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Sweet 16… Calli!


Welcome to our Enchanted Gardens themed Sweet 16 Session for Calli!

When Calli & her mom, Noelle contacted me with their thoughts for this session, I was immediately ecstatic! Her Sweet 16 party of the same theme was coming up in just a couple weeks and it would compliment things perfectly for her. Making it even better – it’s a theme very near & dear to her heart and as I witnessed, so very CALLI! As our current Miss Pinehurst’s Outstanding Teen and a pageant participant for many years, she has had many, many portraits done of her over the years. However, it was always with that purpose. THIS session would be simply about HER & what makes her heart sing… no heels, no shoes at all actually, no formal crowns… and yet, still a sweet, beautiful, natural princess of her own dreams!

Given our time crunch, the ‘planning’ was much more winged than you could imagine. Yet, I couldn’t be more pleased with our results. We started out our time with a soft natural white dress, bright blue hair flowers & long lashes for pop & drama. I couldn’t help but giggle at how much Calli loved the fun of these lashes… it was SO awesome!! She kept mentioning ‘Sprites’ & how much she loved the water so this became our “Sprite Garden of Evergreen & Flowing Waters”…

Despite all the times I’ve been to the Arboretum before, I still continue to find new areas that I didn’t know existed before. This time it was the far back rose gardens. How did I not know this was there?! We HAD to put together the perfect look for this area. So we coordinated a couple separate pieces to make her beautiful “Princess Garden of Roses & Open Skies” look… white, lace, roses, bare feet & the most beautiful wide open sky!! We knew in the moment that it was epic.

From here we moved on to what Calli & our wonderful new intern, Ellie kept referring to as her ‘Moana’ look. The girls had lots of fun with this one! Our “Sweet Garden of Dreams, Twirls & Laughter”. We utilized a cool new floral leotard that they had recently purchased along with the peach repurposed wedding skirt I had. She chose one of the floral crowns I made a couple years ago and without even knowing it… one that had been made for/worn by Jayden, who she actually knows & adores! Calli had told me how much she wanted to run in an open field. And, so… that is exactly what she did!!! This was probably one of my favorite memories of the session. Simply because of the joy in watching & capturing her twirl & giggle & be so very free…

We extended the session for one more look… her “Tangled Garden of Rainbow Wishes”! Denise painted this beautiful garden art on Calli’s face and braided up her hair with lots & lots of flowers for this one. As luck would have it, the Arboretum was preparing for their Annual Gala that very afternoon (yes, we shot our way right out the gate as they were closing up). They had little glass bottles and rainbow ribbons hanging from trees. It played SO perfectly into our session themes & final look…

I had only just met Calli weeks before this when I covered a headshot event for the Miss North Carolina Outstanding Teen’s Work Weekend. We hit it off immediately, the second she squealed over the fan I’d brought!! I could not be more pleased that one opportunity led to the next, as my own experience with Calli & her mom has been quite filled with sweetness & friendship already! THANK YOU for sharing this side of you with me & allowing me into your dreams… I adore you both so very much!!


Many thanks go to Denise Hutter, Images by Denise for Calli’s beautiful Hair & Makeup! And our fabulous new intern, Ellie Marshal, for all the help behind the scenes!

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