Old South Studios bio picture
  • WELCOME!

    We are a team of professional wedding photographers solely devoted to "happily ever afters". Our commercial studio is based in Charlotte, NC and we capture weddings in the Carolinas and beyond. We believe in family, love and the power of storytelling through our photography. The ladies of Old South would love to capture your big day!

Welcome to the 2017 Sunflower Season!

This is our 8th summer in the sunflowers and we cannot wait to see our “Alumni Old South” clients and some new faces too! Gather the kids and the family pet and meet us in the fields!

Farming is tricky business and we cannot assign specific session dates until actual bloom time (estimated bloom is July 5-20). However, we will accommodate your preference for either a morning (7:30 a.m.) or evening session time (7:30 p.m.)

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The $1000 session fee includes your 45 minute session plus 40 digital images delivered via download. A non-refundable $500 deposit is due at the time of booking. The remaining balance will be due when your session date is assigned.

 

Your high-resolution digital files will be issued with a reproduction release allowing you to print images at any lab of your choice (up to an 8 x 10 in size).

 

Your gallery will be delivered within 14 days of your session.

 

Portraits or gallery standouts (larger than 8 x 10) can be purchased a la carte and printed through our professional lab.
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Luster Finish Portraits

11 x 14           $ 169

16 x 20           $ 279

16 x 24           $ 329

20 x 30           $ 429

Gallery Standouts (Black or White Edging)

11 x 14           $ 299

16 x 20           $ 399

16 x 24           $ 499

20 x 30           $ 599

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Leather coffee table albums are available beginning at $800.

Common Questions

 

  1. Can I bring my kids?

YES!! We want you to gather up the little ones and join us for some serious fun in these gorgeous fields.

 

  1. Can I bring my dog?

YES! We are quite comfortable working with animals and invite you to bring the family fur baby.

 

  1. Can I bring the grandparents, cousins and my lost long uncle too?

For groups larger than 5 people, please contact Julie@oldsouthstudios.com for specific group pricing. Additional session time/editing fees will apply for each additional person.

 

  1. What should we wear?

Once your booking deposit has been processed, Julie will send you a Style Guide to help you in coordinating your family’s look. The all-white shirts and khakis is NOT a great option in the sunflowers and we are here to help!

 

 

  1. Can I shoot a few photos of my own before, during or after the session?

Old South retains exclusive rights to the fields so no other photography is allowed. Our farmer lives on site and loves to report trespassers- ha!

 

  1. Are there bees? Will it be dangerous?

These gorgeous flowers do attract lots of honeybees. In 8 summers, we have not had even one bee sting, however, all clients must sign a liability release prior to the session in case any field “critters” decide to bite or sting.

 

  1. Can I pick some sunflowers?

Obviously we want the field to look just as amazing for the next group of clients after you, BUT we do allow each family to leave with 3 beautiful sunflowers for your home.

 

  1. What if it rains?

Summer does have a few stormy days, BUT we leave extra space in the shooting calendar for rescheduled shoots. 2 hours prior to your session time, Julie will determine if rescheduling is needed (via phone). We will make sure to work you in to the next available date/time that fits your calendar.

 

  1. Why is there a $500 booking deposit?

With a very short bloom season and tremendous demand for these shoots, we must charge a non-refundable $500 deposit. Please, double check your calendar to be VERY sure you have flexibility during July 5-20 before officially booking your session. If a vacation is tentatively scheduled or your plans look unsure, plan to join us next season. These deposits are non-refundable.

 

  1. How do I book my session?

If you have checked your calendar and are ready to book, e-mail Julie@oldsouthstudios.com. She will send the $500 invoice via e-mail (Visa or MC are accepted). Your booking is not official until the invoice has been marked paid. With only 20 sessions available, we encourage you to book very soon!

 

  1. How will you assign my actual session date in July?

The farmer watches the fields very closely and can predict full bloom about 4-5 days beforehand. We will be making calls/emails then to establish your actual date (with your time preference of either 7:30 a.m. or 7:30 p.m.)

 

  1. Where are the fields located?

They are privately owned in Weddington, NC. Directions will be provided once your session date/time is assigned as a booked client.

 

Don’t delay……e-mail julie@oldsouthstudios.com today to book your session!!  See you in our gorgeous acres of sunflowers soon!

 

Elizabeth is that timeless beauty that could have stepped out of a glamorous wedding magazine from 1957 OR 2017.  She is stunning!!

Alisha did a fantastic job of capturing her bridal portrait session at Providence Country Club back in April.  She became Mrs. Jones on 5.6 17 and we can finally share her lovely images.

As many of you know, we host a fabulous brunch every year with all of our brides.  Aside from reminiscing through images, stories and some shrimp and grits-ha!- I always ask the ladies what they would do differently when planning a wedding (now that they have endured that process and already said I do!)

The top 3 regrets from our former Old South brides are always

  1.  Not doing a first look.  We do attract a more traditional bride so often, they (or their Mom or groom) are against this newer trend in wedding day timing.  However, that first look allows us to do 80-90% of all photography before the ceremony so the newlyweds can get to their own cocktail party/reception much sooner.  Many of our brides now wish they had modified the timeline and done the first look after all.
  2. Not eating privately (or at all!!) Once you and the new Mr. hit the reception, everyone wants to hug and congratulate you.  Then, there are first dances, toasts, cake cutting, etc.  Many of our brides say they never actually got a chance to sit and eat with their husband.  We highly recommend carving out 15 minutes before entering the reception to enjoy both the moment and some food as newlyweds. Those who have done this (which is really only possible with a first look…see regret #1) say it was one of their favorite private moments of the entire day.
  3. NOT DOING A BRIDAL SESSION.  This regret comes up over and over and over.  Weddings days are so busy and so many people are jockeying for the bride’s time and attention (hair/makeup artists, planner, bridesmaids, Mom, etc.) We will never be able to focus an hour plus on just the bride on such a busy day.  Bridal portrait sessions are taken 4-6 weeks prior to the wedding day.  They are calm, relaxed, and focused solely on her in the most beautiful gown she will ever wear.  EVERY bride who has this session done raves about how amazing the experience was and how much more confident she felt wearing her gown.  The mothers of our brides also rave about how special this day was for the two of them.  It’s usually only second to the day she actually found the gown in terms of sweetest wedding planning moments between a mother/daughter.

Thankfully, beautiful Elizabeth opted for the bridal portrait session and we are so very glad she did.  Enjoy!

Oh, Jessica.  You are our Grace Kelly bride around here.

When these gorgeous images landed in the studio, we ALL swooned.  This just might be my all-time favorite wedding captured by Dana (and Alyssa).  It is so classic, so timeless and so lovely. Just like this sweet couple and their families.

Jessica was in medical school in California when her Mom first inquired about our services.  Brian and Jessica would be back and forth to Charlotte through the wedding planning year which only gave us a handful of dates to capture their engagement session, bridal session and plan for the big day ahead.

People often ask me how I choose which OSS photographer will cover each wedding.  Dana and Jessica were the perfect photographer/client match.  Both ladies are laid back but organized, effortlessly beautiful and good stewards of their time.  They connected so easily on a personal level which meant Jessica could fully trust Dana’s judgment and direction on wedding day.  They see the world through the same lens and Dana became an extension of Jessica’s vision of the day.  Dana was always looking for small details that  Jessica might miss in the hustle of the wedding day, guarding that “shot list” of loved ones to be sure every image was captured that Jessica requested AND checking in with her all day to be sure she was enjoying her wedding.  THAT is how I choose which photographer will cover each wedding.  It’s about people…not locations, not budgets, not gowns….relationships.

Dina with DBB Events pulled together an amazing team of vendors this day. Full list at bottom of post.

This event was so classic and elegant and hello, how amazing were those fireworks?? This was a surprise Dina pulled off during the reception and the newlyweds were overjoyed.  We hope those fireworks continue for the new Mr. and Mrs. Labadie for many, many decades to come.

Thank you for choosing Old South to capture your story.

Special thanks to our vendor partners: Venue: The Club at Longview | Planning/Coordinator: DBB Events | Florals: Blossom Shop | Cake: Wow Factor Cakes | Videography: Brian Bunn Films| Gown: Vera Wang | Stationers: Crosstown Press | Rentals: Party Tables and Party Reflections | Lighting: Wink Lighting | Transportation: Sunway Charters and Rose Transportation | Band: Sol Fusion | Photo Booth: Shutterbooth

Oh, this blog post has been brewing for years.

First, let me give a major praise to Mr. Old South who has been my rock for the past 20 years.  College years, graduate school, first big jobs in Atlanta, first home purchase, moving to NC, second home purchase, birth of 2 sweet girls, laying his own career aside for 3 years to help me build Old South, etc.  He seriously deserves a medal for this long and crazy road we have traveled.

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But, not everyone in the wedding industry is quite so lucky.  At least once a week (once a WEEK!), I hear of a fellow photographer, florist, planner, videographer, stationer, caterer getting a divorce.  And in most cases, the road to divorce often started with their career choice.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not here to point fingers, cast blame or even assume I know the full story (because in most cases, these professionals work VERY hard to hide their divorce from their clients.  We are in the business of marriage so most are not comfortable talking about their marital issues in the wedding arena), but I do understand how so many relationships can suffer when one or both spouses devote their lives to weddings.

It is so easy to post the happy, sunshine-y pictures of wedding days on Instagram, Facebook and blogs.  The general public (and most certainly bride-to-be’s) are searching for the prettiest bouquets, trendy linens, latest and greatest bridesmaids’ gowns, etc. so as purveyors of wedding media, we are inclined to showcase the “fun” side of the wedding world.

But, what clients don’t see is what fellow wedding vendors DO see and it’s time to start talking about it.

 

Giving away a majority of your weekends WILL hurt your personal relationships.  I’ll say it again.  Giving away a majority of your weekends WILL hurt your personal relationships.

 

I know how that feels.

  • I did not attend my own high school reunion because….guess what….I had booked a wedding that weekend a year in advance.  So, when the alumni committee announced the date 6 months in advance, of course, I could not attend.  How many fun stories were shared that night? Old friendships rekindled? Smiles, laughs, jokes…I wasn’t a part of because I wasn’t there.  Another Saturday lost.
  • My husband was honored to become the godfather of his best friend’s first baby.  When Chase was christened and Andrew was officially named his godfather in the eyes of the church….was I there? Nope.  I already had a Sunday wedding planned months in advance.  So my husband and 2 daughters witnessed this sweet service without me.  Another event I missed.
  • I turned 40 recently.  The night of this milestone birthday, guess where I was? Out at a fun bar raising glasses of champagne with my hubby and our best friends? Nope. I was shooting a wedding.  Watching someone else’s life unfold while missing a bit of my own.  Another Saturday lost.
  • My niece was born in a hospital in TN 2 years ago.  All of my immediate family traveled to meet her and welcome her into this amazing world.  Guess who couldn’t be there because she had committed to a wedding a year in advance?

I think you are seeing a trend here.

 

My point is, that all of us who work in the wedding industry, do so because we LOVE IT.  Photography is my passion and every time I pick up the camera on a wedding day, it’s like my alter ego takes over.  Photographer Julie is confident, self-assured, in control, full of hustle and in her element.  For those 8-10 hours, she is laser focused on serving that couple and their families WELL and creating images their children’s children will treasure.

But, what many people forget is that all those little league baseball/softball games, dance competitions, Girl Scout events, church picnics, girls’ weekends away…..all of those happen on Saturdays too.

So, inherently by choosing a profession that operates while OTHER people have leisure time, you are sacrificing at least some of your own.  And the ones who miss your presence most are those who love you like your husband/wife, children, parents, extended family and friends.

I sat in a convention center a few years ago learning from an icon in the photography world.  I have such respect for her as a photographer and business woman and after that day, even more so as a human being.  About an hour into her lecture, she told the cautionary tale of how her business had overtaken every other relationship in her life.  She was away from home too much, giving away weekend after weekend, constantly overwhelmed and exhausted and eventually, mentally and physically consumed with growing her business, her husband left.  The greatest and most important relationship in her life had been laid on the altar of success.  Her heartbreak was still so fresh and so raw and my respect for her in that moment was indescribable.  She had the GUTS to talk about the elephant in the room.  Raising up a business in the creative world takes extraordinary sacrifice.  Along the way, your relationships will suffer.  However, as the one who has chosen this path, you HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY to open your eyes to the cost of your profession and at some point, learn to say no.

Say no to more weekends away, say no to another date night lost, say no to being so exhausted on a Sunday after shooting a wedding that you don’t have the energy to play with your kids.

Say no.

I have felt this way for many years which is why we decided to expand the company beyond just me.  Beginning in 2013, I started hiring other female photographers who were also feeling overwhelmed by this business.  Together, we set limits on how much we want to shoot each year and therefore, how much time away from our families we are willing to give.  For Dana, it might be 19 Saturdays a year, for Autumn, it might be as little as 9 a year….but we respect the boundaries we each have set to protect our own relationships.

I see it EVERY day.  Burnout, failed marriages, relationships lost because of the enormous time/energy needed to operate a company in the wedding industry.

I know how it happens because it happened to me too. You start this company and once you begin getting some traction, you keep adding more and more dates to your calendar.  I see photographers regularly shooting double and even triple header weddings (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) then basically slipping into a coma/fetal position for the next 2-3 days from sheer exhaustion.  Tell me how your partner must feel? Your children? Your friends? There is no room or energy left in your life for them.

PLEASE, take it from me.  When you get to the end of your life, the RELATIONSHIPS you have will matter and nothing else.  Do not lay  your loved ones on the altar of success.  They will become a sacrifice to this “God” of yours and eventually, you will realize (with enormous regret) that saying yes to so many clients meant saying no to time with the ones who matter most.

I am blessed to have a man in my life who encouraged me to pursue this passion.  He fought for it alongside me for several years but, at a certain point, we both agreed there needed to be a shift in our business.  We had survived a few years of me being absent almost every Saturday but both of us knew that pace was not sustainable.  Our kids needed me. My marriage needed me.  And not just parts of me, or the bits/pieces left after I gave my best efforts to my clients, the BEST me.

That is why we hire other photographers and editors.  We share the heavy load of this company.  We set boundaries on our work for the sake of the ones we love.

Then, when we step behind our cameras and capture love in its sweetest forms on wedding days, we can embrace it and capture it.  We know that same love in our own marriages/homes and we can appreciate it on a wedding day.  How painful it must be to capture a wedding day full of meaningful relationships (parent/child, husband/wife, grandparent/grandchild, friend/friend)  when your own relationships are falling apart?

No one seems willing to talk about this EPIDEMIC in our industry, so I will.  You are not alone.  We have all had those ups and downs when the business has overtaken our personal lives.

Start saying no.

Start putting boundaries on your time.

Start giving your best efforts to your OWN relationships instead of what is left over after serving too many clients.

Start protecting your passion.

Start FIGHTING for your own relationships.

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