Through The Looking Glass



“Life is your art.

An open, aware heart is your camera

 A oneness with your world is your film.

your bright eyes and easy smile is your museum.”

~ Ansel Adams ~

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The Prologue

[The Short Version]

We are a husband and wife photography team located in Downtown Albemarle, North Carolina.  Specializing in pet portraits, high school seniors, BELOVED sessions, ALP Chrysalis Boutique Boudoir and Trash The Cake/First Year Celebrations, we opened our doors in 2005.  We relocated to our boutique studio location at142 West Main Street,Albemarle,North Carolina, in 2008, and are available for most of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia areas.  We are pleased to offer unique portrait sessions and quality products and gifts tailored to your photography needs.

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Want to know a little more? …

We Believe . . .

. . . you can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle three things:  a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas lights.

. . . that sometimes life gives you a second chance, and if you’re truly blessed, a third.

. . . the best things in life aren’t things.

. . . life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

. . . you can tell more about people by what they say about others than what they say about themselves.

. . . God’s angels often come to us disguised.

. . . that teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as to the caterpillar.

. . . you have to be careful not to stare at a closed door too long – you may not see the window God opened.

. . . friendship isn’t a big thing … it’s a million little things.

. . . sometimes the shortest distance between two points is a winding path walked arm in arm.

. . . the price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.

. . . that love isn’t about finding the right person, but being the right person.

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And if you really want to know the “dirt” …

[The Unabridged Version]


Calvin is an absolute whiz with numbers.  He can often figure out totals before I can punch them into the calculator.   ….Spelling?  Not as much.

Katrina may be the queen of spelling, composition and all of those other ugly language things.  You know, all of those things we hated in school.  Just don’t ask her to measure anything, who the heck knows what “three itty bitty marks” means anyway. [I know there are plenty of people out there who will agree with me that that is a valid form of measurement! – Kat]

Calvin is one of my grounding forces.  When my plans and ideas get lofty and involved, he helps me see more than just one side of the equation.

Katrina has a visionary mind, she can see what she wants, not necessarily the complexity of putting it into action.  For her to have such a visionary mind, however, she has no spacial perception.  Don’t ask her to think about the size of anything or know if “that object” will fit into “that space”.  She knows what she wants, and most of the time knows how to get there.  She makes things interesting for me, and I enjoy figuring out her ideas.

Calvin is a great encourager.  When I’m feeling disheartened – about business, about people, or about life in general – he helps me focus on the positive aspects of myself and the blessings that surround me daily.

Katrina is the rope that binds.  She does keep me on track, even-keeled, and encouraged through many things.  She encourages me to follow the dream and for that I am very thankful.  I may not like what she has to say sometimes, “Get that seatbelt on!”, but 99% of the time she is right. [Finally!  I have it in writing AND on the internet – “ … she is right”!  This is great!  After all, you never know when a reminder will be needed.  -Kat]

Calvin is a fighter! He is a six-year cancer survivor (and counting, thank The Good Lord!).  Diagnosed with an aggressive form of throat cancer two weeks after returning from our honeymoon in 2004, he has endured draining “boost” radiation treatments (42 treatments in a 30-daytime period) and all the acute and chronic complications that come along with it, as well as the multiple medical and surgical procedures along the way –including a major ten-hour surgery to do a bone/skin/vein graft in his left jaw area to replace a 40mm long piece of dead bone caused by the intense radiation treatments.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t say a prayer of thanks that he is still here to walk along life’s path by my side.

Katrina has stood through many days of uncertainty, not knowing what the next problem is going to be with my health.  While I have been blessed to have survived, I am more blessed to have her by my side – not in front, not behind.  She deserves the Medal of Honor for being the best wife that I could have asked for.  With all I have been through, she has been through it with me.  Praise be to God for giving me the wife I need, and also the wife I want.

Calvin is a softy.  He’s not one to let on about it, but he is.  I’ve seen him wrapped around the paws of each and every one of our four house cats –he will only admit to one, “Blackie Kitty”, our first and original diva.  However, “Garfield Kitty”, “Shadow Kitty” and “Itty Bitty Kitty” know they have him just where they want him, too.  I’ve seen his eyes well up with tears at the plight of some local animals, I’ve witnessed the deep sadness he’s had at the loss of family and friends, and I’ve seen him engage wide-eyed young children in conversations about even the smallest, most seemingly insignificant things.

Katrina thinks she has me figured out; however, she has a heart for what she loves, a passion for pets, and a love for nature.  I have threatened to put some wildlife to permanent rest as a food item and she is the first to tell me, “I don’t think so!  Those are furry babies and that makes them pets!”  I have an application into the court system to have her name changed from Katrina to Elly May.  For those of you that are mature enough to remember, Elly May Clampett had her flock of pets on the television show, “The Beverly Hillbillies”.  [ I think I could totally rock the name “Elly May”! -Kat]

Calvin has both a student’s and a teacher’s heart, all at the same time.  Whether he is thinking over something our pastor has said, learning a new photography or editing technique, delving into the world of blacksmithing, researching heirloom seeds for planting in the garden, learning a new woodworking skill, or having an “Aha!” moment as a machining/sales engineer, he will dig into something, set his mind to it, and eventually master it – or at least come very close.  On the same note, he is generous with others with the things he’s learned – whether it’s the best tomato seed/fertilizer he’s found, how to build a positive relationship, or a new shortcut he found in machining a part.

Katrina is always on the quest to learn new things and to try to make herself better at what she loves to do, to be the best artistic photographer.  She has the drive to pursue and learn new techniques, and not let a day go by that she doesn’t learn something.

Calvin is a gentleman. Even after several years of marriage, he still opens doors for me (yes, car doors, too!), puts himself between me and the road if we’re on a side walk, gives me “hello”, “good-bye” and “just because” kisses, calls to check in if he’s traveling, fills my car up with gas if he drives it, and even helps with laundry, dishes and other “chores” without being asked.  And yes, as a matter of fact, I have tried to get him to consider taking his “show” on the road with a Husbands 101 workshop (classes to include: “Yes, you can relinquish control of the TV remote”, “The broom and mop – yes, you can learn how to operate them”, “The dishes didn’t get dirty by themselves”, and “Date Night – it’s not just a myth”.)  Are there any takers on advance registrations for your husbands, ladies??

 Katrina has tried to get me to write a series of “Husband Books”, and while that may be one of my retirement quests, I have the need to be by her side in pursuing the business of our company.  Yes, I could write a series of books, and maybe I should.  However, she has the first option of writing the rebuttals.

Calvin is patient and understanding.  He may tell me, “Okay, you need to come to bed and get some rest”, but he knowingly and patiently understands when I need to get “just one more thing done”, and he often pitches in to help out whether it’s taking care of something around the house, or helping me with paper work for the business.

Katrina has said many times that I burn the candle at all four ends, yes four ends. [Kat here…I agree, all four ends … he cuts his candle in two and lights all four ends at once!]  She has labeled me as having the need of a wax truck.  “… By the way … where is that truck; he’s late with the delivery!  And who loaded that truck?   Don’t they know what a full load means?”  Katrina is as much of a workaholic as I am and that has its dangers.  She has as much if not more, going on than I do.

Calvin is not a push-over by any stretch of the imagination, but he has an absolute heart of gold willing to help anyone in need at the drop of a hat.  Perhaps it’s set-building for Vacation Bible School, a donation for a needy family, or helping me out with Optimist Club obligations – if he sees a need, he does all he can to help.  He’s even overcome his squeamishness to help me in several emergency situations including a bad wreck/multi-roll-over in front of our house involving a law enforcement officer that we feared would not make it through the night (but he did make it and is doing extremely well!), or assisting an elderly lady who had fallen in a restaurant and had hit her head and broken her wrist.  I’m convinced he would literally give the shirt off his back to someone if he knew they needed it.

WOW, how do I come back on that?  I have seen Katrina back a doctor in the corner and demand an explanation.  I have also seen her back down and give way to let someone else have their say.  Katrina is a vivid, bright, intelligent, and very lovable woman.  She knows that I am not as smart as her in many ways, but then she knows she is not as smart as I am in other ways.  Smart + smart = a very good mix;  yet knowing that even together we don’t know it all – there is always something new to learn.

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In a huge, overloaded nutshell, our love for each other and our fervor for life, coupled with working seamlessly together with our mix of skills, attention to detail and ongoing education, can’t help but spill over the boundaries of our personal lives into our business lives and our studio.  We want our clients to feel valued and appreciated, and we want to partner with them to make their portrait experience a memorable one, and their portrait art beautiful and meaningful heirlooms that will be treasured for generations to come.

Calvin and Katrina

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