A collection of our favorite images.
From intimate Bald Head Island beach weddings, gorgeous Wrightsville Beach weddings, to large downtown Wilmington weddings; and everything in between.
Dogwood Photography is a service orientated photography studio specializing in Wilmington Wedding Photography. Our focus is on telling your love story, using a blend of photo-journalistic and creative fine art photography to capture not just how your day looked, but also how it felt.
We love to document epic stories in beautiful settings surrounded by a your most special friends and family. We have some stunning beaches in the area, and we love to photograph gorgeous beach weddings. Wilmington, NC also some amazing intimate venues both downtown and along the coast which make for perfect wedding locations.
Dogwood Photography is the perfect choice for photographing your beach wedding, downtown wilmington wedding, or even your quirky DIY backyard wedding.
Dogwood Photography is a "Shoot & Share" Wilmington photography studio. Shoot & Share is a way of doing business that puts the focus on the client, not print sales. We Shoot the images, and we Share the images. Simple
Under this pricing model, I charge a single creative fee that covers my time and talent. This includes my time/talent behind the camera photographing your wedding, as well as in front of the computer. That’s it. No crazy up-charges. No high pressure print sales. Your images are taken, edited, and then uploaded to an online gallery in high resolution for you to view, share, and download! You can share your images via social media, email, or any way you prefer. This gives us the freedom to focus on you as a client.
If you are in the Carolina Beach area there is a good chance you will see me zipping down to Britt's Donuts in my Mini Cooper with the windows down and the music up. If you are in downtown Wilmington, you may run into me at Port City Java grabbing a quick cup of coffee on the go. In the evenings you may find me at the Harp enjoying a Guinness, or the Satellite enjoy a craft brew, usually of local origin.
You will often find I am with my beautiful wife of twenty years, Erinn. My constant companion, and sometimes second shooter; she is an amazing photographer in her own right.
Here is a dirty little secret about engagement sessions; they aren’t always about the images produced, or what you do with them. An engagement session is a great opportunity for us to get together and to get to know each other a little better. The session allows me to work with you on how I pose, so that on your wedding day you are already a pro. The fact that we produce some awesome images for you is an amazing bonus. Even if you never look at the images again the experience is invaluable, especially if you haven’t spent much time together in front of the camera as a couple.
An engagement session is a great idea, especially if your partner is camera shy. People who hate being photographed can get really awkward around cameras, and are prone to doing things like always making the same terrified/frozen smile every time the shutter snaps. I will work to get both of you comfortable, and look for ways to make you relax and settle in so that they can capture more natural, honest expressions.
Engagement sessions generally last between 60 and 90 minutes, depending on the location and/or activity you’ve selected for your session. The last two hours before the sun goes down are when I typically photograph engagement sessions. I am, however, very flexible with time and location because I want to create the best experience I can for my clients. So please don’t hesitate to ask if you have an idea or suggestion in mind.
I love getting to know my couples, and an Engagement Session is a great way to do that. I also have amazing couples that are coming to the area for a destination wedding and live states away. I have some couples that I won’t actually meet in person until the day of their wedding. Don’t worry! We will still get amazing pictures for your wedding, and I will often find time to work with you a bit before if at all possible. I have even had an Engagement Session that was the day before the wedding!
For your engagement session wear clothes that match your style and personality. Choose outfits that feel like you, and that you feel great in. You are welcome to bring several outfits for each of you. Try to bring a variety of options, including both casual and more dressy. Choose clothes and accessories that you feel confident in and that flatter your unique size and shape.
Your Engagement session can be a great time to do a trial run with your makeup artist before your wedding day. Having your makeup professionally done for your session can help boost your confidence and will definitely make you “pop” in your photos! Be sure to communicate your desired “makeup style” clearly to your artist so that he or she is able to create a look for you that compliments your features, but that keeps you looking like you.
If you are planning to wear shoes that are high on style, but maybe low on comfort... be sure and pack an extra pair for walking to the car. If we are shooting at the beach, also take that into consideration when planning your footwear.
Depending on the location you choose for your session, there may not be a wide selection of places in which to change your outfit, so keep that in mind what you’ll wear... and what you will wear first.
Where we shoot is also up to you, though I am available to make suggestions if you’re having trouble deciding. My experience has taught me that selecting locations or activities that are meaningful and important to my couples always results in better images.
Wilmington is surrounded by amazing beaches, beautiful gardens, and stunning historical areas. There is a reason why so many TV shows and movies are filmed here. There are also quite a few places with strict photography rules, so be sure and let me know what you are interested in early so we can work out what permissions are needed.
1: Be you. Choose clothing and accessories that represent your style and that you feel great in. Select clothing that fits well and that compliments your figure.
2: Try to avoid clothing with logos... otherwise you run the risk of looking like an ad for your favorite retailer.
3: Try to avoid being “matchy matchy”. Instead, try to coordinate your outfit selections.
4: Select outfits that compliment each other in color, style, and level of formality.
5: One just for the guys, since the girls already know this... Shoes matter. Pick appropriate footwear for the outfits you will be wearing.
6: Don’t be afraid to bring a couple of different outfits. Most couples bring at least one casual outfit and one with a more formal tone.
7: Layers and texture translate great on camera! Don’t be afraid to layer jewelry, scarves, sweaters, jackets, or any combination in order to create depth in your outfits.
8: Don’t forget the details! Accessories, nails, shoes. The level of care on the little things can add up. A fresh manicure, polished shoes, and even the simplest earrings can create a more polished and styled look.
9: Brides... consider having your hair and makeup done professionally for your session. Having a professional hair and/or makeup stylist prep you for your session will help to add a little glamour to your photos even if you’ve selected casual apparel for your session.
10: Are we shooting at the beach? Consider the constant ocean “breeze” as you choose clothing. Short, flowy skirts and the ocean breeze do not get along well. And bring a towel! Even if you don’t get wet, you will almost always have sand on your feet and clothes.
Your wedding day will go by in a flash (a little photography humor for you)! The day you have spent so much time preparing for, dreaming of, and investing in, will go by as one of the quickest days in your life. That is one of the great reasons to invest in wedding photography that will tell the story of your day, giving you the opportunity to relive it.
When photographic coverage of your wedding day starts, typically we begin by shooting the bride’s details: dress, shoes, jewelry, bouquet, etc. Having all of your “details”, including your flowers, ready to be photographed is a huge help and time saver!
Photography is all about light, and finding the best possible light to use is our number one technical priority on your wedding day. So on your big day we will always be looking for the best possible light to shoot in. If we find great light in another room, or even outside, we may ask you if I can move your dress to photograph it.
Another important detail for your day is to eliminate clutter in the background of your preparation images. Having your bridesmaids tidy up your getting ready room before you put your gown on is always appreciated and helps to make your images more editorial and classic in style.
Once we arrive we will help guide you through a timeline that we’ll agree upon prior to your wedding day. The timeline is a “guideline” to help us get you to the church on time. Weddings, like all events, take on a life of their own and we’ll be flexible if for any reason the schedule doesn’t go as planned.
It may go against old traditions, but I’m excited that First Looks are becoming the NEW tradition. A First Look has a huge impact on your wedding photography timeline for the day and provides the opportunity for additional bridal portraits. It also makes the moment you see one another for the first time an intimate experience that’s truly just about you.
So what exactly is a First Look? Before the ceremony I photograph just the bride and the groom, in an intimate setting where we reveal you to each other. It’s an opportunity to get his reaction when he sees you in your wedding gown for the very first time. Unlike your walk down the aisle, when all eyes will be on you, during the First Look only his eyes (and my lens) will be on you. Your wedding day will go by in the blink of an eye. A First Look is a private moment for the two of you to enjoy, before being swept into the rest of the day.
Why would we want to break with tradition? If your wedding photographs are a priority in the planning of your perfect day, then you’re likely to appreciate the benefits of a First Look. Those benefits include having additional time for bridal portraits, getting to your reception sooner following the ceremony, and creating a moment for just you and your soon-to-be husband. Many brides and grooms also find it a wonderful way to calm their wedding day jitters before walking down the aisle.
Author Unknown, 17th Century England
Something old represents continuity.
Something new represents optimism for the future.
Something borrowed symbolizes borrowed happiness.
Something blue stands for love, purity, and fidelity.
A silver sixpence stands for good fortune and prosperity.
Details are a great way to make your wedding a unique experience, highlighted with touches of you. Carefully selected and purposefully placed details can make your wedding more personal and memorable. Details also help to tell the story of your wedding in your photographs. Don’t just select details for the sake of details, instead try to choose items that are a personal reflection of you as a couple, and help tell the story of your wedding day.
If you’ve ever attended a wedding and noticed more than half of the guests are holding a device like an iPad or smartphone in front of their face through the entire ceremony... you’re not alone. Maybe you’ve even been the one holding the phone taking photos or video.
The term “un-plugged” wedding has become a hot topic in the wedding photography world recently, and even found it’s way to the front pages of Yahoo and even an article in the New York Times. In a world where just about everyone has a cell phone equipped with camera and video we’ve all become “iPhoneographers” and are constantly pulling out our phones to snap a photo or capture a quick video.
As a professional photographer I can see both sides of the coin. Guests are excited to be there, and want to capture and share images from your wedding day; while at the same time you have invited them there because they are important to you and you want them to be part of your special day. If you want your guests “fully present” at your wedding and not experiencing it through the back of their phone, consider having an un-plugged wedding.
It’s entirely up to you whether you suggest to your guests that they refrain from taking photos or video during your ceremony and reception. During group photos (bridal party & family) I am always happy to allow your guests to take photos after I have gotten the shots I need for you. Your wedding day is about you as a couple and the focus should stay on you.
If you take a picture of a moment, your moment was taking the picture. People don’t enjoy the moment trying to preserve it. ~Drew Carey
Hiring a wedding photographer can be a daunting task, with literally hundreds of choices in some cities. So how do you know which one is the right one for you? Hiring the right photographer for your wedding is a blend of photographic style, budget, and personality. I certainly hope that you will consider Dogwood Photography to tell the story of your wedding day; but even if I am not the photographer for you, I want to pass on a few tips to help you in your search.
1: Book Early! Wedding photographers are often booked a year or more in advance. Book your photographer as soon as you have locked in your venue and your date, especially if you are getting married during a prime month like June.
2: Pay attention to the photographer’s style. Look for a photographer who captures real moments, not just stylized portraits.
3: Ask how a specific photo that you love in their portfolio was taken. Listening to a photographer talk about how an amazing image was created is a great way to get an understanding on how they work.
4: Ask to see a whole wedding. Its only natural for us photographers to only show the best of the best in our portfolios. But to ensure the photographer covers a wedding in a way that appeals to you; ask to see an entire set.
5: Hire a professional. According to a survey by New York Magazine1, the number one thing brides wished they had spent more on is photography. Don’t risk the memories of your wedding day with someone who may or may not have the proper experience, equipment, or business practices in place.
1 New York Weddings - Summer 2013 | Pg47.
We live in an incredibly connected world. Calling a friend on the phone on another continent, talking on Skype with our college roommate, or reading the Facebook wall of a friend we haven’t seen since high school is now normal. We’ve forgotten how just ten years ago we didn’t have iPhones, iPads, or even Facebook. One of the major benefits of being so connected is that we can now share images of our lives with the ones we love... instantly.
When your wedding images have been fully edited, a collection of your photos will be uploaded to an online gallery. You will receive a unique URL where you can view, download, share, and order prints on any computer, tablet, or smartphone that has Internet access. To share your images with friends and family you simply share your unique URL with them and they too can view, download, share, and order prints of your images. All downloads require a PIN which I will provide to you, and your gallery can be password protected at your request.
If your Internet at home is not fast enough to download the images through the online gallery, I can easily provide a DVD to you at no additional charge.
I am a firm believer in prints, and believe photos still look their best in print. Prints are also the best way to ensure your images are around for a very, very long time! Hard drives will fail, USB/Thumb drives will stop working, and DVDs will become unreadable.
Since the cost of providing my service to you is fully covered in the creative fee, there is no high pressure sales pitch to get you to purchase overpriced prints after the wedding. A a courtesy, I do offer a full range of professionally printed albums, prints, and products,and can do so at reasonable, upfront prices. One of my favorite things about Shoot & Share is that I can offer you access to professional print labs, ones only professional photographers have access to, at reasonable prices. All prints ordered through your on-line gallery are printed on Kodak Endura Professional Lustre paper for amazing color rendition and superb skin tones. Prints on matte or metallic paper are also available, if you prefer. Of course you are also free to have your images printed at your favorite consumer lab! It is all about choice.
Are you confused by print sizes, and image crop? You are not alone. The different print sizes are left-overs from the Analog days when film came in different sizes and shapes. An 8”x10” print is a direct descendant of Large-Format cameras from the 1930s. And since changing the shape of the image involved using a strait edge and a razor blade, frames where produced to match the shape of the image. Today’s professional digital cameras produce images that are the same shape (or crop ratio) as 35mm film. Prints ordered in the following sizes will not be significantly cropped: 4x6, 8x12, 12x18, 20x30, 24x36, 30x40. All other sizes are going to experience some cropping. Yes, that means that the classic 8x10 image is going to experience cropping! When you order prints on-line, the approximate crop will be displayed.
What is your style? The best answer is to look through the portfolio on my website at www.dogwood-photography.com. All of these images have been taken by me and represent my style.
Will you be photographing my wedding? Barring illness or injury I will personally be photographing your wedding. I am not a large company that uses a booking agent, and then sends out a random photographer. I am a one person business (with significant help from my amazing wife of 20 years!)
What happens if you are sick or injured? This has never happened, knock on wood. But if it were to happen, I have an extensive list of wedding photography colleagues in the Wilmington/Myrtle Beach/Jacksonville area I can draw from. I am also a member of the Wedding Photographic Society which is a network of wedding photography professionals.
Why is wedding photography so expensive? Wedding photography is a specialized field. The equipment needed to handle the ever changing situations of a wedding, often in poor lighting and unpredictable weather, is much more expensive than what your standard portrait photographer needs. And since we simply can’t reschedule your wedding if something goes wrong with a critical piece of equipment, we have to have backups for everything. Also, most weddings are on a Saturday, and there are a limited number of Saturdays to book weddings. This dictates price, unfortunately. Hiring the wrong wedding photographer is putting your memories at risk. They might not have proper equipment, backups, or business practices to ensure your day is captured and your images are safe.
Should I get an album? Yes! When my wife and I were married, we did not have an album made. We always thought we would ‘get to it later’. Well 20 years later and the negatives are lost, and we don’t have enough prints to make an album. Technology changes; in 10 years computers likely won’t even have DVD players in them, so getting your images off of the DVD may be impossible. The only time tested way to be sure you can see your wedding photos in 10 or 20 years is to have quality prints made in some form. Can you imagine trying to get your parents’ wedding images off of an old 5 ¼ floppy disk today?
I don’t see prints in any of your packages, do you offer prints? Absolutely! I offer a full range of photographic prints, as well as products like gallery wraps. I don’t have these in my packages to keep things simple. Your images will be in an online gallery for you to order prints and products from after your wedding should you desire.
Do I get the high resolution images? Yes. The images are available for download cropped and color corrected, in high resolution, without watermarks, and ready for print. You can get these images printed anywhere and you are not required to go through me. You can read more here.
If I can get images printed anywhere, why should I order through you? Your print prices are higher than the local discount store. My prints come from professional labs that are only available to professional photographers. These labs use photographic paper that is exposed to light and developed using a chemical development process. Though constantly being improved for color and contrast, this is the same basic process that has been around for over a hundred years. Discount printers use an inexpensive inkjet type system that sprays ink on paper. These inexpensive systems often use thin cheap paper to save money, and don’t hold color and contrast as well as a developed print from a professional lab.
How soon will I get my photos? The online gallery with the full set of images will be ready within 30 days. The online gallery is where you share your images from, as well as download them.
How many images do I get? That depends on the wedding. An intimate beach wedding with 40 guests that only lasts a few hours might produce 300 images, while a large full day wedding with 300 guests might produce 1000 images. I will take as many images as I need to tell the story. On average though you will receive between 50-100 images per hour of coverage
Do you do any special processing on my images? Every image is manually color corrected and cropped. I believe in providing a clean crisp beautiful image. I try to avoid any editing fads that will make your images feel dated in 10 or 20 years. For any images that are ordered as prints, and especially products like gallery wraps, I will do additional editing on them to prepare them for large printing including blemish cleanup and background cleanup.
I am from out of town, but having my wedding in the Wilmington/Myrtle Beach/Jacksonville area. Can you accommodate me? Absolutely! With the amazing weather, beautiful scenery, and spectacular beaches, we have many “destination” weddings where this IS the destination. We can handle pre-wedding consultations over the phone or via Skype/Facetime.
Do you have a studio? Yes! The studio is located at theArtworks near downtown Wilmington, NC.
I think you are awesome and want to hire you, what’s next? Now you contact us! We will set up a consultation to see if I am the right wedding photographer to tell the story of your day. We can meet in the studio; or go for coffee, a beer, or even ice cream! If you are not local we will handle the consultation over the phone or via Skype/Facetime.