo
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Harrisonburg Virginia Wedding Nicki Metcalf Photo
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Ceremony & Reception | Cross Keys Barn, Panner | Pearl Events, Florist | Flowers By Rose, Makeup & Hair | The Studio, Dj | DJ Neli Neil, Cake | Buttercream Dreams , Bridesmaids Dresses | Anna Joys,  Dress Place of Purchase | Bridal Impressions, Catering | Hanks , Groom’s Attie | Classic Tuxedos, Officiant | Sony Henkel, 2nd Shooter | Dre Pliodzinskas

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Katie & Justin’s wedding at the Bedford Columns was such a stunning day at such a historical place! The Bedford Columns has such a long list of history that it blew my mind! This gorgeous building was built in 1848, and started as a college prepatory school for boys with Walter Reed of Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C.. It then became a Confederate Hospital which housed wounded soldiers. The history goes on and you can read more here!
There were so many happy tears shed especially between Katie and her sweet dad. It touched something so deep in me that I had to stay hidden behind the camera so people wouldn’t see the waterfall of tears that I was shedding! I tell ya- Katie is a woman with a beautiful heart and passion for fun! This outgoing gal could light up a room with her adorable southern accent and stunning smile. When you first meet Justin you think, “Whoa, he’s a big tough dude” (or maybe it’s because I’m 4’11”) but then when you get to know him you realize that he is just a big teddy bear. He is beyond perfect for Katie. These two compliment each other in the most beautiful way. Congrats Katie & Justin!

 

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Bedford Columns, Bedford Virginia Wedding

Ceremony & Reception | Bedford Columns  

Florist | Simply Grace Events 

Makeup | Laci Fore Makeup Artistry  

Hair | Whitney Rosser 

Panner | Entwined Events

DJ | Dele Rockson

 Officiant | Joe Torrence

 Videographer | Dman Films 

Invitations | C Lacey Design,

Dress Place of Purchase | Urban Set Bride

Designer | Maggie Sottero

Groom’s Attie | Jos A Bank  

Robes | Endless Envy Boutique 

Favors | Wooden Wonder Honey 

Second Shooter | Dre Pliodzinskas

For a moment, Whitney, Patrick and myself  stepped back into history when we shot their rustic, engagement session at the Pruitt farm in Short Pump, Virginia. Mr Pruitt grew up on the land that is now mostly Short Pump until his family sold it. He has kept a beautiful piece of property across from the mall and currently lives there. It is such a beautiful gem that stands out amongst all of the buildings and traffic. Mr. Pruitt (a good friend of the two) happily let this sweet couple shoot their engagement session at his gorgeous home and we couldn’t have been more excited.
Whitney is a sweet friend from church and when I heard she was engaged I was ecstatic.  I finally got to meet Patrick at the engagement session and I totally approved! Whitney & Patrick knew each briefly from church but officially hit it off at a wedding. These two danced with each other at a mutual friend’s wedding and then love blossomed. With their playful personalities, they completely hit off and are engaged to be married in October!

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Short Pump Engagement Session
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That GLOW and your smiles are beautiful.

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Rustic Short Pump Engagement Session

Whitney you are gorgeous.

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The way he look at her . . .

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Mr. Pruitt graciously allowed us to spend some time on his property and we couldn’t help but snap a picture with him!

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Outter Banks Engagement Session_0002

I was so excited to spend some time with Nora & Jeff down at the Outer Banks for their engagement session. I grew up going down there every summer so this was a super special engagement session for me. Nora & Jeff had mentioned they wanted water at their engagement session so we knew that this would be the perfect spot (you can’t go wrong when Nicholas Sparks even writes a book about the area – Nights in Rodanthe). The Outer Banks seems to have it’s own culture, and a spark that you can’t find anywhere else. When we got to the beach I was pumped for our session and then we were met by rain.  We waited as long as we could and we decided a sunset session would be better. The next morning we got up and I heard something – MORE RAIN and thunder. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to deal with rain this season. So what did we do? We jumped in my husband’s Suburban at 5a.m. in the morning and drove as south as we could; whether it’s the speed of a car or a dozen’s clear umbrella’s I’m not letting the rain bring down my brides. I thought, “We got this”. We drove as south as we could and finally the sun was coming up without rain! Being so excited about the sunshine  I failed to watch where I was stepping and walked right onto a cactus. I nearly fell to the ground when my “prince charming of a husband” ran to my rescue and swept me off my feet and put me on the ground. He broke out into “surgery mode” pulling them all out. If you are in the Outer Banks watch out for the spurs – THEY ARE EVERYWHERE.  Other than that the morning was gorgeous and Nora & Jeff brought the romance needed to create the perfect engagement session.

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“Jeff and I met in 2012 through work, while implementing a new software system for the State of North Carolina. We hung out occasionally outside of work, but spent countless weekday and weekend hours together because of work. Eventually I started paying a little more attention to him and thought, ‘Hmm, he’s cute and smart – What’s his story?’. Soon enough we started going out for coffee, getting lunch together, and taking afternoon strolls around our building. Boy, was he good at wooing — random gifts showed up on my desk – I thought could he keep this up! The rest is history! ” – Nora