Photography on Hatteras Island

Yesterday I had an appointment with Matt and Alexandra for their bridal portraits on the beach. Their ceremony was at a beautiful historical church in Nags Head, St. Andrews by the Sea. Their reception was held at “The Pearl” on the oceanfront in Kitty Hawk, NC. The day of their wedding ended blustery and cold so we had to forgo beach portraits. A new date was set for those portraits.

Since they were staying in Rodanthe on  Hatteras Island, (on the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina) I thought it would be a great idea to shoot down by the pier. This is the same pier that appears in the movie “Nights in Rodanthe” with Richard Gere and Diane Lane. Then I thought it would be romantic to go to the beautiful house with the blue shutters that appears in the same movie. The house had been moved, so I would have to check out its new location before committing to the decision to shoot there.

When I arrived at their beach house the wind about knocked me off the porch as I waited for them to answer the door. Oh boy, here we go! I knew if the wind was that strong this far from the beach that once we were out there we would be sandblasted, the veil would be blowing straight up into the air, and it would definitely turn into a bad hair day. Admittedly, it is funny to see a veil blowing straight up like that, but not if you are trying to make serious, romantic portraits of the bride and groom. After the suggestion from the bride’s mother and some discussion, it was agreed that we would relocate our session much farther north to Coquina Beach.  As we drove northward to Coquina Beach we drove past the Nights in Rodanthe house and with an air of disappointment waved as we drove by, it is tryly a spectacular house. I am happy that they were able to rescue it from the ravages of the sea and reopen it for visitors to the Outer Banks.

Coquina Beach is one of those beaches that is just far enough off the beaten path, that few people know about it. I have never seen it crowded and it is spacious and beautiful! It also just happens to be across the road from the Bodie Island Lighthouse, which makes for great scenic photos as well as a nice backdrop for portraits. At this time it seems to be under some kind of renovation though, surrounded by scaffolding, so it was not an option for this evening’s portrait session. But there was still plenty of idyllic scenery to take advantage of.

Having just traveled from that direction I knew that it was not as windy up there as on Hatteras Island, and I was hoping that was still the case by the time we got there 30 minutes later. If not, then we would be out of daylight by the time we could move to another location. Luckily the wind was much calmer, and we spent the next hour having a great time on the beach, in the dunes and in the surf. I am sure that we elicited quite a bit of surprise and interest when bride and groom began walking through the surf in their wedding attire and then possibly even a little angst as the both laid down in the surf as it washed ashore. I now for a fact it caused the bride’s mother a little distress because before we even got to the beach she expressed loud and clear that she didn’t want that dress going into the ocean! Well we complied, sort of…just the skirt of the dress got we, as the bride was saved mostly by her groom who provided a great support as she rested on his back.  We had a fun time! Alex and Matt are a fun couple and I wish them many, many years of happiness!! Love you guys!



Filed under beach bride, beach portraits, beach wedding, Nags Head, Outer Banks, outer banks beach portrait, Outer Banks Wedding, Outer Banks Wedding photographer, photography, trash the dress, Wedding

3 responses to “Photography on Hatteras Island

  1. Shelley,

    As always, great pictures! Hey, I’ve been on those beaches during those high wind days. Nothing like getting a free facial, huh?

    — Dan
    Outer Banks Revealed

  2. Jessie

    Hey! I love your photography! The wedding pictures (especially the trash the dress shoots) are amazing! It’s my dream to have my wedding in the Outer Banks one day and I always pictured it the way they are in your photographs! What a great place to pick to open a photography business! Always a beautiful backdrop.

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