Monday, January 24, 2011

Thanks to Craig Carpenter of Luster Studios

I met Craig Carpenter of Luster Studios in Raleigh just 2 years ago when he took the pictures for Leah and Mike's ceremony in February, then in May he took the pictures for Leah's brother, Kyle and his fianceé, Adrian's, ceremony. (See a picture from each below.) I officiated both ceremonies. Prior to 2009 I'd officiated ceremonies much more infrequently, concentrating more on a parish and counseling ministry. Now, wanting pictures of weddings for my web site, I began to pay attention.

It's always a treat to not only be a part of a couple's and family's life at this time, but to get to work with other professionals who consider this work a labor of love. Craig does.
As do my two colleagues and friends below, Rev. Barbara Lodge, and Rev. Kayelily Middleton.

All four of us are 'couple centered,' loving what we do, wanting a couple's ceremony to be a joyful celebration of their love. Each of us ministers brings a little different background and personality to our work, as you can see, which Craig captured well taking pictures of each of us in what he called our 'signature garb.'

I'm amazed at the quality of pictures Craig is able to take. The day these pictures were taken was a very cold overcast day. You can't see any signs of the chill except for my warm wool pants peaking out from below my robe. Kudos to my colleagues for braving cold feet. You can't see how Craig had to tease the limited natural light to cooperate. Kudos for Craig for creating fabulous photos that look and feel effortless.

At these and other weddings Craig and I have been a part of, I've seen Craig interact with couples, helping them relax, paying attention to possibilities in the moment. But I never realized how important this is and how much skill and talent it takes until he was generous in offering to take these pictures.

I have never liked having my photo taken. He made it fun. I'm always self conscious about my smile. He helped me forget it. All three of us women expressed the same, very natural reticence and the same delight in the pictures.

Here's a picture of Christine and Tim's wedding in 2010 at Umstead Park in April for which Craig was the photographer.

Here's a picture from Kyle and Adrian's wedding at All Souls Chapel in Raleigh...

And here's one from Leah and Mike's ceremony at their home in Hillsborough.

Pardon what seems like shameless promotion. Those who know me and know my hesitation about my picture taken will understand. This is living proof it can be otherwise. Those who contact me to officiate their wedding that I tell I'm busy now see colleagues to whom I recommend them.

All these shots were taken at an office park green area and pond right just behind the Doubletree Guest Suites in Durham on the Meridian Parkway. Isn't it lovely?

I can't thank Craig enough for this opportunity to finally enjoy having my picture taken and to not feel like I want to shut the photographs in a drawer somewhere. This was just fun. He made it fun. He captured the friendship we three colleagues share, and the results are amazing.


  1. Lovely pics, Robin (and Craig). BTW - I love your smile :)

  2. Great post, Robin. I must get our photo shoot posted in my blog with the amazing photos that resulted due to the expertise of our fab photographer, Craig Carpenter. In fact, the photos he has taken of me during the years are my very favorites. He's done it again!

  3. This is a great post, Robin. Craig really is a gifted photographer and you caught the feel of the photo shoot and our friendship perfectly.