Nobody can argue with the fact that North Carolina is one of the most stunning states in the country. From Charlotte to Durham, Raleigh and beyond, there are plenty of reasons people are flocking to the Tar Heel State: some for love, some for jobs, others for the Blue Ridge Mountains and expansive wildflower beds. Whatever the reason, there’s a high chance you or someone you know may need the services of the top Raleigh wedding photographers at some point. Luckily, we’ve done the leg work of finding the city’s most talented shutterbugs.
Porshia Hernandez knows a thing or two about romance. She met her husband on the very-much-missed MySpace, after he slid into her DMs. If that’s not romance for the millennial generation, we don’t know what is. Residing in North Carolina alongside him and their four children, Porshia’s passion is in unposed photography. Capturing every heartfelt smile and raw moment between her subjects, a portrait session with Porshia is always worth the wait. Approaching each session with an avid desire to capture the in-between moments, nothing gets lost from her lens. As photographers, we know that sometimes candid shots say more than any posed portraits. That’s what Porshia strives to document, making her one of the strongest photojournalistic-style wedding photographers in town.
Led by A.J. Dunlap herself, A.J. Dunlap Photography (AJDP) is a team of Raleigh wedding photographers who love what they do. A.J.’s role is both behind the lens and behind the scenes. Photographing weddings, newborns, and lifestyle sessions, she’s an extraverted explorer always ready to chat with her clients to make their dreams a reality. The rest of the team is made up of Carter, who handles outdoor family sessions; Jenna, ready to photograph weddings, as well as snap high school seniors at the click of a button; and Kyle, who acts as an assistant photographer and conducts daddy duties while A.J. is at work.
In addition, AJDP holds a women’s-only photography workshop, teaching everything from lighting to posing in a comfortable environment. That level of professional accomplishment belies a wonderful adaptability — this is a crew of true professionals who can make your wedding shine, regardless of what the day throws at them.
For Autumn, life is about spontaneity. She collects moments like mementos and goes out of her way to get to know her couples. Although her work speaks for itself, Autumn also credits her subjects for making each session special. After all, wedding days are about sharing every second. As well as chasing after the adventure and romance of your biggest day, her wedding and engagement sessions are usually somewhere outside of the norm. Striving to create meaningful and long-lasting imagery, she finds utter joy in delivering images that will be with you forever. That means shooting timeless shots, resisting the urge to follow fads. Autumn is a calm, detail-oriented, and advantageous photographer who’s brimming with location ideas and creative twists on traditional concepts. Brainstorm with her and let the sparks fly.
For as long as she can remember, Amber Robinson’s been passionate about photography. The first camera she ever got her hands on was a Canon AE-1, one she still has on display in her studio. It seems as if during every second of her life, Amber finds something she wants to photograph. And anytime she can take one, she’s filled with the desire to continue taking more. When it comes to weddings, Amber aims to make the day’s magical spark last forever. One of our favorite things about Amber is her commitment to diversity. Supporting a spirit of tolerance and inclusion, she wants to capture love in all its forms. Thoughtful and infinitely gifted, she creates bright, vivid images that genuinely express the excitement and spirit of the day.
Samuel Holt’s work exudes uniqueness. Balancing posed and candid shots as if shooting from a tightrope, he’s all set for a wedding session to remember. With a background in product photography, Sam knows a thing or 12 about lighting, as well as how important it is to set the scene. Although he’s only been shooting weddings for a little over a year, he’s worked as a second photographer to many. Through it, he’s discovered that wedding photographer is what he wants to do and what he’s good at. Really, really good at.
Becca Rizzo is straight up about what she delivers: authentic storytelling for fun-loving romantics. Though based in Raleigh, Becca has traveled the world and is always open to shooting destination weddings. Juggling her photography with being an emotional support system for her couples, she also offers marriage advice. Possibly the hardest part of the process, she’s there to help her couples in times of excitement-driven stress. Her No. 1 goal for her photography? To provide and share her exuberant light with everyone she meets. Oh, and also her fantastic wedding photography.
Winner of the Best of Durham Award in 2017, Merritt Chesson’s photographic approach is one that’s interactive and natural. She has always gravitated towards the more emotional and intimate experiences, so it goes without saying that she was born to capture weddings and families. With her portraits, she likes to capture spontaneous moments and stories that might seem mundane, but, in fact, are entirely the opposite. Merritt’s photographs provoke thoughtful reflection, summoning memories of the days they were taken for her subjects and herself. Not only that, she’s also a proud supporter of Equality NC — our kind of gal.
Wherever your North Carolina wedding, at whatever time of year, we hope one of these Raleigh wedding photographers will be your perfect fit. You know, next to your spouse! They’re out there doing incredible work with each new session, and any of them will help create images that you’ll look back on fondly for a lifetime to come.