Author archives: Bessie Black

  • Rebecca & Matt

  • A White Oak Lavender Farm Wedding

    Harrisonburg, Virginia

    What an honor to capture these two love birds lavender infused wedding at While Oak Farm! This is what weddings are supposed to look like! A view to die for, flowers for days, a special ceremony performed by the bride’s mother…cake, food, lighting, dancing, wine, music, toasts….I can’t even list all of the fabulousness!! Most of all a Happy Couple!

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    Bride, Groom & Wedding Party Attire //Amanda’s Touch Bridal & Formal

     Wedding Jewelry // Finks in Charlottesville

    Hair & Makeup // Amanda Haney and Tasha Lonas

    Flowers // Mary Jo Swartzendruber // Mary Jo’s Flowers

    Appetizers & Catering // Taste, A Food Company

    Wedding Cake // Bittersweet Bakery

    Garden Party Music // Jazz Trio

    Ceremony Music // Bloom Trio and Harpist

    Live Reception Band // Randy Black and Stone Rolling

    Wedding Coordinator/Planner // Julia Define // Down the Aisle Events

     

  • Hunter 2017 | Turner Ashby High School | Bridgewater, Virginia

  • SENIOR SPOTLIGHT

    All American Southern AG Life

    HUNTER 2017  |  Turner Ashby High School  | TA FFA Chapter President  | Lover of Lake & Beach Life

    Hunter is a well-rounded young man who enjoys being outside, weekends at the lake, Florida beaches, travel, water skiing, photography, shopping, spending time with friends and family, public speaking, school organizations, summer ball games, gardening, sunsets, sweet tea, and all things southern.

    Favorite Stores/Brands:
    Ralph Lauren  |  Belk  |  TJ MAXX

    Future Aspirations:
    Hunter is planning on taking a year off to pursue a state FFA officer team in June.
    Later, he plans to pursue a career in agricultural outreach, business, or education.

  • NEW BLING??!! WAHOOOOO! NOW WHAT?

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    bessieblackphotography_018From girlfriend to FIANCE!  The first 5 things to tackle, after receiving your BLING!

    Besides telling the family, and making sure all of the key people know BEFORE it hit’s social media…here are 5  things to start with once your new bling has found it’s home!

    If you’re like me you just want to know the five things and get on with it…So for the “see it now” people like myself here are the top 5 and a BONUS!

    1. VENUE & PRIORITY VENDORS
    2. A WEDDING DATE
    3. WEDDING PARTY AND SPECIAL HELPERS
    4. MORE DATES (SOCIAL FUNCTIONS)
    5. GUEST LIST

    **BONUS** WEDDING DAY TIMELINE, with the assistance of your photographer & planner!

    Now, if you’re looking for a little more detail, READ ON!

    1. VENUE & PRIORITY VENDORS

    There are quite a few vendors that you will need to secure for the wedding day and hiring knowledgeable & experienced professionals is your first BIG step to creating the perfect day.  There are a few that can only take on ONE wedding/event per day.  Be sure to secure these first, especially if you have always known that you wanted to use them!  

    They include your venue, the photographer(s), videographers, DJ, and wedding planners!  

    Other vendors that typically can take on one or more events per day: caters, bakers, florists, musicians, stationers, rentals, rehearsal dinner locations, makeup and hair stylists, wedding dress and tuxedos….

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    1. A WEDDING DATE

    Why is the second on the list you ask?  Well, it’s because there are super popular dates for weddings that get booked way over a year in advance.  So If you have your heart set on a favorite photographer or place to get married your date may need to be flexible.  By looking into your favorite vendors first, you will save yourself potential heartbreak, by making sure the date you have in mind is available!  

    Also, a side note…make sure to check all holidays and big sporting events/graduations that happen around your dates as well.  Hotels and restaurants book up quickly around these popular dates years in advance. Just make sure you are ahead of “the game”(pun intended)

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    1.  WEDDING PARTY and SPECIAL HELPERS

    It’s time to secure those that are closest to you to assist in the creating of the wedding and making it easy for you to enjoy and be pampered through the process! Who has been by your side for the long haul?  When you pick up the phone to call someone to share the special news, the sad news who do you call first?  (besides your mom??.. although she can be a bridesmaid too) Find a fun way to ask them to join you in the planning and the celebrations, make sure they have an idea of the time commitments and financial ones as well.  Giving them the opportunity to decline if they don’t feel up to the dedication.

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    1. MORE DATES…

    It’s the year of the full calendar!! There are so many fun and traditional events to plan and organize before the wedding!  Be sure to get them on the calendar early to make sure your family and friends can attend all of the festivities! Some of the occasions include:

    Engagement Photos

    Wedding dress shopping

    Bridal Shower Planning & Bridal Showers(s)

    Bridesmaid Dress Shopping

    Tuxedo shopping and fittings

    Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties/Getaways

    Rehearsal Dinner

    Honeymoon

    ….and more

    See this post for a more in detail look at the “dates to plan”.

     

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    1. GUEST LIST

    All though it may seem like one of the “not so fun” things to do.  It is one of the staple items that you will need to determine quite a few key things:

    -Determine how many people you will need seating for.  Some venues have an occupancy limit and you want to be sure you will be able to comfortably accommodate everyone with room for your dance floor, DJ and food stations!

    -Your rentals (tables, chairs, place settings etc…) You will need an approximate count to determine cost of these items as well as for catering.  

    -Keep in mind the more people you invite, the higher the budget will need to be. Catering is typically based on a person basis.

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    …well gals (and guys) this should keep you busy for a little while!  Check back soon for PART 2 on your “next steps”! Remember, these steps are a starting point and can be done in ANY order, just as long as you get them completed!!

    OH….One more IMPORTANT aspect of the wedding is your wedding day TIMELINE!!

    It’s one of the “to-do’s” I’ll take off your plate, so give me a shout and let’s talk wedding, photography and schedules!  Why me for the schedule you wonder?  I am one of the vendors (besides your planner) that will be with you the majority of the day.  Setting up realistic blocks of time for photographing the getting ready, details and portraits are key to making sure the day goes as planned!!

    Let’s chat!!

    Plan on,

    Bessie

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  • Bold & Bright Backyard Garden Inspiration

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    An inspiration shoot featuring

    ONE ELEVEN SOUTH MAIN

    Bridgewater, VA

    As most of you are anxiously awaiting for fall to arrive, I find myself still holding on to summer for a little while longer. Don’t get me wrong I love these cooler days, makes shooting so much more comfortable! In my desire to put off the fall sweaters I thought it was about time to share some images from earlier in the summer from a collaboration of amazing vendors.

    I fell in LOVE with this venue after getting the opportunity to tour it over a year and a half ago! I have to admit that I ALWAYS wanted to see “behind the fence” every time I passed this Main Street property.  It was for sale for quite some time, and when the owners Alan and Shelia scooped it up they had no idea how popular it would be!

    Fast forward to this summer, when talking with Alan upon my first meeting him. A styled shoot was suggested to feature the venue and to provide some wedding images to show off all of the amazing features of the property…. you won’t believe all that is tucked behind this main street gem.  Alright… thanks for sticking with me, drum roll, please! Leave some love in the comments if you find any favorite images, vendors, or ideas!

    A TOUR AROUND THE PROPERTY

    One Eleven South Main Bridgewater Va

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    VENDORS FEATURED: ONE ELEVEN SOUTH MAIN {EVENT VENUE}

    DOWN THE AISLE EVENTS {WEDDING PLANNER/COORDINATION}

    DRESS, DETAILS & DECOR

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    VENDORS FEATURED: CAMPBELL PRINT CENTER {PAPER SUITE}

    AMANDA’S TOUCH BRIDAL AND FORMAL WEAR {BRIDES ATTIRE}

    HARMONY HARVEST FARM {FLORALS}

    CHRISTOPHER WILLIAM JEWELERS {BRIDAL BLING}

    BRIDE AND GROOM PORTRAITS

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    MAKEUP BY OUR WONDERFUL MODEL, ALLISON

    HAIR BY TAMMY CIERI/High Tech Salon

    BESSIE BLACK PHOTOGRAPHY 

    CLASSIC TUXEDOS {GROOMS ATTIRE}

    CEREMONY DECOR

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    VALLEY HEIRLOOMS {RENTALS/CHAIRS}

    HARMONY HARVEST FARM {FLORALS}

    A LOOK INTO THE RECEPTION GARDEN

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    SO MANY SWEET TREATS

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    VENDORS FEATURED: HERITAGE BAKERY {CAKE AND MACAROONS}

    LOCALLY SOURCED FOOD, BRIDGEWATER RESTAURANT JALEPENO

    SPECIALTY COFFEE BAR & ONSITE BARISTA {JOSE THOMPSON}

    A {CREATE YOUR OWN} CONFETTI SEND OFF

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    SUPPLIES FOR THE CONFETTI BAR WERE PURCHASED FROM HOBBY LOBBY

    AS WELL AS THE BLACK AND WHITE FABRIC FOR THE HOMEMADE TABLE RUNNERS

    SO MUCH MORE PRETTY-NESS!

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  • Jenny & Stephen

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    A Farmington Country Club Wedding

    Charlottesville, Virginia

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    Around Farmington Country Club…Jenn & Stephen 1

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    A bridal suite suited for a princess!!

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    A very sweet bride and groom first look…Jenn & Stephen 14 Jenn & Stephen 15

    and then right into a first dance trial run…and cooling off with their favorite beverage…

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    Jefferson Room Bridal Portraits

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    So many perfect places for bride and groom portraits at Farmington Country Club!

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    Okay Stephen! Yes, the clouds and rain were approaching VERY quickly!

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    Father, Daughter First Look…

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    It had started raining during our formal photograph time, right before the ceremony…the

    bride and groom had to make a call…push the ceremony or keep it?  They choose to keep their

    ceremony time, and guess what??? The rain stopped, and cleared up just in time!

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    A gorgeous wedding party…

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    Classic, sparkly chandeliers and timeless floral decor!

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    Heartfelt toasts by the best man, maid of honor and bride’s father…

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    Sunset after the rain…

    Jenn & Stephen 36Lovely Farmington Country Club, delicate decor and delicious dinner

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    A groomsman tribute song to the bride and groom…

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    A very memorable and FUN time on the dance floor for all (myself included)! Thanks to the BEST DJ Astro DJ’s- Virginia Beach

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    Let me explain….The grooms niece caught the bouquet (see middle photo) The groom’s brother did not approve and tried to return the bouquet…

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    Thanks to Jenny, Stephen and their wonderful family and friends!  Everyone was so accommodating and helpful!  It was truly a pleasure and honor working for you ALL.

    The fabulous team that assisted in making the day a beautiful one for the couple and for me to photograph:

    Venue                             {Farmington Country Club}

    Brides Dress               Sealed With A Kiss Charlottesville

    Bridesmaids Dresses {Davids Bridal}

    Groom & Groomsmen  {Joseph A Banks}

    Hair                                 {Shari at Hair Cuttery/Charlottesville, VA}

    Makeup                          {Sonya with Bobbi Brown} -Belk Charlottesville VA

    Wedding Bands/Ring   {Zales}

    Catering & Cake           {Farmington Country Club}

    Music & DJ                     {Astro DJ’s- Virginia Beach, Virginia}

    Wedding Coordinator  {Event Details by Edelina}

    Videographer(s)          {Whiddon Productions}

    Florist                             {Colonial Florist- Gordonsville, Virginia}

    Transportation              {Camryn Limo} & {Central Virginia Wine Tours} 


  • {Senior Snapshot} Hannah 2016

  • From riding horses and showing animals at the fair to being the FFA Secretary her senior year, Turner Ashby High School senior Hannah is well on her way to being a large animal vet. Hannah plans to pursue her degree from Virginia Tech after graduation. But studying veterinary sciences isn’t all this animal lover is interested in–Hannah also enjoys playing the banjo, shopping at any place with “boots, blue jeans, and belts” and spending time with her friends!

    Hannah’s session could be described easily with one word–beautiful. It was a beautiful evening to do senior portraits. The landscape was also incredibly beautiful, full of great views and lush green grass. Add in the beautiful senior that I got to work with and it made for a wonderful session. See if you can spot any of Hannah’s “favorite things” in the photos below!

    {Bridgewater, VA}

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  • Nicole & Cole {Trump Winery, Grand Hall}

  • Oh, I feel like the luckiest photographer in Virginia right now!! Why, you ask? Well, earlier this year I was lucky enough to meet Nicole at my bank! While making a deposit, we exchanged introductions and she asked about the business, about me and we got on to talking about weddings and how she was engaged!! Her and her fiance Cole were just starting the planning of their August wedding, I offered her a card and hoped she would reach out 😉 We ended up talking that afternoon via email and set a time to get together to talk more about their upcoming wedding at Trump Winery- a DREAM VENUE! After talking about a schedule and going over the options of what type of final product she would like to have we booked the date!!

    Fast forward to February… Cole, Nicole & I met at the arboretum to do their engagement session. This couple is just as cute as can be together! They are just so easy going and flawless in front of the camera. They are truly a blessing to work with and photograph.
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    Fast forward again to August!! The month of the wedding has finally arrived! Two weeks until the big day and we all meet up to do a walk thru at Trump Winery Grand Hall! My first time visiting, of course I arrive extra early to take it all in! “Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains…” their website describes, now I can put a picture to the words! Stopping just as I enter the property to photograph the beautiful landscape.

    The first view as you come into the property

    The first view as you come into the property

    Continuing further onto the property, the Barn is the next stop on the tour of the grounds. This is where the office is located, and where I was meeting the rest of the wedding “team”. Flowers by Rose, A La Carter Events, Harvest Moon Catering and Trump Winery!
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    Right beside the barn is the pavilion, it shares the views of the Barn and is equally as beautiful!

    Anticipating everyone’s arrival I continue to photograph the property, and shortly I meet the event planners and Sally at Harvest Moon Catering and the event manager at Trump, Patrick Butler! On we went up to the top of the property/Mountain, to the Grand Hall!! I could not believe my eyes, of the beauty of the property and surroundings. Let me just stop with the talking and share the pictures, they will do the talking for me!
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    Trump Winery

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    Needless to say, I can not WAIT until August 15 to see this beautiful wedding come to life!! Best of Luck Nicole this week with finishing up finals! When I see you next you will be the Bride to be – Future Mrs. Henry!!! Thank you both for trusting me with your very special day!

  • Spring Bridal Show

  • On one of the first true spring like days in March, Kynndal and I set up for the first bridal show of the season at the Spotswood Country Club.  With high hopes, a new approach and fabulous handouts we were prepared for the afternoon of meeting, talking and educating brides! The doors opened and the room filled with anxious, excited & blissful brides.  The past few bridal shows have had an extremely low in attendance, but not today!!!  There were more ladies than we could ever imagine to talk with, we took appointments, handed out wedding planning kits (see photos below) and booked wedding contracts! I think the girls enjoyed the “wedding libs” we used for our contact form, a different, fun approach to having them provide their information so we could keep in touch!  I was so pleased with the bridal show and how it turned out, but I could not have done it without my assistant… I am so fortunate to have a trusty sidekick, Kynndal, who has been with me since her junior year in high school!!  She knows me, the business and has a great attitude when meeting with brides and giving them (and me) advice on their wedding and photography.  THANK YOU!!  To all the brides who came out to the show, I hope you had a wonderful day and look forward to working with some of you who have booked for this year and next year!!

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