I had a chance to take a break from my Interiors work for a portrait session with a wonderful little girl named Savannah. All the residents on our street have watched Savannah grow up and she now has reached the age of, and I quote: “4 1/2, almost 5”. She has quite the personality and although I know different, seems very seasoned in front of a camera. Savannah makes friends with everyone she meets. Needless to say, the afternoon was really fun and here are a few images from the session with this “almost 5” year old young lady.

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In 2010 I worked on a personal, photojournalistic project called Wilmington Artists In Their Studios. It featured portraits of local artists as they actually worked on their craft in the confines of their studios. It was a fun and rewarding project, as I got to meet some wonderful creatives. During that time I was fortunate to meet Gayle Tustin at an impromptu dinner party at the home of a friend. I spoke briefly with her about my project and how I would welcome the opportunity to photograph her at work. She was interested, but was consumed at the time with work, and planning the wedding of her daughter. We became friends on Face Book and time moved on. Recently, she sent me an email and said that she was working on a commission for the NC State Bar Foundation in Raleigh, and if I was still interested, we could get together for a photo session. Of course, I jumped at the chance and we recently spent a morning together at her very cool studio.

Gayle has exhibited locally and internationally for over 20 years. She studied at Alfred University and Penn State and was the first student to graduate with honors in Studio Art from UNC Wilmington. She worked as a studio assistant to renowned artist, Marco Zubar while in Pennsylvania. She has received the Woman of Achievement in the Arts award and in addition to being published in several Ceramic  journals and magazines, has been invited to and attended International Artist Colonies in Germany, Brazil, South Africa, Macedonia and Paris. Locally, Gayle was one of the Co-Founders and Directors of No Boundaries International Art Colony. This is a non-profit group who invites international artists to get together on Bald Head Island every two years for expression and dialogue through their art. Her art has been on exhibit in collections and galleries throughout North Carolina and the United States. Internationally she has been featured in collections in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, Turkey, Brazil, Spain, South Africa and Macedonia. At UNCW, the Randall Library has a collection of her working papers and manuscripts which document her career.

While I photographed Gayle during our session she was working on the piece that will eventually hang at the NC State Bar Foundation. It depicts people from all walks of life. She works in several mediums, oil paint, ceramic, mixed media and ink. This particular piece is clay which has a liquid finish applied to it called terra sigilatta. Terra Sigilatta is made through a sedimentation process of clay particles. A deflocculant is used to change the electrical charge of each clay particle, which causes them to repel each other. The finest clay particles that remain on top are terra sigilatta. Coloring oxides are added to the base clay and the terra sigilatta adds a unique gloss, low luster finish, which also acts as a sealant. You will notice in a few of the photographs, small colored ceramic tiles. Gayle uses them as her palette library so she has an idea how the terra sigilatta and colors will portray on the clay. Its a fascinating process and I was in awe of the amount of work and attention to detail that is required to produce such a piece.

Once again I was really honored to have met and spend time with such a talented creative. I had great fun during the shoot and had to force myself to leave so Gayle could continue to work. The scope of her current project seemed a daunting task to me, but you could see the passion the woman has for her art. Enjoy the following photos and if you’d like to know more about Gayle, visit her web site at www.gayletustin.com.



I had the most enjoyable session in the park last week end with Barry and Chrissy and their two wonderful children, Ellie and Noah. I was excited to do this session as I have photographed Ellie since she was two and haven’t had the chance to spend much time with Noah. Plus it was the first chance I had to have them all together in front of the lens. It was Granddad’s idea, and a good one at that! It was so much fun. The weather was beautiful, the setting in Hugh McCrae Park was perfect and the kids were full of energy. I had a blast and here are just a few of the images from the afternoon. Thank You Barry, Chrissy, Ellie and Noah. You made my job easy!


I had a portrait session recently with Alyx on Wrightsville Beach. Alyx and her parents spend the summers on Wrightsville Beach and she is a student at Cape Fear Academy. We initially had an idea for a shoot on the beach, but as luck would have it the wind was blowing 20-25 mph, so we had to go to plan B. Of course, plan B was developed as I was heading out the door and Alyx and her Mom were heading to meet me. We decided on going over to the Surf Club, where they are members. It gave us some protection from the wind and a nice venue to compose some shots. The following are all in black and white. Alyx’s Mom had asked for some B and W photos and I rarely get a request where the main selection will be in black and white. I really miss the days of shooting in Tri-X film and black and white. I don’t miss the long hours in a dark room and the chemicals involved, but the clean look and sometimes stark beauty of a black and white photograph are still my favorite. As you can see, Alyx was great and we made the best of somewhat tedious conditions.


I met Russ and Allison at the Holiday Inn Resort on Wrightsville Beach. They had been married in Raleigh the Saturday before we met and wanted to get some fun images in their wedding attire. I did not shoot their wedding, so this was the first time we were to meet. What a blast! They were fun and open to all suggestions, so when I suggested they get wet, there was no hesitation. The water on the island has started to cool, so it took a little adventuresome spirit to roll around in the surf. They were great and had as much fun in front of the camera as I had behind it. Here are a few of my favorites from that afternoon and I wish Russ and Allison all the best.