A Mountain to Sea Wedding / by Michael Oppenheim

For my first blog post I wanted to feature a few of my favorite images from a wedding portrait session I did for Hailey Thomas and Daniel Vaught at Mountain Air Country Club in Burnsville, NC and the wedding that followed three weeks later at Ocean Isle Beach, NC on April 25, 2009.  Hailey, Dan, and their parents were great and I loved the fact that we did the portraits here in the mountains of western North Carolina just northeast of Asheville, NC and then 3 weeks later did a very fun, casually elegant wedding at a big beach house on a beautiful day in Ocean Isle Beach just south of Wilmington. One of the many things I loved about photographing this wedding was the fact that this was the fourth wedding I've done for this extended family. Caroline Cort is Elaine's cousin and I was the photographer for three of her daughters' (Lisa, Heidi, and Gretchen) weddings. Two were in Burnsville, NC and the other was at the Graylyn Conference Center in Winston-Salem, NC. It is very satisfying when a rapport and a trust is established with a family and exciting to know that the images I make will be cherished by their families for years to come.

Also of note, Elaine ordered a gallery wrap of her favorite image of Hailey from the portrait session and displayed it at the wedding. Gallery wraps, which are images printed on canvas and wrapped around wooden strecther bars, give the photos a painterly feel and also add a three-dimensional quality that I really like.   I have used this technique for my Look Up Asheville book project photo exhibits and will be doing more of these in the future.  There are also a variety of other enlargement and framing options available.  Just contact me for ideas.

Anyway, these are just a few images Hailey and Dan's portrait session and wedding.  I will be adding a more complete collection of their final wedding images soon.  In the meantime I hope you enjoy these teasers!

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Portrait of Hailey and Daniel in early April 2009  at Mountain Air Country Club overlooking Burnsville, NC.  This shot was taken just to the left of MACC's private runway and it was a few weeks before the flowers started blooming since the elevation is at 4900 feet.  In fact, Mountain Air Country Club has the highest elevation for any private runway East of the Mississippi River.  It's a gorgeous place with spectacular views.

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Hailey and Daniel with their new pocket beagle.  It slept in Daniel's pocket for part of this portrait session.  Ridiculously cute!

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Hailey and Dan at Ocean Isle Beach on their wedding day!

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A groomsman overcome with emotion...and gracefulness!

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I never get tired of the wedding day jump shot.  Check out this link to a masterful photographer, Philippe Halsman, who popularized the jump portrait in his book "Philippe Halsmans's Jump Book".  He coined the term "jumpology" and thought that individuals in the act of jumping revealed more of their true personality than in a static portrait.  At the very least it allows for expression, lightheartedness, and a bit of stress release which is crucial for any wedding day!

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For the fashionistas out there, Hailey is wearing a dress by Maggie Soturo and Daniel is wearing a suit by Perry Ellis.

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Hailey dancing with her dad, Daniel dancing with his mom, and Elaine dancing with a guest. I love the emotion in this shot.

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Let the party begin!