I loved this Fort Fisher engagement session with Ann and David. Probably one of my favorite Wilmington engagement session locations for how many different looking spots there are that are so close together. If you are recently engaged and looking to have pictures taken I would love to hear from you! Head over to the contact page and drop us a note and we’ll get back to you right away 🙂
Wilmington NC is a huge destination wedding spot. So when out-of-town brides and grooms are researching different venues and vendors here it can get overwhelming quickly! It seems that when you google any wedding category, a hundred different names come up, and some I’ve never even heard of before. I am always happy to give out my preferred vendor list when I get to meet couples in person- but I also wanted to take that a step further and interview the real industry leaders here in town. This Vendor Spotlight is with Jay Tatum, owner of Active Entertainment. He and his staff are not only extremely talented DJs, but also great MC’s. And the MC portion of their job is often one of the things people don’t think about when picturing their wedding and especially reception flowing perfectly throughout the night. A DJ can make or break your party- seriously.. I’ve seen ALL types of good and bad!
A few weeks ago Jay and I got up together to put this post together and here is a little bit of our conversation:
JT: As a child I would spend hours waiting for songs to come on the radio so I could record them onto a cassette tape. Once I had the songs that I wanted, I would take a dual cassette boom box and splice songs together to make my own custom mixes. Although I wasn’t DJing, I use to love watching the reaction of my friends as they listened to my spliced together mixes. By the time I had entered college I had amassed a pretty good size record collection. By chance, my roommate had been offered a job as a bouncer at a brand new dance club. He told the owner that I had a lot of music but I didn’t know how to DJ. Lucky, they took a chance with me and offered me a night which went on to be their busiest night. And as they say… the rest is history.
Contact Active Entertainment HERE to check their availability and set up a consultation.
Photo Credit: Millie Holloman Photography
This wedding we photographed in Italy was one of those you had to pinch yourself the entire time you were shooting to make sure it was really happening. The wedding and reception were held at Casale di Polline, high on a hillside overlooking beautiful Lake Bracciano and the surrounding mountains just south of Tuscany. The day before the wedding the bride and flower girl gathered all the olive and eucalyptus clippings they would use for flower crowns and table decorations right from the grounds of the Villa we all stayed in- it was surreal. And the food… the food was quite possibly the highlight of the whole trip. Just writing about it makes me want to book another flight to Roma! I could go on and on about this amazing location and this cool couple from Dubai who flew me half way around the world to shoot one of the prettiest (and delicious) weddings I’ve ever been a part of. Kate and Rico- you both are awesome… where are we going next?? (I’m still holding out for a lifestyle shoot somewhere in the United Arab Emirates)
From the Bride:
Growing up I always pretended to be British and spoke with a fake British accent. So it was only fitting when I was introduced to this handsome man who called himself Rico and spoke with a British accent. I was immediately smitten. It became clear that our initial sparks would quickly prove us to be lifelong soulmates. I’ll never forget my sister’s response when I told her about him, “Oh my gosh, Hazel (her daughter) is going to have an Uncle Rico.” (Napoleon Dynamite)
We have been very fortunate and have lived and traveled in many countries. Rico is Italian (it’s confusing, the British accent; he moved to the UK as a teenager) and I am American, and with all the places we’ve experienced together, we knew we would have a tough time choosing a destination for our wedding. We had finally gotten it down to either Gloucester, MA or somewhere (anywhere!) in Italy. We reached out to Rico’s friend, Alfredo, who owns Cantine Silvestri Vineyards just outside Rome. He told us that we didn’t have to look any further, we just needed to fly to Rome and see one venue, Casale di Polline.
Well, we did. And we fell in love with it. The owner, Gloria, was instrumental in coordinating everything, right down to the last detail. Unlike my fluent husband, I barely speak Italian. It was very difficult to plan a wedding in another country, let alone in another language! Gloria was paramount in making our wedding day perfect. She suggested caterers, make up, florist, everything. I am forever grateful.
To this day, we look back at our incredible day and the photos Eric took. We are so thankful we were able to spend our weekend with someone who captured all the moments we would so easily forget. Not to mention all the delicious food I never got to try!
My advice for future brides: Let the little things go. Even the big ones! In the end, no one even realizes if something didn’t go as planned. And, it flies by. At the end of the night you look back and say, wait how is it all over!? Slow down and record it in your memory. Remember every second.
Venue: Casale di Polline
Dress and veil: Custom dress using The Bridal Room in Jumeirah Plaza, Dubai, UAE. (The owner, Anne, worked with me through every step and detail. She turned my vision into reality.)
Shoes: Dune London
Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew
Groom’s Suit: Tailor made suit using City Land Tailors, Dubai, UAE
Florist: Dordas Flowers
Caterer: Lincei Catering
Cake: Lincei Catering
Make up artist: Sata Lorenzetti Make Up
Ok parents (and pet parents)- It’s that time again! Christmas is just 2 months away 🎅🏻 Now is the time to get those Holiday pictures done- and there couldn’t be a better cause to help while doing it… we are offering quick and easy sessions (think 10 minutes in and out) in the studio with this Pinterest-perfect set for this year’s annual Snowflakes and Snapshots. The set design is all whites and golds so whatever holiday colors the kids (or dog, or cat, or potbelly pig) wear will pop and everything will look amazing. Perfect for Christmas cards or just annual holiday pictures.
All you have to do is bring an unwrapped toy for the toy drive (Toys R Us is right across the street!) and your smiles. We’ll provide the hot cocoa, cookies, candy canes and Christmas Cheer!
When: Nov 12 & 26, 12-5p
Where: Eric Boneske Photography Studio (1414 S. College Dr.)
How Much: $50 w/ toy donation
What You Get: Digital downloads and digital rights to the images so you can use them however you wish. You’ll get between 5-7 high resolution edited photos, as well as a few ‘detail shots’ of the set in case you would like to incorporate them into any Christmas collage designs.
Who’s Welcome: Everyone! Kids and fur babies too!
Email me at [email protected] to sign up or get more info.
All toys will be delivered to Good Shepherd Homeless Shelter to be handed out to families staying there on Christmas morning.
Snowflakes and Snapshots is a collaboration between Social Butterfly Events and Eric Boneske Photography providing Holiday pictures and collecting toy donations that are given to homeless children on Christmas morning! HoHoHo 🙂
These last few years I’ve had an awesome time getting to travel through and photograph the Caribbean. So I was really excited when Caribbean Travel and Life Magazine contacted me about featuring an engagement session I shot in Rincon, Puerto Rico! Check out the full shoot we did HERE!
This Airlie Gardens wedding was perfection. Carly and Dillon were so much fun to work with all the way from their hot air balloon engagement session (here!) to this gorgeous southern garden wedding day. Airlie Gardens is one of Wilmington’s best wedding venues if you are looking for the quintessential southern wedding, and with the help of Social Butterfly Events for design and coordination, this couple did it right! Congratulations Carly and Dillon- Your day was a perfect example of why I love photographing weddings in Airlie Gardens!
Enagement sessions are so much fun and a great way for us to get to know each other better. And often times at the end, people (especially the guys) say ‘that was a lot of fun, and I was dreading it!’ I understand that it can be a little nerve wracking to think of being in front of a camera for 60-90 minutes, but fear not- it’s always a great time. And I’ll be telling you exactly what to do every step of the way, literally- even in those candid looking moments. Very rarely do we work with models who know exactly what to do in front of a camera, so I totally get it! Also, people always ask ‘what should we wear’ for their engagement session? So I went ahead and compiled a little list of tips that will hopefully get you feeling fun, cool and confident!
1. Be You: Tried and true advice that applies to just about everything in life…be you! Choose outfits that reflect your style and personalities. Wear what makes you happy and your confidence will come out in the photos.
2. Coordinate: Wear colors that compliment each other but aren’t exactly matching. Also, be sure to dress on the same scale. You should both look like you are headed to the same place. If you are dressed formal and chic, he shouldn’t be in plaid shorts and his old college t-shirt.
3. Stick with Neutrals: Bright colors (especially neons) are distracting, can reflect funky color casts on your skin tones, and can take away from what we want to capture in these photos…you! Now, this doesn’t mean you can only wear grey, white, and beige. There are more neutral tones of all colors. For example, baby and navy blue are neutral shades of blue. These shades are toned down and will be far less distracting than say a bright royal blue.
4. Less is More: I love simplicity. While one or two accessories such as a hat or a scarf can add a lot of personality into a photo, it’s important not to go overboard. Remember an engagement session is about capturing your faces, your relationship and your connection.
5. Consider the Surroundings: When choosing colors and style, consider the surroundings. Be sure to choose outfits that compliment and make sense with the surroundings. Everything should have the same vibe. We all know how much I love shooting in these far flung locations. So for example, if we are up in the mountains, be sure to wear (or at least bring) shoes you can hike in.
6. Watch for Distractions: Just like I mentioned staying away from bright colors, watch out for other distractions such as logos, wording on clothing, or bold patterns.
7. Empty Your Pockets: I mean this in the most literal sense…empty your pockets! We do not want keys or a phone showing through your pockets. Guys, sorry to call you out on this one.
8. Comfort is Key: Wear clothing that is comfortable and that you can move in. Be sure to get just the right fit. Not too tight, but not to loose. The better you feel in your clothes, the better you’ll look in front of the camera!
9. Switch Things Up: Can’t decide to go casual or formal? Patterns or solids? Don’t decide, do both! It’s fun to get two totally different looks in your session. Or, try mixing both styles into one outfit. Flowy dresses are my absolute favorite to photograph… They are the perfect mixture of formal and casual and work with almost any location.
10. Spoil Yourself: I recommend every girl get their makeup professionally done for their engagement photos. It’s a small investment that helps you feel confident, which definitely shows up in your pictures. Makeup artists also know all the right tricks for even skin tones and perfect application — all things if not done right, the camera is really good at picking up. Take some time to spoil yourself a little; you’ll enjoy these images forever.
Bonus Tip! Have Fun: I know this doesn’t necessarily have to do with “what to wear” for your engagement session, but it’s important nonetheless. Maybe the most important tip I have! Remember this is something you’ll only do once in your lifetime…enjoy it and soak in every second. Have fun and laugh together. Planning a wedding can be busy — use this time to slow down, focus on your relationship, and reconnect.
As far as the actual shoot is concerned, I love both the simple, and styled equally. So any props or pets are always welcome, but never necessary! If you have any questions just let me know. We’re going to have a blast!