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  • I am a wedding & family photographer based in Greenville NC. I love shooting and enjoy traveling throughout the United States for different photography events.

    To me, photography is a personal experience that allows a moment to be captured in time. My clients know that our time together usually involves lots of interaction and tons of laughter. The experience is designed to be fun and non stressful!

    I hope each of you visiting my page have had a chance to connect in some fashion to my images and I hope you return again soon!

    Thanks to each of my clients that allow me to be a part of their lives..you are what makes my business what it is! Until we meet again..Laurie

    and a big thanks to Shannon B. Atkins Photography for my fabulous bio picture!!

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Wedding – Boone Hall Plantation – Charleston, SC – Danielle & Peter

This was my first Charleston wedding and I have to say I was smitten!!! The long dirt drive, lined with gigantic spanish moss trees were enough to make your breath hitch. But if that didn’t do it, the breathtaking plantation itself with the ginormous, rustic gates that would likely welcome you to a classic southern home in the 1800’s surely would! There wasn’t a corner on this property that didn’t scream southern charm entangled with history, refinement, and beauty. So when we took that mixture and combined it with the elegance and lightheartedness of Danielle & Peter there was no doubt that this wedding would be talked about for years to come!!

Although some time has passed since their wedding, I clearly remember the delight that sprung across Danielle’s face when she arrived at Boone Hall Plantation to start the pictures and I could never forget the overwhelming joy that beamed from Peter, as Danielle walked toward him and their new chapter of life together.  There even seemed to be a charge in the air from the elation their loved ones radiated throughout the ceremony and well into the reception. But if I had to use one word to describe it all, I would have to settle on unity. Not only unity with Danielle and Peter but unity that brought all those that loved them together. Danielle & Peter I still think of your day and think of perfection, there isn’t a detail I would change (well, it might could have been a few degrees cooler but even that was part of the setting that made your day simply splendid) This has taken a while but I couldn’t do one more post without showcasing your amazing day!!! xo

 

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Senior Session – Holden – Greenville NC

So again, this is a year behind but with the school year in full swing I figured this was a great time to post Holden’s senior session from last year!! I promised to not emabrass him so I will try to keep my word because I owe this fella a lot!! My husband met Holden years ago when their love for wakeboarding found them skiing together on the Tar River. A couple years passed and I heard his name over and over. Chris talked about the laughs they had on the river, the talent he saw in Holden, and the respect he had for Holden’s family. He admired the way his family was so invested into Holden’s love for the sport. Everytime Holden stepped on the river, his Dad was always there.. encouraging him and learning along with him.
There is a common bond that connects any sport and wakeboarding is just the same. It wasn’t unusual for Chris to ride with them, but last summer I shudder to think what our life could be like now like if Chris has been on another boat instead of Holden’s boat. One of the first rules of any water sport is to always keep your eyes on the rider in the water… always, always, always. And I’ll be the first to admit, that I have always been huge on that rule while my kids where in the water but with Chris, I was way more relaxed. Especially if there were other people in the boat. Maybe it was because I expected others to watch him, maybe it was because I was confident in his skills, or maybe it was because I just wanted to chat. Regardless, I now realize how HUGE of a mistake that could be!
As I was shooting a wedding, Chris made a last minute call to take the boys and go out with Holden and his dad. So when the wedding finished and I called to find out where they were I was shocked and confused when Justice answered his phone and said, “Dad has been hurt, there was a tree and he hit his head?” My head started swirling with all kinds of crazy thoughts and the only thing I could think was, maybe he was walking in the yard or cutting grass and a tree limb fell and hit him in the head. Was he conscious? Was the ambulance called? It must be bad if Chris wasn’t talking? Were the boys alone? They must be scared! Before any thoughts could really come together, a man was now speaking on the other end of the phone. He was saying Chris had been in an accident, he was knocked unconscious, he had come back around, but they were heading to Port Terminal. In an instant I knew he had been on the river and then I realized he was with Briley’s. My heart dropped, I felt sick, more questions flooded my head but the only thoughts that I could really rationalize was, I needed to call Todd (his twin brother) and I have to get to him. To make a long story short, Chris had attempted a trick that he has done hundreds, maybe thousands, of times on a narrow part of the river. Because it was narrow, it made landing tricky but not impossible for Chris… well except for this particular spot. At the exact spot he was landing a giagantic tree had fallen down directly in his path. He landed and he hit it full force, there wasn’t time for him to react. He took full impact. He was immediately knocked unconscious and rested face down in the water. This is the part where even now my heart shutters. Because those on the boat had their eyes on Chris, they immediately flipped the boat around and sped back to him. Without hesitation, Holden, his dad and another friend jumped in and swam to Chris as my boys watched their dad float lifeless on the water. Because of their quick thinking and reaction, Chris was floating face down in the water for probably less than a minute. After 3 days in the hospital with a fracture in his skull, a Bell’s Palsy episode a week later, and weeks of recovering, life slowly started to return to normal.
So when Holden’s mom asked me to do some Senior pictures for Holden there wasn’t even a question on whether I would do them. To me, Holden and the others on the boat that day, are and always will be heroes!! And when they asked me if we could finish on the river where the accident happened, I didn’t even have to think twice… for me, this is where the friendship began!!
So check out some favs and just remember when you get to the action ones…. I’m not an action photographer so I was a little out of my element.

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Run Your Race…..


Last week I headed to a mountain.Yes, a literal mountain but for me it was also to a spiritual mountain. One that I had been desperatley trying to dodge and run away from for some time!! Nestled in the rolling hills of Rome, GA I attended Pursuit 31. I didnt know stepping onto the campus of Winshape that my world would be completely rocked. I didn’t know that the subtle tears that started the first night would soon turn into a monsoon of tears that made ugly cry seem pretty. And I didn’t know that I would encounter God in such a way that I would have no choice but to face myself. Before I go any further take a minute and watch the video that was put together from this past week… I’m not sure that anything can really describe the experience that almost 200 ladies encountered on that mountain but this was pretty darn close!!

So I’m guessing most of you are wondering…. why the title? And to be honest it doesn’t quite sound the same typing it as it did coming straight from Bianca Olthoff but in my head that phrase continues to ring. We hear it all the time….. run your race, finish strong, don’t give up but as Bianca uttered that simple phrase, “Run your race” something resignated deep in my spirit. I had come to Pursuit 31 looking for answers and looking for relief. I had spent most of the week crying and asking God to heal a brokenness that seemed so deep that I couldn’t even find the words. And although I wish I could say I came home full of answers to some of my hardest problems, what I did find was probably more important. I found a loving Father that met me right where I was at. He  met me in my brokeness and reminded me I was created for a purpose, that I was fearfully and wonderfully made, that it’s ok to be in certain seasons (seasons don’t last), that he knows the hairs on my head, that I am unique, and above all that I was His. And then it all tied together. That week through speakers, through scripture, through songs, and through that small voice on the inside of me it was repeated over and over, “to not believe the lies.”  Some how a lie that crossed all platforms of my life had snuck in and I believed that I wasn’t good enough. I know it sounds crazy for some of you reading…. it even sounds crazy for me typing. I mean, do I really want people to know how real my struggles are? It automatically strikes fear deep into my heart that I may have to be real and say, “I don’t have it all figured out and that my life isn’t always as happy as I want the world to believe.” I mean Mary Marantz hit it right on the head when she talked about the real story versus the instagram story. It’s soooooo much easier to post the smiles. But then again I realized the hardest part of sin or even a lie is the way it WANTS and NEEDS to stay hidden. Because if it can stay hidden, it can hold you in a bondage and that bondage can not only keep you from healing but it can and will likely keep you from the place you are destined to go.

Although my life wasn’t spiraling out of control, I was stuck in the comfortable spot of life and anytime it got hard or I faced adversary I turned inward. I didn’t share my battles with friends because I didn’t want the label of being “just another friend with another problem.” So as I hid my struggles, I simply pulled further away. And isn’t that just like the enemy, to have us so remotely to ourselves that we then believe another lie, “you truly are alone.”  I had struggled and I mean seriously struggled with what I felt I had been called and designed to do. I have believed for years that I have a unique calling on my life to cross boundaries. Where some see color, religion, denominations, race, or any other dividing factor that seems to separate us, I SEE PEOPLE. I don’t have a particular type of person that I seem to befriend, the variety of people that enter in and out of my life is truely extreme. I remember as a teenager at one point my mom told me if I placed all my friends in a room, there would likely be fights everywhere, simply because my range of friends was extensive. They didn’t have to live in a certain place, believe a certain way, or dress in a certain line for me to want to connect with them. And that same quality that defined me as a teeneager has followed me as I have grown into an adult. I’m a HUGE believer that God purposely designed us all uniquely but we all have the same goal…. to have a relationship with him and to tell others of that relationship. I believe that God has given us all different gifts that we are to cultivate for his glory. I believe that as a body, we each have a different jobs but that our jobs result in the same outcome. And because I believe all of those things, I’m more likely to say (even if I don’t agree with you), I do accept you where you are.  And as great as that quality seems, it has also brought some of the biggest heartaches of my life.  I see division after division, where people are determined that only their gifting/calling is the correct way and it simply divides. And so the trap remains, the gifting that is so unique to me, that was designed into me just as my eye color was, that keeps me surrounded by people also at times keeps me completely alone.

And so in the subconscious of my mind I hear…. “the gift the you believe is from God brings division so either it’s not of God (which I REFUSE to believe) or I’m not good enough. How else could a simple truth of love cause division??? And as quick as I think it, just as before, I’m reminded of truth from scripture “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. The thoughts and even the struggles I war against are not of this world so why would I try to fight them with natural weapons. When the lies come and the enemy tries to remind me I’m not good enough, that’s when I need to remind him of what I KNOW to be true!! That’s when, by his spirit, I need to draw on those words that live in my heart that are from HIS word!!

So as I come home from a week of tears (and for anyone that knows me you know I DON’T like to cry), I come home renewed in truth and the fact that I WILL run my race!! And when my time comes to an end on this earth I will know that “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faithbecause that is what I have been called to do!!

And a HUGE shout out to all our amazing  2014 Pursuit Conference sponsors, the went above and beyond!!!

 
The Organic Bloom | Stout Tent | Daylin Skye Designs | Intentional Home | Rachel Brenke: The Law Tog | Jordanne Marie Paper and Design Boutique | Puddleduck Paper Company | B is for Bonnie Designs | Carrie Grace Shop | Read Between the Lines | bPaperie | Thatch and Thistle Company | Aubabi78 | Kal Barteski | The Ruffled Stitch | Chasing Lockets | Black River Imaging | Epiphanie Bags | Bloom Theory Straps | Blogstomp | Albumstomp | Kelly Moore Bag | Fotostrap | Stampington and Company | Justin & Mary | Tiffany Farley | Hannah Brencher | Katelyn James | Bob Goff | Jane Johnson Creative | Casey Wiegand | Elle Danielle | Ike and Tash | Julie Story | H.H. Boogie | Artifact Uprising | Peach Linen | Amy Cornwell | Beba Photography | Life Lived Beautifully | Tieks | Grace and Salt | Whitney English – The Day Designer | Two Little Fish | Angelsea Urban | Kristin Ungerecht | Lily Jade | Lace and Loyalty | ShowIt | PASS | Love Gives Way | Deeply Rooted Magazine | Shutterbag USA | Market Colors | Eye Heart World | Mercy Child Care Ministry

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Engagement Photography – Wilmington, NC – Victoria & Ben

All I can say about this couple is… what a journey! They have a real life love story! A story that tells of them falling in love, walking away, only to find each other again!! Although I have known Victoria since she was small, over the years as she grew and chased life I kinda lost touch with her. Then a few years ago she contacted me and let me know she was getting married. After chatting about packages and her needs, we locked in and I started capturing her story.  The wedding approached and I shot her engagement session, just as any other couple, then I released her pictures to her. But the response was like crickets. I immediately reviewed the images and replayed our conversations during the session in my head. Had I said something? Did they not like what I gave them? I was so scared and nervous. And then I got her call… she loved the pictures but she was calling the wedding off. I was so caught off guard, I didn’t knw what to say or do. My business says, a contract has been signed, money has been paid, other clients turned away, and from a business standpoint, the money is lost. But my heart struggled… I ached for the sadness that she was enduring but I also believed in her decision!! I can’t imagine the courage it took to say “I can’t do this!” She didn’t have to be told, she knew the emotional and financial ramifications this would have but she stood unwavering. She didn’t let fear drive her into a lifelong commitment when, in her heart of hearts, she knew this wasn’t the one. So I made a decision, as I have with brides in the past. We worked a new contract that said a portion would be lost but the bigger portion would be applied to a future date. It didn’t put a time limit or even question who it would be, the only stipulation was that she had to make sure I was open on the date before she locked in with other vendors. Time went by, she lived life, and before long her first love (and when I say first, I truly mean first love… the first guy she ever kissed) stumbled back into her life. I saw posts here and there on FB and my inner voice said… she’s falling in love again!! And then “the” post rolled through my feed…. he asked and she said YES!!! We set the date and time and I officially got to meet this new fella that stole her heart. But before our session ended, I realized something pretty profound… she didn’t re fall in love with Ben, she never stopped loving him!! They literally were two peas in a pod. After the session, I typically take my clients out to eat but these guys took me back to their home and made the most amazing meal I have ever eaten. As they cooked, I was reminded of all the different ingrediants. The ingrediants had their own unique flavor but as they were combined together they were incredible!! And that was Victoria and Ben, they were unique on their own but together they were simply incredible!!

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Bridal Portrait – Kinston, NC – Stephanie

So I’m completely mortified and and ashamed at the lack of attention this poor little blog of mine has seen the past year (or longer) and I want to take steps to correct it, like NOW!!! It’s literally going to be impossible for me to back track the last year (or so) of my life but once again I am going to try to catch up on some!! Although blame can always be casts (and usually it really belongs to us), I secretly believe it is the fault of FB that my blog has been soooo scarce!! I know, I know “let’s blame Mark Z for one more thing!” But really, he made it to darn easy to post and share without making my little ole’ brain think of what to share!! So thank you FB for allowing me to be a wordless person as I document the lives of some AMAZING people!!! Yes, it’s Monday and I’m being dramatic but I’m writing again and that’s what counts!!!

So on to my first fabulous friend!! I call her friend because that is what she is. She allowed me into her life to capture some of her biggest memories but she doesn’t stop there, she continually allows me in. Everytime I see her she greets me with a beautiful smile and huge hug. Her eyes twinkle, her giggle is infectious, and she radiates Jesus like a bride on her wedding day (see what I did there? hehehehe) And no matter how bad the situation, she conquers it with joy! Stephanie, you my dear are a breathe of fresh air and you are as beautiful inside as you are outside!! I have loved becoming your friend and I’m sorry this is way past due!! But I hope this posts bring you joy!!

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