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Matthews, NC: Twenty-six

Today I am twenty-six years old.

For many years, I have felt as if I were constantly reaching for change, never satisfied with my environment. Something about my station could always be improved with an adjustment, whether it be different education, career, or relationship. I recall feeling defeated often as many shifts were merely horizontal, failing to provide lasting fulfillment.

During my 25th year, I finally accepted that regardless of the job I worked, I would always rather be creating art with my camera. I’ve worked as a retail sales floor rep, a barista, and a dental assistant; however, none of these roles are as personally rewarding as being a photographer! I realized that to live whole-heartedly, I needed to withdraw from my sensible healthcare job and pursue photography -a prospect simultaneously thrilling and intimidating.

I truly feel that I am finally living my ideal life. I am blessed with a wonderful spouse who is the most supportive partner I can imagine. I have the opportunity invest a large portion of my energy in photography, for which I am grateful! For the first time in my life, the desire for change is notably absent from my mind.

My aim is that in my 26th year I continue to develop my photography skills, improving in both technique and experience. Vincent Van Gogh said, “As practice makes perfect, I cannot but make progress; each drawing one makes, each study one paints, is a step forward.” Therefore I will pursue progress, one step at a time!

-Liz K.

Matthews Photography Portrait Photographer

 

Mooresville, NC: Adopt a Dog from ARRF

The Atlantic Rottweiler Rescue Foundation is a non-profit dog rescue organization run by dedicated + passionate volunteers. At the Mooresville facility, the stray, surrendered, or former shelter dogs are rehabilitated and cared for until a compatible family is found for permanent placement.

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The rescue’s loyal staff provide everything for the current residents, offering endless attention and affection.

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My husband and I adopted our rottweiler, Quorra, almost a year ago from ARRF. Through the process I was impressed not only with small operation, but also the quality of care that the volunteers provide for the dogs awaiting their new homes. For this reason, creating portraits of the rescue’s current residents to help them get adopted is a passion project for me!

Are you looking to add a furry friend to your family? Below are some of the dogs currently available for adoption!

Penny – loving + gentle Rottweiler

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Atlas – energetic + affectionate Rottweiler mix puppy

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China – gentle + sweet Rottweiler

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June – active + friendly Rottweiler

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Damon – intelligent + handsome Rottweiler

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The Atlantic Rottweiler Rescue doesn’t just host Rottweilers!

Charlie – loveable + mild Catahoula Leopard dog

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Crawford -energetic + cuddly lab mix

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Nash – active + friendly Pitbull puppy

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Gypsy – cheerful + energetic Alapaha Blue Blood bulldog

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Kaya – energetic + sweet Pitbull

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All photography made with my Canon 5d III camera and Tamron 24-70mm lens.

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-Liz K.

To adopt your new best friend, visit: www.arrfnc.com

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Matthews, NC: Spring Family Portrait Session

On a mild April evening, I met a local family at one of my favorite public parks in Matthews. McAlpine Creek Park includes a picturesque lake, sprawling fields, and modest forests; these features make this park a fantastic family photography session location!

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Dandelion puffs dotted the meadows, delighting the girls!

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Charlotte NC Matthews NC Photography Portrait Photographer

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All photography created with my Canon 5d III and Canon 85mm lens.

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-Liz K.

 

Local Business Highlight: Blue Water Marine Products in Monroe, NC

Blue Water Marine Products is a small business in Monroe, NC. Family-owned and operated for more than 25 years, the local company designs and produces custom T-Tops for east coast boat-owners and boat dealerships alike.

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The T-top’s frame is designed to fit snugly around the boat’s console; the hand-sewn canvas provides shade from the bright sun. Each T-top is hand-welded for strength with anodized aluminum before being polished and painted.

T-top designs by Blue Water Marine Products often include practical additions like fishing rod holders (see below)!

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Bobby Atkinson, son of business owner Robert Atkinson, has served as Blue Water Marine Products’ full-time production manager for the past 7 years. His job additionally involves T-top design, sales, marketing, and deliveries.

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Bobby is passionate about meeting and exceeding his customers’ expectations.

“[I love] being able to create exactly what customer envisioned. There is nothing more rewarding than having the customer drive up when the boat is on the lot -they are so excited. That does it for me!”

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Choosing a custom-designed T-top through Blue Water Marine Products over a stock one is beneficial for customers who want a strong, durable T-top made with the best materials available. However, the greatest advantage in working with the Atkinson family is their integrity.

“We are honest, we are experienced, [and] we offer value in our products because of the quality of materials we use. Our workmanship is good and we stand behind our work.”

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All photography created with my Canon 5d Mark III camera and Tamron 24-70mm lens.

-Liz K.

For more information, visit http://www.bwmproducts.com.

 

Matthews, NC: Emily’s Spring Portrait Session

On a bright + warm March evening, Emily and I set out on a sunset portrait photography session.

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Matthews, NC Charlotte, NC Photography Portrait Photographer

The setting sun lended itself well to my creating vibrant, back-lit images like this one.

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Emily maintains that she hasn’t modeled before, but I don’t believe it for a second!

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Matthews, NC Charlotte, NC Photography Portrait Photographer

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Matthews, NC Charlotte, NC Photography Portrait Photographer

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Emily’s portrait session is one of my favorite photography sessions to date! The combination of superb lighting and my delightful subject is a portrait photographer’s dream come true.

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All photographs captured with my Canon 5d III. I alternated between my Canon 85mm and Tamron 24-70 mm lenses to create these portraits!

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-Liz K.

Explore + Capture: Wilmington, NC

Matthew and I love to take long weekend trips, and our three year anniversary seemed a great reason to explore a new city. We chose Wilmington, a coastal town with historical significance, popular for North Carolina vacationers.

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There, we discovered a haven of beautiful views, kind people, and delicious food! The Wilmington Riverwalk provided ample restaurant options on one side and a glimpse of the USS North Carolina on the other.

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Charlotte, NC Matthews, NC Photography Photography Photographer

I found Wilmington’s downtown, bustling with locals and tourists alike, to be visually interesting.

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The art installation below is just off Front Street.

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The first historical site we visited was Fort Fischer, the location of the Civil War’s largest amphibious battle.

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Also of particular military significance is the USS North Carolina. The battleship was used from 1937 to 1947, participating in World War II. The naval vessel now rests on the waters of Cape Fear River.

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On the main deck, visitors can aim anti-aircraft guns at invisible enemies.

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Charlotte, NC Matthews, NC Photography Photography Photographer

A restored Kingfisher sits on the main deck for view.

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Not only is the upper deck available to tour, but guests may descend steep ladders into the battleship’s depths. Exploring the ship is an enlightening experience, providing tactile understanding of navy life to visitors.

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Photographing in low, inconsistent light proved to be a welcome challenge! I particularly enjoyed attempting to photograph interesting portraits of my husband as we explored the battleship.

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Charlotte, NC Matthews, NC Photography Photography Photographer

Charlotte, NC Matthews, NC Photography Photography Photographer

Matt particularly enjoyed the visit, being a naval history enthusiast! His smiles are genuine.

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All photographs taken with my Canon 40D using my 50mm 1.8 and 24mm 2.8 lenses.

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Thanks to the Front Street Inn for so wonderfully hosting us!

-Liz K.

 

For more information, visit:

http://www.frontstreetinn.com

http://www.battleshipnc.com

http://www.nchistoricsites.org/fisher

 

Matthews, NC: Dreams Come True

For the last 7 years, I have relied heavily on my Canon 40D DSLR camera. Together we have documented special seasons (pregnancy, new babies, engagements) and events (birthdays, anniversaries, family reunions).

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I purchased my 40D on a whim from an eBay seller for $600. I definitely needed a camera for my photography classes and sessions; being in college and living on my own meant that money was in short supply. Back then, I could only dream of owning equipment from Canon’s professional-grade 5d line.

I’ve understood my need to upgrade from a hobbyist crop-sensor camera to a more capable, full-frame one. I spent a few weeks researching Canon’s current models before choosing the option I felt best fit my photography needs and budget -the Canon 5d iii.

On a whim one day, I decided to pop into a local camera shop in the Arboretum. I had primarily been browsing online and was unsatisfied with the Internet’s offerings. After a whirlwind 5 minutes, I exited the shop dazed with receipt in hand. Much to my surprise, I had just ordered the camera of my dreams.

Fast forward 5 days and here it is!

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Holding this camera in my hand is this photographer’s dream come true!

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I feel so blessed to finally be able to own a camera as magnificent as this one. By upgrading to this camera, I can better address difficult lighting situations and be more creative in my editing due to the large, full-frame sensor. Most importantly, with this I can now deliver photographs of increased quality to my photography clients.

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My trusty Canon 40D, aka “Rocinante,” my steady companion for so many years, won’t be retiring just yet! Not only will she serve as a great backup camera, but I’ll continue to take her along on my travels.

-Liz K.

*Shoutout to Cardinal Camera in the Arboretum for being fantastic!*

Charlotte, NC: Spring Mini Sessions

 

My Charlotte, NC spring mini photography sessions are open!

Waxhaw Charlotte Monroe Matthews NC 0762

For $85, you get a 25 minute outdoor family photo session and 15 finished digital images.

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Photography sessions will be conducted in the Charlotte, NC area.

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Offer valid now through May 13. Book now to reserve your spot!

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-Liz K.