This past year we started shooting film again for fun. I’d forgotten how much I missed it! I love the mystery of not really knowing how it’ll turn out, the anticipation of waiting for my prints to come back from the developer,  and the joy of seeing that they turned out better than I had hoped. Most of all, I love the realness of each image – the grain and the color, the beauty of a photo captured not on an electronic sensor, but on a piece of film, the light and the chemicals working together in a dance of science to produce a beautiful finished image. Just recently we got a few rolls of film back from Richard Photo Lab in California, and we were thrilled with the results. I had to share a few of the images we captured over this past year or so as we experimented with film again.

The past few months have been a whirlwind of many things for Tim and I, especially for being our “off season.” We’ve been chugging away on a few winter wedding films, working on a couple films for non-profits, attending workshops and traveling to see family and friends, doing some minor (and major) home renovations on the house we rent, Tim’s been taking online classes to finish his teaching certification in NC, and amidst all of this we’re trying to remember to take some time to breathe.

Our most recent big project is a food blog I launched called This Wild Season. I’m super excited about sharing what I’m learning in the kitchen and out, and having a more personal platform to share about our lives and all the ups and downs. I hope that This Wild Season will become a place to encourage others, whether it be to try new things in the kitchen, live fully in the present, or invite others into their homes and their lives – there’s so much to be learned in the places where our stories intersect with others.

Speaking of stories, Tim recently attended the Storytelling With Heart workshop put on by Stillmotion. It was an incredible experience and he’s still sort of processing all that he learned in the two-day experience. After the workshop Tim felt it was necessary to express his appreciation to the guys who led the second portion of the workshop in particular – it was a day of hands-on filming for a piece they’re compiling throughout the tour. He walked away from that day with a newfound excitement and passion for filmmaking and storytelling, so it was only appropriate that those guys know how inspiring they are to other filmmakers like ourselves. We were thrilled this weekend to see that Tim was actually quoted on the Story & Heart blog – you can read it under the first section here!

As we sit on the verge of our busy season starting up in a couple weeks, we feel so much excitement for what this year will hold. We’re working with some absolutely incredible couples who have the most beautiful and unique stories! We can’t wait to share them with you here! If you know anyone who’s tying the knot this year, send them our way – we’re currently booking 2014 and 2015 wedding stories! We’re looking for couples who are passionate about beautiful photography and videography, and those who want to let us into their lives so we can capture and share their stories with others.

All images captured with the Canon EOS 3, Sitacon RX-7, and Fujifilm Instax Mini 50S. Various Portra films, Kodak Tri-X 400, Ilford HP5 Plus 400, and Instax films used.

We’ve been keeping this shoot to ourselves the past couple weeks but are so excited to share it now! Many thanks to The Lovely Find for featuring it on their blog yesterday – first, go check out the lovely little write-up they did on it, and then come back here for more goodness!

As the first winter snow storm of the season was baring down on us here in North Carolina, we felt the buzz of excitement in the air. “Did you hear?! We might get SNOW!” “I think school might get cancelled! I can’t remember the last time we had a snow day!” One thing everyone is well aware of now is that the South is ill-equipped to handle any amount of snow – no matter how small. A quarter-inch of powder on the ground? Everything shuts down. Everyone runs to the grocery store and purchases all the milk, bread, and batteries their carts will carry. That part is pretty comical, as you’d think the end of the world was fast approaching. But in reality, the roads quickly get icy here, and winter weather is so infrequent that no one actually knows how to drive in this type of weather.

As I stood at my kitchen window drinking my coffee the other week, watching the gray skies outside and wondering how much snow we’d get, I had a thought. I wondered what would happen if someone had planned their wedding for the very next day. What would happen if their wedding was snowed-in? What if the florist couldn’t make it, the caterer wasn’t about to drive on the icy roads, and the cake designer was snowed into her own house with the beautiful confection she’d made for the wedding? What would I do if it were MY wedding that got snowed-in? I certainly wouldn’t think of canceling or postponing the big day!

I imagined a scenario where all my closest family and friends were already in town for my wedding, but none of the vendors were going to make it due to the snowy weather. I challenged myself and Tim to style a wedding using only what we already had around the house. As the snow started to fall here in North Carolina, we scoured our home for decorations that would fit the theme of a lovely snowed-in winter wedding. We searched our yard for anything leafy and green, and I created a garland of handpicked greenery to adorn the center of our table. We filled in our centerpiece with a variety of gold and glittered pinecones, along with driftwood and moss we had around the house. We used all our own furniture, dishes, napkins, and blankets, as one would have to do in a snowed-in wedding scenario.

I imagined wanting my guests to be warm and cozy and truly feel welcomed – for us, food is a big part of how we make our friends and family feel welcome in our own home, so the menu was very important. I started with the idea of serving bread and milk as a proverbial nod to the crazies that fill their carts with exactly that at the mere mention of snow on the news. And what’s more comforting than a bowl of warm chili on a cold winter day? Obviously that had to be on our menu – who cares that it’s not “typical wedding fare”? We added fresh-squeezed lime juice and Sriracha to fancy it up a bit! And finally, for dessert we made brown butter chocolate chip cookies dusted with sea salt to go with our cozy, comforting theme. I mean, seriously, who wouldn’t want milk and cookies for dessert at a wedding?

In addition to our table setting, we created an ethereal ceremony backdrop by stringing sheer curtains between two trees in our woods and adorning them with a garland of gold glittered pinecones. We also dreamt up what I affectionately call “the cozy corner,” complete with a trunk full of blankets for guests to wrap up in, and a hot chocolate bar for them to enjoy a warm after-dinner treat! I hand-lettered all the paper goods, and hand-embroidered the menu card with gold thread to reflect the gold accents we had throughout our tablescape. In addition, the vintage ring we featured was a gift from my grandmother – the emerald stone and gold setting fit perfectly as the unique “engagement ring” for our shoot.

We had a wonderful time challenging ourselves to DIY a winter wedding in less than 24 hours using only what we already had around the house. Our hope is that this shoot would inspire future brides to think outside the box and be creative when their wedding plans don’t go quite as smoothly as they had hoped!

Photography: Grain & Compass

Styling: Asharae & Tim Kroll

Florals: Asharae Kroll

Paper Goods/Lettering: Asharae Kroll

Venue: Private home outside Charlotte, NC

And just in case you haven’t gotten enough snowy inspiration, check out this lovely little short film Tim put together while we were snowed-in again last week! It’s best served full-screen (in HD!) with the volume turned up enough to get the full effect.

Snow Day from The Krolls on Vimeo.

Daniel and Kayla are two of our dearest friends. I had the privilege of standing alongside Kayla as one of her bridesmaids and she did the same for me at our wedding. I’ve known Daniel since 4th grade and Kayla since high school. There’s a different depth of friendship that comes with knowing one another through all our awkward phases, our relationships that didn’t work out, our inside jokes that are somehow still funny, and all life’s ups and downs. For Daniel and Kayla, many of us knew from the start that it was meant to last. We wouldn’t have been able to put it to words when we were just sophomores and juniors in high school, but looking back now it makes so much sense. Daniel and Kayla always had a maturity about their relationship that far surpassed their years. They first met one night at an astronomy observation at our high school – our astronomy class often gathered late at night or early in the morning to look at constellations, see lunar eclipses, and look at Mars and Saturn through a telescope.

In Daniel and Kayla’s film, Tim included a couple time-lapses of the sun and moon crossing the sky on their wedding day as a tribute to the night they met and the passion they both have for astronomy and all things outdoorsy. The title I designed was inspired by the star charts we used in high school to locate constellations and map the path of each planet.

As Kayla attended college and pharmacy school at Chapel Hill, and Daniel went to school and got a job in Charlotte, they had to endure many years of long distance after high school. I really don’t know of anyone who could endure that kind of strain on a relationship better than Daniel and Kayla – they persevered through the distance and their relationship is stronger because of it. I’m so very grateful to call these two friends. Enjoy a little taste of the sweetness that is Daniel and Kayla’s relationship, and cozy up with their film on this cold winter day!

Daniel + Kayla Wedding Film from Grain & Compass on Vimeo.

Vendors:

Venue: Magnolia Glen in Locust, NC

Salon: Hairy Carey

Makeup: Leslie Hatley-Murray

Flowers: Elaine Huneycutt

Pastor: Rev. Rick Brundin

Catering: Family Catering Service

Cake: Della Teeples

DJ: Wes Tucker

Photography: Huneycutt Photography

Videography: Grain & Compass

Feb 12, 2014

In honor of the epic (from a Southerner’s perspective) amount of snow that is currently falling on us here in North Carolina, I thought I’d share a few photos Tim and I took yesterday while exploring the winter wonderland that is our backyard. I know, I KNOW, some of you are so tired of snow and cold weather – and I don’t blame you! I’d be tired of negative temperatures too! But here in NC we just can’t get enough of it right now (until the power goes out, that is). For now, we’re soaking up this day, the beautiful fluffy flakes falling out of the sky, and cozying up with our coffee and some delicious donuts I whipped up this morning. All the while working on a few wedding films we’ve got headed your way – cannot wait to share them!

I hope ya’ll are taking advantage of this day, wherever you might be! Take a moment to appreciate the beauty around you – snow, rain, or sun – just breathe and be grateful.

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Jan 15, 2014
Featured in Weddings with  0  Comments

We’ve already shared a taste of our favorite images from 2013, but we got to work with so many incredible local vendors this past year that we wanted to give a shout-out to a few of them! Whether you’re planning your wedding, or know someone who is, check out these amazing vendors we had the privilege of working with this year. The individuals and vendors you choose to help out with your day can have a big impact on how your actual wedding day goes. At the end of it all, you’ll still be married, and whether your day went smoothly or not won’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Our desire as photographers and videographers though is to minimize the stress for our couples so they can focus on one another and the meaning and depth of their wedding day. The vendors below come with the highest recommendations from us!

SalonReflections Salon & Spa in Monroe, NC

Reflections has the absolute BEST getting-ready room for brides! Upstairs, tucked away from all the noise and hairspray is a quiet room for the bride and all her ladies to prep for the day. Think huge windows with lots of natural light(!), a big mirror with enough space for everyone, and beautiful exposed brick walls. When you’re planning where you’ll get ready the morning of your wedding, we highly recommend choosing somewhere with lots of natural light! That’ll ensure your makeup looks beautiful and natural for your portraits later! Plus it makes for much better getting-ready photos!

See more of David and Meredith’s wedding photos and their film here.

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Hair - Madison McIlwaine

Madison did Jena’s hair for both her bridal session and wedding, and we just adored the beautiful loose curls and effortless look of it all (even though we really know it was a lot of work!) Sidenote – Madison’s mom Kim owns our favorite little bridal shop in Locust, as well as the beautiful venue Il Bella Gardens where these first two photos here were taken!

See Jena’s bridal session here and Jacob and Jena’s wedding here.

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Makeup – Shelby Edwards of Shear Expressions Salon in Concord, NC

Shelby did a fabulous job with Stephanie’s makeup, as well as the makeup for all her bridesmaids and the moms! I mean Stephanie is gorgeous already, but Shelby did an amazing job playing up those beautiful eyes!

See Charles and Stephanie’s full day here.

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Flowers – Deedie Springer of Springvine Design

We absolutely adored Holly’s bouquet as well as all the boutonnieres and bridesmaid bouquets! Seriously Deedie – you had me at snapdragons. The fun whimsical feel of these pieces carried over to the reception decor where she created fun little centerpieces and placed them in spray-painted tin cans. Note the handmade floral sculpture over the door as well! This is a floral designer to keep an eye on – we’ve been following her work over on Instagram and we’re in love!

See Holly and Doug’s full wedding day post here.

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Coordinator – Melissa Lewkowicz of Relish Design Company in Greensboro, NC

Melissa was a dream to work with at Sara and David’s wedding! At the last minute everything had to be moved around due to rainy weather – Melissa took everything in stride, and made sure the day went beautifully despite the soggy weather! Her husband even came to help string lights, hang bunting, and light candles! Melissa was totally on-board with our vision and desire to capture plenty of photos of Sara and David. It’s always wonderful when coordinators are flexible and willing to go-with-the flow! When looking for a coordinator to help you plan your day, choose someone you truly feel you can trust to reduce stress for you! We highly recommend Melissa!

See the rest of Sara and David’s photos here.

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VenueLake O’ The Woods Plantation in Warrenton, NC

This venue truly has it all. It’s a gorgeous historic plantation home in rural North Carolina, located outside of the Raleigh area. One of the best things about this venue, besides being completely beautiful, is that you get it all weekend long! Maggie and Jonny’s families and bridal party arrived Friday for the rehearsal and dinner, spent the night there and were able to simply wake up and start getting ready (no travel times, no groomsmen arriving late). After Jonny and Maggie’s departure, everyone was able to take it easy, spend the night there again, and do all the clean-up in the morning! So wonderful.

See the rest of Maggie and Jonny’s day in their blog post here.

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Dress/Suit Combination – Sara’s David’s Bridal(!) dress and David’s suit from Zara.

This isn’t so much a vendor category as it is a best-dressed couple award. As a matter of fact, their whole wedding party looked super snazzy! We loved everything that David and Sara chose to wear on their wedding day – from her delicate jewelry (each piece a gift from David or her parents), to David’s knit tie, to the baby’s breath flower crown atop Sara’s curls, to the comfortable (and stylish) sandals she wore beneath her dress.

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AccessoriesKM2 Shoes and Accessories

You’ve probably heard us mention KM2 before because we absolutely adore their work. A portion of the profits from their beautiful hand-made headbands, belts, and shoes goes toward helping victims of human trafficking – a cause that is close to our hearts. If you’re on the hunt for the perfect accessory to go with your wedding dress (or to wear every day!) check out their products and purchase online here! They also have the CUTEST tiny headbands for little ones – they’d make a great baby shower gift or 1st birthday present! Check out KM2′s “Little Lady” collection here!

Below Jena is modeling the Harper headband as a bracelet, Sara is wearing a custom Vintage Flower Garland Headband, and I’m wearing the flower garland and one of their older designs – you can find similar ones here! The shoes are their Alexa style, are totally customizable, and I can attest that they are SUPER comfortable, Heels? Comfortable? I know, I know, but they really are. Promise.

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Live BandTim Dennison and the Creepers (aka The Creepers)

This goes without saying. We love these guys. They are all incredibly talented musicians and you can hire them individually or all together! Check out their work here, their Facebook page here, Dan’s page here, and Avery’s website here!

The Creepers played at David and Sara‘s wedding (pictured below), Dan played for the ceremony at Phil and Caroline‘s wedding, and Avery and Scott played for Lucas and Ellen‘s ceremony! All-in-all we felt pretty darn lucky to get to hear them play at so many weddings this season!

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Cake – Della Teeples

Della did the cake for our own wedding, and we always look forward to seeing what new creations she comes up with! She actually did three of the cakes for our weddings this past year (two pictured here, the other is in a video to come!) From the classically beautiful cake she created for David and Meredith’s wedding to the whimsical and hilarious Mario-themed castle cake she made for Charles and Stephanie – always a win in our books.

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We hope these vendors help you (or your friends) in your wedding-planning quest! There were SO many more great people we worked with that we could name – don’t hesitate to drop us a line if you’re looking for wedding vendor recommendations! We love spreading the love around!

Have a great experience with other wedding vendors? Feel free to leave a comment and tell us all about them!