We are currently enjoying a peaceful off-season here on the Outer Banks. Although I despise the cold weather, I do appreciate the quietness of an Outer Banks winter. I have time to relax, re-group, and re-focus for the upcoming new season. Each off-season, I make a list of things to accomplish to improve our art and our business. Whether or not everything gets crossed off is debatable (wink), but we always make great strides. Last off season, we made a commitment to really push ourselves in the aspect of non-traditional bride and groom portraits. It is no secret that during a wedding, we may only get 15 minutes with our couple to focus solely on them. This can be a lot of pressure to get a wide variety of creative portraits, so we wanted to come up with ways to “steal” extra time. Luckily for us, our couples are amazing and trust us to the nth degree when we try to cox them out of their reception for a few more creative shots. Whether we find elusive spot lights, slow our shutter, or mix in flash, these shots have ended up being some of my favorites ever. There is something so romantic about stealing away for a few minutes alone with your new spouse. Many couples say it is a much welcomed break from the crowd or simply a moment to take in and appreciate all that is happening on their wedding day. Below are a few of my personal favorites from 2011. I hope this inspires brides-to-be to consider giving your photographer a few extra moments. It can truly creative a memory you’ll never forget. Enjoy!