Image by Lisa

Image by Lisa

Meet Elly

I love to travel. Some of my favorite places in the US are New York City, LA, Miami, Vegas and Hawaii. Winter is usually pretty slow in North Carolina so I spend part of the Winter out in Hawaii... it helps to have a brother there. ;)  I’ve been to quite a bit of the Caribbean including Jamaica, Bahamas, Dominican Republic and St. Martin. I love anything tropical so I fell in love with them all. I’ve also been to Guatemala and Italy. Both in which I loved for various reasons but if I had to choose a favorite I think I’d choose Italy. I loved everything about it; the wine, the beautiful tuscan hills, gorgeous ancient architecture and especially the food. They put so much love into everything they make and they have perfected it all. 

I love to paint and draw. I’ve been an artist my entire life. I always knew I wanted to work in something creative and at 16 I started working at a photo lab. That’s when I fell in love with photography. By the time I was 18, I worked for a photography company traveling all over the east coast by myself photographing children at daycares. In the meantime I started to build my portfolio with other portrait work and photographed my first wedding. I started Elly’s Photography by the time I was 19 (now 32). I’m still in love with what I do, in fact I seem to find something new about my job to fall in love with every year

I love animals. I've always had cats, dogs and rabbits growing up. I currently have the most amazing fur baby. He’s a 7 months old Shar Pei named Sage and he’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. If you want to see pictures just check out my facebook page, haha. He’s taken over it.

I’m a newlywed. My husband Aaron, and I had a small intimate wedding near Asheville, September 26, 2016. We actually met at a wedding a few years ago. He was the DJ and I was the photographer. We both had our own reasons for not connecting right away but we both kept each others cards for the future and couldn’t seem to shake each other. I finally broke down and messaged him and we found ourselves on a date the very next day. We pretty much skipped the whole “dating” and “talking” to each other and jumped right into a full blown relationship. Somehow, we both just “knew”. 

I’ve always been fascinated by people, myself included; how and why things affect us the way they do, yet affect others so differently. Two years ago I took on a two year Certified Life Coaching program that focuses on really listening to others, listening to them for their greatness and their own genius, and always looking within and asking myself what is my hearts desire. I believe we’re all incredible human beings and that our own personal views and opinions are often the biggest obstacles to becoming what we were meant to be in this world. I want to be the catalyst for myself and others to get out of our own way and be who we were purposed to be in this world and fulfill our wildest dreams.

I grew up on a farm. I spent my summers picking and selling produce at the farmers market. As much as I love homegrown, organic produce - farming is just not for me. However, I learned many valuable lessons on that farm that I wouldn't trade for the world.

I love a good glass of wine with a great steak or catching up with friends on a night in. I tend to gravitate toward dark reds such as Chianti, Cabernet, Malbec and various red blends. 

I'll take a hole-in-the-wall restaurant just about any day over a fancy one. I'm a foodie and LOVE trying new foods. Vietnamese, Thai and Indian food are at the top of my list.

I love deep connection. Whether I’m connecting to a client, friends or just watching my clients connect with the family and friends that surround them or each other.

I was born and raised in the South, and although I love a lot about the south I wouldn't define myself a "southern girl".

I don't watch TV often but some of my favorite shows are / were: Curb your Enthusiasm, Orange is the New Black, Game of Thrones, True Blood, IZombie, Breaking Bad, Frasier and The Big Bang Theory.

I love audiobooks  and listen to them while editing photos and driving - for entertainment I enjoy series' such as The Hunger Games or The Sookie Steakhouse Series. I also really love inspirational and growth and development books. A few of my favorites are Dark side of the Lights Chasers, Four Agreements, and Anatomy of Peace.

I love to dance! I wish I could say I was a fabulous latin or ballroom dancer but I'm not. I really just love letting go and letting the music move me. It's such a freeing feeling. 

I like all kinds of music- if you were to check out my Pandora you'd see a lot of 90's Alternative, Hip Hop, Raggae, Dubstep, Latin and Raggaeton. 

Photo by Megan Gielow

Lisa Nichols

Studio Manager, baker, lighting assistant, friend


Our Wedding! 

And just in case you haven't heard enough about me... I want to share a little bit about my wedding. Like I encourage every one of my couples to do; Aaron and I got really clear about what we wanted for the wedding before we started planning. We each named the most important things to us. It was important to both of us to create a meaningful fun experience for everyone. We wanted it to be laid back, in a beautiful location, super intimate, have plenty of time with everyone, and gorgeous photos that really captured us! 

We had a small budget so we had to get creative. Knowing what I said above I knew a few factors were super important:

  • The Location - it had to be able to host our friends and family for days, be convenient and beautiful
  • The Photography - I debated between lots of my favorite photographers for months before finally deciding on Megan Gielow - and she captured our day perfectly!
  • The dress, hair, make up - because really .... I also knew I wanted to love how I look in the photos, and I know what a difference these things make.
  • Music - although that wasn't hard since my husband owns a dj company (Anything Music), we had one of his DJ's come up for the weekend and celebrate with us as well as help with set up

So knowing this we searched high and low for venues that would meet these requirements. With budget in mind it was becoming increasing clear that we should start looking at houses to rent as well. We ended up finding "big house on the river" on VRBO and knew that was it! We rented it for a week to have some time to get there and prepare and spend a few days alone together afterwards.

Again with budget in mind and knowing our priorities - we started looking at where we could cut our budget. We both know being in the industry there are a few things that tend to run budgets high. Food, Alcohol and Decor. Since our wedding was held in a home we rented we decided to buy our own alcohol and my best friend volunteered to infuse all the liquor ahead of time w/ things such as berries, cucumber, basil, etc. It was amazing. Then all anyone had to do was mix in a little ginger ale and it was ready to go. Since our friends are all such amazing cooks we asked them to all take on one meal and get help preparing it from others. We asked them to buy the groceries and we reimbursed them.... of course some of our amazing and stubbornly sweet friends wouldn't take it. Everyone chipped in and cooked meals together like family. It was such a beautiful experience. ... And decor... well we had a beautiful setting so we just choose not to do any. My friends actually went out on the day of and picked wild flowers (and a few from the house) to make my bouquet - which was gorgeous! Lisa actually put the bouquet together - and if I do say so myself - it's one of the most beautiful bouquets I've ever seen! Lisa is a baker so she also took my request and made some delicious cookies and raspberry pies and my amazingly graceful friends who own Penny Path Crepe Cafe in High Point (GO if you've never been) made Crepes and other yummy deserts. The whole event from Saturday to Monday was better than I ever could have imagined. Aaron and I were blown away by how amazing it turned out. Our expectations were blown away!

Click on the photo below to scroll through a few highlights of our wedding

Wedding Photos by Megan Gielow