I can’t say what a wonderful privilege it is when I’m asked to photograph other photographers, especially one as amazing as this gal. Michelle Lyerly and I met years ago when I had just shot my very first wedding. From that day to now, we’ve both grown so much, but I can truly say she was as sincere and lovely every step of the way as she was when she first said “Hello.”

When I showed up to Michelle’s house to head to the shoot it was in a beautiful state of chaos that I can only hope to attain as my husband and I welcome our baby girl this Winter. We planned the shoot for Michelle and her husband Christopher to get some images together, and take a few quiet moments as husband and wife (instead of just Mom and Dad) on a summer Sunday evening. As I walked in her home, her precious family was bustling about a house filled to the absolute brim with love and passion and finger paintings and wild flowers. I don’t quite know yet what was the bigger privilege – getting to shoot this lovely lady and her husband (and little girls!) or getting a glimpse into their amazing, beautiful lives as a family that evening.

Once we got in time with Michelle and Christopher together, we could not resist bringing in their sweet (and patient) little girls Daisy and June for some shots. I could have spent all day with this inspiring little crew!

…and as a a 5.5 month pregnant momma-to-be, I just could not RESIST how adorable my sweet hubby Shawn was holding little June during this shoot (and loading film simultaneously, mind you!) while I photographed Michelle and Christopher on their own. I mean …. THIS made my heart melt in every way. Can’t wait to see him with our little girl some day soon!!!

 

 

 

  • Caroline Lima-Benusa - This is so amazing!!!!! I love every single one of them!!!! The one of June showing her tongue is priceless!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Lyerly - YES!!! love, passion, finger paintings and wild flower. That sums it up. :) Thank you friend. xoxoReplyCancel

Samantha and Ben were so open and warm in how they embraced not only each other, but their families and friends who gathered on a beautiful mountaintop town in Virginia for their wedding day. The weather had forecasted for rain, but those clouds held off and gave us one of the prettiest days I’ve seen, a light breeze and sense of pure joy glided down the hills for this Virginia Mountain wedding. Wedding days like this are what they’re meant to be.

  • Samantha Lord - Perry, this is stunning. Well done lady.ReplyCancel

You only come across people like Brittany and Jared rarely in life; those individuals who decide to change things, decide to pack up a life they know and go on a real, honest to God, adventure. When they first told me their story, it hit my in the heart. It’s a hard thing to do to change things up, to quit something, to go for something new and choosing to actually go for it, is possibly the hardest step. After deciding to break free from the life they were living in Virginia, “making just enough money to pay for food to eat and gas to get to work” they quit their jobs, packed up Brittany’s car and the next day, drove away into the distance headed West.

These two set out to explore and experience, heading as far West as they could with just under $1000 between them. After Jared asked Brittany to elope, they tied the knot along the way in Santa Fe at the magistrate and Brittany explains “it was like we were finally free to make whatever life we wanted. We didn’t have to go back. It felt crazy, but at the same time it made more sense to me than anything else. We were finally free.”

After a long and beautiful story, they finally made it to the Oregon Coast together settling in Bandon where they found jobs working at the Lake Bradley Christian Camp. Shortly after, I was put into contact with these two via Jared’s brother Josh when I was looking for couples in the Pacific Northwest, and after realizing they didn’t have much as far as actually wedding photographs went, we put plans into motion to provide an experience that might compliment their wedding day at the magistrate. Along with an absolutely amazing team of creatives (A & B Creative styling, Twigss Floral and Nikol Elaine with hair and make-up) we all traveled to Northern California near the heart of the redwoods to capture and create that sense of adventure that these two seemed to live and breathe.

To help give this inspiring couple an even further emotional connection to their California elopement session, they wrote personal letters (which were then beautifully hand-written by Mon Voir) to each other and on the edge of a cliff, and with the Pacific Ocean below, in the whirling wind they exchanged vows and promises to each other that they’ll keep for the next 80 years. There’s something so real and powerful about that, and being able to stand with them and capture it was surely one of the highlights of my experiences as a photographer thus far.

Beyond their cliffside vows, we also headed deep into the ancient redwood forest nearby, and the setting along with this sweet couple took my breath away. The truly beautiful wedding gown by Sarah Seven and vintage motorcycle owned by Stefan and Becky Fisher added a sense of whimsey to the entire experience – I was half tempted to hop on and ride off with them!

More to come from our time with Brittany and Jared on the foggy black sand beaches of the Lost Coast!

 

An undeniably huge thank you to the phenomenal team that came together to make this California elopement session possible:

Styling/Design: Rebekah at A&B Creative

Floral: Addison at Twigss Floral Design

Hair & Makeup: Nikol Elaine

Dress: Sarah Seven 

Calligraphy: Jenna at Mon Voir

Motorcycle: Stefan and Becky Fisher

Couple: Brittany & Jared Etheridge

Photography: Perry Vaile Photography

 

Redwood elopement, redwood portraits, California elopement session, Perry Vaile Photography, A&B Creative design and styling, Twigss Floral Design, Nikol Elaine makeup, Nikol Elaine hair, Sarah Seven dress, Mon Voir calligraphy, 
  • Shawn Adams - Amazing! ReplyCancel

  • Morgan Merchant Wagoner - Breathtaking ! <3ReplyCancel

  • Stephan Phelps - Wow, I knew my daughter was pretty but Wow! They both look amazing!! Nice work Perry, very Nice!ReplyCancel

  • Susan Slater Gelder - Perry, what gorgeous photos. These are my grandchildren and I’m so happy for them. The most beautiful wedding photos I’ve seen. Thank you.
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  • Jennifer Miller - These are incredible!!! Job well done!! Beautiful couple!ReplyCancel

  • Christy Tyler - HOLY MOLY, WOMAN! These are absolutely stunning!ReplyCancel

I was lucky enough to get to take a visit of this amazing gem in Bluffon recently before a beautiful Palmetto Bluff wedding weekend. Since we arrived in town a little early we decide to take a look around and fell in love with this sweet little community and all the people in it. While I can’t quite share any of the images from that very special wedding, I thought I’d give a glimpse into what a truly lovely peace of heaven this is!

Having been married at Boone Hall Plantation in Mt. Pleasant just outside of Charleston, I have a soft spot for twisting oak trees and spanish moss. Taking some time to soak in the beauty of Palmetto Bluff and capturing it on film was exactly what we needed.

On a side note, this glorious village is also a pretty spectacular wedding destination! I am lucky enough to head back twice in 2015 and am already counting down the days! If you think you might like to celebrate the start of your marriage with a Palmetto Bluff wedding weekend, be sure to contact the every wonderful Ashley Rhodes (http://www.palmettobluff.com/weddings)