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On Pins And Needles During Our Honeymoon

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY REVIEWS: CRAIG CARPENTER OF LUSTER STUDIOS

When we started planning our wedding, here’s what we cared most about: finding a venue that would provide great food and the photographer. I pictured myself looking at my wedding photographs years later, showing my future children, always being able to look back with the best memories. After settling on The Carolina Inn, we dug into our photographer search and it took a loooong time. We spent days looking at wedding magazines and countless websites. Craig’s was the last one I looked at, as these things tend to go. In our notes for other photographers, we had jotted down, “Good, but not great,” “Absolutely NOT,” and many other comments, but for Craig, it was, “Wow–love, love, love–perfect.” We liked some formal shots at weddings, but mainly wanted natural photos. Over and over again I saw that Craig captured beautiful unscripted moments between couples, families, and friends.



We emailed, talked on the phone, and we felt comfortable with Craig from the start. He was always quick to get back to me, answered all of my questions, and I felt reassured that he would capture my special day in just the way I wanted. We decided to book him right away.

On the day of the wedding, I was stressed to high heaven. Craig was one of the few people that calmed me! I knew he was there for me, to make me look my VERY best, and to capture all of my favorite moments. He was one of two people that told me to “just breathe” (the other being my husband), which I desperately needed to hear sometimes. He took all the pictures I asked for, including driving us to a couple of locations. He took pictures of us at the Old Well on the campus of Chapel Hill, just as I asked, but he also had us sit amongst the newly bloomed flowers and then standing while kissing each other (with my leg kicked up and back, of course!) Craig also took wonderful photos of us under the Davie Poplar Tree, as I asked, but then also suggested capturing us walking together back and forth across the freshly green lawn. I didn’t know how any of these pictures would turn out, but THOSE turned out to be my favorite photos!

After the wedding, supposedly relaxing on our honeymoon, my husband and I were actually on pins and needles, waiting to see our pictures, eager to remember our day. The wedding had gone so quickly, and it was as if we needed to see the pictures to be reassured it really happened! We weren’t disappointed. Craig quickly posted highlight photos on his blog, and quickly uploaded the rest to his proofing gallery soon after. The photos were gorgeous! Family and friends raved! Their favorites were the ones he captured of my husband’s nine-year-old daughter (now my stepdaughter) who stood with us during the ceremony and held our rings. The pictures of her crying makes people gasp–they can’t believe how sweet and powerful they are! And SO many of them are like that! My parents walking me down the aisle–that picture makes me want to cry and smile proudly at the same time. The pictures of the father-daughter dances (with me and my father, and my husband with his daughter) are fantastic, honestly, take my breath away!

I would definitely, with no doubts, recommend Craig to others (and actually, I already have!). His work is amazing and I will just say that in all of my searching, I found other photographers in the area to be comparable in price, but lacking the skill, personality and passion that Craig has. I ended up with over 700 pictures, and I would have paid the same amount for even less than that because of the quality–they’re priceless.

Sincerely,
Michelle and Michael

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