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Wisteria and Sunsets - Blackwell & Jami - NC Couples Photographer

Everything here in eastern NC is blooming so quickly that I can’t seem to press the shutter fast enough! Springtime has inspired me beyond belief.  Upon my arrival back home from my two weeks in Boston, I was taken aback by the volume of wisteria that greeted me. I was determined instantly to take advantage of its short lifespan before heading back up north again next week.

The problem was, finding the right place in New Bern to do it. There was only so much driving around we could do… Wisteria blooms in such sporadic places. And it’s usually up so high! Sometimes we found it in sparse collections on the side of the road, and mostly found it clumped together about 20 feet up on a tree. But in a last-ditch effort to find some, we did! Resting on the side of the road between Lowe’s and WalMart, we found our perfect venue for a springtime couple’s shoot bursting with color. 

Blackwell and Jamie were perfect for my vision! They were naturals in front of the camera and I enjoyed every moment. Blackwell recently closed in on a new house, and they’re both very excited for the transition, as I’m sure their puppy dogs are too! 

One of my favorite things about photography is how well a world can be created simply by how you frame it. Would you guess that those images were taken off the side of the road on the way to a Walmart, with cars constantly passing by? Nope! The thing about photography is you have to think big by thinking small first. Condensing an environment to four corners can help expand it into something so much more than what initially meets the eye. 

As the lighting tilted further towards the horizon, we took the second half of the session to the farm at Anth’s house. His parents just installed two awesome new swings on a huge tree, and I knew it would be perfect right as the sun began to set!

I live for that dreamy, soft light! It was a fun afternoon well-spent with these two. Book me for a session, as May is getting filled up with shoots left and right. 

Til next time,


Anime Boston 2016 - Doll from Black Butler - East Coast Cosplay Photographer

(now booking: MOMOCON)

Anime Boston! My first love. Where it all began, six years ago (I…FEELOLD!!!!).

I know this lil’ town like the back of my hand. Or I did, until I left for a year and came back, and everything changed. Construction here, construction there, WHERE DID THE FOOD COURT GO? I hope you all survived. I heard a lot of bad reviews from AB this year, and I can’t really blame them. It sounded pretty awful. The weather certainly didn’t help… I hope you all stayed warm and dry, and somehow found food that wasn’t at L’Espalier (what was up with that food guide map, AB…? L’Espalier, really?)

Anime Boston, as far as shooting goes, is tough love. Security at all my favorite locations was hell-bent on keeping me away. I’m sure many of us, cosers and photogs alike, can relate to dodging security at the Christian Science Center (who was completely fine with normal people/tourists taking photos there, but as soon as cosplayers got there, SCRAM). Cute, real cute. 

THANKFULLY, I found solace in one location that was my true love for the weekend: The church at Copley Square. 

Here is where I shot the beautiful, wondrous, talented Angela of FaeDustDesigns on Instagram. She cosplayed Doll from Black Butler. For those of you who know me, or actually read the ramblings I post on this blog, you know I adore designs like these. Elegant, unique, and intricate. Yes x1000, this stuff is my jam. We even managed to get a shot in the coveted library! Just one though. They shooed us away real quick…

Angela brought her adorable parents along, who were super helpful and encouraging. I loved the energy they brought! 

Doll is a circus performer in the anime Black Butler. She specializes in aerial ballet–and it just so happens Angela herself is a professionally-trained, classic ballet dancer and gymnast! This was a match made in cosplay heaven. 

But enough of my ramblings–CHECK OUT THE SHOOT BELOW!

What a beauty! I loved everything about this shoot! I’m headed back up to Boston before I know it for PAX East and Sakura Matsuri in NYC. Message me to set up a shoot there, or book me in NC for an on-location shoot, and for Momocon at the end of May!


Snowfall Bridal Photoshoot-Boston Bridal Photographer

Ah, Boston. How I’ve missed you. It’s nearly been a year but it’s like I never left. And what a fool I was to think that I could make it through my trip without experiencing some snow. But two days of it? Yeah, now I remember why I left. How quickly we forget…

Snow or no snow, that didn’t stop Bonnie, this beautiful bride-to-be, from shooting with me in this gorgeous vintage Gunne Sax dress from the 70’s. What a find! We shot in the afternoon as the snow tumbled down with abandon at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University in Jamaica Plain.

Bonnie’s roommate, Maxime, made the flower crown featured in this shoot. Keep an eye out for her etsy store coming soon! You won’t want to miss the opportunity to purchase her handmade crowns, as I find them to be very unique amongst the many floral crowns out there nowadays. 

This particular crown featured a dusty rose color, contrasted by brown stems and accented with earthy feathers. I loved this with Bonnie’s natural, airy makeup look, as it gave the stark white a subtle pop of color to match the flowers. I loved how the snow delicately rested on the feathers and petals! 

Bonnie was such a trooper in the snow. And so was my camera! Thankfully, they both made it out dry and safe. I’d say the adventure was worth it!

And of course, no good shoot is without its beautiful assistants. Thank you, Anthony and Maxime, for keeping Bonnie glamorous and dry (when you could)!

I’ll be back in Boston from April 19th-27th, and NYC after that! Contact me for a shoot!

Katsucon 2016 - Client Spotlight #3 - East Coast Cosplay Photographer

It’s time for my third client highlight from katsucon 2016! I’ve been a bit slow with editing, since I’ve recently developed tendonitis with all of the shooting and typing at a computer I’ve been doing lately (OOPS? Good thing my bf’s mom is a nurse). However, thanks to some diligent wrapping with Ace bandages and icing it every day, it is starting to feel better! Thanks everyone on IG for the well-wishes.

Up first we have Rose (fuwanfuwanwan om Instagram) as Miss Machera Noir, a Sakizou design. If I could shoot every single Sakizou costume there is, I would be a very happy photographer. Since the roots of my photography stem down to fashion (that was what first brought me to a camera), costumes that are intricate and very detail-oriented like these bring out the best work in me. As photographers we all have our strengths, and these regal costumes are definitely mine. I. Just. Love. Sakizou. Those, and elegant ginjika designs too!

Rose was really amazing to work with. I’m sad I only had a half hour to shoot together, but we will definitely be working together in the future because we both had a really great time! It was just so amazing seeing something like this up close. I believe she put in over 250 hours on this costume. There are just so many endless details, so take a few minutes to soak in this gorgeous piece of art she created. She also gave me a lovely review:

“Riley is so great to work with! I was really nervous since it was my first sort of formal shoot for cosplay, but she was so helpful thinking up poses when I was drawing a blank. She definitely puts her model first. I had a very elaborate costume with limited mobility, and she made sure that none of the poses were uncomfortable or hard to balance with. Sadly I only had a half an hour to shoot with her, but she really used the time to the fullest. She’s also just an incrediblytalented photographer and I can’t praise her enough!”

Following this, we have the beautiful Joyce of SorryContinue Cosplay. She is Mercedes from Odin Sphere. Initially our shoot was scheduled for early Saturday afternoon, but Hello Fire Alarm and Goodbye Hopes and Dreams. However, we still made it work later in the day with some dreamy evening light. I loved the iridescence of her wings. Also, her makeup is on point. Dat highlight–girl, where’d you get that? Cuz I need some. 

Next we have Cheesecake Panda Cosplay and Houkakyou Cosplay and Photography from Lord of the Rings. It was only a brief shoot, but I really enjoyed the teamwork between these two. They were very patient and their craftsmanship was stunning! Houkakyou Cosplay and Photography is also a very talented photog! Like, really talented.

Following this, we have these two very talented French Canadian cosplayers who were absolutely adorable as Ruby (Theo) and Sapphire (Buddy Cosplay & Photography) From Steven Universe. Talk about adorable chemistry! They were so kind and sweet to work with. And they were definitely rad for bracing the cold! It was their first time at Katsu–they took a loooooong bus ride down from Montreal, and said they loved every second of it! 

I’d like to give a special shout-out to GooJunky Photography, I met her while shooting outside in the shrubbery with these two and she was so kind in lending me her two strobes in between her own busy shoots.  I really wish I could have spent more time with her, but hopefully next time I will be able to hang! I really enjoy her work, and can’t get over how generous she was in helping me. Thank you Lisa!

Lastly, we have Star.Drop and Tuu_Guuf on Instagram as Lulu and Akali from League of Legends! What an adorable friendship! They were always encouraging each other and telling the other how cool or badass or adorable they looked. I love that about cosplay pairs and groups! Keep giving each other positive vibes!

That’s all for now. I will be working through the next three shoots that will conclude katsucon for me. Anime Boston is in 9 days, and I’m so so so excited to go back to Boston! I get to show Anthony around my college stomping grounds, and he’s never been, so we have a whole schedule choc-full of fun things like museums, fancy restaurants (PRAISE BE TO GROUPON), cafes, T H R I F TI N G !!!!!!, and of course fun with friends. Really excited for my shoots at AB!!

Also, I am considering doing both PAX East and Sakura Matsuri in Brooklyn as they both correspond one weekend after the other; this was initially something I had not considered, because I no longer live in New England, but I’ve had several people email me about Pax and a couple about Matsuri, so if I can get enough shoots booked I might fly up and do that. If anyone is interested, please email me at


Katsucon 2016-Love Live Valentine’s Day-CHEZPHOTO

(Now booking: Anime Boston
Next con: Momocon. Booking opens April 7th.) 

I wanted to make a blog post highlighting the biggest group I photographed during Katsucon. On Valentine’s Day, I had the pleasure of shooting this full Love Live group! I have so many good things to say about this experience I had to edit this post like 6 times. 

Despite it being incredibly hectic with the crowds and last minute rush of Sunday con-goers, these girls were truly a pleasure to work with! I really couldn’t get over how synced up they all were with their poses. As a photographer I’m pretty used to telling people what to do in terms of posing, but I didn’t have to at all for them. Right down to the head-tilt and exact poised fingertip, they knew what to do. Which is pretty impressive. 

Another fascinating thing with this big group was the continuity and consistency with these costumes. Everything was so seamless. All the costumes were made of the same material, the flags were super-legit (like, you could hurt someone with those), the boots were adorable, and those CHOCOLATE DRIP HATS ARE TO DIE FOR. So cute!!! AHHH.

Also, again I spend a lot of time looking at people up close while I edit, and I just have to say… These girls know how to do their makeup. Their lashes, their eyebrows, contouring and highlighting, dang… They were all definitely On Fleek, and I need to get some lessons from them.  

I have never worked with a group this large before,  so it was very impressive to see. They were always helping adjust one another’s costumes, guiding each other with poses, it was a great dynamic.

Khamomeal Tea is Kotori

Danielle is Maki 

Saheehee Cosplay is Nico

Lula Cosplay is Umi

 LyddiDesign Costumes is Honoka

Sarah Shortcake is Hanayo

Janvier Cosplay and Crafts is Rin

Betsy Bon Bon is Nozomi

And Coffee Cat Cosplay is Eli!

Can we talk about those awesome smiles?!? You’d think after posing for photos all day before the shoot they’d be so sick of it, and maybe they were, but if that was the case they sure fooled me. They did more smiling in that one hour shoot than I do in a month, which I guess says more about me than them. That’s why I stay BEHIND the lens… Anyway. Anthony, of course, was a great help in being the best flag holder for photos and also for holding literally all the flagpoles when we didn’t need them, and helping me keep track of time while dividing it up among nine people, so thanks again Anth!!!

Did you hear that Katsucon isn’t going to be on Valentine’s Day next year? I have to admit, honestly, I’m a little relieved. I can’t exactly say that my Valentine’s Day with my boyfriend was romantic, with all of the shoots and the five-and-a-half-hour drive in the dark that followed. I know most people are bummed, but I’m not… looking forward to next year!

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